19 posts categorized "ABC-Along 2008"

29 July 2008

M is for...

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Madeleine.  It's senior portrait time!  I'll be taking them this year and, while this is not "official," I think it has assured her that I might be capable.  This was hardly even trying -- I can't wait to play around on locations (we both have ideas).  I like both of these, but maybe the toned black and white conversion better since I made it bigger.  ; )

Img_1209webI had my camera out, of course, when I was babysitting the other day and Mack (so adorable), asked, "Vicki, are you a PHOTOGRAPHER?"  He may well have asked, "Are you a BRAIN SURGEON?" with the emphasis, wonder, awe and importance he conveyed.  Heh.

"Yes, honey, I am a photographer."  Gah!  I think I'm finally getting it -- the technical stuff -- it's true what they say, you know, "Shoot, shoot, shoot!"  I don't do it nearly enough.  Wish I could do it more.  (Damn job cuts into everything fun.)

Maddy.  My god.  My baby is not my baby anymore.  What an amazing... girl, teenager, young woman... PERSON.  When I started blogging four years ago, she was 13 -- and aren't those four jam-packed years in anyone's life!?!  She takes a lot on from her friends' lives.  Tumultuous lives.  Heartbreaking lives.  She's a rock.  Straightforward.  No nonsense.  Takin' no shit from no body.  Look into those eyes.  (That eye.)

Img_1209bwerncropSick of her yet?  While scrolling through this post, another crop presented itself.  That might be my favorite yet.

At this time next year, we'll be packing her up to go to college.

College!

Empty nest, anyone?  With crazy schedules and whatnot around here, we've actually been getting in some practice.

Give your kids an extra-special hug today.

Flickr:  Here, here, and here.

28 July 2008

L is for...

Lace! Can you believe it? I'm knitting lace!

It's Mim's Juno Regina, to be exact -- a lovely Knitty Surprise from last fall. I am using a hank of Morehouse Farm's Merino Lace from Rhinebeck -- um, I think that's not from last year, but the year before. The colors are so beautiful, which is why I bought it in the first place, and I've had it wound up and sitting in plain view for quite some time.

I'm pretty much a lace newbie so it's only natural that I'd also be *gasp* modifying the pattern. My yardage is a bit less, so I'm making it narrower -- more a scarf than shawl. I printed a bunch of the charts and got out scissors and tape last night to try and get a grip on what needed to be done. This is nothing compared to the charts I made for Cromarty and St. Brigid -- every repeat charted, practically life size, and at least one of them is on a big tri-fold board. Heh.

Anyway, I've already ripped and restarted once. I've put in one lifeline so far on the second try, and I do believe it's time for another.

K is for Knit(t) Road

I've traveled on this road twice, on the way to fun knitting adventures and meet-ups with knitting friends both times. I always think about knitting, of course, and blogging. In a weird and goofy way, I become more grounded with every mile -- it makes me think, recharges and excites me. It's a fun little road! I resolve to travel this way more often.

05 May 2008

H is for...

H is for heuchera

Heuchera.  It could also be for hosta, hangman, or huevos rancheros -- which yesterday's breakfast out with DH reminded me of and also because today is Cinco de Mayo!

Due to the shady nature of my yard, I spend a lot of time in the "shade" section of the nursery and have developed an appreciation for hostas because of it -- it verges on a collector mentality.  I am also, unfailingly, drawn toward heuchera -- commonly known as coral bells -- especially varieties with foliage other than green, which provide some COLOR in an otherwise mostly green, shady vista.

CONTEST REMINDER:  Don't forget about the "I" Contest for ABC-Along 2008, sponsored once again by Ina, the Jersey KnitterDeadline for entry is this Saturday!  Ina has posted all the easy-to-follow rules and regulations in her entry linked above and also on Ravelry and Flickr.

21 April 2008

G is for...

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G is for garter stitch and generosity.

Garter stitch is the first "stitch pattern" any knitter learns.  Knit, knit, knit, knit, knit...  I think it's perfectly suited to children's items, and I especially like it for kids when combined with colorful, funky yarn.

