knitnana: December 2008
Please stop by my Etsy Shop if you're looking for Nana Sadie's Attic Treasures items!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Same Day Different Time...or Bye-Bye 2008!

It's almost the end of the year...and not too soon for my tastes.

Is it just me? Has this been one of the hardest years in a long, long time to get through? Are you ready to see the ball drop?

I am fine. The Forester is in the body shop, the other driver's insurance company is taking full responsibility and I have a rental:
While you really can't tell from this photo, it's a dark metallic brown...the same dark shade as The Meezer's darkest points. I loved the color on sight. The car, on the other hand? rides like a truck. And doesn't have the niceties I love about my Forester - especially the heated seats (ok...I'm a gal with an eye to her creature comforts, what can I say?)...still it's wheels, and right now? That's pretty critical...

I won't know what the damage estimate is any before Friday, and probably not till next week. The front right side of the car and the passenger door are involved, the headlight is gone. Still, it could have been so much worse...

Your good wishes and admonitions to take it easy are so appreciated! I did go out for a lovely dinner with Sis-in-law to a locally owned Italian restaurant (the merlot was excellent, as was the - somewhat pricey for me - meal!), then we caught the early show of the new Will Smith movie Seven Pounds. I can very much recommend it, but do not go expecting a light story. It's a psychological drama, an emotional one, and a mystery for the viewer as well as some of the characters. Smith is excellent. Stay on your toes as you watch, keep your wits about you. It's one of those with flashbacks, and you get bits and pieces throughout, but the full effect doesn't hit you till the last 5-10 minutes of the movie.

That's the only thing you'll get from me. I'd say it was well worth the purchase of the ticket, but "light" it was NOT...we were still analyzing and realizing pieces of the plot as we drove home, and we walked out of the theatre with two sisters who were thinking it all through out loud themselves...we had a delightful conversation putting it all together, tho' perhaps we should have moved OUT of the lobby to do so, I wonder if we spoiled it for anyone as we stood there talking? Oh geez I hope not.

I promise I will chill tonight (okay not literally) and sleep in tomorrow to ward off any bad effects of the car accident, and I'll even take a muscle relaxer when I hit the sack tonight...

I have some good news! My last finished object of 2008 came off the needles this afternoon...
Look familiar? That's The Meezer yarn. That's Anne's Star of Evening!!

Obviously, I need to block it and I'm hoping to do that tomorrow, but it's really, and truly finished on the knitting part! Whoohoo! Specs tomorrow or the next day when I do a decent photo shoot.

I have really surprised myself this year with the volume of knitting. But I failed in one of my goals and I'm owning up to it here. I'd planned to knit the Fair Isle Tam from Interweave Knits Holiday Knitting from 2007. I didn't. That was a disappointment to me, and I'm still thinking I might do that early in 2009. Since it was the piece I was knitting to claim my "Im a Fearless Knitter" badge over there in the sidebar, I did fail, miserably! Still, perhaps next year? We'll see. I have a ton of plans for the New Year, and I'll put them out there for you tomorrow...

For now? The 2008 numbers:

22 pair of socks
2 cowls
7 hats
1 felted bag
1 pair of mitts
1 pair of cabled gloves
10 squares for blankets
9 dishcloths
2 lace shawls

Wow. That's a lotta knitting.

And don't ask me how many bags, needle cases, cell phone cases, checkbooks and such Nana Sadie Rose made. I have no idea.

I do need to update my Etsy shop, and put a ticker up there for the Star City Cat Show at the end of the month...but I can think about that tomorrow...

But for now? I'm thinking I'll head downstairs and work on the Log Cabin blanket (easy knitting and warm!) until midngiht.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year! I'll catch you in '09!

Darn it. Did she say a ball was dropping? I hate the noise!

Meeze! Come along now. The neighborhood hooligans will soon be setting off the firecrackers and you can burrow under the covers till it's over, hon...

New Year's Eve *CRASH*

I'll be back later, but yes, I've been in an auto accident - low speed, no injuries...but my *baby* is hurt - my sweet Forester.

The other gal at fault and cited, the insurance claim filed, the repairs scheduled, the rental car arranged.

Still...I'm a bit shaky.

I promise...more stuff later today.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I can't believe it.

Twenty-two pair of socks in 2008. Three for Big Sis, one for my boss, and one for Sis-in-law.

The rest? Were mine...Bwahahahahaha!

Regia Sock yarn: Kaffe Fassett colors in Mirage Twilight (doesn't that sound gorgeous? It is...browns and blues and forest green - scrumptious)
Needles: Knitpicks Options size 1.5 - 2 circs
Method/Pattern: Judy's Magic Cast On, Toe-up, Mock Cable cuff
Time to knit: These took a bit longer, because I was putting so much Christmas knitting in between, but I started them on Dec 7 and finished tonight - 22 days - isn't that a koi-ink-ee-dink?

