Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunshine and fishing in December

I had a wonderful weekend. There was lots of knitting, spending time with DH and sunshine - lots of sunshine, at least on some days.

DH, as you might have gathered from other posts, is a fisherman. He fishes like I knit. That puts it into perspective. Every time I find myself thinking that he's crazy, I think of my knitting and how he doesn't even flinch when he sees how many knitting bags I pack to go away, or that I pack my knitting before my clothes. On Christmas Day, while preparing the holiday roast (how can you not love a man who cooks for you?) he was bemoaning the fact that it was supposed to be warm - in the 50's or possibly 60's on Friday and Saturday but he wasn't going fishing. We discussed the ins and outs of that situation for a while and came up with a plan. I am not crazy enough to be willing to be on the water all day in December but I am willing to drive for a few hours so he can do that. We agreed that I would get up (on my day off) at 5:15 AM on Saturday and drive him (he can still drive but not in the dark) to southern Maryland so he could spend the day freezing, trying to catch an elusive striped predator, better known as a striped bass. I did my research and found a yarn store in the near vicinity, printed up directions, packed my knitting and reading for the day and was ready to go.

I had a wonderful day. I dropped off son and husband at the launch ramp with the boat and went off in search of a yarn store. I found my way to Crazy for Ewe.

Ellen, the owner, was very gracious, and we had a nice conversation while I browsed. And yes, I did make a purchase. I always purchase something when I visit a new store. I passed a delightful hour and a half browsing in the store and then knitting on a bench on the square in town, basking in the sun. I left when I began to feel chilly sitting still (the shade had reached me) and headed back to Point Lookout State Park.

I stopped to enjoy the Prisoners of War Monument

There are many beautiful flags flying from those flag poles but the wind would not cooperate with my photographic efforts.

This is the Point Lookout Lighthouse.

I played with my camera.

I knitted on my Lace Ribbon Scarf and I started my Honka scarf - double knitting !! I have never successfully done any double knitting, but I persevered and this worked! I am using one skein of cascade 220 in black and two balls of Noro silk garden. I haven't knitted very far so I can't really tell how the color changes will look with this colorway, but I will be entertained as I wait. It definitely requires concentration so this will not be knit with anyone around me.

I met the guys as they came back to the dock with - yes, a striped bass! 39.5 inches (I don't want to you to think that size matters at all. LOL) We took pictures,

unloaded the boat,pulled it out of the water and off we went. We were tired by the time we got home (actually, I was tired - each of the guys had plenty of time for napping since I drove) but it was a great day and I didn't mind at all.

Sunday was a sleep in day, followed by some cleaning up of leftover Christmas stuff and some laundry, then football! The last of the regular season. There were some excellent games to watch, the best being (IMHO) the Ravens game. GO RAVENS!!!! Off to the playoffs!

Today is Monday and back to work. It was so hard to leave the house this morning, but I had an appointment, so I had to come in. Two days (possibly 2.5) and I will be off for a long weekend again. I plan to savor it. Enjoy, and have a safe New Year

ETA I wrote this post on Monday but it took me until Wednesday evening to get the photos uploaded. I worked from home today for a few hours. We kept having computer connectivity problems due to the high winds. After my info was lost once and the lights kept flickering, I decided to wait until another day to get that work done.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas to all

Santa visited our house and was very generous. We were all healthy, spent the evening with good friends, good food and had many gifts to to open. There are things to hope for next year - like my eldest son having a job. He's been out of work for a month now. It's tough. My husband is on disability from work, and we hope he gets the approval to get SS disability soon so we can stop wondering and get on with life. Our friend Steve has some health issues that need to be taken care of and I hope that there are no complications while he waits for the inner strength to do what he needs to do. Those are my wishes for next year.

On Christmas morning we opened the gifts we had saved from the night before, and then just took it easy all day. DH was cooking the roast for dinner but had time to relax and read. Reading is, aside from fishing, his favorite recreational activity. It will be so hard on him when he can't read anymore. His vision continues to deteriorate and normal vision aids depend on voice and hearing. He is mostly deaf and wears hearing aids on both sides that are somewhat helpful but just not enough.

One of my gifts was a tripod for my camera, so I played around with that for a while. I knitted and read through my new knitting books, and played with the knitting notions I received from Brian's SO. Brian LOVED his new vest, BTW. He purposely wore a shirt that he hoped would "look good under a grey vest if someone should happen to give me one". Someone did, and there were compliments all around. Compliments that included that good/bad phrase "It looks like you bought it in a store" that I never know how to respond to. LOL.

