knitnana: February 2010
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Sunday, February 28, 2010

No Medal But Progress Beyond Expectations!

As I reported last week, I earned a gold medal in the Knitting Olympics, and that left me open to finish as much as possible on the WIP Dancing entry in the Ravelympics. I knew I'd not complete my project...since I do have a life:

Beside a day job, and a client, I had a few of these lovelies to complete over the past 18 days. That's the Lounge Cats Knitnana for one of my customers - I'm in love with the way it turned out. She's a knitter and plans to use this style (the 7 pocket version with pattern/file folder pocket) as her knitting bag.

But if I'd not had all those bags to make (besides the effect that would have on my income!) I would have had no problem finishing Helsinki:

At the top of that photo is one side of the hat scarf, folded...I was impressed when I managed to complete it and started on the second side. This afternoon, I posted to the Basket of Shame group on Ravelry that I'd be pretty pleased to get one side of the armhole finished on this second side. But sure enough, as the Olympic Closing Ceremonies were ending tonight, I joined both sides of the armhole at the top. That's just a bit more knitting and I'll have both sides finished.

I have to admit, I'd be farther along if I'd read the pattern correctly. There was much frogging this afternoon. But still, I am very pleased with the progress.

After all, it's the attainment of a goal - I wanted to make "substantial progress" on this piece and I have. I'm going to try hard to stay with this particular item until I complete it (and that does mean sewing the pieces together) so I can wear it next winter.

(Which, I'm sure you realize will undoubtably be as unseasonably warm as this one has been cold...)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Almost The Weekend

Back to work today, tho' the weather is deteriorating and that's not helping the low back/hip trouble. Still I was able to walk, so no reason not to go back, ya know?

We are having high winds and dangerous windchills, but we're luckier than most of those north of us - there's one heck of a storm raging up the coast and if you're in the midst of it, you have my sympathy!! I was out at 7p.m. tonight filling my gas tank and wondering what to cast on next to make me warmer in this crazy weather. Is it spring yet?

Anyway, once I got home, it was all about vegging a bit and rewarding myself somewhat for making it thru the day. I put 24 rows of cabling on Helsinki! That will be a warm piece when it's finished!

Big Sis emailed last night (and then phoned!) to thank me for the bags I sent her way, one of which was this lovely:

My violin-teaching sister has a brand new, snazzy Mera bag to carry!

But I also added in a somewhat belated Valentine's Day gift:

A musical-themed sundry baglet and checkbook cover. (I thought that fabric was terrific, with the little hearts mixed in with the notes!)

So now I'm heading off the bed with my latest library book, Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. Yes, I'm that kind of nerd...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ravelympic Knitter Down!

...but not out of the running, yet, I hope.

This morning dawned (or pre-dawned, in my case, since I get up at 5:15), and I.Could.Not.Rise.

Blasted hip. Rotten wet/cold weather...


I tried hard to tell myself that sometimes I just have no choice in the matter, the hip, which goes merrily along wherever I ask with only twinges and catches here and there, suddenly screams "enough!" and I'd darn well better listen.

So I do.

Snuggled back in for hours of more rest and hot packs...missing my caffeine kick by hours, too.

So finally I dragged myself up (one simply must have sustenance, you know?) and made tea (weaker caffeine) and decided to try to work on a bit of Helsinki whilst sitting with the heat.

Last night was fun - dinner at a local place I love (Montanos, for those of you, in the know), great company (sis-in-law and brother-in-law, we MISSED you Big SIS! Get well!), excellent food (Grilled Salmon Salad) and wine (Salmon Creek Merlot). A second glance at me (ME?) from a nice looking guy (ohh!! LA-LA!!)

I was really tired last night, and missed most of the ladies skating competition (sigh), but did manage to see Canada win gold on the slopes (is it awful of me to hope that Canada does really well, when the US isn't in the running at all?). I have a cousin who lives there, after all...Not to mention Stephanie who feels like such a good friend thanks to her blog and all...

Anyway, last night as well, Big Sis sent along a giftie (for me, supposedly, but I think someone else was really her intention, since I'm not that into catnip):

Someone else was extremely pleased...

A New Kitty Nip pad, Mommie!

I heard her licking it all night's a big hit, Big Sis!

Oh...btw, the Corazon mittens are going to live with friend Sandra, a cardiac nurse. She offered to give them a new home in exchange for a gift card, and I'm as happy as she is. Who better to have heart mittens than someone who helps to save our hearts every day? You can see her amazing photos here.