Garter1_2It's no big secret that I've been at sixes and sevens with the knitting lately -- dishcloth knitting being the big clue here.  I'm sure it's cyclical and temporary, but I'm feeling quite overwhelmed with life in general and, while the knitting is usually a good antidote to stress, the choosing of a pattern to knit, finding the right yarn, knitting swatches, doing math, ripping, reknitting, refiguring... these are not antidotes to anything at all!

Then I read Rete's post late last week and thought about all those kids in Texas -- and everywhere -- and about her wish for blankets for "The Rainbow Room."  One of my planned stops on Saturday, then, was my most local LYS, Iris Fine Yarns in Appleton, to see if I could find a nice, suitable, washable, sale yarn that I could use to knit a blanket.  The generosity of Phyllis and her staff at Iris provided me with a rainbow of yarn to knit at least one blanket -- maybe two -- and with all these colors, the first can only be a log cabin design!

On Flickr here and here.

23 March 2008

F is for...

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Face.  My new face.  Also for Four! (what a dope that I didn't think to use that post for my F!).

ColortonesI've got a new face... on Ravelry and on Flickr... a self-portrait that I took on Saturday afternoon.  I liked the way my hair was looking, especially the gray.  It's gray pretty much only at the hairline, framing my face, and has been described as "bright."  Well, indeed it was.  I took a zillion pictures of the top of my head from the eyeballs up and decided to try and get an okay portait.  This one is far from perfect, but the best of the batch.  I fooled around with cropping and processing the photo in PSE (probably could have done some retouching... I'm just learning!) and then Warholized myself using Big Huge Labs!  I am thrilled with how that turned out.  I saved three versions and combined the best of them into one -- I love the yellow "negative" version that shows the wild gray hairs!

16 March 2008

E is for...

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...Empty.  The old hardware store.  We took the tour yesterday.  It's unlikely that this will be Vicki's old hardware store... but the wheels are turning now...

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The large photo is the smaller of the two storefronts; it has wood on both floor and ceiling, but not heat of its own.  The owner of the old hardware store used it only for storage -- it hasn't been an actual store for maybe 70-80 years.

The big wheel is for a hand-operated freight elevator that goes from first floor to the basement.  The basement floor is nothing but limestone bedrock and dirt -- and big timbers -- with a very low ceiling.  The huge old coal burner is still down there, along with traces of coal.

The ladder is one of two -- one runs along a side of the store, the other along the back.  (*sigh*)

The stairway leads from a street-level door between the two storefronts to the second level and five (count 'em -- 5!) apartments.  We think it may have been a hotel or rooming house at one time (originally) with many more rooms because there are blocked off doorways everywhere!  The largest apartment is relatively untouched and, really, quite nice -- with a little vision.  Most of the rest are the result of some amazing cobble jobs that had us scratching our heads a few times.  The electrical array was... shocking.

I'll get all the photos up on Flickr later... right now, I'm on my way to Mom's to celebrate some birthdays -- my stepdad's, my brother's, my brother-in-law's -- and, I realized, my three-year smoke-free anniversary!

08 March 2008

D is for...

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Daughters and Dad.

Dsc00338This was taken last May when Dad was visiting, finishing up some business here.  I used my brand-spankin' new Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 to crop, lighten, and enhance the color/improve skin tone a tiny bit.  I have used photo editing programs before, but this one is a bit of a leap.  I'm pretty sure I could isolate and work on only Maddy's and Ali's faces -- they are most deeply shadowed -- but I've only just begun to learn.

It's not that common these days that all my girls are together, given various schedules and locations.  Now that Ali will be moving out on her own, an additional location and I'll be much more out of the scheduled loop.  Did I mention that the move will probably be as soon as TUESDAY?  There's an immediate opening and Ali's roommate is in need of a place to live NOW.

While I'm a bit tardy with the "D" posting, and it shouldn't have been all that difficult, since I've had this photo for nearly a year, the "Daughters and Dad" thing didn't really "speak" to me 'til now.

10 February 2008

C is for...

