knitnana: November 2009
Please stop by my Etsy Shop if you're looking for Nana Sadie's Attic Treasures items!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Long Weekend Draws to a Close

I hope everyone reading had a wonderful holiday weekend, if it was long or short, that if you were out shopping on Black Friday, you found exactly what you were looking for and got it at a good price, and I hope, I truly do, that you've not had problems with traffic heading home, and that you're ready to go back to work tomorrow.

What? Oh
Are we ever ready for that?

I've spent my weekend getting a little rest (but not a lot) and working a bit on some holiday gifts (which of course I can't show you), and also managing to finish the last two orders I had outstanding deciding that Nana Sadie Rose can extend her holiday order deadline to December 5, 2009.

And I've done some cooking which you can read about over on Nana Sadie's Place.

And while I stayed in on Black Friday, I did venture into the mall on Saturday, picking up a few items I needed for holiday gift projects.

But mostly? Mostly I worked on putting together some items for your shopping pleasure over at my Etsy Shop. The prices are low to encourage's my little gift to my good customers in advance of the holidays - enjoy a price reduction on me, and pick up the "little somethings" you'd like to add to your gift-giving this year.

What did I create? A few of these:

And some of these...

and of course, these:

There are some sets up there, and some duplicated items with just enough of a difference to make things interesting...

And of course, my favorite Siamese feline has been a constant companion all you can see, she has to inspect all the merchandise before it leaves the sewing table.

But right now? She's sitting in front of the oven...there's a turkey breast in there cooking away and she's not going to miss even the smallest morsel that might hit the floor!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Look What I Unearthed Today?

Turkey-Day Dinner was quite satisfactory. I stayed within my plans for the dinner, and didn't go over my allotted points for Weight Watchers. I'm pleased. DD said, "Well, what can you eat? Nothing, right?" and I was happy to reply, "I can eat anything I want, as long as I keep portion control in mind, and make healthy choices."

It's exactly what I did!

Then I came home with some thoughts to finish the job I started last night, cleaning off my desk. I was so good. I reset the computer into a more neutral position and removed the full-sized keyboard that I've been using. I can't seem to give up my mouse, tho' I've been using the thumb pad on the laptop, but I like the mouse control better. I do switch back and forth, so the day might come when my mouse and I part company...we'll see. Still the desk itself had to be unearthed for this process and I'd tossed all the papers on the floor yesterday saying "no longer than 30 minutes on the floor, I AM going to clean this up." was more than 30 minutes, but everything was organized and filed (even in file 13A, the shredder basket) this afternoon. And then I got interested in finding a frame for a photo of my grandsons...that involved pulling some boxes down from storage (I'm always amazed at what I have that I've completely forgotten...and it's made me think more in terms of the old "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" mantra I used to live by).

I located a photo of my mom that I'd been wondering where I'd packed it, and then I found this:

When I was a sophmore in high school (which was 1972) the crochet pattern for this was available in Seventeen Magazine. I have a memory of it being on the cover, but it might just have been a full-page photo inside the magazine. I tried to link to something, and can't find it, even on the Seventeen Magazine site, which does have a section for historical covers. I don't think for a minute that they're all up there, but still, I can't promise this was on the cover.

However, at the time, I was completely, and totally, convinced that it was the very most wonderful piece of clothing in the world and I begged my Mom, who crocheted beautifully to make it for me. Crochet was her preference, tho' she knew how, and did teach me, to knit. We bought the yarn, and unlike the promised Granny Square afghan she never made me, this was finished that year. After I photoed it for you, I folded it again to store away, and noticed that the diamond fringing at the bottom is practically perfect. I have no idea how she managed it, but the ties are done so well...

The yarn is probably Red Heart, I know it's acrylic, but back then, I'm sure it was all we could afford. It doesn't matter. The Hippy Chick in me still thinks this is the coolest thing in town.
Thanks, Mom...Happy Thanksgiving, I miss you.

Thankful Thursday...

Here we are, THE day to be thankful, and I've had a month of Thankful Thursday courtesy of Carole having this lovely idea...I'll try to finish up the month with a few odd things I'm thankful for, having spent the last weeks already mentioning all the most important ones!

1. I'm thankful that my mother's family was raised vegetarian. I have such an appreciation (not to mention, a recipe box full of fabulous recipes) for all vegetables, but especially for the autumnal bounty. Our family Thanksgiving Day has always been more about the Three Sisters (squash, corn, and beans) than about the bird! Give me the side dishes, please? Even on Weight Watchers, I can enjoy my traditional favorites without a twinge of guilt! Especially since WW gave me a way to enjoy "pumpkin pie" via pumpkin fluff - Just ONE point!

2. I can't thank my grandmother and mother enough for the training in the domestic arts - sewing, knitting, embroidery, and food preparation and preservation. I don't think any of us were much on the housekeeping (tho' Mom was better than I), but the handcrafts, whether done for necessity (my Mom), or by desire (my Grandmother and me) gave us a lifetime of creativity.

