Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Am Thankful

Even though we are living in trying times, I feel very thankful today. Maybe even more thankful than most years because the craziness in the world has prompted me to take a long hard look around me and I realize things in my little corner of it are good. Not perfect, but awfully good.

So, in no particular order, here is a list of things I am thankful for.

1) My mother. She will be 91 in just over a month's time. 'Nuf said.
2) Lorna's Laces. Because I get to make pretty yarn every day.
3) Yarnies. Who make Lorna's Laces possible.
4) The people at Lorna's Laces. The best crew we've ever had.
5) Good friends. Two of which have invited us into their home today.
6) My husband. The center of my universe.
7) Pearl. The wonder dog.
8) My family. Always.
9) Home. Where I'm warm and safe.
10) That I don't work retail. I'm looking forward to a nice long weekend.

I asked the crew here what they are feeling thankful for. Here's are some answers.

Caitlin is thankful for heat. Apparently, home has been safe but not warm for her lately. Her furnance has been broken for almost a week and is back on now. I can sympathize because one of the heaters here is on the fritz and I'm tired of being cold.

Kylie said she's thankful for her job. That was seconded all around.

Amanda is thankful for her own apartment. She settled into living without a roomie over the past couple of months and is reveling in it.

Emily is thankful that the holidays only come once a year. I have to agree. While fun, managing all the commitments can be a delicate balancing act and I'm glad we don't have to do it all year long.

Stef is thankful that she's far enough along on her holiday knitting that she is confident that she'll get it all finished in plenty of time.

Sam wasn't in the day we had this conversation. She's a newlywed, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say she's thankful for something that has to do with her husband. Not to get personal or anything.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A couple of FO's

There were a couple of things finished at lunch today. Here are Sam's Entomology Mittens from Knitalong. The background color is Firefly and the fanciness is Tickled Pink. I always like the idea of using a multicolor in Fairisle knitting. It makes it look like your working harder than you actually are.

Here is the backside.

And here is Stef's Celtic tote from Interweave's Winter '07 issue. She just put the button on.

I especially like how the knots are outlined in black. It gives really makes them pop. I'm also a fan of the lightly felted project. I think it's the additional layer of texture it adds to the work.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Beginnings

So, I've been happily knitting along on my February Lady. I like this pattern alot. The top is garter stitch and kind of boring but I don't really mind. It lets me watch TV and think about what to make for dinner and other pressing matters of the day.

I've been kind of obsessed with it. Instead of rolling over for an extra hour of sleep, I got up on Saturday morning to knit a few rows. I've been staying up a little too late for the past week or so too. I have to admit that things around the house have taken a back seat to the knitting.

Last night I got to the point where you separate for the sleeves and start the lace part. I decided to try it on to see how things are going. It was all bad news and the whole thing had to be frogged.

I'd kind of known things weren't right but because of the construction of the sweater I tried to ignore the fact that the darn thing looked too small. I tried to talk myself into thinking that it would be OK. That a medium would be just fine. That my gauge was a tiny bit looser than the pattern called for and that would take care of any issues. That even if I couldn't bend time, I could bend space.

What on earth possessed me to think it made sense to make a medium? While the chest measurement was OK, I really do need wider shoulders. I'm 6'0 tall and there's not much of me that has ever been a medium. I know that. What was I thinking?

So, I don't have enough yarn. Even worse, I can't just go grab some more from the studio because I don't know the dye lot. We dyed a bunch of Echo that day, but I just grabbed what I thought I needed without labeling it because I figured I had enough. No reason to waste a label, I reasoned, I know what yarn and color it is.

I distinctly remember telling myself that I should make a note of the dye lot, just in case. But I was far to excited about winding the yarn into balls and getting started to bother.

So now I am starting over. With a new color. Chocolate this time. We were dyeing chocolate today and I decided to switch.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

another shot

My mouse has been sticking and the earlier post went out before I'd finished it. So, here's another pic of our 39th president. If you scroll down you'll see the complete copy as well.

Jimmy Carter

This is Sam's latest, Jimmy Carter. He's is the "bringer of Christmas cheer and peanut butter."

He was designed by Chris de Lonpre of Knitting at Knoon and knit in Shepherd Bulky in Jimmy Beans Wool's December colorway, Boughs of Holly. We just shipped a giant box and they'll be sending out starting on the 1st.

[Quick disclaimer: The color here isn't a great representation. It's a cranberry red, cedar green and sage green. The sage is reading a little blue. I'm not sure it that's because I suck at photography or because the background is so blue. The color is gorgeous and a very sophisticated holiday choice. (OK, I'm sure I suck at photography, but I'm still blaming the background. Sue me.)]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Back in the middle of September I was in a little car accident. Fortunately, the only one hurt was the car.

I thought it was patently obvious it wasn't my fault. I was in the right lane at a stop light waiting to make a right turn when the truck in the left lane decided to make a right turn too. Right over my hood. There was damage to the the driver's side door and left front quarter panel too.

After a quick visit to the police department to make a report, we called our insurance company and arranged for the repairs. The auto body shop did a great job and our car looks as good as new. Or as close to new as any four year old vehicle can.

Our insurance company (Geico) has been absolutely fantastic at every turn. After we paid our deductible, they took care of the balance and have been diligently following up. I have received several phone calls to let me know where they are in the process. I really like being in loop. Since we have a high deductible to keep our rates low, I'm anxious to have it reimbursed.

Besides being attentive, every person I've talked to has been gracious and knowledgeable. There hasn't been a single time that I've heard "that's not really my department, please hold twenty minutes while I transfer you to a automated system that will take an additional twenty minutes before you can talk to a human being."