I have yet another WIP I'm trying to complete before year-end...we'll see if I manage it...

And I'm thinking about what I'll do in 2009! (Not sure I need to top 22 pair of socks, tho') *wink*

Sunday, December 28, 2008

As Promised....

A few items that had to remain secret until after the holidays (there are still a couple of things that will be gifted on Saturday this coming week, so I'll have more to show yet)...

A couple of my Mavis knitting bags - this a custom order:
I love this fabric! And it's out of print, of course...
Becky had this fabric stashed away, and asked me to make her a Mavis. What she hadn't expected was that the making of it was my gift to her...Becky has been such a good friend, putting my bags in her shop and not charging me a penny to do so, I thought this was one way to say "thank you!" I do so love Laurel Burch fabrics, and wish I could afford the licensing to use them...but gifting is okay.
This is one of a pair of Anne's Fine Cabled Mitts that I made for my colleage at the office:
I used Knitpicks Gloss fingering and fell madly in love with this yarn. It will be fueling my stash soon in other colors, I know...

And my boss asked specifically for a pair of socks - she wanted wild and crazy, and did not want purple (yes, sure, in MY stash? Can you imagine there's anything without purple there...?)...but what she REALLY wanted was house socks made completely of fun fur.

Um. No. I don't DO fun fur. Well, not any more. And I simply could not imagine trying to turn a heel in fun fur...But she IS my boss and I think the world of her...
So I topped the feather and fan pattern she requested with fun fur to make it, hm...well - FUN!
The yarn is Zen Yarn Garden Art Walk Sock Yarn Club "Phenomina" - a rainbow riot of boss liked them a lot, she said...(and the fun fur? Is Lion Brand)

Christmas "vacation" has it's back to work tomorrow until 1 p.m. on Wednesday - at which point, we get another long weekend...Somehow? These short weeks seem even longer than than they should, doncha know?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men....

Or some such.

I have been putting together, in my mind, at least, some of the guidelines I'd like to live my life by for the next several months, into years, if they seem to hold true for me, but I'll need practice to be sure of that.

Well one of those guidelines was a bit put to the test this weekend, as Becky returned from China for her Christmas holidays and decided that she really did want to open Knitter's Knook for just a few last days before the end of the year to reduce as much as possible the remaining stash on her shelves. She (being an accountant, I realize her madness here) did not wish to have this in inventory if she didn't have to when she folds...

The announcement went out on Ravelry. I just happened to see it late last night. Forgot it as I looked at the clock this a.m. and convinced myself that another hour's sleep was what I truly needed...until at the end of that time, I came straight out of bed, and went "drat!"

I took time to shower. (Someone else mentioned she should have left that bit of personal hygiene out of the mix to get to the store in time. I got there at 10:20. There was barely much left. I did a bit of damage, in spite of a great deal having been swept into bags ahead of me.

Why would we do this? We'd seen the yarn a couple of months ago and not considered this something to wake early and trek 10 miles to her little shop and fight amongst ourselves for it...
Mountain Colors Mohair in Mystic Lake and Moondance, and Louet Gems sock yarn in pink, blue, and navy...
Trekking, Austerman Stepp, Fortissima sock yarns...
Three balls of Zephyr laceweight wool/silk - ivory, black, and baby blue; 3 skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountaing Mohair in navy blue; a skein of Lamb's Pride in teal...

So why, especially when I was considering the "guideline" of knitting mostly from stash in 2009?

Because every ball was $1 - $5.

Nothing was over $5. The Mountain Colors was $3 a skein...Can I say, this was a bargain, and I don't easily walk away from bargains?

No plans for any of it. Just scrumptious yarns that needed a home and at that price?

It's the equivalent of a Geezer Meezer turning his or her cataract clouded blue eyes up to look at me, reaching out one paw to say, "Please take me to my new and final forever home? I'd like to go home with YOU!"

And so the yarn did...and at this point, I haven't succumbed to any meezers, but I know that won't take me long...(sigh) I have very little willpower around yarn and cats.

I did manage to finish the last Christmas gift tonight and it's blocking now.

And I'll be good...more or less, from now on.
Maybe at least until payday?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day!

The day after Christmas is Boxing Day, the day the well-to-do went thru all and gave things to their more a "gift to the poor" day, I also look at it as a day to box up and put away, reorganize, straighten get my drift, I'm sure.

It's usually a quiet day in our house. I finished wrapping almost all the rest of the gifts for our second Christmas with the extended family next weekend - except for a couple of things still on the needles, or blocking...

For example, I cast on for this, the last knitted gift of 2008:
...and no I can't tell you what it is, just yet. After January 3, I will reveal all...promise. I can tell you that's alpaca up there in that photo - talk about scrumptious!

