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!