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23 posts from November 2004

30 November 2004

100 things for my 200th post

Oh, look at the time!  Inspiration from Annie, Norma, Leigh, and Teresa (and because there's not much else that's new).  I've never done this before and it's harder than I thought it would be!


  1. I was born in Milwaukee.
  2. We moved at least once a year until I was eight, and a few more times after that.
  3. I can recall riding in the car through the night during some of those moves.
  4. I still love to see the distant lights of an airport at night.
  5. And driving through big cities at night, though it’s not as magical as it once was.
  6. I’ve lived in Michigan, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, Canada, Illinois, Oregon, and (mostly) Wisconsin.
  7. Though not a big fan of winter, I like living in a place that has four, very definite seasons.
  8. My school career started by going to three different kindergartens.
  9. I loved my 1st grade teacher – and 4th and 6th – and 7th & 9th grade English.
  10. I’m still proud of all the gold stars I earned on 1st grade spelling tests.
  11. I’m a good speller.
  12. I learned cursive writing in 2nd grade.
  13. Then we moved and they made me “learn” it again in 3rd grade – from scratch.
  14. I am the eldest of five children – I have three sisters and one brother.
  15. I have twin sisters.
  16. There is six years between my youngest sibling and me.
  17. I still have a scar on my chest from the time one of the twins threw a chair (wicker with metal legs) at me during a fight when we were teenagers.
  18. I used to dig my fingernails into my brothers arms when we fought; my sisters did, too.
  19. I feel bad that he bears the scars of our wickedness.
  20. He’s 6’4” and we haven’t fought with him in a while.
  21. I get along very well with all my siblings now.
  22. My parents were divorced when I was 12.
  23. My parents haven’t seen each other face-to-face, except in court, in almost 35 years.
  24. My dad is a recovering alcoholic.
  25. His successes as a businessman have astounded me.
  26. I have worked for both my mom and my dad.
  27. I admire my mom for going back to earn her nursing degree while being a single parent (of teenagers, no less!).
  28. I went from a 9-12 high school with 1200 students to a 7-12 junior/senior high with 200 students.
  29. There were 32 in my graduating class (graduation lasted 45 minutes).
  30. I regret that I never went to college.
  31. I wanted to be a teacher or a nurse.
  32. My high school guidance counselor scoffed; there would a glut of teachers and nurses and I’d never find a job.
  33. Now, I think I’d rather like being a librarian.
  34. Or an archivist.
  35. Or a detective.
  36. My genealogy hobby lets me play at being all three.
  37. I have been married once; it will soon be 20 years, and counting.
  38. My husband is 10 years older than me.
  39. We had a very small wedding.
  40. And a potluck reception.
  41. I threw away my wedding dress.
  42. I have three amazing daughters (Kt-19, Ai-17, Mdd-13).
  43. They were all born in April (within 9 days of each other).
  44. I wanted to name them all Zoe, but my husband didn’t like it.
  45. He’d warmed up to it by #3, but I knew he still didn’t love it, so we tacked Mdd on at the last minute (and now she has two middle names).
  46. It pleases me that my husband’s family all calls her Zoe.
  47. I grow more proud of my daughters with each passing day.
  48. I feel very fortunate that I was able to be an at-home mom for Mdd’s first five years.
  49. I did a fair amount of volunteering at the grrs’ school during that time.  I’ve never really done any other type of volunteer work.
  50. It was the first time I was without “work” or some income of my own since I was 14.
  51. There was a period of adjustment.
  52. It was a financial struggle and there were sacrifices; we did not have health insurance for 12 years.
  53. I knew that Mdd would be my last child, having accompanied my husband to his vasectomy appointment before she was even born.
  54. I think the nurse should have kept her feelings about that to herself.
  55. I wish I’d known my mother-in-law.
  56. Our relationship could have gone either way, but I like to think I’d have gotten along with her MUCH better than my husband’s first wife did.
  57. I have been fascinated by her spirited independence.
  58. And by the number of times she was married (one of which even her sons were unaware until after her death).
  59. I am very strong.
  60. People lean on me.
  61. Sometimes they lean too much.
  62. I suppose I let them.
  63. I can be very emotional.
  64. I am quiet, but I can be vocal; I'd much rather listen and observe.
  65. I am intuitive and empathetic.
  66. I can usually see and even understand both sides of an issue or argument.
  67. I sometimes feel wishy-washy because of that.
  68. My husband calls me enigmatic.
  69. I like to think I have a good sense of humor; I love to laugh and I enjoy making other people laugh.
  70. I have many acquaintances and casual friends.
  71. I have had the same best girlfriend for almost 30 years, through thick and thin, and over many miles.
  72. I cried when she told me that I was the “Wind Beneath [Her] Wings.”
  73. How can that be?  She’s always been the wind beneath mine…
  74. I love to read.
  75. I don’t understand people who don’t read to their children.
  76. I would like to write – a book, a paper, an article.
  77. I don’t know what to write about.
  78. I like antiques and have numerous collections. (“How many” is a collection?)
  79. I am too sentimental.
  80. I am a pack rat, but not a hoarder.
  81. I come from a long line of pack rats; I married one; I’ve given birth to three.
  82. I am not a very good housekeeper.
  83. I wish there was more time in a day.
  84. I’m a night owl.
  85. If I could live anywhere, I’d live everywhere – many small houses or cottages in many different locations all over the world.
  86. I live in an old house.
  87. Even as a young girl, I dreamed of restoring dilapidated farmhouses (the kind with a big hole in the roof and a porch that’s fallen off).
  88. I’ve never lived in a big city, nor have I lived in the country.
  89. I have an appreciation for the landscape and beauty of nature that continues to grow.
  90. I am known for stirring my coffee – long and loud.
  91. I like strong coffee, with cream and sugar.
  92. I love chocolate – any kind, really, but dark is best.
  93. My dad likes chocolate, too; I once bought him a 10-lb. chunk of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate for Christmas (it lasted ‘til August and he had help).
  94. I like music – all kinds – and I like to dance.
  95. I once broke the heel off a shoe while dancing.
  96. I’d like to take dancing lessons; my husband isn’t interested.
  97. I’ve got rhythm; he doesn’t.
  98. Stephanie’s mittens enchant me.
  99. I want to knit Estonian and Latvian and any other -ian mittens.
  100. I’ve never knit with more than one color of yarn, except for stripes.

