Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve!

Sweater done, packed up. Needs giftwrap.

Poncho half done. DD announced (tearfully) that she really wanted to do the whole thing herself. Poncho partly ripped out and restarted by DD. Hope she sticks with it, but I did NOT get upset that she wanted to rip out what I did the night before.

Star Wars hat is to the middle of the R2-D2/Imperial helmet part. First time doing three colors in one row, not too much fun, but okay.

But in exciting news, I have started the second Crown Mountain experiment sock and it is progressing nicely. When I get halfway through the foot, I will take the first progress photos.

I'm madly reading "Victorian Lace Today" and giving up, at least mentally, my hatred of lace knitting. These patterns are SO lovely! I will have to get better needles and use something I really love, but I will knit some lace this year. And socks. And Rogue. And Fetching Mitts. And a new Wallaby for the DS. But mostly whatever I feel like. I shall NOT be monogamous, I shall NOT feel guilty about switching from project to project and I WILL try to spin an hour every day. So there!

Have a happy new year and BE SAFE!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I have time for silliness!

This seriously made me LOL:

My Fortune Cookie told me:
You are dreaming. It is time to wake up now.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

What's done is done

The FIL sweater is finished!!! And I must admit that it looks very nice. It is rather wide, rather long, but he's a bigger man than I am, Gunga Din. It has been washed and is ready to be wrapped and given, whew. I will take photos for posting on my return home.

So today I start the big poncho push (while kids are awake, which is like all the time; they are on California time plus Christmas or something. DD was up till midnight last night, ugh!) and then I can work on DS's Star Wars hat and my socks. Poncho should be quick if I get the bag out and carry it around for a couple of days.

Christmas was fun, although we miss DH terribly! Kids got a great haul. I received my Jumbo Plying Head AND Swift from my lovely Stepdad (Hi, D!) and can hardly wait to get to spinning some alpaca for my Spin to Knit partner. I haven't heard from my upstream person yet, but hopefully he or she is reading the blog...not that it's been that interesting lately. I also received "Victorian Lace Today" and "Knit Two Together", two books that I absolutely lusted after and am reading with great enjoyment. Cashmere sweater, etc. A very nice Christmas all around!

Next week it's off to the in-laws for a couple of days and the sweater unveiling for the recipient. Kids will open more and be sad that their cousins are back to school a week before they are.

Hope you're all having fun with new toys and getting a little relax in before it all starts up again. The New Year for me will be getting my girls ready to bridge to Junior scouts, planning the Fair project, working a lot, but hopefully having fun with DH's best friend staying with us for a while.

Be safe!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


The kids let me finish the sleeves on the airplane yesterday!!!!

Shoulder seams are sewn!! Button bands are picked up (by my 3/4 ratio). I didn't get as many stitches as they said, but who knows how many rows they were working with. I have found that the plans for this sweater are rather different from the results. Anyway, if I have to do it again, I will. But I think another 59 stitches would make the button band too long. I do have a six stitch discrepancy between the stitches on the right and those on the left. Will it matter? We'll know tomorrow...stay tuned.

I can't believe they let me knit on the plane!! Perhaps my dread of flying period is over and I will be happy and amused once more!!

Hope you had a great Xmas Eve Eve!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just a Post Before I Go

Going on vacation to parents and in-laws tomorrow morning. I may not have time to do this again. There are no pictures. Sorry!

FIL sweater sleeves have started to grow again. We are at 15.25 inches, going for 18. I am of two minds about this project. I am SO glad I started in September with plenty of wiggle room for cheating and all. But I wish it hadn't taken from September to December because I am bored, bored, bored. And there's no cheating for me any more. I'm lucky I won't see him till New Year's Eve, since it will probably be finished on...the day before. But I press on. I would have finished the sleeves except for the pesky other stuff I've had to do this week, yadda yadda. Yeah, you all have the same lists, I'm sure.

Did get all the baking done, all of the mailing done, most of the packing, almost none of the cleaning but DH let me off the hook. He's staying home, poor man, and cleaning the house for DD's birthday party 5 days after we get back.

In great but sadly photoless news, DD not only got a great report card a couple of weeks ago, but yesterday received the Principal's Award for Academics in her classroom!!! It took her almost all year to get one of these last year and here we are in December with a certificate and everything!!! And it's very inspiring for DS. Kindergarteners are not eligible, but he's ready for his next year. I'll bet he gets the award for citizenship pretty quickly. He's a VERY good boy.

So we are off. I won't have any pictures while I'm gone, but will be posting anyway, if anyone is keeping track.

Whatever holiday you celebrate (or not), have a wonderful season and be safe!

Monday, December 18, 2006

What I have been doing vs. what I should be doing

Okay, I had to. My friend is about to pop and will have a C-section on Thursday if she doesn't go into labor before then. Which she sure looks like doing if you ask me, but we'll see. So I give you what I knit in the last two days:

I officially suck at embroidery. Should go to a class or something. But after a few tries, this is the face of Totoro, our very favorite Japanese animation character!

