Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holidays to all

My wish for all of you is a happy, healthy new year. 2010. wow! That seemed so far away when I was younger. I loved the movie 2001 a space oddesy, and the sequel - 2010. I had a hard time imagining what the world would be like. Do you remember that song "In the year 2525, if man is still alive..." I couldn't imagine getting to that year then. Now it's just a little bump of time away. Boy, do I feel old.

On Tuesday, Dec. 22 we picked up my mother from the airport. The snow was still on the ground but the roads were clear so we could do what we wanted and still enjoy the snow. We cooked and shopped and eldest son baked. When Christmas Eve and company arrived, we were ready. We enjoyed a great evening of visiting and gift giving. The next day involved cooking again but the outside environment was not cheerful. It rained. And rained. And rained some more. Blech! DH outdid himself preparing the standing rib roast for our traditional Christmas dinner.

We spent an afternoon at the Baltimore Aquarium. We watched the rays and sharks and a sea turtle get fed. I love turtles! We saw the regional displays and the Jellyfish display is awesome! I didn't think I would be excited to see jellyfish - to me they have just been sometimes painful annoyances in the water. I found out that they are food for sea turtles but eat fish eggs. Who knew!

We ate out a few times and went for a neighborhood walk one day and just spent time talking and catching up on all kinds of family things. On Tuesday the 29th, we took Mom back to the airport for her return trip. I miss her.

Happy New Year to all (2) of you. LOL

Monday, December 21, 2009

Expectations surpassed

I had my doubts. We've had snow predicted before and it either didn't develop at all or we had a dusting instead of the several inches they were predicting. This snow, however, flew right on by my expectations! We had (officially) 21 inches in the Baltimore area. According to this site Bel Air had 16.5 inches. It was impossible to measure with the wind making drifts all over. The snow drifts were wonderful - beautiful snow sculptures, some defying the laws of gravity, it seemed. Graceful swirls, huge piles, overhangs from roofs, and blankets of snow on the evergreen trees - it was all so wonderful.

Bob and I went out on Saturday, about mid day, to do some shoveling. We knew that it would be covered again but thought a) it would be fun to be outdoors in the falling snow and b) we might divide the shoveling in half.

We were right about a and totally wrong about b. Blowing snow drifted over the driveway and sidewalk, leaving about the same amount of snow on our property as that of those who were not out shoveling. It didn't matter. We had fun. Sunday saw snow angels appearing in our yard along with the clear paths.

We fed the birds on the deck. I so enjoy providing the birds with food during the snowfall. They seem to enjoy a place to snack. We put the food under the table on the deck. The birds have shelter and we have a great view of the feeding.

Sometimes there are fights, sometimes just posturing, but it is a big part of my enjoyment of snowfalls. The cardinals are the most striking to watch but I love the dark eyed juncos. They do this little hop or dance to move snow away from the food underneath and it's so funny to watch. Hop hop, peck. Hop hop peck.

The tree was decorated - red lights, red and gold balls - and I like it a lot.

The presents are all ribboned and looking great under the tree. A lot of stuff was moved out of the room we are putting Mom in, but the bed still has to be set up. I have a few more things to stop at the store for but that can be done once Mom is here. Tonight will be all about getting her room cleaned and the bed set up and ready. Hopefully there will be no fallout from the weekend storms and her plane will leave as planned tomorrow.

Some kitting happened despite everything else. I have started on the front of the He Gansey - I am in the double moss stitch stage still, but it's progress. Eldest son's hat was ripped again and I am back to the stockinette after the colorwork. this is my last attempt. If this fails, I will buy him a hat. : ( I did some swatching for younger son's hat. I still haven't settled on a plan. I'd like to knit it with the yarn doubled to show off the colorwork pattern better (the alpaca is pretty fine) but the stitch count doesn't work as well for that. I have a 46 stitch repeat. We'll see. Maybe an idea will occur to me when I am not sore and tired.

Today was back to work, but it's an abbreviated week. I work today and a few hours tomorrow, then i am taking off for the holiday. I will be back on Wednesday, the 30th. That sounds good. ; )

ETA I didn't get back to post this and forgot all about it with everything going on. Here it is, a little late but accurate just the same.

Friday, December 18, 2009

We're expecting snow!

I can't wait for it to start. I love snow, especially when it falls when I am at home. I had my doubts a few days ago but it's really looking like we'll have a good snow storm with accumulations of near a foot. Yippee! Playing in the snow is in the near future for me.

DH is at the grocery store now. He thought he would go late to avoid the crowds who were there in force earlier to pick up what they needed to get through the day tomorrow to pick up some breakfast makings. The store is full of people and empty of most of the food.

Tomorrow we will also (in addition to shoveling and/or snowblowing) be moving stuff around to make room for Mom, decorating the tree and cleaning the house. Sunday involves some knitting while watching football as well as any remaining snow removal.

If you live on the East coast, stay home tomorrow and enjoy the snow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm a bad blogger

Life has kept me busy, but that's good, right? I had a post partly written but forgot to post it so I am deleting that one and just summarizing here.

My mother is flying down from New York to spend a week with us at Christmas. I am really looking forward to spending time with her and using her visit as a push to visit some of the places and do some of the things I've been meaning to get to and just haven't. We have a lot of re-arranging to do to make room for her so the weekend will be busy but the work will be worth it.

The He Gansey is almost back where it was a few weeks ago. The back is complete and the front has been started (from the arm hole up - it's knit in the round below that). No new pictures. It looks the same.

The Sunshine sock is about an inch longer than it was but it's been cold here or rainy so I haven't been able to do as much knitting while walking as I usually do. I can't knit with gloves on. Yet.

The 198 yards of heaven scarf I started 2 weeks ago is complete but not blocked. I just can't find the time to do that. Maybe this weekend, but it will be hard. I love it - so soft and cuddly.

I have started on the re-knit of eldest son's earflap hat using needles 2 sizes smaller than before. I hope this makes it fit better and also makes it warmer. I cast on last night after frogging the earlier version and am almost halfway through the chart for the colorwork. I have been swatching for younger son's earflap hat and I like the fabric I get with the yarn (Frog Tree alpaca sport) and size 2 needles. That hat will take longer to knit but I am pleased with the pattern, colors and fabric I am getting so it will be worth it. Once the colorwork is done, the rest will be good TV knitting and I love knitting with alpaca.