29 November 2004

Skirting the girls

Skirts

The skirts are finished!  Yippee yahoo.  I made the girls model -- Ali & Maddy were on their way to a movie and they weren't in the mood.  Can you tell?  Ali put hers on right over her jeans and Maddy did not care that her shirt didn't really go with her skirt.  I patched the dog-chewed pattern with some tissue paper.  It works...  Katie, by the way, is wearing a skinny scarf she knit from the Davos something-or-other that I've had in the stash for a while -- the colors are great!

The Shapely Shawlette has been generously misted and pinned to the blocking board -- it will come off tonight and perhaps I can get a good picture.  It is lovely.

I was all set to start the mitten part of Maddy's last mitten last night when I measured it up to the first and discovered that the cuff was too long -- I had an extra row between cable crossings.  Omar must have distracted me on Saturday night.  I ripped and re-knit and have started to thrum.  I'll be happy to get that one finished.

Both St. Brigid and Cromarty have been calling to me.  They are being very patient WIPs, especially in light of the fact that I cast on for yet another new thing last night -- a quick, simple scarf using two strands of the above-mentioned Davos held together.

Can someone tell me what a birthing cap is?  Is it for the baby?  It just seems like a weird name -- like something that would be worn while birthing, but, of course, a baby wouldn't be able to wear a cap then (and why would a mother?), and afterwards it would seem more like a newborn cap.  It was a search term that led someone to m'blog.  I've never heard of it.

Meanwhile, there ought to be plenty of knitting tonight while I watch Captain Favrelous (in his 200th consecutive start) lead the Packers against the Rams at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football.  It ought to be a John Madden Favrefest -- I laughed so hard a few weeks ago when I read a sports column in which the columnist referred to Madden as suffering from emotional incontenence when he talks about Brett Favre.

28 November 2004

Baby love

Dsc03176A rare Sunday morning post to thank you all for your congratulatory messages about my pending auntie-dom.  I'm feelin' the love and looking forward to kissing cloud-soft cheeks!!  My sister was here on Friday to soak it up herself -- and she's feeling a little chubby, but very fine and happy.

My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner at Mom's -- mashed potatoes!  Love that ergonomic potato peeler.  We had way too much food, as usual.  Turkey, stuffing, corn pudding, fruit salad, broccoli-cauliflower salad, two jello salad/molds, potatoes, rolls, and three pies.  We forgot the sweet potatoes in the microwave... that wasn't me, I was only in charge of mashed!

On Friday, before heading out for shopping, I delivered the shop sample vest, a pair of mittens, and a hat to the most local LY/GS that I knit from the Cascade Magnum.  I forgot to take pictures...  It is not very flattering on me with the little tum I have, but it was just adorable on Kt, and she loves it!

I finished the Shapely Shawlette (Christmas gift) for my sister last night, but it still needs blocking.  It looks great!  And I cast on for the second of Mdd's thrummed mittens during Doctor Zhivago -- I was able to knit about half the cabled cuff.

Kt is pressing the fabric for her skirt at this very minute.  The sewing machine will soon be humming -- and I intend to finish Ai's skirt this afternoon, too.  Sewing duties will be finito!

26 November 2004

Thanks

I showed the lovely alpaca prize that I won from Lynne the other day.  All I had to do was leave a comment about what I was thankful for.  This is what I wrote:

I am thankful that as of Thanksgiving weekend, when my sister comes to visit, I won't have to keep my trap shut anymore! I can keep a secret along with the best, but there's good news to share that's not my own and it's killing me to keep quiet. Mum's the word, though, so that may not count. I am ultra thankful for three healthy, independent, kind, considerate, talented, and loving daughters.

And now, Thanksgiving weekend, and I don't have to keep my trap shut!  What was I holding in (for weeks and weeks)?

My baby sister is going to have a BABY of her own!

It is a long-awaited, much yearned for event.  My mother is over the moon!  The baby is due in early June.

Guess what that soft, baby blue, alpaca prize yarn will become?

My family history research has been idling of late, but this is the kind of stuff a genealogist loves!  My sister will be 40 in a couple of months, and has two stepsons -- one is a sophomore in college and the other a junior in high school -- she, and all of her siblings, could be grandparents (and our knuckles are raw from knocking on wood about that) -- and here she is, having a baby.  The scenarios for the future are delectable!  The boys' kids could have an aunt/uncle that's only a few years older than them, and it's when these generational shifts happen that all that "removed" business really comes into play, as in "she's my second cousin, twice removed."

There will be baby stuff to knit!  But first, there's some shopping to be done...

24 November 2004

Bad dog

Pattern_1It was sort of like unfolding paper dolls...  Mickey got hold of the skirt pattern yesterday!  I think we can still use it.  Aaarrgh.

Lucky for Mickey, I saw Ai's letter of acceptance for the UW school she wants to attend next fall before I saw what she did to the pattern!  Yay!

BluesHere's the lovely prize alpaca that was in my mailbox the other day.  Isn't it lovely?  Very soft, pretty blue.  A lovely, old hanky with a tatted edge was tucked under the ribbon.  I love old hankies, Lynne, how did you know?  A few years ago, I basted old hankies, most with floral designs, to a muslin casing to use as a valance in the garden room.  With eastern and southern exposure, many have faded quite badly, but I still love it!