3. Finally, I'm especially grateful today for Golden Corral. An all-you-can-eat buffet in a family environment is just the ticket when you have three small grandson's who want to eat everything and anything but the traditional fare (tho' I'm told some turkey will be desired, and somehow we did manage to create cranberry sauce lovers!). Since I just admitted (again) to not being the best housekeeper, and I've told you about my impossible kitchen, you can imagine how much I appreciate being able to whisk 3 adults and 3 boys (age 6 and younger) off for an already-prepared meal, then let someone else clean up! I'll make a turkey breast later in the weekend to enjoy in sandwiches next week...and I've found a really neat receipe for a turkey-topped pizza with cranberry salsa (a mite on the spicy side!) that's only 6 points for two slices! No cheese of course, but I might not miss it...

Then by Sunday I'll have shopped a bit but will also have stocked my Etsy Shop with lovelies for you and yours this holiday season, so do stop by, okay? I promise you that will make me even more thankful - you all are the best!

I hope your holiday is happy and you have a full tummy. (but not too full, okay?)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ten on Tuesday...Redux Thankfulness

I shouldn't be too surprised that Ten on Tuesday this week asks us to list ten things we're thankful for. I've already listed 9 so far this month - on Thankful Thursdays. The fourth installment of three to make an even dozen has been written and you'll see it on Thursday. (They asked me first!)

So I kinda thought, rather than go off all willy-nilly and do whatever I wanted or totally disregard the spirit of Ten on Tuesdays, that I'd give you some of the "lesser" (or serious-to-semi-serious-to-light-hearted) things I'm thankful for...

1. My Subaru Forester. Roomy and great in bad weather, but not too far off the ground, with heated seats, and easy on the gas. I love it.
2. My yoga class. It's helping me rebuild the strength in my spine (OH! I've got a backbone!), and the calm in my soul that's been lacking (and I still have a long way to go, but I'm so glad I came back to it!)
3. My magazine stash...I will never run out of resource material in my interests. I can re-read to my heart's content (some of my passions have been decorating, yoga, Buddhism/Meditation, sewing, art quilting, knitting, history of needlework, feminism, herbalism, education...) and never worry about buying another magazine as long as I live - and it does keep me from buying new ones in certain subjects!
4. My knitting pattern stash. I can knit just about anything without spending another dime on patterns (of course, I doubt that will happen, but I could!)
5. My local library. As long as I've got a way to get there, I can read, watch movies, listen to books on CD for free. (Unless I forget to return on time and then it's a reasonable fee for being late!)
6. My public radio station. Soothes me with classics and jazz - and NPR (oh! That's their slogan!)
7. My computer. It's one of the few constant sources of communication - what would I do if I couldn't visit your blogs, send and receive emails, and surf Ravelry? I think I'd be lost! (Oh, and where else can you hear from the designer herself that the row gauge won't matter on this lovely sweater I hope to knit, but Ravelry? Now I can't wait to start!)
8. My knitting groups - both local and online. :)
9. My teddybear collection (and stuffed cats, too). Yes. I know. Shhhh...
10. My stash, which allows me to easily substitute a project for another in my Personal Sock Club. Yes, I know we don't have "sock yarn stashes" - there's no such animal - but I do have a lot of sock yarn and when the KP Imagination didn't work out for socks, I pulled out another skein:

Miss Muffin (one of my "silent" pets) is modeling the latest toe of Online Supersocke 100 Sierra Color which I bought at the very first NoSoKnit I ever went to. It's a wonderful striping tweed yarn, in olive-forest green-black with a touch of caramel tossed in for good measure. Not only are they gorgeous, but I am in love with this yarn - hmm...a competitor to Trekking XXL? Wow! I'd originally thought I'd gift this, but I'm really really going to be selfish here and keep them for myself.

Well. Shoot. That's not in the spirit of thankfulness, now is it?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Weekends Are Always So Short!

Even if I do get a lot done, I usually end up wondering how Sunday night got here so's not a lack of a feeling of accomplishment, I promise you - because I really did a lot this weekend!

I'll start by thanking everyone who commented on my sweater advice question on Friday night, and for those who emailed me privately. I think I'm going to be fine with the row gauge. And will probably embark on this sweater journey in December, possibly after Christmas when things settle into a bit of a lull in Knitnana-land.

I frogged the Red Hat Sock (that's what I've been thinking of it as, even if it is called Wicked Stepmother...). I will use the yarn for Jo Sharp's Misty Garden Scarf from Scarf Style.

I can't cast on for it, right now, because I'm using my size 8 bamboo straights on the yoga pillow. Which is almost 1/2 done. I've got to figure out the filler for the pillow and then determine if a ready-made one, purchased, is appropriate, or if it would be possible to recycle the stuffings from something I already have (oh! Recycled Sari Silk yoga pillow with recycled pillow stuffings? Poetry!).

I spent yesterday alternately running up and downstairs doing laundry and at the cutting table cutting out orders for Nana Sadie Rose. I'll be taking orders for the holidays up through November 28, and possibly beyond, so get with me if a Nana Sadie Rose item is on your wish or gift list for this year?

And for dinner, I made myself a huge pot of Veggie Spaghetti. It was yummy and I'll be enjoying it for a couple more days...I finished the evening off by working on the Helsinki Hat Scarf - those cables are just the thing, lately, to wind down with and the yarn (Lamb's Pride Bulky) is just soft and warm!