I have been pretty faithful to these projects recently - not flitting all over with 5 or more projects in the works. I like the way they progress faster but I am not bored knitting on only 1 project at a time. During Mom's visit I should be able to finish my sock and start the second of the pair. I'd like to finish the body of the sweater and pick up for the sleeves, too, depending on how out and about we are. If I need a project requiring less concentration I may pick up the afghan I have been knitting part time (mostly on the boat) for eldest son.

No spinning progress to report - the wheel has been stuck in the corner and will probably be put away for the holiday to make room.

Christmas preparations are in the works. We have to find time together (DH and I) to get outside to aim the spot lights at the house to show off the red bows at each window. The tree is up in the living room but not yet decorated. I thought I would do lights last night but felt too lazy. I plan to get up at a decent hour on Saturday and play holiday music while I light up the tree. Maybe I can get DH to make breakfast for me to make the morning more special. ; ))

The gifts are in boxes but need paper and/or ribbon to go under the tree. Most of the shopping is complete and I am please with most of our choices. Some people are just so hard to buy for. I spoke with eldest son last night about baking cookies. He is still home (no work) so he has more time to bake and he is a good baker. That's one thing less for me to tend to. ; )

Work has been busy this week, which is also good. I like being busy enough that I am not looking at the clock all day wondering when I can go home and I like having a feeling of accomplishment when I leave. I have had that this week.

Tonight is knit night at the LYS. I'll bring the sock, I think. I've done enough re-knitting on Bob's sweater and don't want to make a mistake on the patterned part of the front so that I have to rip again. I've memorized the sock pattern so even though I have counting to do, at least I won't have to watch a chart while knitting.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, December 07, 2009

My latest indulgence

I bought this Yarn on Thursday at my LYS. It is so yummy, it's hard to describe. I had no intentions of buying yarn but bought this anyway and cast on with it the very next day! The pattern is 198 yds of heaven (Ravelry link) and I am smitten. It's more than halfway finished.

Knitting at Ewenique Yarns on Thursday was good, and Friday went pretty smoothly, but I was tired, so I took it easy and knit Friday night.

On Saturday we had SNOW! They were predicting 1-3 inches after rain fall, so we thought there would be no measurable snow. We were, happily, wrong. We had a good 3 inches on the ground and deck, less on the streets. It was so pretty - one of those huge snowflake snowfalls, where you could swear that there are puffy cotton balls falling from the sky. They are so magical and beautiful.

On Sunday we went to buy a Christmas tree. We get a live tree every year - I love the scent of it in my house. I tried to love an artificial tree for a few years but it didn't work. ; (
This is one time of year that I just tamp down that guilt over not being environmentally responsible (at least in that area).

I have reached the sleeve gussets on the He Gansey (again) and hope to progress on that during Monday night football (after ironing the clothes). I will try to resist the siren song of my newest love (listed above) for the night.

On Sunday I wore the completed Spiraling Coriolis socks in Claudia's Chocolate Cherry sock yarn!

The Sunshine socks are growing.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thursday is almost as good as Friday

Why? Because Thursday is almost Friday and it's knit nite at my LYS. ; )

He Gansey is about 2 inches longer (I will measure tonight), the Sunshine sock is a little further along (I actually have to make myself stop knitting on it to do other things. I like this pattern.), and I need only about 1/2 inch more of ribbing and I will have a completed pair of Spiraling Coriolis socks in Claudia's Chocolate Cherry! Maybe I can complete that tonight. I'd be further along on everything if it weren't for work and life getting in the way. Darn that need to earn money and take care of the house and family. LOL.

I saw the doctor yesterday about my headaches. I have a sinusitis and am being treated for that. If that doesn't help, we will move on to some testing and possibly an adjustment of my meds. Fingers crossed that the antibiotic does the trick.

DH and eldest son are building a new shed in the yard. I wanted to photo document it but at this time of year I am not home in daylight except on the weekend. It has walls but no roof yet and keeping the wood dry with all of the rain we've had lately has been just about impossible. Rainy days slow down construction, and the day after rain is usually too wet (muddy ground) to work. DH is very frustrated.

I am looking forward to chatting with Nancy tonight about her spinning wheel, which arrived earlier this week, and the progress she's made on her Great American Afghan.

I am trying to be faithful to the 3 main projects that I mentioned above so that I can get some things done. Once the ribbing is finished on the Spiraling Coriolis sock I plan to pick up the earflap hat for younger son. I did one swatch but didn't like the fabric. I will swatch again on a smaller needle. I also want to rip out eldest son's hat and re-knit it. Both of these hats should go pretty fast, though younger son's will take longer as I am using finer yarn for it. I love my color work, though, so once started, I will fly through those hats. I have quite a bit of work to go on the He Gansey but hope to finish it before Christmas. We'll see. I still have a bit of holiday shopping to do, not to mention wrapping, decorating the tree (which I love) and all of the normal life stuff.

One stitch at a time......

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


I am not sure, actually, whether I have perseverance or I am stubborn, but I will not give up on the He Gansey. I didn't get much knit last night, but hope to get at least 2 inches knit tonight. There is no point in taking photos - you've seen it before and it's smaller now than the last time you saw it. ; (

I was able to knit a few rounds on the sunshine socks during my meeting yesterday and once I got home I decided to knit for a while on the second Spiraling Coriolis. I had forgotten that I had about 2 inches of stockinette to knit on that one before the ribbing and changing needle sizes. It was just the thing to knit on last night since I was tired and feeling sort of fuzzy from the sinus stuff.

ETA since I started this post I have managed to complete the stockinette section and am ready to change needles and knit ribbing!

I love football but couldn't really get into the game last night. It was a good game (at least the first half) but I like to have a team to cheer for while watching football and I couldn't bring my self to cheer for either one of those teams. LOL.

Spinning - I did some spinning over the weekend. I am not sure if it was thoughts of Nancy's soon to arrive wheel of just that I haven't spun in so long but I was excited to spin and did. Speaking of Nancy's wheel, she has it in hand, so to speak and is trying her hand at spinning. I can't wait to see her at it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is there such a thing as a sinus-ectomy?

