Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Saturday!

It's a week until Christmas, and what am I doing? Uploading videos, of course. This is a couple years old, but that's OK. It's still funny:

Now, back to holiday madness.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pink? Me? Who Knew?

I tend to think that pink is for hives, but these mittens were a pleasure:

Can't rave enough about the pattern. It fit, it fits, it fits! And the yarns — this one and this one — are lip-smacking good. This pair is for my favorite college girl. Love you, doll!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Glad That's Over

It was bound to happen. November. Minnesota. Moisture. And it all started innocently enough, late Friday/early Saturday:

Saturday mid-morning, it was quite lovely:

Minutes after that picture was taken, poof! it turned on us. No lights, no computer. But ... no problem! I would miss Hunting Widows Knitting Weekend (Julie! Judy! Pat! Jean!), but sitting by a window, I could see quite well enough to pick up some knitting. To help keep myself entertained, I stole an idea from the Yarn Harlot from last week. Her readers sent in Haiku; mine can best be described as hack-u. These are the ones (barely) worth repeating:

The power is out
I have my knitting and pets
Things could be much worse

It's warm by the fire
Mitten knitting up nicely
It can keep snowing

Once the cadence gets stuck in the head, it won't let go, even when it's time to go outside:

I have to shovel
Slushy driveway is a mess
Can't let it freeze up

Snow, mostly water
When did driveway get so long?
I want to be done

Still no electricity, and word on the street — from next door, anyway — was that it would be Monday (!!) until the crews could get it fixed. Not listening! Not listening! I headed for the woodpile, not to crawl underneath it, but to carry most of it into the house.* I forgot about the flue — I don't want to talk about it — but, at last:

Apparently, camping by the fireplace does not appeal to 16-year-olds. Mine took all 1,000 of her fleece blankets and went to bed, leaving her mother, the dogs and one clingy cat on the couch with candles, some Dr. Pepper and a promising novel.

I might have squealed a little on Sunday when the lights flicked back on at about noon. I am newly grateful for a warm house and electric lights. I might have to hug a lineman the next time I see one, whether he wants me to or not.

*Who needs Little House in the Prairie -- "Pa! We need more wood, Pa!" — when you can have Little House in the Suburbs -- "Mom! There's power at Xxx's house, Mom! They have a hot tub!"

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Makeover? Hardly. Just a New Template. And a Video.

This is what happens when you click a button to see what happens. Viola! A new template. Don't be surprised if more fiddling occurs. In the meantime, some very clever people made a brilliant wee video, knitting content included!

What Do I Know?

As I was knitting away on this, I loved the yarn — Blue Sky Suri Alpaca, what's not to like? — but the pattern? Well. This was time I wasn't going to get back. But my newly minted 16-year-old gushed over it — "Hmmm. Not bad. Warm." — and when we put it on a mannequin at the shop, people couldn't leave it alone! Several skeins of suri left for their brave new world that day, complete with the alterations to the pattern: knit with 9s, not 6s, cast on 160, not 150 stitches and knit the whole skein, not just 3-1/2 inches (that's one short neck!).

As for this early-fall favorite-in-waiting?

Love them, love them! I reach for them nearly all the time. For holding on to a cold steering wheel, mostly, but they're great when I'm hanging out in the barn, getting a whole lot of nothing done. Consumer tip: When the pattern says to cast off loosely, that means ... cast off loooos-leeee — or have a lobster claw where your hand used to be. Ask me how I know.

Guess who's getting some whiskers. Hint: barkbark barkbarkbarkbark barkbarkbarkbark barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark barkbarkbark barkbarkbark barkbark

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Have, Have You?

Today's the day. Do it for yourself, do it for your neighbors, do it for your country. Just do it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Day I Made It Happen

Ever have one of those days? OK. Ever have one of those days lately? You know the ones. In the morning, things are clear to the horizon: no errands, no vet appointments, no oil changes. Nothing until 3:30. Plenty of time to cast on and get going on something fun and new.

