22 posts categorized "Blogging"

20 March 2014

10 Years!

TODAY!! It's the First Day of Spring (yahoo!) and my 10th Blogiversary! Here's the last installment of TEN for TEN.


I'm not altogether sure I'd have kept this up for 10 years if it wasn't for you.

You've offered advice and support through some bad times, and you've celebrated the joys and triumphs of many good times! You've certainly encouraged, enabled, and influenced me. I wouldn't be half the knitter I am if it weren't for blogging. And I'm pretty sure I wouldn't presently have my foot stuck in the rabbit hole of hand sewing, either, if it weren't for blogging.

It's not always easy writing this blog and, in glancing back these last 10 days over the past decade, I can see how much things have changed -- what I share, how I write, and the pictures. Sheesh! There are certainly some cringe-worthy photos, but I did what I could with what I had (P.S. I still love you, Sony DSC-85!). What struck me most was the size! I recall bandwidth being an issue at times, back in the day, but postage stamp photos -- I guess everyone just "clicked to make big" the photos they really wanted to see. Because, wow, TINY. (I fixed some of those as I ran across them.)

But holy cow, 10 years! 

Thank you!! Thank you for reading, laughing, crying, encouraging, enabling, and just for being there. It's always comforting to know that there's a big collective shoulder here, and someone willing to listen.

* * * * *

So, all week I've posted the link for the Craftsy Class Giveaway and I think I'll be ready to announce the winner tomorrow. That giveaway doesn't really have anything to do with me, I've just given it some space and airtime, so I've decided that I will give away another Craftsy Class and probably some other presents, too! Because, holy cow, 10 years!

I'll randomly draw winners from all who leave or have left a comment on any of the Ten for Ten posts, including this one, through midnight CST tonight.

*Giveaways have ended*

Thanks again!

* * * * *


That's Ten for Ten!

* * * * *

I'm hosting a Craftsy giveaway. Follow the link below and you could win a class of your choice, up to $59.99 in value -- only 1 more day to enter. 

Enter to win a Craftsy class!

*Giveaway has ended*

You will need to either log in or create an account to enter the giveaway. Entries will be accepted through midnight CST on Thursday, March 20th -- the First Day of Spring and also my 10th Blogiversary! The winner will be chosen (using Random.org) and directly notified (via email with the free-class link) by Craftsy!

Some of the Craftsy classes I've enjoyed include Natalie Chanin's Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Appliqué, Beading and Embroidery, Angela Tong's Rigid Heddle Weaving, and Amy Herzog's Knit To Flatter. There's much to choose from!

Clara Parkes' Know Your Yarn: Choose the Perfect Yarn Every Time!

02 December 2013

It's December -- and a contest!

It's on to other things! I've actually been reading something other than -- or, rather, in addition to -- books about childbirth and labor support. 


I recently received two copies of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, edited by Ann Hood -- one to keep myself and one to give away! I was only vaguely aware of this book a while back, and then read Barbara Kingsolver's "yarn" in the November/December issue of Orion magazineWhere It Begins -- I love this part about friends:

It begins with the circle of friends. There is always something beyond your beyond, the aged parents and teenager who crack up the family cars on the selfsame day, the bone-picked divorce, the winter of chemo, the gorgeous mistake, the long unraveling misery that needs company, reading glasses and glasses of wine and all the chairs pulled into the living room. Project bags bulge like sacks of oranges, ripe for beginning. Cast on, knit two together girlfriendwise. Rip it, pick up the pieces where you can, along the headless yoke or scandalously loose button placket, pick up and knit. Always, you will have to keep two projects going: first, the no-brainer stockinette that can run on cruise control when the talk is delicious. And the other one, the brainer, a maddening intarsia or fussy fair-isle you’ll save for the day when the chat gets less interesting, though really it never does. Knitting only makes the talk go softer, as long as it needs to be, fondly ribbed and yarned-over, loosely structured or not at all, with embellishment on every edge. Laughter makes dropped stitches.

"Cast on, knit two together girlfriendwise...."

I never thought I'd like knitting in a group with other people, and now I can't imagine not knitting with friends! My knit night attendance has been scarce of late, but that's life... and it will change.

Anyway, the list of authors is amazing, naming a scant few more of my favorites: Elizabeth Berg, Jane Smiley, "our own" Ann Shayne, and even Andre Dubus III! I've barely begun because, you know, there's still childbirth and labor support happening in a few weeks, but it is a nice respite from that -- even, in a way, a part of it because many of these are stories about knitting and how it helps us get through.

I am pretty sure I'll be knitting while helping Ali through her labor and delivery and, then, in the following days, I'm sure it will help to keep my head and heart from exploding all over the room as the reality of my first grandchild sinks in... that I'm a grandmother, and that Ali is a mother, too. Ka-BOOM!

Alphabet-scottieOne more shower photo - a slightly better look at the adorable alphabet sleeper and scottie dog hat direct from Aunt Kate in Edinburgh!

So, it's a wonderful book and I am savoring it, and I can't wait to share! With five knitting patterns by Helen Bingham, as well, it would make a wonderful gift for a knitter -- and I'll get it to you in plenty of time for Christmas giving (or to keep for yourself).

And there will almost certainly be yarn.

* * * * *


Share a tip for a new mama & papa AND/OR tell me your favorite holiday movie!

Deadline is Friday, December 6th at 11:59 pm CST.

A winner will be drawn at random from all comments on this post.

Tell your friends.  :)

* * * * *

(Meanwhile, I can't wait to hear whether LoLa will be in The Big Game!!)

20 March 2013

March Milestones

Can you believe I let the 8th anniversary of quitting smoking sail right by? I think it must be real. I'm a real quitter! According to Quitnet:

You've been Quit 2924 days

$19,006.00 and 14 months, 26 days, 18 hours of your life saved!

I'd never have done it without Ann, Claire, and my sister Karen, and I can't imagine having done it without all the support from blog readers and, especially, from Cara.

That $19,000 that I would have spent on cigarettes over the past 8 years? Yeah. I don't feel guilty one single solitary bit about going on vacation to the U.K. or Brazil, or taking little jaunts to Chicago or the North Shore, or flying to the east coast, west coast, or Rocky Mountains to spend time with knitting peeps (among other things). All of that COMBINED doesn't even come close to $19,000!

I think I've just eliminated any doubt I had about shooting for Holidays in the Highlands (Scotland!) this year.

* * * * *

Today, the First Day of Spring, marks my 9th anniversary of blogging. Holy moly. And, my, how things have changed.

20 March 2004

It's Spring!

'Tis the First Day of Spring! It's sunny and it's warm-ish (in a place where 45 degrees on March 20th really IS warm). It seems like a good day to embark on something new -- my very own, my very first blog (there is a lot to learn and a lot to do...).

I have been so inspired by the blogs of knitters around the world, and have learned so much from them. I can't even begin to imagine that my individual contribution would serve as inspiration, but I do hope that it will help to enhance the whole.

Posted by Vicki at 09:28:57 AM

It's not warm on this First Day of Spring! I did hear birds singing again this morning, after silence for weeks, so that's something.

As I begin my 10th year of blogging, I continue to be inspired by the blogs of knitters around the world. I am grateful to think of so many of them as friends, even. I believe I have "inspired" a few people with my knitting... a few epic projects have fallen from my needles... but I'd never have dreamed 9 years ago that there would be so much more.