Most of my migraines are triggered by sinus headaches these days, and my sinuses are going crazy. I had migraines on Monday, Wednesday (enough to keep me in bed most of the day), Thursday night, Friday evening and Saturday night. I am tired of saying and feeling "I have a headache" and DH is tired of hearing it. I would love to get the darn things removed.

Thanksgiving day is my day to bring out the Christmas dishes. I have a complete set of Christmas dishes that I use every year. I made the decision several years ago that I wanted them, and if I was going to spend money on a full set, I would make it worth while. My dishes come out on Thanksgiving day (yes, the exchange does add to the meal prep chaos. Why do you ask?) and stay out until mid-January or so. I love using these pretty dishes. I have the Winterberry pattern from Pfalzgraff. Each year I add an item or two. This year it was two flatware caddies so that the flatware (which does not fit into the appropriate drawer due to wide handles) have a sensible place to live.

We had a great time on Thanksgiving, visiting with Steve and Cheryl and youngest son. Even though he lives here, we so rarely sit and talk about things - he is usually seen only on his way in or out of the house - that I do consider it a visit. We chatted for hours about all kinds of things. It was a relaxed and relaxing day for all of us. Due to my headache I was glad to see them go when it was time, but was a great day otherwise.

I braved the crowds on Black Friday for a few hours, though not at dark o'clock. I got to the stores at about 9:30, list in hand. I had specific things I wanted to get at each store and got those items. I went to Kohls last, knowing that I would browse there, and browse I did. I went home with several holiday gifts in hand and a sore arm from carrying those times around the store until check out time. (they never have enough carts for the holiday shoppers). I got home about 3:30 I think. I was pleased with the crowd level and the courtesy of those I encountered.

On Saturday I washed and dried the clothes and did some cleaning up in the house. I did a little holiday decorating, too. Sunday was a boating day. Yes, we were on the boat on the Chesapeake Bay on the last Sunday of November. We have a radio on board and played Christmas music (and danced to it) on the way out of the marina. Very weird. But fun. We even caught dinner for tonight - a striped bass of just the right size for two for dinner. It was a beautiful day and I was very happy that I decided to go. It will most likely be the last time for me this year, though DH will almost certainly go again.

The Ravens played in the Sunday night game and won! Not by much, but it was a good game and they did win.

Today is back to work after a very nice long weekend. If I hadn't been plagued with headaches off and on all weekend, I would say that it was perfect. I am going to see the doctor on Wednesday to see what's up with these headaches.

On the knitting front:

Good - a lot of knitting was done over the weekend.

Bad - not as much knitting as I had hoped due to headaches.

Good - the He Gansey is about 10 inches along.

Bad - the He Gansey is only 10 inches along. I had to frog the entire body due to stupidity. I counted the gauge correcty but went the wrong way when figuring which size to make. I ripped thw entire thing and cast on again with the correct number of stitches. I hope.

Good - the Sunshine sock has a heel.

Bad - the spiraling corialis (the second sock) has not been touched.

I hope to be doing less re-knitting this week. I have faith that I can still complete the He Gansey before Christmas, and I'd like to finish the first sunshine sock by then, also. I am getting a new coat for Christmas (I don't get to wear it until the day) and I'd love to have a the Honka scarf done by then but that's not going to happen. Maybe the end of January is a reasonable goal. Double knitting is slow going. I also plan to have my swatches for the Mondo Cable Cardi done by Christmas. They might be done before then, depends on my mood and what I feel like knitting. Right now the He Gansey is calling me. And the sunshine sock.

Meeting time. 'Bye.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

not a lot to report

I was home bound with a migraine yesterday. It interfered a lot with my knitting. Grrrr

The He Gansey was tried on and seems a bit snug. I have to check my gauge and calculations again. I hope I am not going to have to frog the whole bleeping thing. Why can I not knit a sweater for my husband without major re-do's?

It was Monday (thanks to the migraine yesterday) and Friday today. I am off until Monday. That is good. It is supposed to rain and/or be cloudy for most of the long weekend. That is not good. I will have lots of time for spinning and knitting this weekend. That is good. We will be having good friends over for the holiday meal. That is very good. There are 3 football games on Thursday. That is good. One of the teams is Detroit. That is not good. Eldest son is still not working. Very not good. I have a job and younger son has a job. Those are good things.

I guess the good outweighs the bad.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good weekend

Saturday: Nancy and I had a great time at The Mannings trying out wheels and browsing at yarn and tools and fibers, etc.

Nancy will be getting a Kromski Sonata! She bought some fiber to play with so that as soon as the wheel arrives, she can begin.

I was so good! I needed some size 1 circs for my winter sock knitting and bought those. I finally took the plunge and bought Addi lace turbos. I didn't buy anything else. I have plans for a sweater for after the new year but will buy at my LYS and didn't allow myself to get sidetracked into buying anything else - sock, lace or other yarn or books.

We made a day of it and once I got home, I was not motivated to do anything. We ate a wonderful dinner, I did the dishes and then sat and knitted.

Sunday was a morning of chores and then football watching. The Ravens almost beat Indy. Almost. Sigh.

The He Gansey front was almost completed. Then I discovered that, as I had feared, I missed some shaping instructions and I have to rip 15 or so rows. Bummer. It looks good, though. Bob's warm fishing hat is complete except for pompom making. One Spiraling Corialis sock is ready to be bound off. The purple Sunshine is longer - I think I have about 6 more rows and then it's time for some hell work. Swatches for a new year KAL (Mondo Cable sweaters by Chic Knits) are in the works.

The bag that my MIL had started for me (that I finished knitting) now has straps and can be used.

I enjoyed the sunshine yesterday and it's a good thing. I think we won't see any more sun this week. Ugh.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nancy is getting a spinning wheel!

We had a good day at the Mannings. It's a good thing we brought lunch. I browsed, Nancy tested wheels and made her decision. Yippee! another convert.

I was very proud of myself - I left the store having purchased only the size 1 circs that I had planned to shop for. I am now happily knitting my socks on Addi lace turbos (even if I didn't want to spend that much money for needles).

I am off to knit on the He Gansey for a while. Tomorrow is laundry, cleaning and football accompanied by knitting. It will be a good day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

a rant regarding mammograms

I am sure that most of you are aware of the new guidelines offered by the U.S. Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF) regarding the frequency of screening mammograms.