Yarn: Optim DK
Pattern: Hello Yarn

The yarn went a bit floppy after washing, but I have no more time to do it over. I was hoping to knit this on Christmas vacation (and she was hoping to have the baby after Christmas as well!). Isn't he cute? I'll admit he looks a bit quizzical, but there's no time to do the embroidery any more!

In other non-knitting pursuits, I give you Russian Teacakes (Snowball cookies to us plebes):

These are one of the six types of cookies I made this year and I am DONE, DONE, DONE! Now all I have to do is sort, package, wrap and mail. I also made 6 (more) cranberry breads. I have some secret stuff to make for DH, since he is staying home for Christmas, but since he's home all week, they won't stay secret (or uneaten) that long, I suspect.

And just so you know that I am being good (within reason) here is what's on my spinning wheel:
Yeah, I know. When I get back...
Have a lovely! Don't yell at the kids (that's a reminder for me)!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Considering Myself Tagged

Heide said whoever's reading, so I guess that's me!

"Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who
get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state
this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list
their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their
comments and tell them to read your blog.” (with help from DD)

1. I find song cues in everyday conversation all the time. And take them! You can find me singing in response to just about anything. Sometimes we spend a whole day speaking in recitative!

2. I love to reread books. Over and over again. I used to read "Nicholas Nickleby" every Christmas. Hey, that sounds like a good idea...The more I know, the better I like it. Luckily, I have pretty good taste! Crappy books get the 30 page test, slightly less crappy get read only once. But I never get rid of a book unless it really depresses me. I once threw a copy of "Daniel Martin" in the garbage to save myself from finishing it. It made me too sad.

3. I am totally addicted to "Celebrity Poker Showdown." I know, I know. And yet I scoff at watching professional poker tournaments. It's just the famous people, apparently. My guilty pleasure.

4. I love being a Girl Scout leader, almost more than anything I've ever done. But it gives me nightmares. I very often dream that I have forgotten to prepare some craft or other for 200 kids, over and over again. This happens right before Vacation Bible School, as well. Sheesh! I teach games, very low pressure, one would think.

5. Color makes me drunk. I don't so much care what combination or anything. Just bright and saturated. As many as possible. I could read "Color in Spinning" a hundred more times (and probably will; see #2). The only color I avoid is pink. But magenta, fuschia, red violet, all fine. Just light pink, really. Blech. Comes from being a fake redhead I guess. I once moved into an apartment that was painted flamingo pink and black. I couldn't sleep there until I painted.

6. My children call me weird all the time. And I love it! I embrace the weird! I think it's a good lesson for them in being yourself that I don't like being thought odd. Neither does their dad. Kids (especially girls) take such hit for not conforming later on, I'd like it if they were just a little bit desensitized to it.

Okay, Joy, Weaver, Star, Trek, Yarn Pirate, January One, you are it! Have fun!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Five Year Olds with Knitting Mommies


DS: What's that? (looking at picture of Star Wars hat on blog)

Me: A Star Wars hat. Isn't it cool?

DS: Make me one!

Me: I will, after Christmas.

DS: I have an idea. BEFORE Christmas!

Me: Well, honey, I have to finish Grandpa's sweater and Angie's new baby's hat and Meaghan's poncho, but then I will make the hat.

DS: (Scowl. Only DS can scowl quite so effectively).

Me: I know what, we can get the yarn for your hat today and bring it with us on vacation. And if I finish everything else, I'll knit it right then, okay?

DS: Let's do that!

This is how the knitting for self gets screwed up. I love knitting for others, I really do, but the half finished Rogue and Cul de Saq and mitred blankie and handspun socks, man, I want to finish that stuff! Then he went for MITTENS!!!

However, when we went shopping for the baby hat yarn (EMERGENCY- she's having a C-section on Thursday, not New Year's!!), we also purchased hat yarn which he says he is packing in HIS new suitcase to be ready. Sorry, Daddy, your Angel yarn might make it to its anniversary yet unknit!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Second Experiment

As promised. I used the superwash merino roving I dyed a couple of weeks ago:

I spun up 2 little sample skeins, one spun from the fold, one spun from the end, but parts of the same length of roving.
Top is from the fold, bottom from the end.

If you can see from this badly lit photo, the yarn spun from the end has more color definition and is a wider variation of values, as is the roving. The white areas really affected the yarn spun from the fold and made everything much more pastel. Some of the colors got lost, at least in the skein. Swatching may surprise me!

And just in case you were wondering, here is the second skein of my 4 colorway Crown Mountain yarn.
I absolutely love it! I'm planning to go ahead and cast on the second sock so that I can watch them both develop in their own way while I'm on vacation. I won't get to the socks till then, as I am still stuck on sleeve island (knit 2 hours, 1/4 inch of progress, WTF?) and then I MUST knit DD's poncho in time to be worn at Grandma's house.

Have a lovely day!

I just don't get it...