I knitted on my lace ribbon scarf mostly, because I wanted to knit on a project that I enjoyed, not one that I had to knit on to get it finished. We had a yummy beef rib roast for dinner. Bob made green beans, and we were looking for something to put in them to add to the taste in place of sliced almonds. I suggested red peppers. Bob was doubtful, but tried it and they were so good! A nice, fresh, crisp bit of flavor added to the green beans. We were so full from the roast and side dishes that we didn't even make the apple pie for dessert!

Tomorrow morning we will be headed to Southern Maryland for - you guessed it - some fishing. It is supposed to be near 60 and Bob really wants one last try. We will drive together, but I will wait for him on shore once he launches the boat. I am not interested in spending my day on the water, getting so cold that I can't even knit. We'll have the several hours each way of driving time together and that will have to be enough. I plan to bring several knitting projects with me to stay busy while waiting, and an audio book to listen to. Now that I have Brian's vest completed, I feel free to start something new, so I might be swatching tomorrow.

I purchased a Philips MP3 player the other day so I could download audiobooks through my library's free loan system, but the one I got is not compatible with the system, so I will return it and try to find an inexpensive one that is compatible. That was a disappointment, I'll tell you. I am tired of borrowing audiobooks from the library and missing entire sections of the story because the CD is scratched or the tape is mutilated. I really want this download system to work.

I woke this morning with pretty severe muscle spasms in my back. I am off now to do more stretching and maybe get another application of Icy Hot to the area. this hurts and makes it painful to do anything. Have a great day, all.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and peace to all

Have a wonderful holiday and may you find peace in your heart if not in the world.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This is what we woke up to this morning.

It is actually very pretty if you don't have to go anywhere in it. I didn't, thank goodness.

I did go walking with Karen in the afternoon, though. The ice had melted and the sun came out. Then it was football and knitting for the rest of the day.

Football Saturday night was AWESOME!!! Go Ravens!!!!!

The vest for Brian was finished and blocked on Sunday. The Fetching Mitts that were knitted for Christmas gifts were blocked (and dried over the heat vents to help with timely drying). The I-cord edging on my vest was ripped out (partially - it wasn't cooperative and I needed to watch the game) in preparation for re-knitting. The Wavy scarf was worked on, as was the Ribbon scarf. All in all, a pretty good day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

How many days until Christmas?

Well, I haven't been here lately but I have been busy.

Most of our holiday shopping is done but there are still a few things to pick up and I am not quite sure when that is going to happen. We host Christmas Eve at our house and have food shopping and prep to do, though our friends, as always, have offered to help. I got the gifts that we have purchased wrapped tonight. I enjoy doing that, but by the time I finish my back is usually aching. Well, it's only once a year.

We visited my Mom last weekend in NY. We also visited with my brother after he had surgery on his cervical spine to replace some discs and fuse a couple of vertebrae. Another brother had a holiday party and the timing worked out for us to be able to attend that as well. He played Santa for the kids that were there.

We exchanged gifts with Mom and she seemed happy with her gifts. She got me a pair of gold earrings, which was just what I wanted. We toned down the buying this year and I personally am very happy about it. I am not religious at all anymore (despite 12 years of Catholic education) but I do try to make this a season of thinking of others and giving. It just doesn't all have to be giving things. Time is very often more important. I plan to make more time for my Mom - she seems to be missing me more these days. It's a 4 hour drive each way and I can manage that once every 6 weeks or so I think.

I have been knitting, also. I have just one thumb to knit on my last pair of Fetching mitts. I have about 3/4 of a pair of ribbed fingerless mitts (another gift) to finish up. Those were started last weekend and I completed one in less than a day but then worked on other things. I am making Wavy with the same yarn that I used for my hat. (photo over the weekend, I hope). I am very happy with how my lace ribbon scarf is progressing.

Brian's vest is bound off at the bottom ribbing, and one sleeve opening has been edged. One more and the neck, a few ends to weave in (I have been doing a few at a time) and it will be ready to block and wear. Yippee!

I am going to sign off now and knit a few more rows. DH has been down in southern Maryland fishing (yes, in December) and I hope he will be home soon. I will try to stay awake until then. I seem to not be able to get enough sleep lately.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Can we ban perfume from places of business?

I have allergies. They are not severe. I do not, for instance, have an anaphylactic reaction to anything or break out in hives. But many scents bother me. My eyes itch, get dry (the dryness happens just from the heat being on), my nasal passages get all clogged and I sometimes get a headache. There is just enough to really annoy me but not be life threatening.

I work in an office in a health care facility. Even though I am in the office area and not providing patient care, I still feel that there should be more concern in this type of place for others. Why do people need to wear perfume at all (never mind some pretty strong stuff) to the workplace? I suppose I am just being overly sensitive but I am tired of feeling this way every day at work.

