Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kiss Me

I'm Six!
Holli is the most wonderful Golden Retriever ever. She seems lost in the shuffle these days with the presence of a new kitty in the house. But Holli remains loyal and wonderful to her humans and to her cats. Today she is six and we can only hope for at least six more puppy-filled years.

Happy Birthday Holli!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's The Name

Waiting to see some beautiful pictures of all the fabulous wool I've spun into lovely yarn since my first lesson on Saturday?Yea - I'm that good! And never being one to take myself all that seriously, I'm thinking that perhaps I jinxed myself with the blog name.I don't know about you - but that looks wound just a little too tight!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Two More Gifts and a Box

Birthday - still not over. But I'm hoping that Sunday night's dinner at my sister-in-law's house was the last of it. Really, I'm just as sick of it as you are. I did score a few things over the weekend that are worth noting however. My father-in-law, who did an awesome job with the Christmas present this year, took a big chance on this. I call in a noise machine, but Brookstone calls it a "Tranquil Moments Sound Therapy System". It rocks! It has noises to fall asleep and noises to rejuvenate. Some night I may, just for fun, listen to the rejuvenate noise while trying to sleep and see what happens. Seriously - this is way better than falling asleep to "Law and Order" reruns!

From Guinifer - that little darling of sock yarn enablers and now renamed "Precious Present Purveyor", gorgeous Oceanwinds sock yarn and Persephone's Sock Pattern (saving me hours of scouring your Ravelry queues for just the right pattern!) Thank you so very much G! (Not her real initial!)
Jon also treated himself recently. To what I'm not sure - face it, I'm never sure what comes in all the boxes of stuff he gets. He probably feels the same about my stuff. All I know is it came in a big box.
Which has taken over the front hall. And has become some one's new playground and secret lair.
Mind you - like all creatures of this species - she has no thumbs. She had to carry this EMPTY (before you all yell at me) prescription bottle in her mouth and jump into the box.
Same with the spatula - a new favorite toy. She carries it everywhere. Don't let that dog nose fool you - Holli was no help here. Again with the no thumbs deal.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Yesterday ...

... Amy hosted a lovely afternoon of knitting and conversation and laughter. I only captured one side of the room but I think someone else got the other side.
Renee, (the one with the REALLY good movie reviews!!), Connie and Christy,
Deepa and Anne. This is where you get to respond back with your blog because I didn't quite catch it! Oh, and Deepa - you left wearing someone else's boots. Call Amy to arrange a boot meet up and exchange.
Leaving off at Christy, we have another Deb and intentionally blogless Marge. She is a knitter and my new best friend-goddess-spinner. This in know way makes her any more of a goddess or more of a new best friend than my other new best friend and goddess, Shelley, who became my spinning Coach (better title than teacher) on Saturday. But that's a story for another day. Or if you are Chris and Jeanne, it's probably a story for another blog I'm guessing.
This the back of a Mystery Persons head. Isn't her hair beautiful. It smells really lovely too. All the time. That's her lovely shawl under her beautiful hair. Through some transfer process, her shawl smells really good too. Behind her is headless Amy.

But the best moment for me (and after all, it is my blog, therefore, all about me) was getting to meet another BBFIAKIHBNMIP (Best Blog Friend I Always Knew I Had But Never Met In Person). This was as good as when I met Vicki in person, only then I had to go to Eau Claire and Vicki had to go to Eau Claire. This time Kathy had to drive really far (from WISCONSIN) and I only had to go 5 miles. This is one lovely lady. Everything I expected her to be. I think we're twins! Plus she's best friends with Brad Pitt. I think she liked me.