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C is for cheese curds -- handmade goat cheese curds (plain and squeaky, please) fresh from Caprine Supreme Creamery in Black Creek, WI.  You can read about Caprine Supreme here at Cheese Underground.  I made a point yesterday to stop at the indoor farmers' market to replenish my supply.  Am I living in heaven here, or what?  Right at the junction of Candyland and Dairyland.

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I had curds with pretzel bread this morning.  I wasn't intending to buy that little loaf yesterday, but when I asked the sweet little old lady who gave me the sample (with a slice of cheddar cheese on top) where to find it, she practically took me my the hand and led me to its location in the bakery department; she made it a point to tell me that she'd witnessed them being baked at 9 a.m. that very morning.

We'd often stop for a bag of curds to pass around the car during family trips when I was a kid.  The little cheese factory stores are hard to find now.  An aunt and uncle bought a small, abandoned, rural cheese factory many years ago and transformed it into a place to live.

I can remember standing next to Grandma in her kitchen a few years ago as she sliced some cheese for us -- thin slices, one for each.  Cheese was definitely not part of her restricted diet, except for non-fat varieties.  She handed me my slice of cheese, telling me that she'd rather have only one slice of "real" cheese everyday than all she could eat of the other stuff.

Hardly a snob, I often prefer Kraft American Processed for my grilled cheese sandwich (two slices of cheese... on white bread, of course).  I'm no stranger to Cheez Whiz and Easy Cheese, either; not that they're permanent -- or even frequent -- residents in the pantry.

Edited to Add:  Try eatcurds.com for everything you've always wanted to know about cheese curds and more.

* * * * * *

C is also for good morning cry and Eva Cassidy.  Thanks to Terry, I've had one with the other this morning -- in a good way.  Oh, my.  I can barely tear myself away from YouTube even to get a tissue, I've been wiping my tears mostly with my nightgown.  I watched the linked Nightline episode and the tears started flowing before a note was even sung.  Eva plays importantly on the soundtrack of a personal milestone, so when she sends a zinger into my heart it's felt double.  "People Get Ready," "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," "Autumn Leaves," "Songbird," "Fields of Gold," but mostly...

..."In the Early Morning Rain."  (Close your eyes and just listen.)

02 February 2008

B is also for...

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Blue.   Those enchanting few blue minutes every winter evening.

B is for...

Dsc02009B is for Breakfast.  I love going out for breakfast.

Specifically, this morning, B is for Mom's belated birthday breakfast (with bacon*) at The Queen Bee.  Mom's birthday was Thursday and, while we did plenty of celebrating last weekend, we celebrated some more this weekend.  We went to the indoor winter farmer's market, browsed through a couple of shops, enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, then assembled some make-ahead meals at Dinner Helpers.

The Queen Bee is one of those places that's open only for breakfast and lunch.  It's nothing fancy -- breakfast all day, burgers for lunch -- but it's friendly, clean, and hearty without being too much.

When Maddy was in Pre-K, she brought home a book of recipes for the kids' favorite foods and directions for preparation -- in their own words.  Maddy's favorite food was...

*From the Kitchen of Maddy's Mom...

BACON
*Get a piece of bacon
*Fry it in the pan
*Wait for a few minutes
*Then you eat it

Adam's Potatoes:  Peel them first.  Cook them.  Eat them.

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Two eggs over-medium, corn muffin tops, extra-crispy hashbrowns, and bacon.  Mmmm, very bad but also very good.  B is also for Beagle Bagel from Two Paws Up Bakery -- my favorite place for dog treats; I also brought home some Cheese Dogs, Honey Bears, Veggie Stars and, of course, Bacon and Egg Piglets.

20 January 2008

A is for...

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A is for art; the artist I married and the three artists I gave birth to, the supplies they use to create, and all the art they have created, are creating, and will continue to create.  A is for the awareness -- my increased awareness -- of the world around me because of the artist I married and those three artists I birthed.

I have learned and admired much, I've been inspired, and I've struggled a bit, too.  I guess I wouldn't change too much, although I would like to wave my magic wand and declare art an undeniable essential to the well-being of all; a non-discretionary living expense not subject to line-item veto on the budget.