I finished the last of the dishcloths I'll be gifting...
(if this gives anything away? tough. They all know they get these things, they ask for them! lolol!)
The second Man's Chemo Cap is finished - I used Birdsong's estimate of 9 inches and then decreased the two inches of the 4x4 rib pattern using The Boy Hat Pattern and I think it's better, tho' perhaps a bit on the long side. Still, after speaking about it to the recipient, I'm assured it will be treasured, as once in the chemo room and for the duration of the treatment, apparently all the heat seems to leave one's body and whatever helps with warmth is greatly appreciated.

Kind of puts knitting into perspective doesn't it - okay, it's puts ALL of life into perspective.

I have another of these to knit yet. (sigh) Yes, that makes 3. The first will be reserved and taken to NoSoKnit in September. The other two have homes where they'll be useful...such a small token of concern, but my heart is in them.

Otherwise, today, I've been thinking about endings and beginnings. We've only a week to go (less, actually) before the end of the year. A year when I personally had both good and bad things happen, as most of us usually do. And much to be grateful for - you all, especially, and my customers, too!

But in a lot of ways, I won't mind seeing 2008 go. I'm very hopeful for 2009. I tend towards an optimistic nature, I think, and with the beginning of an historic presidency, I'm more so than usual.

I'll be putting together a post or two that deals with wrapping up my knitting life for the year, with plans for 2009 - maybe even three posts. I just looked over there at the sidebar to see how much I knit this year, and was amazed!

(I sewed, too...and worked, at least a little bit. Wow. I was busy!)

Now it's time to head back downstairs to work on this Secret Christmas gift, the last of the year. I'm also working on a WIP I'd like to finish before year-end, and I have a few orders to do, more year-end stuff for work and client as well...I think these last few days will be as busy as usual. All the better to take Boxing Day off.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It was a lovely day (tho' I've got tons of dishes to wash, and various straightening up to do yet, so it's not really over)! I hope your's was???

I mentioned the fuzzy things in last night's post? They were no-sew fleece blankets for each boy...they were indeed a hit (whoohoo!)
...dear daughter, I've mentioned before, makes jewelry, and she made these stitch markers for me - I'm over the moon for them, they're so special - they say: Wish - Hope - Believe - Create. With smoky rose beads...could she have made anything more perfect for me? (remember you can click on the photos to see better)

I gave myself something very special to take to the office:
That mug is handthrown pottery from One Wintery Night. It's an oversized mug with sage leaves and a wondrously mottled sage, plum, ivory, browns...all colors that I adore, and that go beautifully in my office...and the tea is one I saw over at Margene's and it just made my mouth water - Cranberry Autumn! Yum...tho' I must admit that at present the mug holds My Lady's Respite (decaf Earl Gray with rose) as it's way too late to be drinking anything caffeinated if I plan to get some sleep!

But I digress. The day was delightful...and after all the gifts were opened there was this:

Everyone got into the project I showed you from my office Christmas party? The tiles and stickers? The boys were VERY focussed. I am so grateful, because it allowed the family to do something quietly while I finished up meal preparations...The son-in-law took the boys to the park to play while we gals did the rest...

Roast beef with all the trimmings, a shrimp ring, and German chocolate cake to top it all off. Everyone ate well (ok...I'm going to check the tree for pieces of the meal, we have a 2 year old - whose favorite word is "NO" and who waves his fork around with, there may yet be some cleaning up to do!).

Here's the next two generations (I'm behind the camera so you don't get to see me with them...Aside from all the glasses, I suspect you can see a little family resemblance, no? (and yes, the blonde hair comes from me...)

The cats did not make an appearance much...well CC was in her chair when everyone arrived, but was helped upstairs to avoid the children...The Meezer had already made haste before the doorbell even rang...
I'm glad those kids are gone now.

She is snuggled down behind me in the office chair as I type this...a much happier kitty tonight.
Merry Christmas all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

T'was The Night Before...

We made it! Not quite sure I believe it, and yes, there's still wrapping to be done in Knitnana's house, but otherwise? The preparations are finished.


I even braved the crowds (and there certainly were a lot of cars on the road and in the parking lots around here, so I guess there's shopping being done) to hit two of our malls - I don't EVER go to the "big one" at the holiday season, but I understand DD did, and that it was packed as well...

Last minute sales were nice, and the last few things (plus one or two) that were on my list were picked up. I'm really done - even tho' I still have another week before our big family Christmas NEXT weekend (oh, well there is that one knitted item I haven't cast on for yet, but I've got a week for that...and several days off, right?)


Here's how I spent my afternoon and evening:
A gift for one DGS...

And for another DGS...

And for the third DGS...

I bet you know what they are, right?'s a secret - at least till tomorrow...

