So, that's it. Now I think I'll sleep some more.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
So, that's it. Now I think I'll sleep some more.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Just a quickied to say that I'm headed out to have my surgery. Thank you all so much for your sweet emails and your kind words and prayers. If you've sent me a note or a message and I didn't reply, I apologize but please know I did get all of your emails and I so appreciate your kindness.Today's Quote:
"We are here to add to the sum of human goodness. To prove the thing exists." - Josephine Hart
Friday, December 07, 2007
I was sitting in the waiting room at the ankle doctor yesterday, waiting for my pre-op appointment. In that group, there are four podiatrists. A 60-ish looking husband and wife were there to see a different doctor than mine and they were standing at the counter beside me.
Wife (to receptionist): "Hi. We have appointments to see Dr. J. I'm at 9:00 and my husband at 9:15."
Receptionist: "Ok. I can get you checked in"....followed by the usual insurance and contact verification and chit chat.
Receptionist: "Do you two want to go back together or would you rather the nurse call you separately?"
Wife: "It doesn't matter to me." (Looks at husband.)
Husband: "That's fine. We can go back together." (Shrugs) "I've seen her boobs plenty of times before."
Receptionist: (Stunned awkward silence.)
"If I were two faced, do you really think I would be wearing this one?" -Abraham Lincoln
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Three whole weeks and not a single post. Shame on me. What the hell is my problem? Where does the time go? Crazy, crazy, crazy. I have been thinking about ya'll. Really I have. And I have been reading blogs but haven't taken the time to leave comments. (And I thought my blog stalking days were over.) I've been thinking about blogging...I've twice maxed out my memory card (roughly 160 pictures) taking pictures with every intention of writing some profound something about every single picture....Not gonna happen.If I try to tell you everything at length, I'll never get this posted so instead I'll try to give you the high points and a few pictures.
Section I: Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. It didn't snow while we were in Oregon but it was very cold and that made me happy. If I pretended real hard, I could imagine the heavy morning frost was snow. (I'm easily contended.) By all accounts, the sweaters were a huge success, both at the Oregon Thanksgiving and at the festivities at my parents' house here. Mama says these were the best ornaments yet and I was so glad to hear it. Hopefully the tiny socks will be equally successful next year. (See? I'm already planning ahead.)
While we were at my MIL's, I took a ton of pictures. My mother-in-law lives down a rural road and the scenery around her place is beautiful. There is a small creek that runs under the road on the way up to her house and it is such a pretty area. Every time we visit her, I tell myself I am going to walk down to the creek and take some pictures but I never do. This time I finally did. I took nearly 100 pictures on that walk. It has been a relatively dry year so the creek is low but that just serves to show off the rocks. It was cloudy and gray and cold that afternoon and it was really just perfect for a picture taking walk. Here are a few.
Section II: Knitting
I've been working on a secret project. Not secret because it is a surprise for anyone - it's actually something for me - but secret because I am thinking about submitting the pattern for something. Anita at the LYS has agreed to test knit the pattern for me (as soon as I get the pattern worked up to a point that someone other than me can read it...) Anyone else interested? It is a felted something, uses a single skein of Cascade 220 or similar feltable wool. If you'd be interested in doing a little test knitting, leave me a comment or send me an email. (crickitleigh at hotmail dot com) No hurry...it can wait until after Christmas, even after the first of the year.
I've also been working on socks for Lori. Once I've got it all figured out, I'll share the pattern with you. I am very happy with them so far and (hurray) after turning the heel, it fit Lori. I'm still fiddling with the leg pattern. The always fabulous RC is helping me work out the pattern. Here's the sock so far, relaxing in my as-yet-undecorated Christmas tree. (I've only had the tree since Saturday. I'll decorate it soon. Really, I will.)Sunday night I made these stitch markers for Deb. Now I just hope she shows up at knitting tomorrow night...I also made stitch makers and earrings for Trixie but, in my enthusiasm to get them in the mail, I didn't take any pictures. Maybe she'll take pictures once they arrive on her end.
Section III: My BIL Jeff
I've talked frequently about my SIL Lori and my sister Katy but I've never talked much about my BIL, Jeff. Jeff is more like a brother than a brother-in-law. My oldest sister, Carrie, to whom Jeff is married, is 10.5 years older than me. I first met Jeff when I was 5. When we were little, we thought for sure Carrie would marry her friend Sam (when you're little, sometimes it is hard to distinguish friends from "friends") but we have always been glad she married Jeff. Jeff and Carrie are the parents of Whitney and Tegan.