Thank you, Amy! It was a really wonderful afternoon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

To Me, From Me

It's no big secret that I purchased a little bit of yarn at the new yarn store while out visiting on Wednesday. But it was just two things: ten of one thing and one of another. Yes, that might sound like eleven things, but it's not. Trust me.Hacho, from Marisol Yarns in color 300. I liked this sweater but didn't think I needed to spend $20.00 to buy the book to make a 3x3 ribbed cardigan. Maybe because I have this handy, dandy software to do the hard work for me. There, saved $20.00 plus tax. Second purchase was a lovely skein of Kureyon Sock yarn in S92. I scoured the Internet, Ravelry, Chris' project queue, for hours about two minutes and found the perfect pattern for this yarn.
There, saved tons of time. Which I'm going to need. The Wollemeise inspector is here. Looks like I have some chasing to do.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Still Celebrating

In an effort to drag out the birthday celebration for as long as possible, I spent a lovely afternoon lunching and "new yarn storing" with Amy and Miss T. Traveling really far out of my 5 mile comfort zone (into NE Minneapolis!!) we met at Gardens Of Salonica for a fabulous Greek lunch. We all tried different things and there wasn't anything bad on the table. Since Mr. wouldn't eat Greek food if he was starving, it was such a treat for me.

And then there were treats for me. From Amy:

This really crappy picture of an absolutely gorgeous skein of Wollmeise in colorway "Bob". "Marley" we surmised. No - I really got the yarn - just took the crappy picture. I have never, ever, even touched or seen in person the Wollmeise before. I like this birthday!

Here's a little bit better picture. When I see beautifully dyed yarn like this, I always think: "I could do that." Then I think "But why, when it's already there and ready to use!"

From Miss T, two skeins of Panda Silk. We had a good laugh over this as the label indicates that the silk content is 5%, while bamboo is 52% and merino wool is 43%. We decided we didn't care because it's lusciously soft just the same.
Then a special little treasure bee-cause you can't have too many tape measures. Shortly after this picture was taken, the tape measure was snatched up and lovingly placed in the secret kitty lair. Alas, I didn't get a picture.
Really - do you think the traditional cultural handicrafts of Vietnam included making bumble bee covers for plastic tape measures? Thank you Miss T.
The we went "new yarn storing" to a lovely store - Bella Lana . We were all attracted to the Italian Greyhound (Enzo) who was quite at home in the sunny front window. The store itself was wonderful; bright, sunny, clean, nice staff. They would need a lot more sock yarn to get me back there though.

What bag?? Oh that bag? That's nothing. Just some stuff I picked up. I'll have to show it to you another day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The long weekend provided plenty of time to knit on "Cobblestone". It's been quite a while since I've started a sweater - Rogue was my last one and I think that was three years ago. I'm feeling the beginnings of a commitment-phobia coming on. I've knit just about 8 inches into the body which is about half way. Just when it hits. The pattern is simple enough at this point, Round and round, breaks of garter stitch at the sides to keep you awake. And I have to keep going because it's for Jon. And I have to save my strength for when I get to the short-rows in the yoke - oh, and the sleeves.I'm OK with the Wool of the Andes in Chestnut. It's really more chocolaty brown that chestnuty. So, it's smooth, and chocolate, and round, and shiny and all I can think about are those damn chocolate donuts from Sunday morning . . . the ones that went "missing"! Then I remembered this little treasure from my very dear friend Amy, who loves a good chocolate donut as much as the next person. Now I'm speed knitting through this sweater, renamed "Chocolatestone" because I can't wait to see my little chocolate donut to remind me of how funny that whole thing was.
And thank goodness those brain trusts in charge of the school district gave the children this coming Friday off too! Who knows how many times I can see the donut with another three day weekend!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday Breakfast

Let me just tell you how this went down. I figure the scones, in the hard plastic package, were the first to come down. The teethmarks would indicate that they tried desperately to gain access into that package. The four chocolate doughnuts (selected especially by the other two human members of the family for their Sunday breakfast) in the white bag were then easy prey.

"Keep your eyes open for the people, Holli - I'll let you know when it's your turn!"
"Let's just check, make sure we didn't leave anything in the bag. Who knows when they'll ever get around to feeding us or if they'll even remember to feed us!"

"Yep. Looks like we did a pretty good number on these doughnuts. If the man had just left his coffee cup somewhere close by - now that - THAT - would have been great!"

"Don't worry Sammy - I'll get these crumbs. Mom really hates it when we leave a mess."

