Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Today we have a SKP.
(standard knitting post)

First, we have FO's.

Boo! It's a Booga Bag. Guess what's inside! More Noro because now I have to make another one (I think mom needs one). This is the quickest gratification for a knitter that I have found.

Here is one sock. I love the pattern, love the yarn (Lisa Souza in Merino Sock! in Can't Elope), but it is very tiny and the pattern is very futzy, I don't want to tear it out and start the futzy pattern over, so I have started a different sock and this one is going to be making froggy sounds very soon. (Isn't is pretty though?)

Here we have a new purchase from This is gorgeous. 2007 is going to be a great year for socks at our house!

So, earlier this week we had deep, today we have knitting, later this week we are going to have frivolous because Scarrgo over at Cats & Yarn has inspired me to create a playlist (since she has taunted me with her own creation, which I was rockin' out to in the car today.)

Peace out!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Nesco Roaster
(Or...What I Am Thankful For and My Christmas Wish.)

When I was a child, pretty much from infancy until I was twelve years old, Christmas day was all about my Grandma Julia's house. My father had three older brothers, all of them with three or more children. My father and his brothers had all been born five years apart which put 15 years between the youngest and the oldest. My dad was the youngest (and the cutest, evidently, my older girl cousins used to swoon about Uncle Ray because he looked like a movie star.) However, the net result of my father being fifteen years younger than his oldest brother is that my oldest cousins were in their late teens by the time I came around. There were still plenty of cousins my age to make Christmas day one of those year-round, frantically anticipated holidays for me.

Grandma Julia was the cook, and she grew up on a farm, so Sunday lunch at her house meant two meats, three vegetables, potatoes and bread. She was diagnosed with diabetes when I was ten due to her lifelong eating habits. Well, her eating habits and genetics, I imagine. So imagine what Christmas dinner was like. The turkey in the oven and the Nesco roaster in the basement with the ham. Yams and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes - all made liberally with butter. Homemade pickles and olives, cookies and baked breads (spice and banana breads).

There was the bun warmer. You heard me. An appliance made solely to keep the yeasty yummies warm. A buffet line was set up in the basement, we lined up in the laundry room (by the deep freeze where she kept Eskimo Pies) and meandered our way under the stairs (past Grandpa's workshop where he aged the black walnuts and made apple wine) and out into the rec room. (Grandpa was from Quebec, so everything was "Up dere, eh?", and my dad, who was a Firefighter, worked at the Fire Barn. Grandpa Andy taught me to say the Hail Mary in French when I was three years old, all I remember now is Ave Maria.) The four brothers (my Dad and three Uncles) had set up two picnic tables (and moved the NHL hockey game for dinner, but until dinner the four "boys" played table hockey and drank their Hamm's out of long-neck bottles.) Russ, Art, LeRoy and Ray. They would sneak us kids beer sips from their long-necks if we asked. Their wives sat in the kitchen helping Grandma Julia and herding the children around. Aunt Mary, Aunt Karen (pronounced Karn), Aunt Sherley and Aunt Pam sat at the kitchen table gossiping and smoking their cigarettes leaving the prints of their bright coral lipstick on the butts; smoke was a bluish cloud around their heads.

Grandma used to cook for Northwestern Airlines and she belonged to their Christmas Savings Club. Grandma Julia used her savings every year to buy one gift for each grandchild. There were thirteen of us, but back then it seemed like so many more. There was one present for each grandchild from Grandma Julia under her tinsel tree with the revolving light. Every year I received a Madame Alexander doll from a different country. My doll collection. Twelve years of Christmas that were a chaotic joy, and that is what I remember at Christmas time. My last chaotic Christmas happened when I was twelve.

Grandma Julie died when I was twelve from cancer, my Uncle Russie (my godfather) died shortly afterwards from a massive coronary, Uncle Donnie had a heart attack when I was fourteen and Grandpa Andrew succumbed to Leukemia when I was 18. LeRoy hung around a few more years, but he passed from liver disease when I was in my late 20's. My father passed away on November 7 of 1997. The Aunts all still live on, but Grandma Julia was the heart and soul of those Christmas Days and I have spent every year since then trying to put that heart into every Christmas celebration (it was much harder after my daddy died, but you push on.)