We watched House last night.  DH doesn't really watch much TV, but he saw this show last week and liked it.  He liked it so much that he actually looked at TV listings the other night to verify the time.  I like Dr. House, but I hope the show develops a bit more.  I had a moment of near-rapture at the end of the show, when a Rickie Lee Jones song was playing.  I don't recall the name of the song, but I know I have the album (yup, real vinyl) and it's a favorite song -- one I'd forgotten about.  It was instantly familiar and I was transported -- to no specific time or place, but it's apparent that there are some good times associated with Rickie Lee's songs.  Yeah, Chuck E. always makes me smile...

I'm gonna have to hook up that turntable and rifle through the album collection!

There was knitting, but no progress.  I knitted the last couple of rows on the Shapely Shawlette and then started casting off.  I didn't leave enough yarn, so had to undo what I'd done (almost half), and then undo an entire row besides.  By that time, I didn't feel like it anymore; it's a double cast-off process that requires some concentration on my part, and I want to start and finish in the same sitting.  I thought about starting a mitten.  I actually did something I haven't done in a long time -- went to bed "early"!

One sister will be arriving late this afternoon and leaving tomorrow evening; another sister will be arriving tomorrow evening and staying for at least part of the weekend (there will be shopping); the other sister won't be coming at all; and my brother will be going to his FIL's for Thanksgiving.  Headquarters will be at Mom's; my house, a mile away, serves as an outpost.  DH will be making pie -- two pumpkin, for sure, and maybe an apple.

Happy Thanksgiving!

23 November 2004

No pics

Dang.  There are pics in my camera, too!  The yummy alpaca that Lynne sent was in yesterday's mail!  It's super, super soft and so very pretty.  Thanks, Lynne!  I have a vague notion of what I'll do with it.

Mdd stayed home from school yesterday with a sore throat; she's better today and guess what she wore to school?

I went to conferences with Ai last night -- she's doing so well; I told her art teacher that we were just there because Ai needed an ego boost!  The only complaint, and I heard it from every teacher, is that she's too quiet.

Kt called again last night (I think she's really looking forward to coming home this weekend, and Christmas break is looking especially good).  She reminisced about her one bad conference experience -- she was failing 6th grade math.  You may recall that this is my wanderlust child; in 6th grade, she was dreaming of going to school in France.  She told me about some of her friends "getting into so much trouble" at home because of bad conferences.  She laughed as she recalled that all I said to her was, "Well, if you want to go to school in France, you're going to have to get better grades than that."  I could have ranted and raved, screamed and hollered, grounded her from something or everything -- for a week, a month, the rest of her life -- I'm sure a part of me wanted to!

Ha!  I was just going to write that I'm a woman of few words.  Maybe a woman of few spoken words!  I have the ability to rant and rave, I do it in my head all the time, but I don't often do it aloud.  I guess that's an instance where I chose the correct few words (that's the key, I think), because it's eight years later and the message is still fresh!

Okay, 'nuff about the kids.  Someone happened upon m'blog using the search term "Gregory Peck sigh."  That reminded me that we saw "To Kill A Mockingbird" on TCM's "The Essentials" on Saturday night.  Oh, I love that man!  Next weekend, it's "Doctor Zhivago."  That's the first grown-up movie that my mom took me to see.  She had just taken a class in Russian history, so spent the entire movie whispering historical facts into my ear.  I love that movie, though, and in no small part because of that movie-going experience with my mom.  And Omar Sharif...

So, what about the knitting?  Over the past two weeks, I've been working on a model for my most local LY&GS.  I don't really have time for that, but I wanted to help them out, so I chose a project using Cascade Magnum (#CYPB103) that would knit up quickly -- and it would have if the pattern hadn't had typos and errors.  I had the back knit and 2/3 of the front before I tore it out, re-wrote it so it made sense, and started anew.  I made some changes, too; short-rowed for the armholes, left off the front pocket, and knit a collar rather than the hood.  This is FAT yarn and it makes a very warm, bulky vest -- it doesn't flatter me much, but it's cute on Mdd.  Anyway, with the changes, it took three hanks rather than four, so I'm knitting mittens using that Lion Brand pattern I mentioned yesterday (also with minor changes) -- I finished one last night and they are going to be great!  I might get a hat out of it, too.  I'm also thinking of using it in place of fleece for something thrummed -- they are closely related.

22 November 2004

Sewing...

Maddy-1

 

I sewed Maddy's skirt on Saturday afternoon while Alison cut the pieces for hers.  We had the iron out and everything!  Maddy's went together pretty well, though I had to re-thread often because the spool of thread I was using had been chewed on by the dog (I think we're past the bad stuff now that the skirt is finished)!  I considered using a different spool, but this one matched so much better.  Maddy loves her skirt!

 

Viking-husqvarna-1

I was all set to start sewing Ali’s skirt when I noticed a problem.  Do you see?  Have a closer look...

 

Fabric-1

Fabric-2

She cut one piece upside down.  For a very brief moment, she considered using it that way, but we decided to make a run for another yard of fabric on Sunday morning.  I washed it, and she'll press it and cut out a new piece after school.

 

Katie's will happen soon…  She called last night and she told me that she’s trying to figure out what kind of stitch pattern to use with the Manos del Uruguay for the scarf she wants to make.  She wants something that will really show the colors of the yarn (she said that!).  She also used the word “frog,” as in “I’ve frogged it a few times trying to come up with something.”  DH overheard my side of our conversation – “oh, that’s cool,” “ooh, that's exciting,” “be sure to bring it home with you” – his interest was piqued and he was amused to find that the subject was knitting!  Kate's close to finishing the second of her thrummed mittens, but needs more yarn; I have it and she’ll be home on Wednesday night.

