Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Year Wiser?

Another year in the books folks.  Yes, my birthday was yesterday.  I look in the mirror sometimes and find it hard to believe that I am this old, but again there are days that I feel like I am closer to 80, and then there are days that I feel like I was back in college at the University of Florida - usually when some song comes on and I start dancing around the house or singing at the top of my lungs in the car.  By the way, you will be glad that my singing is by myself in the car, because this girl is not known for her ability to sing.

Well, first things first, let me finish my countdown of books read since my last birthday.  I did quite well with this goal of mine - I wanted to read at least 26 books during the year.  And the final count since December 15, 2009:

45.  The Quilter's Kitchen by Jennifer Chiaverini
46.  A Quilter's Holiday by Jennifer Chiaverini
47.  While My Pretty One Knits by Anne Canadeo
48.  Knit, Purl, Die by Anne Canadeo

Not too bad, almost averaged a book a week, which is something since I always tend to be knitting in my spare time.  So, I am going to continue with my reading goal for next year, and since I finished a book last night -

Books read since December 15, 2010:
1.  High Five by Janet Evanovich

I need to place a library hold on the next book in the series - Hot Six.  I also have 6 or more library books checked out, and some of them are in the quilt series by Earlene Fowler.  So I have plenty to read for the next few weeks.

Knitting wise, well, not very much in the way of progress over the past year.  I think I have ripped out more projects in the past year than I have ever ripped out before.  I don't know if this is due to my perfectionist attitude when it comes to knitting, my inability to decide on sizes for myself when it comes to sweaters (and I know this is due to body changes as we girls get older if you know what I mean), or boredom with projects. 

I have been on a sock kick lately which is strange for me since I consider myself a sweater knitter.  I have been knitting with some really nice sock yarns lately - Madeline Tosh, Casbah Sock by Handmaiden, and one of the nicest yarns that just feels so great in the hands - Serenity 20 by Zen Yarn Garden.  I have a couple of books that I want to knit many pairs of socks out of - Wendy Johnson's books and of course Cookie A's.  And since I have an enormous sock yarn stash, I have plenty to keep me going on my quest to finish at least one pair per month.

Shoulder update - Well I go back to the surgeon this morning.  I do not have a full range of motion back, but it is improving.  The hardest thing for me is so far I cannot use my poles while skiing,or it sends a jolt up the arm into the shoulder.  We went 2 weeks ago, and using my poles on the flats at the lift lines hurt.  I am getting a little concerned because we have plans to ski for six days straight.  Oh well, I can always go knit while DH skis and the kids are in ski school right?

Next year I would like to go to some knitting events that I haven't attended in the past - maybe the Taos Wool festival, and some others.  So no Madrona or Stitches West for me in 2011, although I might go to Stitches East or who knows Rhinebeck.

Knitting goals, well to take a page from Jasmin over at the Knitmore Girls, Kathy 2011 is going to be about finishing projects and knitting socks.  Identify the ones I really want done and get to them.  I am still on a cable kick and also color work, and have many beautiful sweaters in the queue.  So, let's see what Kathy 2011 can accomplish.

Job - I love working for the Judge.  Let's just say I have NEVER worked in such a nice environment (now I am talking the people I am working with, not some of the crazies who are getting divorced or have child support or maintenance issues).  She doesn't knit, but appreciates the things I work on.  She makes jewelry which is lovely.  And I have NEVER had a boss who treated me so kindly on my birthday and I have only worked for her for almost 3 months.    So, thank you Judge. 

That's about it for the update.  I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Socks again

Last night I cast on a pair of vanilla socks.  We had hosted Thanksgiving and even though I had high hopes for knitting on a Dale sweater, there wasn't much chance of that happening.  As it was, I cooked and baked for most of the day, and didn't sit down to knit until after dinner.  Earlier in the morning, I had decided to dig through the sock yarn stash and find something I wanted to knit with.  I found numerous skeins of Opal printed sock yarn.

Now, I have patterns for some of this yarn, but most of them involve using 72 stitches, and that creates a sock that is much too big for this girl's size 6 1/2 feet.  So I just grabbed some Opal and some size 0s, cast on 64 stitches and away I went.  So far there's about 3 1/2 inches knit.  Brainless potato chip knitting which I haven't done in a while.

