Thursday, December 31, 2009

End and Beginning

So, the year is dwindling down to its last hours. Bye, bye 2009.

It hasn’t been a bad old year, on the whole. Rachel had a great spring semester at Mary Washington, academically speaking, and successfully transferred to Hampshire, where she appears to be happy (well, as happy as Rachel gets) and doing well. I certainly like Hampshire’s proximity to Webs. I mean, hey, if you have to drive seven hours to cart your kid to college, it’s nice to have America’s largest yarn shop there at the end of the drive!

Mr. Pointy Sticks and I are trundling along. Though we were saying the other night that we really need a vacation. We’re not big vacationers on the whole. We’ve been to England once, Sanibel twice, Maine once and Nova Scotia once. We’d like to see more of Canada. I have developed a strange hankering to see Greece. Mr. Pointy Sticks loves the Donna Leon mysteries and we sometimes mention wanting to see Venice. I’m sure we won’t do anything about it soon…we are so deliberate that we make tortoises look like reckless speedsters…but perhaps a vacation is in the future.

My dad is well, though he did manage to lop the last joint of his left index finger off in a table saw accident this summer. Took himself to the emergency room, too. He’s had a nasty sinus infection that is lingering too long for my liking (and his, too, I’m sure) but on the whole he’s probably healthier than I am.

I gained some weight this year, which is the opposite direction I wanted to go in. But, at the same time, I resumed my exercise biking, which I hadn’t done for a year, and seem to be doing it fairly regularly. I think some of the weight gain may be related to medication…who knows? Ah well.

I reconnected with some cousins this year and with some old college friends. (Happy holidays, Pat and all you Linns! Happy holidays, Beth, Bev, Andy and all.) For someone as non-social as I am, that was a big deal.

So here we go, into 2010. (And I am amazed, frankly, by all the discussion on Ravelry and else-Net about how one says “2010.” I mean, (a) seems pretty obvious to me that it’s twenty-ten and (b) who cares? What’s it matter?)

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Three Guesses...

..what this box of yarn is for.

And the first two don't count. Yarn for four Red Scarves.

And the last Noro Ribbed Scarf is about half way done.

And the one for my cousin is washed and's gotten very soft and drapy. Got to make a label and wrap it up tomorrow.

Merry merry and happy happy, everyone. Hope you're all with people you love.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let It Precipitate White Frozen Moisture!

We're ready! We stopped at the Giant on the way home and picked up some necessities. Not the usual Baltimore milk-bread-toilet paper trio, but oranges and a turkey. Oh yeah, we did get some milk, too. And come to think of it, Mr. Pointy Sticks picked up a loaf of bread. So I guess we got two out of three.

There was a nasty, and rather awe-inspiring, accident in the Giant parking lot. A driver (according to someone we spoke with, it was a tiny little old lady) hit two cars somehow and then backed across several lanes in the parking lot at high speed and ended up smashing into three other cars, pinning one driver in his car. He was taken off in an ambulance. I have to feel bad for this driver...she was probably too old to be driving, got confused, hit the gas instead of the brake. But man, it was an impressive accident. Thank heavens she didn't hit any pedestrians.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is Saturday so even if we get this massive snow storm they are predicting ("We're going to get 6 inches!" "Have you heard, we're getting ten inches of snow?!" "They're saying we're getting a foot!!") we won't miss any work. But I am looking forward to just cozying in and having a quiet day. (We were planning to hit the Maul and such...just as happy not to do that!)

Come on, snow!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Red Scarf – FAIL

I feel bad. I contributed no red scarves to the Red Scarf Project this year. I donated some money, which I guess is better than nothing, but I knit no scarves. And I feel bad. Bad enough that I am thinking that perhaps I should challenge myself to knit a red scarf every month next year. How about that? Twelve scarves next year? I might be able to do that.

I should try to get The Black Sheep behind this. Print out some posters. Maybe get some of the other knitters there involved. Make sure there’s lots of red yarn in the shop. Oooh, maybe have a day where all red yarns are on sale! I dunno. I do think that the Red Scarf project is a good cause. I do like to support these kids who may not have had a lot of support in their lives.

At least I can knit a scarf.

The Fates are conspiring. I got an email this afternoon from Norma telling me that I had won one of the prizes in the Red Scarf Project giveaway. I won my choice of one of JessaLu's gorgeous bags. The one I chose is no longer pictured...but I was very tempted by this one. And the monkey ones are awfully cute, too.

So here it official challenge to myself. One Red Scarf a month. I've already placed my order at Webs for some red yarn.

Anyone have any pattern ideas?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All Tuesdays Should Be So Nice

Pleasant evening last evening, even if it did mean that I didn’t get on the exercise bike…wait a minute, maybe that’s one reason it was a pleasant evening! (Actually , I need to get going on that again…I missed last Thursday because Mr. Pointy Sticks and I were out late and I was too tired when I got home, missed Sunday because I didn’t feel good (residual effects of doing nothing but sit in a car all weekend, I think) and missed last night.)

Anyway, I got home from work and asked Rachel if she wanted to go up to The Black Sheep with me. She did, as she wanted to get some crocheting instruction, so I waited while she got showered and dressed (must be nice) and we headed up. The place was packed! But I inveigled Karen into helping Rachel with some basic crochet instruction (I’ll take her a giftie on Saturday as a thank you…she wouldn’t let me pay her) and I sat and knit and smoozed and wandered around and looked at pattern books and such. Rachel crocheted away (and then ended up ripping the entire piece she’d done out…learning experience!).