Today, they called to let me know that they have received the police report, reviewed the claim and determined that it wasn't my fault. So, the good news is my rates won't go up. Whew!

The not-so-good news is that the other driver's insurance company hasn't been as cooperative. They have tried to say that it's a "he said-she said" situation. But that was based strictly on interviews. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that once they review the police report they will come to the same conclusion as Geico. I'm trying to keep an open mind.

In knitting news, there has been a ton of great stuff hitting in the last week or so. The new Twist Collective is beyond gorgeous. Hats off to Kate Gilbert and the gang over there for once again producing a superlative product!

We also just received our copy of Nicky Epstein's Knitting on Top of the World. Where does she come up with all the ideas? The creativity just boggles my mind!

The folks around here have been diligently working on their Finish-A-Long-A-Thon projects. I'll do a round up later in the week, but I do have a couple of things to Kylie has finished I wanted to show today. These are Evangeline knitted up in our Green Line Worsted in Dusk.

And here are some really heavy convertible mitts of her own design. They're made from some Burly Spun that we dyed Red Rover. It's partner is Envy.
Since Kylie rides her bike to work every day, it's important that she has extra warm stuff. These should fit the bill!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The luckiest pup in the world

I've always said that in my next life, I want to be a dog. Specifically, I want to be a dog that lives with one of my friends or any member of my family.

My mom was crazy for the dogs. When I was growing up, she used to make extra food so that the dog could have some too. I'm not talking leftovers, I'm talking about her making an extra hamburger or chicken breast for the dog. Making gravy from scratch so she wouldn't have to eat dry kibble.

One night when I was about sixteen I about lost my hand when I reached for the last burger. I was told in no uncertain terms that it was for Nikki. If I was still hungry, there was plenty of peanut butter.

My friends David and Tim have been on the hunt for a Welsh Terrier puppy to replace one they lost just over a year ago. This vision of loveliness is Astrid Ann. I'm not sure whether even the Obama dog will be getting more attention than this one.

They have been planning for her arrival for months. They have driven over to Michigan three times to visit her and see how she's doing. Choosing paint colors for her room. In addition to the pet store, they been getting supplies at Burberry and American Girl Place. Who knew stores like that had stuff for dogs?

I'm certainly not above being an enabler at the spoiling game. I believe that every well-dressed dog needs bit of knitwear in her wardrobe. So, this weekend I knit up this cute little sweater with a skull and crossbones on it.

It's going to be far too big for her for awhile, but every girl should have a little something in the drawer she hasn't worn yet that will make her feel extra-pretty when the time comes.

After all, Astrid has a long road ahead of her what with all the potty training and the sit/stay business that is sure to be just around the corner.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Of course it helps if you bring the yarn home.

Yep, that's right. The yarn for my February Lady is sitting safely on my desk at work. So, no casting on for me. And I'm busy for the next few nights so it will probably be Sunday before I get to it. Dang!

I never claimed to be the brightest crayola in the box.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's beginning to feel alot like.....

I know, I know. It's only November. But the Christmas bug hit here yesterday when we dyed a bunch of our Country Christmas colorway. It's not one of our top ten, but it sure does a brisk business about this time every year.
Some years I feel the holiday tug more than others. This year is shaping up to tug hard. I'm not sure why. Maybe all the craziness in the world has me feeling the importance of family even more strongly than I usually do.

I know that I've been quite a homebody lately. I've been cooking big pots of soup and red sauce and inviting friends over instead of going out.

Tonight, I'm going to cast on a February Lady. It's the first sweater I've knit in awhile. For the past year or so, I've been focused on smaller projects...socks mostly. Somehow the time seems right for something more substantial.

I'm using our Green Line Worsted in Echo. I'm looking forward to bigger needles.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The other day I looked over and there were a bunch of sheets of colored paper laid across the table. I meandered over to take a closer look and found that the crew had started a Finish-A-Long-A-Thon.

It seems the startitis has gotten pretty severe so it was decided that if we wrote it all down, created a deadline and had cute stickers to mark our progress, it would motivate us to get the knitting done.

Some of us are more ambitious than others.

Sam is something of an overachiever.

So is Stef.

On the surface, Emily appears to have a modest list. But if you dig a little deeper it turns out there are two more projects she's planning to cast on tonight. I want to see if they're on the list in the morning. I might start wondering what other secrets she's hiding from us...

Caitlin's list looks pretty manageable.
She was out sick yesterday so she should have been able to get some serious work done.

Amanda has certainly chosen attainable goals.

But I think she's sandbagging. She only has two things on her list and she's already finished with one of her socks! I'm not letting her have a sticker until both of those socks are finished.

One thing we learned for sure from this sock is that you can knit a men's size 14 with a single skein of our Shepherd Sock with plenty to spare.

Kylie's list looks good. She always thinks things through so I'm pretty confident that she'll get hers done.

As for mine, time will tell. I hate putting this kind of pressure on myself. I know, I know, it's only three things. But with the way my life has been lately I'm just not sure. I have to admit I've hedged things a bit. I'm making the February Lady for TNNA in mid January, so I technically have a few extra days. Still, I'm going to shoot for the New Year's deadline.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Tomorrow, U.S. citizens have the privilege of going to the polls to choose our next President. The fact that every citizen, regardless of gender, race or class (with a couple of exceptions for felons) over the age of 18 is allowed to vote is remarkable.

I have very specific hopes for the outcome of this election but that is beside the point. I am asking you to take the time out of your day tomorrow to go to your local polling place and exercise that privilege.

If you do not, you can't complain about political things for four years. That's an awfully long time to go without complaining. I would not want to take that risk.