Thank you!

* * * * *

Oh, is it ever fun to read your clubhouse memories!! In case you've missed it, to celebrate the publication of my husband's how-to manual, Keep Out!: Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse: A Step-by-Step Guide, I am giving away a signed copy. All you need to do is share a clubhouse memory (or just a shout-out) on yesterday's post and I'll draw a name at random on Sunday.


17 March 2013

Readers... and thoughts so far

One thing I like about Bloglovin' is the "Your daily feed from Bloglovin'" email highlighting the latest posts from my subscriptions. It includes the headline, a few lines of text, and a photo. One thing I don't like is that there's no Android or Kindle app -- not that I read much on those devices, but I guess I don't like being left out! While it looks as though signing in or going through Facebook is the only option, there is actually an option to use an email address... if that's holding anyone back from trying it out.

Meanwhile, Feedly! Wow, that WAS easy! Plus, Internet Explorer was wonking out on my home computer so I went back to Chrome (which had previously had issues but now seems fine) and used the Chrome extension and talk about simple! My Google Reader feeds were imported in a blink, and with all of my "categories" intact -- which was not the case with Bloglovin' (alphabetical order... which I didn't really mind... right now). The layout is a little different from what I'm used to, but I really don't have a problem with that if I can easily find what I'm looking for and have some control myself.

I'd started looking into The Old Reader (TOR) a couple of days ago. I got as far as downloading my zipped Google "Takeout" folder with the OPML file necessary to import my feeds to TOR. I have just this second uploaded that file and... there are 41,345 users ahead of me in the import queue... so that might take a while and I'll have to get back to you on that!

Netvibes? Maybe. I've signed up for that one, too, and have imported my feeds. For some reason, this was the most difficult one for me to get started. There's even a blog post about migrating from Google Reader to Netvibes... it just wasn't intuitive to me, but that doesn't mean I won't like it.

There's a great article on Lifehacker with even a few more options, if you're interested. I might be. We'll see... how much time do I really need to spend on this??

The jury's still out on all of it. I think it's interesting to compare and, obviously, a reader that I like may not be a good fit for you... or perhaps you don't even use a reader! That's all fine, and everything's good.  As always and however you land here, thank you for stopping by, reading, and letting me know what you think!

Also, Happy St. Paddy's Day!! And Happy Birthday to my wonderful and only brother, Michael!! I have my first-ever corned beef cooking on the stove. I sometimes love it and sometimes hate it, so we'll just have to see how this one turns out. I'll be roasting some cabbage to go with it, but foregoing the potatoes... except maybe making some sweet. Would that go?


15 March 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'll be trying out some alternatives to Google Reader.


20 March 2012

Eight! It's cause for celebration!

As of today, the First Day of Spring, I'm celebrating eight years of blogging! I've written nearly 2,200 posts and read almost 19,000 comments during that time! I wish I could say that I replied to all those comments, but I know I did not. Every comment is important, of course (sometimes they literally provide fuel for the fire), and I hope that I've at least replied to all of the comments most in need of reply -- those in search of an answer, an opinion, even advice!

Also, as of last weekend I'm celebrating seven years quit! It's likely that I'd have quit smoking, anyway, at some point and for one reason or another, but it sure was more "fun" to do it with my fellow blogger/quitter Ann, her friend Claire and my sister Karen, and with the encouragement offered by bloggers, not the least of whom was Cara! We did good. I don't get those anniversary emails anymore, but 7 years x 365 days = 2,555 x 1 pack/day @ $5 ea. = $12,775.00 saved and 51,100 cigarettes not smoked -- and that's a rather conservative cost average.


It's been a fun ride!

* * * * *

In March 2008, I wrote about my 4-year blogiversary and posted mosaics representing four years of blogging People, Places, Things, and Knitting Things and asked, "Four more years???"

Welp, yeah.

image from www.flickr.com

PEOPLE: 1. Creme Brulee Smile, 2. Peek-a-boo on the train, 3. Cuteness personified, 4. M is for Maddy, 5. Partial evidence, 6. Everybody jump?, 7. Happy Birthday, Maddy!, 8. Sisters jumping for joy, 9. Three out of four, 10. My sisters, 11. Katie's Malabrigo Scarf, 12. Flat Stanley (focus on Ali), 13. Tattoo 2, 14. Laugh, 15. Sweetness and light, 16. Slip of the tongue, 17. See my shell?, 18. R at the tip of the Door, 19. Maddy -- 6-3-09, 20. Looking to the right, 21. Boys in the house!, 22. Li'l Rascal, 23. Oh! That's funny!, 24. Fits like a dream, 25. Farmers' Market: Week 2: Fun, 26. Kids...lake...take 2, 27. Birthday sisters, 28. Sisters in summer, 29. Not so imaginary anymore, 30. Happy Birthday!, 31. Millennium Bridge, 32. Our tour guide, 33. Plume poppy gets a hug, 34. 070-of-366 / Twist, 35. With Annie, 36. 077-of-366

image from www.flickr.com

PLACES: 1. Farmers Market, 2. Ringside at the rollercoaster, 3. Rows of Shingles, 4. Makin Hay, 5. Beach at Montauk, 6. Stone steps, 7. Art - You Are Here, 8. At the beach - tiltshift, 9. The charming old sign, 10. Dried weeds on the right, 11. Him again, 12. Wisconsin's Eastern Lakeshore, 13. Reflection, 14. Into the woods, 15. Kate & Mads, 16. Osh Vegas Palms Resort, 17. Morning has broken, 18. KC&T, 19. Inspiration, 20. Tippy canoe!, 21. Glorious, 22. Milwaukee lakeshore, 23. Cable car, 24. Seafood Department, 25. On a not-so-clear day, 26. Geocache I, 27. The South-side from the North-, 28. Westminster Abbey, 29. Portencross Castle, 30. Highlands, 31. Drive, 32. Redbud in Mom's wildflower garden, 33. Kate in the middle of the road, 34. Our tour guide, 35. Iowa sky, 36. Silver Lake

image from www.flickr.com

THINGS: 1. Ali's back, 2. Tools of the trade, 3. Spring.3, 4. 365.102, 5. Measuring cups with reamer, 6. Artisan Bread!, 7. Rock collector, 8. 6-point Buck, 9. Life jacket, 10. Christmas Reading, 11. New, 12. Heart in sun and shadow, 13. Veggies & Cream Cheese, 14. What time is it?, 15. Pin cushion, 16. WSD, 17. Ollie, 18. Oh, so good, 19. Growth, 20. Ruth Asawa knitted sculpture, 21. Fruit, 22. Breakfast is served, 23. Chickens, 24. Adorable, 25. Elvir, 26. Strawberries, 27. Eggs in shades of green (mostly), 28. Dragonfly, 29. Sunflower, 30. It rained, 31. 023-of-366, 32. 032-of-366, 33. 035-of-366, 34. 040-of-366, 35. 042-of-366, 36. 078-of-366

image from www.flickr.com

KNITTING THINGS: 1. Juno Regina II, 2. Cables on the heel, 3. Heel-Toe Two, 4. Kevin's Hat, 5. Hat/Vintage Button II, 6. Afghani cap, 7. Hat, 8. Circles in wool and cotton, 9. Cat Bordhi, 10. Kari-Bak Scarf, 11. Noro Entrelac Scarf, 12. Front, 13. Fiddlehead finito, 14. Back view, 15. Diaper Cover, 16. Lap blanket, 17. Finished!, 18. Seaman's Square Cap I, 19. Hat's Not Another Noro Scarf, 20. Tempest, 21. Ragtop 1+2, 22. Green squares on blue chair, 23. Cerasifera on the trellis, 24. Asymmetrical, 25. Coconut buttons, 26. Closure, 27. Christmas booties, 28. 008-of-366, 29. 014-of-366, 30. Hug me in the snow, 31. 026-of-366, 32. 029-of-366, 33. 035-of-366, 34. web-IMG_1709, 35. Color Affection, 36. 069-of-366

* * * * *

I have made some of the most amazing friendships, had exciting adventures, did some travelling, received a shower or two of love and support as a result of blogging -- I'd never have experienced some of those things to such an extent had it not been for this near-daily ramble. Sometimes a slog, after the pros and cons are measured and considered, it is still very much worth it.

