Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First Cold Snap of the Season

It's here, certainly only the first of several this winter. An Arctic cold front, when at 1 in the morning, you don't mind looking like a Guindon cartoon. It does make the walk to the mailbox somewhat entertaining — you get to waddle AND make alot of noise. week week week week ... nothing there but frost, the streetlight and frozen tracks from the mail truck:

week week week week ... back up the driveway and it was a little less cold for a moment. This ratty little thing,

which spends its summers getting banged around in the garage, is my favorite Christmas decoration and makes me smile every time I see it. My very own Charlie Brown tree.

In one of those happy little time warps, I have a bit of time to plink away tonight on my new love, my Gaelic Mist sweater from A Fine Fleece. My very large swatch, a k a the first sleeve, is almost done:

I do not know what the temperature is right now, but I do know that it is the perfect temperature for knitting. Think warm thoughts and purl back. ...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

For One of My Favorite Children

Hi punkin. I saw this and thought of you.

Love, Mom

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Meet the Disco Girls

We eat. We drink. We laugh. We get put in a back room at the restaurant. I swear I saw a short straw in the waiter's shirt pocket on Saturday when the Disco Girls gathered for a Christmas brunch and free-for-all.

It's always fun to see everyone again. This year, in light of everything sad and wretched at work, it was even better. We hit it all: whose kid is driving (mine!), whose kids are in college (Nancy's), who's been burning up her passport (Carol!), who's been writing another book, traditional (Peg) or online (Sherrie). Did we switch candidates during the campaign? Where were we on Election Night? Sharon's pictures of her six months in England made the rounds:

Ask Judy about the pink acrylic mink on her collar. Rarely seen in the wild, they are even more rarely seen around the necks of women of a certain age. I'm just sayin' ...

This year's roll call: Carol, Becka, Peg, Sharon*, Sherrie, Sue, Nancy, Judy, Dana and me, sitting at a left corner of the table, like the well-trained left-hander that I am. It also made it easier to photograph these lovely bits. I declined, lest the petit fours became petit forever on my hips.

Oh yes. We always pass the hat for our favorite charity. I'm pleased that we've made the world a better place by one llama, a goat, some chicks, some bees and a portion of a knitting basket. Pass it on.

*thanks for organizing again -- you're grand!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dumb. Struck.

No, not the throngs waiting for the yarn shop to open. It was just after midnight this (Friday) morning in Albertville, along Cty. Rd. 37, (top) backed up for nearly a mile onto I-94 (above). Shoppers headed for the outlet mall. At! Midnight!

Full disclosure: I saw a nice coat last weekend and thought I'd go back tonight and pick it up, take advantage of the night owl 20 percent off. What the heck. I'm up and wide awake anyway. So, I trundled the dogs into the car — let's go for a ride, boys! —and off we went. I knew it would be busy, but [insert hysterical laughter here] clearly I had no idea! As I drove past the mall itself, I thought there had been a bad traffic accident, what with all the flashing lights — it was traffic control! For blocks and blocks. In the middle of so-called nowhere. I didn't get any pictures of the people overflowing the sidewalks, laughing and having a good time balancing bags and large cups of coffee.

Pick a reaction, any reaction, or any combination:

Boy, I am way more clueless than I thought.
This is pretty funny.
This is somewhat appalling.
Good for them, enjoy the adventure.
What are all these people doing out at midnight -- for shopping?
What recession?
Where are they all going to park? (the main lots were already closed)
Poor Thanksgiving.

But I still want that coat.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going to the Dogs

Actually, it's me and the dogs! For the weekend, anyway. Mr.D and my two favorite children left yesterday after school to visit Mamaw in Ohio for Thanksgiving. Seeing as how we didn't make it out during the summer, we felt it was important that they get to spend this holiday there. The prospect of a weekend with mom is not having much effect. Look how excited the pups are, one with his bone, the other on his skankie blankie:

Here on the homefront, there's work, dinner on Thursday with my parents, sister and brother, a bit of barn time, some peace and quiet and of course ... knitting! Remember this, once destined to become a Little Rivers wrap?

It came out of the frog pond when I cast on a couple nights ago for the Gaelic Mist sweater out of A Fine Fleece. I hope to make some headway on it this weekend. I'm also grinding out a sheet of stockinette, which will land in the FO collection as a felted pillow. The yarn is some Mooncake, a Malabrigo knock-off that I bought during a going-out-of-business sale over the summer. This project's weakness is also its strength: sometimes very brainless knitting is just right. And you know what? I'm already planning a second one, out of a lovely soft white, perhaps with some needlefelting.

Speaking of projects, here's one. A Debbie Bliss baby sweater, out of Dream in Color Classy, worsted weight superwash. I posted it on Ravelry last week, but here it is again:

By the way, seeing as how tomorrow is Thanksgiving. What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Do You See What I See?

I have no idea why the photos are in black and white, but at least they're a bit out of focus. I'm on a streak. Let's call them 'arty':

Look Who Came to Visit!


Unfortunately, she left this morning on her zillion-hour flight back to Tokyo. But she was here for a week — and we did our best to see that she had a good time.

We rode, too, of course. Not many action shots – those are in Tomoko's camera! – these are blurry, but useable. Who took them, anyway. Honestly.

Niamh was he only one who might have been happy to see her go home – Tomoko rode some of the starch out of her. heh-heh-heh.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Quick! Get the Candles!

No, not that many!

Here's to my blogging companion and a talented, dogged journalist. Join in, if you'd like:

Happy Birthday, to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday deeear Paaaaa-ammmmmmm,
Happy Birthday to youuuuu!

You're grand. Now. Did you cut that story yet?