So, I decided to start a year of socks.  Now, there is no way that I would ever join the 52 pair plunge, because frankly, I like knitting sweaters too much, and socks are always way down on my knitting list.  But, I was thinking - how many pairs of hand knitted socks do I have in my sock drawer?  And the answer was a big, fat Zero.  The only hand made socks in there are hand-cranked socks, and they weren't even made by me, even though I have a sock knitting machine.  So, I have decided, a year of knitting socks - minimum of one pair finished per month.  That's one sock every 2 weeks, and if I feel adventerous, I can shoot for knitting a sock a week. 

And I will confess that this won't even put a dent in my sock yarn stash.  But sock yarn doesn't count - right?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Whew, been a while hasn't it?

It has been a long time since I posted to the blog. You know what's wierd - Blogger posted this with the wrong date - it is November 7, 2010. My surgery was about 6 weeks ago, and on Thursday I went back to the surgeon, and she told me that I was going to hurt for a while. She said, you know I really jacked it up in there and it needs to heal and that she had filed the ends of 2 bones, and had to cut part of a tendon to get to one of the bones she needed to work on. But, I am released to go to physical therapy finally, so I am happy about that. I asked her when I could ski, and she said whenever I want. But she also said, you have a season pass, it's not like you spent $100 a day to go skiing, and if your shoulder can only handle one run, so be it. And, she told me not to over do things. I will tell you that I can feel the changes in atmospheric pressure and there are days when it just aches. But, I am hoping for a shoulder that is much stronger than it was, so we shall see.

Another thing has happened since I posted. I have a job. Yes, that's right, Miss Retired is working. DH and I have things we want to do, and possibly things to purchase and I decided to look for a job. That wasn't fun, because basically I was over-qualified for just about anything I applied for, so no interviews. Then I found the job. I only wanted to work part time during the day. I am now working as a Law Clerk for a Family Law Judge in Castle Rock. 20 hours a week - two and a half days a week. Perfect. I like the Judge, she's very well respected in her field, and she really was excited that I came to work for her. Perfect. And I get to say "All rise" when I go into the courtroom with her.

Knitting. Hmm, well, again lots of ripping going on. But, I went to A Knitted Peace yesterday to get some Heilo colors for some of my Dale sweaters and I am going to work on Dales for a while. I had cast on one during the week, but there was no way one of the accent colors (50g) was enough to complete the bottom casing and then have enough for the accents in the color work. So I ripped out 2 days worth of knitting on the St. Moritz 2003 sweater and bought some more Heilo. And because I was irritated and my friend Robin liked this sweater when I showed it to her, I cast on sweater Nr. 10003 from the Dale Nr. 100 book instead of the St. Moritz. Back to knitting what feels like the never-ending casing, but I am hoping maybe to get to color work today.

Let's not talk about sock knitting, because I ripped 2 pairs out recently...

I missed going on my annual fall knitting retreat this year because the kids were on fall break and we had planned on going out of state until I found out I had to have shoulder surgery. That makes me sad, I love going and hanging out and knitting. I ended up taking the boys up to their great uncle's ranch near Laramie. Even hit two yarn stores including Cowgirl Yarns in Laramie.

Well that's about it except for updating my reading list of books I have read since my birthday last December:

36. The Quilter's Legacy by Jennifer Chiaverini
37. The Master Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini
38. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
39. Family Ties by Danielle Steele
40. The Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
41. The Christmas Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
42. Circle of Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini
43. The Quilter's Homecoming by Jennifer Chiavereini
44. The New Years Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I did it....

I had shoulder surgery Tuesday afternoon. The MRI had shown that the tendon was really thin so it was time to do something about it. And I am glad I did. The bone spur had shredded the tendon and I was lucky that I wasn't skiing or doing something and the tendon ripped in two. So the bone spur was removed, work was done to regenerate the tendon and I believe there was some bone shaved off the end of my back shoulder too.

So I am sore and not much knitting has been going on. The pain pump came out this morning, I finally could take a shower, and I picked up some knitting because I need to use my arm. So there has been some slow knitting going on, but I am knitting. I have been knitting with an ice pack on my shoulder. I get my stitches out in the first part of October and there will be some work to get this shoulder in shape, but I have hope it will be better than ever. And ready for ski season :)

And hopefully pain free...