Several years ago I asked my mom for a Nesco Roaster for Christmas. She thought I was nuts and could not understand what I would do with a Nesco roaster, but that roaster brings me back to Grandma's basement and that chaotic joy I experienced as a child. The joy of a family living and loving life together and celebrating. So this holiday season I will be cooking in my Nesco Roaster and using Grandma's bun warmer to keep the rolls warm, even though the cord is a little dicey, I can't seem to let it go. Even though my new family does not share all of my memories, my mom, my brother and my sister will be here, we will have only eight children running wild, but I hope the chaotic joy of Christmas at Grandma Julia's will again visit a generation of children.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Village of the ....?
The Village is up! The Village is up!
I love my Christmas Village from Dept. 56.
It makes my house and spirits feel so Holiday-like. Do you know what I loathe? I loathe lugging 30+ boxes upstairs from storage (okay - so I pay a kid to do it.) I loathe the mess those little pieces of styrofoam make all over my kitchen counter and floor. Then? I have to take all those boxes BACK to the basement (okay - so I pay another kid to do it.) Still. It takes all day and much ladder climbing and dusting and plugging in and rearranging. When I'm done and it's dark and they are all twinkling and blinking, I love my Christmas Village. As a matter of fact, three years ago, the village remained up all year long. I won't do that again, although people mostly didn't notice. So here it is, my lovely Christmas Village:

So obviously, not much else going on today between the driving of the children and the placing of the Village and the driving of the children. OMG, the driving of the children.

Have yourselves a lovely little evening, will you?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What's in YOUR bag?

(knitting bag, that is.)

Well let's take a look, shall we? Let's see, here's the bag, isn't it cute?

First of all, we have my dh's Knitpick's socks, all done! We love Knitpicks, a lot. These were supposed to be U of M Gopher colors, but I think we wound up with a Viking's sock, which is kind of sad because, unfortunately the Vikings kind of s*** right now. Two skeins of their discontinued yarn which has become Memories Pansy and the IK Fall '06 Father and Son Socks. I had about 30" of yarn left from each skein.These are the mittens knit up from my Chocolate Swap goodies. Some Manos del Uruguay in Moss doubled up with some mohair that she sent me (but I didn't keep the label, sorry). I used the Plaid Mittens pattern from the blue blog patterns. They're bulky and snuggly. They will be by driveway shoveling mittens this winter.

I had ordered some sock yarn from Lisa Souza about two weeks ago, but she was out traveling with her entire stock so she didn't get it shipped out until Sunday night so yesterday when I went to my mailbox, not only did I have a package from my SP9 pal, Just Me, I had a package of some yummy sock yarn. First there was: Marsquake.

and South Pacific (Gonna wash that man right outta my hair...)

Last, but not least, my goodies from my SP9 pal, which I think were themed along the line of spoiling myself!! Treats for my mouth and treats for my hands and a treat for me that benefits somebody else!! The little snowman is a candy coated marshmallow treat and I am saving him for me! A Burt's Bees (LOVE Burt's Bees) hand care kit and a Quickie Cutter with the Breast Cancer logo. I love gifts that benefit other people. I try to do some of that every Christmas.

And more self-care, cozy kind of stuff: More Memories (have I said I LOVE Knitpicks?) to create the snuggly Felted Slipper Socks - oh! I just thought of another theme!! Marshmallows! The yarn color is S'mores (and I have repeatedly placed that in my shopping basket at KP, but I've always taken it out for other more important purchases!!!)

And here is my Booga Bag in it's infancy stages:

Made great progress on the Booga at the dentist's office this week. So there it is, my life in yarn for this week. There are other projects not mentioned because I'm embarassed I haven't made more progress on them. The pink Debbie Bliss is two sleeves away from being finished (and I do mean sewn!), and the Banff is about two half sleeves away from being ready for blocking!

Today I am signing the contract to have my house re-sided (stucco, water intrusion, yuk) and forking over the first check for 20% of the estimate. I am planning the Thanksgiving meal menu and trying to figure out when I am going to get the Christmas village put up (40 houses, thank you very much) and bake the much-desired Waffle Iron Cookies, between driving the kids around to movie dates and hockey practice and going to my nephews birthday party.

Before I show the Yarn-y goodness

My husband and I are planning on another puppy sometime in 2008. We have a lovely chocolate lab from this kennel.

Anyway, I was looking at the puppies today (who can resist?), and came across their rescue page. They don't usually have any dogs on their rescue page, but today, there was this:

If there was any way I could bring this sweet girl home, she would be ours in a heartbeat, but we can't fence our yard. So hello out there, if you know anyone pining for a friend, send them this link, would you?