A Little Day Trip

I was a little late getting on the road yesterday morning, but at least one of my favorite places is only a couple hours away:

I drove up because one of my favorite children played in an honor band in the afternoon at UMD (my other favorite child was home getting ready for her birthday sleepover). I got to town plenty early for the concert, but not with quite enough time to make it to Playing With Yarn. So, I puttered around by the water for awhile, and then headed up the hill toward campus. The park bathrooms are locked for the season; take your chances with the porta-potty. Consider yourself warned.

Happily, there was time for a little lunch next door to Yarn Harbor, where I didn't get to spend nearly enough time. I picked up a few issues of that fabulous magazine, Wild Fibers, but nevertheless, I think a return visit might be necessary. After all, I only made it halfway around the store!

Back at the lake, I walked over to give my regards to Leif and there was the oddest little thing. I suppose that one of the downsides of sailing west for months on end is that the sun is always in the eyes. Another might be the risk of being immortalized vaguely squinting:

When I was a kid, we spent hours on this piece of shore, throwing rocks into the water and ignoring my mom's warnings to be careful. It looks the same, but I appreciate it differently now.

I also brought along my good intentions:

but was only able to cast on and barely get started before the concert. When it grows up, it should resemble a Debbie Bliss sweater. I worked on it for awhile after getting home and it looks like it will be finished before baby outgrows it.

That's Rachmaninoff in the middle. Lizst and Mozart were the wingmen, but they declined to be photographed.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A No-Brainer

It was a beautiful day. Housework or horses ... housework or horses ... Even the knitting had to wait.

Beats working, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It Had to Happen Sometime ...

This being Minnesota, it couldn't have lasted forever, the stolen treasure that is Indian summer. The trees let go of their leaves in the rain over the last few days. The horses are getting wooly. The girls don't have to be hounded to put on a jacket. Sweaters, anyone?

Um, yes. Careful observers will notice the skein of yarn in my rather messy closet, which doesn't look quite that bad in person. Honest. I put it there to keep it away from the puppy jaws of death, and clearly forgot to bring it downstairs to join its friends in the stash.

How Far Away is Norway, Really?

She's gone and done it this time! Astri, that is — she who loves Norway and all things Norwegian — found herself a job, sold all her stuff, shipped the rest and left on Friday evening for a new life in Oslo. What else could we do but make sure she had a good meal before she left? At Steph's place (that's Astri, on the right):

Thank you, Julie, for the photo. ... And after lunch on Thursday*:

So. Astri. I'm very excited for you! I'll miss you. Stay in touch.

*I had no idea that my sweater was going to match the walls, honest.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm just sayin' ...

I just read this in someone's profile on Ravelry:

"And because it needs to be said, I can’t be friends with McCain/Palin supporters. I know it’s intolerant. I’m OK with that."

At least arrogance and its fraternal twin, smugness, are holding their own.

Not to be denied are those happy cousins, ignorance and narrow-mindedness. Take this excellent example. Regardless of what you think of John McCain, he gets credit for not tolerating it.

I have to go work on the vest.* I can't stand this.

*this project has not been approved by any political candidate. Sometimes red is just red ...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Look! It's knitting!

I bet you thought it never would happen. I had my doubts, too, but here it is ... the green seed-stitch sweater:

It's been finished for a couple of weeks, but you know. Things get busy.

And, there's been other knitting going on, which occasionally trumps sitting at a keyboard. First, this little item, for baby Ellis:

And, this will be a vest for the shop, one of those with the tall ribbing:

It's this pattern from Tahki's new Tweed Collection booklet, and i'm going a bit off-road with it. The pattern calls for Donegal Tweed, which is worsted weight, of course, but I'm using Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes, which leans more toward a light bulky and which I wouldn't knit smaller than on a 9.

There's also some un-knitting on the horizon. Remember this?

I decided I don't like it. One edge is very nice, but the other is fanning and it bugs me. I don't know if it's my upside-down and backward technique, but whatever, it isn't working. So into the frog pond it goes. There are a couple of manly scarf patterns on Ravelry that I'm going to look at, so all is not lost.

Have time for a little silly dog trick? Puppy Gunnar ...

... has perfected the hockey stop on the guest bed -- you know, where the skater skids sideways and sprays ice dust everywhere. Gunnar and Riley were playing the other morning and clearly the hockey stop was part of the game. All the bedding wound up on the floor on the opposite corner, but it was so funny to watch him, how could I be annoyed?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If the shoe fits ...

I don't know if you've seen this, but it's worth the six or so minutes it takes to watch. Not that it applies to anyone I know, of course ...

Now, back to your regularly scheduled knitting. Put those scissors down!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


She was 11, and had become quite ill, some kind of digestive problem and frequently couldn't make it to the litter box in time. Meredith held her while the vet did what she needed to do. Bless you, Blossom, I know you're healthy again.

April 1997 - September 2008

Them's my kids!

If it's the back half of September, that means the CSDEA Festival, the last show of the season (for us, anyway). Both Meredith and Laurel rode on Saturday and did quite well, each getting third places or above. Sunday was the local championship — Caille Farm did quite well: eight placings in the ribbons, including four riders as Champion or Reserve Champion, including ... Meredith, at Second Level. Watching her face as she realized she'd nabbed the blue was priceless.

Sometimes it pays to hang around after most everyone else has gone home. Case in point: Saturday, a little before 7:00, I was poking around in the barns at the showgrounds when this caught my attention:

I hobbled my aching back over and got there just in time. My timing was off, so I didn't get any pictures of the huffing flames

To think that some say people who ride horses are crazy. Hmmm. I don't know that I could climb into a basket with belching flames, gas fumes, no way out and go dangle a couple hundred feet in the air. eek!
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