 

So DH was making chicken soup for supper.  He was a little distracted at one point and poured in, rather than sprinkled, the lemon pepper.  There was a LOT.  He scooped out as much as he could with a spoon, but I think my lips have been exfoliated and sinuses cleared by the amount that was still left.  The girls couldn't tolerate it.  It was a fairly large pot of soup and we looked through some cookbooks to try and figure out if there's some sort of fix for too much pepper (I know that adding a potato will help if there's too much salt).  We didn't come up with anything, so I googled and went to a few cooking-related websites -- it doesn't help that, apparently, there's a band called "Too Much Pepper"!  One fix was to drain off the broth and then replace it with canned.  We did that, but we didn't drain off all the broth.  A lot of the pepper had settled at the bottom and I'm not sure we really fixed much.

 

Mitten

In knitting news, I knit up a pair of mittens with the Rowan Big Wool that I bought last weekend.  These may be a gift for someone.  I used the Lion Brand Santa Mittens pattern, but didn't use any contrasting yarn.  They were knit on two needles and each knit up in an hour.  They were quick and fun and gave me an FO fix!

 

Shawlette

I am very close to finishing the shawl -- a few more rows and I'll be binding off.  The colors aren't nearly as bright as in the picture -- and it's a horrible project to photograph on the needles.  I'd like to get it off the needles and blocked before Thanksgiving.  The recipient will be here on Thursday, though, so if I don't get it blocked, I may have to stuff it in a drawer.  Poor thing.

 

19 November 2004

A lucky streak!

Unbelievable!  I've never referred to myself as unlucky or down on my luck, nor have I ever felt particularly rich in the luck department.  Things happen -- good things, bad things (usually, just "things") -- that's the way the cookie crumbles.

AlpacaSeems that I've been run over by a streak of blog contest luck recently, though.  Earlier this week, I entered a random drawing Thanksgiving Contest ("What are you thankful for?") at I Was Knit Together In My Mother's Womb and Lynne wrote this morning to tell me I won!  Look at that gorgeous prize:  three skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted!  Lynne says, "A lovely blend of Peruvian Alpaca and Merino, dyed to a soft baby blue.  It's new, it's polished, it's cool."  Way cool...  Wow, thanks Lynne!

I don't remember how I found Lynne's blog, and it wasn't that long ago, but I do know that it was the name that caught my eye and there was not a moment of hesitation before hitting the Bloglines subscribe button.  I have not been disappointed -- I like the things she writes about and I like her sense of humor, too.

I was on-task last night and washed all the fabric for the girls' skirts.  We'll be pinning, cutting and sewing over the weekend!  I bought thread the other day -- the good stuff, because the sewing machine guy told me that I need to use the good stuff -- but I'm going to have to buy some more.  There's something about those spools that the dog finds attractive.

In knitting news:  I worked on the shawl, of course; if it's not an FO by the end of the weekend, it'll be close.  Cindy wrote yesterday about the VestySweater contest sock yarn I won -- it's handspun (and it really is gorgeous) from Bizyhands at Ebay.  I pulled out my old kitchen scale and yarn winder and tried to make two equal balls -- I managed to make two balls, but they're not exactly equal.  I knit a little sock swatch using Wendy's Toe-Up Sock Pattern, my Size 0 DPNs, and the larger ball of yarn.  I'm brushing up awfully close to it now, huh?

My weekend seems to hold a lot of possibilites.  And I wonder if I should buy a lottery ticket.  Happy Weekend!

18 November 2004

Ooooooh

VestyThe sock yarn that I won in Cindy's VestySweater Contest at was in yesterday's mail!  That fabric bag that the yarn is sitting on?  I think Carrie made that -- incredible!  It is lined with a complementary fabric and there are some pockets inside.  It's St. Brigid's new home -- and it's roomy enough that the new shawl is residing there, too.  Gorgeous!!  There was also a little straw bag and three handmade cards.  Wow, much more than I was expecting.  Thanks, Cindy!

Shawl

There's progress on the Shapely Shawlette.  I think it's going to be very pretty and very warm.  This yarn is a little heavier than the alpaca I used for my own.  Shawl2Here's a close-up.  It's not quite that "teal" in real life.

I had a very nice lunch with the grrs yesterday at Atlanta Bread Company.  I ordered my order-taker's favorite lunch (the new turkey sandwich with cranberries), so he bought me a cookie.  I shared it.  I brought my knitting in, but I did not knit.  Gab, gab, gab.  I was humored by the twists and turns of our conversation -- from Wal-mart to football to the Middle East and back to Wal-mart, interspersed with talk of our families and what we've all been up to since our last get-together.

SockI did make some progress on the home-front yesterday, but it could have been better.  My multi-tasking skills were AWOL.  Why wasn't I doing laundry while I was paying the bills?

One last look at that cute ball of sock yarn!  There will be sock-knitting at Chez Knitorious someday.

17 November 2004

Oh, the pressure

I'm chatting with Mdd this morning before school and she asks me if I can sew her skirt tonight because she'd like to wear it tomorrow.  I haven't even washed the fabric yet!  Katherine, too, has been thinking about hers and even sent me a link to the "Anthro" skirt she's using as inspiration.  Aison and I went to buy more toile last night because it turns out that she does still want me to make a duvet cover from the stuff we already have (stuff we've had for a long, long time already).  Looks like I'll be humming with a different type of needle soon!

I finished the hand part of Mdd's first thrummed mitten last night (only the first?); still have to knit the thumb.  These are going slow.  I talked with Kt last night and she's already past the thumb on her second!  She's "worn" the first, both inside-in and inside-out!  She's also had several requests for thrummed mitts from her dorm-mates.  Guess what she told them?

I could not resist the Mountain Colors.  I cast on for my sister's Shapely Shawlette last night, too.  I just had to see how it was going to look.  I made more progress than intended and it's looking good!

I have a package to mail to Yvette in the Frog Pond this morning, banking to do, bills to pay -- and lunch with the grrs!  Yvette and I are doing a little trade -- with surprises!  She also wanted the new Interweave Knits, which was among my LYS purchases on Saturday.  I think I'm going to bring the shawl to work on during lingering, after-lunch conversation!  There may be enough progress for a pic tomorrow!