Dsc01943 The girls have been creating ever since they could hold implements.  That's Ali and Katie... I'm going to guess ages 3 and 5.  They're sprawled over and on a big work table in the studio, busy with paper, pencils and markers.  We have reams and reams of paper from all three girls, on which their early periods are well represented:  the scribbles-on-paper period, the amoeba-people period, the big-head period, the full-body tracings period.  It's been (and continues to be) an amazing journey, seeing their take on the world, the perception, whimsy, fantasy.

They've even inspired their dad.  That's an extreme close-up of a painting he did many years ago called Porch With Kid Drawings.  Those are actual drawings by our actual kids.  I think the one at lower left depicts a turkey.

When they learned to write, they began illustrating their stories -- wonderful stories about three "witchs" at Halloween (Katie, Ali and their cousin), princesses, families, going to the store.  I'd better watch it as this could easily morph into "A is for Author."  (And again with the reams and reams of paper.)

The avocation of many, vocation of some, art is in their DNA; it's their past, present, and future.  An incredible, creative lineage that includes painters, wood-carvers and -turners, ceramicists, and a glass-blower -- not to mention the sewing, quilting, embroidery, tatting, rug-hooking, knitting and crocheting.  One of their great great great great grandfathers listed "basket-maker and musician" as his occupation when he came to this country from Germany.

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Madeleine just finished the stippled piece on the left; that's only a quarter of one of Ali's pieces in the middle; and Katie's high school freshman self-portrait.  The thumbnails are deceiving -- Maddy's work is about 4x8 inches, while Katie's is more like 2x4 feet, as is the whole of Ali's.

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Detail of Katie's self-portrait.  I always think Renaissance, Da Vinci, Madonna when I look at this piece, and especially the eyes.

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A hilarious cartoon that Maddy did when she was about 8, and Ali x 4.

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19 January 2008

Saturday morning, 10 below

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You get the picture.  I will have to venture out to the grocery store this morning, and then it's going to be a soup day.  I haven't decided what kind yet.  I do believe tomorrow will be soup redux, as it isn't going to be much better, and I may as well fill the freezer and have some choices for next week's lunches.

Honestly, there must be something wrong with my nose.  There are two things that I have been smelling a lot lately and most of the time it's for no good reason.  One is cigarette smoke (I'm smelling it now, which is why the mention) and the other is exhaust.  It's not stale, icky, old smoke, it's more like someone is standing a few feet away and it's wafting under my nose, "fresh," if you will, and not unpleasant to this ex-smoker -- I never developed an aversion; thankfully, it doesn't seem to trigger any urges.  It is annoying.  Even when I did smoke, I never smoked in the house.  The exhaust smell is very unpleasant and stings my nose; I've actually gone to see if there's some old truck parked right outside my door, choking the neighborhood.  So weird.  Why can't I smell a freshly bathed baby or fresh-baked bread?

Sipj08buttonTomorrow may also be an unscheduled Pajama Day -- though I will have to change into my "lucky" Green & Gold attire for Ice Bowl II tomorrow evening!  I've been meaning to mention the upcoming Super International Pajama Day (third annual?), which falls on Super Bowl Sunday.  I love Celia and I love Pajama Day!

Abcalong150pxwideAnd now, my last pitch for the ABC-Along 2008 and a few more links.

First:  Deadline for inclusion in the Flickr group and on the blogroll is midnight tonight.  I have no control over the Ravelry group, so we'll just have to see how that goes.  There are new people joining Ravelry all the time, so maybe they'll want to jump in... play catch up or pick up at whatever point they get their invite or discover it, maybe someone will decide to do only vowels or the letters in their first name.  Whatever.  I hope they have fun with it.

Second:  While I do run a loose ship and participants may do whatever they wish, I do wish to say that my intent – what I had in my mind – was ONE well-chosen THING for each letter, though possibly several pictures to illustrate that thing, not twenty different things for each letter.  It forces one to be choosy and disciplined – what is the BEST representation of YOU for a given letter.  I did not choose my words very carefully, however, and left the door wide open, and neither did I set any limits to how many pictures can be uploaded.  I'm not going to go changing the "rules," but it's something to keep in mind and I think, in the end, it would be a much more powerful body of work, both as a whole and as a representation for each participant.

