Saturday, November 25, 2006

I Couldn't Resist

It's Chappysmom's fault. It is. Okay, so I also wanted to brag that another finished object is coming off the needles tonight. I might even get it blocked before bedtime!

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz
Where Do We Go?

I had delusional visions of posting each day this month. At some point, it wasn't so much that I ran out of things to say as I ran out of time in the days. Instead of posting, I have been knitting. Oh, how I have been knitting! It all started innocently enough. Shelly, The Heathen Housewife, made some adorable clogs for her daughter. I thought that would make a great gift for Young Man's cousin.

Last Saturday, Suzoo's hosted an arts & crafts sale and that seemed like a good excuse to go pick up a couple of skeins of wool. After chatting with Renata and others, I only picked up a pair of stitch markers from the sale before heading in to fondle yarn. I quickly found the pink and purple shades that I wanted (one was even in the discount rack) and then I spotted someone doing some needle felting. I had resisted this because the needle felted items that I had seen were so cutesy. This person was doing a cow on a hotpad. I'm still a sucker for cows. She was making it for a gift for a family member in Wisconsin. Why, I thought, that would be a great idea for SIL in Minnesota. So, more feltable yarn went into the bag and Knitpicks had an oven mitt pattern link waiting for me in my email box when I returned home.

Since that fateful trip, I have averaged finishing one item a day for a solid week. It's not even noon today and I have my finished item! This is the stash of items that are currently felting away in the washer.

Not too shabby. Of course, instead of hopping from mall to mall on Friday, I did my own version of Black Friday. This is the yarn that followed me home. Hmmmmm.

Oh, well, today is Saturday and we might even get rain on Monday!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I am thankful for my family. Young Man and Mr. Engineer keep me smiling and grounded at the same time. My extended family back in Minnesota reminds me where I am from and keeps me humble. My chosen family here in California makes this odd, sunny place feel like home. My internet family shares my interests and keep me honest.

I am thankful for my skills and for the fabulous designers whose patterns and instructions have given me so much joy creating with yarn, paint, clay, beads, fabric, and stitches.

I am thankful for health and happiness, and jobs that put food on the table and a roof over our heads. This was a rough year at work. Mr. Engineer was laid off after 19 years, but found a new job within a couple of weeks.

I am thankful for a son who did his holiday homework assignment with only two reminders.

It is a beautiful day and I give thanks to all of you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sigh, I Guess There is No Denying Your Roots

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Northeast
The Midland
North Central
The West
The South
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Actually, most people can't guess my accent. I don't hold out my o's as long as some from my home town. I also do not call soda "pop," but I do often say "sodapop," to be sure to cover my bases, don'cha know.

Monday, November 13, 2006

But, Where are the Socks?

For the past three days I have been in the odd position of not having a single sock on the needles! I think this is the first time that this has happened in 200Sox. I remidied this problem during lunch when I cast on and started the ribbing for a pair of socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. These are in a fun, tweedy Trekking. I think they are for my neighbor. They might be for Mr. Engineer. They also may have to be paused. I have what I think is enought Opal Petticoat left for a child-size pair of socks for Young Man's cousin. Now for a pattern.......

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Another BSJ

Project: Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Plymouth Encore, color 7064
Needles: US5 dpn
Finished Size: I'm not really sure. I think it is somewhere around an 18 month size or maybe larger.
Notes: I made this by the pattern, used I-cord to seam the shoulders, and added a 4-stitch I-cord edging. I love this pattern! I hadn't seamed it when I took it with me to buy buttons. Someone asked about it and it was so fun to show the odd shape and how simply it turned into a sweater. The colors range from pale green through blue and then lavender. I haven't figured out which lucky baby will get this one. It is really nice to have a spare ready!

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Today was Veteran's Day in the US. Today, we remember. I remember reading about my great-grandfather's regiment from Minnesota as they came in at the end of the Civil War. I remember learning that both of my grandfathers served during World War I. Most of all, I remember my father's stories of World War II.

My father drove an ambulance for an Army hospital unit. The stories he told me were always peaceful stories. He spoke of boot camp in Colorado and his recovery from the pneumonia that nearly killed him. He reminisced about the doctors in the unit convincing him to drive them and their nurse friends to Loch Loman when they were stationed in Scotland. He told of the English girl with the red hair who begged him to take her to the States with him. He told me that she had a temper much like my mother's: the quieter she got, the more upset she was. This story actually helped me out a lot as I was growing up. My father had stories of France and how the French people hated the way the GIs mangled the French language.

What my father didn't tell me was about war. He saved those stories for my brother-in-law, a Vietnam veteran. It wasn't until after my father died that I learned of his other stories. You see, my father was one of the people who cleaned up after D-Day. He never told me about the soldiers who road in his ambulance. He never mentioned the ones who arrived at the hospital too late for the doctors to save. Those were stories that he didn't want his children to hear. He didn't want us to have to remember that. He didn't want anyone to ever have those memories.

Thank you, Dad, for all you did for me and for all those soldiers who never knew who brought them in. We remember.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Scarf Season

There must be a little nip in the air. Well, in Southern California, a little nip is all we get. I do still like making scarves as we get closer to the holidays. These willl make gifts for my friends in colder climates. It is also fun to see how my scarf-making skill has improved. The next big challenge will be bobbles and popcorns as I dive into Forbes Forest. It doesn't look like much today!

