Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Still Snowing

Yesterday at knitting I heard the best quip ever

Wow, look at that! A snow plow in Missouri.

It must be from Kansas headed too...

No, it's going east.


I thought of this several times as I crossed over into Missouri this morning. Driving up State Line Road to the left was sparkling clean pavement and the same road to the right was icy ruts a goat would have problems traveling. I, of course, had to be someplace on the right.

As I make it to my destination I'm waved away from the parking lot because of the pile up of stuck cars and told I was better off parked in the street. I agree and decide to circle the block. Or not. No way back up that hill. I end up driving down a street in reverse finally making it around the hill to get back to the top and finding a snowdrift I can park in that looks like I can get out of again. It's 3 blocks away from where I need to be.

As I'm walking up the hill in the snow I think of how glad I am to be from hearty pioneer stock and wasn't it smart that my cute heeled boots were the more expensive and better made Ecco with a real outdoor sole since the women around me in their cute boots were sliding down the hill while I was briskly trudging up it. That the extra dollars, made up by my employ discount, was so worth it since these boots are now 8 years old and still the ones I put on when I want to look polished or sexy or to have dry feet. That the my pioneer foremothers would be proud that a few feet of snow and bad roads wasn't going to stop me from... my salon appointment to have a haircut and my brows done. Ok, so maybe they would roll their eyes at me. I bet they owned their own pair of cute but hard working boots though. I've seen photos.

Know what else my hearty pioneer stock would approve of? One of my top 10 Christmas presents of all time. Mom got me 2 pair. Thanks Mom!

As I go around rhapsodizing about wearing long underwear and how it just doesn't make sense that we layer and layer and layer more on our tops when it's our legs and feet that are cold. That as a society we are idiots for thinking one layer of denim is enough and for not putting more clothes on the COLD parts and I have finally found the truth that is warmth and winter fun... and that's where the person listening to my tirade stops me by pulling out the waist band of her long underwear. It seems that I'm the only idiot.

In the past 3 days I've seen the waist bands of several other pairs of Cuddle Duds, some thermal weave cotton, and even one silk.

I've been pairing mine with funky wool legwarmers tucked under my jeans
add a pair of wool socks and I'm ready for an arctic expedition.

I'm super pleased with my thrift store coat too. It's not the cute acid green boiled wool pea coat that I wanted but it is warm. No, it's WARM. Probably the best $9 I've spent. No. Wait. Thanks Mom. Love the coat.


I love it when it snows at night. Especially like it is tonight. It looks like glitter is being shook out over the world. Lots and lots of glitter. The world is one big kindergarten art project.
Inches and inches of glitter.
My second pair of monkey socks are finished.
The yarn is Schoppel Wolle Zauberball. I have nothing nice to say about Zauberball. It's a single ply with too much twist so it gets all kinky with knitting. The long repeats so that socks that are similar in any way are impossible. I can embrace that, but halfway through the second sock in the black part there was a knot. It took me 2/3 of a sock to realize they had knotted a black end to a black beginning skipping all between and I was going to end up with one striped sock and one black sock. I had to ravel back and wind up almost a 1/4 ball of black and burgundy yarn to get to the pink again and reknit. And the worst part? The worst part are the little fuzz donuts that forms around the yarn strand as I knit. Zauberball gets a fail. I can't stand fuzz donuts.
Monkey, as always, is an A+.
My rosemary plant is in bloom. So sweet in all this snow.

Snow. Back to the snow. More snow photos taken at midnight.
Then I come in to a warm bowl of African Peanut Soup.
This stew is hands down the best food I cook these days.

It's best not talk about the wheat free cookies I tried to make tonight. I think it's the first time ever I've had to throw cookies away.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Getting Caught Up

First, the people that are perpetuating the idea that a white Christmas is desirable can stop now. It's a nice song but there is no reason to add the idea to our culture since it doesn't add to the commerce of Christmas and the economy or to the spiritual meaning either. It's actually counter productive since so much of Christmas is driven by travel. I love looking at snow. I love playing in it. I really love skiing. But seriously, a white Christmas is the last thing I want.

