Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday Finished Object (aka MOFO)

These will be saved for St. Patrick's Day. Now I'm working on red ones for Valentine's Day.

Why, yes, I *do* know February comes before March. Why do you ask?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Swag and such

So I finished the dreaded second square, and it actually looks somewhat okay:

With the stunning backdrop of my white Gmac, and those ratty wires, who *wouldn't* love it??

I haven't seen anyone else's squares, yet. Can't wait, either. Oh, is that my nose getting longer??

And I got my ALPACA. I bought it from the ever wonderful Fricknits who was de-stashing. Ten luscious skeins, which now I have to find just the right pattern for. I'm very tempted to begin my first lace-ish shawl. The color is a soft, buttery yellow, and I think it would be gorgeous for a spring wrap. Now, if I only had some idea where *cough-knitty-cough* to find a shawl *cough-harlot-cough* pattern. . . .

I plan on staying in the house all weekend, finishing the sock, frogging the mitten (it's *still* too big!) and perusing my patterns. I will also make a giant pot of sauce, and maybe even beef stew. Mmmm. If you're good, you can have a recipe, 'kay?

Speaking of Kay, she's writing about turning 49. Honey, I'll be there in two weeks - wanna shop for support hose together?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Knitting as a Rescue Operation


I've been having a health concern lately, and got an appointment to see someone official at 4 pm today. Like a good girl, I showed up 10 minutes early for paperwork, co-pay, and use the little girl's room (which looks remarkably like the little boy's room!).

Did I say 4:00 appointment?

Can you say 4:57 pm?????? I knew that you could.

Thank heavens I brought the sock with me. It poked out of my little bag just hanging off my wrist, made a great conversation starter during the blood-pressure routine, and it kept me company during the boring wait. I got quite a bit of it done. (How much? How about three-quarters of a leg? Yeah. That much.)

Well, that sock now has all sorts of good karma associated with it, because an EKG is thoroughly normal, everything sounds terrific, and the doctor is not at all concerned. At. All.

So, yeah. Green has always been one of my favorite colors, and now I know it has mysterious powers of healing, as well. Or is it the sock shape as a talisman? Or the needles acting as a reverse dream-catcher? Whatever.

Our family visit this weekend was really terrific. Not one tense moment for anyone, the food was fab, and DH and I are now the proud owners of a S'mores/Fondue Kit, plus graham crackers and marshmallows. What a great thing I'll be able to trot out for snowy days with the girls.

Hey, if you have a Wegman's Supermarket near you, I'll give you a tip: They have a jarred chocolate-raspberry dessert sauce that is WONDERFUL heated up and poured over chocolate pound cake. Whipped cream doesn't hurt, either. Ask me how I know.

The next square of matzoh will be worked on this week. Bet you can't wait for the photo!! Yeah, that's what I thought.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wow, that was the fastest week that ever was!

Well, I finished the first square of hell:

Really, doesn't this remind you of a giant rice cake? Or a matzoh?

And I only have to do two more!

But as a powerful antidote, I did finish:

And cast on for the second one. I took a picture, but it's so blurry it looks like it's moving on its own, and as far as I know, knitting doesn't do that.

I also cast on for a pair of mittens, but instead of 7 stitches to the inch, I got a healthy 6. Rip, rip, rip the chipmunks! (anybody know what I'm referring to????) Recast with a size two, which I didn't think was possible with Patons wool. These should be some toasty mitts!

This has been a really good week at school. All the lessons are going well, instrumental students are rounding that corner of self-confidence and getting happy with the sounds they produce, and two new kids want to sign up for learning an instrument. All-in-all, pretty darn good.

We're having family in tomorrow for a delayed Christmas celebration. On the menu: fruit and cheese platter for the nibbles, then ham, green beans, carrots, biscuits, mashed potatoes (DH insists), and chocolate cake for after. They haven't been to our home in three years, so this will be a nice change. And it looks to be cold enough for the fireplace!

Hope you all have a lurvely weekend.

Monday, January 15, 2007

It is, too, easy being green

Well, yes, I did go a *bit* past two rounds. But you see, I was having my private fight with the demons known as (looks furtively over shoulder and whispers hoarsely) homespun.

Here's the state of the sock as she now exists:

This is a yarn that I bought in Lancaster County, PA; it's from Labadie Looms, and they have a nice rack in the middle of the store with all these hanks of handpainted sock yarn; it's a tiny bit rough while I'm working with it, but when it's washed, it is delightful for the foots.

Here she is again:

(Yeah, I'm so totally just trying to practice the photography stuff. It's a Kodak Easy Share. 'Nuff said.)

Thank you for the comments, whether thought or typed. It is the last chapter in the saga, and I was reluctant to put it out there. But this blogging? Always on my mind, like a little outlet to say what I have all mushed up inside of me in a somewhat straightforward way. And the best part is, there isn't a pair of eyes opposite mine getting that deer in the headlights look and praying I'll end this story as quickly as possible. The Hubby and the Girls are wonderful, but how patient do they need to be? It's my wound, I need to itch it in private. Well, semi-private.

So yeah, the homespun hell. Is there a more splitty, squeaky, unpleasant yarn out there? I kid you not, it took me ELEVEN freakin' tries to get a gague that wouldn't require knitting with two logs I pulled outta the woodpile. As it is, I'm using 10 1/2 US needles and I hate the result. I'll be interested to see if anyone else is having problems with this, or if they'll insist that the yarn is fine, it must be me. Then I'll KNOW they're lying!

