Dec 31, 2007

Year in Review - 2007

Last year at this time I was just returning from one of the best vacations ever. Hubbo and I had been relaxing in Key West. It was also a time of great apprehension since his surgery for Thyroid cancer was just a few days away. (He's all clear now) At the time, it seemed like that was the worst that 2007 could throw at us. The fall turned out to be much worse. I learned what pain really is as I dealt with my daughter’s illness and my father’s death.

In 2008 I look forward to nothing but good things. I have a number of celebrations on my calendar with family and friends Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, a new baby in the family, a wedding. All very good things! Most of our travels will be related to those events. We’ll also celebrate a huge milestone as DQ graduates from Elementary school. All the while we’ll be planning and preparing for a huge family celebration of our own in January ’09. Whew!

This year was not the most productive year for me knitwise. In 2006 I had 43 finished objects including 15 pairs of socks, 4 hats, a sweater and a shawl. This year the number is a much more modest 20 finished objects including 3 shawls, a wrap, 2 pairs of socks, and 4 pairs of felted slippers. Clearly I was not at the top of my game but time spent with my new wheel could have something to do with the lack of productivity. Lets hope that 2008 brings a return to finished objects. I have some big stuff planned including 3 or 4 sweaters and one yearlong project.

I’ve seen different versions of the year in review meme on various blogs and here’s mine. I grabbed the first sentence or 2 from the first post of each month and added a little editorial note or explanation in places. I also went through the pictures posted during the month and chose one that I liked most or felt represented the month best. I hope that you enjoy it.

I got home from Florida yesterday. It was mostly a great trip and there are parts of it that I can't wait to share but today is all about celebrating.
Mallory Sunset
Nuff said!This was posted with a picture of the first singles I spun on my new wheel.
It's Purim which is like the Jewish equivalent of Halloween - kind of. One of the things that we do to celebrate is give mishloach manot which are baskets of treats.This was posted with a picture of treats that my family received for the holiday.
Snow on Birdhouse
I didn't plan on taking a blog holiday - it just sort of happened. As you may have guessed, I've been really busy with the Passover holiday for the past few days.
First Iris

Every year I plant a few bulbs or move a few things in my landscape from here to there in an ongoing effort to get it all just right. I move the peonies to one spot, I move the rosemary to another and I plant a few mystery bulbs along the way.Looking at this post reminded me that The events of this fall made me forget to plant my bulbs. Oooops!
D in the sun
The irises in my garden may have faded but there is still stuff blooming there.
Zucchini Blossoms
What a weekend! Two weeks from now I'll be delivering my girls to Summer Camp but right now, I'm savoring every minute with them so this weekend was all about family time.Posted after we attended the Folklife Festival
Swirling Water
Look what I got tonight! When the girls get home they'll probably think these are exercise mats for Karate. This post referred to my acquisition of interlocking gym mats to use for blocking. I still haven’t had a chance to use these but I hope to soon.
DQ in her Shawl
By September 4th my little family was feeling pretty good. Settled even. My grandparents had recently visited and during their stay we had made amazing progress in our unpacking. So much so that the previous weekend we had hauled the last boxes out to the trash. This was one of a series of posts looking back to 1997, a year that our whole life changed.IMG_1727
After a brief hospital stay, my daughter is much better and has returned to school.I posted this the morning after my daughter was released from the hospital which turned out to be the day that my father died. The hardest day ever.
Dad's Morning Glories
I love looking at the sky. Blue skies are beautiful and there is something really soothing and dreamy about a bunch of puffy clouds. Even the drama of a stormy sky can be an amazing thing to behold.