Then, today I vacuumed. Please don't fall over. (I almost did!) The downstairs is seriously lacking in cat fur, but just wait five minutes and The Meezer and CC will take care of that, forthwith! *wink*

I still need to dust. But after the vacuuming, I had to have a lie-down! heheh...

Finally, I finished off a couple of Knitnana Totes. These were ordered by one of my very best customers (Hi, Big Sis!) for two of four(!) expectant mom's in her life. This fabric, long, long out of print, is about our favorite for Mother's bags (once known as diaper bags, but that, I suppose, dates me terribly, no?)
Every so often I luck into some of this and we tend to squirrel it away for more or less personal use...I do, however have a little, if you know of a soon-to-be mom who'd like a Mera, perhaps? They make great little day-packs when Mom's running just a few errands. Big Sis and Sis-in-Law are known for gifting one of these stuffed with baby's necessities at either the shower or baby birth gift occasion...

Anyway, I have other baby fabrics available of course, and there are tons of different prints out there, too. Big Sis has chosen a different print for her other two gifts. They're not needed for a bit and, not to worry, the mom's don't read my blog, so the surprises are safe (they also don't know each other, so the likelihood of seeing each other with a similar bag is slim, too)!

So now? I think I'll go see what the pillow situation is around here. Oh. And get ready for work tomorrow, too!

Have a great (short) week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Calling All (Experienced) Sweater Knitters...

I've not quite cast on yet for Cheryl Oberle's Three Sisters cardigan. (Ravelry link) A caution - the data on the page are not correct. Gauge on 9s is supposed to be 16 sts and 26 rows, but it says 6 rows!)

I knit my gauge swatch. Twice. The first time, blocked I was off using the recommended size 9s. I went down to 8s and got the row gauge - spot on. Blocked, 16 stitches over 4 inches. Isn't this Knitpicks City Tweed Heavyweight just plain gorgeous? (ok, I've tried several times to get the lighting right when I photo it, and the reflection off the nicely faded bluejeans color just washes out...believe me, it's the color of my favorite jeans)

However, over 4 inches, my row gauge is 2 shy of what it's supposed to be. My thinking is, this is a cardigan, I can knit a couple more rows per 4 inches and, of course, double-check as I go against myself to be sure I'm okay. I have enough yarn, I think, because I bought for a larger size, and this is an oversized sweater. By the time I finish it, I intend to be smaller. (Don't laugh, I know all about the best laid plans of mice and men...)

Am I crazy? I can't start it yet, quite, because I'm either going to have to order another set of size 5 Harmony tips from Knitpicks, or I'm going to have to find the ones that came with my set of interchangeables. I'm not in the mood right now to tear the knitting room apart. And I'd really like to finish something. Anything, frankly, since my track record hasn't been that great lately.

And I'm going to wait for advice on the gauge from you all.

In the meantime? I won a contest over on Chris' blog the other day, and the prize arrived today...

I opened it and took a few minutes at lunch to read some of it.

I was in hysterics!

(Thank you so much, Chris, for putting quite the smile on my face!!!)

Time for Some Space?

Last night was Red Hat Ladies, and I was terribly bummed by the fact that I'd spent quality time with the O'Charley's nutrition website and thought I had my dinner all planned, only to discover that the way they made a certain substitute for dressing on the salad made it impossible for me to eat.

(Pico de Gallo, the last time I checked had a nice mix of onions (often green), peppers and tomatoes and cilantro in it, NOT 90% chopped raw red onions, which of course, don't agree with me - but it was too late, it was all over the salad - and at my request).

I was starving when I got home. And my blood sugar was on the floor, so my mood was pretty bad...until I saw:

The cover of Winter Interweave Knits! OMG. I'm in love, I think.

Next to it there, you'll see the Red Hat sock I'm working on. I think it's going to be ripped (yes, I know, my track record lately is pretty poor, huh?). The yarn is lovely and soft....too soft to hold up to the wear I put my socks thru.

Maybe a nice feather and fan scarf?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Can you believe it's Thursday again already?
Ok. Three things I'm thankful for this Thursday are:
1. Weight Watchers, and the decision I made to join. Every week, regardless of the amount I lose (or don't) I meet up with folks in the same boat, who have great ideas, and mostly positive outlooks (and by the time Meghan gets thru with us, we do again, if we didn't when we came in!). I'm especially grateful to be 10 pounds lighter right now, and feeling the difference in my hip and spine. YAY!
2. I'm very thankful for achieving a point in life where I'm far less likely to over-react. Having spent a lot of my life suffering from the drama-queen syndrome, at some point in the last few years, I've managed to move beyond it (mostly). I can really appreciate being more calm, more philosophical, less reactive. (I can still lose it, but usually not for as long or as intensely, and the difference that makes on my overall well-being is huge. I'm able to talk myself down from the ledge pretty quickly...Maybe it's maturity, maybe it's yoga. Whatever it is, it's cool. And I have my fingers crossed that I didn't just jinx it! *wink*)
3. I'm thankful to have lived in the same town for my entire life (except for a few months in DC, during which time I was plotting my return). I know that seems strange in this era, and it's not a little bit unusual. But this town, with all it's idiosyncracies, is just about the best place in all the world (I might just be a touch biased). Politics aside, I am grateful to live in a beautiful place, with friendly folks, and a decent standard of living (for the most part). When I leave? I can't wait to get back. While I'm here, I drag my feet at leaving. I come across Afton Mountain from the DC area and as soon as I spot the Blue Ridge, a space in my chest expands and I realize I can finally take a full breath again. Who knows why? It's home. And it's mine. Blessed Be.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Road Trip!