Books read since December 15th, 2009:

31. The Cross Country Quilters by Jennifer Chiaverini
32. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
33. Skein of the Crime by Maggie Sefton
34. Eggs Benedict Arnold by Laura Childs
35. Round Robin by Jennifer Chiaverini

Monday, September 06, 2010

Whole Lot of Ripping Going On

About 10 days ago I decided to clean out the yarn room. So, out it all came. Every tub of yarn, projects that were on the bed (okay it is guest room but you would have to "find" the bed under all the yarn and projects to sleep in it), yarn that was in the tall boy dresser and yarn that was on the floor. Books, patterns, magazines. I didn't go through the yarn and projects in the closet - I had to stop somewhere.

And I went through everything. Some of the yarn got moved down to the basement (did I mention I have tubs of yarn down there too?) And I sorted and decided on what things I really wanted to work on.

And then I decided to rip. I ripped out single socks, shawls, cowls, and sweaters. I even ripped out DH's damn sweater for maybe the 6th? time. If I wasn't happy with something - it got ripped out. A whole lot of ripping going on.

So now I am knitting on things I want to finish this year. The first is Lorelei from the Fall 2009 Twist Collective I am making it in Debbie Bliss Rialto in a lovely purple. I also have a lot of Twist Collective sweaters that I want to knit. I'm thinking that there might be quite a bit of Twist Collective and Habu fall knitting done this year.

Still getting vegetables out of the garden. I have several ears of corn I am watching and hoping I will get to harvest before it starts to turn cold. I have cucumbers finally and an acorn squash. Never got any pumpkins and had to rip them out due to powdery mildew.

Happy Labor Day!

Books read since December 15th:

30. The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Still here...

Before I forget, books read since December 15th, 2009:
25. Oolong Dead by Laura Childs
26. Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich
27. A Body to Die For by G.A. McKevett
28. Wicked Craving by G.A. McKevett
29. Death Swatch by Laura Childs

Boy it's been a while. Funny how time flies when the boys are not in school and I am playing cruise director, trying to keep them busy and not bored. But, they went back to school on Friday, so it's time to get back into some semblance of a routine.

I am still going to physical therapy for the shoulder. Some things don't hurt as much, but the main complaint is still there along with the pain. I go back to the orthopedist at the end of the month so we shall see.

The garden is doing well. I have harvested tomatoes and green beans so far. I have tassels on the corn so now I am looking for the ears to grow. I have plenty of flowers on the squash, eggplant and pumpkin plants, but alas nothing forming from the flowers. We shall see.

Knitting, hmm. Nothing finished and not much to show for my efforts. I have been working on a linen skirt, but I am not sure of the size I am knitting. I have knit with this linen before, but the skirt looks too big, so now it is hibernating until I figure out what I want to do. I may knit up a swatch and wash it, which I have done before. I just don't know. I'm thinking I'm going to cast on some socks while I think this one over. I have some sweaters in progress but it's been so warm lately that it's hard to sit with a wool sweater on your lap. I'm ready for fall so I can knit what I want.

Well, not a very exciting post, but that's all I have for now.....

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Shoulder It

I guess I never really thought about how much you use your shoulders. Of course I have heard about baseball players throwing out their shoulders, and I dated a guy MANY years ago that had his baseball career ended in college due to shoulder problems (he was a pitcher) and have had friends tear their rotator cuffs, but I never really gave it much thought.

Until mine started to hurt. And I lost range of motion. So I had x-rays and have seen my doctor and am now going to an orthopedist next week. And what is going through my mind? This had better not interfere with my knitting. After all, it's my right shoulder, and I'm right handed. But I knit continental and I'm a left hand thrower (I know, it's weird, but that's how I knit). I'm thinking I may be okay with whatever happens.

Knitting wise, one sleeve is done on the Tangled Yoke and ready to be attached and knitted with the yoke, and the other is pretty close. I am ready to get to the interesting cabling on the yoke, because I for one and really bored with the stockinette. I also cast on a pair of of Tyrolean Stockings this past weekend. I am almost done with the leg of the first one. Worsted weight on 3mm. Pretty stiff right now, I am interested to see how they soften up after washing.

