Saturday, December 29, 2007

One last party, then I've really gotta go....

I hope you all have survived the Season and the inevitable Christmas Knitting Crush. I finished the final impromptu Nephew Hat on Christmas eve, just before skipping out the door to a little gathering. So I had an extra reason to celebrate!

Christmas morning The Mister and I had a lovely, private little brunch with brioche french toast (bread courtesy of Annarosa's) and mimosas made with fresh squeezed tangerine, accompanied by lovely vanilla/hazelnut coffee from Godiva. Heavenly! I can tell you now that the concert The Mister got tickets for is Laurie Anderson! He was so excited. I didn't realize before but he's never seen her in concert! So it will be an extra special treat - I only wish we'd managed to get closer seats, but the concert has really not been promoted at all so we heard about it very late. I'm considering hanging around after the concert and seeing if I can get The Mister backstage to say "hey". That's how I met her, so I know she's agreeable, but.... well, Laurie is... tiny! I mean tiny. I felt like I towered over the poor girl, and The Mister towers over me, so... but we shall see. I think he'd be thrilled and I know he could do it without going all star-fucker.

The Mister, knowing his new wife very well, gifted me with not one but TWO box sets of Fry and Laurie! "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" (recieved) and "Jeeves and Wooster" (on back order). Is he not brilliant? Is he not thoughtful? Huzzah!

The rest of our holiday week has not been quite so "huzzah"... we were several hours late to a dinner party Christmas Day (take one part "duh" and two margaritas shared with the neighbors, stir slightly and, well....) then we both fell ill for TWO days with coughs, fever, aches... ick! We completely lost Wednesday and almost all of Thursday. Yesterday I decided if I didn't get up and dressed I may never do so again.... besides, with both of us sick, and Miss Katherine away at the folks, there was no one to bring us chicken soup and cough medicine! ;-)

Good news about being sick and bedridden (as well as sleepless from coughing) - you can get alot of knitting and knitting-related work done! heh

I got an enormous amount of knitting done on Rogue

I am really loving this pattern. I'm still not doing so well with the making of multiple stitches from one stitch that's required on the bottoms of the braid, but I am not so proud that I wouldn't go back with a little bit of yarn and a needle and fake it where I couldn't make it. ;-) It looks fine now and it's for me so who cares. Better luck next time. I'm almost to the armpit, then I have to divide and do the front and back on straights. The only math I need to do here is to be sure that the arm holes won't be too big. I'm making the largest size because of my gauge, so if the armholes are designed proportional for a larger woman, and not just a simple scale-up, I'll need to adjust the size so they won't be too large. From all I've seen of this pattern so far, The Girl from Auntie may be too thorough to have simply scaled-up instead of doing a proper resizing. Darn her. ;-)

I also finally washed and skeined the Sangria BFL I spun from Spunky Eclectic

I also skeined and washed the first hank of yarn for The Mister's Christmas sweater. He wants Patrick A-13 from Black Purls Design (I'd have linked you to her website instead of Ravelry, but it's currently under construction) in a grey tweed which I believe is this yarn, from Webs. I bought it on the cone from the warehouse and I must say, I have seldom seen a filthier yarn. These poor cones must have been rattling around warehouses and shipping containers for years. After washing, the yarn had brightened significantly, and there was about 1/16" of silt in the bottom of the washpot. The yarn also fluffed up by almost 50%. It is now fit to be a sweater.

Today is our Mid Holiday Fete, so of course I awoke to this view out my office window...

Ghastly, isn't it. *sigh*

At least it's summer in here.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ornament Tag!

From Jung at Heart - a Christmas Ornament meme!
  1. Take a picture of your ornament and put it on your blog telling us about it.
  2. Post a link to the person on whose blog you found out about Ornament Tag.
  3. Post the rules.
I have no knitting-related ornaments to share, but we do have alot of cool stuff on our tree.

We collect tiny antique ornaments, like this:

here's The Mister's favorite:

and my personal favorite?...

Biker Bitch Barbie!
I assume she has her
knitting in the saddlebag
she's carrying.
That's where I keep mine...

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Friday, December 21, 2007


I have officially started Christmas shopping! Huzzah!

This is absolutely the latest I have ever let it go. We've had so much going on lately that shopping for presents has been absolutely the last thing on our minds. But - we finally made the decision and The Mister has accepted his new position in Vermont (no we aren't moving just yet) and given his notice at his old job... so it's time to move on and git 'er done!