16 November 2004

Dreary day

I'm not complaining!  It's way warmer than it's supposed to be and the sun might make an appearance this afternoon.  Meanwhile, I have yarn and flower stuff to brighten things up!

First, I forgot to identify the orange-ish hank of yarn in yesterday's post.  Rather than springing for the second of the three needed hanks of Point 5, Kt bought some Manos del Uruguay, instead -- more than twice the yardage at 2/3 the price.  In real life, it's not quite so bright.  It's absolutely gorgeous, in fact, and very rich.  It will be a scarf and will look so great with Kt's hair.  Ai will want to borrow it...

AiknitsAiscarfThis is an equal opportunity blog, so here's Aison knitting on her scarf last night (sorry about the poor lighting).  And a closer look at the striped progress on her scarf.  She's concerned about curling, but I think it'll be okay once blocked.  She has made a few mistakes, but they're minor and she's not concerned.  It's her knitting.

PansyboxThis is the beautiful, old dresser box that my mom gave me for my birthday.  It's quickly become one of the stars of my pansy collection!  BoxPansies There's some embossed detail, a faux wood-grain finish, and a nice clasp.  I should have measured it -- I'd say it's approximately 6" x 9" and an inch-and-a-half high.  The lining inside has been re-done in a horrible, horrible fabric that doesn't "go" at all.  I will have to re-do it again someday.  Click for bigger pics, of course.

15 November 2004

Bragging rights

Kthrum_1 ...they're mine, and I'm taking them!  That's Kt and she's knitting a thrummed mitten!  The pair will be a Christmas gift for a friend (also a knitter) who was bug-eyed when Kt told her about the thrummed mitts that I was making.  This is Kt's first project that's not a scarf and she has learned a lot:  switching from smaller to larger needles, knitting in thrums, making increases (thereby a gusset), working and turning in a middle of a row (thereby making a thumb), making decreases, sewing a seam, breaking off yarn, tieing on new yarn.  It's amazing how much she's learned knitting one little mitten.  She'd already finished the first and started the second when she left for school last night.

Aison learned a few new things over the weekend, too.  She's making a striped scarf using the leftover ball of gold Lana Grossa Merino Big that Kt had and a new ball in aubergine that we bought at the LYS on Saturday.  She (re-learned) how to purl and was ready to switch colors for the second time last night.  It will be a narrow scarf in a fairly fine gauge (5US needles) in stockinette with 3 sts of garter at each edge.

Kmanos_1Haul_1We had a very fine time at the LYS on Saturday.  You see Ai's Merino Big at top left.  In the middle is Rowan Chenille in a similar color.  It was on sale, so how could I not?  I made a few lacy, chenille scarves a year or two ago and the grrs just love 'em.  That pretty red ball is Rowan Big Wool; it's supposed to turn into mittens.  At the bottom is a hank of Mountain Colors that will turn into a Shapely Shawlette -- by Christmas, for my sister.  That's my final answer.

We went to the fabric store yesterday morning -- because we forgot on Saturday!  I think we were lightheaded from the LYS and our stop at Sam's to buy two cases of Propel* water.  We have fabric, zippers, and thread for a skirt for each.  Mdd's will be pink (of course), Kt's will be brown twill with coordinating bows (inspired by an Anthropologie skirt that I can't find on their site for linking), and we'll make Ai's from some toile that we already have.

We went to Mom's for the Packer game yesterday afternoon.  Kt & Ai spent nearly the entire game knitting -- it was so cute!  I did do a little knitting myself over the weekend, but the grrs steal the show!

*Kt has been losing weight -- a slow and steady decline, just the way it should be.  She credits Propel as being an important factor (she likes it, so she drinks it -- rather than too much juice or soda or whatever), along with paying close attention to her meals at school and making good choices -- low-fat all the way, baby.  And you know what, those are new jeans she bought on Saturday and they're size 10!  Way to go, sweetheart.

12 November 2004

What an idiot

I bought a new pair of pants a couple of weeks ago.  My only hesitation about this purchase was that there were no pockets.  I'm a pocket person; I even like my nightgowns to have pockets because I like a pajama day every now and then.  I've worn them a few times already and guess what?  I found a pocket this morning -- no, make that TWO pockets!  They are small, discreet pockets just below the waistband, but still...

Kt came home last night for a long, relaxing weekend.  Well, she has a long list of things to do, but she doesn't have to work, so it's "relaxing."  One item on the agenda is shopping.  I sewed up (horribly) a simple, bias-cut, A-line skirt for Ai last weekend, and she'd like another, as would Mdd (of the pink thrummed mittens, the child who seems to be discovering her "softer side" these days), and it looked really cute on Kt, too.  Fabric store, LYS, some shops at the mall...  we'll all be busy!

I have no knitting to show you, and not much to talk about, either.  I was so tired last night; I knit a few rows on the thrummed mitts to help keep me awake during Without A Trace.  Kt wants to learn how to make thrummed mittens, and Ai wants to know if I have any "good yarn" she can use.

11 November 2004

Veterans Day / Remembrance Day

I'm the winner of the "Bob Vestysweater Contest" at C&C Knitting Works (edited 2/05: they're no longer blogging)!  I just had a contest of my own (the package is going out today) and now I'm a winner, too!  How cool is that?  Thanks Cindy!  I hope Bob is happy, because it's a very nice sweater!

And it certainly is sweater weather!  Our temperature took an overnight dive and I think our high will be in the 30s today.  I finally broke out the turtlenecks this week, and I'm wearing my Shapely Shawlette today.

It's also the time of year when I like to have something warm for lunch.  I always bring a lunch to work -- usually a sandwich in warmer weather.  But now it's frozen entree time!  Yesterday, I had a Lean Cuisine Teriyaki Chicken -- yummmm.  (This morning, I ran off without any lunch at all; DH might have some business in town and he'll bring me another.)  I can't say enough good things about Stouffer's/Lean Cuisine.  I have tried a lot of frozen entrees and I've finally learned that no other brand can compare -- can't even come close in terms of quality, flavor or variety -- so I don't even look.  End of commercial.