So during the last few years, Jeff has been working on getting his private pilot's license. Friday I had the distinction of being the first adult in the family to fly with Jeff. And we had such a good time. Thankfully I remembered to take along my camera. I took tons of pictures, most of which are nearly indistinguishable if you don't know what you are look at. Here are a few that are easily identifiable.
Jeff after completing his pre-flight check.
My neighborhood is so peaceful from up there.
Here we are at 2500 feet ASL.
This is my first go at using the video feature on my camera and my first go at uploading video in a post...Here's take off.
As Jeff is fond of saying: take off is optional, landing is mandatory. Sadly, I was distracted during landing and didn't get a picture or video then. I am happy to report, however, that we did indeed land safely. And it was a very smooth landing at that.
Section IV: The Crazy
Things have been crazy here and that can be largely attributed to Tuesday's upcoming ankle surgery. Between trying to get everything at work all caught up and on auto-pilot as much as is possible, and trying to get all of the laundry and Christmas shopping finished at home, I feel just the tiniest bit overwhelmed. I'm sure it will be pretty steadily hectic until next Tuesday morning. Hopefully I'll have a chance to post before then....time will tell.
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I know I'm not the only one who makes lots of grand knitting plans. Who falls in love with a project before good sense kicks in and tells them to turn away. I've read too many blogs and seen too many knitters with that desperate look in their eyes. . . I know I am not alone. I am counting on the collective warm thoughts and happy knitting wishes to get me through this next project. (As well as the help of Deb, who I shanghaied at knitting on Wednesday night.)
I have accidentally committed to knit a sweater for my sister Katy. (Enthusiasm can be the damnedest thing.) A sweater that is maybe (oh just maybe) beyond my skill level. A sweater pattern that I showed to my mother and said, "Wouldn't that be pretty on Katy?" To which she replied, "We can give it to her together. I'll buy the yarn if you will knit it." Fundamentally, I think I am capable of knitting this sweater but I have certainly never accomplished anything quite so complex. And I do plan to spend some good portion of the month of December out on Aunt Mary's proverbial front porch.
What do you think? Can ya'll talk me through Oblique? I hope so, since my mama has already ordered the yarn. Someone send wine. (As an aside, if you are looking for a new or different yarn source, I would very much recommend you give California Yarn Co a look. Excellent selection and friendly service, not to mention the discounts offered on full bag purchases of $50 or more.)
So, it is now 3 days until Thanksgiving. I won't keep you in suspense: I got all of the tiny sweaters finished. I was worried for a bit toward the end of last week. I think it is a fundamental knitting truth: many a fine knitting project has been derailed by new yarn. It was a dangerous few days, when the 3 skeins of Socks That Rock arrived, but alas, I was able to tough it out. I will admit, though, that I did swatch enthusiastically on socks for Lori.
The Korppi is more beautiful in person than in the pictures. (The photo above doesn't do it justice.) I am slightly less enamored with the Count Cluckula. I'll take pictures soon. Count Cluck has a great big swath of bright sunshine yellow that isn't visible in the picture on the website. For the time being, I am letting it marinate in the stash and I'll decide later if I'm going to knit it.
Again, sidetracked by the new yarn....anyway, I've finished the sweaters. I finished the last one late Sunday night. You'll notice the pictured sweaters do not add up to 30. I got the three extras done but (irresponsible blogger that I am) forgot to photograph them before giving them away. Oops. Also, I decided not to knit a sweater ornament for me...I never give myself an ornament. duh. Which all adds up to: here are 25 finished little sweaters.
Without further adieu...I give you sweaters. (Ok a little more adieu...I apologize for my substandard photography. And my less than expert picture splicing to get them all in one frame.)
A Few At a Time
(Top to bottom) Peaches & Cream Cotton in Fiesta, Brown wool of unknown origins, Red Cascade 220.
Sugar n' Cream cotton, fantabulously soft Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK.
Rowan Calmer (leftover from the Daisy sweater), black Cascade 220
Green cotton Patagonia from Araucania, some something that I can't remember what it is and don't have any labels for even though I have three skeins of it milling about in the stash but that I think I picked it up while in Hawaii on my honeymoon.
White cotton from the LYS but I can't remember exactly what white cotton, Di.Ve' Autunno in Navajo.
Vanna White yarn (the only acrylic sweater in the bunch), Mango Moon recycled sari silk, more red Cascade 220.
Cascade 220 superwash, blue Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton Silk held together with light blue fuzzy something from stash, Di.Ve' Autunno in variegated gray.