Enough bi***ing. Sorry.

Last night I worked on Brian's vest. The ribbing at the bottom has about an inch of the dark grey (the color of the vest), 3 rows of light grey, 2 rows of the blue and one of the green that is in the stripe across the chest and 3 more rows of the light grey. I will have to knit a little more of the dark grey ribbing to finish it off and then it will be time for neck and arm hole edging. Yippee! I can taste this FO.

I resurrected the hat that I made with yarn that I dyed last year, took out the bind off and decreases and I am adding more length to the hat. It was short enough that it didn't stay down over my ears comfortably. Once the hat is finished (again) I will start on the matching scarf. I haven't decided yet whether to do a reversible cable pattern or just ribbing. I think the colors will hide the cabling, but I won't know until I try. No photos of the hat.

I was able to get some good photos while the sun was shining.

Here are the Fetching Fingerless Mitts I have been working on.

The Lace Ribbon Scarf.

Bob's sweater

Here is the seed stitch vest

and a close up of the I-cord edging

I was able to get my stash in from the shed and do my inventory/clean out that I have been hoping to get to for a while now. I had so many partial balls or even some single balls that weren't enough to do anything with or fibers that I won't use. I am sure that someone would take those various yarns and combine them to make something beautiful, but I have finally accepted that I won't. I probably held onto more than I should have for a real purge but I was able to get rid of more than I thought. A lot went into the trash but a good amount will go to some one or place that can put it to good use. It's sorted differently now, too. I never used to sort by weight, only by "summer" or "winter". Now I have a bin of cotton yarn, a bin of worsted weight (non-cotton) a bin of blankets in the works (there are only 2 but they take up space) combined with some novelty yarns I didn't want to part with. Those will go back out to the shed. The 2 inside storage containers now contain 1) my sock yarn and 2) my lace weight with one or two other things thrown in.

Something I learned last night - I DO NOT need to purchase any more sock yarn. Not that I don't want more, but that is not where my limited (and shrinking) yarn budget should go. I also have a bit of lace weight, though not nearly as much. I really need to concentrate my purchases on sweater quantities.

I did enjoy myself last night, going through all of that loverly yarn. I thought some (not too much or I would not have finished the job and the cats would have had a field day today) about what I would like each thing to become. Potential is a wonderful thing.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

SNOW!!!! We have snow!!!!

It's not much and probably wouldn't even be noticed by many of you living in other areas, but I love snow so much that any amount is exciting. This is the snow last night on our waterfall to the water garden in our front yard. Just a dusting, but more than they had predicted and, as I said, I don't need much to be excited and want to go out and "play".

I took a lot more pictures but I don't have a tripod so most of them didn't come out well. during the day today we had more snow and more importantly, daylight, so I took more photos. This is some snow settled on the ice and leaves in the water garden.

Leaves against the snow. On the ground below the leaves you can see the tracks left by the leaves and twigs that are scuttling all over, blown by the wind that is very strong today.

More tracks left by leaves and twigs in the snow. Pretty, aren't they?

My son's cat wanted very much to go explore. Actually, he always wants to go out. It's an ongoing battle with him. Today I decided to let him out to see what he thought of the snow. He ran out the door and slid on the deck, not expecting it to be so slippery. He needs snow paws, I think. But once he was in the yard on the grass and snow, he had better traction. He's still not sure what he thinks of this white stuff, though.

Our outdoor decorations at night

The dear look nice in the daylight, too, I think, with the bright red bows.

The weather today is very windy, with occasional snow squalls that pass through and make being outside truly uncomfortable with the wind and snow blowing in your face. Karen and I postponed our walk from 9 AM. We'll talk later and decide whether to brave the weather this afternoon. Meanwhile, I am putting the time to good use - washing clothes and cleaning. The sheets were just about frozen by the time I got them on the line but I hope that they will dry eventually. I won't even try drying the jeans that way today.

The Ravens play Sunday night football tonight and I am very excited. I will be knitting away all afternoon while watching the games. The next post will include photos of FO and WIPs taken in the daylight. Enjoy.

Friday, December 05, 2008

I had a lot to show

Last night was the Needle Exchange at my LYS. I had a lot of FO to show and it was great fun. I brought in the 5 pairs of Fetching mitts (one more is still on the needles). I showed Brian's vest (nearing the length needed before ribbing starts, I think). I got several suggestions for accent colors in the ribbing. I brought Bob's sweater and worked on the short row sleeve cap for a while. I showed my lace scarf that is complete but not blocked. I brought my seed stitch vest, also complete but not blocked. I worked on the lace ribbon scarf for a while, too.