Ever since I signed up for the Community Supported Agriculture program way back last February, I knew this day was coming. I've had it marked on the calendar as a vacation day for some time, and I have to admit, I wasn't anticipating it in a good way. About a week ago, it dawned on me that this could be fun, even tho' I knew there'd be physical work involved, tho' I also knew it wasn't going to be back-breaking work, by any means. I've been less uncomfortable about it the past few weeks as my back got better and, besides, I could do a photo essay for you! Whee!

What did I have to do? Drive to Check, VA and bring shares of the CSA back to Roanoke for distribution. Now, if you're wondering, yes, Check is in a rural county, about 30 miles from where I live. And it's up Bent Mountain.

Bent Mountain?

There's a reason it's called that. The road up, while 3 lanes wide (it's the NEW road which has been there as long as I've been driving - in fact, my first day in driver's ed I had to drive UP it!), is at an 8% grade and so many S-curves that double back on themselves in such a way, that if you're not the one in control of the wheel? Motion sickness is a real possibility. It's a dangerous road, and one where many accidents have occured over the years. The posted speed limit is 25 on those turns. I'm able to do 35-40 most of the way up, but the locals just flat-out fly by me.

One of the big reasons I've been dreading this day, is because I could not predict whether the day would be sunny and if it was? Driving that hour up the mountain and the hour back could have posed a major problem for me.

Guess what? Tuesday was a true example that our winter is fast approaching...

As you approach the mountain, you pass through the tiny community of Poages Mill, where Poages Mill Farm is located. This is a local landmark, and the ex and I once looked at property up behind the farm to buy. That would, indeed, have been a small "share-crop" sort of farmstead, so I almost got my wish (see yesterday's Ten on Tuesday post below)...

Can you see those skies? It was gray and chilly - only in the low 50s here, and in the mid-40s on top of the mountain...mist threatened the entire trip...

I stopped mid-way up the mountain (not the smartest thing, but there is a shoulder, so I could walk back and snap this shot for you...I didn't dare cross the road to point the camera down the mountainside. Scary!

Back in the day, the "back-to-the-land" movement of the 70s, many folks moved to Floyd County to start farmsteads and one of the ways they survived was to raise Christmas Trees. Small farms and nurseries, the land is so hilly that's about all you can have, but I did see lots of cows this trip. I looked for sheep, but saw none, tho' I'd have thought they'd be good farm animals up there. The tree farms are thriving businesses 30 years later.

Once you get to the top of Bent Mountain, you continue on thru Copper Hill and finally you get to Check...down a couple of roads and off to the left, you turn onto a dirt track:
The farm sign greets you. Of course, that photo is thru my windshield, but the mist was heavy at that point, did lift a bit later on.

I carefully guided the Forester down the farm track to the CSA barn at the back of the property...when I got out, through the back of the barn, I spied a cat.

And you know me...I had to have a photo:

That dark gray blur at center of the photo in the right angle formed by the cold frame and the wood frames? She took a flying leap just as the shutter went off.

Well, of course, photos were not why I was there, so I joined Polly in the CSA barn

where she was already way ahead on bagging the shares.

Another helper arrived, we packed everything into the two Foresters (she had one, too!) and joked about that vehicle being the requisite CSA car for transporting shares...

As I drove off, I caught this view of the farm, still showing some of the greens growing...cold as it is!

And just a bit further down the track?

The cat reappeared and I quickly snapped her photo - but I really do think she's camera shy, because she looked back at me (showing a lovely white vest) as if to say, "HA!You didn't get my best side!"

On the way home:

I came upon this and it reminded me that I should have mentioned in yesterday's wish list that I've always wanted a log home...but that would have made Eleven on Tuesday and that's not what it's about! *wink*

Doesn't this look cold? And dreary? I love winterscapes, and this shot of seed pods was quick and through the open car window as I drove off the farm. I am glad it turned out, even if only a little!

Back in town, you can tell we're warmer here, there's more color

But not for much longer. After all, it's mid-November!

And in light of feeling chilled to the bone, I made a cup of Earl Gray and settled in with my knitting to warm up at the end of the day! Not a bad day off, if I do say so...and I topped it off with a big weight loss - check out that ticker up there, please? *wink*

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

This week's Ten on Tuesday question is "Ten Things You Wish You Knew How to Do"
(now usually, if I want to know, I learn it, but sometimes? It's just a matter of having the time, inclination, or money to learn, so here is my wish-list of sorts:)