And that reminds me of TV.  Darn it, CBS, you cut off the end of CSI:NY last night with the news of Yassir Arafat's death and the airing of his life's summary.  I know that it's big news, but it's not like it was sudden and unexpected or going to have immediate impact or that you won't have (and take) ample opportunity in the coming days/weeks to inform us of every detail of his life and speculate on every possible scenario.  Not only that, but my heart skips a beat and drops to the floor -- in a doom and gloom kind of way -- when I see that "Special Report" screen.

---------------

Today, Veterans Day, we honor and thank our military.  No matter how you feel about what's happening at home or overseas, they deserve our support -- it's because of them that we have the freedom, without fear of recrimination, to express our opinions or even protest.  Thank you.

10 November 2004

Old Lady Knitting

I'm not going to take it personally that someone happened upon my blog by searching for old lady knitting.

AscarfAison frogged the scarf she started with this yarn a while back.  I cast on anew for her last night when I got home from work, and cast off before I went to bed!  This is a much nicer scarf!  Over the weekend, she knitted a pink, fluffy confection in the same pattern as a Christmas gift for Mdd.

PinkmittAll of a sudden, Mdd likes pink -- after a couple of years of hating anything pink or even purple.  These are the thrummed mittens I'm making for her.  The picture turned out a bit pink -- they are pink, but it's very soft.  The color reminds me of raspberries stirred very well into vanilla ice cream.  Do you like the cuff variation?  I was inspired by one of the books I found at the thrift store last week.  I'm using the Harlot's pattern again, but cast on 45 stitches right away (instead of 40) because this cuff isn't as elastic as one done in k2p2 ribbing.  Okay, okay, I didn't cast on 45 stitches right away, but it didn't take me long to realize that I should!

Books

Here's my thrifty haul -- nine pattern leaflets and one book for less than $2.00.

Jack Frost Sweaters Mittens for Boys and Girls, 1946.

2 Needle Mittens by Nell Armstrong, 1945.

Hits in Hats to Knit and Crochet, 1965.

Bernat Raglans, 1961.

Hats

Bernat 18 Bulky-Knit Fashion Greats, 1975.

Spinnerin Classic Manual, Part 1, 1964.

Spinnerin Classic Manual, Part 3, 1961.

Fleisher's Baby Book, 1957.

Bernat Babies, 1976.

Debbie Bliss Nursery Knits, 1996.

I wonder if I overlooked the Spinnerin Classic Manual, Part 2.  I'll have to go back and check.  For your amusement, the cover of "Hits in Hats."  Don't fall off your chair.

09 November 2004

I know where I stand

I took our old computer in yesterday.  I had three scenarious in mind:  1) it could be revived, 2) my data could be recovered, 3) neither of those and it would have to be reconfigured.  They called last night and said that there was no recoverable data and asked for my Windows XP product key number.  Big, big bummer, but I could stop holding by breath and at least I know where I stand.  I'm pretty sure it's my utter aversion to tech support and unwillingness to search for hours and days and hours to find useful information on any website (and enough knowledge to be dangerous, along with a bull-rush attitude) that got me into this situation; go read Norma and you'll have an idea why I'd rather be strung up by my thumbs than talk to tech support.  I'm reallly sad about losing all my pictures.  I'll be using my film camera a bit more in the future, as well as the digital.  I have been pretty good at backing up lately, how 'bout you?

Thanks for your nice comments on Kt's scarf.  She chose a simple lace pattern from one of my pattern books and did two repeats across.  She'll be home on Thursday (for a weekend of all play, a little shopping, and no work!) and I'll find out exactly which one she ended up using -- I know she had a false start or two at the beginning.

I've been bad about pictures lately, so watch out 'cuz there will probably be a flood one of these days.  There are new/old books, yarn, projects, birthday presents...  Kt had a couple of hours last Friday between arriving home and needing to be at work, so we ran down to our local St. Vinnie's.  I finally found the spot where they stash the craft stuff!  And I scored!  I found a bunch of great pattern books from the '40s, '50s and '60s, plus a Debbie Bliss baby/kid book, and not one single item cost more than 25 cents!!  We have the best St. Vinnie's on the planet as far as prices are concerned.

Update:  The computer guy just called and told me that the reason my data could not be recovered is because my hard drive is shot.  It wouldn't even allow the diagnostic software to finish loading.  I've replaced the hard drive in this computer before.  Grrr.  Maybe it was a virus that caused it to fail the first time on Christmas Day, or maybe not; maybe it was my DIY/tech aversion attitude this time, or maybe not...

08 November 2004

Great Weekend!

Kscarf1Kscarf2I had a great birthday weekend, and very busy.  My baby sister and her family came up from Madison and she cooked dinner for me at Mom's on Saturday.  Shrimp Jambalaya!!  Yummmmmm.  She also baked a homemade carrot cake.  I had two servings of jambalaya and two pieces of cake.  We talked about going to see "Ray" afterwards, but, feeling so "content," I'm sure I would have nodded off...  Instead, I came home and finally blocked Kt's finished scarf.  Isn't it pretty?

My gifts were wonderful.  Among them:  a gift certificate to an LYS, the "Knitting Pattern a Day" calendar, yarn*, and a beautiful, old dresser box with pansies on it.  Mom gave me the pansy box; I was with her at an antique sale several months ago when she bought it, and I even knew she was buying it for me, but I'd forgotten.  It's gorgeous (I'll have to take a pic).  I've seen the calendar around for months and, as Ai is with me quite often when shopping, she took note.  I almost bought it a few times and I told her that if I didn't get it for my birthday, I'd just have to buy it because I didn't know if I could wait for Christmas -- what if they sold out??

Yesterday, we went to a local craft sale and then a holiday open house at my most local LYS.  The craft sale was so-so, I found some yarn* at the LYS.