So ... how did it get to be 7:30 tonight before I could sit down and pick up the needles. And not even start the new project? Not complaining, just diverted to the seed stitch portion of something else, some stealth knitting during the band concert. (CRHS bands are terrific, by the way. Especially the symphonic band. Especially the oboe player in the symphonic band who played a solo)

Fast forward three hours. Dogs fed, cat fed, late dinner simmering, that new project back on the radar. Started casting on and — wait for it — the lights went out. (Really now. How could I make that up?) Dinner got cold, but I was not to be denied:

Technical details: The pattern is this. The yarn is this.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Baby is ... 16!

You might have the birthday, but your dad and I received the gift:

Happy Birthday Punkin Pie, Laurel-b'naurel.

Love you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Three Lucky Dawgs

I've dug up pictures of my three yahoodlers tonight, not just because I think they're so darn cute — which they are, natch! — but because I just learned about a promotion by Pedigree® dog food, an Adoption Drive, that expires Sept. 19, which is tomorrow.

There is an ongoing campaign on Facebook: Get a dog a free bowl of food by clicking here.

But that isn't the end of it. If you happen to have a blog — better done than mine, I hope! — please launch a quick post before midnight tomorrow (Sunday) and mention this effort. Your reward? Pedigree® says it will donate a 20-lb. bag of food to a shelter. Enter the link to your blog post here to get it done.

I would like to juice up the challenge: When you're running your errands, any time in the next several days, buy a bag of pet food — dog or cat — and drop it off at your local shelter or rescue organization. Doesn't have to be the fancy stuff. Shelter animals are notoriously grateful for whatever kindness they receive.

And then go home and give your pets an extra squeeze — because they're some of the lucky dawgs.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Signs of Fall

I know when autumn is coming because this tree always announces the news. Sometimes it's the middle of August; this year, it held off until the first of September:

I know when autumn is coming because a pair of fingerless mittens becomes my project de rigueur. This year, it's times two.

Top, pattern and yarn, Blue Sky's brushed Suri, purchased here. This pair is finished and already with its new owner.

Bottom, Frog Tree's alpaca worsted, which I found on sale here. It appears to have been discontinued, so if yer interested, buy now, buy often. The pattern is from the book and is, so far, smartly done. Perhaps this pair will stay closer to home.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Couple of Takes on the Day

As far as I know, our local fire department didn't get much attention from the media today, but they were a class act, unlike some others this week— cough that fruit loop in Florida cough. There was nothing ostentatious, no phony piety, no reporters camped out. The crew simply parked one of their trucks on the highway bridge, manned it all day (as in from early in the morning) and flew the flag from their cherry picker, which was fully extended. Whose motives were more genuine?

I don't always care for The Onion, but it clearly has some highly placed sources: They reprinted an interview with God, and wrangled an update on the hijackers. Searingly brilliant.

Of course, the sacrifice that began nine years ago is nowhere near finished. That is what I think we should remember. I wish I could say it as wonderfully as this clip does:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Off to School ... and Back to School

Ours was but one of countless families who've gotten a fresh serving of bittersweet in the past few weeks. Sending a kid off to college is not for the feint of heart. So much pride. Anticipation. Bubbles of worry. That little voice that promises they'll be fine. And then, what can you do but step aside (and take Dad by the ear because, yes, really. We have to leave now). But first, one more photo!

This is the first time in 13 years that the girls were not together for the annual First Day of School pictures. But, while we left a freshman at the University of Dayton, we had a sophomore ready for her second year at the high school:

There's a new rhythm, a new normal. Welcome September. Here's to a good year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An FO, a new UFO. Ee-i-ee-i-o

It took way longer than it should have — darn those interruptions —

but here it is, at (very) long last. The Isager sugar jacket. Knit exactly as instructed in the book, except for starting the sleeve increases an inch sooner:

There is a ton of knitting in it, but it should be — except for overly busy people such as the person at the keyboard — a fairly quick project. The short-row shaping at the shoulders and in the collar is very smart, as is the way the increases are worked in the sleeve. A word of caution to the large-boned: apparently Danish women are toothpicks. Just sayin'. Anyway, the object is over at the shop, if you're curious.