ETA: One of the kennel's requirements for rescued labs is a fenced yard - because they are older, etc. I don't think electric fences count, but I actually have never asked the question.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I had a Happy Mail Day Today!

My SP9 Pal struck again! It came a little late in the day (read: DARK) to get good photos, so I will have those tomorrow. I also have made great progress on my FO's this week. I finished DH's socks, I also whipped up a pair of yummy mittens from the goodies I received from my Chocolate Swap pal. They are big and fluffy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Let's see...

Albert Finney....check
French countryside....check
A vineyard....check
Eccentric French people....check
Russell Crow ....check

Okay, all of the above made A Good Year the perfect movie pour moi.

le sigh.

Seriously, highly recommended for the chick flick afficionados out there.

However, on a slightly weird note, I took my mom to see this movie (she's 66), and I was the youngest person in this movie theater. Seriously, the lady sitting next to me put her feet up on the bar (stadium seating) in front of us and proceeded to SNORE through the whole movie. What I didn't understand was, why didn't her husband give her a nudge? I mean, she was SNORING - mouth open, chin flopping, snoring! I'd kill my husband if he didn't nudge me at that point! When did Saturday afternoon at the movies become such a mature thing to do?

Anyway, good flick.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Okay, my blogger has changed, hello new blogger(well now it's changed back, what was THAT all about?)

A quick post to add my Coffee Swap questions:

1. Whole bean or ground?
Whole Bean

2. Fully-loaded or decaf?
Leaded for me please (fully-loaded).

3. Regular or flavored?
As long as that flavor is mocha, I'm good.

4. How do you drink your coffee?
Regular coffee straight up, fancy coffees - I like a good latte - add vanilla or chocolate and I'm good.

5. Favorite coffee ever?
Caribou mocha latte.

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?
Not so fussy.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?
I love cookies.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?
Nothing special.

9. What treats do you enjoy with your coffee?
Have I mentioned cookies? Shortbread, mmmm.

10. Yarn/fiber you love?
Mountain Colors Bearfoot, Socks That Rock, Lorna's Laces. I'm on a sock bender.

11. Yarn/fiber you hate?
Any of those faux fur type yarns. Yuk.

12. What's on your needles?
Banff from Knitty, Second sock of a pair of Father/Son Socks from IK Fall 2006. Next in line is a Booga Bag and a pair of Nancy Bush socks from Knitting Vintage Socks using Lisa Souza yarn.

13. Favorite colors?
No pastels for me please, otherwise I am good to go with almost anything.

14. Allergies?
No. Thank goodness.

15. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?
I have a lovely chocolate lab named after coffee. Kona is a typical lab, in other words, not terribly bright but endlessly amusing.

Later, Gater!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It has been an AMAZING week.

DH was out of town last week, and now he is gone again, taking the boys and the dog with him. This is the weekend of what we call the "Yute" hunt. (Husband's family is from german (or cherman) stock, born in Aberdeen, South Dakota - they all talk a little bit like Lawrence Welk.) I have the house to myself, all to myself, until Sunday night. I am taking a meander out to Maple Grove to visit Amazing Threads (and visit my little sis for lunch). Saturday is a movie date with moms.

This was finished on Monday morning:

The nieces' Christmas gifts are complete. Two down, thirty left.

These? Mine! My River Rapids Socks done in Lisa Souza's Gendarme. One skein, done on Knit Picks needles size 1. Once I got used to holding the yarn tighter (needles are heavy and slippery), the sharp points on these needles were great.

I also finished ONE of DH's socks, and started the sleeves of the Banff (three inches each sleeve). I'm on the second sock for DH, he's going to be very warm and snuggly gopher hockey fan. I've been stocking up stuff for my SP9 pal, and my coffee pal, when Knittymama gets our assignments out, AND my KMKS pal.

I don't want to offend anyone, but Tuesday and Wednesday were very happy days for me. I am no fan of the current administration - so I was dancing in the driveway when my neighbors started teasing me about being happy with the results. So I will just leave it at that and cross my fingers for good things for us all.

I also received a Knit Picks order today, but it was already too dark to get a good picture. So if I have a nice sunny day tomorrow after I get home from Maple Grove - we will have a lovely new Stash Enhancement Post.

Oh, and don't be jealous, but I've ordered my Christmas Cards!! I order them at Costco - I get the same number of cards from Costco as I used to get from Proex for half the price. I'm a little OCD about the holiday cards - I like to get them out the day after Thanksgiving so I don't have to worry about it for the rest of the holidays.