Never fear, I think another pair of Corazons, in smaller needles, and smaller yarn (and aubergine/ivory coloration) will be making their way into my knitting queue very soon).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Award!

and my sincere thanks go to Tiffany for awarding it to me...According to Tif's blog, as a recipient of the Beautiful Blogger award, one must:

1) Add a link and note of thanks to the person giving the award

2) Pass the award on to 15 bloggers whose blogs you have recently discovered that you love

3) Share 7 things about yourself

So here are my 15 (but please note my caveat at the bottom of the list?)
* Kate my "most beautiful of Beautiful Blogs." This award should be all about Kate, a gifted, amazingly brilliant young woman, feminist, knit designer, accomplished sewist, who just recently and at a terrifyingly early age, was blindsided by a stroke. She is coming back to herself, and her posts are sporadic. But every one is a blessing in my eyes. She's a delight, and I only wish her a full and speedy recovery (tho' I know the challenges she faces will take longer than ANYONE would like...)

I do not expect her, or anyone else I list here to feel a responsibility to either reply to my award posts, or to feel that they have to pass the award on. I'm simply sharing these incredible artists with you.

* Ruinwen a good friend and talented knitter, with a heart of gold.
* Jocelyn also a good friend (a blog-buddy I've actually MET!) whose mind just blows me away. Another feminist, she thinks the way I wish I could!
* Birdsong my "sister from another mother" a blog-buddy I hope to meet one day. Her lifestyle is one I admire, and those burros are too cute.
* Dear Margene. First 'just' a good knitter friend, now a "sister of the heart" tho' I surely wish it hadn't had to be that way! Margene helps me to realize that it's all about the process...
* Ellen & Jan. I've met one twin, Ellen, and enjoyed our talk at the Ravelry Party at Sock Summit so much. Jan is just as fun, and it's fun to know that Ellen and I both have sisters with the same name! (tho' mine isn't a twin!)
* Carole. For photography, food, and knitting, Carole is an inspiration...
* Hazel, she of the wondrous lace, fanciful doll creations, and jewelry. I've *known* Hazel a long time, tho' she lives 'cross the pond, as they say...
* Wendy. My sock knitting guru, with the lovely Miss Lucy as her knitting assistant.
* Judy. Of the Magic Cast On. Another West Coaster I finally got to meet at Sock Summit, and just one fun gal.
* Jane at Yarnstorm I don't know Jane, I haven't corresponded with Jane. But I veg in the evening with her The Gentle Art of Domesticity and will be eagerly awaiting her newest book on quilting (and shhh...I hear there's a knitting book on the horizon). Another amazing photographer, her blog is full of sunshine.
* Anne for her wonderful designs, the photos of yarn, and knitting, incredible food and summer garden produce, and for the inklings she gives us into the workings of that marvelously mathematical mind of hers!
* Jude. Off the path of knitting, this artist speaks to the embelishing quilter that hides inside me.
* Suzanne. Of Roses and vintage lace, if you've not stopped by and you love a touch of romance, do visit her!
* Vanessa For the color play in both knit and crochet - rich and amazing!

Ok. Remember no one needs to respond, but know to me you all have the most beautiful blogs.

(hmmm...there's a third thing I have to do?)

SEVEN things about me? Like you don't know everything already?
1. I have Another Blog which is focused on my crazy attempts at creating Weight Watchers recipes, living smaller (not just in physical size, but in my homespace, too), learning and supporting the local food movement, educating myself in environmental issues, and practicing voluntary simplicity. It's updated periodically with links to the sites on all the different topics I'm interested in. Do stop by once in awhile, won't you?
2. I periodically declare that I'm going to knit only from stash and then almost as quickly turn around and new yarn finds its way into my world. Usually via my own hand, which means I have a hard time sticking to that "knit from stash" rule. (sigh) So much for my ability to practice my voluntary simplicity philosophy, right?
3. I'm determined to find a free weekend to unearth my kitchen. It's going to take at least that long. It's way overdue. It's almost (but not quite) impossible to cook in it...counterspace being approximately 2 feet long and 1/2 a counter deep (b/c of the *stuff* on it). Depending on whether I have the nerve or not, you might get to see "before" photos. Probably, tho' it will just be the "after" shots!
4. More than anything else, I'd rather be knitting. Which puts a crimp in my bank account, of course...b/c if I'm just knitting, I can't work for a living (anyone know a nice-looking, intelligent, older guy who wants a newly slender-ish knitter in his life?) - haha! (Oh! Check out that ticker up above? I'm down another 1.6 pounds this week!)
5. I suspect that if I tried #4, The Meezer would find a way out of the house and into someone else's life. She's just not that into men...
6. I'm seriously considering a non-Siamese, big red (or red and white) tabby boy kitty for The Meezer to see if I can mellow her out a bit towards the opposite sex.
7. I once considered investing in yoga teacher training (Yes, I wanted to become a yoga instructor). It wasn't all that long ago (6 years), but I simply couldn't figure out a way to devote that kind of time for the training. Now I just want to take as many yoga classes as possible (financially) and go on retreats that combine - what else? - Yoga and Knitting! Ok, that would be nirvana for me...