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people - DQ! She's turning 12 and, as I made the cupcakes for her to take to school it suddenly hit me... this is the last time I'll be making cupcakes for her. Next year she'll be in middle school and, as such, way to old to bring cupcakes to school on her birthday.
B & Hedgie

Dec 27, 2007

ECF - Corcoran Edition


DSC_0062Tonight we went to the Corcoran Gallery of Art after work. They had two photography exhibits that we didn't want to miss - Ansel Adams and Annie Liebovitz. They were wonderful. We saw the Ansel Adams part first. Many of the gorgeous black and white landscape shots we're all familiar with were on display. There is a crispness and a depth to his work that is really fantastic. Some of the shots surprised me. There was one, of a freshly picked rose on a piece of driftwood, that was a lovely study in contrast.
DSC_0072Naturally, when you view an exhibit with children, they're bound to have a different take on things. Stinkerbelle saw one picture, a rare self portrait of Adams where he appeared with his camera in a very clear shadow on the rock, and said it reminded her of a certain episode of Scooby Doo. Art is in the eye of the beholder I guess.
We went to see the exhibits because Hubbo really admires Ansel Adams but he was surprised to find that he really enjoyed the Annie Liebovitz exhibit even more. It was wonderful. So many of the photos were familiar, having been previously published in magazines. The subjects of most of them were names we knew, Demi, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio and so many more. Interspersed among the portraits of the better known names were pictures of the artist's family. Many were grouped in sets of 4 and there was an intimacy about them that drew you in and made you want to know more. I enjoyed it all but I think that the picture that most impressed me is one taken earlier this year of Queen Elizabeth in a dark, wooded landscape. It was so powerful.
DSC_0069I wish I could share more of what I saw with you but photography was not allowed in the special exhibits. Instead I took a few shots in the general collection and that's what you see here. The statue is from the grand staircase. The plate is a piece of Majolica that stood out in a room full of similar pieces. The portrait, called Azucar, is of Celia Cruz and it's made of different fibers and materials wrapped in small bundles.

Dec 26, 2007

Short Row Hell

DSC_0044So this is what I've been doing with myself over the past few days. I made a hat (not shown) last Friday and then I dove into slippers. Above are two pairs that are complete except for the felting. I used a different pattern for these than for the first pair. These are the Ballet Slippers from Felted Knits by Bev Galeskas. These were the source of all the short rows. I'm sure that the result will be nice but making these was just no fun. As I finished off the blue pair I decided that I needed a break and maybe the last 2 pairs of slippers can wait a little while. Then Stinkerbelle came in and got all excited because she assumed that the empty needles meant that hers would be next. Guess what's on my needles now. Yup, more slippers but I went back to the other pattern which has no short rows. In between, I took a break yesterday to make the first mitten from a pair for me. As soon as I finish all the slippers and my mittens I'll fire up the washer for a mass felting. Yay!

Four Lazy Days

The last four days were lovely and I can't show you any of it... yet. I can't show you Santa on the fire truck although he did ride through our neighborhood on Friday night. He was gone before I even got my camera out but I was just really happy that I got to see him. I know it's kind of weird since we're Jewish, but we get a real kick out of Santa on the fire truck and look forward to seeing him each year. Go figure!
I can't show you "The Hat" either. I went to Saturday morning services and saw a woman that I can't stand wearing a hat that would've been more appropriate to the Kentucky Derby. It was huge and blue with mounds of super fluffy, bright blue, feathers piled around the brim. Let me tell you, it had a life of it's own. People were biting their tongues all over the room as she flounced about.
On Sunday I did a lot of cooking. I made stuffed cabbage, carrot cake and more challah. It all came out really well and we'll be eating leftovers for quite a while. Yum!
On Christmas Day we went to see Enchanted and it was very good. None of us are really Disney types - Stinkerbelle is more into super heroes, DQ is too grown up and cool, and hubbo and I are more likely to go for dark comedys - but we all loved this movie. It really was fun for all of us.
The rest of the weekend was spent at home, mostly in pj's, knitting slippers. I was using a different pattern than I used for the first pair and this one was torture. It was all short rows so I was constantly counting - k15,w&t, p35, w&t, k47, w&t, p21 on and on it went. So tedious. Thankfully I'm at a point where I can take a break from slipper hell. I'm really craving a big project like a sweater.