It wouldn't be a celebration without presents, would it? I invite you to join my party by leaving a comment to this post by midnight (CST) Friday to tell me what blogging has done for you, whether you're a writer or a reader.

A random winner will be drawn for a woolly hand-dyed prize. It's likely that the 19,000th comment will be made during that time, too, and I think that's probably a good enough reason for another!!

As always, thank you so very much for reading, and for your comments and emails.

Four more years?


30 November 2011

The end of a couple of things, and also beginning

It's the end of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month)! That -- and by "that" I mean everything November -- went by pretty quickly and also painlessly. Thank goodness. Let's try to keep on that express train right through winter! The blogging was maybe lame at times... one of the reasons the month flew by so fast is because I was busy doing things, and blogging suffers. It's also just different. I don't know. I'm still not ready to give it up. I'm comfortable here, even though it's/I've changed some over the past few years.

It's also, technically, the end of Project Spectrum 5: The Basics. Can I just say? I am amazed... amazed that I've seen this through in a timely fashion from beginning to end. The knitting projects aren't all done yet -- I may even have lost track a bit of that part -- but all the yarn is dyed. And then some! Though I am, arguably, somewhat challenged when it comes to finishing (it's genetic), I really had no problem keeping my enthusiasm for PS going over the last 7 months. I'm delighted to have developed an interpretation of Lolly's concept that worked so well for me.

So, here's the last of it... November is the month for Neutral: Black/White/Grey.

image from www.flickr.com
I wanted to play around with the neutrals, but also aubergine. (Purple is the new black!) (That might have been last year, but whatever.) The group on the left was dyed first with ecru and the middle group first with grey. They were then tied up and manipulated some before being thrown into the purple bath. (That sounds kinky, or like some sort of torture, doesn't it? Ha!) The group on the right is just straight-up black; variations in color there are due to differences in fiber content, number of plies, etc. Close-ups below.

image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com
The finished "project" skein, below, turned out much darker than anticipated -- almost black -- because I still underestimate the power of black!

image from www.flickr.com
May I play favorites? Honestly, I think this is my favorite of all the PS dyeing. Wanna see it closer?

image from www.flickr.com
Closer still?

image from www.flickr.com
I love it more and more! The yarn is a merino and silk blend and it is going to have to be a scarf or small shawl. I can't wait to knit it up!

The project part of PS will remain active around here until the yarn's been knit up, and until there's a blanket knit up from all the squares! As soon as these neutral squares are knit up, I'll start to figure out how it all works. I am SO excited.

I did some extra-curricular dyeing on Sunday -- Katie did, too -- and I'll share that over the next few days. Because as much as I love that project yarn, there's another that I dyed on Sunday that I love even more. I do. I love it. I love it so much that I would marry it!


21 September 2011

You, Ewe, Utah!

You know, I can hardly believe that we're in the last third of September already! It's been pretty jam-packed with goings-on, and I guess that's why it's flying by -- all good, but a bit too whirlwindy for me. It's the "lazy" and "hazy" parts I like best about Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of (late) Summer!

It was only a week-and-a-half ago that I was at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival -- it seems so much longer than that! My one and only purchase there, greatly encouraged by Rae, was a huge hank of mohair from Ewetopia Fiber Shop in Viroqua, WI.

A slightly more easterly route home from Iowa earlier this summer means we missed Viroqua by about 15 miles. I'd like to visit someday and, since LaCrosse is still on the list of Sister Weekend possibilities, it's likely that someday I will.

Yep, it's as soft as it looks. So pretty! I have to admit that the sample Fern Lace Mohair Shrug hanging in the booth sort of sealed the deal. It looked so warm and cozy and I'm all about that with the onset of autumn! The colors are more reminiscent of summer -- sky, water, grass -- they ought to be nice, hopeful reminders in the dead of winter of what's to come.

I think I'll be winding this baby up and taking it with me to Utah! I'm flying out on Friday to meet up with Margene and heading to the Rocky Mountain Knitters' Retreat at Alta Lodge on Saturday & Sunday. I'm.so.excited. I've lamented to and commiserated with Margene, possibly more than any other blogger I've "met" in the past 7.5 years (and possibly because I've "known" her almost as long), about "the curse of the internet" -- we're so close and yet so far away! I'm actually pretty lucky in that I have met Margene -- five years ago at Rhinebeck. The atmosphere at a festival can be pretty frenzied, though, and I'm looking forward to a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere... at a ski lodge... in Utah... in autumn. Oh, it's going to be wonderful, gorgeous, relaxing, inspiring, rejuvenating, maybe even clarifying!

That means there's only two more sleeps... and I'd better start getting my shit together. Other than the above (not yet wound, as we speak, never mind locating needles, etc.), my camera and "some clothes," I've no idea what I'm bringing or how I'm packing!


20 March 2011

And then there were seven

As in seven years ago today, I wrote a couple of paragraphs and made my first blog post @ knitorious. It is mind-boggling to think of all that has happened in that time -- wonderful, tragic, happy, heartbreaking -- hmmm, I guess that's life.

I continue to be immeasurably inspired not only by the knitters (designers, spinners, dyers), but by the entire World Wide Web of creativity and beauty -- and humanity -- that's out there and available to us all with only a few keystrokes and/or clicks of a mouse.

I am humbled when someone writes to me and thanks me for being an inspiration... for quitting smoking, for knitting a complicated sweater or a big-ass blanket, for putting it out there. I don't know -- I don't dwell so much on the why or the what, it's the good feeling that sticks.


Anyway, I walked around the yard with the rented lens the other day. I think I'm going to like it!! I also found some tulips coming up at the back of the house.

We went out for pizza last night -- which I'd had a hankering for ever since Tuesday when someone included pizza on their Ten on Tuesday list of 10 Favorite Pies. And then we drove out into the country to wait for the moon to hit our eye like a big pizza pie!


The sunset wasn't all that spectacular, but pretty enough thanks to the clouds; one way, then another.


I love the silos in this photo.

The one and only photo I shot of the moon -- this is straight out of the camera just as it fully appeared over the horizon. It stayed this color for only a short time. I wasn't too impressed with the size of the moon -- I have seen it much, MUCH bigger than that -- but perhaps it was more impressive elsewhere in the world. I should be lucky that I saw it at all. It was fun to find a spot to sit and watch. We enjoyed listening to (one of my favorite Wisconsin authors) Michael Perry on Tent Show Radio while we waited.

