Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve 2007

Okay, it is New Years Eve, and I decided to look over the blog to see what I have written over the past 12 months. Below you will find the first few lines of the first post of each month, kind of a year in review of Mountain Purl.

January 2007 - 2006 sure seemed to fly by. In keeping with tradition, I have my resolutions for 2007. Whether or not these will be kept, only time will tell.

Okay, some were kept, some were not, there are still many UFOs, I still have some unwanted poundage, the yarn room is a wreck and so is the house. Oh well. And I still need patience.

February 2007 - This is where I have been hiding myself, and it's not pretty. The yarn room looks like a bomb went off in there. I had to move numerous projects off the bed to make room for my outlines and books, with room for me to read.

Yep, it is still a mess.

March 2007 - The test is over, in the books, finished, done! Don't know if I passed, I was not happy Tuesday afternoon, and you never know with the multiple choices - it always comes down to 2 answers. But I'm done!

I managed to pass the Bar, and the lunch bunch took me out to celebrate at Knit Knack. A good time was had by all, and we enjoyed pomegranate margaritas!

April 2007 - It's April. I have leaves on the rose bushes that made it through the winter. There are purple buds on 2 of the 3 lilac bushes. We mowed and fertilized the yard. So of course it is snowing.

Nothing unusual here.

May 2007 - Our ship sailed into the San Francisco Bay this morning, right under the Golden Gate Bridge. Joanne and I were out on the balcony watching. We sailed past Alcatraz and then docked by the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

The cruise. My seasickness. Such fond memories. Poor Joanne! Nice yarn purchases though!

June 2007 - It always seems to be that you zip on home Friday after work, and before you can blink your eyes, it is 9PM Sunday night. What happened? The work week never goes that fast. I need a two day work week and a five day weekend.

This is a weekly occurrence for me.

July 2007 - This is me knitting outside on the front porch. Okay I know I need to trim the bushes, but I'm knitting. I have the house decorated. I put the bunting up for the Fourth of July, along with flags. What am I knitting - Koigu. And I need to knit my Koigu.

I STILL need to knit all my Koigu.

August 2007 - I’ve been really busy. My best friend Beth from high school arrived in Denver on Friday with her family. Her DH is a nurse anesthetist, so they are in town for his conference. So we have been running around. Saturday they came over to the house for a cookout, so there was a mad session of trying to clean the mess that is my house.

The house got cleaned, we had a great time. I miss her.

September 2007 - Where did the summer go? It seemed like yesterday that the outdoor pools around here opened, and now they will be closing next weekend. Must be all the traveling I did this summer that made me completely lose track of time. The beefsteak tomatoes are starting to turn red - hurry up before we get the first frost! My roses are looking good, and I am now planning to put in numerous bulbs in the front for a glorious spring display.

Never planted them bulbs did you Kath?

October 2007 - I decided to knit a pair of socks for Socktober. I cast on the Tyrolean Stockings from the Fall Interweave Knits. I am using Green Mountain Spinnery Vermont Organic Wool in a cream color. The yarn is a nice wool, although I am picking a lot of grass or whatever, out of it. It shows the pattern nicely, but right now the yarn is pretty coarse.

You just looked at those socks on the needles in the yarn room this weekend didn’t you? Or should I say 2 inches of just one sock in the yarn room?

November 2007 - Okay, it has been a while since I have blogged, and I do have pictures to post, but alas, I am not at home, where the camera is. So you get the idea that I really should be doing something else right now (oh yeah – working) but oh well.Let’s start with the Rockies. They lost. It was sad.

World Series. The Rockies lost. That really sucked.

December 2007 - Okay, there is no way it is going to happen. I finished the back of DH's sweater and had to rip out 30 or more rows of the front because I wasn't paying attention and didn't decrease 16 stitches. So there is no way this baby will be done by the 6th.

It’s still not done. I’m not working on it at the present. I just don’t feel like it.

Not a bad year. My half century mark. To all my friends and family. May you have a wonderful 2008.

P.S. I am not making any Resolutions for 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A friend, a steek, and some knitting

This is my friend Robin. She is no longer a steek virgin. That's right, 2 days before the end of 2007, she cut her steek on her beautiful Dale sweater, and she's smiling. And she didn't even need a shot of alcohol before she took the first snip. This sweater is going to be so pretty and she has done a beautiful job. She has the armhole steeks to cut, the sleeves to put in and the neck and front facings to knit. Not much left. She is also working on a shawl which is now being bound off. Some FOs are in her not so distant future. She had two visits to my small shop called the yarn room and didn't pass out in horror or look at me as if I was insane. I think she was just being nice. She did come bearing gifts - 2 running books I wanted to borrow.

