Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This, That & The Other

Inspiration is Everywhere

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

Recently, Kay and Ann have been discussing crushes which prompted me to go on an extensive YouTube search for clips of my (sort-of secret) long-time crush, John Denver. I love his music from all periods of his career but I think he became increasingly crush-worthy as he aged. I once watched the PBS special on him twice in a row, very late at night, after everyone else had gone to bed.
Also, I've long had a soft-spot for Kermit the Frog. He is super cool and cute and oh-so-very sensible. He has that quiet, unassuming take-charge manner. Subtly funny, he manages to be the center of attention without stealing the show. Also, I think maybe I always liked that he was sweet to Miss Piggy and never once looked down is sweet little nose at her full-figured physique.

What a happy coincidence, then, to find a video of John and Kermit (and the muppet gang) singing around the campfire.

I also found this clip of John Denver singing with, to the best of my figuring, with a Dutch John Denver impersonator. Even if you don't like John Denver, it is worth watching 1) to see how much the impersonator sounds like him and 2) to see what a close-talker the show's host is. Marit, are you familiar with this show? Is it shown in Norway? Am I off base on this?

Today's Quote:

"I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life - whoever you are, whatever our differences." -John Denver

Monday, October 29, 2007

Meme: Page 161


They are lovely and make for excellent blog filler but I am bad at them. RC tagged me 10 days ago and I am just now meme'ing. Better late than never, right? This meme instructs the participants to "open the book(s) you're currently reading to page 161 and read the fifth sentence on the page, then think of 5 bloggers to tag with."

Current reading with 161 or more pages...

"Hurry inside and lock the door?"

"They explain how things work: 'When we get a new member on our team, they get ninety days to make it.'"

"The secret videotaping in that case was done as a part of an undercover investigative report on 'telepsychics' by a television reporter in a workplace with low, open cubicles where conversations could easily be overheard by anyone in the room."

"By late morning, I'm just another menagerie man: cleaning dens, chopping food, and hauling manure with the rest of them."

So that's it for current reading. I'm not tagging 5 people - I'm tagging everyone. If you read this post and want to meme along, please do so. And leave me a comment so I can read yours, too.

On the Knitting Front: All Sweaters, All the Time
Tiny sweaters, tiny sweaters everywhere.

I've done the figuring. I need 14 for my family's Thanksgiving at my parents' house, which I will (sadly) not be attending. I need 11 for Thanksgiving at my mother-in-laws, where I will be spending the holiday. I need 2 to send to Tegan and her roommate and I need 3 more for something else. That makes 30. Technically the 3 spares don't have to be done by Thanksgiving (technically they don't have to be done at all) but if I'm going to do them, I'd like to get them all finished before November 21.
The photo above was taken when I had 12 sweaters complete (though only 11 made the picture.) The one below is number 9. Blue Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton Silk, leftover from Kim's ISE scarf, held together with some furry fluffy something that was hanging out in the yarn bin. Very soft.

When I'm all done knitting the sweaters, I'll post pictures of all of them individually (or at least in small groups.) It will be a veritable sweater parade.
Today's Quote:

"Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, 'Thank God I'm still alive.' But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again." California Senator Barbara Boxer

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Knitting - Yes, Really

Do you remember this little guy? The recipient of the Daisy sweater? Well last Saturday he turned one. How can he possibly be a whole year old already?!? I am starting to sound like an old woman.

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 Sweaters

I 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.

Today's Quote:

"There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate." -Robert Frost

Friday, October 12, 2007


My niece Whitney is a funny girl. Whit is mild-mannered and droll. She is very smart and very much a smart ass. Even as a small child, Whitney was always very sarcastic, dry, subdued. She is very calm and has always taken things very literally.

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 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.

Today's Quote:

"So reports of my madness, as they say, were greatly exaggerated. Not that I give a bugger either way." -David Icke

Sunday, October 07, 2007

One Thing Led to Another...

And all of the sudden I've taken an inadvertent hiatus from blogging. And my how I've missed ya'll!!

(I'm still fighting the stupid spacing issues that Blogger likes to inflict on me. Sorry about the screwy look.)


I've been back home from my travels for a week and I've been going a mile a minute since. I had jury duty on Monday and I must say, after years of knitting anywhere and everywhere, it is highly disconcerting to sit around hour after hour after hour without the knitting. Knitting needles are verboten at the courthouse. Instead I got some work done and started reading Water for Elephants. It is an excellent read, if you find yourself with free time and (gasp) no knitting.
I also recently read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, which I highly recommend.

Now, let's see what kind of ground we can cover in this post. (Sorry if you are on dial-up....I've been taking pictures.)

On the Go

While my travels last month were for business purposes, the scenery was really beautiful there. I was a bit short on time and perpetually neglectful of my camera but I did manage to get a few semi-decent pictures, including one night shot. These pictures don't do it justice. Really.

Knitting in the Big House

In early September, Katy, Lori and I took our 10-year-old niece and nephew to Alcatraz for a long-awaited birthday outing. I took pictures but before I found the time to post them, September got crazy. Better belated than not at all, I suppose...