I am incensed.

I agree that most women are not aware of the potential "risk" from mammograms. I, however, would be more than willing to have a couple of false positives, even including biopsies, in exchange for being less likely to die of an undetected cancer - to me, the risk to benefit ratio still leads me to more frequent testing. This choice should belong to each individual woman.

One member of the committee, when interviewed last night, stated that their goal was to allow women to have more choices as far as their screening and health care was concerned. Is the committee so naive/blind/stupid as to think that the insurance companies will not seize upon this opportunity to save money?

Insurance companies are sure to latch on to this new recommendation and refuse to pay for mammograms more frequently than every other year starting at age 50. Most women cannot afford to pay for their own mammograms. In that way, the committee's stated goal of allowing women to have more choices in guiding their health care will actually be less likely to be achieved.

Once the insurance company changes their payment schedule, using these guidelines as their reason, women and their doctors will no longer be able to decide whether they need more frequent testing. Women will have to pay for more frequent mammos (most will not be able to afford that) or ask their doctors to take time out of what are already busy schedules to justify to the insurance company (how many hoops do you think that will involve?) the need for more frequent testing. How much of a back log do you think that will cause?

Leaving the recommendations as they were and providing more information about the frequency of false positives and risks of unnecessary treatments would serve women much better. Lets leave the choice to the women involved, and give them as much information as possible to help guide them to make the best choice for them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Small projects today

I was right. The hat did make a good travel project. I will transfer the ribbing to size 1 needles and re-knit it. First I have to find/buy more size 1 circs.

Tonight is knit nite at my LYS. I plan to work on the hat (DH hopes to go fishing again this weekend and there's a chance I can get it finished by then) and the Sunshine socks. I won't try to knit on the He Gansey tonight - I have to get settled into the pattern in a quiet place before I can think about knitting on it in public. I would knit the sleeves - double moss stitch - but I have to pick up the stitches and knit down, so the front has to be finished first. That will make excellent weekend knitting. I expect to be able to finish the front this weekend.

DH is with the audiologist now for his second "fitting". She will test and make adjustments to try to help him get the best use from the device. He also gets homework. giggle.

There's a giveaway

Go to Maple Corners Blog and check it out. Learn more about Alzheimer's during Alzheimer's Awareness Month. The disease is devastating to entire families in so many ways.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ten Things

Ten Things I wish I knew how to do and the likelihood of learning/doing them

1. Sew - more than the basics. Not until I retire, maybe then.

2. Art - mostly drawing, but a little painting would be good. Not likely at all.

3. Ride a motorcycle safely. Not likely - tried it when I was in my 20's and it didn't go well ....

4. Fix my hair in a "style". Not.

5. Sing. This is actually a "wish I could do" it rather than "wish I knew how". My singing voice significantly deteriorated after multiple strep throat episodes in HS and college and disappeared for good with vocal cord surgery. I sound terrible now but when I am alone I sing anyway. Loudly and off key, but I do it.

6. Reverse directions. I am so tired of getting lost going home. sigh. Not likely at all. Thank goodness for the Mapquest reverse directions button.

7. Stick to a diet. Not likely.

8. Weave. I'd like to weave my own place-mats and table runners. There's a 50/50 chance, I would say, increasing slightly after retirement.

9. Bake from scratch. My few attempts have failed miserably so far. Ask DH about his birthday cupcakes. I think there is hope .....

10. Do electrical work. I think I am going to have to learn being that DH is legally blind. Do I really want to trust that he can see which wires to connect?

I went to physical therapy today for the first time for my toe/foot problem. The first thing he did after taking my history was to re-align my back. Obviously my attempt to prevent back problems by having surgery to correct my walking didn't have complete success. Still he thinks he can help. I had several other adjustments was instructed on 2 sets of exercises to do (have you ever done foot arch exercises?) and see him again next week. I do feel better. : )

I've decided to change to size 1 needles for my ribbing on the socks so that is on hold for now. I am using the size 1 circs in my new sock. I will have to switch to DPNs for the Sunshine socks and rip out the inch of ribbing completed so far. That will likely happen over the weekend. Meanwhile, the hat I am knitting for DH can become a travel project. 2 X 2 ribbing in mostly beige, with random color added as I am moved to do so makes a simple travel project, if not quite as small. Maybe I need to get more size 1 circs.

PS The trip to Mannings is back on for Saturday. Nancy wants another look at the wheels before she makes a choice.

Hump day

I am still being amazed at what Bob can hear with this new device. It will require adjustment on everyone's part, mosly his, but I think it will be wonderful in the long run.

I knitted on Bob's hat last night after calling my mom to let her know how things went with the cochlear implant activation. She was almost as excited as me. Almost.

Bob and eldest son are building a shed in the yard. I don't get home in time each night to get pictures, though, and I leave for work in the almost dark.

I think I may rip out the ribbing I've done on my spiraling Corialis socks. It feels just a bit loose and I think I might need to go down a needle size to get a good grip. Decisions ......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We have lift-off!

The implant works! It will be a period of adjustment for Bob but it is so much better than I thought it would be the first day. He could actually hear me with his right ear! I did not have to raise my voice. I think I need voice training now, though. I need to learn to speak a little more softly but also slower and with a deeper pitch if I can manage it. The deeper pitch will be harder. I had vocal cord problems in the past and my voice is best when I speak in the higher pitches. We'll work it out, though.

In the past, I have had to speak to Bob aiming my voice at his left ear (the one with the better hearing). Now I can speak directly at him. He will get tired (re-training the brain is hard work) or frustrated and then he is supposed to take a break, turn the implant off and use his hearing aid on the left. I am so excited!

Back at work, I started the day cleaning up and re-organising my office. I spent about an hour today moving things around, trying to find out of the way places to keep regulatory binders that must stay on site but that are not in use anymore, since the study is closed. I have a tendency to put correspondence next to the binder it should go into and then spend a day filing - I will still do that to a certain extent, but I am rearranging so that the binder that I need most often are near me and then I can file things more frequently. We have a storage closet that needs work also, and I think I will ask DH to come in one day and help me to do that. Meanwhile, I will work on seeing my desk top more often. That's goal worth working towards, I think.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Uh-oh. I missed a few days

I was making an unofficial (undeclared) attempt to "post every day for a month". I missed.