Today was a lazy day. Knitting with Robin, reading, watching TV and knitting. Ordering Chinese food, and then knitting. I am trying to stick with the two projects of each type plan. Sweater number one is the hoodie. I have knit 48 rows, but I am not back to where I started from, nor am I back to where Leanne the Purple Princess is. She is probably way ahead, because she had a long plane ride to Florida to spend some knitting time. Though, I am wondering about her gauge, because I am on the needles the pattern calls for, and I am usually one needle size down from her. But I have been the ripper, not her.

Number two is a two color Kauni that I put up on needles this weekend. If this turns out how I think it will, it should be a work of art. But it is slow knitting because I have 258 stitches per row. Right now the colors look too Christmasy, I can't wait until the blues and the purples come out of the balls.

I bought yarn today. I admit it. For two fair isle projects. I've got that bug again.

The most pressing thing right now is should I go to work tomorrow or stay home? Hmm, if I go, I will take Friday off. If I stay home, I have two days left of vacation. Hmm. I'll sleep on it.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Evening post, 2 in one day?

Okay, what is going on. I have ripped out the same sweater again. I can't tell you what it is because Leanne has a contest on her blog to figure it out. I found this stupid pattern, and I still like it. I'm just off row gauge, and then my head is somewhere else I guess. So the whole back to the arm holes was ripped back yesterday, and then 2o rows was ripped back today. I stayed up to 1AM re knitting this thing, to rip it back today. Oh, just slap me and put me out of my misery. And to top it off, I sliced my finger putting Christmas decorations away, and I'll be dog gone if I will let that get in the way of my attempt at knitting this thing. Why is it always the necessary knitting fingers, of course my left index finger?

I am trying to finish projects. I am trying something new. Working only on 2 sweaters at a time and 2 shawls, and 2 whatevers, you get the idea. Not bouncing from project to project. I am trying only to have 2 active projects in each category going at a time. And this is hard. Because I bought silk. Beautiful soft, yummy silk Fiesta La Luz that I order from Fuzzy Mabel for the hoodie from Interweave Knits. The hoodie that has been tempting me for months. I am not starting it. Leanne and I are getting are sweaters done at the same time. Or so I hope if I can ever get past my knitting errors.

I think I am blogging to avoid the sweater. I really do like it, I do. I will finish it Leanne, after all, I think I talked you into it, didn't I? And I am not seeing you having any knitting brain farts with it. Oh please, not another Damn sweater......

A new Day

I can't find it in me to be witty or amusing this morning. Maybe because it's early, and I stayed up too late last night re-knitting a completely ripped out sweater. Maybe it's because it's just so cold outside and my computer sits by two windows, which I love. And I normally watch the sunrise, which I am doing right now, but I can tell by the color of the sky that it is colder than normal. It feels like one of those days that you just want to stay inside and be warm. Drink the warm drink, knit, or curl up with a good book or good movie, in comfy clothes, and just not venture out.

I know a part of my lack of wittiness is due to the fact that DH's second cousin died yesterday. This is a big deal for my husband. This man was my husband's father's buddy. DH's father died 10 1/2 years ago. DH would go hunting every year with Don. He didn't go this year, partly because there was a screw-up with the tags, and partly because I was on a knitting retreat in Buena Vista. I told DH to go, but he said don't worry about it. Now there won't be a next year.

And I know how that goes, because I have always been the Queen of Next Years. Wait until I pass the bar, wait until we move from California, wait until I retire.... Makes you think, doesn't it, because, you don't always get that next year.

So, I'm not witty today. I'm going to have a day of selfish knitting. I'm going to start some organizing, because this house is an utter mess. I'm going to hug my kids and DH. And I'm going to finish watching the sunrise.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A never ending sea of entrelac

First of all, here is my alligator. Shoot, I should have plugged him in for you. He is my non-traditional Christmas lawn ornament. He lights up, his mouth opens up and his tail moves. The perfect lawn ornament for a Florida Gator such as myself. Drives DH crazy. Real Christmasy he says. I told him I'd get the gator a Santa hat, but never got around to it. Anyway, I love it.