See, not so much you didn't already know. Well, except for maybe #4 - did you have any idea I'd be interested in a possible Sugar Daddy?

Thanks again, Tiffany!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Oh MY! With Time to Spare?

It's late, there's still more ice dancing (which regretfully, I will miss, but work calls early in the morning), but I wanted to share my completed Knitting Olympics project with you!

A pair (like those who ice dance) virtually perfectly matched (haha!)

Except on the inside - this is the better of the two, and I include it because Jocelyn asked for it...

And here, famously are the Afterthought Thumbs. Not too shabby...

Can you tell what alteration I made? It was sooo obvious, I smacked myself in the head when my knitting mentor, Rae asked yesterday at KnitIn: "Well, sure you could felt them but that won't affect the length. Why don't you just rip back the top of the one that's too long and knit it shorter."


Plain as the nose on my face!

And now I have to notify Stephanie's people! Can't wait to get my medal....!

And then of course, it's on with the Team Stashdown challenge of completing as much as possible of Helsinki. I managed 4 rows tonight!
(and went to yoga class, too)

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Lately, it's seemed as if everything I do gets twisted up so I have to redo, or accept the loss of speed on a project because things get snagged or the rules change in mid-stream...It's been a frustrating couple of weeks loaded with stressful situations, where often at the end of the day, even I questioned my abilities and competence (ok, maybe no one else was questioning, but I was).

So today, I was grateful for the opportunity to take part in a 2-hour Restorative Yoga class, and just "be" me..."recognizing you're right where you need to be."

What a lovely reminder!

So after I got home and got a few bags in process, and a couple of housekeeping projects underway, I picked up the Fair Isle mitten #2 to work on while watching the Olympics. And merrily knitted away, and suddenly stopped to look at the motif, thinking "Wow, I'm really coming along here..."

You remember that "Afterthought Thumb?"

Well. I didn't. (It's an afterthought, I guess? WHY didn't I think of the Afterthought Thumb?

I was about 8 rows above it. I pulled out the needles, slipped them back in at the right row

And ended up frogging all the rest of that work - by the way, it took me two nights to get to that point, as I had so little knitting time the end of the week.

I'm back on track now...but it's just another of those things that gets twisted around and slows the progress - a monkey wrench, you know?

I told you I don't like Afterthought Thumbs. Maybe I should have just forgotten about trying for this Olympic medal?

Oh! Tomorrow night is ice dancing!!! I can't wait. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Five Good Things

1. Jessalu Knits! is 5! Stop by and wish her well (and say I sent you?)
2. The Meezer is home, grumpy, but with sweet smelling breath!
3. IK Spring 2010 came in the mail today! LOTS of good stuff!

4. I put 1.5 repeats of Helsinki in while vegging with Keith and Rachel tonight.
5. Tomorrow is Friday (Thank Goodness!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Knitting Olympics Interrupted...

I'm having to put marathon knitting sessions on hold, not just for the obvious workday hours, but also at night for such things as life. You know? Yoga class, Weight Watchers Meetings (please note I'm back down again? YAY!), and then there's Nana Sadie Rose orders that have to be finished up...

Ah life, why do you get in the way of the important things, like knitting???

Anyway. I finished up two "old favorites" in the Mera style bag:

The Alexander Henry fabric in back is just so lovely and in the sage and peach tones, a very spring-inspired bag. I wish I could find yards and yards of the Cats on the Bookshelf fabric, but alas, I'm now out of it. It was a very popular print, but it's now OOP! (Out Of Print)

Then, someone who has an American Eskimo Dog picked this fabric for her Knitnana style bag...

I smiled all the way through this one, it's just green and flowery and cute with the puppies at play! Quite the change from outside my window...where it's all still icy, snowy, and very cold.

But I think my favorite order to complete was this elegantly casual Japanese Dobby cloth Knitnana style.

I have to charge a bit more for these bags, as the fabric is much more expensive, but they make up so well, and are just such striking bags when they're done, I think they're well worth it...the fabrics are not as prevalent as quilting and novelty cottons, either, of course. That makes each one even more of a Nana Sadie Rose One of A Kind. And if you ask me, they're a touch more versatile!

