Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thankful Yours

Well, it is almost time to get back on the road again. In all of the hustle and bustle to get home, work, and go back to Oregon, I haven’t really had much knitting time. I did make some knitting-related Christmas ornaments for my family. (I traditionally give everyone in my family Christmas ornaments on Thanksgiving and I was afraid I wasn’t going to get them done this year.) These are miniature versions of these from last year.
I had just started one of the alpacas before my father-in-law passed away. Last week did not lend itself to any knitting so I have only completed about 6 rows on that project. That is the only knitting news to speak of. I am fervently hoping that Friday will be a day to just relax and maybe work on the alpaca. And maybe just to rest. Surely I can get a few moments of rest.

Though the last couple of weeks have been sad and overwhelming and tiring, I have so much to be thankful for. Yesterday, we found out that one of the tires on my car was in really bad shape and had no business being on the road. I am thankful that we made it home safe and that we were able to get the problem remedied before we have to go again tonight.

I am thankful for my husband. (Here he is last week in Oregon with his dad's dogs, Duke and Zipper.)

I am thankful for my family – all of them. My parents who are good and kind and wonderful people who are not only always there for their children and supportive of all of us, but always reaching out to those who need anything – big or small. They are two of the most generous, kind-hearted people I know. My sister, Cindi is making from-scratch yeast rolls (her specialty) so I can take them with me for Thanksgiving. My brother Chad did us all a favor by marrying Lori, who is supportive and encouraging and just a generally nice person and makes me laugh all the time. (She was being silly and I got a picture! haha) That’s just to name a few….And beyond all that, I simply enjoy spending time with my family. I genuinely like them and enjoy their company. A novel concept, I know.

I am thankful for my husband’s aunts (his mother’s sisters) who are two of the kindest people I know. I believe with absolute certainty that my husband would not be the man he is today without the influence they have had in his life. I am also exceptionally thankful that they were able to be with us all last week. (This is their boxer, Zim. He is such a cutie.)I am thankful for a job I love and to be able to work for a company that treats employees with decency and respect.

I am thankful that I have this little home on the internet and even more thankful for all of my strangers-who-are-friends in the online knitting (and beyond) community.

I am thankful that our darling Sally girl is doing well and, as far as we can tell, has made nearly a complete recovery from her earlier back injury. She is going with us this weekend. Luckily, she is a good traveler.

There are at least 7000 other things I have to be thankful for but I don’t have time to list them all here. Thank you all again for your prayers and your kindness. I promise we will return our regularly scheduled knit blogging next week.

Ya’ll have a wonderful weekend and a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

p.s. I am thankful that people will overlook any typos herein, as I haven't spell checked or proofread this post. My husband just called and said it is snowing on our route to his mother's so we are going to hit the road.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Self Portrait Sunday #3

Gosh what a long week it has been. Thank you all so much for your kind words and for all of your prayers. The memorial service was yesterday and we left Oregon late this morning. I was awfully glad to get back to my own house. Now for three days of work and then we will make the trip back on Wednesday evening for Thanksgiving weekend. (I am tired just thinking about it!)

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Feature

Self-Portrait Sunday

1. My oldest sister is 10 ½ years older.
2. My natural hair color is plain old brown. I’ve had highlights and I’ve dyed it but really, I just prefer it plain old brown.
3. I’m only 29 but I have grey hairs that seem to be cropping up with increased frequency. I don’t mind.
4. While volunteering at the homeless shelter, I got head lice when I was 18. I had never had head lice before or since. I have A LOT of hair. It was horrible.
5. I forgive but seldom forget. I am not necessarily proud of this.
6. I got married November 20, 2004.
7. My husband and I dated for 8 years before we got married.
8. I am unsure whether or not I ever want to have children.
9. I think a really good pedicure is one of the top 5 best things in the whole world.
10. I played the French horn all through high school and loved it but was never very good at it.
11. I am almost always a little surprised when I find out how other people see me. Sometimes good surprised, sometimes bad surprised.