And last night was the perfect finish to a great weekend.  The Northern Lights put on a show that was just fabulous!  Mdd had gone out the back door to take Mickey for a walk last night and popped her head inside the front door to ask about the green glow in the sky.  I watched it for a while and then stepped out again before heading to bed (around 11:30).  I could hardly drag myself away -- by then, it was just amazing.  The lights were shooting right over our house and even making the southern sky glow.  My nose was nipped a bit by the time I went inside.

And there's a birthday contest winner to announce!  Kim from The Woolen Rabbit!!  She correctly matched the songs/artists, stated 1976 as the year I graduated, and 46 as my age as of Saturday.  I'm so glad y'all had fun with it!  It sure kept me smiling to get your entries and read your comments.  I'm sorry, Wendy R., for throwing you off by not including "Take It To The Limit" and "Dreamweaver" in the list -- I hate those songs!  But kudos to you, kiddo (and my SP2), for writing in Kiki Dee with Elton John for "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."  And, I didn't know that the Everly Brothers originally did "Love Hurts" (that would be worth a listen) or that Smokey Robinson (I love him!) did "Shop Around."

And thanks, everyone, for all the birthday emails over the weekend!    You're the greatest!

Redridinghood*Miss Mdd has been angling recently for some pink thrummed mittens.  She made my birthday card and painted a pair of pink mitts with the words, "Just a reminder."  Can you see what's coming?  She gave me pink yarn.  Ohhh, some Red Heart that she found at the dime store.  Hell would freeze over before I'd waste my time knitting thrummed mitts (or much of anything else, really) with that!  At the LYS yesterday, they had some Wool-Ease on sale and, though it is mostly acrylic, too, it just looks and feels SO much better.  I started them last night -- using the Harlot's pattern, but changing the cuff a bit by adding a cable.  In other knitting news, the picture I took the other day  of the SP2 Great Red Handspun didn't turn out as badly as I thought.  I'm actually within a few inches of finishing (will likely make it a bit longer than the 34" called for) and will have at least a hank of the handspun left!

06 November 2004

November

In my baby book, at two years old, under "Prayers," it says, "God bless Mommie, Daddy, Grandparents, Sharon, Karen, Uncle Jimmy and so on -- (Sometimes even Pres. Kennedy)."

On November 6, 1960, I turned two years old.  We were living in Denver and I had 5-month-old twin sisters.  It snowed that day -- Denver's first snowfall that winter.  It was also Election Day.  John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States.  (Did you know that Caroline has a November birthday, too?  She's only a year older than me.)  Of course, a few years later, there was another November day that is sadly and forever etched in my memory.

I can't say that politics was a hot topic when I was growing up, but apparently discussed enough that a 2-year-old would include the President in her nightly prayers.  My birthday is always tied to the Kennedys and elections.  It's not often that election day actually falls on my birthday, but it's always close; and when my birthday is in an election year, I'm always a little melancholy.  I feel it this year even more.

It's not snowing today in Wisconsin.  In fact, weatherwise, it's gorgeous -- we'll see 60 degrees, at least.  You never know about early November -- I have video of DH and little Kt & Ai building a substantial "snow-bear" in the backyard on this date several years ago.

Anyway, birthday it is, and I've already received knitterly presents from the grrs.  And you all make me smile and brighten my day with your birthday emails and wishes.  Thanks.

05 November 2004

Initials

My husband's middle initial is "W."  Let's just say that it doesn't stand for "Wily."

This is a paragraph from an email that Kt sent yesterday:

Umm um um. I had half a mind to run over to Yarn Emporium (I think that's what It's called) ... the one that's two blocks away from my dorm, because EVERY SINGLE DAY I am so tempted to stop in there, but I know I can't afford any yarn, so I'm keeping my distance. It's so cute inside, though, and I like looking in the windows as I walk by...

Warms my heart.  The girl is definitely a winter knitter -- nothing like a chill down your neck to make you want to pick up some knitting!  She suggested that I come and visit sometime soon so that we could go to her LYS.  I hope we can synchronize schedules.

I knit a few more rows on St. Brigid last night, then pulled out the Great Red SP2 yarn and started on the Filatura Di Crosa Zar One Cape (free pattern on Elann).  I had a couple of false starts, mainly to do with the proper cast on and getting the hang of doing the fisherman's rib.  The entire pattern is rather vague, so we'll just have to see what happens.  I tried to take a picture, but even without a flash, it's not photogenic.  So far, so good, though.  It's very lofty, which is just the way that fisherman's rib is, I think, and should be nice and warm.

You wonder why I started this.  I wonder, too.  Don't I have two sweaters-of-major-undertaking, a shawl, and thrummed mitts (one each in two different sizes, neither correct for the intended recipient) already underway?  Didn't Mdd request a pair of thrummed mitts, too, and don't I have lofty ideas of knitting at least one gifty-sweater by Christmas (and yes, even daring to think two)?  Obviously, I am having a lot of trouble concentrating and making decisions.  I guess I'm not so sure about the thrummed mitts as a gift for my sister who's expecting something knitted -- but the cape is definitely her, just not in this color.  So, if I knit it, and it knits up quick and I like it and think that she'll like it, well... by Christmas.

Yes, my head is spinning a little.

One last reminder about the Birthday Contest because, since the birthday is tomorrow, the deadline is today!  Thanks, by the way, for all your wishes!

04 November 2004

Soothe me

First of all, yippee! My final (and late) gift for my SP2 is on its way to my house; it'll be re-packaged and sent out ASAP -- hopefully, early next week.

Second, tomorrow is the deadline for the birthday contest! The winner will be announced on Monday. It's been great to get your entries and to hear about how much fun you had with it!

So, my birthday is this Saturday. I want to go see "Ray" on Friday night (it's been ages since I've gone to a theater), then go out for something chocolatey and sweet. On Saturday, my baby sis and my mom are going to cook dinner for me. I told them to surprise me... There will be cake, too!