Gardening, well I have harvested 2 fingerling tomatoes. First veggies of the season. The garden tarp has come in quite handy and so far has gone up three times in the past month. Thank goodness we put it up on the 4th of July because we had hail ranging in size from nickle to quarter size. And nothing got shredded in the vegetable garden (we won't talk about my roses or my hosta).

Reading, well I have a couple books that I am reading, but nothing finished to report today. Enjoy your week!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

July Already?

Oh my, July 1st already. Half of the year is past. Whoa, how did that happen?

Before I forget to post this, books read since December 15th, 2009:
22. Casting off by Nicole R. Dickson
23. Frill Kill by Laura Childs
24. Sweater Quest, my year of knitting dangerously by Adrienne Martini

Okay, so what have I been up to? For one, baseball and more baseball. The boys are on summer break and with both of them playing ball, we have at least two practices a week and up to four games a week. Now, I am not complaining, because can we just say PRIME KNITTING TIME? I have been working on three sweaters, my Acer cardigan, my Tangled Yoke cardigan and my Bohus. And throw in there my Par 5 socks, which I have finished and kitchnered one toe. Seriously, I have had those socks finished for a couple of weeks, so what is the deal with kitchnering the toes? Maybe tonight I'll get the other one done and cast on a new pair. That way I can start something new, and not the new sweater that I bought yarn for this week.

The new sweater, honestly I wasn't planning on buying any new yarn. The boys have been at Vacation Bible School this week at a friend's church (since ours held VBS at night which doesn't work with baseball practice) and I had a doctor's appointment near the church and needed to kill about an hour and a half. So, I thought Knitty Cat is nearby, let's stop in and look around since I haven't been in there in ages. Oh boy, she's now carrying Amy Butler fabrics (which I was good about and didn't purchase, although if she would have had Anna Maria Horner I think I would have gotten into trouble). Well, I picked up a Jean Moss pattern book and ended up purchasing Araucania Ranco for a sweater and the coolest buttons which look as if they were made for this sweater. I haven't cast it on, yet....

Gardening - well the corn is actually looking good and may hit knee high by 4th of July. I also have tomatoes and jalapenos on the plants. ALTHOUGH, I have aphids. I am not happy. They are on the tomato plants and I am using the dish soap and water method to go after them. I don't know who is winning yet, but the 2 pots on the deck which look the worst have new aphid free growth. The battle is on, and I am determined to beat these bastards.

I went to the Estes Park Wool Festival. The boys had 2 baseball games that Saturday which were canceled due to the heavy rains we were having. So, I decided to hop in the car and drive myself up to Estes. So I plugged in the Ipod and drove. I believe the only time it didn't rain was when I was going out to the car with the drum carder I purchased. Thank goodness for that reprieve, a wet drum carder would not have been good. I was on a mission to buy a fleece and ended up buying two - a Jacob fleece to knit a sweater for my son and a CVM. I debated processing the fleeces myself, but ended up shipping them to Morro Fleece Works to have them made into pin drafted roving. I'll spin them when I feel my skills are at the level I want. DH did give me crap about buying a drum carder and not processing the fleeces. Imagine that.

I am going to do the Tour d Fleece this year and my only goal is to spin every day and work on my skills. I am still frustrated and hoping for this beautiful handspun that friends of mine produce, but they have been spinning for years. I need to have patience....

Well, that's it for now. Happy July everyone!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


The garden is in. And, I might be losing the corn. What can you do? I grew seeds in the house, and then transplanted them in the garden. And then the wind blew. And blew, and blew. I'll give it some more time, and I may even plant some seeds out there. But what is the adage, corn needs to be knee high by the 4th of July? Last year it grew too slow, and here I thought I was ahead of the game. Oh, this veggie gardener is learning a lot. But, I still have beans, lima beans, peas, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, white eggplant, acorn squash, yellow squash, greens, basil, chives and spinach. Oh, and jalapenos and pumpkins.

Knitting - well I am on a sweater quest of sorts. I have several sweaters in my queue this year to knit. The first one I hope to have off the needles is my Acer Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. This is a relatively new pattern and I am knitting it out of Dream in Color Classy in Midnight Derby, which is a gorgeous kettle dyed midnight blue. I am looking forward to wearing this with a white Tee and dark washed jeans. I started it on May 27th and I am 25% completed. I am almost to the arm holes so I can split for the fronts and the back. The next sweater in line might either be color work or intarsia, or a Bohus. Not sure yet, but some sort of color work is high on the list.

