Monday, September 24, 2007

Time well spent

First of all I wanted to let everyone know that, yes, I'm still here! Life has really got in the way of my blogging and to some extent my knitting. Last week between school/family obligations and preparing for our church's harvest festival as well as selling pies all day Saturday at the fair, things were quite busy. I baked a chocolate cake for the cake walk and made a double batch of pizzelles for the bake sale. Then on Friday at church I helped make 50 apple pies to sell at the fair. Normally our local apple orchard donates 2 bushels of apples, all peeled and sliced for the pies, but not this year. They only donated one bushel and we had to purchase the other bushel. To top it off the apples were not peeled or sliced. Needless to say we had to recruit help fast and get those apples peeled and into pies. We manage to do it and the pies really came out beautiful (and delicious) this year. Sorry no photos :( We sold all 50 pies even before the fair ended. That's a record for us. Normally we have a few left over to be sold the following Sunday morning. The pizzelles sold fast, too. Now I know a good item to bake for future fairs. I don't mind the work if it makes money for the church :) No, I didn't knit anything for the fair. Last year I made up a basket of dishcloths for the bountiful basket's silent auction which only got the minimum bid and last springs silent auction's Sakura Cherry blossom shawl, also, only took in the minimum bid. I feel the hand knit items do not do very well considering the countless hours put into them not including the cost of the yarn. I would rather spend time baking the pies and on other baked goods. The 50 pies made $500. I definitely think that was time well spent!!

Yesterday, I came very close to buying myself a computer, a laptop that is. I have been saving money for a very long time in hopes that I would be able to get my very own computer. It seems like I am always competing for computer time and I thought it would be nice to have a laptop for the portability factor. Best Buy had a Compaq Presario laptop on sale that seemed like a really good buy (with great reviews) for the money. I even went to the store to buy one (they had 3 in stock), but was quickly talked out of it by the computer clerk. He told me all the things that could go wrong, from the liquid crystal screen getting hots spots (can't be replaced or fixed) to the keys getting needing a new battery (new ones cost $200) and to top it off he didn't think I would like Vista..too many bugs still. He wanted to sell me all sorts of protection packages which would have made the computer totally not affordable. He suggested that I could get a laptop for the same amount that I wanted to spend, but with XP installed. After looking a bit laptops with XP, there are far and few to be found and not at the same price. I'm starting to think now that I don't even want a laptop now, but there is really no place in my house where I could put a desktop. Was I duped? They are now sold out! I'm sure many of you out there have laptops and with Vista home premium. Can I buy a lap top without all that extra protection? Any advice would be appreciated :)

Now, for some knitting content. I finally finished my husband slippers!
Remember the soles I sewed up:
This is how they felted:
and here are the soles sewed on:I used shelf liner for the non skid soles. Read about it here.

For my skeptics out there (edited 9/25/07) :

My brand new soles (finished 3/9/07)
and here they are today, after being worn:

I wear them as house slipper only. They are not worn outside. I think they have held up very well. I find them very slipping or sliding on hard wood or tile floors. Very easy to sew on. I use double regular sewing thread to attach the sole and have had no problem with them coming off. Even if the soles wore out it would be very easy to replace. For the money I think this is a great option to prevent falls and keeps the felt from wearing out.

My baby blanket:
- is almost finished. Not too much more to do. Should be finished soon.

I thought the following was interesting enough to pass on to those of you who like my ball band toilet paper cover. There is a brand new book coming out that has all sorts of cute patterns for more toilet paper covers. I got a kick out of it... a whole book dedicated to toilet paper covers...I thought I was the only weird one out there. I know I love mine and the ones in the book look like they would be fun for kids bathrooms. Some things never cease to amaze me :)

Now, I have to get going and catch up on everything including all my tagging assignments. I've been tagged by 4 of my knitting friends for various things or exercises...I will get to my assignments eventually...right now I'm still playing catch up. Hopefully everyone will understand. Happy knitting everyone:)


  1. So I take it that the shelf-liner soles of your original slippers held up well? We want to see what yours look like after some months of wear! I hope they did last well for you, but I think I would have had my doubts.

  2. I know precious little of pc's let alone laptops, so my comments are confined to the things I know...fact is; your baby blanket is beautiful to behold. I clicked on the pic for a larger view and just stared at it soaking up the pinks; I love the color combination you chose.

    I bet your hands are enjoying the knit-less break. I know mine would if they were getting one.

    I'm going to use that same shelf liner for the soles of my clogs when I get to them. Thanks so much for the tip!