As you can tell, we haven't shoveled. We spent all Christmas Day inside watching it snow. I spent most of the day cooking, and really didn't get any noticeable progress made on any knitting project. And now, I am drowning in this sea of entrelac.

Okay, I know I am almost done. I went up to the mess I call the yarn room, moved 14 tubs of yarn, the Lantern Moon basket tree, miscellaneous projects and balls of yarn, and set out the two blocking boards end to end. I then dry pinned this baby to see how wide I could go and how long without totally flattening out the entrelac. I wanted 30 inches wide. Dudes, I don't think it's going to happen. I'm thinking I'm going to have to be happy with 26 to 27 inches wide and maybe 75 or so inches long. I think I have 6 tiers left to knit. I looked at it pinned out and figured 3 more side triangles to get the length I want. Will this never end?

On a funny note, my older sister sent me knitting needles from China as part of my Christmas gift. I have never seen these types of needles before, they are the Bamboo Premium Collection, environmentally friendly in sizes 10, 10.5 and 11. I thanked her and told her if she ever decides to come visit me I will take her on a tour of the small shop I call my yarn room and she can be horrified.

I hope you had a great Christmas. I hear the pitter-patter of little feet, so I think the boys are up. Have a good day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Look What Santa Brought!

I'm waiting for the ovens to warm up - one for the pumpkin pie, and one for the "eggies" the breakfast egg casserole with eggs and sausage. For some reason the top one is running really warm, so I hope I can figure this out before I need to get the turkey in.

Anyway, we tracked Santa last night on NORAD, and if you haven't done this with your kids it's so much fun to watch his progress around the world as he makes his way to where you live. We put the kids down to sleep as soon as he was done with Newfoundland, because he had worked his way up there from Key West and we weren't sure how soon he was going to hit Highlands Ranch. And the radar showed good ole Rudolph in front, probably because of the snow storm that Santa brought along with him. We have about three inches of snow on the ground already and there is a lot more falling.
Well, the pie and the eggies are in the ovens, a shower is calling my name, the boys are playing their new Game Boys and Nientendos and waiting patiently on the other presents. I hope to knit a lot today in between cooking and opening presents. I wish I had bought champagne for mimosas, got to go check the wine cellar.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the Night Before Christmas

I can't believe that it is Christmas Eve already. I knew this was going to happen. A rush, rush, rush, with no time to sit back and enjoy the holiday until it is over. And here we are. Christmas Eve.

And it's a a typical one. Throw in a fight with the in-law's (DH's), having a flat tire on the way home from the fight at the in-law's, an unexpected large car repair bill (unrelated to the flat tire - that was on the loaner vehicle) again DH's, staying up too late wrapping presents, planning to cook too much for a small family dinner tomorrow. I feel like one of those made for TV movies where an angel is about to appear.

But we had one stop and help DH change the tire on the loaner car. He was a nice young man who was on his way to cook his mom a Christmas Eve dinner. There are nice people in the world.

So I have been knitting. The top photo is Lady Eleanor. I have 2 balls of yarn to go. I am tired of entrelac. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Maybe I will knit on it tonight.
And then there is the hoodie. My row gauge is a little off, but I am thinking it should block out because I am not starting it again. You can't really see the cables, but they are pretty.
Then there is some lace. I pulled out an unfinished shawl. I needed to work on some lace, so I am trying to finish up some projects.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and may God bless you and your families in the coming year.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Half a Century!

Holy Crap, I'm old! Okay, I did wake up this morning and nothing fell off during the night that I know of - though I probably have a new wrinkle or two, and wonders of wonders I can move my left arm because I got a tetanus booster yesterday (this dumb arse forgot her last one was in 2003 so I said, sure - go ahead and give me one it's not MY $ and then later checked my records). And I'm not too stiff because I stupidly fell out of what I call the hole, the opening into the storage area that runs the length of the house in the basement which is about 6 feet above ground, and I should have waited until DH was around, but I just HAD to have the Christmas tree skirt when I WANTED it, and hurt my right wrist and shoulder. Okay, turning 50 did not make me smarter. My mom would tell me, for someone who is so intelligent, you certainly can be pretty stupid sometimes. Yep, she would have loved yesterday. Well, I look at it this way, now I know, tetanus shots - birthdays, 50, 60, 70, and so on. And I probably will try to get into the hole by myself again.

