Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve, and Socks to You

Today's goal: knit a pair of socks.
Think I can do it?
I do.
Well I started them last night, but only knit four rows of the first sock, but I think these will work up rather quickly.
Here's the pattern picture, they're called Starboard Socks:


And they are knit on size 10s - yes - 10! - and with two strands of yarn.
If I'm really good I may actually be able to complete two pair - wouldn't that be something.
I've decided to do them all in the two colors - pink and white, and without the different color top.
Who cares, they'll be inside some boots.
I see these socks as a great way to begin knitting up some of this extra worsted weight yarn I have around the house, and the best part is that the pattern is free from LionBrand (all their patterns are free, but it's still a good thing to get excited about).
Hopefully they'll get done before it's too late in the day.
Stay tuned, and have a happy new year!
Now I'm off to begin watching my Twilight Zone marathon - my traditional way to spend New Year's Eve along with some knitting needles, and a good book. 
Why yes I can multi-task thank you.
See you next year!!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Is it too early to think about New Year's resolutions?

I've been considering what kind of New Year's resolutions I can make this year.
With the New Year a short 30 days away (if I did my math right) it's really not too soon for me to consider how I can improve my life in 2011.
Some of the ideas that have been bouncing around inside my brain housing group are:

1. Co-writing a story/book with someone comes to mind.
Such as - you write a chapter, then I write a chapter, etc.
Just for fun, mind you.
Any takers?

2. Also I've been thinking that it would be great to do nothing but knit up all the sock yarn I have - make it the New Year of Socks, or something along those lines.
But I'm not sure how that would be for me - I have such knitting ADD that I don't even know if I could last two weeks knitting only socks.
It's a great thought though, don't you think?

3. Decluttering always has a place on the list, but that's something that will never be accomplished to the degree that it should be.

4. Maybe even give up one food I love for an entire month to see how I do - just kind of a test for myself.

5. Organizing my pantry comes to mind too, but that's hardly a New Year's resolution, more of a "to do" list item.

6. The last thing I've been pondering is how to focus on improving my "professional" life.
I took a seminar this summer that was underwhelming (glad the State paid and not me), but I did take away two things from there.
First, that in whatever you do you should always remember - Q-TIP.
Quit Taking It Personally.
See, now you can't shake that one either, can you.
Second, that you should focus 3 hours a month on professional development.
I never do that.
But there are some certifications I'd like to get, and they would require me to take a HUGE test, so I would need to study.
Can I find time for focused study?
Only time (or the New Year) will tell.

Has anyone else been considering their New Year's resolutions?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Love me some Lake Wobegon

I do.
I admit it.
I love Prairie Home Companion (even though, honestly, I have such a hard time remembering how to spell the word "prairie".)
I love the homespun charm of Garrison Keillor's show along with the tales of the folks in Lake Wobegon.
What a great place to live.
So you can imagine my glee when SN1 showed me this new book - The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten:

I sure hope someone gets this for me for Christmas.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sleep Deprived

For a weekend that was supposed to be spent catching up on sleep and relaxing, I'm feeling very tired.
I could really use another day off.
I'm that sleepy.
And this following a two hour nap this afternoon.
Here's why I've been waking up in the middle of the night...

...several times a night.
Her name is Delilah Belle.
She's cute as a button, and she's a rescue dog out of Tennessee. Her mother was a pug mix, but no one knows about the father, although my money is on him being a chocolate Lab.
One thing is for certain...she had better stay away from my yarn and needles, and my shoes.
Other than that she's a keeper.
Now if we could just get her to sleep through the night.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Time is Here

Go ahead and read the title words, but now do it again to the tune of "Christmas time is here" and you'll get a sense of my mood.
I'm not a huge Thanksgiving fan although it is a good time of the year, low-stress, two birthdays to celebrate, leading in to Christmas, but it's really always been about the wonderful three day work week.
And who doesn't like short work weeks.
Don't answer.
Knowing that I have from 5:00 Wednesday, November 24th through 7:00 November 29th to perform all things sedentary my big question is: What should I focus on knitting?
Here's my current WIP list:

(1) A prayer shawl (that is really done, but those size 13 needles are great for knitting at the movies)
(2) Socks #1 - finish and start second sock
(3) Socks #2 - finish and start second sock
(4) Some random boring scarf for DH

So, should I do one of the above, or:

(5) Start some new totally random project that I have in my Ravelry queue, such as the Whitewater Wrist Warmers or the Traveling Woman Shawl.
Okay, to let you in on a secret I'm actually stacking the deck because I have some Debbie Bliss silk that I bought to make the wristwarmers, but really shouldn't that yarn be used for something more significant?
I'm just saying.