I cashed in my Penny Parfait the other day. Let's have a blogiversary contest! Beginning now and ending at 9 a.m. CST on Wednesday, the person who guesses the closest without going over will win a yet-to-be-determined prize. Since I'm leaving later on Wednesday for an amazingly awesome, pinch-me type vacation, chances are the prize won't be from around here. For what it's worth, the jar was full to the neck when I took it in; the amount was more than twice what both my husband and I thought it would be -- just an off-the-cuff amount that we both happened to choose based on nothing but our feelings. Mwah! Good luck and, whether a reader for the past seven minutes or the past seven years, thank you. Thank you for your inspiration, encouragement, wisdom, and love.


20 March 2010

It's my party!

It's the First Day of Spring, and also my 6th Blogiversary!

It's as hard to believe I've been quit of the smoking for five years as it is to believe I've been blogging for six years.  It's been a crazy ride, full of ups and downs, dos and don'ts, starts and stops, love and not-so-much love, so much fun and laughter, too much fear and sadness, way too many tears, more than a little angst.

But mostly love and laughter and fun stuff.

More than anything else, and quite unexpectedly, this ride has been about friendship and personal growth.  I didn't start blogging because I wanted to make friends all over the world -- at the heart of it, I'm a rather non-social people person -- and even now (still?) my communication skills leave much to be desired (exemplified by my horrible record at email and comment replies) and it's a wonder I have any friends at all.

I certainly didn't expect to "grow" because of the blog in any area other than the realm of knitting.  Mostly, I had hopes that the fearlessness and adventurousness I saw in other knit-bloggers would rub off on me, and it most certainly did; unfortunately, the patience I've long admired in others never has, neither have I uncovered a long-buried love for swatching, nor mastered colorwork.

I never intended to blog about anything other than knitting, but it appears I am unable to compartmentalize and keep so narrow a focus.  I have blogged, to some degree, about nearly every aspect of my life -- and by "my" life, I mean the life of anyone who has "aspects" that touch mine.  In other words, nothing is sacred.  Though, perhaps, not so much lately.  For whatever reason, I feel I am much more guarded now than in the past.  I'm sure it has to do with the ever-further and ever-wider reaches of the internet, the way everything is or can be linked and cross-posted and how easy it is to be found.  I guess maybe I do like things compartmentalized -- I like to be in control -- I don't necessarily like everything cross-posted and organized for easy access and up-to-the-minute updates.  I've been struggling with my work life/lives mingling with my social life mingling with my knitting life mingling with my photography life mingling with my family life, etc.  I like to be in control -- which I was once, but feel I have lost.

Another post that kind of took a different path...  Blahblahblah, thinking out loud...  The world has changed.  A lot.  I guess I need to figure out how/whether to deal with those changes.

It's been a great six years of blogging.  Thank you!

28 February 2007

My other new favorite word is...

Dsc09807 Dsc08427_1

ROASTED (often found within these pages in close proximity to the word "delicious")!

On the left, Susie Middleton's Smashed Roasted Potatoes (updated to update link, Aug 2009), from Grace Howaniec's (now defunct) column, "Grace Before Dinner."  I haven't been steered wrong by Grace yet and these were no exception.  Admittedly, I'm a huge potato lover -- Potato Soup (with leeks or bacon or ham or anything -- or without), Potato Pancakes, Mashed Potatoes, Smashed, Baked, Fried, French, American, German, Salad, Scalloped, Au Gratin... you get the picture.  I've even had lefse, thanks to my Norwegian (not wicked) stepmother -- and love it (however, not so the accompanying lutefisk -- that was rather wicked)!  I think my potatoes were a tiny bit big and I forgot to flip them half-way through the cooking time, so they were a little less crispy but absolutely delicious! I will definitely make these again (possibly with a little less and/or a lighter oil, possibly not).

On the right, one of several batches of Peace and Sereknitty's Roasted Tomato Sauce that I made late last summer.  (It's a very pretty scroll down on that last link, almost to the bottom, for the recipe.)  I'd used it freshly roasted a couple of times, but put up most of it in the freezer.  On Monday, I used some in place of the usual store-bought can of tomatoes for lasagna and it was dee-licious!  I don't think I'll ever be able to use canned again.

This weekend I plan to make Carole's Roast Beef Soup, which not only looks delicious (and has been bookmarked on Bloglines since that day, so it's the first thing I drool over see every day when I check her new posts), it also comes highly recommended by Ann -- no culinary slouch, either, that one.  Meanwhile, Carole has also recently posted about Cream Puffs and now a recipe for Artichokes French!  I have been twice to Rhinebeck, twice in the line for Artichokes French (shared them once with Carole herself) -- they are absolutely delicious and now I can't wait to make THAT recipe, too.  ; )

* * * * * *

For those of you interested in the knitting:  I am working on the bottom part of Williamsro.  That's my official UFO project for February; St. Brigid's new cuffs are second runner-up.

* * * * * *

I cannot let this day pass without mentioning my brother, Michael.  I've been extra emotional this week -- Michael on my mind more than I realized, I guess, my aunt's memorial celebration coming up this weekend, the death of my best friend's mother on Monday, some other things...  It was one year ago this morning that I spotted the emergency medical transport helicopter in the sky on my way to work -- unbeknownst to me, it was on the way to the scene of an accident that my brother was so very lucky to have survived.  Brain surgery that day, back surgery on his birthday/St. Patrick's Day, and several weeks in a coma later... well, he will never be pain-free, will never feel exactly the same, but... he is so amazingly here and with it, walking and talking, alive and well.  And tonight, I hope he will be feeling NO PAIN, rocking out and celebrating life with THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS!  Rock on, bro!

Bob Woodward's "To Iraq and Back" on ABC last night struck some chords.  Wow.  I can't find a direct link, but it's available to watch online.

The love and support that I felt from the blogging community at that time was indescribable and indispensable.  I later printed out all the posts and comments from that time to share that with Michael and his wife.  And I was honored to wrap him in the knit-blogger blanket of love, all those heartfelt squares so beautifully sewn up by Christine.  "Thank you" never did (and never will) seem like enough for any of it.

And yet, before I end up in tears... Thank you, again.  Yay Michael.

* * * * * *

Birdsong and her family could use some of that indescribable support right now.

* * * * * *

I'm a happy recruit in McHale's Navy Norma's Army in the battle against rudeness -- first spotted at Cara's, recently at Stephanie's.  I'm wearing garlic, myself, and hoping that the March lion blows in bearing manners in abundance.  Yes?

Thank you for reading, I think I'm finished now.  Whatever will I blog about tomorrow...

19 December 2006

On blogging, writing, why... Angie this is for you.

What keeps you blogging?

Are there times when it's more of a chore?

Any suggestions for a new blogger?

The answers are in here somewhere...