There was a small group at the Needle Exchange but we had a nice chat and caught up on events. We skipped last week due to the holiday, so there were 2 weeks of events to talk about. It sounds like every one had a good Thanksgiving.

I hope to get some good photos of my knitting projects over the weekend. I have taken several with the flash but they just don't look right. Have a good day, stay warm and stay out of Walmart.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Have I told you how much I love to knit?

My day does not feel complete until I have sat down each day and knitted. I have different knitting needs for each day, sometimes even for different times of day, but I have to knit. When I have been ill, knitting is the first thing I resume as I begin to feel better. When I am stressed, I knit. When I feel good, I knit. When I want to relax and enjoy myself, I knit (and have a glass of wine or some chocolate).

One of the reasons (I have several) for having multiple projects on the needles at once is that I have different needs at different times. I can absorb myself in a lace pattern, completely blocking out the world. I can keep my hands busy but still converse or watch TV with a simple project. If I am conversing with knitters, I have a little more leeway - I can work on a somewhat complicated pattern because I know that every one will understand if I drop out of the conversation for a few minutes to count, or cross cables or some other tricky maneuver. I have a travel project to go with me every place I go, making waiting almost pleasant. Then there are the knit in the dark projects (must be stockinette or garter stitch or ribbing on at least sport weight yarn so I can feel it in the dark) and the knit on the boat projects (which I have discovered the hard way need to be worsted weight yarn if at all possible with a simple pattern). This type of simple project is very useful when I am too tired to think. I can just knit away, daydreaming or not thinking at all.
I can read (or listen to audio books) while knitting. With all of those different situations, it's no wonder that I usually have 6-8 projects going at once. I think one of the reasons that I have not had pain from knitting is that I change needle sizes and fibers fairly often, so that's a bonus.

I admit to being an impulsive person, so another reason for multiple projects is that I just get an idea, see a photo or something and have to start whatever that is right away. I am better at some times than others at controlling myself. I just love knitting and as long as I don't stop going to work, the house doesn't fall down around our ears and we have clean clothes to wear in a reasonably clean house, I seee no need to curb that impulse. My husband doesn't even try to stop me. He's actually quite proud of my knitting and supports me. He's been known to brag a little, too. I don't think my mother understands me. I thought that was supposed to end when I got out of my teenage years ....

Last night I worked on Brian's vest

and my lace scarf.

I have completed one full pattern repeat and I think it will look good. My hands are itching to get back to it ...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Lace Ribbon Scarf

Last night I ripped out the scarf with the french trellis border and went back to the first pattern - the lace ribbon scarf. The color changes in the yarn obscured the pattern in the trellis lace too much for my liking. I cast on fewer stitches so I will have a narrower scarf. I allowed myself 6 rows so that I could do some knitting on the alpaca vest. I don't want the new project to stop all forward momentum on the rest of my projects. I am really enjoying the lace work, though.

I didn't have much knitting time last night. It was my late night at work, and on the way home I stopped in at Talbots for some work clothes (they had 30% off everything!). It was a worthwhile shopping trip.

That's all for today.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I am still stuffed!

I ate that much turkey and everything that goes with it. LOL I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. We missed DH's parents, who usually spent this holiday at our house (even when we had to drive up to NY to get them). It was a little lonely because they were not there to offer help/advice/guidance in everything from gravy making to the latest project around the house, but they were there in our hearts.

My mother went to her youngest son's house and spent the day with her "boys". The youngest is now 45. We still refer to them (Mom and I) as "the boys". LOL. Some things just never change.

Bob and I enjoyed some beautiful weather and put up a few of the out door Christmas decorations. Robert and Bob cooked a wonderful holiday dinner, and Brian joined us. I think that is the first meal we've had together since last year!

Football was watched (that was a waste of time!), dishes were washed and plans were made for the morning. Then I sat and knitted until midnight. ; ))

On Friday I made a liar of myself. I shopped. I just couldn't ignore the money saving opportunities. I did not go out at those dawn hours, though. I left the house at 10 AM and shopped for about 4 hours, then went home. I did get some good deals, and I refused to allow myself to get upset over traffic or lines or whatever. I had decided that I would try to shop and if it got too bad, I would go home. It really wasn't as bad as I thought, at least not at that hour. I am very glad that I don't live on Long Island, though. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. No electronic doodad, toy, phone or whatever is worth someone dying.

On Saturday we went together (DH and I) to another mall to try to finish up the big items on the list. We didn't have much luck and we spent too much of the day trying. : ( I got in some spindle spinning and wheel spinning on Saturday, in addition to a little knitting, but in the evening I succumbed to a bad headache and went to bed.