That's all.  Except for a few more blog links that tickle and/or inspire:  1001 Arabian Knits, Art is the Handmaid of Human Good, Dalai Mama, Knitphomaniacs, Knitting and Sewing and All Forms of Procrastination..., Will Knit for Vodka, Will Pillage for Yarn, Yarn and Chocolate, and Yarn Mafia.

18 January 2008

Unofficially and without photographic evidence...

A is for accomplishment:  34 months since I smoked a cigarette.

A is for apartment:  My daughter has a pretty cute one!

A is for anguish:  And also sleepless nights (play along with me here) because of the jerks (or you may substitute an "a" word, reader's choice) who live in the apartment below hers.

A is for arrrgh:  Damn corporate property management conglomerations (DCPMC) who ignore their tenants -- both the good and the bad.

Poor Katie.  I had an email from her this morning -- she'd written it at 3:30 a.m. -- after calling the cops for the second time.  The first time, the officer knocked four times on the door of the downstairs apartment and left when no one answered.  I understand the position of the police, but I also don't understand.  She ended up going to Starbucks and didn't get to sleep until 6:30.  Katie practically lives alone, since her roommate simply avoids the situation completely by sleeping elsewhere.  Ultimately, it's a property management issue that is being ignored and the mom in me so wants to pick up the phone and bitch.  The allure of Madison has been somewhat diminished for Katie, and the living situation sure isn't helping.

UPDATE:  A is for ass-kicking, as in the 5-day Notice to Remedy or Vacate that's been served to the downstairs offenders.  Three cheers for the new representative of the DCPMC!  Katie just called with the news; she also indulged in some retail therapy today, too.  Sometimes, nothing makes a girl feel better than new cereal bowls!

*

A is for ABC-Along 2008Abc

There are 222 contributors to the Flickr group (as of now), the Ravelry group was approaching 200 last I checked, and my already out-of-control Bloglines list has burgeoned beyond belief!  In order to post to the Flickr group and/or be listed in the blogroll, you must request an invitation by midnight (local time) tomorrow -- after that, admin will close the door on that aspect of the ABC-Along and turn to other matters... like posting an "A" herself.

We've barely reached the cusp of "B" -- meaning it's a very long road to "Z" -- and I'm already thrilled.  "A" is well represented by people, places and things.  There's flora, fauna, fruits, veggies, alpaca, angora, anxiety and mathematic concepts.  There's activity, and action, and yarn (lots and lots of yarn), and any combination of the aforementioned -- and then some!  The photography isn't always fabulous, but the subject means something to the photographer, and some of the blog posts just blow me away.  That's what it's all about!

I am also delighted to see the return of some familiar names:  Two Wooden Sticks and A Ball of String, Hyvetyrant Talks, SuZenKnits, and to learn of so many new (to me) and interesting blogs, some linked above, and also (just to name a few):  Infinity More Monkeys (with a name like that?) and KnitXcorE (he's "pretty amazing"), The Ravell'd Sleave, The Purloined Letter.  It is going to be an amazing year.  I can't wait to see what all these people show and share.

My Sandy!  Woefully, I am poetically challenged, but I finally made a haiku!

A,B,C,D,E...
...next time won't you sing with me?
Deadline tomorrow.

13 January 2008

Weekend Update

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Saturday Sky, which didn't get posted yesterday, and same view on Sunday.  SNOW!

ATTENTION!  KNITTER IN NEED:  One of the knitters in our NE Wisconsin Yahoo group put out a desperate plea for yarn on the message board.  She is in need of 2 hanks Rowan Handknit DK Cotton, Color 311 (Nautical), Lot 15K2.  The LYS doesn't have any more in that lot; she bought a different dye lot and tried alternating, but it's too obvious.  If anyone can help, please let me know and I'll put you in touch.