My guess - Kathryn won't leave stuff on the counter after making hot chocolate in the microwave again.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Just in Time

With our high temperatures expected to be in the -5 to 0 degree range over the next few days, I couldn't be more excited to have these finished. I love, love, love these mittens! They are as much fun to knit as they are to look at. And since I'm venturing our in the world today, I can't wait to wear them.
Bird in Hand Mittens by Kate Gilbert; knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Lite, #4275 Pea Soup Mix and #4201 Cream; knit using Addi Turbo 32" circular #3 and KnitPicks 32" circular #3 started January 3, 2008; completed January 17, 2008; modifications: I used a DK weight yarn rather than a worsted as called for. I am much happier with this result.

I first saw these mittens at Margene's and knew I had to try my hand. Since then, I've had my head buried in my new copy of Selbuvotter, or my old copy of Latvian Mittens, to find my next project. Or perhaps, some blank knitter's graph paper and some doodles....
Thank you all for the good thoughts on the shingles. It appears as though it will be a relatively minor outbreak and that it was caught in the early stages when anti-virals do their best work. Mind over matter! Stay warm - mind over matter again!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Tale of Two Sweaters

I really owe Jon a sweater. He asks for so little and that's pretty much what he gets.I promised one several years back and I've made several earnest attempts at this sweater in a lovely brown Manos wool.

I think most of you know that that is neither Jon, nor the completed sweater. This is as far as I've gotten:

The problem I'm running into is the thick/thin construction of the Manos is making for very sloppy cables. And It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the sweater in question is all cables - which I'm perfectly comfortable knitting. I think I was talked into a bad yarn choice (and I WAS talked into it).

So, bring in the Wool of the Andes in a warm chocolate brown. Sure, a good substitute and I could whip this sweater out in a month or two --- or three.

But what if I used the WOTA and made this sweater instead? This I could do in a few days - or a week or two.

Which moves this up higher in the queue. Or --- or to get back into the sweater mood, I could do this first, then knit Jon's when the sweater mojo is back?

No! Jon comes first. If for no other reason than it looks like some else found the yarn stash with her sharp little fangs. But maybe The Cobblestone would look better in a tweedy looking Wool of the Andes yarn and then I could use the chocolate brown for a Central Park Hoodie while I wait for new yarn?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Few Random Bits

  • I got up extra early this morning (5:30 A freaking M) to be able to take Kathryn to school and then make an 8:00 physical therapy appointment across town. I was actually happy when I learned that it had been cancelled because I was already showered and dressed and wouldn't have to waste time when I got home to do all that. Somehow that just seems whack to me!
  • Before we could bring Sammy home, she had numerous treatments for the fungal infection, ringworm (not actually a worm). She had it really bad and there was a chance she might be un-adoptable. She was shaved twice so that she could be dipped for treatment. She was finally cleared of this infection so that we could bring her home. When a quarter-sized itchy, painful, red patch appeared on my neck over the weekend, I began watching it. I watched it all weekend and then started looking up "itchy red patch in a ring" on webmd and convinced myself I had ringworm (again, not a worm!). To further prove to myself that Sammy would have to be sent to a horrible place and I would have to send a note to school informing all the parents that their children had been exposed to ringworm (which they would all assume WAS a worm) I went to Urgent Care last night. I was so completely thrilled and elated to learn that the itchy red patch on my neck was NOT ringworm, that I had to have the nice doctor explain several times just how serious shingles could be and just how miserable I'm likely to feel for the next several weeks. But Sammy's OK and we don't have to give her back - isn't that great!!
  • Finally, the "Secret Kitty Lair" and this morning's contents are revealed:
  • The drain stop from the kitchen sink, a red carnation, and a pencil. I'm not touching it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What's In Your Microwave?

