Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Quit Needling Me,

here they are, the answer to a recent Blogstalking topic: all of my needles in one place.

Sort of.

I have loaned out several pair to library and nursing home knitters, and I have no idea where my little bag of circulars has gone to.

And there might be a couple of dpn's down inside the couch.

The ones I really miss are some handmade maple #15's -- I don't think I ever made anything with them, but I just like the sound of them clicking together.

Needles not in use:

I really love these needle cases from Ashland Sky.

(don't tell anyone I let my crochet hooks hang out with my dpns)

And the emergency #10.5's I made from a dowel rod:

Nate (Maggie's boyfriend) gave me his grandma's needles. I think they look nice in this Mason jar, and every once in awhile they come in handy.

Needles in use:

#4's on Tommy's Accordion Sweater. I think this is destined for the frog pond; the Swish is just too springy -- when I blocked out the back, just to see what would happen, it sprang back to the tight ribbing immediately. I like the yarn, I love the pattern, but I don't think they will work together.

The Harley Shawl for Nate's mom, on #13's. She starts another round of chemo and radiation soon, and those chemo rooms are always so cold. They're a big Harley family, so I thought this color would be appropriate (it matches her kitchen!) but the Dayflower pattern makes it a little more feminine. Sue at Knit Night suggested adding black ribbon fringe, but I think I will pass on that.
#8 circulars on the Modern Quilt Wrap in progress. Maybe progress is the wrong word. Abandoned might be a better word. I am re-thinking this.

This is really embarrassing. # 7 circulars on Nathan's Baptism blanket. Nathan will be 2 next month. I hadn't seen this for a while -- I found it in the bottom of a box of yarn in the basement, where I guess I stashed it after I didn't get it finished by his baptism. I think it is time to wrap this up -- I have the Celtic braid for the other side done, so it shouldn't be too hard to finish.

peace, love and pointy sticks

Monday, January 28, 2008

January 28, 1986

Ellison Onizuka, Michael Smith, Christa McAuliffe, Dick Scobee, Greg Jarvis, Ronald McNair and Judy Resnick


Saturday, January 26, 2008


my finger is much better, thank you very much. I sliced a bit of the end off while chopping the 6 pounds of onions for the 15 gallons of spaghetti sauce for the wrestling dinner last week. I probably could have used a stitch or two, as it bled like a stuffed pig*.

Speaking of wrestling, Will's season is over. Today was sectionals at Jennings County, and after a pretty solid match, he lost in the first round. We stayed until the end, though; four members of his team advanced to the regionals and we had one sectional champion. We got home around 7:30; Clay and I both have another bad case of bleacher-ass, but on the bright side, I got a lot of knitting done (pictures soon) and several chapters of The Friday Night Knitting Club read.

About 50 pages in, I was convinced that this was the worst book I had ever paid money for. It was an impulse buy at Target a few weeks ago -- I was sucked in by the yarn on the cover! If it had been a library book, I would have returned it posthaste, but since I purchased it, I feel compelled to finish. But it is getting better -- still choppy and disjointed, but more interesting.
And, speaking of getting better, dad is walking. Just 5 steps, but that counts.
And talking, if "goddammit" counts, and I say it does.


*my very favorite dave-ism. Dave, Clay's college roommate all 4 years and the cleanest person I know, was convinced that was the correct wording. Having witnessed a "stuck pig," I think I prefer Dave's version -- give me a stuffed pig any day.

Monday, January 21, 2008


It is hard to knit, type or play the piano when your finger is like this. So I'm not.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Nice Things

Snow, enough to be pretty, but not enough to cause much trouble.

A letter from Senator Lugar, thanking me for thanking him for introducing the International Violence Against Women Act (along with Senator Biden).

Phantom at a Discount

I didn't go see Phantom in Louisville with my friends on Sunday; I didn't have a sub to play at Our Lady of Providence and I didn't have the confirmation lesson complete for class that night. Besides, I have seen it twice. At Confirmation, my friend Laverne, who saw it that afternoon, told me it was the best production she had seen (her 3rd, as well.) I was telling Will about that, and he said, "You know mom, next time it is near, I'd like to go." Since it is in Louisville until the 27th, I went Internet searching for tickets. I found two for next Sunday, and started to place my order with Ticketmaster, when a pop-up box informed me that Clay had membership reward points which we could apply to the purchase, so I did. Two tickets, orchestra level, slightly right of center in the middle of the house for $59. Not too shabby.