Dsc01839Almost.  It's been a bit of a struggle with the Oblique fronts.  I ripped back to the beginning of the raglan shaping -- the cast-off stitches -- and carried on from there, but was knitting myself into a black hole, for sure, with some of the decisions I was making about decreases and YOs.  So, ripped back again; this time to where the decreases met the textured lace pattern.  I made much better decisions the second time and I've become quite good at reading my knitting -- and at fixing my mistakes.

It's an "almost" because I think I mixed up my decreases on the last few rows.  The top of the right front, especially, veers suspiciously off in the wrong direction.  I'd stuffed it into my knitting bag with only a handful of rows left to go and when I pulled it out, one side was yanked off the needle.  I may have mixed up left and right when I put it back on.

Or, perhaps I was distracted by football.

Packerscarflagw00t!

What a game!  There was a fumble and heartbreak, snow, fumble and more heartbreak, more snow, running and passing and touchdowns, and SNOW!!  And we WON!  We're going to the Divisional Championship game!!  (Go GIANTS!)

Abcalong150pxwideSign up (to be included in the Flickr group and on the blogroll) continues for ABC-Along 2008 through Saturday (see here) -- which is also the end of "A" on the official posting schedule... though, you know, I'm not a real stickler for the official posting schedule.  To be honest, I fell behind a few times in the middle of the alphabet last time -- I was stymied by the letter or uninspired or just too busy -- so I played catch up.  Whatever, you know?  My enthusiasm for the project never waned, and I sure wasn't going to throw in the hat because I missed a "deadline."  It's supposed to be fun, creative, and inspired -- hopefully, your posts will be something you can look back on at the end of the year and feel good about, that the thing you choose for each letter of the alphabet really means something to you.  That doesn't mean that one should continue to post As and Bs throughout the year -- that's not the point -- but I hope no one gives up because of "falling behind."

07 January 2008

In a fog

Literally.  I think the entire state has been blanketed in fog for the past 24 hours -- and counting.  I had to drive yesterday, but took the long/slow way -- I narrowly missed a deer (the fog confuses them) and was stupefied by the number of people driving without illuminated headlights.  It's the long/slow route to work today, too.  Schools are on a two-hour delay.  Thunderstorms predicted for this January afternoon.

I did some knitting and some ripping over the weekend, exclusive of each other.  I'm about to begin waist increases on the Oblique fronts.  I'm getting a bit bored, but the neckline decreases will be "at the same time" as the aforementioned increases... gripping (hopefully, not ripping).

Smoking_jacket Smoking_remains

My sister -- Hi Sharon (she's been reading here recently) -- gave me the remains of her stash a couple of months ago, including the start of a "smoking jacket" in Rowan Magpie and Chunky Chenille.  Pretty, isn't it?  It's probably been 10 years since she started and I think it nearly drove her insane -- it was a very large overall pattern with no repeats, so every row was different.  I did not wish to continue this project, and a normal person would probably have taken the loss and thrown away "the start" -- especially given the zillion ends left hanging on the wrong side -- but my salvage self took up the challenge.  It wasn't too bad.  Plus it's Rowan... vintage Rowan.  I don't know what I'll do with it all -- 6+ hanks of Magpie, 4+ of Chenille -- but I'll be ready when inspiration strikes.

abc along

Did you see the wonderful new ABC-Along button made by the one and only Alarming Female?  Roll call is now over 100 names and several postings of Letter A have been sighted.

Just a note about joining:  If you already have a Flickr account, the quickest and easiest way is to sign in, go to the ABC-Along 2008 page, and send a request to join from there; if you don't have a Flickr account, I need your email address to send an invitation.  You really don't even have to join Flickr or Ravelry to participate -- because I'm easy like that, y'know, it's pretty loose around here.  The blogroll of participants in the previous post is continually (though not instantaneously) updated as people join -- if you've joined up and your blog isn't listed there, let me know.

04 January 2008

Today: Friday (hallelujah!)

A B C

Spell With Flickr.

V I C k2 I say I

I can't stop.  The ABC-Along 2008 is gathering steam and attracting participants on both the Flickr group and the Ravelry group.  There have been some A's appearing.  Very exciting.