And the vet's payroll is done - a day early - but with Christmas falling on the day it's usually done, what else could we do? I certainly wasn't going to go in tomorrow and do it, would you?
(that's the ultimate dedication, I think)

The Meezer, CC, and I all wish you a wonderful Christmas. We'll be around tomorrow, so if you get a minute and want to touch base, you know where to find us, right?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In The "Nick" of Time!

Tree done? Check...

(no I didn't move it)

Dinner ingredients purchased? Check...

Gifts all bought? Well....not quite.

Wrapping finished? ROFLOL!!!!!!! Yeah, what planet are you on?

All handmade gifts finished?
(I won't even dignify that with a response...I'm sure you can imagine what I'll be doing into the wee small hours of tomorrow night, right?)
Are YOU on target to finish everything you've planned?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Two More Days?

I've finally completed all the pre-Christmas Nana Sadie Rose orders! I cannot believe it myself...I think the only other year I've ever been this near the actual day of Christmas finishing up was the first year I was in business - of course, this year? I didn't really stop accepting orders until 2 weeks before, and that's really cutting it close.

The last set I did, for a friend to gift to a new knitter, was this Rose straight needle case in Navy Primitive Sheep scattered all over...

I was also asked to make a Mavis (the large knitting bag) but I didn't take a photo of it, as you've seen one here before in that fabric.

Things are really hectic (as I'm sure they are where you are), but I'm happy to say, we don't have snow (which would toss all sorts of monkey wrenches into the mix), just bone-chilling cold.

Eldest grandson celebrated his birthday early tonight (tomorrow is the day) as DD has to work tomorrow night. I believe this is the first birthday that I completely forgot my camera. That's becoming a very bad habit, I know. :(

I did manage to come back from the party and vacuum the living room and rearrange to set up the tree. That's as far as it got: the tree is UP. It may come back down tomorrow as I'm unhappy with the furniture placement in an already too small room. We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow. The poor thing may not get decorated until the day, at this rate! Maybe I'll just set it up with the lights and vintage Santa on top? Do you think anyone would notice?

(ok...scratch that, of course they would - sigh)

The second chemo hat is partially done, and hopefully will be done by the first of next week (I'd wanted to finish tomorrow, but I'm thinking that might not happen now)'s really okay. His chemo doesn't begin till just after the new year, so if it's not finished till the weekend, I can forgive myself!

I've got plans percolating for the first of the year, and one thing I'm trying to promise myself is a little more time to rest. It seems to be something I've forgotten how to do these days. Not always a wise thing, you know?

Here's someone, tho' who has got the "resting" idea completely under control:
Meezer with white eyelet...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Okay, Maybe THIS is a Better Photo?

I keep forgetting I have this "head" to model my hats...Does this tell you any better about the size of this chemo cap? (Remember it's for a man...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Even When They're Very Minor, Tis the Season for Miracles! So My Fingers are Crossed

I have to begin this by saying that after this week, I was truly looking forward to this evening...taking a bit of time for me, to knit. We're hoping for some miracles, too. I stopped by AC Moore with a 50% off coupon, picked up the softest acrylic I could find in a manly color (heathered charcoal gray Caron Simply Soft), and came home to knit the first chemo cap I've made in awhile.

I used this pattern from Stephanie Knits. It looked good in the pattern, but after following it exactly and casting off, I tried it on.

I have a relatively small hand. I know it's a beanie - is this big enough for a full-grown man's head? Are chemo caps for men shorter that regular stocking hats? Beanies are not as deep? This one just barely clips the top of my ears...

(Now obviously I can use it next fall for a donation to NoSoKnit and I have time to knit another chemo cap. (Any ideas for patterns would be welcomed...I'm thinking something with a simple pattern - as much as I love Koolhaas, I don't think I want to knit another one at this time of year!)

I mentioned miracles here - if you have a prayer list? Would you put my two friends on it? Both are really neat guys.

Totally on another plane...when I sat down to knit tonight, I suddenly decided to turn on Lifetime and watch whatever Christmas movie was on at 9, and not watch Rachel Madow (as much as I enjoy her show, I was not in the mood for more news...)

I flipped the channel and came in on the credits rolling before the movie, and before I saw it I thought, is this? REALLY? OMG!

White Christmas?

I've missed it the past couple of years, I can't ever remember to check to see when it's on. And it's ONLY my favorite Christmas movie, as I know you remember...

A love story for adults...
And one for those becoming adults...

And some of the best staging, singing, and dancing there is.

It's such a delightful escape movie - to the Vermont of my family's the heart of the one season that I adore there.

And everyone who is currently there, is thinking - yeah...they wanted snow in Vermont in that movie - well "We've got SNOW!"

(I probably shouldn't tell you it was 67 degrees here today, should I?)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tis Definitely The Season...

Wow. A whirlwind. Since I last touched base, we've gotten relatively good news from our state government about our funding (which is a big sigh of relief, and there are many who are not in our shape so my heart goes out to them), and I've been to two Christmas parties.