Here's a picture I took on the way home today of Mt. Shasta in Northern California.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thank You!

This is just a quick post to thank you all so very much for your comments and for your thoughts and prayers. It has been a very difficult week and I think we are all looking forward to the memorial service on Saturday and a return to some semblance of normalcy (whatever that is going to be like now).

I will be back among the land of the high speed internet on Sunday and will put together a real post then. For now, I just wanted ya'll to know how much it means to have so many friends I've never met who are praying for us and thinking of us during this trying time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Self Portrait Sunday #2

I've nearly dropped the ball on my own newly-created weekly feature.

This weekend was mostly very lovely. Yesterday's Grandmother Purl sew-up went very well and it was great to meet two people I'd only previously known online.

This morning we got a call from my mother-in-law saying that my husband's father had had a heart attack during church earlier in the morning and they were taking him to the hospital. While we were waiting to hear the results of the cardiac catheterization, we got another call from my mother-in-law with the news that my father-in-law had just passed away. Needless to say, the weekend sort of fell apart after that.

That's why today's SPS is dedicated to my husband and his dad. So maybe it isn't so much Self-Portrait but luckily, this is my weekly feature and I agree that we can all change it up however we like. . .Including making a list that isn't particularly about me.

1. My husband and I dated for 8 years before we got married.
2. We were married November 20, 2004.
3. My mother-in-law fractured her collarbone less than a month before our wedding.
4. My husband shares his birthday with my oldest twin nieces.
5. My father-in-law is solely responsible for my husband's middle name.
6. My in-laws lived in Alaska when my husband was born, but my MIL was visiting her sisters in Walnut Creek, CA on the day he actually showed up. My father-in-law just barely made it to the hospital before the birth.
7. In his younger years, my father-in-law was an amatuer racecar driver.
8. Like me, my father-in-law was a twin.
9. Since we got married almost two years ago, every time I've called my in-law's house and my father-in-law has answered the phone, he would say, "Oh. It's my favorite daughter-in-law." Have I mentioned that my husband is an only child?
10. My in-laws home is in Southern Oregon, near the Rogue River. (Rogue River photo from Wikipedia)
I'll probably be pretty quiet this week. For those of you who are so inclined, we would appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No Good List Goes Unedited

The knitting list is going to require some modifications. Of course.

I accidentally let my sister Carrie see a picture of Fiber Trends’ alpacas.
She loves them. She particularly likes that dark brown fellow there at the front left. She doesn’t know I was planning to knit her the lambs. So, since the gray lamb is now finished except for the face, the seaming and making the ears and tail, she will be getting a gray lamb and I’ll have to order the alpaca pattern. I just need to figure out which yarn combination will work best for those. She likes their furriness. Any suggestions?

Also, yesterday I got the pattern for the hedgehogs that I fell in love with when I was visiting Colleen’s and I am going to need to make two of these before Christmas. (Since I am making lambs for my nieces, I think the hedgehogs will be perfect for their brothers.)

That’s the trouble with making a list: once I see it all written down, it just makes me think of forty-leven other things that should be on there. Ahh well. That is better than realizing after the fact that I neglected something.

Saturday is the sew-up get together for the Grandmother Purl project. I am looking forward to meeting Marissa. I am eager to see the squares come together. I am also wondering how in the world I am going to be ready to go to San Rafael by 8:30 on Saturday morning with all the loose ends wrapped up - literally and figuratively. Maybe this wasn't the best Friday night to plan an outing with my sisters and my mother. . . umm, hindsight and all that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Today’s Post is brought to you by the word “AND”

You Guys Make Me Happy

Thank you for all your sweet comments on my anniversary post. I hate pictures of me but after many attempts, I managed to take that one picture that I didn’t find offensive.

What I neglected to say in that post is how much I have come to love this blog. More accurately, how much I have come to love the online knitting (and more) community and the people I have “met” here. I know without a doubt that my knitting skills and ambition and passion have all been greatly enriched but even more, my life has been enriched and I value and appreciate the friends I have found here. Ya’ll are sweet and kind and funny and bring such joy and so many smiles to my life. Thank you for that and thank you for continuing to visit me here and share your thoughts and comments. And for sharing your lives with me through your blogs.