On top we have the very first sweater from the advent of this project. The Papaya Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton Silk, Peaches & Cream cotton in Fiesta, Cascade 220 Superwash.
Di.Ve' Autunno in that gray again, Mission Falls 1824 Wool in a dark green, Di.Ve' Autunno in Navajo. (The Autunno is so wonderfully soft.)
Top: Tahki Cotton Classic in pink and green, bottom: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK held together with Cotton Classic duplicate stitched with the pink Cotton Classic.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I have wanted to try needle felting for a long time. In fact, I have a needle felting tool that I got and used for putting eyes on hedgehogs last Christmas, but that is the extent of my experience with needle felting. I really want to do more but I haven't worked up the courage to try. (I hate when I suck at something and I worry that I am going to suck at the needle felting.)
Imagine my surprise when I was at TLE, innocently shopping around for a sock blocker keychain kit (which they were out of, by the way, and I finally found at Diva Knitting) when I happen upon this little guy.
I think I'm going to have to have this kit. I think I'm in love. Is $22 crazy for a felting kit? It doesn't say how big the finished ewe is, but from the pictures I'm guessing he's about 3 or 4 inches tall. He is modeled after THE loopy ewe in their logo. (actually....she, huh? Ewe. She. Anyway....)
I was thinking I would order this for myself but I didn't.... Instead of the felted sheep kit, I made a donation to Oliver's Fund. Did ya'll know that Michaela is putting together a blanket of donated 4" sock yarn squares and then raffling the blanket off? I have read Emma's blog for a long time and have such a soft spot for her Oliver. You don't have to knit a square to get in on the raffle. The raffle tickets are extremely affordable: £1 GB or about $2 US. You can pay via PayPal (that's the link above). I know there are at least a few of you who might be reading this who live outside both the US and UK so I'm providing you with this chart:
Raffle Ticket Costs in Currencies Other than GB Pounds or US Dollars.
Australian Dollar: 2.25
Canadian Dollar: 1.93
Hong Kong Dollar: 16.19
New Zealand Dollar: 2.69
Norwegian Kroner: 11.16
Swedish Krona: 13.25
If none of those currencies apply to you, there are currency converters all over the internet and it is a small number. Barely more than a bottled water.
Why am I telling you all of this? Basically, because it is a cause that matters to me and I hate that they are having a slow time of selling raffle tickets. (As of last Thursday, only 17 sold.) If you feel compelled to buy a raffle ticket by making a donation to Oliver's Fund, click here and do it. I'll wait here. Then leave me a comment saying you did and I'll send beaded stitch markers or earrings (recipient's choice) handmade by me to the first five commenters to tell me they've purchased a raffle ticket. It only takes one to get in the drawing and get something from me but if you buy 10 tickets or more, I'll send you stitch markers and earrings.
A Bouncing Baby Skein
The new Raven Clan of colorways over at Blue Moon are very beautiful and did not disappoint. They are striking, actually. I love the usual beauties of Socks That Rock - the Cockamamie, the Loch Ness, the Fire On The Mountain - but I was struggling with finding the right yarn to knit socks for my sister-in-law (who has a birthday today.) I want to knit her socks that she will like but, more importantly, I want to knit her socks that she will actually wear. And the Raven yarns? They fit that bill perfectly. Beautiful, special yarn in colors with depth and dimension, but also suitable to wear to her office job. I decided on Korpii for her
and the Count Cluckula for me. (I'm short and therefore my pants are all long so I don't have to worry as much about loud socks. 5'2" has its advantages.)
So maybe I will knit socks while I am laid up. I have well and truly fallen in love with the sock knitting and the last few days of knitting sweaters, I have been longing for those tiny needles and the socks. Funny how our preferences as knitters change, huh?
I also want to knit this No Tie Hat that RC recently finished. The hat is cute and I love the nifty construction. There is a new baby that joins us frequently for Wednesday night knitting. Surely she needs a hat.
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, / Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before." -Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven
Monday, November 05, 2007
Finished count: 21
Knitted but not sewn up: 3
On the needles: 2
And I'd like to ask you to pause a moment and consider this: it is only November 5 - a full 3 weeks and 3 days until Thanksgiving. At this point, I am feeling very confident (though cautiously, of course) that I am going to have these babies done in time. I am even starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I won't be knitting on our drive to Oregon on the 21st. There is always the possibility that I will fall off the wagon in the mean time but I am actually not stressing about this project. (For now. Those sounding frighteningly like famous last words...)