Last night was Red Hats dinner, and "Neil Diamond" was there. Oddly enough, Neil Diamond was in Charlottesville on Monday night and dear SIL had been treated to the real thing! (Am I green? Why yes, thank you for asking...that was the first concert I ever attended at age 12 - the REAL Neil Diamond, and I adore him.) But last night "Neil" did a good job of portraying the real thing. We were a little nutty ourselves...Okay, once again, NO photographic evidence - I completely forgot my camera (which is no doubt a good thing).

Then today was our Christmas party at work. And yes, I did take my camera, but I won't embarrass my fellow staff with posting photos - that's not fair. I will be getting them made up and posted on my bulletin board, tho' folks!

We had the best "craft activity." A new employee with delightful ideas brought plain white tiles from the home improvement store - they were a nice size: 6 inches by 9 inches.

And then? She brought dry-erase markers (low odor, we ARE an organization that assists people with disabilities and environmental illness is a covered disability) so you can write notes and messages on the tile and just wipe it and start over - and all sorts of different packages of stickers: flowers, butterflies, guy stuff, words, strips of borders, boats, and travel, fish. The idea was to decorate our tiles.

Here's mine:
But I doubt that this is a surprise to anyone, right? (click the photo to see it a bit larger, okay?)
It's sitting on my desk - she also included felted feet on all four corners to protect a table you might want to set it on, and a tripod-type frame.

I think I'm going to do this for my grandsons for Christmas day - all sorts of boy things: frogs, and insects, dinosaurs, superheros, soccer and basketballs and such...

I haven't had so much fun creating something in a long while - she encouraged us to let our inner children run free for a little while. And after the year we've had? It was just what we needed...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Hysteria?

Anyone else feeling the pressure? With the two weeks of holiday fast approaching, things go on high speed for a few days, as everyone who has tons of vacation they need to use up before year end, tries desperately to finish all their projects before they leave (that usually means this Friday). Those of us who have only a little bit of time left (or in some cases not enough seniority to be granted the precious holiday time off), usually feel the stress of too much to do in too little time (we of course, will get to take deep breaths on the days during the next two weeks that we work and they don't...things will slow down - I keep saying this as a mantra to remind myself that this too shall pass!). I've always worked at least some of the days of the last two weeks of the year. Many moons ago, I had a non-profit job that got many, many calendar year-end contributions (in the form of checks mailed in to the office). The president of that organization's board of directors firmly believed that someone had to physically be IN the office to pick up those checks, record them in the accounting records and take the deposit to the bank, at least several times before the LAST DAY OF THE YEAR or IRS would not consider the contribution as made in that calendar year.

I do not want to admit to you that my powers of persuasion were sadly lacking for a number of years - I could NOT convince the man that as long as the checks were DATED December 31, they were for that calendar year, regardless of when I took them to the bank - well, okay, had I waited to February? That probably would have raised an eyebrow, but the first week of January would have been fine. (After all, the IRS understands the machinations of the government machine that is the US Post Office - ok...POST MARK DATE at the very worst?). I finally had him semi-convinced, and then he left the board. The next president was a CPA. (Whew!)

But I digress.

My life is a little hectic right now. No. That's not it: Life is nuts! But only for a couple more days...there's light at the end of the tunnel and I'm pretty sure it's not an oncoming train.

I'm almost finished with Christmas orders (only local bags remaining to be completed - Whoohoo!). And I can't show what I've done, because they really could be seen by the recipient. Not a good idea - I'll show you photos AFTER the holidays, okay?

I'm knitting myself a pair of socks, because I needed something really simple to carry to work and I needed a chocolate brown pair of socks. I have one more Christmas gift to knit and that's complex enough that I want to wait till I'm off work to knit it (tho' it IS a quick knit) - and the recipient won't be here to open gifts till the New Year's weekend (oh, yes, the Knitnana family will have its normal multiple Christmases again this year!). So I have a little time. But they do read my blog so I can't tell you (or show you) what it is...

So. Hysteria and pressure-cooker environments tend to turn me to this:

Good, basic, garterstitch. Dishcloth cotton and Susan Bates pink aluminum needles. Do you remember that blog quiz that was around 3-4 years ago? What knitting needle are you?

I was pink aluminum. And it was true till Knitpicks came out with Harmonys! And Addi came out with their Lace needles...

I've decided that there have to be a number of things I can do with leftover dishcloth cotton to find interesting combinations to make dishcloths. There's a member of the Cloths for Crisis group that's in need. I have no stash (ack! and I'm a co-owner of the group - how bad is that?). So in between everything else, I pick up the dishcloth cotton and garter away.

Worried about the bailout of the banks and whether those bank CEOs will get their bonuses? Mad about those bonuses? Mad about government money enabling those banks to pay their shareholders dividends?