Nancy and I did not get to the Mannings on Friday for our field trip. They were holding a spinning class (it's a good thing Nancy thought of it and we called ahead) and they advised us to come another day. Instead we went to Cloverhill Yarn store since they are local and also sell spinning wheels. It wasn't totally wasted, but they only had 3 wheels on site. I am not sure that it was worth the trip to the other side of Baltimore on a rainy day. At least Nancy was familiar with the route for the next day's spinning class that she took there. Today she is headed for the Mannings to do that spinning wheel test driving that we had planned for Friday.

While at Cloverhill Yarn Shop, I bought some Galway yarn in beige for DH's warm hat. (I couldn't go to a yarn shop and not buy anything, could I?) I was so proud of myself for keeping with the color (actually a non-color - beige) that he told me in the past he wanted for a hat. He has changed his mind, now, and doesn't mind color (Grrrr). I have permission to add stripes of color as long as the pompom (we've heard the term Man Tassel recently) is beige. I knitted about 3 inches but had to start again, making it larger. That's what happens when you don't make a swatch.

I worked on the thrummed earflaps over the weekend but am not 100% satisfied and so I will keep working on it. The hat looks good, though.

Bob's He Gansey back is finished! I think the anchor looks awesome! I started on the front yesterday and have completed the double moss stitch area, am just about ready for the textured designs on the upper chest.

I have a dilemma with this sweater knitting. It is winter now, almost Thanksgiving. I think I can finish DH's white cotton sweater in a week or so. Certainly by T-day. Should I do that and get it done or, since it is winter, should I put the cotton one aside and knit on the wool sweater. It's going fast. I think I can get the front finished this week or by the weekend for sure. Then I will have 2 double moss stitch sleeves to go - surely that can be done in a couple of weeks. Maybe he needs the wool sweater more, despite the fact that I'd like to have the cotton one done and off my list. What do you think?

I met with younger son yesterday to discuss patterns and colors for his earflap hat and we settled on something we are both happy with. I will be knitting with alpaca again. : ))

The Sunshine sock in the purple yarn is looking good. It won't be a fast knit but it will be entertaining.

My new travel project (I am wearing the previous travel socks today) is the Chocolate Cherry Spiraling Corialis socks. The ribbing has been started and I think I can finish these off by Thanksgiving, too, assuming the normal traffic and waiting at appointments. That would be awesome!

Speaking of awesome, DH goes to see the audiologist tomorrow to get his cochlear implant activated (hopefully)! I can't wait to see what it does!

I made a bad choice re fishing this weekend. Sunday was wonderful and I had opted to stay home. Blegh! Oh, well. I did get to enjoy the sunshine and I got almost all of the clothes dried on the line. That's worth something, I think.

On Saturday, DH and I picked out new glasses. It is hard for him - without his glasses on, he can't see the frames he is trying. He had to go mostly by my opinion and that of the store clerk, and since he is looking to get bigger frames (he needs all the area he can get with the vision assistance) but not look like a bug-eyed fool, he was nervous. Why would he think that I would be willing to walk around with a bug-eyed fool? I do tend to like the more rectangular frames and he doesn't, so there is that, but once he told me how he felt about them, I did (reluctantly) put those aside. Well, choices were made and we get new glasses in 2 weeks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

new sock

I finished the hat for eldest son, but have not yet worked the earflaps. When he tried it on just after the colorwork section was completed, it seemed to fit well (the second knitting of that section) but last night it seemed a little loose. I think I will try to felt it a little to both shrink it and also to make the fabric tighter for more wind protection. I think if I try to remove another 24 stitches to drop another pattern repeat, it will be too small. So, felting is the plan for this weekend. I also plan to work the earflaps then.

I told my husband last night that I was going yarn shopping for a new pair of socks. He looked very relieved when I told him that I meant to shop in my own stash. : ))

I chose a semi solid deep purple colored yarn - almost an eggplant color. I purchased it last year at MD Sheep and Wool. The yarn was dyed by Sandra at Dragon's Stash. Pictures in a day or so.
With that yarn in mind, I chose the Sunshine pattern from Sock Innovation. I think this will be a good combo and I am looking forward to some cabling action (though it's not very much cabling, so it won't slow down the progress of the sock). I have not yet finished the travel sock, so I just did the cast on and 2 rounds to get it started. Since I can't anticipate when the travel socks will be finished (progress depends on waiting time and traffic) I like to have my next sock ready to go. I am now prepared. ; )

I knitted a few more rows on the He Gansey and hope to make lots of progress on that tonight. It's knit night at the LYS. Yippee! Nancy won't be there tonight : ( but others will and I love to see what other projects are in the works. You never know what might inspire you ....
On the other hand, with all of the projects I have in mind and on the needles, I don't seem to need inspiration. Well, socializing is great and that I will get tonight.

Tomorrow Nancy and I are going on a field trip to the Mannings. Nancy might be getting a spinning wheel for Christmas from her family and she will be taking some (most) of the wheels for a spin. giggle. I fully intend to encourage her. I can't go to the Mannings and come home empty handed, of course, but I do hope to limit my purchasing to something small - yarn for a hat for DH, possibly. He needs a nice warm hat that fully covers his ears when he is on the boat in the fall and winter weather.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

arm gussets

The He Gansey is long enough. I have begun the gussets. I have knitted gussets on socks before but never on a sweater. This will be interesting. I am the point in the instructions that I will have to be cautious about things like "at the same time" or "concurrently" or whatever else might lead me astray.

I need to find some size 7 DPNs to continue Rob's hat - I have decreased enough that the stitches no longer fit on the shortest circular I own in the right size. Soon it will be time to experiment with earflaps. Yippee! I am anxious to try this thrumming thing.

I am going to go stash diving tonight for yarn for a pair of socks from Cookie A's book. With all of the stockinette that I have/will be knitting, I decided to make my next sock a patterned sock. There are a couple of patterns in there that I might be interested in adapting to worsted weight yarn for a heavy pair of house socks, but first I will start on a pair to be knitted as written.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

05:50 is darn early

The Broncos let me down. Big time. It was not a good football weekend.