An Apple A Day
Might keep the doctor away but, for me at least, only until December 11. That's when my ankle surgery is scheduled. This one is going to be a bit more extensive so I'll have to spend a night or two in the hospital this time around and I am ok with that. I have to weigh a couple of main factors, namely: being at home in my own bed versus IV pain medicine, and in this particularly case, that's not much of a contest.
I've been thinking about knitting during this time of not walking (at least four months). I have heard the siren call of the Chevron scarf over at Dr. B's. I have resisted for a long time (ever since I bought the book) but I'm thinking maybe this will be a good project for me.
Or maybe I will finally get my act together and knit up my Briar Rose yarn. I still plan to make myself a Cozy wrap.
I have been waiting patiently for Blue Moon to put out the Raven Series. That happens today. (as of the moment I am typing this, the front page of the website still says they will be up this evening, after 6 pm PST.) Something tells me there will be yarn there that I will love.
Have ya'll seen the new show Pushing Daisies? I hadn't seen it and didn't really have any interest in seeing it until my SIL told me I needed to watch it and that she had saved the episodes on her Tivo for me to come over and watch it. (I love that SIL.)
So after watching the first several episodes all in one evening, there are about 1000 reasons I love this show but I will limit myself to 10. (Because Lord knows, I'm long-winded enough.)
Ten Reasons I love Pushing Daisies:
1. It is funny without being cheesy or overly obvious. Smart funny.
2. The characters are instantly endearing.
3. Emerson Cod. He knits when he is stressed. He has knitted himself a vest and handgun cosies.
4. Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth). This chick could easily be an annoying, grating character but she isn't. I particularly love that, as we learn from the Narrator "She feels she has an orchestra in her heart that can only be heard when it is broken and the orchestra 'spills out into the world.' "
5. Speaking of the Narrator - I love the Narrator. This show plays more like an old movie than a new television program and the Narrator has a lot to do with that.
6. The colors. The whole appearance of the show is lush and over-the-top and beautiful. Again, like an old movie. . . one that was filmed in black and white and has been dramatically colorized.
7. This conversation:
Emerson Cod: Sounds like you're a narcoleptic.
Ned: I suffer from sudden and uncontrollable types of deep sleep?!
Emerson Cod: What's the other one?
Emerson Cod: Words that sound alike get mixed up in my head.
Olive: Me, too. I used to think masturbation meant chewing your food. [awkward silence]
Olive: I don't think that anymore.
(as quoted on IMDB)
8. Olive and Chuck's aunts (Lily and Vivian) sing one of my favorite They Might be Giants songs Birdhouse in Your Soul.
9. Vivian and Lily were the members of a synchronized swimming duo called the Darling Mermaid Darlings, who were forced to disband after Lily lost her right eye while cleaning the cat's litter box.
10. This conversation:
Charlotte (Chuck): Can't we just be here as concerned citizens of the world?
Emerson Cod: No. Big Daddy needs new yarn.
(That one I am quoting from memory so if you saw it and I am misquoting, please tell me.)
Here is the extended preview.
If you haven't seen the preview and/or haven't seen the show, watch this preview but know that the preview doesn't do it justice. You really need to watch the show. Set your tivo, clear your calendar....better yet, go watch a full length episode at abc.com.
"Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow." -Abraham Lincoln
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Do you ever come across a scene or a picture that just wants to be knit into something? I saw this picture (above) and in my minds eye, it was screaming out for knitting. A blanket, maybe? A scarf? A sweater? What do ya'll think? Look at the source here in MSN's photoblog. It is much more striking in the original.
Last Friday, I went with the SIL Lori to an appointment. While we were waiting, there was another lady there, also waiting. She was a pleasant woman, smiling, inquiring about the tiny sweaters. She sat down, got comfortable and promptly started talking on her cell phone. I felt like I was eavesdropping but she kept looking around at us, smiling, pointing at the phone as she talked, as if to include us in the conversation. It was very funny. The substance of the conversation wasn't all that funny - except for the parts about a friend/acquaintance she apparently hasn't seen in a while who "looks really great except she has gotten a huge ass" and the bit about some friend of her children who is staying with them . She had to explain to the child that they don't eat "cheesy puffies or chips or..." (pause, listening) "right, cheetos" at her house.
Of course, on a subsequent call, where a friend on the other end of the line apparently informed her that one of her children was sick and she exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, Julie, your kids are the sickest people I've ever met. They always have something wrong with them." After which she instructed her friend (sternly) that she needed to get her kids to "some place good, like the holistic medicine place," and get them on some vitamins or something.