And it snowed yesterday. It's that pellet snow, dry, kinda like sand, or maybe like non pariell candy balls. Doesn't stick together, blows like crazy, and it's cold. We did go out in it last night and get a beautiful Christmas tree, which is in the garage right now, because I didn't want the snow melting on the carpet. Boy does the garage smell great.

I met my friend Leanne at the Corner Bakery for lunch yesterday. I have to show you what she gave me for my birthday which made me laugh! First of all, let's talk about the card. I have been in law enforcement for 19 years, so the old joke with the 3 caballeros "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" has been a favorite and gets mentioned every once in a while. So when I saw this card I roared. These women have hanks of yarn for their bandoleers and needles stuck in them, and inside it reads, "Swatches? We don't need no stinkin' swatches!" And they have needles stuck in their pockets as if they had holsters on. TOO FUNNY!!!!!! And so definitely me.
And then we get to the gift. Do you see what it is? It is a silver flask with some knitting on it! Two knitting needles, some knitting and a ball of yarn. It holds three shots of what will be in my case Baileys. Just what every well - equipped yarn bag needs don't you think? This other picture shows the knitting picture on the flask better. I don't know where she found this, but it was perfect. She did warn me she had a nasty card for me, but that was for after I turned 50. Remember, Leanne, is the nice one, always sooooo thoughtful!
Here is the progress on the hoodie - three inches and counting. I'm on size 5s right now and will soon be changing to size 6s when I get out of the ribbing. I should get a lot of knitting done today because DH and the boys changed my birthday plans and are taking me first to breakfast and then somewhere else. So no zoo lights tonight. I'll let you know what we ended up doing. I think the flask will be tucked in the knitting bag just in case we go somewhere cold.
Well, I still have some quiet time to myself before the boys and the sun come up. Enjoy your day!
Happy Half Century Birthday to Me!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Last day...

It's four in the morning, okay make that quarter to five in the morning, but I have been up since four, walking around the house, digging through tubs in the yarn room, winding yarn. Four, why you say?

First of all, I think I woke up so early was that I was expecting to see snow, and since I have major running around to do today with having to drop the boys off at school, get to my physical, get to work, meet the girls to knit at lunch, back out on the road to get the girls picture taken (mammogram), I just did not want to see a lot of snow, and if was there I better start shoveling. And it's not snowing. Hmm, being the weather nerd I am - I love the Weather Channel and Weather Stories, I'm going to have to check out local on the eights and see if they lied, or if this storm is going to hit later. Oh, it's snowing in Barrow, Alaska, doesn't help me here.

Second, I am used to waking up early, although lately, I just haven't wanted to. (I am trying to cast on a sweater as I type this, and it is just not working too well as I am trying to cast on in pattern). Okay, I don't need to be casting on a sweater, but it is the last hurrah sweater, the last sweater cast on in my 40s. So this baby is being cast on today, I didn't even buy new yarn - that's why I was digging through the tubs, I KNEW that I had something suitable and I did. 1320 yards of Blackwater Abbey in the blue, I can't remember the name right now, will check the color card, but Marilyn, if this turns out like I think, you are so going to want this for your shows (smile). Cute, modern, fitted hoodie. Cables, buttons. It's a great pattern - wish it was mine.

Okay, back to the weather, oh 22 degrees and they still say snow. I just walked to the front door and looked out, hmm, nothing.

Pictures, I think I have one. Let's cast on a few more stitches while I look, where am I 66 - stitches? Found the color card, okay what color is this, would help if I didn't only have the one light on, hmm, it looks like Bluestack. I wonder how fast I can knit this? I need to finish DH's too. Decisions, decisions. Thank goodness I did not commit to any Christmas knitting!

Here's the picture. That is my new Della Q knitting bag. Isn't it nice? I like it because it goes great with my mainly black, boring work attire. The knitting is some chunky Misty Alpaca that I turned into a real cute hat out of one ball.

I'm so hungry. Can't eat until after my physical because of the cholesterol test. I'm thinking french fries.

Well, I am going to finish casting this baby on, knit a few rows, and then start the morning. Enjoy. Less than 24 hours until I'm a half century old!

Friday, December 07, 2007

I'm not Scrooge, but I don't have the spirit...