I got one anyway. It didn't live up to the hype. Neither the magic Christmas snow or of the weather forecasters hype either. The forecasters hype is a whole other rant and if you read this blog I'm sure you've heard me go on and on about it.

Enough of that, now to get caught up on my knits.

A baby sweater for a knitting friend and her baby. I should write up this pattern. It's so easy and quick and cute. This sweater is made up of the leftovers from making the blanket.
The blanket is made by my Tuesday morning knitting group. Everyone knitted and square and then we crocheted it together. Mine is the orange square on the 3rd row.
The baby modeling the sweater. Isn't the mama the cutest ever?

These photos are almost 2 months old now. At the time we didn't know the sex of the baby. It turns out to be a little girl. Also, I feel bad not putting up the photos of all the other great knits she got that day. But it's my blog and this post isn't really about a 2 month old shower but about knits I've finished. So moving on...

These socks took almost a year to knit since I mostly didn't knit on them.
Yarn is Brown Sheep Wildfoote pattern is Zokni. A well written pattern but not one I'll knit twice. I like my socks to be portable projects to knit while talking or waiting. Zokni takes a level of attention that I don't like to give socks since I can only achieve it at home. It sure is a pretty leaf design and worth the effort now that it's over.

The arm warmers were started last year or even the year before. I pulled them from the Time Out basket and finished them in an hour. Yarn is Lion Brand sock yarn bought years and years ago.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dropping By

When you move to a small neighborhood everyone drops by to say Hi and to check you out.

Knock knock

Nice to meet you.
Let's sniff noses.
This is the first time Sumi-e has seen a cat since I got him as a tiny tiny kitten. Look at the bristly tail. He's not sure he likes having neighbors.

And what busy bodies. They just sit and watch us for hours. We are the new kitty tv reality show.
We seem to have good ratings with as many as 4 cats tuning in. But I wonder, they seem to be compelled to leave poo on that roof they are sitting on. Everyone is a critic.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice

Today the sun hugs the horizon.
Solstice" is derived from the Latin phrase for "sun stands still. It will appear that the sun raises and sets in the same spot for several days.
The solstices occur twice a year because Earth is tilted by an average of 23.5 degrees as it orbits the sun—the same phenomenon that drives the seasons.

Throughout history the winter solstice has been celebrated as the return of summer sunlight. Here is to longer days and new beginnings.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Settled In

I have moved, moved, move a lot of times in my life to the point that my princess dream is to never move again. Ever. But this time was not to stay in a place just because I'm done moving. No, the hole in the ceiling still wasn't fixed, the rent was raised, and I was sick and tired of it and frankly couldn't afford it anymore. So when an importunity to leave presented its self I took it.

Usually I can point to a moment in a move and say "That! That was the most sucky part of the move" Listing just the moves in this decade; 2000 it was loading a too small Uhaul in 100+ degree heat and having to leave things behind. 2002 it was driving 12 hours by myself with a dog and 2 rabbits to a home I now owned but had never seen. (That move wasn't so bad so the bad point wasn't all that bad either.) 2005 it was unloading in a snowstorm and an emergency trip to the vet for Joey's broken tail. 2006 it was Joey growing a new tumor before our eyes as we loaded the truck. That was another trip to the vet and 3 more months of chemo.

This move had none of that, or rather all of it. There was no one thing worse than the others because it all sucked. I even had the chance to take Joey to the emergency room again. This time it was the night before loading the truck and for an abscess in his jaw. He had surgery for that a few days later.

But it's over and we are settled in. The boxes are unpacked and it's feeling like home.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cheap A$$ Swap

I revived my box in the mail from a Cheap A$$ Secret Pal Swap. The goal is to send a nice package to your pal for very little outlay of cash by stash diving, looking around your home, and some shopping. Thank you sdmisha. This is a truly fantastic.