  3. I'm curious, too, about how the liner soles have held up. If you're just walking around the house then I would assume they'd hold up pretty well. Hope your husband enjoys them!

  4. My, you have been busy!
    I don't know much about laptops. My dh has had one for years and it's never had any of those problems you mentioned. Was the salesmen talking about that particular computer or all laptops in general? I tend to think that all those extra protection things they try to sell you are unnecessary but maybe that's just my suspicious nature! ; ) Have you ever heard of Kim Komando? She has a syndicated radio show all about tech stuff. She also has a website--here's a couple links:

    Love the slippers & blanket!

  5. The slippers are very cute! I think the salesman was trying to sell you. I have a laptop with Vista, and its fine. I've had a laptop for work for years - and never had a problem with the screen, or anything else that wouldn't happen to a desktop. Have you looked at Dell? We've bought several and have had very good experiences with them and with customer support.

  6. I have a laptop with XP and have had no problems. I wonder why he wanted to talk you out of Vista - even if it does have bugs, Microsoft will come up with the necessary updates to fix it. [XP had bugs when it first came out too.]

  7. I love your skidless slippers, and the pink blanket is beautiful. I may have to make one for my self. I have made every one else in the house one so it's about time I make one for me. Sorry things are so stressful. Right now.

    As far as lap tops go... I have a DELL INSPIRON 600M and I absolutely love it. I bought it in november of 2004 and it's still going strong. I would suggest going to and checking them out.

  8. Your soles have held up beautifully! Thanks for showing those. I'm impressed!

  9. Great job on the bake sale! That's a lot of apples to peel and core :-o

  10. I hope you had one of those apple peelers that peels and slices at the same time. I have one that I bought at a somewhat local orchard, but have never been able to get it to work right.
    Your slippers turned out great and I love the non slip soles.

  11. Wow sounds like you were a baking fiend! Very nice of you to do all that and congrats on the great sales results. As to laptops - defintely go to a few stores and look around on-line for feedback. We bought my Mom a laptop earlier this year and did not get Vista - we figured she didn't need it. I don't even need it for work and I'm on the computer all day. Also they say that those extended warranties are never worth the money. Good luck in your search.

  12. If you haven't found the rigth lap top yet - you might want to consider a Lenovo/Think Pad. They come without Vista. I just got one and I LOVE it. I shopped for a long time. The most important thing is the processor - you want to get the fastest one you can. Next you need to consider ram and hard drive. E-mail me if you want to hear about anything else I've learned. Good luck (I've come over here from Allison's site)

  13. wow, your projects are looking good! : )

    my laptop is an HP and we bought the extended warranty... and i am so glad we did. it died last year and i got to send it back to have it fixed for no cost. i've heard a lot of laptop horror stories that make me think having the extended warranties on them is worth it. that's just my experience, though.

  14. Wow...50 apple pies; I can't even imagine baking on such a large scale! I'm glad your bake sale went well. The shelf liner soles are really genius!!! I have a macbook, so I can't really help on the pc thing; however, it might be worth it to speak to several different computer salespeople (they all have their own opinions...) My b.f. is saying Compaq is owned by Hewlitt Packard, so if you're considering a Compaq you may be better off just getting an H.P.

  15. ...forgot to add... You can check out computer reviews on

  16. The clogs look great! And what a wonderful idea for soles--that's going in my file for later. :)

    I used to own a Compaq Presario laptop. Although it was quite a few years ago, I didn't have the best of luck with it. One day, when it was about 3-4 years old, it just wouldn't turn on anymore. But I guess that might be considered a good, long life for a laptop.

    I bought it at Office Depot, and they talked me into the insurance for the screen and the extra insurance, too. The screen *never* needed any work done to it, and despite the problems I had toward the end of it's life, the computer had no other problems. I currently own a Dell laptop, and it's been working great sans insurance for almost 2 years.

    Long story short: I think the insurance and everything is kind of a rip-off. As long as you're not going to be carrying it everywhere or pounding on it, I think it will be okay on it's own. :)

    PS. My husband owns a Gateway laptop that he's had for 5 years, no problems, no insurance.

  17. i'm a bit late with the laptop advice but jknits hit it right on the money--the processor is the most important thing to think about and the ram. I have a toshiba laptop which I've had since...2000 actually and it's still running strong.


Thank you all for your comments! I really appreciate them. I usually don't follow up with an email, but if you do have a question please make sure you include a way to reach you within your comment so I may answer your question. Thanks and happy knitting :)

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