I am teaching knitting again at String in Highlands Ranch. I am going to be teaching a three part cast-on series, and going through as many cast-ons as we can cover in each session. I taught a three hour version of this a few weeks ago and my "students" gave me the feedback that covering as many cast-ons as I did in one setting kind of over whelmed them. So, I am splitting it into 3 two hour sessions.

Spinning, well, I need to concentrate on my spinning. I received a sampler of various fibers in a swap and I need to find time to sit down and spin. I'm thinking if I shoot for 10 to 15 minutes a day I will end up spinning for more than that and get some consistency going. I also have some nice braids of fiber to spin, plus some carded fleece that I need to spin. I was debating going to Estes Park next weekend to buy a fleece, but I'm thinking I have a lot of fiber already and I should concentrate on it.

DH and I went to San Francisco for four days without the boys. Can you say that we had a great time? We have not been out of state by ourselves since before children. We had so much fun. We rode the cable cars and muni everywhere, had a private boat tour out on the bay, ate good food and saw good friends. Oh, and it was our anniversary.

That's about all to catch up with. Time to take the boys over to the pool.

I signed up for the summer reading program at the library along with the boys. I only have to read four books. Easy peasy.

Books read since December 15th:
19. Silver Needle Mystery by Laura Childs
20. Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich
21. Cat of the Century by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

That's 21 books in 24 weeks. What was it, did I want to read 26 books this year? I need to go back and check.

By the way, I finished my Rockies purple Sasha Skirt. You can see it here on Ravelry:
The picture is from DH's and my trip to San Francisco. I'm in the elevator in the Queen Anne Hotel where we were staying.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rocks, Rocks and more Rocks

I have been moving rocks. You know the kind, the landscape river rocks that range between a quarter and a half dollar size, along with the bigger ones around the edge. And, it's not fun. Moving rocks is very hard on the hands, and your knees and back. And this area of rocks has about four to six inches deep of the stuff. So why am I moving it?

For my garden.

You see, I was hoping to get a plot in the open space garden. But, it appears so was everyone else. And, I was too far down on the waiting list. And I want my vegetable garden. Last year I had such high hopes, but to be honest, my best crop was the tomatoes. And this year I started seeds (which are getting very tall by the way). I planted pumpkins, cucumbers, yellow squash, spinach, basil, tomatoes, green beans, peas, catnip, cat grass, corn, jalapenos, strawberries, numerous greens, cauliflower, broccoli, the list goes on. And now I need a place to plant them. And let me tell you, my garden plot from the past seven years just is not going to cut it. I need room for all of this.

So, I'm moving rock, after rock, after rock. And it's supposed to snow tonight, so I worked out there for two hours this morning until I couldn't take it anymore. I still have rocks to move, and then till the soil, amend the soil, place the boundary wood, build supports for the chicken wire to keep the bunnies out, and then, plant my plants. Which are getting tall. But we are supposed to have snow. I may have a jungle in the toy room where the seeds are in the sun before they finally get planted. And can we just say I BETTER BE HARVESTING VEGETABLES BESIDES TOMATOES!

Knitting, well, I'm knitting on a skirt, a pair of socks (okay yes you all may laugh but I am going to turn into a 2nd sock knitter one of these days and finish up some of the pairs in the yarn room), numerous sweaters and a secret project. Yes, I should be knitting, instead of sitting here on the computer at the library.

Another book read since December 15th. Yes, another murder mystery.
18. Motif For Murder by Laura Childs

At least I'm not moving rocks right now.

Monday, May 03, 2010

It's May

First of all, let's start with the books I have read before I forget what number I'm on, so books read since December 15th:

14. Photo Finished by Laura Childs
15. Bound for Murder by Laura Childs
16. Days of Gold by Jude Deveraux
17. How to Knit a Love Song by Rachael Herron

So what have you been up to? I went on a few trips during the latter part of April. The first trip was to Yarnover. I am a member of the Minnesota Knitter's Guild and I attended this annual event. Yarnover has been held for the past 22 years. It is a one day class and market event. They bring in numerous teachers such as Meg Swansen, Cat Bordhi, Lily Chin, Beth Brown-Riensel and so on to teach classes at this event and you can sign up for a 3 hour morning class and a 3 hour afternoon class. There is also a market with indie yarn dyers, local shops and farms who bring in fiber and other goodness. I took 2 classes, one was 7 Ways to Make or Break a Sweater with Margaret Fisher and Photographing your Stash with Franklin Habit. Both classes were good, however the class with Margaret was a bit below my skill level. It was aimed more towards newer sweater knitters. The class with Franklin Habit was great. He knows his stuff and is a very good speaker.