Anyway, the substance of the conversations was only part of the equation. Mostly, we couldn't stop laughing at her quirky turns-of-phrase, including: "Holy Macraroni" and "Oh my God bless America" and (my favorite) "For Cryin' in a Basket", used in place of "for crying out loud" or similar.
Affection from Afar
Monday, October 29, 2007
- from Less is More: How Great Companies Use Productivity by Jason Jennings:
- from Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen:
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Happy Birthday, D!!
We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Crazy
Do you ever have those days when all of the crazy stuff that could possibly happen happens? I've had a string of those days lately. Crazy stuff at work, crazy stuff at home...I've heard about that superbug and I'm starting to wonder if there is a mutant form of the bug that makes people act crazy. If so, then we are having an epidemic in my neck of the woods.
I found out this week that my friend Allison, who first taught me to knit on my rainy birthday many moons ago, reads my blog. Hi Allison! Allison is currently making Fuzzy Feet. I'll take a picture next time I see her.
The Scarf - A Real Honest-to-Goodness Finished Handknit
I finished the Bouton d'Or scarf. This yarn was an absolutely joy to knit with. If you come across it, I would encourage you - no urge you, compel you - to buy it and knit something. It is beautiful and so soft.
I ended up giving this scarf to my ankle surgeon's nurse/assistant. I finished it the night before my appointment last week and remembered that she was talking about having trouble finding a nice scarf that was long enough and wide enough and not itchy. This seemed to fit the bill and she seemed to really love it so there you go.
Yarn: 3 skeins Bouton d'Or in the Ketchup (209) colorway. It must be said, though, that there is nothing ketchup-y about this color. It is more mauve or dusty rose or something. Something decidely not ketchup-y.
Needles: Size 9 Addi Turbos. The label recommends size 11 but I didn't have any on hand. I tend to knit very tightly and was, therefore, a little concerned with going down sizes but it worked out perfectly. The resulting fabric is light and drappy and lovely.
Pattern: Farrow Rib scarf (8 repeats) from The Little Box of Scarves. From the 3 skeins, less about 2 yards, the resulting scarf was 6" wide, 70" long.
Christmas Ornament SweatersI am making good solid progress on the Christmas ornament sweaters. As of about 10:30 p.m. last night, I have 12 completed sweaters, one that needs to be sewn up and one on the needles. 18 doesn't seem very far off. (Knock on wood.) They are excellent take along knitting and work up pretty quickly since I haven't been getting too fancy pants with the patterns (mostly seed stitch, plain stockinette, 1x1 ribbing, and a simple slip-stitch pattern, pictured below.)
I haven't had the same luck with the ghosts. Let's not talk about the ghosts.
Here, look at the scarf again.
"There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate." -Robert Frost
Friday, October 12, 2007
Whitney is my oldest niece, the oldest grandchild in our family. Whit is Tegan's twin sister and, other than sharing the same birthday, and that special twin-love for each other, they have very little in common. Tegan is very dramatic. Very frou-frou. Girly. A conversation with her includes lots of hand motions and raised eyebrows and a fair number of "oh-my-gosh"s and high fives. Tegan is funny, too, but in a different way. She tells big, exaggerated stories. Whitney, on the other hand....the only exaggerated thing about her is her exaggerated calm. Whit is very chill, and nothing gets her too wound up.
When Whitney was in the 4th grade, my sister Carrie (her mother) came home from work one day to find that Whitney's finger was hugely swollen and bruised-black. She couldn't bend it and was in quite a bit of pain. Carrie asked her what she had done and Whitney said she jammed it playing basketball before school. Carrie was, understandably, upset that Whit's hand looked like this and she was just now finding out about it. She asked her if she had gone to the school nurse. Whitney said she went to the nurse when it first happened and they taped it and told her to come back if it turned blue. When Carrie asked her why she didn't go back to the nurse, Whit said, "Because it didn't turn blue...it turned black."
So knowing that that is quintessential Whitney, the events of yesterday morning should not come as a surprise to anyone. Whit works as an intern at my office. Yesterday morning, when she came to work, she had a bandage on her hand. She explained the bandage by saying that the night before, she had been at a friend's house and scratched her hand. Umm. Ok.
A bit later, she was looking in the first aid supplies for some neosporin and I offered to help her. She said it didn't bleed much and it didn't really hurt but she wanted to keep it clean. She took off the band aid to show me her scratch. Here's Whitney's scratch.
As one might imagine, I went and got her mother who took her to the Acute Care where she got her "scratch" stitched up.
"So reports of my madness, as they say, were greatly exaggerated. Not that I give a bugger either way." -David Icke