I have already knit a couple of hats. I have been adamant about not doing any Christmas knitting, but it was *supposed* to be just one hat - for my friend David. I had already knit his partner Thom a beautiful lace scarf earlier in the year, but David only wanted a plain wool cap. *shrugs* Anyways, I bought the yarn last week and cast on. Now, mind you, I've made this pattern several times before. When I finished the hat two days later.... let's just say I am now committed to knitting a second so both of my very small nephews can have matching hats for Christmas. *sigh* So I cast on again, paid better attention to details like, oh, gauge, and had much more acceptable results. ;-)
  • Concert tickets for The Mister? Check! (I'll tell you for what concert after he opens it!)
  • Alpaca socks for almost everyone? Almost check! (I'm hoping to reach Dave at Parker River Alpacas for several pairs of his amazing Criations socks)
Now this weekend is for making up gift baskets. I love making up baskets of goodies. It's so much more fun to pile a bazillion little gems into a basket than to torture myself over that one perfect thing. I just don't have the energy for that anymore. And I used to be so good at it...

Fortunately, there is going to be a Holiday Farmer's Market in Dover, NH on Saturday. Huzzah! That will make quite a dent in my Christmas shopping, and I get to support local farmers. It's a total win-win! White Heron Teas will be there, among others. Mmmmmmm! Then it will be off to downtown Amesbury and Newburyport to do what I can to support the local merchants. A Christmas Margarita at Agave I'm sure will be in order...

I was really hoping to make it up to Purl Diva to get in line for Franklin's 1000 Knitter's photo shoot. It may be the only chance I have to be only one degree away from Dolores... but we shall see. Holiday shopping may win out. :-(


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

FO (finally) and ...more acting (?!)

Thank you Kyle for encouraging me to get some smaller projects accomplished and thereby banish my knitting funk. It's working! I completed a hat for The Mister using up most of the remaining Botto Poalo cashmere/merino left over from last year's Christmas sweater. He is going to LOVE it!

I was worried at first that it would be too long, but now I'm a little concerned it won't be long enough. It's blocking now, so we'll just have to wait until it dries to see the final result.

Yes, I'm blocking using a quite large butternut squash.
No, this has nothing to do with the shape of the recipient's head.

The pattern is not doing what I thought it would, but I still like it very much. And I know it will be just the thing to keep The Mister's head toasty right down to his ears.

This yarn ... I just can't say enough good things about it. It's carried pretty regularly by School Products as it's Mill Ends from Italy. It's the yarn that made me fall in love with cone yarn. It looks and, frankly, feels like cotton twine on the cone. Not at all appealing. But a quick swish in some soap/Soak/shampoo and it goes from this:


I wish you could feel how amazingly soft this yarn is. And it blooms almost instantly on contact with the water. Magic is involved, I'm convinced of it. If I were only allowed one yarn to knit sweaters from, it would be this yarn.

I have a list of other short projects that are next up - fingerless mitts, a reversible cable scarf, some lace scarves, socks, even some coffee mug cozies! I'm going to try to finish two per week, at least until I run out of random single skeins! lol! Next up is a hat I've promised to knit for a friend of a friend - a Halfdome. Yes, I have indeed avoided doing any Christmas knitting of my own, only to end up doing other people's Christmas knitting. *sigh* ;-)

And the acting part of the post? Ah! well! I'm glad you asked!

I came home this evening to a phone message - I've been asked (without auditioning, mind you - !!?) to accept a role in the New Works Festival at the Firehouse! Woweee! I'm so excited! It's just a short 10 minute play, and it's on book, so no lines to memorize (thank Whomever is listening), but how exciting! The rehearsals will be mostly character development and blocking, but it's going to be so much fun! I'm just honestly running in circles and squeeeing with excitement. I wonder who the rest of the cast is? Will it be anyone I know? Oooo! Will it be anyone I admire! There are so many great actors in the area... I just can't believe someone asked me to join them on this project. Me!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Meme

Thanks go to my knitting heroine, Jung at Heart, for this meme, which I have here stolen. :-)

Christmas Meme

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
    Wrapping paper. It makes the cat happy.

  2. Real or artificial tree?
    Real. I'd like to say it's all about the carbon footprint (real trees beat fake trees, believe it or not), but really, it's all about the smell.

  3. When do you put up the tree?
    The tree must be up at least two weeks before Christmas, or I can't start shopping. Until the tree's up, I just can't get in the mood.

  4. When do you take it down?
    Usually New Year's Day. No matter how much I cry and stamp my feet. ;-)

  5. Do you like eggnog?
    I like it, but it does not like me.

  6. Favorite gift received as a child?
    The set of plastic dinosaurs (complete with palm trees!) that my grandfather gave me.