The following week I headed off to Atlanta with Leanne and we attended Stitches South. We took an excellent Intarsia class with Jane Slicer-Smith and an informative Knitting Ergonomics Class with Carson Deemers. We enjoyed spending time with Susan and Liz from Fine Points and of course bought items from them. We bought scored some Sanguine Gryphon yarns (we hit that booth first at the market) but mine were for gifts. All in all a good time.

So projects. I am on an Intarsia, Rowan, Jane Slicer-Smith, Habu and Maggie Jackson kick right now, along with knitting with Louet linen. Three of my top projects are coats, one being a Rowan, mid-calf length Intarsia masterpiece. Can you say not travel knitting? Let's just say I have PLENTY of projects in the queue and that I want to wear.

My garden. Well, I am expanding the garden in the back yard and I planted seeds that are inside until at least after Mother's Day. With these snow pellet showers we have been having, I am not putting anything in the ground yet. So, I have lots of seeds sprouting. The radishes, cauliflower, broccoli and greens have sprouted. I am still waiting on the cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, spinach, etc. I also planted some flower seeds, but where these are going in the yard remains to be seen.

Well, that's about all for now. Can you believe it's been a year since I retired?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Can you say Yarn Diet?

Today is April 10th, 2010. And I am on a Yarn Diet. So for the foreseeable future (except for already allotted purchases at Yarnover and Stitches South which will be budgeted), unless someone gifts me yarn, or I have a gift card, there will be NO yarn purchases. Matter of fact, there won't be purchases of much of anything else by me.

Why? In a nutshell Taxes. And the bill is something that is a lot more than I thought. Enough that I will probably look for employment. So much for retirement. But I need to be realistic and I want this taken care of in the most expeditious manner possible. So, I'm getting a job.

So, stash diving will be the order of the day. And I'm starting with my stash of Black Water Abbey. Lots of sweaters waiting to be knit. So today I sorted through the stash. All the BWA is now segregated and in two tubs that I can easily get my hands on.

Now I just have to figure out what sweaters I want to knit out of what color. See, a diet can be a good thing. Goodness knows, I don't need any more sock or lace weight.

Time to look at patterns...

Books read since December 15th, 2009:

12. Keepsake Crimes by Laura Childs
13. Dragonwell Dead by Laura Childs

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Been a while

Wow, a month since I last posted. Well, I know I have done some reading because I have books to add to the reading list:

9. Blood Orange Brewing by Laura Childs
10. Double Black, A Ski Diva Mystery by Wendy Clinch
11. Lavender Morning by Jude Deverauux

And I have been knitting, but with a whole lot of ripping going on. You see, I am enamoured with Maggie Jackson patterns. I have her book Maggie's Ireland, and besides drooling over the pictures and wanting to go to Ireland to see it for myself, I love her designs. Mainly because they are unique. I have yarn to make many of her things in the stash (okay so I know that is NOT a surprise) and I recently bought yarn for her most recent design that was in the Stitches West fashion show - a suit comprised of a skirt, tunic and shawl in a light pink linen with angora and silver. Oh, it is pretty.

So I have been knitting and ripping, trying to get gauge with the Maggi's Linen. Sigh...
After reading the boards in her group, I have decided the heck with the row gauge and just knit the number of inches required in each stitch pattern and go with the stitch gauge. And I'm working on another suit first in natural linen, with white and silver. Let's see how it goes. I really want to wear these suits. Oh, I have a coat to knit also, and another wrap and 2 tops. Yes, I like her designs.

Now I just need to knit them.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How can it be almost March?

Okay, how can this be? It's the last week of February. Now granted, my butt has been glued to the television ever since the Olympics started. I love watching the Olympics and it's hard to find a sport in the winter games that I don't want to watch. I've even watched some of the USA curling games. So yes, I like them all, especially the Alpine events.