Sunday I had some residual headache and did not feel well in the morning. I actually went back to bed, which is very rare for me. Later I was able to do some knitting. I finished the I cord edging around my vest. I didn't put it around the arms - I like it the way it is now, and I can always add it if I feel that the vest looks unfinished. I have to block it, then I can wear it. I finished the leaf lace scarf, ends woven in and all. It needs to be blocked, though. Hopefully I can get some pictures over the next couple of days to show you what I've completed.

I cast on !!!! for a lace scarf with the shades of teal yarn I purchased at Stitches. First I cast on for the lace ribbon scarf I knitted on that for a while, and I liked it, but still I wondered? Is this the best pattern for this yarn? Is this the best yarn for this pattern? I have some beautiful silky denim blue yarn in my stash that might be better for this pattern ... I decided to rip it out (if I do decide to knit that scarf, I will make it with fewer repeats across) and I am now working on the edging for the scarf with french trellis border in Victorian Lace Today. This is not my work in this link, but it's beautiful, isn't it? I plan to weigh the yarn used for the border and knit the scarf pattern until I the remaining yarn is close to the amount I need for the final border, and stop there, hopefully leaving the critical amount of yarn for that second border, but not too much more. (I do not have the 450 yds specified in the pattern.) That is if I decide that the yarn works in this pattern. There are color changes in my yarn and they might obscure the stitch pattern. In that case I will go back to the lace ribbon pattern. Oh, and I finished the fingerless mitts for DH and he wore them to go fishing on Friday.

I picked up the stitches for the second sleeve on DH's sweater. Finally. I am on short row duty for the sleeve cap. I got a lot of ends woven in, too. Brian's alpaca vest is getting longer every day ..... that yarn is so yummy to knit with. Sunday night came way too soon.

Today it was back to work. It's my late day, so dinner is on the run. I ususally walk after work, but Karen is still on her way home from visiting, so there will be no walking tonight. One more day of reprieve and then we will be back to our regular walking/torture. LOL.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So far, so good

I have resisted casting on for the scarf and the sock. I did wind the yarn for the scarf into a ball, but I stopped there. I knitted on DH fingerless mitt (the second) last night. The first one needed some re-working, so I decided to knit the second, write everything down and then rip the first one so I can use it for comparison.

Brian's vest is further along, but I still haven't taken any photos. I need daylight for that, so maybe that will happen over the long weekend. Work has been busy and the commutes have been long and traffic filled, so not much knitting has been happening. I really can't wait for the weekend. See you then.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My weekend

Last weeks' snow fall. Not much, but pretty.

The holiday party was OK. There were fun people there and dancing. The music was so loud and the room was so dark that we didn't dance at all. DH would have been lost in that room without being able to see or hear anything to keep his orientation. We did circulate and it was nice to meet the spouses of the people I work with. No photos, though, even before we left the house. I was having trouble with my hair, and by the time I finally got it the way I wanted it we were a little late.

Bob and I raked leaves on Sunday - I love doing that. Karen and I walked our 4.5 miles and I don't love doing that! But we went anyway. Tonight will be our last walk for a week because Karen is visiting relatives for a while. I might just be able to do some walking on my own while she's gone, though, with a nice long weekend in store. One thing I will not be doing is shopping on Friday. Deals or not, I am not willing to be trampled, pushed, shoved or risk my life in the parking lots filled with bargain-crazed people!

We also watched lots of football on Sunday. The Ravens won!!!! The Broncos lost - they were embarrassed, actually. Shame on them.

It is a short work week. Yippee! I plan to enjoy every moment of my time off with DH. Wednesday afternoon I will be celebrating.

I worked on a pair of fingerless mitts for DH last night. I will have to re-work them a little, (the yarn didn't go as far as I thought it would and I ended up with uneven half fingers) but the over all plan pleased him and I can fix the rest. This time I will take notes, too. LOL. I knitted on Brian's alpaca vest and my silky lace scarf. This coming weekend I plan to 1. finish the I-cord on my vest, 2. pick up stitches around DH shoulder for the second sleeve and get the short rows done, 3. finish his fingerless mitts and 4. work on Brian's vest. I WILL NOT cast on for the lace scarf or another pair of socks. I will not.

Every year over the Thanksgiving holiday I take out my Christmas dishes and put my regular dishes away until near the end of January. It is a ritual - annoying sometimes, but rewarding and brings on the holiday feelings. I skipped one or two years with the deaths of my in-laws, but I will do it this year. If the weather cooperates I would like to get the Christmas decorations up this weekend, too. It's not as important to do them at this time since Bob is not working, but it would be nice have that done, too.