Sign-up details here and here.  Here's a link to my photo album from v.2006 for a quick intro/overview of the whole idea -- my interpretation, anyway.

UPDATE:  The ABC-Along 2008 blogroll has been moved to the ABC-Along 2008 page.

Bonus blog, has nothing to do with ABCs: Kilted Pride.

Following Cara's lead, I have cast on the fronts of Oblique -- both at the same time.  No, I am NOT knitting from hanks two and three.  I have two very handy yarn cakes and already a few inches under my belt -- always anxious to get through the ribbing.  Speaking of Cara, Ann mentioned some baby shower blog action yesterday, and I stirred things up a little more today.  Let me know if you need the super-secret log-in info.

02 January 2008

ABC-Along 2008 Schedule

Abc_2008_buttonGet your cameras ready!!!  Eventually, I'll make a better button or two, but this will do for now.  The background is hard to make out, especially at such a small size, but it's the ABC part of the "ABC Sweater" that I never finished... should do that soon for Addison.  Influenced by recently viewed cinematic selections, and because it amuses me -- and maybe you -- I deliberately chose the typefaces: the A is Arial Black, the B is Brush Script, and the C is Clarendon; the "ABC-Along 2008" is, of course, Helvetica.  Because it's everywhere and must be here.

I run a very loose whatever-along ship, so the "rules" are simple:  It's a year-long group where participants post a photo to their blog and/or the ABC-Along 2008 Flickr Group every two weeks to correspond with a letter of the alphabet. Photos should reflect the personality of the photographer; the subject should be of importance or meaning to them; photos can be related to fiber, but it is not required.  Post at least one photo in each 2-week period to match the corresponding letter of the alphabet. There are 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters of the alphabet, allowing two weeks per letter (Weeks 1&2=A, Weeks 2&3=B). Example: - "A" is for... Alaska, asparagus, alpaca, astronomy... Whatever you choose, it should have some meaning for you.

That's it!  I've even figured out the posting schedule.  ; )

The first “two week” period is actually almost three, which allows a little extra time for sign up. Invitation requests will be accepted on Flickr through January 19th. The Flickr group is public (can be seen by all), but membership is by invitation only.  You can make me (Vicki Knitorious) one of your Flickr contacts and request an invitation, or send me an email (vknitorious @ gmail . com).

A = January 1 to 19
B = January 20 to February 2
C = February 3 to February 16
D = February 17 to March 1
E = March 2 to March 15
F = March 16 to March 29
G = March 30 to April 12
H = April 13 to April 26
I = April 27 to May 10
J = May 11 to May 24
K = May 25 to June 7
L = June 8 to June 21
M = June 22 to July 5
N = July 6 to July 19
O = July 20 to August 2
P = August 3 to August 16
Q = August 17 to August 30
R = August 31 to September 13
S = September 14 to September 27
T = September 28 to October 11
U = October 12 to August 25
V = October 26 to November 8
W = November 9 to November 22
X = November 23 to December 6
Y = December 7 to December 20
Z = December 21 to December 31/January 3, 2009

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In other news, I've almost finished the back of Oblique!  Here it is in morning snow.  I knit the entire second skein, without incident, using the Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton method.  I've got to tell you, there's something about pulling off a length of yarn from a hank draped over my knee/knees/lap without the yanking and pulling -- a gentle sweep of the hand, a little wiggle of the hank -- very elegant and soothing and, yes, refined -- as I suspected.  The biggest drawback is that one has to pretty much sit still and like a lady.  I can't just tuck my leg under or switch which leg is over which knee -- every movement has to be thought out and calculated.  The ball of yarn is the untangled portion of the first hank -- the part I'd had to just cut off because it was so knotted up -- the one that taught me to be more mindful.  ; )

Okay, asking for good thoughts for Maddy this afternoon as SHE'S INTERVIEWING FOR A NEW JOB.  This would be Plum, in so many ways, drawing on skills and nurturing creativity.  It would be a little bit before she'd start.  (In the meantime, I think I've found a cleaning lady.)  Thanking you in advance.