I managed to stay wake until the 3rd quarter before deciding that my need for sleep was stronger than my need to watch the rest of the (bad) game. I am really glad that I did not loose more sleep over that game.

KnitPicks interchangeable needle sets have given some people fits. I have had a few problems but not many. Last night made up for it, though it didn't have the disastrous consequences that it could have. The cables on two of my projects separated from the connector with stitches on the needles. Two. In the same night! Luckily for me, no lace was on those needles. Both the He Gansey and Rob's earflap hat were affected. I didn't lose any stitches, though, since I noticed it right away. Today there will be superglue application. I would say that I will start buying other needles and get rid of these, but I have quite a few - several Options, two new acrylic tips and a full set of the harmony needles. In order to not loose the use of all of those tips, I will use superglue and periodically replace the cables, I think. BTW, I like the acrylic tips.

So, the decreases on the top of Rob's hat were begun, and the He Gansey has reached the length specified in the pattern for beginning the arm gusset. We need an assessment to evaluate whether additional length is needed before we move on. I am exited because this is the beginning of the interesting part of the sweater.

Addendum - the length is good. On to the gusset.

One more inch of ribbing on the travel socks will finish this pair off. I have to choose another sock to work on since my LYS has not yet gotten the additional Chocolate Cherry Claudia's sock yarn in. I can't finish that pair until I have the extra skein of yarn. I still haven't decided whether the next sock will be stockinette (possibly in Ravens colors) or a Cookie A design.

It's time to go use the superglue.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Typical Monday

Things just didn't go smoothly. Luckily, they worked out better for me not going smoothly than they would have if they had occourred as scheduled. How's that for odd?

I did more knitting last night during the Sunday night game. Eldest son's hat is a little further along and so is the He Gansey. I then picked up the purple alpaca scarf and worked a row in it. I had thought that I would start the edging but found that I was too tired and turned out the lights.

5:45 came very early this morning. I plan to try to work 10 hour days and take off on Friday. I hope that thoughts of Friday morning can pry me out of bed until then. It will be really tough tomorrow morning, since the Broncos are on Monday night football, playing the Steelers. There are a lot of Steeler fans where I work. I hope to be able to razz them about loosing the game on Tuesday. ; ))

On second thought .....

Maybe I can sleep in a little bit tomorrow morning and work from home for a couple of hours on Friday. That would be a lot easier to do. If I can keep my eyes open tonight, that is, until the end of the game. I can't stop yawning now and it's only 4 PM!

Sunday, November 08, 2009


After vacillating about what to do today, deciding to stay home and having a nice breakfast, I decided that it was too nice out to miss going on the boat. We packed in a hurry and off we went.

It was gorgeous on the Chesapeake, and flat as can be. It is very rare to be on the water and have it be so calm that it reflects the sky, but that's what it was like today. I am so glad that we went. I was even more glad that we decided to go while listening to the Raven's game on the radio. If I had stayed home today to watch that fiasco I would have been very upset. We came in just abut sunset - the sky was beautiful. Bob caught a few small fish and threw them back unharmed. I got lots of knitting done and we both enjoyed the sunshine. I think I got my dose of Vitamin D for a couple of days. It was a good day. I won't think about tomorrow and work yet.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

No boating today

The winds conspired against us. Winds that, 2 days ago were forecast to be 5-10 knots were, this morning, forecast to be 10-15 with gusts to 20 knots. I opted out, DH decided to give it a try. Once he arrived at the marina, though, he changed his mind. Other boaters who had been out (at this time of year there are not many, and they are the true diehards) were coming back in. The wind had truly picked up. DH decided he would stay in.

My knitting projects today included trying on the part of eldest son's earflap hat that I had knitted only to discover that, as I suspected, it was too loose. I frogged it and have re-knit it on 24 fewer stitches. I tried it on my head and it fits - I think it will do for eldest son, also. It looks good.

I worked on DH's He Gansey after I wove in the ends of the Elemental Boatneck. The finished garment will now go into the washer on the delicate cycle for blocking purposes. I will knit lots of He Gansey stockinette stitch. ; )

I sat in the sun on the deck for a while this afternoon and it was wonderful. As soon as the shade started to take over, though, I was cold and had to go inside. That makes me wonder about boating tomorrow. I had thought that I might give up watching the Ravens tomorrow so as to spend time with my honey doing something he loves. If I got cold in my yard at 2:30, what will happen on the water? Hmmm ... Warmth, sitting comfortably in my living room, watching TV and cheering the Ravens on vs. sitting outside, probably in the sun, spending time with DH, freezing my fingers off. I have a decision to make.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Another new project started

I cast on for eldest son's earflap hat. I am winging this design because I couldn't find a pattern that was just right. The yarn is Cascade 220.

Thisis the beginning of the hat. Since I am winging it, I decided to knit the cap first and pick up stitches to add the earflaps.

I took a pattern from the book I won at Knitters Day Out and then changed it up a little so that the lines of the design were thicker. We wanted the red yarn to be more significant.

It looks pretty good, I think. Now I have to hope that it fits. I had to add some stitches for the pattern repeat over what Ann Budds book of patterns said to cast on. I hope the fact that it's stranded color work will help. If not, it will be frogged and one less repeat included. I am no stranger to frogging, that's for sure.

The He Gansey is a little longer and will be worked on tomorrow on the boat.

Yes, it is just about winter and it's rather chilly outside now. It's supposed to get to 30 degrees tonight, but the forecast high for tomorrow is about 60. Hope springs eternal. We plan to go fishing tomorrow. That is, Bob will fish and I will knit and try to stay warm. It should be fine in the sunshine. It's later in the day, as the sun starts to go down that I will be cold.

If I am not frostbitten by the time we come in, I will fill you in on the days events. ; )

Thursday, November 05, 2009

just garter stitch

Despite a long day (that began with a 2 hour drive to work instead of the usual hour) and later than ususal hours, I completed the garter stitch band at the bottom of the He Gansey and joined front and back last night. Now I start the long stockinette stretch.

It's Thursday. Two good things about Thursdays - it's knitting night at the LYS and it's almost Friday.

Both of my sons are interested in earflap hats. They have different tastes, so the hats will be different. One thing I will add, I think, to eldest son's hat is to thrum the earflaps. I think that will make a huge difference in warmth, and will look cool. I will samples and show him before I actually knit it, so as to not waste my time if he thinks it is a stupid idea. It is his hat, after all.