I did [mumble] endupbuyingmoreNoroforanotherribbedscarf [mumble]. (“It’s for a Christmas present!” she says in self-defense.)

And I bought a great pattern book…an Ella Rae one (number 17, for the curious) with some really nice patterns including this sweater vest which I really like a lot.

And this nice man’s sweater (if only I knew a nice man who liked sweaters!).

And this jacket…

And we got home late and then I had to make dinner and by the time that was all done and eaten and all…it was close to nine. And I was exhausted. I tried to make myself bike…I really did. But alas, lethargy won out.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just Like Potato Chips...

These Noro ribbed scarves...I tell you, they're addictive.

Look at these pretty colors! Again, I am striping this one (Noro Vintage in a pretty pink-grey-tan colorway) with Ella Rae Classic in an icy pink. Me like.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

...And Home!

Left Massachusetts this morning about 8:30 -- and it was 13 degrees! Brrr. Round about the Tappan Zee Bridge it started raining and for the rest of the trip it was steady (and at times heavy) and for most of New Jersey and northern Maryland it was very foggy. Not fun driving. But I got a little more than half of a new Noro striped scarf done on the drive!

It's good to be home.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Super Sitting Saturday

Seven hours in the car and we are in Massachusetts. Actually, the trip didn't seem too bad. We stopped at a scenic overlook along the Hudson...pretty but cold! And when, a few miles later, I picked up the scarf I was knitting, I could only find one needle! Oh no! Poor little needle, abandoned at the scenic overlook! In the cold. All alone. (Have I mentioned before that I tend to over-anthropomorphize things?)

But hurrah! When we got up here to the hotel, I opened the car door and looked down beside my seat and there was the needle! Yay!

We stopped by school and scooped up Rachel and headed to Webs. I picked up some yarn for Maureen and some yarn and a book for Rachel and, yes, a little yarn for me. Got some pretty Noro Silk Garden Lite in shades of purple and green on sale. And some yarn to try to make a hat with leaves... What fun.

Home more hours in the car. Yikes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Hat Is Finished!

La, la, I finished my hat! Okay, I know…I hadn’t even posted that I had started a hat or was working on a hat. But that was only because I was busy working on my hat!

I needed a hat to go with my new winter coat. It’s red. So a month or so ago I was up at The Black Sheep and bought a skein of yarn with lots of reds and white. (I may have posted about it.) I hadn’t gotten around to knitting it up yet however. Then, a couple of weeks ago I was up at The Black Sheep and they had a hat and scarf knit from that yarn. And they felt….light….thin….not terribly, terribly warm. So I began the search for different yarn. (Don’t worry…the already-bought-yarn won’t go to waste. I may make myself a little light hat for not-so-cold days. Or a long scarf for the Red Scarf project next year. Something.)

Last Saturday I was up at The Black Sheep and Tracy and company suggested that I make a grey hat. And my coat does have a grey lining. And they had some scrumptious soft yarn in grey…and red. So I decided…Miss Oh-Yeah-I’ve-Done-Stranded-Knitting-Twice…that I would design myself a beanie sort of hat in grey with red hearts around it. Piece of pie! Easy as cake!

And it really was, of course. I had fun charting out a heart design. The yarn (Skacel's Schulana Pacolana) was a delight to knit with. The stranding went pretty well without too much corrugating. I didn’t run out of yarn. And the hat fits! (Well, I sort of wish I could have put in another three or four rows before I started my decreases, but I was worried about running out of yarn. (As it turned out, I probably could have done so.) But it pulls down over my ears enough...but a couple more rows would have been perfect.)

[Imagine the mandatory picture of stranded inside here....I'll try to get one soon]

Think that pompon's big enough?

And now I keep imagining other hats....cream with green with cream and black sheepies...cream with gray trees....this could get addictive.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Guess What It Did At Our House Today!

It snewed!

Not a lot...maybe 4 inches in our neighborhood. But my, it's pretty.

Went up to the Black Sheep today and had a nice sit-and-knit with Tracy and Karen and Renee. It was not as busy as last week, though ten minutes before closing a bunch of people came in. Weird. Got a good chunk down on Rachel's sweater and am now up to the dividing for the neck.

Tomorrow....housework. Ugh.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How About A Reading Update?

So I'm going to add 15 new books to my reading list over there...some better than others. In fact, I just looked at my list and the first book I'm going to add, Man Walks Into A Room, I can remember absolutely nothing about. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. And I read it only a bit over a month ago. Geez. Either the book really wasn't memorable or my mind is going.

The only book I starred in my reading sign for a good book...was The Ask and the Answer, Patrick Ness' sequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go. These are good books. Looking forward to the next one. Jane Gardam's The Man in the Wooden Hat almost got a star...but I have to say to me it seemed sort of as though it was material that just didn't fit into Old Filth.

The new Deborah Crombie isn't bad...not marvelous (I probably won't remember much about it in a month), but not bad. Discovered a new-to-me mystery writer, Louise Penny. Read A Fatal Grace, her second book, and just bought another one, A Rule Against Murder.

Zipped through Under the Dome, as I mentioned in an earlier post.

Karen Maitland's The Owl Killers wasn't, in my opinion, as good as Company of Liars.

And I'm in the middle of three or four books right now. A Joan Aiken kid's book - Go Saddle the Sea - I do love her books. An Ian Rankin mystery. A science-fiction book that my brother gave me for my birthday that I think might be a little too smart for my little brain. And a fantasy...

But once I get one or two of those done and out of the way, I have Sue Grafton's new one, U Is for Undertow. Yay!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I've never tried embedding a video...let's see if this works.

Have you seen this? It's amazing.