And, I participated in the Ravelympics and already have been awarded two medals - one for the event hat half pipe and one for the event cable. And I am finishing up my Cavendish today, so that will get me a medal in event WIPS dancing. So, not too bad. I have been trying to get a lot of projects finished this month. So far I have finished projects totally over a mile of yarn. (Not that puts even the smallest dent in the stash...)

Speaking of the stash, I am off to Stitches West this week. Meeting up with the girls that flew out to California today. I don't care if it rains all weekend, I'm going to have some fun. Yarn, a knitting class, a fashion show, and hanging with friends, who could ask for more?

I am still keeping up with the reading, as a matter of fact I am at the library right now.

Books read since December 15th:

7. Chamomile Mourning by Laura Childs

8. Dropped Dead Stitch by Maggie Sefton

See a pattern here? Almost all are mysteries. I love mysteries.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A sad farewell

I miss Cochise. He was a beautiful, golden, Maine Coon cat who came into my life in April 1995. He left us on February 13, 2010. Bye buddy. You were a good friend.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tedious and boring

I'm not a swatcher. I'm one of those knitters that jumps right into projects on a wing and a prayer, hoping that the finished, washed and blocked object is what I originally wanted. And for the most part I end up with what I wanted. Not swatching, well it's probably that I don't have much patience. Now, don't get me wrong, I can sit and knit for hours. I can untangle the worst tangled up mess of yarn and not throw it away. I just want to start the project when I want to start it. And not knit a tension square, that needs to be washed and blocked.

But I have been doing a lot of ripping out lately and it is not because the project as finished is not what I want. Rather it is because I'm not liking what I am turning out on the needles. I think I have ripped out 4 sweaters recently. I knit and knit, and then look at the sweater and say, nope, not liking what I am seeing. Not this sweater in this yarn. Or not the feel that I was going for. A lot of dissatisfaction.

So, I'm doing some tension squares with different needles that I might use on some projects. And stick a needle in my eye, it's boring!!! Well, at least I'm not ripping.

Books read since December 15th:

3. The Jasmine Moon Murder by Laura Childs
4. Swine Not? A Novel Pig Tale by Jimmy Buffett
5. U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
6. One Day at a Time by Danielle Steel

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cinderella and Chili

I started reading when I was very young. Before I started school, I could read. I was enamored with books. I would ride my little blue bicycle to the library and check out books. As many as I was allowed to take home. I always participated in the summer reading program, usually finishing the required number of books in record time. You know the programs, read 5 books or ten books. I would read 20 or more. Books took me to places I had never been. And books taught me most of what I know about knitting.

I started knitting when I was 5 years old. I knew how to do the knit stitch, and I knit miles of garter stitch. Then my 3rd grade teacher taught me how to purl. We were allowed to bring hobbies to school on certain days to work on. And of course, I brought my knitting (by the way, my friend brought her crocheting and that's when I learned to crochet. She was making a ripple afghan.) Anyway, back to my story. Luckily for me, my teacher was a knitter too. She took the time and taught me how to purl and the door was opened. And I started checking out knitting books from the public library. I learned almost everything I know about knitting from those books I brought home. I poured over those books. I knit clothes for my dolls. If a store was going out of business, I would talk my parents into going in, and I would go look to see if there were any knitting needles on sale. I probably had a complete set of needles by the time I was ten years old in every size. Nothing scared me about knitting, because if I made a mistake, I ripped it out. I learned a lot of things by making mistakes and reading those books. You know, I never took a knitting class until I was 40 years old and went to Stitches West. And wow, who would have known they offered knitting classes?

Anyway, why am I thinking about this? My recent project reminded me of a book I checked out when I was a child. I would often check out books by the Brother's Grimm. And I loved Cinderella. In the book, Cinderella gets a blue dress from her fairy godmother. And that dress was trimmed in ermine. Oh, did I want a dress like that. And a floor length cape. Oh, a girl could dream....

So, in the past week, I cast on the Shawl of Cables from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2009. I had purchased some Alpaca with a Twist Highlander and in colorway 0096 Birch. And when I cast on the shawl, that's when I noticed it. I was knitting my cape, well shawl in yarn that looked like ermine. And it took me back. Back to my little blue bicycle, and checking out books, and Cinderella's blue dress trimmed in ermine, and imagining being a princess. Hmm...