I'm knitting, I promise. I've really made progress on my WIP Dancing entry on the Ravelympics - finishing the first half of Helsinki, and beginning the second side. I know it's a long shot to finish it, but substantial progress is being made and that was my goal...

And in the Knitting Olympics, I've cleared the cuff and the first 10 rows of the Fair Isle pattern on the second mitten. I did a rude and crude "duplicate stitch" on the first one's thumb which looks better, but I am fairly certain I will at least attempt to hand felt these. The length of the mitten is a full 2 inches longer than my hand, and the cuff doesn't fall at the wrist, it's well back down my arm. I suppose I could have knit them with smaller needles, but I'm surely not going back now...

And as for Fair Isle? I've discovered a pattern on Ravelry, Selbu Modern, a more muted Fair Isle tam, that another member of the Ravelry Team Stashdown is knitting in Harrisville Shetland in charcoal and blackberry (no, I know you're well aware that I'd never put those two together, now right??? *wink*)...I just might have to attempt Fair Isle again. This would be worth it!

Anyway, knitting is sort of on hold. Tomorrow, will be an antsy day for me as I await news of a certain someone's dental procedure. The blood work came back "perfect." So no reason not to use the anesthetic and get those teeth cleaned. Right?

She doesn't have a clue...

Sometimes I feel like an ogre.

Monday, February 15, 2010

1/2 Way There!

There's the sweet smell of Olympic Gold in the thick I can almost taste it - ok...what's really thick is this mitten:

and it's long. My hand isn't that long. I knit the size small...I suspect it will end up either being a gift or going into the cedar chest for a member of a future generation. (Have I ever mentioned that I'm really not a fan of Fair Isle? Yes?)

The Afterthought Thumb will be my nemesis, my chink in the ice of competition, so to speak. The under thumb looks fine...see?

But the upper thumb? Disaster...

How on earth did those stitches become so loose and scraggly-looking? This is what always happens with this process, and why I have decided I absolutely loathe the afterthought thumb process...

Even the picked-up stitch on the inside looks crap.

Advice is welcome, and while you're at it? Let me know if you think I can tighten this up a bit? I'm probably going to try, which will no doubt leave it looking even worse than this...

Ok...I'll stop now...except to say that perhaps the next set of mittens will be made with a thumb gusset and Noro! That's my idea of a pretty mitten...sorry Fair Isle fans, but this just isn't me. OH! This is Patons Wool...maybe if I felt it a little, it will fit me?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Since so much of the country is shivering under a blanket of snow, I send you warm hearts:

My first Fair Isle hearts!

And to my three grandsons - have a wonderful Valentine's day - don't eat too much chocolate, boys!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Call Me Crazy...

but I didn't just decide to join Stephanie in the 2010 Knitting Olympics.

No...I'm crazier than that.

I also joined the Team Stashdown on Ravelry to participate in WIP Dancing in the Ravelympics. I'm going to try to finish (ok...I'm not kidding myself or you, here, I'm going to work feverishly to finish a WIP - one that's in my BOS *Basket of Shame*)

So I'm sure now you're dying to know what I'll be working on?

Ok. In The Knitting Olympics, I'm going to make Corazon. I saw those cute little hearts on those two-color mittens and could not get them out of my mind. So I did buy for this event (I shoot me!) two skeins of Paton's Classic Wool in red and cream.

I also had to pick up a set of dpns in size 4, but listen, I was able to resist the $11 (per ball!) yarn at my LYS to make these (it would have taken 3!) and instead used two coupons to buy this wool for less than the cost of the one ball...surely that helps to offset the violation of my original intention?

If not? Pffft!
(Besides if I find that I love color knitting? I'm going back to GET that yarn and make these again in a different color combo. Shhh...)

I mentioned to at least one person that part of the reason I want to make Corazon mittens is because it's Heart Month, and because this year makes 10 years as a heart attack survivor. Good enough reason to spend just a little for these cuties, eh?

Then, because I'm a glutton for punishment, in the Team Stashdown competition on Ravelry, I'm determined to make good progress on Helsinki. Ok, I'd love to FINISH! It's more than time. I'd have loved to be wearing it during these months since Roanoke apparently decided to vie for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games site!
(Do you think we have a snowball's chance in ???) teehee

So...are you ready? Are you in? If not, what's holding you back?

As they say, "let the games begin" indeed!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For...

You know, it's really hard when you hear that a snow storm is on the way, and you know very well that if schools are closed, the office will be's hard not to think "Oh, a SNOW DAY!! Yes, please? I'd love a little time for R&R."