That sounds sort of ambitious, doesn't it? I'll have to prioritize, I think.
Have a good day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

party time

We had a successful shopping trip last night. I found a sparkly tank and jacket to wear with a pair of satiny tux pants. I wanted to keep the price as far below $200 as possible, and this outfit cost $130. Not bad. It was even better this morning when I went through my closet more carefully and found a sparkly jacket we had purchased previously, tried it on and it looked good with another blouse I already had. So, the new sparkly top went back to the store today and I am happy with what I will be wearing for less than $100. (so is DH - that's important, too). We got a new shirt and tie to go with his suit and I think we will look good together.

Between shopping last night and today and doing the fix the hair and nails thing today I will not be knitting much. I am actually typing this post by using two pencils to hit the keys. My nails are wet. LOL. No knitting for sure with wet nails!

Maybe we can get eldest son to take a picture before we leave tonight. We'll have photographic proof that we dress up sometimes. I hope to make some knitting progress tomorrow and have photos to show you on Monday. Have a great evening.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow flurries! We had snow!

I love snow. I love it in small amounts and large. I especially love it when it falls in amounts sufficient to keep me from driving anywhere. ONLY if that happens when I am at home, though. I was once stuck at the hospital for 5 days due to snow and I hope that never happens again. I had a bad case of cabin fever, I will tell you. I got someone to watch my patients at one point and went outside in the snow and made snow angels and just walked - make that floundered - through the snow for 20 minutes, then went back inside, changed scrubs (again) and went back to work. That was on the 4th day. I escaped on day 5 after my 12 hour shift.

No worries about that much snow today, though. It was so pretty coming down .....

Not much knitting progress to report today. Brian's vest has about 2 inches of knitting below the arms. The toe increases on my travel sock are complete and I can work even for the foot. The I cord edging on my vest has turned the corner at the bottom edge of the front and is now moving up the right front edge towards the neck. I am struggling to not cast on another project until I finish my vest and start on Bob's second sleeve. It's tough. There are so many projects out there .... I have beautiful yarn in my stash. I think I will start a small shawl next, maybe with the teal colored yarn I bought at Stitches. I could spend just a little time going through patterns, couldn't I?

Work holiday party is this Saturday and I am going shopping with DH tonight for something to wear. If we fail (I have to find something I like, that is reasonably comfortable and doesn't cost too much)we won't go to the party. I plan on gift shopping this weekend, some house cleaning and laundry, of course, and football on Sunday. Next week is a short week and I am very happy. I've been busy the last few weeks and working hard. A few days off in a row will be great.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's winter

I had to scrape ICE off my windshield yesterday morning. Actually, I had to work to get into the car - there had been rain the night before and it froze everything closed. It wasn't too bad - a firm tug or two opened the car (and the trash can) but it was a rude awakening. Winter is here.

The ironing got done, the I cord has made it's way past the mid-point of the bottom edge of the vest, I bound off my travel sock and cast on the new one. I needed a break from those Fetching mitts after 4 pair and I am now ready to get back to that. I have at least 2 more to do. DH needs a pair of fingerless mitts, also, though he will get a plain ribbed pair. If I make them any fancier than that he'll "save them" for something special. Oh, and I ripped back Brian's vest and re-connected with fewer stitches. Now it's round and round we go with that lovely, soft alpaca yarn. This project will go very fast, I think, from here on out.

Have you seem the new Twist Collective ? There are some nice patterns there. My favorite is Vivian, but there are a few thaere that will get serious consideration. I wasn't as thrilled with the patterns this time, but that's just me, I think.
I saw a few patterns at Stitches that I either have purchased or plan to purchase like the Venus Vest

and the Enchanting top

Inspiration abounds. Time is limited. I will do my best. Knit on and stay warm.

Monday, November 17, 2008


It's been a few weeks since the election, and I still feel hope. Despite the many issues that still plague us, I feel like things can and will get better with new leadership and new goals. I am happy to have positive thoughts instead of the negative, cynical thoughts that have been in my head for quite a while.

We were supposed to go to NY on Thursday last to visit with my mother and get out to Montauk for one last fishing expedition. The weather was terrible so we postponed the trip. We were then going to leave on Saturday and come home on Tuesday. DH didn't feel well, though, and we didn't know whether he had a reaction to his flu shot or had a cold or had bad allergies. The weather forecast wasn't much improved, either. Rather than risk "contaminating" my mother (who is young at heart but still 75 years old) and rather than have Bob not enjoy his fishing trip, we cancelled. Maybe in early December ....