Dec 20, 2007

ECF - Yarn Cake Edition


I wish I had some wonderfully festive picture to share with you today. No luck, just yarn. Actually, one of these is no longer a yarn cake and should be wearable by tonight. I'm also nearing completion on a pair of slipper made from the yarn that arrived earlier this week. Yup, the knitting frenzy continues.
I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend filled with good food and fun. To those of you who are celebration I wish a Merry Christmas.

Dec 19, 2007

One Toe in the Swamp

DSC_0029Hallelujah! I feel like it's been a million years since I've finished a sock. I have 2 pairs on the needles (yes, pairs - 2 at a time) but they're going nowhere fast. I think that this confirms that I'm really a one sock at a time girl. Normally I'd be casting on for the second sock right this minute but... It's going to have to wait because I really have to start test knitting for Sock Madness 2.
I haven't said much about this round of Sock Madness because I've been kind of preoccupied. Unfortunately I think that it's suffered a little but I think that this train is back on the rails now. We're still short a few patterns but there are a few in development and, if they come to fruition, they promise to be wonderful. I'm crossing my fingers.

Dec 18, 2007

What Do You See?

DSC_0013What does this pile look like to you? Yarn. Nah, look closer... I see slippers, lot's of nice warm slippers. This is the bulk of a package that arrived today from KP. The crazy thing is that this is the fastest that I've ever gotten a package from them. If there was a time of year that I would expect a delay it would be now, at the busiest time of year for mail.
I've been reading a lot lately and I was waiting for a spare moment to share some quick reviews. This would be the time since I don't have much else.
Did I ever tell you about my reading list? I have a very small notebook in my bag (one of the many things that causes it to weigh a ton) and every time i read a review of a book that sounds promising I make a note of the title, author, source of the review and type of book. I've also entered lists of the books in series that I enjoy - in proper order - so that I know what the next one to read is. The three books I've read most recently all came from the notebook.
Two of these books are best described as chick lit which is not usually my thing but occasionally, if it's got an interesting plot, I'll pick some up for a lite read. Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon and The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center both fit this description. The former is the perfect illustration of that old saying "be careful what you wish for." Helen has been having an affair with a married man for 4 years and wishing she had him all to herself. Then one day he leaves his wife and shows up on her doorstep. She misses her old life almost immediately and, as she tries to put things right again she winds up befriending Matthew's ex. Naturally things get complicated. This was a fun read even though I found it really implausible. It's hard to imagine this scenario realistically in this Google age.
The second example of chick lit dealt with kind of the opposite issue. Jenny is engaged to Dean but she got pregnant before the wedding. Ooops! It's all ok and she continues wedding and baby prep until Dean goes out one night to clear his head and doesn't come back. This is very lite reading but the characters are fun and the story has a happy ending.
The last book I finished was the strongest of the bunch and it left me thinking hard and wanting to share it. Right as Rain is another great book by George Pelecanos. As with his others, it's set in DC and it's fun to try to figure out the real places that he uses as settings even though he changes the names. Purple Cactus is the (now closed) restaurant Red Sage and Sea DC is really DC Coast. The settings are the only part of DC that's recognizable for me because Pelecanos writes about the ugly side of things.
The story follows PI and former cop Derek Strange as he tries to find out what really happened the night one cop was killed by another. Terry Quinn, the officer who pulled the trigger, was cleared but he left the force anyway and now he wants to help Strange with the investigation. What makes this story intense is the relationships and the constant issue of race. The dead officer was black, the one who shot him is white and Strange is black. The book is similar to the movie Crash and shows that race matters. It even affects those who think they are color blind.
If you do read these (or have read them in the past) I'd love to hear what you thought.