Well, you do have to be careful what you wish for, because if you have just one snow day, that's fine, and a fun break, but when it's more than that, when it stretches to 4 work days with a weekend in there, too, especially when you've already had a week of 3 days off the week before that due to snow?

Well...then you know in your bones that there will be H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks to pay.

Today was a late opening day (we were in the office at 10 a.m.). Less than one day to catch up on the past 4 days off. Because you know the work is still there, you still have to get it done, there's no way around that!

And then? If you add onto that, everything electronic in that office apparently malfunctioned while we were gone? Can I tell you how much fun we had today?
Everything is pretty much under control now, but we had service technicians all over the place today. So I think, in the future, I'll be careful what I wish for!

And of course, there's this little clipper coming down thru on Monday (which by the way, is a holiday for us!)...Robin Reed (my favorite weatherman) said something about another 1-3 inches - and he ducked when he said it, too!

So at lunch today, while I took a short breather, I opened my bloglines and read Stephanie's invitation to the Knitting Olympics. And I thought, "I could do something...surely?" And off I went with my brain cycling through what might be challenging enough but not ridiculously challenging, because I'd want to finish, really I would. I didn't want to do anything I didn't already have in stash, or needed either patterns or needles for, just on the general principle of striving this year to mostly not buy, or at least not buy much...

I went around on knitting a sweater (since I've never done one) and decided that was too much of a challenge, and then I thought "a vest?" well...I only have certain yarns in stash that would work, and I wasn't really vested (GRIN!) in that...

So I suddenly thought - colorwork?

I'm batting around the possibilty of a pair of two color alpaca mittens in worsted weight, but haven't found a pattern yet - it's got to be free. Any ideas will be accepted.

And then I remembered this:

Bought as a kit for this:

Too much? Do I have the time? Am I totally crazy? Should I mention that I'm not a person who even watches the Olympics? (Tho' to be honest, IF I watch, it's the Winter Games I like to see...)

But after all, I have bags to make, too. And work!

So give me your opinions if you will? I have a few hours before I have to commit to something and tell Stephanie what I'm doing so she can add me to her list. And if you think I've lost my mind, it's okay to tell me that, too!

One thing we finally had to do today was visit the vet for a clinical reason:

Someone had to have yet another "delicate" procedure. She's fine, if a bit uncomfortable tonight...and while we were there, we had blood drawn.

Missy is going to be 9 years old this summer. And next week, she's going to have to have her teeth cleaned for only the second time. I wanted to be sure she'd be okay for the anesthetic...

(shhh...please don't tell her, because after tonight? I'll never get her back in the carrier if she knows...)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stir Crazy? Who Me? Nah...


No snow photos...!

But it's still yet another "snow day" tho' there was minimal snow. We got sleet overnight and a scatter of snow on top, the temperatures were very low, but the main concern has been the very high wind. And tonight will be no different. All day the forecast for this afternoon and tonight has gotten worse, and at this point they are calling for gusts at 75 mph. It's been interesting. My knitting room is at the top of this townhouse, on the back of the building. There are trees all around and The Meezer has had a difficult time with the sudden scratching at the windows of the branches that normally wouldn't be nearby. She's not much on the howling winds, either. And have they howled!!

Still, we're so much better off than those of you north of us...Ruinwen is having a time of it in Maryland, her photos are amazing, so be sure to click that link and check them out? Another friend (blogless) in Pennsylvania has told me about power outages over the weekend and shoveling from house down the street to the main road with neighbors just because the plows can't be spared, and people needed supplies. Big Sis in DC is fine, but they've had a time keeping up with the shoveling as it's been coming down faster than they could clear; they were able to get help from a teenager to clear the last weekend's snow off the flat roof of their porch so it wouldn't collapse under the weight of this second storm. I really can't imagine what DC is dealing with, it's so much worse than SW VA. (Tho' I just heard that far SW VA will get yet another foot of snow tonight, so I guess it really depends on where you are..)

I just realized I forgot to ask how Big Sis's big red kitty was dealing with not being able to go out! I can tell you that CC started crying the minute I opened the door to show her the snow (she really can't see with her cataracts, but she could smell it and she didn't like it one bit!).

I've managed to get my vet's bookwork done early, which is good, because I'm waiting for fabric to be delivered, and there's no one at the office to receive it. With a little luck, I'll get in by Friday at least, and it will be there for this weekend. I have orders to fill!

So...because I despise the wind? I've had a bad case of startitis, I think it's akin to fidgeting:

The year of knitting purple, doncha know? I decided to put this Sock-It-To-Me colorway OTN with the mock cable pattern I use often. It's sort of mindless, not quite stockinette, but still...