Here's what it looks like in case you've forgotten:

Let me know what you think.
I'm waiting with baited breath.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm Back....

Yes, it's been a long time.
Too long, but like a bad rash you can never get rid of me.
So much going on in life, yet it feels as if there is nothing going on.
Have you ever felt like that?
As if you've been just existing?
It's a sad place to be, yet here I sit.
If I can draw myself out of the doldrums I might actually have a thing or two to say.
Regardless, I am still here - Are you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I write like....

Now if only I had her money....

I write like
J. K. Rowling
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Bring back the 70s

I firmly believe that the music and movies of your formative years stays with you forever.
For example, I was a pre-teen and teenager in the 1970s, so the music and movies from that era are what I listen to, and watch, most often.
It's a time of possibilities, and the music forms a soundtrack to your life.
I love music from the 80s - absolutely - but it is the 70s that makes me who I am.
Of course now that I'm getting older (egads, I'll be 50 in 3 1/2 years!), I listen to everything.
But no matter how old I get, I'll never stop loving Walt Disney movies from the 70s.
You know the cornball comedies I'm talking about - mostly starring Kurt Russell or Dean Jones - the ones that the Disney Channel used to show on Vault Disney back before they modernized their lineup.
So you can imagine my excitement to find this for $7.50 at the Devil's Store yesterday:

The Barefoot Executive!
I've seen it tons of times, but you know this is entertainment you can count on.
It will always end up happily ever after.
Sometimes you need that in life.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Reveling in spring, but dreaming of winter

I finally went back to the public library yesterday.
Believe it or not, I haven't been there in three years.
The shameful truth?
I had a ridiculously high fee that needed to be paid, and really, when I have that kind of money in hand I buy yarn (or chocolate), I don't pay my library fines.
Shame on me, I know, but I had an alternate library to use, so I wasn't really missing anything.
SN2 told me yesterday, however, that he needed to watch a certain movie for one of his classes, and the college library didn't have it, Netflix didn't have it, and I didn't feel like calling Family Video.
Well that's not completely true. I did call them but they weren't open yet, so I checked on the public library site.
They had it!
I was ready to "man up" and pay my fine, so I took some money and drove down there.
I should have walked but I was not looking my finest yesterday (not that I ever am).
Let's just say that I was fitting in quite well with some of the trashy element in town.
And I drove DN1's beater car with the broke muffler.
I did check out some good books, and I started reading one of them yesterday.
It's Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke.
The book is set in Minnesota in February.
Not that I'm complaining about spring at all - yesterday DH and I got out and did some much-needed weeding, and I kept waiting for the storm that never materialized which meant it was kind of muggy outside.
We definitely need the warm weather, as well as the rain, but sometimes I miss winter.
The coziness I guess I miss.
Last night I couldn't sleep. I ended up getting up at 3:30 and came downstairs, played on the computer (of course), and then curled up in the chair to read.
I feel asleep reading about Hannah Swensen (from the book) driving around Minnesota in the middle of winter, and of course I proceeded to dream about just that.
I was there - in the dusk that comes at 4:00 in the afternoon, seeing the sky dark with snow, but thankfully not experiencing the mind-numbing cold that accompanies a winter day.
And then I awoke and realized - it's not winter, it's spring!
I hung beautiful flowers out on the porch (even though the lady at the greenhouse told me, "It's too early to hang those out, you know."), and I'm looking forward to using my new tiller to tear up some ground, fertilize and then plant some more bulbs and perennials.
Petunias, pansies, buds on rhododendrons, and the promise of the heavenly scent of peonies is what makes spring so wonderful.
Balls to winter - it will be here soon enough.
I'll keep it in my dreams.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Take the Covers Off

DN1 and SN1 introduced us to the band Pomplamoose, and DN2 and I spent quite a while on YouTube watching their videos on Friday.
Of course then I had to buy their music.
These two are great, and so talented that it is amazing.
They are great producers, their videos are amazing, but most importantly they put such a great spin on the songs they cover I just can't get the music out of my head and I've been listening to it incessantly over the past four days.
Plus they look like they're having a blast.
Here is a great cover of Earth, Wind and Fire's "September".
Check it out, and then check them out.
Well worth the money spent on iTunes.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Weather Pessimist