Are you in the mood for the holidays? I am not and it’s already the 10th of December. St. Nicklaus day has come and gone, Christmas will be here in 15 days. We went to our annual Christmas program at church, which I enjoyed very much. I have been to two Christmas parties, and one of the Friday grazings at my other office was this past Friday, and yet, I am not in the mood.

Kind of like my knitting. I have bounced restlessly from one project to another this weekend, started three different socks and ripping out two. I finished a mobius and I don’t like the finishing and I will rip that out too, but for now it is banished to the yarn room. I pulled out a cardigan to work on, the tangled yoke, and put it back. I am doing some mitered squares, because they are mindless. Nothing has my attention.

Maybe it’s because it’s my last week to be in my 40s, and I think my birthday will be a bust. Always seems to happen. And I don’t think it’s selfish to expect that one day a year will be all about me. 1 out of 365. DH and I had a blow out at dinner Friday night, the kids are on my nerves, and I don’t feel like working. Some kind of December malaise. I’m feeling blah, its cold outside and cold in my office.

And I feel bad for DH even though I am mad at him. His second cousin, who grew up with his dad (DH’s dad died 10 years ago), got sick with what was thought to be pneumonia. And he has been in the hospital, and in a drug induced coma, and they did a biopsy on his lungs because no medicines were working. And unbeknownst to the doctors, he had a series of strokes, which were masked by the pain medication. So this man, who my husband hunts with every year, and through a mess up, didn’t get to hunt with last month, is never expected to awaken. Pretty crappy.
So I am just blah. But I did go to Chicago last week to celebrate my friend Terry’s retirement. Here’s a picture of our table, Terry is the one that looks like Harry Connick Jr. I even had a good hair day. After the party, I took a cab over to Loopy Yarns where a new Della Q knitting bag was purchased. And I bought some chunky alpaca for a cap, and some Monica Ferris fiction books that I enjoy reading (they are set in a needlework shop in MN).

Oh, and my friend gave me a beautiful silver and gold David Yurman bracelet. He saw it a few months ago and the chains looked like knitting to him, so he bought it for me. And he is right. He was way too extravagant, but I love the bracelet.

Tim Tebow won the Heismann. The voters got it right. A fine young man, a great athlete, a strong Christian, and a great role model. His parents must be so proud.

I hope you are having a good December and are enjoying the holidays. I’m looking for that Christmas spirit. Can’t seem to find it yet.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Off to the Windy City

A day trip. A quick fly in and out of the Windy City. I am going to my buddy's retirement lunch. My best bud from work, another attorney from Chicago that I became fast friends with after a walk on a beach during a lightning storm in Miami. (No one said attorneys have common sense!)

I miss him. We traveled a lot together, teaching updates in the law to agents. Terry is such a class act, I love him to death. You know, they say, a friend is someone who can see through you and still enjoys the show. That's us. We can say absolutely anything to each other and never think badly of the other person. We are buds.

So I am off to Chicago for his party tomorrow. I am going to relax, knit on the plane, have a cocktail or two and enjoy the day. I know I will be talking at the lunch, and I will do my darnest not to cry, but I probably will.

So DH's sleeves will be joining me, along with another yet to be determined project. And if I have enough time, I'll be stopping at Loopy Yarns on State Street, a shop I like to visit when I am in the Windy City. No time, I'm afraid for some good Chicago pizza. Hmm, next time.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I surrender

Okay, there is no way it is going to happen. I finished the back of DH's sweater and had to rip out 30 or more rows of the front because I wasn't paying attention and didn't decrease 16 stitches. So there is no way this baby will be done by the 6th.

Finished FOs - let's see, the back of the sweater, one sock, and one scarf. Pretty pitiful pickings I am afraid. There has been too much knitting on too many projects for any of them to be finished. I think December might be a good finishing month. We saw see...

I lost most of today for knitting because I went to bed with a headache and woke up with a migraine. It's been a while since this girl has lost her cookies, but this one was so bad, it happened. I still have some pain floating around my head, but nothing like this morning. My doctor had wanted me to go 2 weeks without headache medicine to try to get rid of the rebounds, but I only made it 4 days. Oh well, tomorrow I start over.

Well, I have 2 cuffs to cast on, and not much desire to knit right now. Have a good night.
P.S. Like the new slippers? They are so comfortable, and of course the sheep are adorable!