1. Photography - good photography! (as you can see, I'm mediocre at best)
2. Spindling. I know. Taking a class at Sock Summit wasn't that helpful, and someday I'll take another and finally learn, perhaps from Toni at The Fold, because I liked her teaching style when she demo'd at SS09. But for now? It's a matter of time, mostly. And not really wanting to expend what I know will be outrageous sums of money once I finally learn and then have another fiber habit to support!
3. Weaving. A small loom would fit in my small space (not a floor loom -sigh- but a table loom would work) and I already have tons of fiber, I even think it might use up odds and ends, tho' I'm not sure of that...
4. Ballroom Dancing. (okay, here, it's not just money, or time. It's having a partner who's willing, and barring that? It's not gonna happen)
5. I've always wanted to learn to play the harpischord. Well, that's more money than time at this point. They're not cheap, and neither are lessons. Not to mention the space requirements of a harpsichord!
6. Quilting: like Jude. Someday, maybe I'll have the time, tho' perhaps not the money to build up the exquisite stash that she must have. I'm saving scraps and neat stuff now...One of my winter projects is to put them in some sort of order. (One can only hope I get a snow day or two to make a dent in it!)
7. Herbalism - as in growing them, harvesting them, putting them into tinctures and potions, and using them appropriately. Once upon a time, I wanted to attend Rosemary Gladstar's herbal school in Vermont. Or Susun Weed's (you don't have to run the add-on, there). But since I'm very grateful for the home I'm in, and I don't have garden space outside and not enough interior light to grow anything inside, that's probably a "not unless I move" wish.
8. Along with #7, I also have always wished I could raise sheep and have a farm (even just a few acres)...I enjoyed gardening when I lived at my mom's (my daughter jokingly refers to my tomato forest when the subject comes up) in the early 90's, but I think probably the time in my life for that experience is long gone. However, I still swoon over white and black woolies dotting green landscapes when I travel north to the Shenandoah Valley and see the sheep farms there.
9. Becoming a yoga teacher. I cycle through this wish every few years...It's doable, expensive, but doable. If I really, really want to. Classes work well for me, tho...
10. My all time wish I could learn to do? Or rather, just something I'd love to do, and I know there's a learning curve in everything, is opening my own shop - an environmentally sound junk shop. What do I mean by that? Reduce, reuse, recycle. Used books and music, vintage clothing (especially wools that can be repurposed), vintage/collectible "stuff" - you know, china and glass and all the dustcatchers anyone can imagine - a shop with overstuffed chairs, and tables, with coffee and tea constantly available, and little bits of enjoyables to taste, music in the background (all kinds, depending on the time of day and my state of mind, or what's come into the shop) windchimes that catch the breeze, and a place to knit, and read, and chat...on a neat little street (I think of Grandin Village, but there's already something similar there, so perhaps someplace else - even another town, tho' don't hold your breath...)

Oddly enough, there are variations of all those things that I could do, and probably will. I've got a lot of time and space to fill ahead of me (I hope!) and with a little luck, some budgeting, and willingness to try new things? Yup. Most of them will be tried (ok, maybe not the sheep farm).

On the subject of yoga?

I forgot to share this other new project with you on Sunday. It's recycled sari silk that was gifted to me a few years ago at one of our holiday parties with the Roanoke Valley Knitters & Spinners group. I've been wanting a smallish pillow to sit upon at yoga class (have been using a folded blanket which works, but...). I'm hoping the two skeins will be enough, but there is a third one if not. It will be a sort of crazy-quilt styled pillow cover, there's no doubt about that! And any scraps left over will be added to the crazy quilt stash - it's too pretty to toss out!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Mera!

Tommorrow is my Dear Daughter's birthday, and she'll be working (and I have yoga class), so we celebrated at Panera today (I think I did okay on WW points, but if not, I'll spluge and accept the weight loss/gain/no change results no matter what).

She had a sandwich and their new macaroni and cheese, mentioning that HER Nana (Nana, the First!) would have loved it because it's made with Vermont cheese. I had to remind her that her Nana would have found fault with it because there was no crumbly crust on top. And no, I didn't have one bite (but it was hard).

Instead, I had the black bean soup and 1/2 a Greek salad, with the balsamic sugar-free dressing on the side. Oh, and a side of their bread. I realized too late that I didn't get my usual multi-grain - I have no idea why.

Then, DD surprised me: I had told her I had another commitment at 2, but didn't say what till we were together. And at that point? She asked to come to my KnitIn group! We scurried off so she could pick up her knitting (she's learning, and if she ever lets up on the death-grip on her needles, I think she'll really enjoy it! She had several offers of assistance at the meeting, which is great, because I'm not a good teacher - at least not where she's concerned...)

Early this morning, I put the Personal Sock Club November edition OTN. I wasn't quite finished with October (but am, now, finished them during the news tonight, so you can find them on my Ravelry page as they are holiday gifts and won't be seen here till AFTER December 25!)

Why, yes, those are Red Hat socks. That's the Knitpicks Imagination colorway Wicked Stepmother. I plan on doing Feather and Fan on the cuff (surprise!) and those are my Addi Lace needles. Thanks Miss Muffin for doing the modeling duties...)

Today's meeting included a yarn and book swap/sale. Lots of lovelies were available...

And folks spent a lot of time shopping instead of knitting.
I swapped with Christy for this lovely alpaca blend yarn from Lion. (DD has her eye on something from this...we'll see!

But the piece-de-resistence? Fleece Artist Sea Wool in the most wondrous reds.