WARNING:  This is certainly not going to be for everyone... and you may click away NOW.  Almost a FREE WRITE w/ plenty of interruptions and some editing, revising, correcting (after all, i did work as a proofreader once)

in order to answer the question about what keeps me blogging, i have to go back to why i'm blogging in the first place.  like so many -- it looked like fun, like a caring community, and why wouldn't anyone want to be a part of it?  it was kind of like being at an auction -- raising the paddle and getting in on the bidding before even realizing what exactly you're bidding on.  i sure didn't think i had anything much to share, certainly no expertise or vast knowledge of technique in the world of knitting -- not like wendy; no oozing of creativity -- not like bonne marie, and i guess that's why i blogged for quite a long time before even throwing my name into the knitblogger webring -- even with the name "knitorious," i wasn't sure i'd focus enough on knitting to merit a spot on the ring and i sure didn't want to join up and then get kicked off because i wasn't holding up my end of the deal, so i just didn't join for a while.  there were many who didn't want to read about anything but knitting on a knitblog, either, and that just wasn't going to be me.  didn't want the pressure.  i wanted to be a part of it, though.  i'm not very eloquent or analytical or political... voices being heard... i hardly ever take a stand.  it's rarely black and white, all subject to change.  i'm wishy-washy

somehow i gained a small readership.  it starts by leaving comments on other people's blogs, starting a dialogue, finding things in common, sometimes linking to-and-fro.  way early on, there was a handful of blogs (relatively speaking) -- it wasn't difficult be become fairly well known and recognizable.  i'm proud to be in the class of norma and margene -- we all started blogging around the same time and each of us has the benefit of a few more years than many of the bloggers who inspired us.  and they, oh they inspired me...  it's the process, utah, zen, smith...  crapola, craptastic, tinctures, dandelions, so fanfuckingtastic is norma...  katy (those sweet kids), ann (irresistable), cara (so much to love about cara), stephanie...  stephanie has pretty much changed the world.  i'm such a dolt, still dumbfounded.  still can't quite explain it.

really, sometimes i don't know.  lately, i have been wondering why i continue.  at the very basic, gut-level, i blog almost everyday because i'm afraid that if i didn't, i'd stop altogether.  much of it is just the simple act of writing.  i'm actually writing and sometimes people even read it.

cara had that "my life, my blog" meme recently that i didn't do, but i should, except that i completely suck at impromptu answers to questions like "what was the best... this or that..." pretty much fucking anything... i just can't think of one best thing on the spot, or even 10 from which to pick a frickin' one.  it's all a jumble and mostly feelings and i don't take the time to think them through, sort them out, come up with something that has words to describe it.  but i do know that my childhood ambition was to be a mother.  i always, always, always wanted to be a mother.  not a writer...  that's my adult ambition.  that's harder because there are so many roadblocks -- most of them put in place by me, manufactured by me, and maybe only imaginary, but they're there.  and while writing is not the focus of my blog, i do have to actually write it and sometimes i write it better than others.  for the most part, i love to write it.  i especially like it when i find something that excites me and let 'er rip.  riff.  it feels so good (like this, this kind of feels good -- right now), though sometimes i think that i'm the only one taking the ride, hearing the music, like i might get just a little too carried away and, i have wondered, am i just humoring myself?  i'm not that funny or witty or wise.  or interesting.  am i?  what the fuck do i know?

so my childhood ambition has been realized -- if i had it to do again, i'd have been a mother more... mother TO more, too.  in regards to the adult ambition... i've signed up and am taking an online writing class, a workshop, a beginner's kind of thing.  i have another blog where i keep that stuff -- accessible.

you know, i have this wonderful, wonderful aunt (subject for another time) who said the words, "you should be a writer," to me once -- many years ago.  i can't tell you how often i think of her, those words.  she also says, "you can do anything you want to do" and has always told us that we're beautiful.  she lives life.  my grandma tried to encourage me, too.  when michael was in the hospital after the accident, i took the responsibility of writing almost-daily emails to keep family members updated (and take some of the pressure off my SIL) and i got so much wonderful feedback, just from a month of little emails, and another aunt even wrote to ask me if i'd ever considered making my living as a writer.

that kind of took the wind out of my sails a little.  i don't know that i've fully recovered from that yet, found my way back to wherever i was headed before that abrupt detour.  i wonder what would've happened next if that accident had never happened.  where was i going?  that was a catalyst for so many changes -- changes that might not sound like much to some, but they rocked my world over here.  personalities and people.  you'd think we'd have all come through it a little closer -- overall, not really.  in some cases, way far apart.  life changes, i get that, but holy shit.  i don't think you're ever prepared for how FAST it can change.

so, finally, i'm taking an actual class -- my hope is that i'll find some direction.  even if i don't actually "make my living" as a writer, i'd love to supplement my income by writing.  lord knows, we could really use that.  my reply to my aunt was that i'd love to make my living as a writer, but what in the world would i write about?

that's always been the problem.  what to write, what to draw, what to paint.

i've been so fortunate in that i've been able to meet some fantastic bloggers in some really fantastic places -- new york city, who'd have ever thunk it -- it still totally blows me away.  three times i've boarded airplanes and flown to meet fiber-loving friends i'd never have met -- never have gone -- if it weren't for blogging.  and it's me, but it's not me... on the blog.  there's a blog persona, just as there is a work persona and a family persona and i'm all about the persona... that's so scorpio... i should be a spy or a detective, something having to do with secrets and sleuthing.  sometimes it gets in the way.  i'm definitely more free and outgoing via keyboard, much more guarded in person.

there are still many people -- people who are close to me, who I see every day -- who don't know about the blog

I remember going to solon springs the summer between junior and senior year -- it was only supposed to be for the summer, but then dad invited me to stay and finish school there.  it was an irresistable opportunity to re-invent myself -- one that didn't appeal to sharon so much -- and i took it.  i know it hurt mom, and i completely broke the heart of my best friend at the time, and annie.  annie didn't trust me for a long time after that.  it's a wonderful life.  anyway, i remember thinking that i could be anyone i wanted to be -- and to be honest, there were things about "me" or at least things that i know people thought about me "back home" that i was more than happy to leave there.  start new.  my former classmates would have all peed their pants, seeing me in the running for homecoming queen right there in solon springs, but that's exactly what happened.  crazy.  i was still me, though, same hair, same face, same clothes, same mom and dad, same sisters and brother... different place.

what was the question?

yes there are times when it's a struggle.  it's not done in a bubble, that's for sure, and i am affected by what's going on in the rest of blogland -- at least that little part of it that i can keep tabs on -- it's so big now, and continuing to explode -- there's no way anyone can keep up with it all anymore.  and that leads to some self-doubt -- there are so many bloggers out there, so many who are so much better than me, why even bother?  better writers, better knitters, better crafters, better gardeners, better photographers, better mothers, wives, daughters, people.  who cares what i think or what i'm doing?

want to see the lights on the pergola this morning?


...to face unafraid, the plans that we made...  (we can do it, susan)

15 November 2006

My morning squeeze

Dsc08985I got a very satisfactory amount of toothpaste out of this tube after its photo shoot this morning.  I expect to fill my brush at least one more time, maybe even two or three.  It's at the point now, though, where I have to put the brush down on the edge of the sink, in a spot where it's balanced and has a little bit of support, while I take aim with the tube and use both hands to squeeze.

Dsc08986The fact that I'm such a nut about using every last bit of toothpaste in a tube, that I actually made a special trip downstairs for the camera this morning, that I actually took a picture of my nearly-but-not-quite-empty tube of toothpaste and have given soem thought to writing about it, that no doubt y'all will have a little reaction of some sort, perhaps something to say about it or a little story to share...  mmm, yes, this is what I love about blogging.