I am Officially Cautiously Optimistic

I went to the ankle doctor yesterday for my now-regular visit. Have I told ya’ll what a nice doctor I have? Nice as he is, though, I am looking forward to the day when I don’t have to see him anymore. Yesterday he said that he doesn’t see any substantial improvement (bummer) but I can’t do nothing forever (so true). He said that I can start putting a little weight on it for a few hours a day. While still using the crutches. And wearing the boot. This is good-ish news I think. I walked on it a little last night and it hurts some and feels pretty squirrelly but we will see. Like I said, cautiously optimistic…and working on refining my skills of perseverance. (Was that ok? The way I worked “perseverance” in there just so I could use the link to that picture?)

This is What I Was Put on The Earth To Do

I have decided to be honest with myself and actually make a list of my knitting plans/pipe dreams for the next two months or so. I have all of these ideas running around in my head and I need to clear some room up there so I am putting them down in writing instead.

Knitting-Related To Do Items:

1) Finish organizing the Grandmother Purl squares for Saturday’s Sew-Up (this includes deciding how many for each blanket and which squares go where.) Is there anyone else who would like to join me and Tami and Marissa in Pleasanton on Saturday for the Grandmother Purl finale?

2) Photograph squares that I haven’t already photographed.

3) Print pictures of photos of squares for the scrapbook

4) Work on the scrapbook for GMP (I have enlisted Lori’s help for this so I won’t have to do it all by myself.) And it is ok if this one doesn’t get done before Saturday but it does need to be done before Thanksgiving. (Speaking of Lori, Go take a look at Lori's Grandmother Purl square.)
Actual Knitting To Do Items:

1) Finish Mama’s Beach sweater. This sweater has been in progress for more than a year. It was started with every intention of being last year’s birthday present. Her birthday is October 27. I want to be able to give her this sweater for Christmas. (Yarn: Yes)

2) Mama’s Tahki Cotton Classic blanket/afghan/whatever you want to call it for Daddo’s ladder. Not imperative for Christmas. (Yarn: Yes. I think I have enough. I may need more though.)

3) Papaya Pima Cotton Silk Pillows in Cables in Relief Pattern (this was the pattern I used for Kim's ISE scarf) for Lori (not necessarily for Christmas but I want to get them done.) (Yarn: Yes)

4) Socks. I want to knit socks. I have sock yarn and needles. While socks are not at the top of the priority list, I may get a wild hair and knit the pink Cascade Fixation yarn into the pattern that Lori got me with it. If it happens, these would be for Whitney’s Christmas stocking. (Yarn: Yes)

5) In a perfect world, I would knit socks for my father for Christmas, too. As we are well aware, this is not a perfect world. Acknowledging my utter lack of sock knitting experience, it isn’t hard to predict how this one will go. (Yarn: Yes)

6) Sophie purse for my mother-in-law (Yarn: No)

7) One (1) lamb for an undisclosed purpose (Yarn: Yes) – needs to be complete before Dec. 1, preferably before Thanksgiving.

8) Niece #4's silk bookmark. It is almost done already. It is my current knitting-on-the-go project so it should be done in the next few days. (Yarn: Yes)

Lambs for Christmas stockings

9) Carrie: Grey with Black, Off-white with Black, Off-white with off-white (Yarn: Yes, Yes I think & Yes.) I am determined to make the first two without fail. The third one might get nixed.
10) One (1) black and brown lamb for Mama (Yarn: No)
11) One (1) lamb for Niece #4, Black with gray (Yarn: No)
12) One (1) lamb for Niece #3, off-white with black (Yarn: Yes) DONE

I included Niece #3's lamb just so I would have something to mark off the list. Sometimes I have to play these mental games with myself.