Pick up a dishcloth ... and garter away (and join us in C4C (link above) and we'll get those cloths where they can be of help!

It's something YOU (and I) CAN do, and right now doing something that makes a difference is what matters...and keeps us from losing it.

(because frankly folks? I'm not sure what we can do about the bailout mess and Paulson will be gone in about 34 days when perhaps we'll see some changes made at least to those little loopholes...)

Tell me, do you think The Meezer was trying to share her crunchies with the draftdodger cat?

She goes in there every night with a mouthful of crunchies, drops them on the rug and chows down in just that position with the cat draftdodger lying there...

Can you tell it's way too late for me to be up and talking to you? I'm calling it a night!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nana Sadie Rose's Etsy Store is Open!

Just stop by HERE and see the few items I've added in this shop update! I'll try to get a few more up during the weekend...Just in case you're thinking it would be nice to have a Nana Sadie Rose item for a last minute gift - perhaps a Fiona? - for the holidays!

The items in the Etsy shop are ready-made - no custom orders are available here (that's okay, tho' as you can always run by my website for those!).

Let me know what you think, okay? And if you like my banner? TELL ME. I need to pass on all the kudos possible to the Dear Daughter who created it.

(Ok...I'm a proud Mama - methinks she "done good!")

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Than Usual - TGIF...

It's been a rough week.

While the work requirements were a part of it (at least from the physical tiredness aspect) that's really not the issue at all. The luncheon went amazingly well, but wore us all out, as it usually does. It's a ton of work, and while the food is catered, we do all the rest of it. Still it went very well.

But I don't think I've ever had a week with as much bad news. Four health crises in friends and close acquaintances (crisis might not be the best word - disaster might be better, although one is just presently a nail-biter...and we'll know more soon). Another house fire, this time not someone I know but someone who is related to someone I know well.

Then there's watching the country I love come apart at the seams, economically speaking (what IS wrong with us? Obviously, financial assistance is okay for one group and not another? Pish-posh!).

I'm knitting feverishly, and sewing almost as much, in an effort to keep myself sane, to deal with the stuff I can control...

And if the one person who has decided to drop out of my life without notice is reading this? Please phone home? No questions asked other than that you are safe. (You know who you are...)

Cryptic? Yup. Has to be that way.

But I'm so glad this week is over. My mood will be better with a bit of sleep...a bit of Christmas shopping (for small gifts, I'm being careful, too, folks) hopefully to lift my spirits, at least by being out with people and seeing pretty lights and decorations.

Maybe with a little bit of Christmas spirit, we can start to believe in a better day coming? I'm trying to. DESPERATELY.

38 days...and counting...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

All I Got...

is this...

Regia sock yarn from Knit Happens in Alexandria, Judy's Magic Cast-on, Knitpicks Options size 1.5

The best I can tell you at this point? I'll make the heel - perhaps do Wendy's Easy Lace or that lovely little mock cable pattern I do so often (I have 4 sock cuff patterns I rotate).

Tonight was packing bags for shipping and working on photos to upload to etsy. WOW. Does that take awhile.

Soon, I promise.

Tomorrow is our annual Christmas lunch for our clients. I suspect you won't hear a lot out of me...I'll be busy.

But have a happy Wednesday, anyway!

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Christmas List...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags – All the way!
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial – with my allergies, real can’t make it in the door…
3. When do you put up the tree? Used to be Thanksgiving weekend, but now it’s closer to this point it might be the Saturday before – I’ve got so much else to do in between...
4. When do you take the tree down? New Year’s Day.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but NOT spiked!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? It would have to be my RED two wheeler with training wheels...
7. Hardest person to buy for? All of the men in my life – Brother-in-law, nephew, niece’s husband, son-in-law...All I can ever come up with is a Barnes & Noble gift card. :(
8. Easiest person to buy for? My daughter, she needs a lot, and is a good giver of long lists of ideas...
9. Do you have a nativity scene? I have a nativity scene ornament for the tree, but not a full table-top display - and I have no real room for a table-top display!
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I send only a very few cards to close family and a few friends...when I get around to them!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? The bag of dirty pantyhose my sister and sis-in-law (his first wife, not this one) gave me...what I didn’t know at the time was the there was another box that held the felt-craft doxie dog for me to sew together and appliqué flowers on his back, and then of course, stuff him with - torn, clean pantyhose! But they thought it was great fun to put the cart before the horse...I had a very difficult time holding back hurt tears – I’ve never "gotten" practical jokes.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas – and there are one or two on Lifetime that are newer that I love to watch, too...
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I shop a bit as I hear things people like, and stash things away. Then I’m usually at the last minute thinking I had all this stuff, and it’s not quite what I thought so I’m out in the crowds kicking myself all over again. I do not like last minute shopping and I HATE crowds...
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I have – not just wine, either. If it’s new and I have no use for it, haven’t used it, it’s still in the box? Of course...pass it to someone who WILL use it for heavens sake…(tho’ I’m careful not to give to the person who gave it to me, or one they know...)
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Nut loaf – an old family recipe for the vegetarians in my mother’s family. I’ll have to see if I can find the recipe and share it...
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, CLEAR – and in the windows - CLEAR
17. Favorite Christmas song? White Christmas See number 12 above...and Merry Christmas Darling by Karen Carpenter (but it always makes me cry - her voice was so beautiful and to have lost her so young is a travesty)
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home!
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Sure, but I'd have to sing to do it.
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The lack of Christmas spirit while out and about – shopping for people you love and grumbling, pushing, shoving...
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? My tree is gold, silver, white, and crystal, with birds – mostly cardinals – all over it
23. What do you want for Christmas this year? I’ve done a list down there below…mostly books on knitting and sewing.
24. Angel on the tree top or a star? Old World Santa
25. Favorite Christmas dinner? A good beef or pork roast with veggies and some good bread - and an apple pie and a chocolate silk pie.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Christmas is Busy Enough...