Dec 17, 2007

Working the List

Did you see the Wall Street Journal yesterday? Right there, on the front cover was an article titled "Sock It to Me: Competitive Knitters Get Deadly Serious". It described Sock Wars as offering "a view into a global community of knitting fanatics who are increasingly connected by the web and email." Sounds pretty spot-on doesn't it? The article also gives passing mention to Ravelry, Sockapalooza, Socktoberfest and the Knitting Olympics. Check it out.
With or without the pressure of a holiday deadline, I've been in a knitting frenzy. It's been mostly little stuff but so satisfying.
This past weekend I made a pair of fingerless gloves for DQ. She's wanted them for quite a while and she was so excited to finally have them. The yarn was Lion Brand Wool Ease that I'm sure I bought with some other project in mind since I have 3 balls of it. Not to worry. I'll just make a matching hat and whatever else I can crank out. I may even make another pair of fingerless gloves for her just in case she loses these. I'm just being realistic.
The pattern was one of the many I found on the internet but the name, source etc escapes me right now. It's a pretty straightforward and simple design but the instructions were less than clear. There was a note stating that it was the designer's first pattern so I can forgive the lack of clarity.
Now Stinkerbelle wants new fingerless gloves for her. Off to find a suitable pattern. She'd like a representation of water this time. Hmmmm....

Dec 16, 2007

Smell My House

We all had plans for Saturday night. DQ was going to a Bat Mitzvah, Hubbo and I were going to a party for his office, and we'd made arrangements for Stinkerbelle to spend the evening (I knew better than to call it babysitting) at my friend Felicia's. Then Hubbo threw his back out bagging leaves so no party for us and no need for Stinky to go to Felicia's. I thought that Stinkerbelle would be happy to stay home with us. It turns out that she was looking forward to her evening plans so I had to come up with something really good to justify keeping her home with us. Once I mentioned baking she brightened considerably.
BreadI bake a lot but usually it's cakes and cookies - I haven't tried to make bread in ages. In our old apartment I'd make challah that would look wonderful until it went into the oven. Something would happen in there to turn gorgeous loaves into yummy but very flat and wide bread.
Saturday night I made challah with Stinky and we had a blast. She was fascinated by the yeast and the way something that smelled bad to her would yield such wonderful results. She was impatient with waiting for the dough to rise. We had a blast and in the end we had lovely, warm bread and the house smelled marvelous. Is there any better smell than bread baking? Yum! If only we could bottle it. The braided loaf is mine and the other 2 were Stinky's. After I put them into the oven I went online and found out the proper way to do a 4 strand braided loaf. I'll just have to make more bread soon to test it out.
I must've been in a real cooking groove because I just couldn't stop. I made a huge pot of vegetarian chili. No pictures of that because chili isn't terribly photogenic. Apple-cranberry crumble looks good in pictures though. Don't you think so? it smelled really good too.


Dec 13, 2007

ECF - Folger Shakespeare Library Edition


Another night, another holiday party. This one was at the Folger Shakespeare Library which is a gorgeous place. One of the most striking things about it is the ceiling which you see here. Isn't it fabulous?

Dec 12, 2007

Drunk Karaoke

IMG_2215Tonight was my firm holiday party and it was much more fun than I expected. The food was delicious, the bar was open and a good time was had by all. Some had a better time than others and some let it all hang out. Through the years I've been to many holiday parties but this was the smallest and the most enjoyable. I guess that the small size coupled with the free flowing alcohol made it much looser and intimate. By the time they started the karaoke people were ready to put on a show. It was hysterical! I wish you could've been there.

IMG_2177Switching gears to something else entirely... do you remember seeing these slippers? The last time I showed them to you they were pre-felting. I love how they came out except for one thing. They're too small for my nephew. No worries. I'll just order up more yarn and make a larger pair. I probably left them in the wash just a little too long. Having to re-do these really isn't the worst thing. I'm not sure if you can see it but there's a small error in these. The pattern says that we should sew down the grey strip down to the inside to make the edge neater. I remembered to do it on the left slipper but not on the right one. As it happens, I like the way the edge stands up a little on the right one better anyway. Other than that one change I think that the rest of the pairs of slippers I make will be exactly like these. How many pairs will I make. The number 4 pops in my head. My nephew still needs a pair, if I'm doing some for him then I'll make some for my niece too. Then of course my girls saw them and thought that they'd like new slippers too. Thankfully they go pretty fast.