Jeff Greenfield (CNN) on Barack Obama's style of dress:

The senator was in New Hampshire over the weekend, sporting what's getting to be the classic Obama look. Call it business casual, a jacket, a collared shirt, but no tie.

It is a look the senator seems to favor. And why not? It is dressy enough to suggest seriousness of purpose, but without the stuffiness of a tie, much less a suit. There is a comfort level here that reflects one of Obama's strongest political assets, a sense that he is comfortable in his own skin, that he knows who he is.

If you want a striking contrast, check out Senator John Kerry as he campaigned back in 2004. He often appeared without a tie, but clad in a blazer, the kind of casual look you see at country clubs and lawn parties in the Hamptons and other toned (ph) locations.

In what way is a "jacket, a collared shirt but no tie" a STRIKING CONTRAST to "without a tie, but clad in a blazer?" Did Kerry's shirt, horror of horrors, have no COLLAR??

In some weird GOP fantasy a jacket and a blazer are like apples and bricks?

Denial rears its ugly head? Gotta bring down the frontrunner somehow, I guess, but this is ridiculous!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Well, that was a while!

After three posts in one day, I got overwhelmed with other things. And pretty much still am. Hence no pictures.

However, I did ply up the second skein of the Crown Mountain Farms 4 colorway yarn and it came out looking much more Trekking-like. The colors are more defined, the barberpoling goes on the same for a longer stretch, and I even have some places where the same colors landed together.

My plan now is to (as soon as I get a chance!) cast on for the second sock and knit them at the same time so that I can compare them as I go--much more entertaining than waiting for the first one to be finished.

They will certainly be fraternal. The question is will I like the random one or the more orderly one better? I think the second skein is more what I was trying to do, but we won't know till the knitting starts!

Greetings from Sleeve Island to all!

Monday, December 04, 2006

DD's Web

Clearly having spent too much time on the computer today, I present my darling daughter climbing the walls:

"It didn't take too long for me to learn it. And I just practiced and practiced. And when I got very good, it was easy to do."
Both of my children received excellent report cards today, yay! I am very proud of them!!

I'm in! I'm in!

Visit the Yarn Museum and see my Sloopy yarn in the Inaugural Show!!

Can you tell I'm excited?!?!?!?

Holiday Meme

But first...

I submitted a photo to the Yarn Museum gallery last night!!! It was the second Sloopy skein, but closer up and cropped to get rid of the stupid black cotton tying yarn. Wish me luck!

Holiday Meme
NAME: Wendy
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog, but low carb. Sit down for this one if you don't do the low carb, I kid you not. Half and Half plus heavy cream plus sugar free Egg Nog syrup. Amazing!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Depends on whose house we are at at the moment.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Either one but NO BLINKING.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Mom does, but we don't stay home.
5. When do you put your decorations up? When the kids make me.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Mulled cider
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Believing I saw Santa's sleigh out my window.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Hey, what you talking about? Santa only comes to your house if you believe!
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Kids do. I do sometimes, but I really like to do the whole loot pile in one fell swoop!
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? We don't put up our own tree, as we are never home. But I usually decorate Mom's tree with ornaments from my childhood plus some bows and things from when my stepdad didn't approve of the whole business so it had to look NOT Christmasy.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it in all its aspects. But I don't have to live with it!
12. Can you ice skate? Yes. Took lessons about ten years ago with the ambition to be able to skate backwards. Ended up being able to do baby spins and jumps. Very, very satisfying experience!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My first bike. I spent months literally praying for it.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I wish I still ate them all. Apricot balls, yum!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Opening presents in my jammies.
17. What tops your tree? An angel that my mom made when I was a kid.
18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? Truly, receiving. My giving is VERY limited these days due to budget considerations and has been for a long time. If I could give what I would like to, giving, definitely. As it is, I don't get much new in terms of clothes and things so it's nice to have something new once a year. Selfish, I guess so.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Angels We Have Heard on High ("Glo-o-o-ria!")
20. Candy Canes? Blech, hate peppermint.

Consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

What is the difference between these two things?

So as a practice run, I spun the rest of my half of the Hang on Sloopy roving from the end instead of from the fold. (FYI, the other half will be spun up for Joy, who bought me my Love Me Tender so's she could get some yarny goodness!). They REALLY look different:

Left is the first, right is the second. I like the second one much more, but I don' t know whether the color is better because of how I spun it or because it was just a more saturated part of the roving. I think it is the technique, though. The spinning from the fold really mixes everything up and the end spinning allows even short lengths to be seen independently.
If I have time, I will do a couple of samples from the roving I dyed last week and spin up the same section of roving both ways. I will do this, the question is WHEN??
Started making to do lists yesterday and I have a lot to do. I'm not, however, panicking. No school on Monday so maybe we can bake a bit. And my Christmas gift shopping is going to be as online as possible. I do HUGE amounts of baking to give as gifts, though, so I do have to get on the stick.
FIL sweater proceeds apace. Fronts done, back is three rows or so from new bind off, longer. Sleeves will begin today!
How is your Christmas knitting going?
Have a lovely day!
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