You would not be surprised, right? (I traded Sandy a yarn that I loved, but knew I'd never in a million years wear: The Wooly Wonka laceweight that came with the Honey Bee Shawl kit. Those yellow/greens? Not in my color family. Not at all. But it's going to a new home where it will be well-loved (and probably knit a lot faster, b/c I've not been doing too well in the lace department lately (maybe that will change with the Fleece Artist, tho'!)

Now to find just the right pattern (there are 5 skeins there).

All in all? A terrific day - and my daughter and I had a great time celebrating her birthday. She says she wants to come back to our group again next month!

That sounds promising, eh?

Friday, November 13, 2009

More Than Usual - TGIF!

This week at Weight Watchers they were having a half-price sale on cookbooks, so I indulged and picked up the Momentum Cookbook and almost the first thing I spied was their receipe for Sausage and Lentil Soup (with turkey kielbasa, one of my favorite things).

I had all of the ingredients on hand so Wednesday I made it and had my first (and last) serving for lunch yesterday. It was really, really good. Unfotunately, something did not agree with me, and I've paid dearly for that lunch. There's not a thing wrong with the recipe, nor the ingredients...but the remainder of that soup has gone to my daughter's house for dinner! (She was delighted)

I really have to accept that older tummies have to be cared for more gently. It's not something I'm happy about but, there are, indeed, worse things in this world.

The joint achiness from the cold rain and pressure changes was kept at bay till yesterday evening when it hit me hard! I'm finally starting to feel better (the storm has passed and finally late afternoon today, the sun came out, it will be 72 on Sunday, so they say!) but I'm still taking it easy, playing it safe. The past 24 hours or so haven't been much fun.

But - I think I mentioned that I dug out Helsinki Hat Scarf (Ravelry link) and began working on it again? I've been enjoying the amazing softness of the Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn and the wonderful way that yarn makes the cables pop! I wanted to show you, so I arrayed it on my knitting chair, under my Ott light so you could see the cables nicely, and off I went for the camera (it was just across the room!).

When I came back this is what I found:

(wouldn't you know I've got the opposite problem from Geraldine!

Long-time readers of my blog will remember that The Meezer is the perfect knitting cat, she doesn't chase yarn, and she leaves *most* needles alone (except bamboo), but she does have one minor compulsion...

Mohair drives her every bit as wild as catnip!

What? Like you have no compulsions? Mine's not that big a deal...I can stop anytime I want

Right, Meeze, right.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Three Thankful Things On Thursday...

Moving right along with the month of gratitude...I've been considering more things I'm grateful for:
1. The feline members of my household. The Meezer's adoration and devotion are the stuff of Siamese legend and anyone who is owned by one doesn't need me to tell them how wonderful it is to be the recipient of it. And even if she is a calico, with all *itchy-ness that can mean, CC has brought much to my life. She challenges me to come up with ways to soften the edges of her curmudgeonly grumps - tho' it's not easy. But she also teaches me what I hope not to be when I attain an age worthy of 18.5 she's elderly indeed. I suppose she's entitled to her grumps, huh?
2. I'm especially grateful for the home I inhabit. While I'd change certain things if I could, the most important aspect of this place is that it is smoke-free and will remain so. I'm grateful that every breath I take is clear of contaminants. I have a wonderful landlord & lady for my next door neighbors, and you can't ask for much more than that.
3. These days, I'm more than thankful that there's food in my larder. All the food banks are stretched to capacity this year, so this fall I've been adding a few extra things to my grocery cart each week to contribute to a couple of different food drives we have locally. I'm extremely thankful that I can afford to spend a little to help others who have the need. It hasn't always been the case in my life - I've been the one in need before and so I remember how it felt when someone helped me out. If you find yourself in a spot where you can, I hope you will help your own local food bank this holiday season. They need you!

Let me know if you're contributing to the Thankful Thursdays, as I'd like to visit and read your lists!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

And thank you to Navy Mom Julie for the clip-art heart flag, as well as a huge thank you to every veteran today.

I'm lucky to have today as a paid holiday, and have been slow to get started this morning, but I'm intent on making progress on a long-neglected knitting project and along with a bit of cleaning here in the house. It's absolutely pouring around here (a tropical un-named storm!).

But I will get out and walk at the mall, and get the grocery shopping done that I missed on the weekend. (And please do note, that ticker up there? Yup! Down another 6/10 of a pound! Whoohoo!)

Monday, November 09, 2009

What's Wrong With This Noro Scarf? Or...Is It Monday or Something?

I am about to take a serious break from knitting...could this become a yoga blog, perhaps?

I frogged the EZ Mittens. They were, for whatever reason, impossible for me.

Now? I'm trying to knit the simple, everyone has made it, tried and true, results are stunning...Noro Scarf

Doesn't that look wonky?

Well...look at this:
That's the 2nd row edge, the part where you're slipping the first and last stitch of the row purlwise to make a "nice" edge - Tell me, does that look like a "nice" edge? Not to me...
This is the side with the first row of color change. I think it's much more even, and "nice." Right?

ARGH. Yes, I think this is going to be frogged. I am a competent knitter of lace and socks. Please explain why I knit something as simple as a garter mitten, or a garter scarf and it looks like ...