I'll be going with Ai tomorrow morning to tour the UW campus she wants to attend. Then, I'll be taking our lame computer to the doctor. Keep your fingers crossed that it can be resuscitated. The computer fairy has not visited, so it's time. Ugh.

Last night was all about comfort. I was too edgy to think about mittens, so St. Brigid occupied my knitting time. Wow! My first row last night was the last in the fourth repeat -- I didn't realize I was so close. That's half, folks! Maybe more than half, if I do seven repeats instead of eight. I held it up to myself last night and did a very quick estimate of finished length -- no final determination yet, but eight may be a wee bit long.

The shower of catalogs continues. Hanna Andersson -- some of the grrs' favorites have been from that catalog; there were dresses worn 'til they were rags. Sundance was also in the mailbox and I really like some of the sweaters.

03 November 2004

Single file

It took two hours and fifteen minutes to cast my vote last night. Thank goodness it wasn't raining or snowing because half of that wait was outside. I'd made a swing through on my way home last night, but decided to go eat and try again later -- I get cranky when I'm hungry!

My boss and his wife (my bestest friend) celebrated their 30th anniversary yesterday. She'd voted yesterday morning, but he went early yesterday afternoon. "Come, stand in line with me, we can celebrate!" he said to her. At one point while I was waiting last night, a woman motioned for me to come and sit with her. She must have noticed that I was squirming -- my back was killing me. I couldn't believe it when she told me that she and her husband were also "celebrating" their anniversary (25th), standing in line to vote.

I was in no mood to look at or recalculate thrummed mittens last night. I'm counting on Goldilocks syndrome to kick in -- #1 was too small, #2 was too big, I hope that #3 is just right. So, St. Brigid got a little attention while I watched election coverage -- just a few rows. It all adds up.

02 November 2004

A snob is born

Snob2Snob1"Oh, Mom, you gotta see what I got! It's really expensive, but I just had to buy it! I'm going to need more! I'll just buy it when I can! Oooohhhh, I love it! This stuff is so great! I'm almost embarrassed by the scarves I gave to people last year. They're okay, but THIS stuff..." Look at what my baby brought home...

Colinette, Point 5 - Toscana. We set up the swift and winder and made a gorgeous little yarn cake (I also wound my red SP2 wool). She sat down and started knitting a scarf with big needles (pattern is based loosely on a scarf she saw at Target) -- and finished off the whole thing in a matter of hours! The colors are beautiful and she's in heaven. She didn't mind the thick/thin yarn at all. I happen to have a stash of Tahki Yarns Davos, which is also thick/thin, that I bought on sale at the LYS in June. While I love the colorway, nothing has been knit. I showed it to Kt (she was itching to knit and had nothing in her lap!) and she loved it, too; she grabbed a ball and started yet another scarf -- she's another who loves 'em and wears 'em.

ScarfSee? She finally finished the narrow, lacy scarf from the Lana Grossa Merino Big. You can see both the Davos and the Merino Big here. There are mistakes (mostly at the beginning), but she loves it. I'll give it a bath and block it this week; she'll be back for a quick, working visit next weekend.

Secret Pal 2. My SP2 gifter has been wonderful. She sent an email and entered my birthday contest! She also let me know that one more package is on the way, and I expect that all shall be revealed within.

My SP2 giftee can expect another package, too, but I'm still awaiting delivery myself. Oh, I know, I'm late. I've only had one email from her. She posted on the "blog for the blogless" about one package, but no others, so I don't even know if she's received them. I sure hope she has! Connie from MN, come on down!

VOTE!

01 November 2004

Thank you, honey

Aftermath_1When I came downstairs on Friday morning after Ai’s party, there was a pop can (or four) everywhere I looked. Apparently, the kids were impressed enough by the number of cans, too, that they snapped this Warhol-esque picture during clean-up.

Halloween1_1Here are the grrs as they headed out yesterday afternoon. Kt’s "dressed as" a college student on her way back to school after putting in 17 hours at her weekend job; Ai, of course, is Raggedy Ann; and ::gasp:: I bought Mdd’s she-devil costume at Target on Saturday afternoon. Yeah, they’re a little old for trick-or-treating, that’s why they only went to friends’ houses.

Among the notable guests at my door yesterday was Bob The Builder. He’s kinda short. I gave him his treats and his mom reminded him of his manners, “Say ‘Thank you,’ honey.” He looked at me and said, “Thank you, honey”! All together now: Awwwwwww.

Blue2_1Blue1_1We draw names for Christmas in our family and this year I have my lapsed knitter sister. We talked on Friday night and Christmas was one of the topics. She’s absolutely convinced that she’s going to be getting something knitted for Christmas. I did start the Flower Basket Shawl with her in mind, but I don’t know if I’ll get it finished. What I really want to do is lure her back into the knitterly fold. I intend to give her the VK handy reference book and thought Scarf Style would be a nice addition, too, because she wears scarves a lot. But, after living in Kansas for that past several years, she doesn’t have much left in the way of cold-weather gear, and she’s gonna need some. I’d been working on St. Brigid before our phone call, but put it away as soon as I hung up and started some 2-needle thrummed mitts. There was a false start, as the mitt I finished on Saturday is more suited to a child. I re-did the numbers and started another during the Packers/Redskins football-game-with-possible-election-day-ramifications yesterday and it’s working out much better. I love how this yarn looks.

Don’t forget about my 3-part birthday contest – deadline is Friday. Part I, match songs & artists; Part II, my year of high school graduation based on song list; Part III, my age on November 6th. To my non-U.S. friends, high school graduation occurs upon completion of 12th grade and the school career begins at around age 5 (kindergarten). Even if you don’t enter the contest, I hope you have a little smile when you read through that song list – I can’t help it, I do! From the entries so far, it sounds like y’all are having fun with it. Send me an email, and don’t forget to include your url if you have one.

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