It was nice to have a day off from school with the Girls; they're still off tomorrow while I go back. I love my job, but I really love staying home, too - makes for good knitting time. Those pesky people at school just don't understand that knitting time should really be worked into everyone's school schedule. Just think how happy we'd all be if we had a full 40-minute period for the solitude and serenity of knitting.

ah. . . . .

Friday, January 12, 2007

Closing Time

That's what today was. Today was the closing on my father's house. My beloved father who passed away in June, and whom I desperately miss. Coincidentally, yesterday was the anniversary of my mother's death. This has not been an easy week for me, even though yarn still does make me happy.

By the way, the socks won. Of course they did. What do we turn to when we need that comfort food of wool? Those easy, familiar, friendly, not demanding or stress-making socks that fit into your bag and go with you everywhere and are like a comforting cup of tea. They are green. Ish. When I have more than two rounds on them, I'll take a photo.

Our knitting group at work is making blocks for an afghan to be raffled, and they chose the yarn I despise most in the world - the homespun. It is unbearable yarn to me, but it is for charity and who am I to belittle somebody's choice in life?

If you have a moment, could you just send an uplifting thought my way? You don't have to write anything. Just think it. It'll get here.


Thursday, January 11, 2007


It's one of those days, one of those feelings, one of those posts. I'll pause and look discretely the other way if you'd like to slip out of the blog before the whining starts.

I finished the scarf, and it's way too short for DH. He does have a rather large neck, but I thought the length would be fine for just tucking into the collar of the coat. I had each of the girls try it on, and they both thought it was nice and warm (also the perfect length) but after 20 seconds they both said "wow, this is itchy." Quickly followed by "Why don't YOU wear it, Mom?" Mom bought the same yarn in blue for herself, but now she's not going to make a scarf. Let's see, I think I need to find those wrist-warmer patterns.

School today was bleah, too. Difficult classes, kids were SO chatty and fell all over themselves interrupting. First and second grade are usually my bright spots, but today I just couldn't wait for them to be over.

There's a big issue involving my sister, and it would depress me MORE to go into it. Suffice it to say there isn't a nerve left in my body that she hasn't twanged.

And I'm using a Mac on Blogger, and I can't do bold, italic, or any other cutesy-poo stuff, so all my angst is being stifled into ordinary complaining, when clearly it is just so much more.

Now. Do I start another pair of socks, the wrist warmers in blue alpaca, or a cashmere scarf? Which one is more likely to make me happy? Hey, it's all yarn so it's all good. Eeny, meeny, miney, mo. . . .

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

. . . shiver. . . .

Yay! We had sweater weather today! My neck forgot what it felt like to be encased in a turtleneck, much less be surrounded by a scarf - now it's happy. Well, as happy as a neck can be; I guess it has the potential for as much happiness as, say, my elbow.

So, the scarf? Eighteen inches. That's it. It's still grey, still soft, still ribbed. No photo needed. Plus, the fewer pictures I can do with the basic camera we have, the better. Close-ups? Ya gotta be kiddin' me!

And the lesson plans? Smooth sailing so far. All four grade levels are doing well, and I actually feel more organized now then when I do them week by week.

I better stop. I don't want anybody in the universe thinking I've had more than my share of nice things today and start mysteriously unravelling my scarf. Ouch.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Sixty-seven degrees and I'm knitting a scarf

It's January 6th, Three Kings Day, and I'm wearing a T-shirt. Dudes, I *never* wear a T-shirt in January! I'm jonesing to get some sweater action going!

However, I have started DH's scarf.

I'm using Berroco Ultra Alpaca in color 6207, size US6 needles, in a reverse rib pattern. Mindless pattern, wonderful yarn, very soothing. A nice break from socks, and will be excellent during tomorrow's very long car ride.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Oh, we're up to number two (sox, that is)

Hey, I did it. Finished the sox AND managed to do a picture.

The first sock (on the left) was great - loved the diagonal striping and the hits of yellow. But the mate? Not so much, matey. I wound the yarn so carefully and started in the same place as the first one, and I got mega pools of yellow stripes, like a raspberry bumble-bee. They're still kinda nice looking, but It's More Yellow, know what I mean?

Now I'm in a tizzy. Do I knit the wool scarf DH asked for? Or do I start something with the luscious Blueberry Cashmere I just got in the mail?

What to do, what to do......

Time for a cuppa, don'tcha think?

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Oh, we're up to number one and the fun has just begun!

I absolutely love January.

That new blank calendar. The tons of leftover food which means no frenetic "ohmygoshwhatwillwehavefordinnertonightlookslikeit'spastanomomnotagain!" The breathing space between the Holiday Concert and the solo/competition time in March.

Granted, I did not love January when the alarm went off at 6:15 this morning. But once I got to work, it was GO time! I got everything done that I wanted to accomplish, nothing threw a monkey wrench in my path, and it all just felt good.

That's why I don't make resolutions. January is a little gift that comes after the gift-giving season, when life is calm and I am enjoying the serenity of early winter evenings.

Why spoil that with a list that points out how rotten I am and what all needs fixing? Nope, not me.

And the second sock is almost done. Yep, January's good.