I am looking forward to this time when I will be knitting on several larger projects and not much in the way of smaller ones. I think I will feel much more accomplishment if I end up with wearable sweaters rather than decorative scarves. I have already changed my buying habits so that I purchase sweater quantity yarn rather than a skein here and there of a yarn I like. I have the yarn at home for at least 3 sweaters. I will still knit socks, though. They are always useful.

Knitting with fiber friends tonight. yipee!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


The elemental Boatneck knit with Hempathy is completely knitted. It does have 2 ends that need to be woven in, but only 2, and it needs to be blocked. But it is complete and it fits! Yippee!!

End weaving and blocking will probably happen over the weekend.

Bob's new sweater, the He Gansey from No Sheep for You has been cast on. I am using Cascade 220 in a pretty soft blue color. Bob looks so good in blue but this is a different shade than he usually wears, so it will be different enough for him.

I had to scrape ice from my windshield this morning. gasp! I wonder what the winter weather will be this year.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Found, measured, washed and drying

My swatches, that is. The reversible cables scarf is drying also, and will hopefully be gifted tomorrow. I worked on the honka scarf last night. Progress is never fast in double knitting, but entertaining, at least with this project.

Maybe tonight I can find the magazine with the pattern for the elemental boatneck (since I can't find the copy of them that I know I had in my hand just a few days ago. That will teach me to clean up the place!) and figure out what I have to do to finish the project. That sounds like a good goal for tonight, along with measuring my hopefully dry swatches. Then I can start knitting!

ETA Swatches measured. Casting on. Looking for the magazine with the pattern I need. Have a good night.

Monday, November 02, 2009

New Projects. Sigh.

First, I have to tell you that I am still so excited that the Ravens beat the previously undefeated Broncos. I like the Broncos. I learned about football in Denver during the days of the Orange Crush. I had never watched a football game before we moved to Denver. Not once. You could not live in Denver without being aware of the Broncos. for instance, in the days of white uniforms for nurses, the hospital allowed orange shirts on game days! I guess I just sort of got sucked up by the crowd. I suppose. I am not sure how it happened - I had never been a football fan before and didn't intend to become one, but I did. An avid Broncos fan.

I remained a Broncos fan through our time (10 years) in Houston, TX and remained one after our move to Maryland. No one cheered louder than we did when John Elway and the Broncos finally won the Superbowl. But somehow the Ravens have gotten under my skin. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the game on Sunday, but it became very clear when I found myself cheering loudly for the Ravens. I didn't feel at all bad that the Broncos lost. They are now my second favorite team. Go Ravens!

I did knit some during the Ravens/Broncos game. I finished off the gift scarf including weaving in the ends. It needs a blocking and then can be gifted. I sewed the second sleeve into the Elemental Boatneck and hopefully I can knit the neckband tonight. I knitted some on the garter stitch scarf/shawl in purple alpaca. I knitted some rows on the Honka scarf. I could be happy knitting just that for a while. The design, the color changes .... I love it.

I swatched. DH's next sweater is to be a gansey style sweater. I am following a pattern this time, so there should be a lot less ripping and re-knitting. (I really hope that is true. I am beginning to think that I am destined to not knit sweaters for him). He liked the He Gansey in the No Sheep for You book, so that's what I swatched last night. I swatched stockinette stitch for the gauge and the double seed stitch and pine tree design for DH to see.

Being that he is a boat lover, I also swatched an anchor design for comparison.

The anchor is too large, in my opinion, to be repeated across the chest of the sweater - the charted design was better, but we agreed that I would include the anchor motif on the upper back of the sweater, just below the neck. He was very excited. I will be using Cascade 220 in a pretty, soft blue. I swatched, but resisted the urge to cast on. (pat on the back)

I also swatched for an ear flap hat. I found many designs on Ravelry, but not many that were just what I was looking for. Some were way too elaborate, some too plain and some just silly and my sons will not wear silly. I found a snowflake design and swatched that with Frog Tree Alpaca sport. I have some left from younger son's vest from last year in addition to some colors not used in that vest. I think I have found the colors that I want to use, but may still search for another design. I want to make a plainer one for elder son and will have to buy 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn for that. My stash does not yield acceptable colors in sufficient amounts of something that he will wear.

My swatches for the Mondo Cable Cardi have to be measured and washed. First I have to find them. (blush) I know I had them recently ....

ETA I found them. The measuring tape and paper come out next. I can't find the blasted instructions for the neckband for the elemental boatneck, so I can't finish that up tonight. Grrr.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Ravens did it!

The Baltimore Ravens beat the 6 - 0 Denver Broncos! Go Ravens!!!!!

I am swatching for new projects. ; )

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The good things

My rant is over for now and Bob did sleep better last night.

My Honka scarf is progressing nicely. Not fast, but nicely. Double knitting is still not an automatic thing for me and I tink at least a few stitches every few rows, but no major problems have arisen so I have knitted more than I have tinked and the scarf has grown. I love the color changes and that alone may make me knit a hat to go with the scarf. The yarn is black Cascade 220 with Silk Garden providing the color.

Bob's sweater has not yet been tried on so no progress to report there. Maybe this week, with the staples out, he will be OK to try it on.

My elemental boatneck has one and a half sleeves sewn in. It will be a priority this weekend to get that finished.

The gift scarf, reversible cables, has grown longer and should be finished this coming week. It should make good football knitting, and maybe I can even finish it on Sunday. I think I've knitted about 3/4 of the yarn. I suppose it will depend on the Ravens skill in the game - will I be spellbound, watching every play, needles barely moving or will I not want to watch a rout and finish the thing in the first half? LOL.

Both the travel sock and the second Spiraling Coriolis are near the ribbing and therefore near completion. I have not yet settled on either yarn or a pattern to replace those socks in my line up. I always have a pair of socks on the needle. Oh! I do have to finish my brother's socks. maybe that can be done during the second football game tomorrow.

Eldest son still does not have a job. It is so frustrating for all of us and very depressing for him. When will the economy turn around enough that companies will hire again?