Meanwhile, we have booked a hotel near the Merchandise Mart -- and my angst has waned a bit.  Your comments yesterday were sweet, my family was reassuring, and I've got curly hair today.  Yes, I found the electric curlers and, at the moment, curly hair helps!  We're going to leave early on Friday so we have time for a nice lunch and maybe even shopping!

I'm making a list of Latvian Mitteneers and other interested parties, thinking about some ideas for the knit-along.  Yes, Virginia, there will definitely be a knit-along!  Rule #1 will be, of course, that a book must be secured in some manner so that a pattern may be chosen; please don't ask for copies.  The most fabulous thing about this is that it's the perfect time to add Latvian Mittens to your gift list; perhaps Latvian Dreams, too, if you've been very good!  Other than that, I'll just be working things out over here in the background -- I'm very excited -- and there'll be much more after the holidays.

07 October 2006


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That's my favorite back yard ash, now leafless.  We've had a spectacular week weather-wise -- foggy, frosty mornings giving way to clear, sunny skies and warm temperatures.  You can't walk anywhere without leaves crunching underfoot.

Thanks for the comments yesterday -- and for making me think.  This is why I love blogging and why I continue to blog, even though it's sometimes hard, and I sometimes have doubts -- my feelings run the gamut from forthright and funny (though maybe I'm only amusing myself) to intimidated and shy to presumptuous and sanctimonious to over-exposed to wondering if I'm banging my head against the wall just to see if it makes a sound.  Oh, there's more -- so much more I want to say, but did you see that sky?  Yeah, and Mack is coming today!!  I haven't seen him in a month -- since the day he started walking!

06 May 2006

Blogging in the funnies

These days, I pretty much skim through the comics section of the newspaper -- there are only a few strips that appeal to me and I don't waste my time anymore with the rest unless something jumps at me.  Today (May 6), Grand Avenue and Zits were both about blogging!  Zits was especially funny because of the generational thing -- and gets extra points for mentioning grandma's podcast.  Blogging in the mainstream, people!  Wouldn't it have been funny if grandma's podcast had been about knitting?

; )

Sorry about the express train from Good to Ugly yesterday.  I will take my cue from Carole the next time I find myself in a Good, Bad and Ugly mood!  She's the Queen of GBU!!  The biggest thing is to end with something good!  ; )

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative

Johnny Mercer

I had another email from my uncle last night and I decided to take my cue from him and my aunt.  It all sucks, sucks big BIG TIME, but now is the time to stand your ground, stare it down, do your level best to be your best.  That's me today.  (Plus, it's Saturday and the sun is shining!)

I schlepped Maddy and a bunch of her friends to the roller rink last night -- they were all dressed in '80s garb -- Flashdance sweatshirts, Desperately Seeking Susan-ish.  They were so cute.  It's so interesting to listen to the twists and turns of their conversations.  Sometimes Maddy and I seem so very far apart (I feel this more acutely with her than I ever did with Katie or Ali), but then we stumble upon common ground.  They had fun and may do this '80s roller thing on a regular basis -- every other week or so; they like Big Band music and Jazz and want to learn to dance -- really dance!  It's so funny because, obviously, I lived through the '80s and even as a young mother, I was hip enough to have had a Flashdance sweatshirt, though I was no Jennifer Beals or Madonna (can I just say... I've been wanting to say for months... that I hate the way Madonna's been wearing her hair).  I adore Big Band music and have always wanted to learn to dance -- really dance!  When I was in high school, living in northern Wisconsin, there was a supper club owned by an older man who used to play in a name-brand Big Band (I don't remember which) and every once in a while, he'd put out a call to his former bandmates and they'd come and play and, oh, it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

05 May 2006

A number of things...

Struggling with a 6-stitch pattern and a 4-row repeat, I'm still not back on track with the Simply Lovely Lace Sock.  Simply.  Lovely.  Hm.  Perhaps I'll be feeling it a little bit later.  Oh, but I did finish the Fibonacci sleeve last night and it will be getting a bath and blocking tonight.  I'm so excited that the majority of the knitting is finished!!

That's the end of today's knitting content, except for a little bit about knitting bones...

Margene, celebrating her 600th post today (and it's a beauty), made me take note of some NUMB3RS this morning... this is my 625th post!  That's just crazy, man, crazy.  I couldn't help but also notice the number of comments.  Margene gets a ton more comments than I do on a regular basis, and I know her number is thousands, if not thousands-upon-thousands, more than mine, and while I love comments, it's not all about the comments, but I am closing in on a rather significant and fairly large number of comments... in the realm of I-might-soon-be-whoring-for-more and a prize!  ; )

Bone2I took delivery in yesterday's mail from Christine of one big, blue blanket made up of many, many squares.  I'm pretty much struck dumb when I think about it all -- her brother, my brother, squares, blankets and many, many hearts.  I am looking forward to delivering it to its final, intended recipient and perhaps I'll find some better words to express myself -- or maybe Michael will -- but until then, "Thank you" is the best I can do to Christine and all the knitters of beautiful, blue squares.  Thank you.  I haven't written much about Michael recently.  He's still on an amazing, but painful path of miraculous recovery.  Today, he sees an orthopaedic doctor due to unrelenting pain from the fractured scapula.  I read that the scapula represents less than 1% of all broken bones, and it could take 6 months to a year for complete recovery and return of full range of motion.  I hope they can find a way to make recovery more comfortable.  On Monday, he has the long-awaited appointment with the neurosurgeon and will hopefully get the green flag to start losing the body brace, that the all the broken vertebra are healing as hoped and that no further surgery will be required.  Kellee's Knit Up Some Bone drive for Mr. Etherknitter hits a little home here, too.  ; )  And I hope Mr. E's good news comes soon!

I can't think of a blue-squared blanket without immediately thinking of PINK!  Cynthia has had an incredible response to Warming Grace -- and I'm struck dumb again when I think of the incredible bravery and pluck of a 5-year-old.  You go, Gracie, girl!

Grace leads me to my cousin Ted, then, and his mom and dad.  Ted was tall and lanky and had huge dimples -- darn, it was catchy -- he was always smiling and flashing those dimples!  They lived in Albquerque, so we didn't see them much when we were growing up -- only when they'd come here to visit.  I went to Albuquerque for the first time about eight years ago for Ted's wedding; his mother was dying from a recurrence of breast cancer and it was uncertain whether she'd even be strong enough to attend.  Turned out, the wedding day was the best day she'd had in ages... and she danced the night away.  She died a couple of months later.  My uncle died a couple of years after that, also of cancer; and then Ted.  Ted had a rare form of leukemia for his age -- completely curable if he'd been a child -- and specialists from around the country were in the loop.  He fought hard, too, but lost the battle almost two years ago.

I was recipient yesterday of a group email from another uncle; the subject line was, "Ordeal."  Gulp.  His wife successfully battled breast cancer a few years ago, but she's back on the battleground and underwent 9 hours of surgery yesterday -- with everything that's involved to excise a tumor -- weirdly, she also has a scapula involved.  I'm a bit sketchy on the details because, as is usual for my family, this is the first I've heard of it.  It's left me a little rattled.

07 April 2006

Who knows?

Dsc06800_1I am getting so excited about Fibonacci!  Alexandra has some other cute designs (go see!) and she's also the designer of the popular Soleil.