I still love libraries. I'm sitting in one right now. With my sons. A great place to be.

Books read since my birthday:

#2. The Purrfect Murder, A Mrs. Murphy Mystery, by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

And what does chili have to do with Cinderella? Well, nothing really, except I made white chili in the crock pot today. And it's at home finishing up. I really don't even like chili, but this is white chili. And I threw a half can of chopped jalapenos in it. The boys said it was good, but hot when I gave them a taste test before we left for the library. And, I'm thinking I might like this chili.

1 lb chicken, cut into small pieces Soy sauce (to coat chicken, about 2 TBSP)
48 oz jar Great Northern Beans
14-16 oz jar salsa (w/ corn & black beans works great)
8 oz Monterey Jack Cheese
8 oz Pepper Jack Cheese
1 soup-sized can of chicken broth 1-2 tsp cumin (to taste)
Directions: If you have time, coat chicken in soy sauce and bake at 350 until cooked through.

I would add the jalapenos.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I heard an interview the other day that got me thinking. It was an interview of Barbara G. Walker. You know The Barbara Walker of A Treasury of Knitting Patterns fame? Or Knitting from the Top? An amazing woman, who sleeps 4 to 6 hours a night. And she is going to be 80 years old on July 2nd!

In her interview she stated that she didn't learn how to knit until I think she said 35. It was her practice to learn something new every winter. She would go to the library and basically give herself a course on a topic. For instance, she studied architecture. And one of the winters, she taught herself to knit.

And I was thinking, what a wonderful thing to do. Take the time, when the earth is taking a rest, and learn something new. For you see, I have been a bit of a procrastinator in the past few years. I think it started when I was beginning to get burned out at work, and it spilled into my personal life. Which is strange for me, because in the past when I wanted to do something, well, I just did it. I decided to go to grad school and get an MBA and I did. I thought I could pass the CPA exam, so I took classes while working full time and took the exam and passed. I decided to become an attorney, and went to law school at night for 4 years while I was working 50 hours or more a week, and I finished and passed the California bar, one of the 3 hardest bar exams. So I have a history of taking on challenges and meeting them.

But somewhere in the past few years, things have changed. It's not like I haven't wanted to do things, because that certainly is not the case. It's just that I have had ideas, with little or no follow through.

So, I am going to borrow a page from the formidable Ms. Walker, and take on a challenge. I have signed up for photography classes, both through the local community college, and through the camera store, and I am going to learn about photography and how to take pictures with the new camera this winter. I am also doing another project, one that will cause me to do research at the library, complete assignments and accept criticism. I am not going to say what this project is, because it's something I want to keep to myself for a while. But, I did go to the library today. And I did do some reading today for my project. I have some other things to do to get the ball rolling. I have a starting point. And I have taken the first step.

I have accepted the challenge. Let the adventure begin!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

10 in 2010

Happy 2010 everyone! A new decade. It's hard to believe it has been 10 years since the Millenium.

Like the new picture? DH and I were skiing on this trail at Steamboat Springs the past few days. It was so beautiful up there, lots of new powder and we all had a great time. The boys had fun in ski school, and DH and I had three days of uninterrupted skiing. Can I just say I love ski school?

I'm not setting any New Years resolutions, but I am setting some goals. And I like 10 in 2010. Finish at least 10 pairs of socks. Knit at least 10 rows on a sock a day. Put at least 1o things away when I pick things up when I see the house is getting messy (what am I saying - it is messy). Lose 10 pounds. Get rid of 10 old emails when I start deleting emails. 10 in 2010 is easy to remember.

I started my book reading project and have finished book #1 - The English Breakfast Murder by Laura Childs. I'm enjoying reading her series "The Tea Shop Mysteries." I need to start reading the Bible to accomplish reading it in a year. I have a One Year Bible, which gives you the date and what you are to read. I need to read 12 pages today to catch up since it wasn't with me at Steamboat, and then I should be on track.

Well, I have tons of laundry to do today and I'm thinking I'm going to bake some banana bread. And there is football, reading and knitting on the agenda for today.

Happy 2010!