We had hoped to get out on the boat this weekend but the weather is not cooperating. DH went out yesterday for a few hours and had fun. I require decent (mostly sunny) weather to accompany him and we don't have that today. It's not a possibility tomorrow since my two favorite teams will battle on the football field. Actually, I think the forecast is not favorable for boating anyway. Bummer.

I have started listening to the new Diana Gabaldon book An Echo in the Bone and am now addicted. The minute I think I will have 10 minutes to be alone I turn on the CD player. Terrible for productivity but I am enjoying it so much. I'll call Mom in a few minutes so we can compare notes. She is listening avidly also.

The mums around the pond are loosing their fresh look and falling over from the rain. They are still pretty, but starting to die off. The pond plants are settling into their winter state and the fish only beg for food on sunny days. Soon they won't even do that. Once the water temperature drops into the 60s they don't eat anymore.

The trees are dropping their leaves. The red leaves that I showed you on a previous post were on this tree last weekend.

Have a good weekend. Remember to "fall back" your clock tonight and enjoy the extra hour of sleep.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Staples out!

Bob went to see the surgeon this morning. He is healing well, the staples - surgical clips - have been removed and he can resume normal activities. Yippee! Maybe he'll be able to sleep better now.

We still don't know how much this implant will help Bob to lead a more normal life (each person reacts differently, but the doctor feels that Bob is a great candidate and will do well), but just the fact that there is something to be done, some possible help, is great. One of the things that frustrates me about his vision problems is that there is nothing that can be done about it. Nothing to help improve his vision or even stop the deterioration. I really hope that this implant makes Bob's life easier. He is such a good man - good husband, father, worker, son-in-law and whatever you can think of. A little good luck would be very much deserved and appreciated.

BTW, did you know that none of the news magazines provide large type versions? Apparently people with low vision don't deserve to be able to stay informed about world news and events. And no, he can't read braille and no, he can't listen to audio versions, even the evening news because he is also mostly deaf. Grrr.

We are checking into Kindle and Nook and others but from reading reviews about each, one of the major drawbacks is going to be that they use grey on grey. Many people with low vision (legally blind but not totally blind) need high contrast to read, and none of these devices are black print on white pages. There is no way to test reading ability short of ordering a device (and then paying return shipping if you decide that it doesn't work for you). The next option is to spend several thousands of dollars on a document camera, that then has to be read on a screen. Helpful, but not exactly comfortable for settling down for an evening's reading.

Well. The first step in getting more input for Bob has been taken. Now we wait for November 17.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Some of the trees in the area around me look like this.

Most others are full of the beautiful fall colors that make me smile when I step outside. Soon enough all of the tress will look like the first picture. Meanwhile, I plan to enjoy as much of this fall as I can.
DH came through his cochlear implant with flying colors. Not that he's wanted to fly recently, (or do much other traveling) but he did well. The pain and vertigo are both lessening. He might even be able to sleep the whole night through some day soon. The swelling has diminished quite a bit and the incision is clean and healthy looking. I would not be a good wife if I showed you the pictures ....

Now we wait for the swelling to go down further and the healing to progress to the point that on 11/17 the device will be activated for the first time. It's not quite the joyous occasion one would think, though it is the first step. That is the beginning of re-learning how to hear, or, more correctly, how to interpret what he hears into what he knows so that it make sense.

Knitting progress -

My travel sock, less than an inch of stockinette to go, then 3 inches of ribbing and I will have a complete pair. Yippee!

My scarf, made with a blend of wool, silk and bamboo. I am going to put this aside for a while to work on my Honka Scarf (double knitting) that I put away when it got too hot.

Chocolate Cherry Spiraling Coriolis sock, heel almost turned. These are some of the stitch markers I made with the letters on them to assist with navigation through new sock construction pathways.

Heel in progress

This is a gift scarf for one of the parking attendants I see frequently. She is so good with people - remembers names, remembers things about your family, made a few suggestions for jobs for eldest son to apply for. She asked if she could pay me to knit for her. I won't do that, but I will knit a scarf for her. Reversible cables, from this book. I think it's the first or second pattern in the book.

I plan to make a Mondo Cable Cardigan this winter. This is one of the swatches I have made. It's Rowan Felted Tweed Aran I love the look of the yarn for this project. I am a little concerned about the hand of the yarn against my skin (neck and wrists); though I would probably be wearing a turtleneck under it most of the time, I wouldn't want to feel that I had to have one on in order to wear the sweater.

This is Kathmandu I love the look and the feel. It would most likely not be as tolerant of wear as the previous yarn.

I had hoped to complete the sleeves on DH's sweater this weekend, but it's time for a try on session and his head hurts too much (from the surgery) to pull a sweater over it right now. That's on hold.

My Elemental Boatneck has all ends woven in and one sleeve sewn in! I had my doubts about the fit - the armscye looked way too big for the sleeve, but I think it looks good. I will try it on tonight to be sure that it's OK on me and not just lying flat. One more sleeve to be sewn in and the neck edging .... soon it will be wearable .....

I am on a finish the WIPs push right now. (1) Elemental Boatneck will be very soon, (2) Bob's sweater not too far behind it. (3) Travel socks are very close and the (4) Spiraling Coriolis socks should be completed in about a month. I have to wait for my LYS owner to get in the additional skein I requested so that I could make the socks long enough for me. They should go even faster once I have the travel socks done, since they will have no sock competition. The (5) Honka scarf will be worked on instead of other scarves I have in the works (except the gift scarf - I am not putting that aside) since I started that last year. I am planning on all of these being completed by Thanksgiving.

New projects, to be started after I finish these listed projects, include the Mondo Cable Cardi for the KAL at my LYS (after the new year) the Cardi Cozy that I started a while ago from the newest Mason-Dixon book, a gansey style sweater (in wool) for DH and a pair of socks from Cookie A's book. Oh, and the summer version of the Mondo Cable pullover/vest that I have already swatched for. I have to do measurements on the swatch, do some calculations to be sure I am knitting the correct size and then knit. I will knit that before I start the KAL in the new year so that I have knit the pattern before and am familiar with it. I sound busy, don't I? Spinning has to fit in there somewhere, and I am contemplating one of those ear flap hats for each of my sons .....

A last look at fall flowers - this looks like spring/summer daisies, but is really a mum, and it's the last of our mums to bloom. So pretty .....