Then I decided I had to put Donna Druchunas' pattern for a Kippah on the needles. This is from the recent Pieceworks and will be a gift for a friend...

Of course, it might not be a surprise for her, as I know she occasionally reads my blog. That's okay. I know she'll love it either way.

I'm also working on Ishbel. I hit a snag today and have to tink to find my mistake.
But it's all knitting, right? Stay warm and safe!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Oh, Now, Please. STOP!

I'm no longer bored, I'm frustrated. This is silly.

Forecast? 2-4 inches of snow, sleet, freezing rain today, 2-4 overnight...and HIGH wind warnings for over night.

That part, the wind part? Ack. Personally, I'll hope for snow, not the icy stuff, if we've got to have the wind part. I'd love not to have to be concerned about downed power lines.

Of course, you've already guessed, the Community College is closed so my office is too. I've already cleaned off the car and scraped the walks and helped with the parking lot. I'm moving really slowly, because, even with two yoga classes in as many days, my back is giving me warning that it won't take a lot more of this snow shoveling thing...

Fortunately, we had some melting the past two days, so I'm sure that photo indicates to you that there's less on the ground than there was. And I was able to get out to the vet's to pick up the bookwork, so as long as the power holds, I'm not going to be too bored.

But I'd hoped to get to Weight Watchers tonight, and I think I can nix that. (I almost typed KNIX!!)

I did stop in yesterday for a weigh-in. I'm up 1.2 pounds. I was reminded I was wearing different clothing (heavier), and I suggested that arriving LAST week before I'd even had breakfast for my weigh-in (pre-snowstorm) might have provided a lower drop than was really true. Of course, there was also that Sangria Swirl...but I more than made up for that with all the shoveling, right?

Not worrying about it. Promise. There are always ups and downs on any path. We'll see what happens when life returns to normal - if it ever does?

If the snow gods and goddesses are listening? I hear Vancouver really needs and wants this stuff!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

In Which I Shake Off Cabin Fever And Go OUT!

I simply can't complain about having to stay inside in the warmth and knitting socks:

After all, I finished the PSC Claudia Chocolate Cherry Socks! And I love them.

But still, this is the second weekend in a row that we've been snowed in, and while I like my place, and my own company, when the sun shone brightly today, and the city came thru again with the plow? I made like a Bat Out of You Know Where and Flew out the door!

Spent a couple of hours shopping (fabric store, book store, and then a big sale at Macy's). And came home via this:
(click any photo to embiggen)

A young man in our neighborhood granted his young daughter's wish for a castle for her birthday (note the birthday cake, too?)

And what sort of self-respecting castle would it be without it's own dragon? (Apparently the green is spray paint!)

(It brought in quite a crowd - this was chronicled on the local news last night and folks were stopping by all day to visit as a result!)

Aren't those feet something else?

Anyway, I had to get some photos to share with you, but then I came home, turned on the computer and learned that one of my yoga instructors was having a FREE CLASS at 5 p.m. to beat the winter blues!

It was 4:10. I tossed on my yoga togs, grabbed my mat and flew back out the door.

When I got home it was time to get dinner and to finish up some housekeeping. Now I can settle in with...

A couple of the magazines that have landed in my hands or mailbox this week. That's my first issue of Cast On as I'm a new TKGA member. And the Piecework was a no-brainer - that's a new stitch pattern from Barbara G. Walker on the cover - of course I had to pick up this issue, right?

I hope the week is a good one for you. Keep your fingers crossed that the threat of another snowstorm on Tuesday remains just that - a threat!
eta...I just learned that I get another snow day tomorrow! The Community College is closed!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Saturday of the Storm..

This just seems to never end...and for some bizarre reason, I'm drawn to the same old photos over and over (I promise, I'm taking new ones, not recycling!)
This is what met my eyes at 10 a.m. when I opened the door this morning...

It was still coming down, and that snow was heavy and wet, mixed as it was with several hours of sleet and freezing rain from last night. I went out and shoveled a path, but as heavy as it was, I just couldn't stay out in it. My neighbors had criss-crossed the parking area to provide pathways, in the event the postal worker came by...and I widened a couple of them but couldn't even face clearing off my car. The snow was so heavy, and I am so sore from yesterday's hard work!

The Meezer was absolutely no help. She was determined to encourage me to be a sloth...
Stay in with me, Mommie

I got breakfast and coffee and watched a bit of TWC to see what was up with the storm. Haven't heard from Big Sis and so I'm watching the area. They might not have power, I suppose...

But then, I heard scraping outside, and knew...sure enough - my neighbors were out and shoveling. So I couldn't hold out any longer, and back out I went...

By 12:30 we were done.