I made this mess into neat little yarn cakes on Wednesday!  Last night, I knit a big swatch (uh-huh, a swatch!) and it will soon be time for pencil, paper, calculator and (probably) Excel!  Now, I'm not 100% sure I'm going to knit this exactly as written -- I'm thinking that I'll still knit a raglan but I may do it in pieces, from the bottom up, rather than on a circ from the top down.  The circs and I just don't get along and nothing would spell UFO to this sweater more than c-i-r-c-u-l-a-r.  (My Tivoli -- which isn't even called that anymore -- is a shining tarnished tarnishing example.)  Also, while I'll be using the same Fibonacci sequence for the stripes, I will be using seven different colors of yarn rather than five, in this order (I think):

Dark Green/Gray, Orange, Tan, Rust, Spring Green, Red, Gold

I'm still working on Trellis -- knitting both fronts at the same time.  I didn't get to the sock last night, and eventually I'll have to stop ignoring the shrug...

* * * * *

My brother called me last night.  I think he missed me!!  I'd been worried about the ride home -- he had to wear the brace and it's over an hour from the hospital to their home and it's spring in Wisconsin (which means that bumps in the road and potholes are EVERYWHERE!).  Apparently, I needn't have worried because he told me that he actually fell asleep in the car!  I'm chalking that up to my SIL's good driving and Michael's apparent ease in a motor vehicle -- not remembering, but being aware of what happened to him (he has not seen any pictures or read any accounts of the accident, and doesn't want to yet -- not 'til his bones heal -- or maybe never, but he does ask questions about it and talk about it from time to time).  There was a very happy reunion with his dog.  Said dog was curled up at his feet when we spoke, hadn't left Mike's side -- except for a walk, which Mike meant to do, but he'd fallen asleep.  Sleep and rest are still so very important.

* * * * *

So, who knows?  Cassie's post, The secret life of a blogger, was interesting to read the other day; she wrote about things that cross my mind frequently -- some more than others, some more lately than previously.  I started to leave a comment, but, as so often happens, I was distracted, and now it's much more than a comment... more like a big, ol' ramble!

My kids know about the blog, but Katie's the only one who reads -- and it's semi-regularly, at that (and I am thrilled beyond all reason when she leaves a comment).  DH knows -- he thinks it's cool and has even met some of my "blog friends," but he is not a regular reader (I'm not sure he could even find the blog).  I kept the blog secret even from them -- the people I live with -- for a while.  I eventually told one of my sisters after about a year.  She told blurted it out to our dad (of all people!) and to my youngest sister (who is very envious of my "blog friends" and wants some of her own) and to some of her friends -- they all think it's cool, but completely overwhelming.  None of them read very often (some -- dad? -- maybe never).  The blog is not really a secret, but I've learned that -I- would rather be the one to tell people about it, if I want them to know.  None of my "real" friends know.  I, too, have all these new "knitter friends" from the far corners, and I, too, have more contact on a regular basis with some of them than with "real" friends, and I, too, have traveled to meet up with them -- I've got to wonder (too) where my mom thinks they've come from...

I shot daggers at my sister the first time I heard her mention my blog to someone (dad).  All sorts of thoughts ran through my head and she retorted, enthusiastically, "What?  It's you and it's fun and you haven't written anything to be ashamed or embarrassed about."  She was right -- and now I can't.  ; )

At first, I was quite cautious about my identity and location, careful about photographs and things.  Not that I've actually spelled it out anywhere, that I know of, but I'm not bent on complete and total anonymity.  I think I'd make an excellent detective or secret agent -- I can keep secrets and be very stealthy and hold things close to the vest -- I'm quiet and cautious and a little shy, but I'm just not secretive, and I don't blog that way; it's not a natural approach for me.  I know my blog personality is a little different than my real life personality -- I can be a little more "out there" on the blog -- but, you know, I'm ALWAYS fooling myself into thinking that I'm "out there" ALL the time, in ALL my personalities, and I'm really not.  (I'll bet y'all really want to meet (all of) me(s) now, huh?  Heh.)  I'm such a stick-in-the-mud wallflower and I always have to push and stretch myself to participate!  However, I do have it on good authority that I sound different on the blog.  ; )

Yeah, yeah, about my kids and the dangers of the internet and all the bad people...  well, I don't live my life in fear, either.  In fact, I refuse to live in fear and I have never modeled that for my kids; caution, yes; knowledge, yes; communication, yes; fear, no. You better believe I am sometimes afraid -- sometimes frozen with fear -- for my kids, myself, my neighborhood, my world -- and, oh, it would be so much easier to be a hermit... but that's not living.  I live, I blog, I blog (some of) what I live.

Six weeks ago, my brother was in a terrible accident and I blogged it.  I blogged most of it (not all) every day of the however many weeks in ICU, the surgeries, the rehab and recovery -- I couldn't imagine not blogging at all and there was nothing but that to blog for a while; those were my only choices.  I briefly questioned whether I should.  Because of the blogging, he will soon be the recipient of a blanket made up of squares knit by many knitters, spearheaded and sewn together by the generous Christine, in conjunction with a blanket project she had going for her brother.  It's one thing when I receive the occasional package in the mail from a blog friend, but how in the world was I going to explain an entire blanket for my brother?  Everyone watched me knit the single, solitary sock in the hospital waiting room, they know it isn't even BLUE.  (Abracadabra!  Let me pull this sock out of my hat...!)  I couldn't just present a blanket out of thin air (and, besides, I want to tell my brother about the squares and the knitters!), so I told my SIL about both the blogging and the blanket.  Not only that, I copied and formatted all my blog entries about the accident and what I'd written about my brother and printed and bound them for her to read (and eventually share with my brother) -- and I also offered to delete or modify them online if, for some reason, she wanted it that way (thank goodness, she didn't).  Yep, handed her the blog on a silver platter.

I both censor what I write here and I don't.  This is not the place for airing out any of my laundry -- maybe on another blog.  This one is mostly about knitting and, most of the time, how knitting relates to my life and, in some ways, about how knitting has changed my life -- the new friends and the travel.  The dreaming...  My sister is right, though, I have nothing to be ashamed of here.  Some people may not really get it, might even think it's stupid, but hey, whatever; the tables can always be turned in that game.

So, those are some of my thoughts on my blog -- and the who and the what they know.  Interestingly, I still have not told my mother, in so many words, about the blog.  Mom hears talk about the blog, she hears my sister lament the lack of blog friends (and sis knows it's directly related to the lack of a blog), she knows about the blanket that "my knitter friends are making," and she was with me when I bought the pink yarn for Grace's blanket squares the other day -- if she has questions, she's keeping them to herself.

30 March 2006


This is a test of the Ann Skimmer Alert System, as invented and quite successfuly employed by Nancy!

Ann read this!!!

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!  Testing concluded.  In an actual skimmer emergency, the scrolling marquee will be followed by very important information that Ann should not miss should not be missed by ann anyone!

OMG, I love this.

22 March 2006

Sock in sunlight

Dsc06755Here it is!  Three weeks of work on my sock and I'm finally doing gusset decreases.  I'm winging it, using a rib pattern I've admired at a friend's.  Sort of.  For the technical portion of the program (heels, gussets, toes), I'm using the The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd for guidance.