Knitting progress -
I wore my Thelonious socks to the Needle Exchange on Thursday. Yippee! I love them.
I have been knitting several pairs of Fetching fingerless mitts as gifts, and I have 4 pair completed. Completed as in ends woven in and all!

I frogged a pair of fingerless mitts that I had been working on in a pattern that I liked. I just wasn't happy with the results of my meddling, and the pattern as written wasn't what I wanted. That yarn will be re-purposed. One less WIP.

I joined Brian's vest under the arms, but will have to rip those 3 rows because the opening is a little too large. Not much time wasted, so I won't even hesitate a little over that. I like the color work section and I am happy with how the vest looks so far.

My seed stitch vest had some I-cord on the edge, and I ripped that out to start again. I wanted to pick up the edge stitch from the wrong side so that the right side of the garment looked neater. I made great progress on that last night during the football game.

I did some spinning yesterday! I managed both spindle spinning and wheel spinning. Maybe I can maintain that "spin a little every day" motion since I broke the fast so to speak. LOL.

Bad weather kept Karen and I from walking on Saturday, but we walked on Friday night and on Sunday. Tonight is a question mark because the weather looks a little iffy. They have actually mentioned snow showers!

I hope to iron work clothes while watching football tonight (I don't actually hope to do the ironing, it's just that watching football helps to distract me from that chore) and then get in at least an hour of knitting before bed. Hopefully the I-cord will make it's way further around the edge of the vest, and perhaps another pattern repeat will be added to the Silk and Ivory scarf.

I hurt my back yesterday - probably when I rotated the matteress on our queen sized bed - and I plan to spend at least some time on my back with the heating pad tonight. Maybe I can't do the ironing ......

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It was a very good day

When you last heard from me, I was taking a day off to go on the boat with DH. We had a wonderful day. I enjoyed the sunshine and mild temperatures and even the winds cooperated - the water was a calm as could be! I sat in T-shirt and shorts for about 2 hours - in November! It did cool off quickly later on, but it was wonderful while it lasted. I fished and knitted (not at the same time, though I did try!) the afternoon away. sigh. If only more days could be like that one.

The next day was spent sleeping in and then heading off to Stitches East. I suppose I might regret it in the future since Stitches will be in Connecticut next year but I took no classes this year. There was one I wanted, but apparently not enough to fight through the family issues we were having at the time and make me register. I just don't want to spend money on classes for the sake of classes, so when the one I wanted was full by the time I got back to it, I decided to just go to the Market. I wandered and browsed and bought a few things. I saw many beautiful things, but only a few called to me, and those came home with me. I bought a merino/bamboo /silk blend in shades of purple, denim and white, which is marled nicely due to the different fibers taking the dye differently. That came from Maple Creek They were very nice and I had to work to limit myself to only one selection.

From Knitting Notions I bought some superwash merino in shades of teal that matches the blouse I wore that day. I usually struggle to find something to wear with it, and now I have (or I will have once I make it - LOL) something that is just right. I didn't get the color right in the photo, but this was the best one. 

I also bought another sock needle protector from them because I usually have two pairs of socks going at once.
And I bought a gift for Karen that will, of course, not be shown or described here. giggle.

Sunday was spent cleaning and doing laundry (it all dried on the line!) and then knitting while watching football. Another good day.

I finally wove in the ends of my Thelonious socks and they are now officially wearable.

I am making several pairs of Fetching fingerless mitts as holiday gifts - two down, 3 or 4 to go.

Brian's vest has halted because I need to try it on him to see if it's time to join at the underarm, but the colorwork is complete. It looks good. I knitted anohter 2 inches on the Silk and Ivory scarf.

I finished the hat I was knitting in my hand dyed yarn, but I think I will rip back and make it a little longer/deeper. I want it to cover my ears completely, and it doesn't. Yet.

I have become quite expert at frogging. I thought about that the other day - I used to hesitate and dread ripping a project back, put it off until I couldn't deny it any longer, and by then I frequently had more to frog. I have finally accepted that a) my instincts are better than I think and I shouldn't fight that (which translates into when you first think that it might have to be ripped back, it does and don't bother dithering) and b) it's not so terrible to re-work things and c) I am more of a perfectionist than I thought. giggle.
I am a pretty easy going person and I can forgive or overlook a lot (when it comes to my knitting, anyway) but not as much as I used to. Is it the fact that I now submit projects to competitions? Is it that my skills have improved and I know I can get better results now? Maybe a combination of the two? I am not sure, but I surely am an expert at ripping out my knitting. The next question is: Is that something to brag about or not ever mention again.