This new kitty is everywhere. And steals everything. First it was just my kitchen sponges. Cute. Now, it's dinner. Sunday night she got into the bowl of bread cubes for the fondue and helped herself. What she couldn't eat, she plopped over the edge of the table for Holli. The rest of the loaf of bread was rescued before being hauled off to the "secret kitty lair", where my lost sponges must be! Later that evening, Jon found the last piece of flour-less chocolate cake, tucked under a sweater he picked up on his way upstairs. Um - if I had remembered it was still on the counter I would have eaten it. This afternoon I saw her scamper away with a fork and a chicken breast - although not at the same time.

So now I've resorted to this. Everything it the kitchen that looks, smells, or feels like food, has to be locked up. I swear, we didn't child-proof the house this much for Kathryn. Not sure what I'll do when I have to use the microwave. (Don't freak - I'm thawing the ground beef - I don't usually keep it out all the time.)
Before you tell me that she's so sweet and innocent - look what she did to a package of brownie mix on Monday morning while I was taking Kathryn to school:

Sweet, innocent - with freaking sharp little snicketty-snicket teeth.
I hope she can't learn how to press the "Open" button. Or the "Start" button for that matter.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What do ponies eat?

Because of the weird schedules around here, Jon, Kathryn and I had our small, family birthday celebration last night. We had some awesome cheese fondue followed by our favorite dessert of pound cake, slathered in warm vanilla pudding with chocolate chips.
There were token gifts (as the big bash was really quite enough!). In fact, I've been sworn to secrecy on the "token-ness" of the gifts and I'm keeping that promise. I made no such promise with Kathryn and asked her permission to share this with you. This gift itself cost very little. However, little, the reaction, the memory it holds and will carry forward, are indeed, priceless.

Her own words, in front of 100 people, December 29, 2007.
Mom’s 50th Birthday Speech

First of all, thank you all for coming to help my family and I celebrate my mom’s birthday. My mom, as you know is a very loving and kind person, and if she wasn’t, you probably wouldn’t be here this evening! My mom has been with me my entire life, and has supported me in an uncountable number of ways. She has always been there to carry my dad and I through good and hard times. When we are sad or hurt, she is there to tell us that we will get through this. When we are happy, she is always there to celebrate with us. My mom is a wonderful role model to me. She is strong, wise, and strives to do her best. I think of my dad and I like a flower and my mom as the stem. The flower cannot live without the stem, just like my dad and I wouldn’t do so well with out my mom…(no offense Dad!). The stem brings water to the flower, just like my mom provides us with what we need. The stem holds the flower up in any condition, rain or shine. Just like my mom supports my dad and me through hard times and good times.

My mom is very involved in my life. As if she wasn’t busy enough, being my
personal chauffeur (don’t worry Mom, 16 is only 5 years away!), she still has time to be involved in my school, church and community. My Mom is always asking me if she is a good mom. I always answer, “Yes, of course!” I mean, she must have done something right, because look at me!

And before I forget, Thank you, Mom and I love you T & B. Happy Birthday, Mom!

I'm off to buy her a pony, or a car, or to get that kid from High School Musical to arrange a date with my daughter. I mean what would you do?

Friday, January 11, 2008


A is for Alpaca
Pure wool is often too itchy for me so I usually am drawn to alpaca or alpaca blends. It didn't surprise me then when I found this representative sampling of the alpaca in my stash.
Berroco Ultra Alpaca Lite;colors 4275 Pea Soup Mix, 4201 Winter white. I'm using this for the Bird in the Hands Mittens - one of which is finished!
Misti Alpaca Lace; colors 7300 Maize, VD8305, RJ2004. You really don't need much of this to qualify it as a stash. Plus, there are probably 4 balls of Natural White stashed somewhere from the Un-Mystery Shawl, and 2 Mauve left over from when I decided that some other shawl was just fine the way it was.Misti Alpaca Worsted; color 2105 Moss Gray Melange. I bought this for the Veste Everest from Interweave Fall 2005. If yarn were cheese, this would almost be expired!
Araucania Atacama; color 507. I have had a love /hate relationship with this yarn. I loved it when I bought it; then I sort of went sour on it. Now - now that I really want to use it for the Pinwheel Sweater, I think I need to scrounge around the Internet for a few more skeins. Damn - I hate this yarn again.

Oh - but look at it......