  7. Do you have a nativity scene?
    No. Although I do have a dancing snowman and penguins display.

  8. Hardest person to buy for?
    my grandmother. You'd think it would be easy - she's in her 90s! - but it's torture!

  9. Easiest person to buy for?
    My husband.

  10. Worst Christmas present you ever got?
    A case of motor oil. I kid you not.

  11. Mail or email Christmas cards? uh oh.

  12. Favorite Christmas movie?
    Probably Rudolph - I love those cheesy claymation/puppet holiday movies. And I can sing all the songs. And I do, every single time. ;-)

  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
    I'll let you know.

  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
    ...I'm going to have to take the 5th...

  15. Favorite thing to eat on Christmas?
    Champagne, caviar, and a roast duck.

  16. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
    Clear. Or one color. But I don't like those multi-colored lights very much.

  17. Favorite Christmas song?
    Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt. No other version will do.

  18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
    This year, it's a dream come true - we're staying home. Hooray!

  19. Can you name all of Santa's Reindeer?

  20. Angel or star on top of tree?

  21. Open presents Christmas Eve or morning?
    Christmas eve. I know I'll get so excited about what I got for The Mister that I won't let him wait until Christmas morning to open it.

  22. Most annoying thing this time of year?
    Ads that start before Halloween. Shopping Malls.

  23. Do you decorate your tree in any theme or color?
    It's a strange combination of tiny antique ornaments and anything tropical I can lay my hands on.

  24. What do you leave for Santa?
    An ice cold martini. He deserves it.

  25. Shopping...
    I used to make everything, but outside of a few friends, it's just not worth it. So we shop locally - this year we plan on taking the weekend before Christmas and Christmas eve and shopping Amesbury and Newburyport downtown to fill baskets of goodies for everyone on our lists.

  26. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside (or at all?)
    Both! I love Christmas decorations.

  27. Favorite Christmas cookie?
    Since you can't get Educator cookies anymore, I'd say those thumbprint cookies with the strawberry jam in the middle. I adore them!

  28. Do you own Christmassy clothing or jewelry?
    no. Isn't that silly?

  29. Do you believe in Santa?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

back to knitting

I had a call last weekend from Lainey, the nice lady who wanted my felted bags in her shop, and...

...she sold two.

Now, this is good news, and bad news. Obviously, the good news is that I sold two bags and made a little $$, but the bad news...

... I have to knit more of Those Damned Felted Bags. :-(

So this week was spent doing just that, and I got four done by Friday evening and trotted them over to Lainey's in time for their Holiday Open House on Saturday.

By the time we got there late Saturday afternoon to say "hi" and grab a snack, she'd sold another one. *sigh* Needless to say, I am definately NOT knitting any more bags for this season. I'm burnt out on them and, frankly, I have better and more fun things to do. Not that felted bags aren't fun and super cute, but they bore the crap out of me. I just hope she can sell enough of the rest of them so I can take the $$ down to School Products in NYC and get another sweater or two's worth of those amazing cashmere/merino mill-ends they get from Italy... *drool*

Bad enough I have two orders from friends for felted cat beds like Booger's. Talk about boring knitting, but dang, he does love that bed...

That's pretty much the only view you get of His Boogerness lately, particularly since snow started falling.

Since Friday evening I have been dedicating myself to my *own* knitting projects. Those things which are for ME. I made great progress on Rogue, finishing the pocket and getting up to row 18 of the side pattern...

The cable pattern is just enough to keep me from keeling over dead from those long stretches of stockinette stitch. They're particularly long on mine as I had to go down to size 7 needles and cast on for the largest size to end up with the 39" chest that I wanted. I'm using Paton's Classic Wool Merino in the Evergreen Mix - a pine green and dark blue that I just adore. I love the details on this pattern, like the edging on the pocket and the big hem on the bottom. This is going to be a very "finished" looking sweater. I'm very excited about it!

I also got a bit more of the Bee Fields done. I've finally gotten through the first pattern repeat and have started the second (there are four repeats of the first part of the pattern) and it's finally starting to look like something...

I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing. ;-)

I don't think I'd mentioned that I got some truly beautiful yarns from Heather of Sereknity last week. I bought myself some early Christmas presents... a skein of her lovely squooshy sock yarn in Rock Lobster...

My photo does not do this colorway justice. This sucker is RED!

I also got a skein of a wool/silk in the most delicate lavender/lilac. Well, two skeins actually - when I saw the first one I fell for it so hard that I begged her to save me the only remaining skein. So the next time I run into Heather, I'll have two. Now to decide what shawl to make for myself out of it. It's the perfect weight for a Key West shawl - something to throw over my shoulders after sunset, when the temp drops just enough to make bare shoulders chilly, or to take out on the sailboat to keep the slight chill of the ocean breeze from becoming uncomfortable.

Yes, it will be the perfect thing to wear on our anniversary trip. Now to pick a pattern.