It was a really wonderful, fun day. They are great kids (not that I'm biased...) and we all had such a good time. The weather was grey and sort of dreary and I loved it.

Coit Tower, from the vantage point of waiting for the Alcatraz ferry. Arriving at Alcatraz Island.
There are still remnants on Alcatraz from when the location was used for a military fort and military prison, including the cannon seen here in the background.In front of the Industrial Building, which sits at one end of the Rock.

Visiting the sock, locked up for some undisclosed indiscretion.

Even knowing the facility has long-since been decommissioned as a prison, there is something disturbing about standing behind those bars. We did anyway, of course.

The Nephew.
The Niece. (Look at that pitiful expression! She is a drama queen.)
The Lori. (The angry convict, apparently.)
The Katy. (Maybe this picture gives you some indication of where The Niece gets her drama-y streak.)
The Me. Knitting. (After all, it was just prison, not jury duty.)
The view from the Warden's house, back into the city.
Antique Shopping
Yesterday we three aunts had ourselves another little outing. Lunch, some antique shopping, other shopping, dinner. All-in-all, a very good, refreshing day. We visited our favorite bakery, Teacake Bake Shop, where the cookies are $2 a piece and the cupcakes are $3 a piece, and both are worth every single red penny. Delicious.

During the antique shopping portion of our fun, I found an old sewing standing.I remember my mother or possibly my grandmother (one or the other - it is a vague memory) having one of these when I was growing up and I thought it would be the perfect thing to put beside the chair to hold my knitting. It didn't hurt, either, that it was 40% off the marked price. Lucky me.


I finished my socks but I don't have a picture of them, yet. They fit beautifully and I am very pleased with them. If I had known how comfy they would be, maybe I'd have knit socks for myself sooner. Probably not, but maybe.
I have been doing some knitting the last few days. I'm making a scarf.
I've wanted to do something using the Farrow Rib pattern that I fell in love with way back during the ISE3. I've also had a yarn I've been hankering to knit with but no real need. The yarn is the lovely 50% camel hair 50% wool blend of Ksar from Bouton d'Or. The softness is indescribable. I've paused more than once while knitting on this scarf just to fondle the yarn. I've wanted to knit something from this yarn and I've considered all sorts of things - hat, mitts, etc. - but nothing seemed quite right, so I finally decided what the hell. I'm just going to knit a scarf, even if I don't currently need a scarf or know anyone who particularly needs a scarf. That's a knitter's prerogative, right?

Like Ripping Off a Band-Aid

I really have been crazy busy and that has kept me from post - or reading blogs, either, for that matter - but also, my absence from blogging can be partially attributed to that old adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." So I'll tell you this quickly, to get it over with, and then we can pretend I didn't say it.

I found out last week that I'm going to have to have more surgery on my ankle. Despite everyone's best efforts, it hasn't healed the way it should have. My doctor warned me last August before that first surgery that it may not fix my problem and I guess that's what has come to pass. So, more surgery, more months on crutches, more hassle, more everything. Bleck. I can't say I want to have surgery again but I won't deny that I am keen on the idea of it not hurting anymore (surprise, surprise). The prospective of having an ankle that is really and truly better makes it easier to swallow. At my heart, I am forever an optimist.

That being said, I'm working diligently at looking at the bright side and I'm asking your forgiveness in advance for the maudlin moments that are inevitably ahead. I've thought about just not blogging because I don't want to be a whiner and really, sometimes I don't have anything nice to say, but I've been reminded that the bloggers and the knitters are wonderful encouragers and supporters and so here we go again.

Knitters Make Great Friends

Speaking of fabulous knitter friends...I'd like you to meet a new friend of mine. This is Deb. Deb and I met at my LYS at Wednesday night knitting. Deb is a joiner and loves a knit-a-long, thus the name of her blog. It is one of the things I love about her - she always has some new wonderful something in the works. When I go a few weeks without attending the Wednesday night get together, I always come back to discover some fabulous new something on her needles. Welcome to Blogland, Deb!!

Ghosts are a Phallusy

Have ya'll seen the new MagKnits? Those little ghosts are so freaking precious. My affinity for felted creatures is certainly no secret so it should not come as a surprise to anyone that I'm knitting some ghosts. I've knitted two and nearly a third but I haven't felted them yet. Luckily, I'm well versed in the miracles of shaping after felting otherwise I might be a bit perturbed with these precious little specters. I'm counting on post-felting-shaping to bring these darlings to a G rating.
Reading Up
I really am a little behind on reading anything online which explains why I'm more then four years late reading Knitty articles. I recently read Kate Boyd's piece entitled Bildungsrowan and I think I love that reversible cable knit shawl from Lily Chin, via Vogue's American Knits. Have any of you ever seen this book or this knit in person? Seems a bit daunting but I love the softness and complexity of it. Another addition to the "one day" list.
All Caught Up

Now that I've prattled on and on, I'm going to try to get caught up on what all of you are doing. If you happen to be reading this and you were the winner of one of the prizes in my recent contest, I'd love to know that your prizes arrived safely. So far I have only heard from Colleen and Susanne.

Today's Quote:
"Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings." -Jane Austen