Orders are flying out the door...and I'm on track, thankfully...tho' I had hoped to be ahead of schedule...This weekend was big bags - Sadies and this Grand Mera:
Oddly enough, I don't think there's such a stretch from the Peace Flowers Sadie yesterday to this fun-filled print here today, do you? (And the pockets are lined with the wildest bright avocado green! (to match the gal on the front of the bag)

But as if working on Nana Sadie Rose isn't enough, I'm trying to put together an etsy store of ready-made items. My website doesn't address that, and I'd like to be able to have things you can see and purchase right away. Without taking a crash course in HTML coding, of course! I'll make a big announcement as soon as I go live with a few items...I promise!

In addition to work (my independent auditors left on Thursday - Whoohoo!), and my business, I've been trying hard to winterize my townhouse - the wind gets in a bit too much, and with the electric rates going up, I have to try to keep things contained (like the heat!)...

So today, Sis-in-law helped me get two rooms of thermal drapes put up. We did the front rooms when I first moved in...but those have only thin cotton tab-tops...I'll be buying thermal liners for them over time (gee they're pricey!). The four windows of thermals weren't inexpensive either. But there is so much to be said for knowing this is going to make a difference for years to come (at least I hope they do!).
This window is upstairs in the office where you've often seen the rug with the sage, burgundy, tan, navy, and forest green squares with a black border all around. The Meezer loves that rug. Well, till I got the curtains up, I hadn't realized that the jacquard in the fabric was a the square on square motif continues!

I even managed a tiny bit of Christmas shopping today, running to KMart for curtain rods and hooks, I ran through the little boy department and picked up a few warm things for three grandsons...

We're supposed to be 15 degrees tonight!! BRRRRRR.....!

Stay warm wherever you are...and have a great week!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Did I Mention My "Inner Hippie?"

I know I've been thinking about my inner hippie for the past few days...I guess ever since I saw the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and the float for the Broadway musical Hair!

You see, that musical came to my town when I was a sophmore in high school and I got to go see it! my family, had my dad had any idea that there was a nude scene in that show? Well. I'd not have gotten to go, I'm sure. As it was, he was pretty unpleasant about the guy who took me to the show. Kenny was well-mannered, came into the house to pick me up, and when my mom introduced him to my dad, Kenny held out his hand to shake "man to man," you know?

My dad was watching the news. He stood up, turned to face Kenny, with his hand held out...took ONE look at Kenny's shoulder-length hair, turned back around and sat down and never said a word.

(Can you guess how long it took us to get out the front door? Yup. THAT fast.)

So seeing the actors on that float brought back a ton of memories...especially since I learned to knit about that time, and the knitted ponchos and crocheted mob-caps the gals were wearing, with the long, long hair?

Yes. Oh yes, did it take me back.

And so did this:
The Peace Flowers Sadie bag. I have been groovin' while I made this bag, I'm tellin' you...and the song Aquarius running thru my head..."When the moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars...then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars...."
Sorry for the earworm...But isn't this bag cool?

I managed to make another Sadie and a Glady at 7, I realized I'd sewn myself out. It was time to switch to Christmas movies and knitting.

I finished these:
my Big Sis's Berroco Sox - just like mine, except hers started with a teal stripe, and mine started with a burgundy one. And I did a stretchy ribbing on the tops of hers to make it easier on her ankles that don't like anything tight. Mine have the picot edging.

I even worked a bit on the Log Cabin Blanket! Yes, it's cold's going down in 20s tonight and the teens Sunday night! Brrr....good weather for Mission Falls 1824 Wool, if you ask me...