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day. The temperature was in the 60's, the sun was warm and fell on the white legs and arms of people walking around in summer clothing.
Beer pong tables were out in force, with students holding up signs that read, "Honk and we'll drink!"
Just another lovely day in a small Western NY college town.
When I left work there was a girl sitting outside on a stairwell soaking up the sun. As she adjusted her low-cut tank dress, I said to her, "Great day to get some sun."
She replied, "I know! I have to get it while I can."
"Right, before the snow falls again," I joked.
"Yea, we're due."
"Overdue!" I had to add.
You see, we're all weather pessimists here.
We know that a sunny day in spring isn't the advent of months of sunny days, it's just a random sunny day that could be followed by a day with temps in the 40s, or even a day when the snow falls yet again.
We are seriously overdue for a spring snowfall, and it hasn't happened yet.
For the weather pessimists, it's not if it happens, but when.

Friday, March 26, 2010


So pretty and soft....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kinder Eggs

Straight from Canada.
Do we get them for the chocolate, or for the toy inside?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Knitting Toy

As if I don't have enough to keep me busy, I had to buy a new toy.
It was a great deal, and I thought, why not.
Really. Why not.
Don't try to talk me out of it because it came in the mail today.
I don't quite know when exactly I'll get around to using it.
You see, it has a lot of directions.
I'm not good with directions.
When I read them my mind wanders off, and I just can't concentrate.
Most things in life need directions.
Heck, knitting needs directions!
I guess I am a visual learner, and I can do much better when someone is showing me than through reading how to do it.
Now that doesn't mean I'm naturally intuitive. To the contrary, I couldn't wire an electrical circuit to save my life (directions or no directions), but after trying and failing, and trying and failing, I'll eventually catch on.
About 10 years later.
That's what I hate about those people who learn to knit one year and then the next year their patterns are published in Knitty.
And they brag!
I hate that.
That will never be me.
But I persist - I am nothing if not tenacious (a tenacious B to be honest).
So here it is, something new to boggle my poor little brain:

I couldn't beat the price.
HSN is selling the 10" knitting board kit for $20 or something like that, and it includes 2 instructional DVDs, and a pattern.
And the hook.
And those two long screws which I'm not sure what they're for, but someone in the house will figure it out.
For now, however, I'll put it aside and continue working on my sock which I did while we watched The Blind Side.
Has anyone seen that movie?
It was good, Sandra Bullock was good, don't know if she was Academy Award good, but that little kid who played SJ, now he deserved an Oscar.
And now back to more sock knitting.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Is it too late to knit socks for winter?

Or maybe it's too early?
The weather was agreeable this weekend, but Sunday while sunny was still very cool.
I finished a sock on Saturday morning.
Check it out, it's quite cute:

Yarn is Schoeller and Stahl Sockina Cotton Summer Dream in Forest.
I really like the colors, that's what drew me to the yarn, but knitting socks on size 2's doesn't move very quickly.
I don't want to say that I became afflicted with SSS, but I did consider other socks to knit instead of starting the second one.
How did I beat SSS?
I cast on for the second sock, but then I cast on for a different pair as well.
This time the satisfaction is a bit more immediate.
Of course it would help if I didn't have such huge feet.
That makes knitting socks take a really long time.
And seriously, look at the difference between an 8 and a 3 (or is it a 2?):

I should be knitting socks for the baby across the street, she has tiny feet for an 18 month old.
Oh well, I'll stick with these new socks on size 8's, Lion Wool in rose:

DH said that he thinks they'll be itchy.
I can't say I disagree, but I think they'll be great in winter (or those cold fall/spring days) with a pair of boots.
A small consolation would be to wear a pair of white socks underneath.
Either way, I don't think I'll get much wear out of this pair right away.
They'll be ready for fall 2010.
So no, I don't think it's too early to knit socks for next winter.
After all, in New York State we only have two seasons: winter and construction, and I think winter is just about over, don't you?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It was even verboten for Miss Marple

For my knitting friends who agree that one should not knit during jury duty, here is a clip for you.
Watch for Miss Marple being taken to task by a judge at around the 30 second mark:

If you watch the entire film just before this particular clip you'd hear the judge say that he can't concentrate while she's knitting, and she tells him, well I can only concentrate when I'm knitting.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tell me please, exactly when is it inappropriate to knit in public?