I am sorry to say that I haven't done any spinning lately. I want to, but then life (in the form of work, laundry, walking, cleaning, etc.) gets in the way. I think I will bring my drop spindle with me to NY and hope to get some spinning done that way.

We were going to NY tomorrow to visit with my mother and to get DH out to Montauk one more time for fishing this year. The weather is not looking good, so we've changed our plans and will leave on Saturday and come back on Tuesday night. I will be brining yarn to make more Fetching mitts, Brian's vest and Bob's sweater to knit on, possibly with the addition of a second skein of the yarn that I dyed to start on the coordinating scarf. Oh, and a sock, of course. We'll be busy, so I don't know how much knitting I will get done, but I will be prepared.

I'll close with a view of my bird visitors that makes me chuckle every time I see it. Have a great day.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Playing hooky

I should be at work tomorrow, but I will be enjoying a day on the water with DH instead. The temps are supposed to be in the 70's tomorrow with sunshine and I just can't resist, especially after the rainy days we've been having lately. I will bring holiday knitting with me and plan to relax and have fun.

Stitches is here in Baltimore this weekend and I will head down there on Saturday for a few hours to browse the display sweaters and shawls for inspiration. I don't plan to do much shopping. While I am in Baltimore I will stop by the office and pick up a disc with documents for a new study so I can do some work over the weekend to make up for taking tomorrow off. Sunday will be football and laundry day.

I am off to pack now. Have a great Friday everyone.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I am not sure why I did this - I usually don't. But here it is. It is at least close to what I really am - a nurse.

You Should Be a Doctor

You are practical, sharp, and very intuitive.

Optimistic and energetic, you are a problem solver who doesn't get discouraged easily.

You are also quite compassionate and caring. You make people feel hopeful.

You're highly adaptable and capable. You do well with almost any curve ball life throws at you.

You do best when you:

- Are always learning new subjects

- Use your knowledge to solve problems

You would also be a good therapist or detective.

Knitting and Football

It may seem strange, but that's a good combination for me. I knit a lot while watching football, and I love it. I keep my hands busy while watching a sport, feel like I've made sitting in front of the TV more worthwhile because I am being productive, and I have something to do during commercials. I mostly mute the commercials because I can't stand listening to the stupidity, but if I am really involved in my knitting I will leave the sound on so I don't miss it when the game resumes.

I keep plugging along on Bob's sweater. I started my I-cord edging for my seed stitch vest. It looks good and I think I will really like the finished product. I worked on the alpaca vest for Brian and I am ready to start the color work section. First I will draw a chart for myself, though, so I don't mess it up doing it top down. Visualization is not my thing.I knitted 2 pattern repeats yesterday on my Silk and Ivory scarf and an other this morning before I left for work. Yup - before work. The change to standard time is still messing me up. I was ready for bed rather early last night and awake before the alarm this morning. Oh, well, another couple of days and I should be OK.

Saturday's weather was gorgeous and somehow I expected it to be similar on Sunday. It was nice and sunny in the morning when Karen and I walked, but the clouds came in soon after and I had trouble drying the clothes on the line. That was a disappointment.

On the improving my health front, I did my second day 2 (50 push ups) workout for the 100 push up program yesterday. Today is a day off (they reccomend at least one day between sessions) and tomorrow I move on to day 3 (57 push ups). Gulp. Karen and I walked Friday, Sat. and Sunday this weekend (4.5 miles each day), and today is a day off from that, too. (thank goodness!!!)

Happy knitting everyone and don't forget to vote tomorrow.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


It is fall, and in the fall the ornamental grasses are at their most striking.

Yesterday did not feel like fall, though today certainly does. Yesterday I walked with Karen and then did yard work for several hours, and even when I was through and just keeping DH company in the yarn, I was quite warm in my jeans and short sleeved T shirt. Today, when I went out into the yard to hang the clothes on the line, I pulled on a heavy jacket over my long sleeved shirt and I still felt chilly.

Well, on to the fiber content. I finished Clapotis Friday (Yippee! another FO!) and blocked it yesterday. Here it is unblocked

Here it is blocked. I used JoJoland Melody, 5 balls and did one extra increase repeat and one extra straight repeat.

I did some spinning yesterday on my drop spindle - it is so nice to spin outside in the sun, watching the sunlight bounce off the colors in the fiber.

While watching football today I plan to weave in the ends of the Thelonious sock, knit an inch or two on Bob's sweater sleeve, and a few other projects will be worked on, too. Spinning is hard (for me) while watching football, so that may not happen today, but I am in for several hours of knitting fun (in between hanging a few more loads of clean clothes on the line to dry) . Have a good day.

Stanley enjoyed yesterday, too.