The Meezer oversaw the sewing today...
Well, Mommie, that's why my title is Sewing Assistant.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

RV Knitters & Spinners Xmas 2008

Another important event in Roanoke & Salem's knitting social scene...tonight was our annual party - and Dirty Santa gift exchange...

We're a pretty motley crew - look at us...chowing down on the goodies we all brought to share...

More of us! I am not identifying anyone. You may identify yourselves if you wish...
But mostly I want you to know that there was lots of good food, and there wasn't a soul who didn't partake at least a bit more than probably we should alcohol, but that suits me fine...

Did I mention gifts? We do a Dirty Santa...and sometimes it can really get pretty cut-throat as we threaten (who, ME?), swipe, hide....naw...not ME? (teehee)

Someone actually brought two gifts this year (hmm..I think she did that last year, too). At the end of Dirty Santa, we draw one number for the person who will win the extra gift and this year - it was ME - and this adorable crocheted snowman was my lucky gift - isn't he cute as a button?

Rae, my good friend and fellow Red Hatter, gave me this book...
She has raved about it and insists my first sweater must be a top-down...

And my Dirty Santa gift? really did come down to Rae swiping it from me, and then me having to swipe it back:
But no one was gonna take Catie's handspun from me.

Not no way, not no how...I'm so excited about this yarn...thank you, Catie - you do good work!

Merry Christmas, all y'all!

Ok Family ... A Few More "Wishes" - (All Others May Click On By..!)

1. Indigo Knits
2. Denim People
3. Denim Revolution
4. Jean Therapy

I'm indulging my "inner hippie."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Knitting Wish List for the Holidays...

Not that I think anyone in my family is paying attention, but on the off chance that they are? I have a few things I'd love...(and DD? This excludes you, as I've told you what I want from you, so click on by, hon, nothing here for you to see!)

1. KnitPicks gift certificates (I have a long wishlist over there...)
2. BMFA STR lightweight in these colorways: Blarney Stone, Blue Brick Wall, Braun's Woods, Dreidel. (Yes, I'm in a blue state of mind these days - mainly blue/aqua/beige - for certain critical parts of my wardrobe that have been woefully ignored for too long!)
3. Nicky Epstein's Knitting on Top of the World
4. Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia
5. Clara Parke's Knitter's Book of Yarn (I know, I'm way behind on this one, but I still want it...)
6. A second set of Hiya Hiya Bamboo sock circulars - which means click on that link and order 2. (Sorry all you knitters who are reading along for fun...I'm not sure certain members of my family would realize that a "set" is 2 circulars... lololol!)

That's quite enough...tho' I'm pretty sure there's a lot more I'd like to have!
(If wishes were horses, as they say...)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Quickie Post...

I'm trying hard to handle all the balls I have in the air this week, and also some that I'm simply positioning myself to do, even if they're NOT required. Things like...

decorating my front entry with a few Christmas-y details...and getting the candles in the windows and the wreath on the door (the shot I took of the outside of the house was way too late at night and just looked as if there were a fire inside - and I don't want to panic anyone! There was no fire...just my electric candles! lol)

So I'll try to get outside photos later...
This is my favorite ever Christmas decoration. For years and years, I thought I'd take a ceramics class and learn to make one of these. I didn't. Then for a long time, I thought maybe I'd find one at a yard sale or second-hand shop. But I didn't. About 4 years ago, my Dear Daughter discovered this one (with little birds on the branches, instead of candle flames) at a local flea market. It was wrapped and placed under the tree.

I think it's the very best gift (even better than the Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn she gave me last year) she's ever managed to give me. I treasure this. And I'm a bit freaked out at leaving it on the top of the stereo. The Meezer is well known for leaping from the back of one wing chair to the back of the other, directly OVER this stereo. It's not that I think she can't do it. It's that this is new to her reality and might accidentally get clipped by a back toe.

I'm seriously thinking of finding a safer spot for it (and no, I'm not thinking of packing it back up in the box!). edited to add: I did! It's up out of the way, on a taller piece of furniture in the corner of the room...I think it's safe-r

I really missed having it out last year. But I couldn't find the box it was in. Tonight? Eureka! Those little birds are so neat...

(I think this piece will be my "downsize tree" when I finally "retire" to a tiny room or two (be it assisted living, nursing home, whatever...all the drawers there, of course, being filled with stash yarn! Must make a mental note to order more Blue Moon yarns after the holidays...just for me! Oh! btw! Look over there ----> BMFA blog buttons are available on their blog, just click my link and you'll hopefully go there.) I'm delighted to have that dancing raven on my sidebar!

She needs to stop worrying about me knocking that thing over and get my dinner...this is my "I'm being patient" look. What do you think?


I honor the place in you,

which is of love, truth, light, and peace.

When you are centered in that place in you,

and I am centered in that place in me,

we are one.

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