But the nicest thing of all is that Clay's dad, who had a stroke before Christmas, stood up yesterday.

I haven't written anything about dad; there's really just too much to say, and it has all been so difficult -- the holidays, the distance, the frustrations. But I probably should have written that despite all that, there is hope, joy and laughter. This is one crazy family, but it's an amazing, loving family.
Two of my favorite pictures:
Dad and Maggie on her first birthday, September 1988
Dad and Will, Christmas Eve, 1993
Dad had stayed home with Will, who had a fever. This is how we found them when we got home from Mass. Pretty sweet.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Calorimetry & Mario

The perfect hat for playing Wii:

Yet another skein of SWS, this time in Natural Navy. Do you see any navy there? Me neither. But I do like the way it striped -- looks like I planned it that way.

I made this for myself, but it didn't look so cute on me. Maggie tried it on, and Sarah said it looked like I made it for her. So it is hers.

As was advised on the the Knittyboard, I did reduce the number of cast-on stitches to 80 and used #8 needles; if I were to make another to fit me, I would probably do something to reduce the width of the band, as well.
Wii watching:

(Doesn't he look distinguished with that little bit of grey in his hair? This deep thinker should have been reading his Literature assignment instead of watching Maggie conquer her game.)
In the good old days of family video gaming, we all became addicted to Super Mario. Last week, Will bought a copy for his Wii. It is simplistic compared to the games he plays now, but it still kicks my butt, and he is having his troubles, as well; he was little when we first played, and he most enjoyed running Mario off the edge into oblivion then giggling like it was the funniest thing he had ever seen.
The girls, on the other hand, seemed to pick up right where they left off (after a few early tragedies for Mario and Luigi). Maggie zipped through levels, and I heard Will say, "How'd you do that?!" more than once.

They get their love of video games genetically -- we were in college during the advent of Space Invaders, Asteroids, Galaga and Frogger, and spent countless hours and quarters at the arcade.

Back when you actually had to leave your dorm room to play a video game.

Back when the only computer game I played was guessing how many fatal errors I would have in my Fortran program after I sent all my punch cards through the one huge computer we had access to on campus. (Clay tried to help me through that class -- I think we almost broke up because of that. I barely squeaked through with help from Jeff, and swore never to look at a computer again. Go figure.)

peace and Pong

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Warning: Knitting Content Ahead with Cute Models

I posted a picture of Andrew's hat in November, but here is it on Andrew:

Made up in Patons's SWS in Natural Blue using #9 dpn's. Just a basic little hat with some help from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

Sarah Kate's Tam with SWS in Natural Geranium, again using #9's and Ann Budd's tam pattern:

Here is is flat:

And Abby's scarf, using the shiny yarn I found at Hobby Lobby for $1.00. She can even jump rope with this scarf!
And finally, my Green Grocery Sack I made up for Knit Night last week. You can see all the details here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Overwhelmed, and the Year Has Just Begun . . .

I feel sort of like this

Last Tuesday evening, I sat down to take a little personal inventory: what I am doing, what I really want to do, what I am responsible for.

When I was finished, I wasn't sure if I wanted to laugh, cry, or throw up. It was a long list. I'm not going to list it all here; I don't think there is anyone who would want to read it ("Where is the knitting?!" I can hear them shout.)

My main problem is that I have accepted an office on the National Council of my sorority. This is not a bad thing; I love my sorority and all the good work that we do (think millions of dollars raised for cochlear implant and cleft palate research, hearing aids, literacy, assistance dogs, scholarships, orchestras and all kinds of other good things.) But this also means that I need to eliminate some of the other things I do to make room for this in my life. That is the problem.

So, I am quite stressed about this. I know I am not irreplaceable, it's just that I really love to do most of the things I do. And if I quit doing them, someone else will have to take my place (or, they won't get done).

So I have decided to adopt this philosophy:


What's the Worst That Could Happen?

(doesn't the purple look dramatic?)

(This motto, which I read on a Sew, Mama, Sew blog post, is also the 2008 motto of our Knit Night Group. )

Things will change and I will probably still be overwhelmed, but life will go on.