Katie will be heading back to Madison tomorrow, her nice vacation comes to an end when she reports on Friday for her first shift since Christmas Eve.  It's really been fun having her here.  Good thoughts for her, too, while I'm at it; all the good vibes needed to STICK IT OUT FOR ONE MORE YEAR.  She gets all wishy-washy and, I swear, if she wasn't locked into a lease until August, she'd probably be moving home right now.  She knows that the best thing is to finish what she's doing -- and she can do it.  ONE MORE YEAR.

And, you know what, as long as I'm at it, let's think some good thoughts for Ali, too.  She's been so quiet and even seems a little preoccupied the past several days.  I keep asking her Is something wrong? Is everything okay? and she says No and Yes (respectively) but she's SO QUIET -- AND SHE KEEPS THINGS TO HERSELF (huh, wonder where she gets that trait) and, well, basically, I DON'T BELIEVE HER.  But I'll have to wait 'til she's ready to share.

31 December 2007

A-B-C, it's easy as 1-2-3... or 52 or 26 or 365... I mean 366

No, I'm not going to Blog 365, though I might help to provide a little fodder for other.crazy.people.

I did get an "A" in one of my classes... and a "B" in the other... but that's not it, either.

It's the ABC-Along!  Inspired by the great ABC-Along of 2006 and with the blessing of Anne, I've decided to "host" ABC-ALONG 2008.  I had such a great time doing it in 2006 and I've missed it for all of 2007, so it's time.

While my use of quotation marks above could be debated on The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks, I do not feel that I use them "unnecessarily."  By "host," I mean:

Disclaimer.  I run a pretty loose group and/or -along.  I'd much rather knit or read or take pictures or cook or do laundry or clean the bathroom (you get the idea) than run admin (you've been warned).  I love a party, however, so let's get one started.

I'm interested in stirring up some creativity!  This project is wide open to interpretation and personalization.  What does it mean to you? Have a little fun; take, post, and let's talk about some interesting pictures -- see where it goes.

I've started both a Flickr group and a Ravelry group for ABC-ALONG 2008, and you are hereby invited.  The Flickr group is public/invitation only -- the last day to request an invitation to the group is January 19th; sign-ups will be closed as of January 20.  Please request an invite by leaving a comment on this post or sending an email (vknitorious @ gmail .com) with your Flickr ID.  By nature, Ravelry is open all night... we'll see where it goes.

It's simple:

Members in this year-long group -- knitters, spinners, fiberists (yeah, I like that!) -- post a photo to their blog and/or the Flickr group every two weeks to correspond with a letter of the alphabet.  Photos can be related to fiber, but do not have to be; they should reflect the personality of the photographer, and something of importance or meaning to them.

Post at least one photo in each 2-week period to match the corresponding letter of the alphabet.  There are 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters of the alphabet, allowing two weeks per letter (Weeks 1&2=A, Weeks 2&3=B).  Example:  "A" is for... Alaska, asparagus, alpaca, astronomy, aperture...  Whatever you choose, it should have some meaning for you.

I know a lot of people got new cameras for Christmas.  Maybe "A is for aperture" and "B is for (white) balance"... "F is for f-stop"... or "focus"... and perhaps the tone is set for exploring the new camera, its features, and photography in general.  Photojojo has some great ideas.

More to come as is warranted, including a hard-and-fast schedule and a button/banner.  To kick things off just right, everyone who sends me a comment or email request by the deadline (that would be January 19th) will be entered in a drawing for a book that I happen to have an extra copy of, that happens to begin with "A."

I did not get a new camera for Christmas, I must make do with the old.  It has served me well these many Christmases, sometimes taking pictures of Christmas things.

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Katie decorated this ornament for us at my sister's last month.  I never put 2 + 2 together when she told me she'd gone out there, and even when she said that decorating had been done (Mack made a few ornaments -- and was chatting up the customers quite a bit, too!  Can I help you?).  The slip-trail technique my sister uses is called "ditzwork" and Katie's interpretation and design make me think Ditz meets Yellow Submarine.

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