On a final note. RIP Ed Bradley. Godspeed.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How About You?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Have I Mentioned Swapping and Kitting?

In addition to the coffee swap, I am participating in the Secret Pal 9, and just yesterday I signed up for the Scout & Bev's Knit Mitt Kit Swap. Do I really need excuses to buy more yarn?

Anyway, here is the KMKS questionnaire:

What are your favorite colors? I'm definitely in the blue/green end of the spectrum right now. However, my largest project for me is a cranberry red and I've purchased quite a bit of autumnul colored yarn lately.

Are you a new mitt knitter? How long have you been knitting mittens? I have knit one pair of mittens and I am on my fourth pair of wristlets, but all of them have been gifted.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? For sweaters I like solids, but for scarfs, mittens and socks, the multicolored is really fun.

What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn?
Whatever is fat and warm and soft.

Where do you usually knit mittens? Wherever I usually knit.

How do you usually carry/store small projects? I stuff them in my bag, ziplocs always come in handy.

What are your favorite mitten patterns? I really want to try the Target Wave Mittens in the Fall 2006 IK. The LYS had a pair made up in Alpaca - so soft and snuggly.

What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques? Don't have any.

What new techniques would you like to try?

What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens? DPN's

What are some of your favorite yarns? I just stay away from the itchy. I love my Jaywalkers in Mountain Colors Bearpath.

What yarn do you totally covet? Socks that Rock and Koigu KPPPM

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
I am totally blanking right now.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
I love wooden DPNS bamboo, rosewood, ebony all are wonderful. I also use my Knitpicks options.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
Malabrigo merino - any color!

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? I am a sour candy gal.

What’s your favorite animal? I have a cat and a dog. The cat is more user-friendly, the dog is just more friendly.

Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts? Right about now, I'm ready for the super-warm mittens. (Minnesota. Brrrr.)

If you were a color what color would you be? Red.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?
I love peonies and lilacs.

Do you have a wishlist? Nope.

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?

Read on!

KIP progress:
DH's first sock is finished, however, regardless of how big his foot measured (10 1/2"), I think the sock is too big. He'll be home from hunting tomorrow so a fitting will happen and we'll go from there.

There has been multiple dabbling on other projects, both sleeves of the Banff are in progress (about one inch - Dr. Who last night). The second River Rapid sock is underway in Lisa Souza's Gendarme colorway (about an inch and a half - Battlestar Galactica last night).

I am chauffeur for the rest of the weekend, so off I go, knitting in hand!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

This? This is my crazy-a@@ work area - how do you like it?

Let's see, up there in the far left, there's some knitting patterns and my blank cd's for my downloaded books from My bottle of ibuprofen right next to the TV. There's one sock of a pair of River Rapids Socks from the Sock Bug. My little blue chibi needles. On the right are my husband's socks from Knit Picks Sock Garden - there's almost four inches done on the first one there (I'm doing the Father and Son sock from IK Fall 2006, but I have to tell you, once I get to the heel flap, this pattern has me cross-eyed.)

Front and Center is my second set of the downsized Fetching from Knitty. What you can't see is the book and yarn I bought today at Yarnzilla. Boy - they did a makeover on that store! It's so bright and sunny now!

Halloween was fun, but relatively quiet. The ten year old hit a school friend's neighborhood so DH had no excuse to wander around with the other dads, drinking beer and smoking nasty cigars. The teenager actually went out and joined the other teenagers trick-or-treating. Believe it or not, I had as many teenagers at the door as I did little ones last night. (Just as well, I did not need any candy hanging around!)

But the HUGE news that I forgot on Monday? Puck's football team won the Champioship on Saturday afternoon! Yay! He and his little buddies went the whole season undefeated. The game on Saturday was so tense! They were tied 6 to 6 until the third quarter. Puck recovered a fumble on the twenty yard line right before the half, preventing the other team from scoring and gaining the lead! He got to be a hero for a whole ten minutes! At the end of the game, after the handshake, the parents made an arch/tunnel for the boys to run through and those little faces were so shiny and happy - it was a joy to see! So I will end with this for today:

Yay 5th grade Black!! You Rock!

Oh, and also?

Coffee - because the daylight savings time change left me in a funk:

I had so much fun with Chocolate that I joined this little swap last week:

Knittymama is hosting it, and it looks to be a lot of fun.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?