Tomorrow at work I'm going to watch a documentary by one of the professors.
It's not a happy film.
Really nothing about lynching is a happy topic.
But you know, sitting in a classroom-cum-theatre*, and watching something - even as unpalatable a topic as lynching - gets my hands fidgety.
I'd like to bring my knitting.
After all, one of my WIPs is a prayer shawl.
Do you think people would find it inappropriate?
I mean, it's not like we'll be munching on popcorn during the film.

*I almost hesitate to use this phrase, but I really mean the Latin word "cum" as in with.
Maybe I should change it - it does look a bit strange, and I know how perverse people can be.
Or maybe you're still trying to figure out if I should knit in public or not.
I'll leave you alone.
Go ahead - ruminate.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My glasses are rose colored, thank you very much

This is how I will remember Corey Haim.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Good Thing There's Summer Camp

The Parent Trap, the version with Hayley Mills, is one of my favorite movies.
It was on TCM tonight, so I watched it.
I've seen it dozens of times, literally.
I actually own a copy of the DVD, so to watch it on TV almost seems like a waste of time.
Every time I see this movie, however, it never ceases to amaze me that parents would split up their daughters - twins no less - and then never tell them about each other.
How screwed up is that?

Monday, March 08, 2010

I'm Hoping for More Snow

Who wants more snow?
I do.
You can keep this sunshine, forget about Daylight Savings Time ending, and tell the crocuses to go back to sleep - bring me a blizzard.
This year the East Coast has seen record levels of snow, and the federal government was shut down for about 80 days, or so it seemed, but not here in my neck of the woods.
Big snow like they got in Virginia and other places which are technically the South is enough for people to complain and Panic!, but up here work/school/shopping goes on.
We're of much heartier stock (plus our higher taxes pay for guys to plow the roads 24 hours a day, and when they're done they plow the sidewalks).
I was shocked today when I realized that Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday.
Does anyone else hate losing that hour as much as me?
And the extra light is great, but this year I really want another good snowstorm.
Just one more.
I'd even settle for temps in the 20s.
Want to know why?
Because these came in the mail today from Caroline:

When I opened the package all I could say was, "Wow."
And then I said it again.
One more time.
I'm still in awe.
What a wonderful gift, and you know me, the ADD knitter who especially has a problem with thumbs on mittens, I would never ever begin to knit these beautiful mittens.
And colors?
Couldn't do it.
But Caroline can.
The mittens are called Ice Wine, and sometime I'll have to tell you why that is significant between the two of us, but that's a story for another blog post.
Tonight, however, I'll be wearing my pajamas inside out, flushing ice down the toilet, and sleeping with a spoon under my pillow.
Snow day - bring it on.
I have new mittens to wear.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I really should have called in sick

March 2nd should have been a sick day.
I never call in sick.
Sounds like hyperbole, but it's true.
I was raised to believe that if you're sick you go to work; if you're too sick to go to work, you go anyway and prove that you can't continue.
Silly, I know, but who wants to be a sick bay commando?
But on March 2nd I was tempted to call in and stay home because I had bought a new book.
Stop the presses - breaking news, right, I know.
But this wasn't just any book - this was Rachael Herron's just-published book, How to Knit a Love Song.
Anyone who reads Rachael's blog, Yarn-A-Go-Go knows what this means - another blogger has struck gold.
She is now officially a published author.
Draft a new CV please.
On March 2nd, however, I was interested to see how well she did, and I certainly wasn't disappointed.
The book engaged me from the start; the writing is fresh and natural, and the characters are real.
Some knitting books are so focused on showing how cool they are that they conspicuously drop the names of knitting celebs and their blogs into the narrative, but Rachael doesn't have that problem.
Abigail, the protagonist, is likeable without being overly cloying, and Cade, well, if he comes to life please give him my number.
Not only is her writing refreshing, but even though she could name drop, Rachael really doesn't do that. She pays subtle homage to important knitting figures, but really just writes a damn good story.
Do you get now why I wanted to stay home and read?
I ordered the book for my Kindle (why yes, I have a Kindle) at 5:00 in the morning and started reading.
I read up until I had to get ready for work, and then I read a chapter while sitting in my car just before going into work.
I was hooked.
And when I finished I almost sent Rachael an email and DEMANDED a sequel.
I highly recommend this book, and it is worth a second read, especially to get the advice from EC headlining the intro to each chapter.
Who is EC?
I'm not going to give anything away.
Read the book yourself and find out.
Many congrats to Rachael!