Blogstalking, Assignment # I'm Not Sure

I am behind in the assignments again, but I think last week's was "What is your worst habit?" I have been putting off writing about this because my worst habit is
I would write more, but now I have to go finish up some things I should have done last week.

We shall never have more time. We have, and always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going . . . Concentrate on something useful.
Arnold Bennet, British novelist, playwright, critic and essayist, 1867-1931, who probably got everything done in a timely manner. Well good for him.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

You Know Christmas is Over

when your silver tree falls over,

and your golden "P" falls down.

Taking down Christmas decorations has to be one of my least favorite things to do. But I try to do it neatly and in good order, so I can thank myself next December. (Thanks, self!)

Just a note on the silver tree, which I got at an auction about 5 years ago for $1.00. My Grandma P, who was all about over-the-top, had a silver tree when it was first cool -- I am guessing about 40 years ago. She also had the rotating color wheel (very cool) and the turning, musical stand (extra cool.) She decorated her tree all in pink, which I do as well, so I can be cool like her. A few years ago, a friend gave me a bejeweled silver "G" ornament. It is the perfect finish to this tree, as my grandma's first name began with G, like mine. (Gaynell -- you certainly don't hear that name any more.) So I call it my G tree -- a little glitzy, a little gaudy and a lot Grandma.

This was the prettiest little live tree we have had for many years. Douglas fir. (I am adding that so we will remember what kind of tree to look for next year.) It will be almost sad to see it go up in a blaze of glory on Good Friday. I am, however, looking forward to making a little film of the fire, one of our most anticipated family traditions, and adding it to the blog. Stay tuned.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Back to Business, and a Poem

Ode to a Sock Monkey
I pass you on to one I love,
But parting brings great sadness;
Remembering hours that we shared
Drives me near to madness.

My search for you began last fall
But failure made me sobby;
At last I found your sockish pelt
At the rear of Hobby Lobby.

Directions? Pattern? Incomplete.
That didn't make me sway!
I stitched by hand and by machine
And guessed along the way.

The intimate moments: who could have known
Your crotch was made for stuffing?
Your legs, your tummy and your bum,
All required fluffing.

A slender tail, curvaceous arms
Would soon endure some tugging;
I sewed them on as best I could
With double thread and snugging.

From ebony eyes to curled lash:
Floss gave you your style.
But you were born with ruby lips --
From a heel you gained your smile.

So go your way, my monkey friend
And bring joy to another;
Two more socks in my sewing room
Will soon become your brother.

Griffin and his monkey, on his sock monkey quilt. Sharon and I saw this fabric on a trip to Craft Town in Salem before Griff was born -- I was so glad to see it was still there when I went back this November. The quilt isn't quite done yet (surprise, surprise) -- I'll post a better picture next week.
Here are a few more Christmas projects: Nate's hat, modeled by Will. Just a 4x4 rib cable, knit up using a double strand of Cascade 220.

A scarf for Carly, and a matching poncho and hat for Riley, her AG doll. All made from Caron Simply Soft, the scarf is granny squares set together with a double crochet border. Riley's poncho is 4 of the squares set together in a larger square with the center left open for her head. The hat is double and single crochet worked in the round -- I didn't have a pattern and just made it up while we were at Will's wrestling meet in Terre Haute the Saturday before Christmas -- I wish now that I had written down what I did.
Getting back to blogging after a break of a few weeks is really hard -- too much to talk about. I'll try to get caught up this week.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


2007 was a good year, as most of them are. I:
- celebrated 25 years of marriage
- travelled to NYC where I saw my first Broadway show on Broadway
- overcame several of my fears to go on that trip (flying, crowds, heights, depths and speed boats)
- started this blog
- started teaching piano lessons again
- sent our baby off to high school
- marked two years of teaching knitting at the library

I don't like to make resolutions, because it just makes me feel awful when I realize how poorly I have kept them. So I just plan to:
Be happy
Be loving
Be healthy
Be fearless

Also, write enough on my story so that Steve will have something good to read in May. I really hate disappointing him every year.

Rid the house of wallpaper. (It seemed like a good idea at the time, but that time has come and gone.)

Learn to play the cello. Or the drums. Or both.

See as many nominated movies as possible before the Academy Awards.

Keep working my way through The Joy of Cooking.

That's it. peace.