The idea of a yoga blog is sounding quite appealing. And B-R-E-A-T-H-E!

BTW, The Meezer can't be called Sneezer any longer. As soon as I published that blog post, she stopped...thank you all for your concern, and Carrie I had no idea kitties could get H1N1!!!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Finally At The End!

It's been a busy weekend. Yesterday morning I was at a local department store, early-early, to help sell coupons for a Charity Sale they put on a couple of times a year. The nonprofits involved get to split the money for the coupon sales (they're $5 off your purchase) and the store sweetens the deal by running a sale on items that rarely, if ever, go on sale. I actually picked up a Fossil wallet for a fraction of the regular cost! (YAY! I would never have bought one otherwise).

But that took getting up and getting ready like a regular work day, but early. I met sis-in-law afterwards and we did a little Christmas shopping and had lunch at Panera Bread (yes, I was able to figure the points and do it in a Weight Watchers-friendly manner!)

Then it was hurry home, because I was completely determined to finish the National Capital Cat Show orders this weekend (when I say 8 weeks max to delivery, I mean it, and I DID IT!!):
Here are three of the Kerries I completed, and down below:
Two more and I know, it's amazing, please don't spit coffee at the computer, but there are NO CATS in these two bags!!!
I told you I don't *just* do cats!!!

But just so you don't think I've gone and lost my mind completely? Here's another cat bag - and the very last order from the show! Whoohoo!!

I'm ready to hit the post office:

So this afternoon, my sis-in-law and I will go to a lovely symphony matinee and I can relax a bit.

Someone has decided, tho, that I'm maybe not keeping the heat up enough (it's 73 outside, folks, so don't feel too sorry for her)

She found where I'd stashed this in preparation to refill the stuffing in it with fresh. (She's been sneezing the past few hours, so either she's gotten into a bunch of dust, or is not feeling the best...we'll watch and see)

In the meantime, I'll call her "Sneezer Meezer..."

Friday, November 06, 2009

So Tell Us, Knitnana, How Was The Show?

Ok...some of you have heard from me via email in reply, but I'll admit I had to think how I'd post this.

Avenue Q is a rather unorthodox musical. It gives all the appearance of being suitable for children, since the characters are hand puppets. Don't be fooled!

It's a raucous, bawdy, definitely adult comedy. With adult themes that could offend some people.

The puppets make the entire thing lighthearted and fun. The songs are catchy things that have you toe-tapping in your seat. You cheer for certain characters, and smirk at others.

But the entire premise is that these youngsters (and they are 20-somethings living on Avenue Q in NYC) are learning about life and doing it the hard way (as most of us do). I don't think anyone who saw this would feel that it wasn't something they'd had to encounter and learn to deal with as a young adult: relationships, friendships, new jobs, job losses, finding out what they're meant to do in life, or perhaps that they haven't a clue and won't figure it out anytime soon. And thru it all, they have a blast. And make us laugh.

But. All that said, it's quite riske. So be prepared if you get the chance to see it.

How did I like it?

Well...I LOVED IT. But had I just heard about it from someone else, or read about it? I'm not sure I'd have gone. We were lucky to have tickets given to us. So we went, with no real idea what to expect.

And you know what? Sometimes you have to mix it up a bit so you don't get stale! And that's exactly what this was....

An Evening On The Town: A Tale Told in Handknits

I scurried home last night after work to prepare for an unexpected night on the town. Sis-in-law had scored a couple of tickets to Broadway in Roanoke's Avenue Q and I had to quickly put something Weight Watchers appropriate together to eat and change clothes. The food had been percolating in my mind all day, and turned out well (only 4 points for a mix of diced turkey kielbasa, brown rice, Stoplight Peppers, scallions, Yoshida Sauce (1 Tbls) all sauteed in a non-fat cooking sprayed pan till cooked through (all total, probably 5 minutes or so). I added in a serving of cooked fresh spinach (YUM!) from the CSA share, and a dessert of Pumpkin Fluff (1 point!). A SKINNY meal...

The clothes were another matter. I tend not to dress up much these days (which I suppose could change if I manage to lose a lot of weight, but for now...not so much). So I figured the base would be black jeans. I ended up with the following for accessories:
The Hollyberry Queen of Hearts Shawl, my STR Mustang Sally Knotty Gloves, and one of two of my evening Kerri bags. I knew I wanted to also wear my STR Mustang Sally Spiraluscious. Went thru a couple of tops and this is what I decided on:

Just a simple black T.

After that? It was just a quick swipe with the lipstick, toss on the black swing coat, throw the shawl over my shoulders and dash out the door.

A night on the town for Knitnana (aka Nana Sadie Rose) in handknits! Whoohoo!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Carole suggested that we consider posting Three Things We're Thankful For every Thursday in November, and I thought that I could surely include this in my weekly posts.

Obviously, as most of us would, I have to say I'm thankful for my family and friends (which include my blog- and online-buddies!). You all keep me sane, mostly reeled in on some of my wilder stuff, and support and encourage me. I could not do any of what I do with out you.

Equally obviously, I'm thankful for my work. I'm very lucky to have a full-time position in this economic environment when so many don't, but I also have a part-time business client I care about and respect, and fabulous customers who sustain Nana Sadie Rose. I couldn't ask for better.