I have several balls of self-patterning or self-striping sock yarn, plus a little more variegated and even some in solid colors, and I'm looking forward to working them all... someday... but now that I'm seeing all the STR Clubbers getting their first packages, I wish I'd joined and that I was getting STR in the mail, too.  I don't know why I didn't.  I completely and totally understand Cara's obsession with that yarn -- I am in awe of the beauty and richness of nearly every colorway.

Mark your calendar:  International Pajama Day on Sunday, March 26th.  Definitely looking forward to that.  Hey, that's only four days away!!!

AuntimemeWatch this space:  The JenLa Wild Goose Chase, a.k.a. Auntie Meme, coming soon!  I can't wait to do this and I'm anxious to read others'.

That's all the knitting -- kinda lame, I know.  Click for more stuff.

Continue reading "Sock in sunlight" »

20 March 2006

Sorority & Celebration(s)

Dsc06745My sister made this pin for me to commemorate the one-year quit -- she's got a year in (plus a day), too.  Iota Delta Sigma -- I Don't Smoke.  That was something that our brother-in-law said to us and it stuck with us both -- that was the mindset.  'I can't go out for a cigarette because I don't smoke.'  There were days when that's all that ran through our minds, "I don't smoke.  I don't smoke.  I don't smoke."  Like writing it on the blackboard 500 times.

Can't believe it's been a year.  I am still trying to decide what I'd like to do for myself to celebrate -- I am juggling the idea of a make-over type thing or more of a spa-type thing (hot stone massage, a facial, reflexology).  It's the kind of thing that I can easily talk myself out of -- that even though I've saved over $1000 by not smoking this past year, I won't want to spend the money.  I should, though...

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The Olympic Quilter, having taken up the challenge, brought her finished block over the weekend!  Isn't it gorgeous?  I awarded her a gold medal, of course.  I hope I live long enough to see it as an actual, finished quilt.  ; )

March is a busy month -- and this one has been like no other.  Today, the first day of spring, is my 2nd blogiversary.  Incredible.  What a lot of fun -- more than I ever imagined.  The people I've met and challenges undertaken -- both personally and as concerns knitting -- kind of blow my mind.  Thanks for reading and commenting and offering support and advice and just being there.  It all kind of blows my mind sometimes.  In a good way, a very good way.  ; )

20 January 2006


What do you think might happen if you had a beverage called a "Snakebite" (a combo of lager and cider) -- preceded by one or two Strongbows and followed by a Smirnoff and intermingled with a Chinese buffet and karaoke?  There's a young, international studies student in London who can tell you that she "...became for the first time actually DRUNK" and, a little later, kinda sick.  My daughter tells me that the staff at the house where she's staying "...loves when the Wisconsin groups come because 'we know how to party'."  Look what happens when they leave you!!!

Uscableteam_1 EddiejumpingenjoyI've found my team -- did you know there were teams?  Jenifleur has provided some great buttons.  She is on the Fair Isle Team and is making that gorgeous Fair Isle Bag from Summer '04 Interweave Knits -- I forgot how much I like that bag (thanks for the reminder!).  I love these Olympics and all the fun and buzz it's generated.  Margene has her Tribute to Eddie The Eagle (I remember Eddie!). I wonder who's going to adopt the Jamaican Bobsled Team.  ; )

I'm kind of stalled in the middle of the street, dodging cars; progress has been
s-l-o-w on the Petrified Jaywalkers, though I have worked on them a little this week.  The Red Scarf was completed last night, so the Jaywalkers ought to see more action over the weekend.  And Shirley Shrugs... oh, I had pangs as I read Celia's post about her failing the Olympics Trials (aka, Christmas knitting) and, combined with the echo of Mom's recent query about my progress on her gift, they hurt -- like a snakebite!!  Am I worthy of participation in the Olympics?  I will do what I must do, and train hard; my regimen shall include nothing but Jaywalkers, Shirley Shrugs, and Williamsro prep from now 'til Opening Ceremonies!

I'm not finished yet with the bowls.  It was very interesting to gather one of my collections in one place for the sole purpose of photographing it – something I’d never have done if it weren't for the ABC-Along.  I viewed these things that I look at and use everyday in an entirely different way – I handled each and every one, I arranged them differently (dare I say even artfully?) and I'm tickled that there's this unexpected, small sense of discovery in this endeavor.  I enjoy thinking about the letters to come and how I will represent.  To borrow a line from Cara that made me laugh out loud this week, "Let's look a few more pictures, shall we?" (when would we ever say to no her pictures?).

Dsc06349 Dsc06369 Dsc06368 Dsc06367

Lastly, I read a blog called Rebecca's Pocket.  Wondering about blogging?  She wrote the book.  She's doing a series of interviews called  Bloggers on Blogging.  I really enjoyed the most recent interview with David Weinburger.  The questions and answers are very interesting; and I like the perspective of a non-knit-blogger.  Blogging and blogging issues and blogging etiquette (among them reading, commenting, emailing, responding as Cara posted about today) seem to be a recurring theme across the blogosphere and they won't be getting any easier.

Oh, and Happy 21st Anniversary to hubby & me!

04 January 2005


Bathroom0001This is what DH was doing when I got home from work last night.  He said he'd just "see how it goes" and told me (with a grin) that the hardware store was open 'til 8:00.  When he replaced the commode in the downstairs bathroom in May, it took most of a day and a couple of store runs.  This installation was pretty smooth; he was finished before 8 and we had a time out for dinner, too.  Woohoo!

Bathroom0002And that's not all the privy news you're privy to...  My sister called last night and she has a brand new outhouse.  Believe me, it's absolutely thrilling.

I thought y'all might like to see the the cabinet in the bathroom.  We traded some "architectural elements" that DH salvaged from a local remodeling project for this little jewel.  It was originally a built-in, so the sides were single, unpainted boards.  We beefed them up and used some moulding to hide the seam, and then put on a top and a crown.  I matched the original paint and put on a fresh coat, and also painted the outside of the HUGE clawfoot tub that color (a little of that is visible in the potty pic).

Duncan0003Oh, that bathroom...  When we first bought our house, it was a two-family:  the lower unit included one upstairs bedroom, and the upper was the remainder of the upstairs.  We occupied the lower, so I didn't ever see much of this room.  I did know that one wall was papered with flocked wallpaper (every room in the house had one papered wall) -- olive green flocking on a metallic gold background.  Kinda '60s foyer-ish, not bathroom-ish -- at any point in time!  I stripped the flocked paper sometime between tenants.  And a couple of years ago, we did a near total overhaul -- the tub and toilet were all that remained of the original.  Heh, that tub ain't never goin' nowhere -- it must weigh a ton!

I knit a very little bit, but mostly tried to keep my eyes open during a family viewing of "The Terminal" last night.  Soooooo sleeeeeepy.  Oh yeah, say howdy to Duncan and don't even ask me why there's another cat in my house... but isn't he cute?


Hearts are heavy in Salt Lake City; Margene had sad news this morning.  The devastation of the tsunami, half a world away, is unbelievably far-reaching.  For over a week, the family of a friend of my sister's in NW Wisconsin awaited news from a family member vacationing in Thailand.  They finally had word from her yesterday; she'd been completely unaware of events, having gone on an expedition far into the mountains.  I hope more stories end that way.

Hugs & Kisses Sock pattern, proceeds to Oxfam; Eyelet Rib Wristlets pattern, proceeds to Unicef; Mittens Without Borders incentive, benefitting Doctors Without Borders.

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