That's pretty much it. There is maybe one other gift that is going to need to be added to this list. We will see. If ya'll start taking bets on how much of this I will actually accomplish, please don't tell me. I prefer to maintain my Ignorance is Bliss status.

P.S. I have found a new place on the internet where I could spend endless hours looking around and laughing. (Maybe you already guessed that from the links above.) If you run out of knitting blogs to read or other things to while away your online hours, you should go visit Sam at Exploding Dog.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Happy Happy Happy Happy Blogiversary to Me

In honor of my one year blogging anniversary, I've decided to implement a new feature here at Ok! What Next?? called Self-Portrait Sunday. Every Sunday, I'll post 11 things about me along with a picture. If you feel so inclined, please feel free to join me. I've even created a button!

Without further adieu, the first installment of Self Portrait Sunday:

1. I was born in Asheville, North Carolina…
2. …On February 1, 1977…
3. …at 9:49 a.m. EST…
4. …10 minutes after my sister Katy…
5. …Which means I am Twin B.
6. We are numbers 4 and 5 of 5.
7. I am 5’2”
8. I have no delusions about my own coolness. I know that I am not cool (or happenin’ or cutting edge or hip.) I'm ok with this.
9. I am generally kind to people.
10. It takes a lot to make me angry…
11. …but once I am truly angry, it takes me a long time to get over it.

And here you go, a picture of me:

Friday, November 03, 2006

Weather Update

For those of you who live somewhere other than California, my news will have little or no signficance. For those of us here in the land of fruits and nuts, today has been a meaningful experience.

This morning on the way to work I took this picture. (From the car. While I was driving left-footed. Forgive its lack of crispness.)

Those, my friends, are clouds in the sky. Clouds that have actually lingered. It is raining here now. If I could, I would be out in it, doing some sort of celebratory dance. I know that there are those among you who would love 6-7 months of perpetual sunshine but let me tell you: it is not all it is cracked up to be. I for one start to get a bit stir crazy. I have missed the rain. Today is a beautiful day.

Now let's just hope this rain holds on through the weekend. (Doubtful, but a girl can dream.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Thank you all so very much for your kind remarks about the lamb. I am pretty pleased with the results. I intend to make it to Beverly's or Michael's this weekend to pick up some filling (I'm thinking Poly-Pellets for the feet and Poly-Fil for the bodies.) Hopefully I will have some finished pictures to show next week. We'll see. I've become a bit of a hermit in recent months and now with the time change and the fall weather, I seem to really be embracing my inner recluse so I will have to make myself go to the craft store. As much as I would like to, I highly doubt that I will be able to convince my husband to go to the craft store for me. (In his defense, he has had to go to the store in the past several months for things much less appealing for the male shopper than Poly-fil so I can let him off the hook on this one.)

You Call That Progress?

I had grand plans to make "serious progress" on the grey lamb yesterday evening but it didn't happen. After working late, I went over to my parents' for a little while and by the time I got home, it was after 8:30 and I guess I was feeling distracted because I kept losing my place in the pattern. After ripping out for the third time, I set the yarn aside, retrieved a bottle of wine, the corkscrew and a wine glass and set out to soothe my addled nerves. In my current crutch-bound state, it took 2 trips from the kitchen and a carefully aimed toss of the corkscrew in order to get my wine and related paraphernalia to the knitting area. Liquid fortification procured, I cast on again.

And was able to accomplish this much of the lamb's hind end before I had to go to bed. (that red waste yarn is the marker for the tail, which will be added later.) I continue to be amazed at the construction of these little sheep. At the point this picture was taken, I was only on row 11 and yet, with all the W&T action going on, things seem to progress a bit faster.


While knitting last night, I realized for the first time that I apparently manage my tension with my pinky finger. What prompted me to realize this?

Why, a wounded pinky finger, of course. That is my damaged (and yes, chubby) hand and pinky finger. Who knew that middle section of my baby finger got so involved in my knitting?

This stuff is thrilling isn't? Riveting read, I'm sure.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Drying Time

Ok! What Next?? Proudly presents:
Mr. Lamb: Post Felting