I'm glad that I made that sweater and I'm glad it's finished — it feels like a logjam has broken. Or at least a log has been removed. It isn't like there aren't any other UFOs on the shelf. Just to be sure, however, I took this from the stash pile:

and moved it the UFO pile. It's Theresa Gaffey's Seaweed Stole, made with Louet's Kidlin lace weight. As with many things, it isn't difficult, the key is to *pay attention and count.* Repeat between *.

Some thoughtful soul (Laurie, was that you?) left this book on my chair at work the other day. There are several projects that I really like, and am nursing a small crush on the scarf by Jared Flood, who also did the photography for the book. At last, I have the perfect reason to get a little something from Beaverslide Dry Goods. I've been wanting to try their yarn for ages.

Yes, really. Don't give me that look.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Suggestions, Please

I stopped in at Amazing Threads a couple of weeks ago. The fall Debbie Bliss magazine wasn't there yet, but this was:

Trabajos del Peru
from Plymouth Yarns. 4 st/inch on a size 9. It rode around in the truck with me for several days, but never once told me what it wants to be. Feel free to help out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

June. The Highlights Reel.

Every parent knows about The Time Warp: Where minutes drag like days, days take weeks and years flash by in minutes. How did we end up here?

Graduation night. Mariucci Arena — the first time ever, by the way, that commencement was not held on school grounds. It worked out fabulously, but never mind. Here she comes. That's her there, bringing up the rear:

That's her sister, the one playing the oboe in the band, just behind that white splotch, to the left of the stage:

Thank heaven for the Jumbotrons.

There's more to June than graduation and the 5,247 parties, of course. Show season goes into full tilt. This is the summer of limited tilting at our house, but we're making it to a few rings. The big boy is showing 4th level and Prix St. Georges this year, for the curious. When people ask what happens at horse shows, it is easiest to compare them with track meets: lots of waiting around broken up by bursts of commotion. Guess which part this is.

Some of us manage to get a few things done, say filling out those infernal show forms (4-2? 4-3? PSG? I either need a quarterback or a vowel), with healthy diversions of ... what else? Reading about knitting ...

... and even actual knitting -- this is the first sleeve for the Isager sweater.

Plus one gratuitous dog photo.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dressage Rap. No Kidding.

It's been busy: Work. Commencement. Work. Graduation party. Work. Horse shows hither and yon — O.K., Iowa. Work. My camera charger is MIA. Work. The computer is shutting off randomly and wantonly. Work. It's too humid to think. Work.

Did I mention work?

But my sense of humor? Intact:

Carry on. Next time, there will be knitting. Promise!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Big Is as Big Does

Who says that dressage horses have to be big to be fancy. Not this guy:

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Knitty Kitty

Winding skeins? A fairly simple job, most of the time:

Except when you have help.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letting Go

It started out as most projects do: Drawn by the yarn or perhaps by the way it draped when knit into a duster. Then, cheered on by the yarn shop committee, an eager cast-on -- 200-plus stitches? bring it on -- and enough enthusiasm to get through the first 6-8 inches. Of stockinette. Relentless. Stockinette. O look. More stockinette.

The love flatlined, but good intentions tapped at the conscience, so the drone, er, project waited. UFOs intruded: Mittens, a couple of scarves, a few hats and a vest. A few months later, a check of the pulse. Nope. Still nothing there. The thrill was good and done gone. We weren't even friends anymore. Time to take out the needle and pull. Frog.

Keep ripping.

One more good yank.

Help has arrived. Fresh from digging in the dirt.

Ok. That's quite enough help. Ja, we're good. Thanks.

Not all is lost. It's a linen blend, after all. There could be washcloths in its future. It might even get its picture uploaded to Ravelry! But until then, it's back into the yarn library. ... What's this? Right here? Oh, nothing. Just a little something that fell off the shelf. And then followed me around the store. It was really embarrassing.

We're just friends.
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