Here is an overview of what was in the box.
The gummy bears are missing since I already ate them before getting out the camera. Yumm
I didn't know that Berroco made a sock yarn. It's the same composition of Berroco Comfort that I just love using for kids sweaters. Right away I cast on the navy yarn to be a baby sweater for Christmas, or rather New Year giving. A brand new baby boy will be very happy.
Lotion and a calendar, both very handy to have around. I've already hung the calender over my desk. It cuts down on the stress not seeing how many days of knitting are left before Christmas.Squeee. I've lusted after some Harrisville yarn for about forever now. I love how it's made. I love that it's crunchy and squooshy and everything a good rustic wool yarn should be. I love the heathered colors, especially this color Seagreen.

My SP must have done a lot of sleuthing to know me so well. Getting 2 yarns, one that I want to cast on right away (the Comfort) and one that I want to stash almost as trophy yarn (Highland) is a very good gift indeed.

Every winter package needs coffee and chocolate. No, every knitting package needs coffee and chocolate. A festive chocolate peppermint coffee and an organic dark chocolate bar.
A close up of the chocolate is needed. It had orange zest and lots of spices in it. It was so dark and rich and spicy with lots of fresh citrus taste. It's a truely splended chocolate.
This is the head and below is the tail of one of the knitted Whale cat toys. Sumi-e stole one and then the other before I got to them in the photo shoot. I think he likes them.Finally to round out an awesome package is a nice note form my SP and a batch of pretty note cards. Thank you sdmisha.Sumi-e after a hard day of playing with catnip whales.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Jumping on The Bandwagon

I finished my Clapotis just like 13,157 other people. I resisted the urge when it first came out in 2004. I actually thought it looked stupid and boring. Then I saw a few in person and they were pretty cool.

This September everywhere I looked people were knitting them. 3 were being knitted at the knitting guild meeting, one was being knit at my knitting group, and they all looked so nice. When I saw this sock yarn but I didn't want to make socks I knew right away what I did want to make. I bought the yarn and sat down on the LYS couch and asked for a print out of the pattern. The knitter sitting next to me just whipped hers out of her bag and handed it to me.

I started knitting it and I showed it off at my spinning group and the next thing I know they are showing up at show and tell there too. The bandwagon is making its second turn around.
These are perhaps my worst photos ever. It's so hard to capture the purple/green color of the yarn. Cameras have a hard time with red and, apparently, purple/green.
Look at the ripples. According to my French to English dictionary clapotis means lapping. The lapping waves of the sea.

Just look at it.

So I thought it would be fun to pull out my other bandwagon knits. This is fitting since the Swallowtail of the last post is very much a bandwagon knit. I have a few more on the needles right now.

FLS (February Lady Sweater, so popular that it's no longer spelled out). What a sweet knit. It's in time out because this is an easy sweater to make too big. I knew that and I think I over compensated and made it too small. I'm not ready to deal with that.
Monkey socks. This is my second pair. Bandwagon knits are usually popular for being charming. Monkey fall directly in that category. Fast to knit, hard to put down, and just difficult enough to make a knitter feel cleaver without actually stressing any brain cells. Perfect. Perfect enough to knit twice. The yarn, however, is not perfect. These are in time out for splitty kinky yarn that is fiddly to handle. This yarn is for the epitome of the bandwagon knitting, Rouge. One of these days I'll cast on.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Best Knit Ever

Girasol is finally big enough to go on circular needles.
To get those needles I had to finish this.
Swallowtail Shawl out of my hand spun silk.

I kept on running out of yarn and having to spin more. That lead to the variation in the color and the reason that it took a year and a half to knit. The actually knitting took very few days. It's impossible to put down.
It's so soft. It's not very lustrous because the base fibers are bleached tussah, but the shawl flows around my body like water. There's nothing like silk.
Every time I look at it or touch it my insides fizz with happiness. It's that good.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

Look what surprised me in the mail today!
Someone I barely know, that has never met me, but knows I'm having a hard time right now sent me yarn and some smiles. Right out of the blue! I'm amazed and touched she took time to make up a package so nice and pretty for me.

Thank you, bluecanary. Blessings to you and yours. (((hugs)))

that's 1600 yrds of laceweight merino dyed with onion skins