The other scarf on the needles is a return to a long-neglected project. This is a very simple arches and columns design with Kid Merino. It is nice and soft and the color is a pleasant pale blue, but the design is boring to knit. It makes for acceptable lunchtime or mindless TV time knitting.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

Mr. Engineer has been leaving the house really early so I'm getting up earlier than usual. This does let me enjoy the sunrise. I guess there is something to be said for mornings.

The other beautiful thing is that I have another project finished.

Project: Traveler's Stockings from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush

Yarn: Koigu KPM in color 1005 (a gentle pale blue with periwinkle)

Needles: US 0 dpns

Notes: Well, the pattern is wonderful (as always). The yarn is fabulous. Knitting Koigu on US0 needles makes for a luscious fabric. The next decision is whether these go in my sock drawer or in the gift drawer. Since they fit me really well, I may just have to keep them. Shucks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


We fear change. It must be innate. You can see it in the defiant stance of a toddler when told that the party is over and it's time to go. They never want to listen. I recall one time when we were able to surprise a very nice guy at a toy store. Young Man (who was just a Little Man then) was happily playing at the train table. Mr. Engineer and I traded off watching the play and shopping. We cheerfully gave Young Man warnings at 15, 10, 5, and 1 minute before we were to leave (more or less, his lack of ability to tell time was very helpful). When it was time to go, we told Young Man to say goodbye to the little boy with whom he was playing. Young Man gave out a cheery "Bye, bye," took our hands and left the store without a hint of complaint. The guy watching the other little boy was absolutely shocked. He expected wails and arguments.

So, the key to facing change seems to be getting plenty of warning and to have a fundamental understanding that change is inevitable.

Frogging is just as inevitable as change. That would explain why two days of knitting left me with this. Arwen is my first time knitting a sweater with a turned up hem. I blew it the first time. Now I've got the hang of this. The color is a little off. The real color is a little lighter, more of a plum.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pins & Needles

While waiting most impatiently for the election results, I have a few more pictures. Here are two in-progress shots of my Nancy Bush infatuation. These are Travelers' Socks from Knitting on the Road. The first shot shows the patterning, but the second shot is much more true to the color.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Warming Up to Civic Duty

If you are a US citizen and eligible to vote, don't forget that Tuesday is Election Day. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain. Mr. Engineer and I completed our absentee ballots (all five pages!) on Saturday and turned the pain of going through the propositions into a civics lesson for Young Man. Our future engineer was quite impressed with the amount of thought that we put into each issue and that we didn't really work together on determining how to vote. We each read the propositions (or at least the summaries) and the candidate statements and came to our own conclusions. So, I won't tell anyone how to vote, but please do go out and cast your ballot.

I even believe in rewards. My reward was to cast on for A Cardigan for Arwen. Your reward is the long-promised photo debut of a finished project:

Project: Interlocking Balloons scarf from Scarf Style

Yarn: Almost exactly four balls of RY Cashsoft DK in Charcoal

Finished Size: 7 1/4 inches by 62 inches (more or less, after blocking)

Needles: US 6 Addi Turbo circular (I LOVE those needles)

Notes: Pretty quick knit with just enough thought to keep me interested through the repeats. I love Cashsoft DK. It just feels so good to knit! This one is a gift and I hope the recipient likes it.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Uh Oh!

Someone may or may not have gone to the Annual Show and Sale of the Southern California Handweavers Guild and she may or may not have started something very dangerous. This was my first time at their show. It was small, but they did a very good job of bringing in a variety of vendors. I lusted over some wonderful alpaca and had a lovely time wandering through the two rooms of vendors. Zona was there. Some Mountain Colors Bearfoot (Glacier Teal) and some Euroflax may or may not have also followed me home. See? I did restrain myself.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Succumbing to the Inevitable

New button, new KAL, new fun!

All this and it's Saturday, too!

Friday, November 03, 2006

She's so Smug

Here I was, minding my own business, when FemiKnit Mafia started going on about the new Kate Gilbert design in Interweave Knits. I thought, "so what?" It's just a sweater. Not everyone has a thing for Kate, y'know (*cough* Clapotis *cough* Sunrise Circle Jacket *cough*). I didn't even look at the yarn requirements on the Interweave website.

Then my issue arrived yesterday. A Cardigan for Arwen is gorgeous.

I'm a total sucker for anything LotR and these cables are fabulous. Still, it calls for 14 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and I think it is a bit short. Then I remembered. I have 18 balls of Cashmerino Aran lounging in my stash. I picked it up at a closeout sale with the intention of making that sweater. I've pretty much given up on that one until my chart skills are up to Japanese notes. My first instinct was that Arwen needs to be in a mossy green. Still, the stash yarn is a lovely, deep wine color and I already have it! Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's a New Month

It is also the beginning of the holiday gift knitting countdown. I think I'm in denial. Maybe I'm just feeling too good because there are three pairs of socks in the gift drawer. I must get back to FLAK if it is going out the door in December. Instead, I have cast on for Forbes Forest in a lovely yellow-green. It will be a gift, but it wasn't on the original gift list.

In the meantime, here is a November calendar picture from the World Wildlife Foundation Songbirds calendar. I think Chappysmom is right, November definitely gets the short end of the pictures. This tufted titmouse is lovely, but it is, well, brown.

Oh, and the end of daylight savings time does give me a chance to catch pretty sunrises for a bit. Sandy might like this one.