Where did we put it?

That's my neighbor's vintage Porche right behind that mound...

And the snow plow came thru so I went up and shot this photo of the street above my place - it's certainly pretty (and I do love snow, I just don't like shoveling)

The hard work is done, and the snow is tapering off:

We just might be finished with that mess - till Tuesday when apparently there's another storm on the horizon! (sigh)

We haven't had this much snow in many, many years.

I did enjoy the Knitter's magazine last night, and there are several sweaters (!) I'd like to make. But this vest popped out at me before I even bought the magazine:

Yumm...cables and lace! I can see it in aubergine, can't you?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Are You Bored Yet?

This is the fourth snowstorm that I've posted a similar photo to the one below:

What isn't shown? That I had been out 4 times to shovel the walks, clean off the car, and then clear away the snow from the car that landed on the driveway. I even shoveled half the driveway three times. This shot is after I've come back up the walk the last time and soon after this, it changed to sleet. We have about 7 inches at this moment, and there's more on the way in the second stage of this storm coming from the midwest. We could get as much as a foot in total by the time it's finished, tho' it's sounding as if it will be less (maybe 3 more inches).

So I'll have to go back out tomorrow to shovel some more. (If you're not bored, yet, I certainly am - Spring, anyone?)

And Big Sis? She's in DC. She was supposed to have a recital for her music students this weekend. As of mid-day, she was still holding rehearsals. She's irrepressible! But they're supposed to have a possible 30 inches of snow and blizzard conditions with high winds between tonight and tomorrow night, so I'm not holding out hope for Sunday's recital...

Today, I've also vacuumed and mopped the floors on the lower level of the townhouse today. I suspect that I've come close to earning enough activity points to offset the Sangria Swirl I had last night...and I'm feeling it, too. Hopefully I'll not be too lame tomorrow to finish the shoveling!

Then while watching the news tonight, I've come within spitting distance of finishing the Claudia Socks. I've decided tonight to sit back with jazz on public radio tonight and this:

Seems like an almost perfect evening to me...and just in case, I've charged the MP3 player and am about to download another CD. Because we're also due to get those high winds, and I don't want to sit here in the dark without music to enjoy...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Roanoke? It's a Snowstorm, Not TEOTWAWKI

There can't be much on any shelf in any grocery store in Roanoke. I had enough sense to wait till after dinner tonight to stop by for the few little things I thought I needed, but I couldn't get IN the door of one store (heck, I couldn't park!). (And since I know the size of the store, and that people stand in lines all the way to the back of the store to check out? I didn't want to try it.)

So I went to another, bigger one. Better, as I didn't have to walk far from my parking space...but once inside? It looked as if there'd been a run on everything - mostly nothing in the produce section...shelves stripped almost bare. I didn't check the milk (I have plenty), but I did stop in the bakery section for bread - I got whole grain hard rolls, which fortunately I like a lot, but there was almost nothing in the "good bread" section at all!

I managed to get the ingredients for Mushroom Barley Soup (ok, I don't have sherry, but I hope a tablespoon of dry merlot will substitute?) because it's low points, and after tonight's splurge, I'm going to be good all weekend.

We had Mexican for our fundraising dinner. I had a mixed drink (there are many folks who know me well who will fall over in a dead faint on that knowledge...I don't drink "hard liquor" anymore).

But..Abuelo's Sangria Swirl? At 10 points? It was a huge splurge!!! (ok, with the wine in that, it's only "1/2 hard liquor!" *wink*

Still...I've started using my 5 pound weights and have been walking in place to up my step count. Surely that counts for something? I might even make myself plug in the old Jane Fonda exercise tape or maybe sit on the Health Rider for a bit? If nothing else, it will help keep me warm, right?

On an up note? I stopped at the PO today, and there was a prize I'd won on the Seasons of Lace Autumn Lace KAL...Lindsay made these lovelies for me...and you can check out her wares at her Etsy Shop. They're just great, Lindsay and I can't wait to use them on some lace. Hmm...maybe this weekend? They're so fragile and delicate, I think they need a suitable laceweight! Maybe I need to cast on another project?

Well, maybe I'll work on something a tad warmer this weekend, just to keep heavy wool in my lap...But these will get a good workout soon, as I have an itch to feel very thin yarn on my needles again...Thank you so much Lindsay!!!

I'll keep in touch, as long as the power holds out! Stay warm, and stay inside while the wind howls and the blizzard rages!

And we'll all pray it's not really The End of The World As We Know It!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Round Two - With a Sucker Punch?