And today, I have to say I'm very grateful for my health. Even if it's not always tip-top, even with some challenges, my body puts up with a lot (I'm a hard task-master) and keeps on going. I'm finally beginning to try to take better care of it in recent years, and I'm very grateful that it has hung on long enough to reap the benefits of that care. It had to slap me upside the head a few times to wake me up to the prospect, but that's okay. I'm very grateful for it's resilience.

Tune in next week and see what I come up with for my next three! (I'll be thinking on it). And join in with us if you'd like!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

My Office Photo Essay

Over the years of blogging and blog-reading, I've seen some interesting photo essays of people's workplaces. I've always thought I'd do one, but have continued to put it off because I have one wall in my office with a planned photo frame (a big one) and have just never gotten it put together and put up. With things speeding along as they are? I'm thinking it might not happen for a bit, so I'd better share now...

But first? Yesterday, I wore the Textured Shawl in to work, hoping I'd find someone to take a photo of me with it on. That didn't happen, so I draped it on the back of my chair. It works:

Yarn: Knitpicks City Tweed DK in Orca.
Needles: Addi Natura size 9 circular
Pattern: Textured Shawl Recipe (Ravelry link)
Time to Complete: Sept 28 to Oct 29, 2009
Notes: Next time I'll buy more yarn. It's a very small shawlette. It might end up being someone's gift, because it's really too small for me - the blocked size of 60x29 shrunk once it was unpinned, of course. I used most of 3 skeins so next time? I'll definitely use 5. And yes, there will be a next time. I LOVE this pattern.

Ok. Now I'll show you my you walk in my door and look to the right you see:

And if you look left?

I have two narrow windows that lead to nowhere (they've built on to the back and side of the building and what I have was a corner office - but not anymore). So I have two dusky amethyst drapes hung (leftovers from an old apartment)...and yes, everything in my office tends towards purple, fushia and copper (which is a nice word for the burnt orange office carpeting and "oak" desktop) with black filing cabinets. People walk into my office and go "wow!" The pictures on the wall above are two pieces of original art - by two little boys near to my heart. They were my 50th birthday presents (and this was before the youngest DGS was born). The huge piece in the first photo is an art poster from the Los Angeles Celebration of Canadian Contemporary Native Art back in 1987 called "My Grandmother, Myself" by artist Maxine Noel. I've had it for years but only recently got it framed and up on the wall - it's one of my favorite pieces - I can only imagine how beautiful the original must be. I found it back in my "feminist/womanist" activism days at the Women's Center at Virginia Tech. It speaks to my steadfast insistence of the critical importance in women's lives of the concept of matriarchal lineage back to the dawn of time. I read somewhere that our cells remember, even if our minds can't recall, the stories of our foremothers and grandmothers. I believe that, with all my heart.

That was back when I first discovered Barbara G. Walker, too, but that period was long before I knew of her knitting tomes... *wink*

Oh. And this is what I'm reading these days...

Fascinating. I'll be sure and tell you how it ends, okay?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ten on Tuesday...

this week is Ten Ways to Waste Time on the Internet...Not a difficult list for me at all:
1. Ravelry
2. Facebook - a pitstop on my way to
3. Bejeweled Blitz
4. Weight Watchers Etools
5. Ravelry
6. Bloglines & My Knitting Blogs plus blogger to write posts here and over on Nana Sadie's Place
7. Email
8. Ladybutton Fabrics
9. Equilter

And the number one, all time, sure-fire way I waste time online?
10. Ravelry

Oh. Hm. I spend a lot of time there, don't I? *wink*

Monday, November 02, 2009

You Knew I Wouldn't Last, Right?

Sorry about the lousy photo.

Yes, you're seeing that right - it's my October edition of the Personal Sock Club. I know. I said wasn't going to put socks on the needles right now.

Well...I'm seriously debating taking both pair of mitts/mittens OFF the needles. The lace isn't showing up at all in the Spiralucious mitts because the yarn, lovely as it is, is too busy. And I have no idea why I can't get EZ's Mitered Mittens to work properly, but they're not.

Hmmm...maybe it's (im)patience?

Anyway. I have to have easy and small to work on at work. And it seems to be all my brain will deal with right now. So.

Another pair of socks.

BTW...Hello?? Knock-knock - is thing on? Remember that old blog button of the old woman saying "Would it kill ya to comment?" I'm going looking for her...I miss you guys. Please let me know when you stop by!

I even put a whole slew of Meezer photos up...don't you love me anymore? (Don't you love her? I'm just sayin')


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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Yarn Explosion
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Wool Workshop

Twist Collective


The Haggahdah of Knitting

Not that I'm addicted or anything...!

Summer 2009

If you buy books, buy from Independent Booksellers

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Black Symphony Socks
Train Travel Socks
Faux Mink Mobius
Yoga Socks
Trust Your Instincts Socks
Toast Toasts!
Blue Leftovers Toasties!
Black Hat for Charity
Pastel Jacquard Socks

Briar Rose Gracie Faroese Shawl
Purple Royale Clapotis
Violette Lilith Shrug
Helsinki Hat Scarf

Summer Garden White Granny Afghan

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Thank you!