Oh yes, there's another storm on the horizon. Yippee-Skippee!
We only just made it back to work this morning (late opening, but still - there are grants to submit and deadlines to meet, and we were busy, busy, busy till the "closing bell" and will be again tomorrow!).

The storm is supposed to start overnight tomorrow night and go right on thru Saturday. All sorts of numbers of inches have been bandied around, but the smartest thing I've heard has been, "We'll wait till Thursday morning before we even start talking accumulation forecasts" - that wisdom came from my favorite weatherman, long-time WDBJ-7 forecaster Robin Reed. There is, however, a Winter Storm Watch in effect. The mid-Atlantic is due to be slammed - they're mentioning 1983, and folks I remember that one. NOT a fun proposition...but I have knitting, and tea, and Mozart, and jazz, and The Meezer. I'm sure we'll survive. I just hope we keep power, as I do have a bit of work to do, too, which will require both the Dell and the Bernina!

Something interesting jumped into my mailbox from Debi this morning and I've been thinking about it all day...I know at least one person who desperately needs to learn this lesson:

"If you argue with reality, you will always lose."
--Joan Borysenko

Very smart lady, that Joan. My reality? I've lost some weight. I'm wearing smaller sizes. But: that only means I have to work harder at slenderizing the smaller me. (I went to JCP and I did buy a couple of things - the 80% off made it hard not to - but while they fit? They're lumpier than I'd like! I bought the least lumpy...but I'll be pulling out the free weights and trying harder at the lower back exercises that are also tummy tightening! lolol!

It's always something, right?

Oh. I guess you really, really would like to know what shawl I'm knitting? It's Ishbel from of the gals in my Sunday knitting group was wearing one, and I just thought it was the prettiest thing. At present, I'm still in the stockinette portion of the shawl, so it's only a larger version of the photo from last time, but soon, I promise, there'll be something pretty to look at.

And also, yes, after a professional fitting tonight, I will definitely be casting on for the XS (36) version of Soleil and as Barbara-Kay reminded me tonight? Smaller sizes of patterns use less yarn! Another Yippee!! (But no sarcasm in this one!)

So. Tomorrow night, there's a fundraiser at a local Mexican restaurant for our YWCA. After the vet's payroll? I'm ditching my Thursday knit night (sorry, gals) and going off for Mexican with my Sis-in-law. I might use all my extra points (Or maybe not, since I'm very cautious about those and never use them all). But there will be wine...yes, indeedy there will be. After all, one must fortify oneself against the onslaught of snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

Batten down the hatches!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Groundhog Saw His Shadow...

Tho' how, in all these clouds, I'll never know...

But once again we have snow, and more forecast for Friday into the weekend (we are definitely in a pattern). Can you see the snow falling in that photo?

My office was closed again today, and so I ventured forth early (before all this mess started) and got to Weight Watchers to do a weigh-in (yes, the ticker is updated - Whoohoo!), just in case I can't get up there tonight for my meeting. Then off to the garage. The Forester is sporting brand new brakes and brake fluids. And I'm mostly on a purchase-free period till that's all paid for...except that I think there's a big sale at JCP tomorrow, so I might have to go to that, ya know?

After the brakes were done and I'd knit most of the cuff of my Claudia Choco Cherry second sock, and then ripped it because, tho' it was noted by the guys at the repair shop that I can knit - stockinette - with my eyes closed, I apparently wasn't paying enough attention and didn't decrease down quite enough and the cuff was too large. (sigh)
I decided I needed new needles, and phoned Yarn Explosion to be sure they were open and then rushed up to get these...

By the time I got home it was really coming down hard. I am feeling a bit like I've been transported back to the land of my foremothers - Vermont - but I know that's not true. They take better care of their roads, and almost never close the schools.

Right, Norma?

So while I ate a quick sandwich, I surfed a few blogs and lo and behold discovered that Margene is knitting Blue Mondays and it gave me an idea...I know I can't do it every week, but after Jane mentioned how much red was in my closet redo photos, I realized that it's PURPLE that most of you identify me with and I've just not got nearly enough of that around, either to wear, or on the needles...

Not that I have any problem with my stash, doncha know?

(ok, I realize there's a bit of gray-purple, pink-purple, and green-purple in there...)

So I hereby declare that I must knit more purple this year! Like this Cherry Tree Hill Potluck Supersocke in Aubergine that I bought at Sock's long overdue to get this on the needles...

Scrumptious. Simply Scrumptious...

Can you guess what I'm knitting with it?


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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The Haggahdah of Knitting

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

Summer 2009

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Black Symphony Socks
Train Travel Socks
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Trust Your Instincts Socks
Toast Toasts!
Blue Leftovers Toasties!
Black Hat for Charity
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