Dec 11, 2007

Brick Red Koolhaas

IMG_2197Have you ever started a project with one person in mind and, as you knit you realize that it's really meant for someone else? I'm sure that it happens all the time. When I cast on for this hat (yes, another hat) last week I intended to give it to a family member. As I started the second repeat I suddenly realized that this was the perfect "thank you" hat for a very good friend of ours. I really hope he likes it.
This is Koolhaas by Jared Flood which appeared in this year's holiday issue of Interweave Knits. Knitting this pattern is so simple and intuitive. I worked on it while doing a bunch of other stuff and never made an error.
IMG_2195I love the way this pattern looks when it's at rest and how it opens up when you put it on. I think that the decreases are well thought out and non-intrusive. I just hate when the decreases are obvious and don't flow with the overall pattern. These have a natural flow that adds to the beauty of the design.
Don't you love twisted stitches? It's so cool how they really add stretchiness to the fabric while creating such nice definition to the design. Twisted stitches just make me happy. How weird that a stitch can make you smile. Seriously, the sharp edges they create are really appealing.
The yarn I used was KP Swish Superwash in a color called fired brick. I'm sure that many people have used this yarn before and many, myself included, will use it in the future. It's pretty soft although it doesn't seem to have the same life and shine as other wools. My only issue was that it was a little splitty. My needle (super sharp KP Options) kept catching it and each time the yarn felt like it wanted to come apart (shred maybe) a little. I'm sure it will hold up well but it was a little frustrating when I was working on it.

Dec 10, 2007

Yarn and Silver

It's hard to say what was my favorite purchase on Sunday. There is a certain satisfaction I always get when I buy stuff directly from the person whose hands created it or a cooperative group. I love supporting creativity. This is why I continue to go to craft fairs.
At left are two skeins that I suspect will become hats. Morning Myst is a wool-mohair blend and the other skein is a light chunky wool. I'm not sure what's up with the recent hat fixation. It's true that they're quick and satisfying projects. They're also needed. The whole family seems to require a constant supply. I know that the dryer eats socks but where do the hats go? Thank goodness there are so many great hat patterns available.
Look at this stuff. I tried so hard not to buy this yarn but I just ... couldn't... walk... away. If you could feel it you'd understand. It's 50/50 wool and silk. 264 yards - $24. This stuff is wickedly soft and just gorgeous. Now I need to figure out what to do with it. Something warm to wrap around my neck maybe. Any ideas? For now I'm thinking that I'll just fondle it a lot. I could even throw it around my neck as is and be very happy.

No day of yarn shopping would be complete a little sock yarn. Right? Actually, I wasn't planning on getting any sock yarn at all and I don't usually go for skeins with so many colors but this one spoke to me. It wasn't the only thing I got at Dancing Leaf but it was the only thing for me. The rest of the haul from there was felting supplies for my girls. They are so hooked. I got a handbag kit for DQ that requires wet and dry felting. That sounds like fun and I'll certainly share the results.
This was my last purchase of the day and I almost didn't make it at all. We stopped in Lahara Gallery and browsed all of the wonderful woven goods. They were lovely but we were content to look without buying. As we left the shop I peeked in a case and stopped in my tracks. The picture is crappy but I hope that you can tell what this is. Please tell me that you know this isn't a bug. I love ladybugs but this is a yarn ball with knitting needles stuck through it - not a bug. It's silver inset with lapis and I love it. It's so... me. Too bad we can't knit with those needles because they are super sharp.

Dec 9, 2007

The Studio Tour

What a great weekend this was! It was one of the best I've had in a while. On Saturday I did errands and got a mani/pedi before going out with friends for dinner and a movie. Dinner was delish but the movie was not nearly as satisfying. We saw No Country For Old Men. The acting was fine, the cinematography and direction were good too but the story... oh the story. It was violent and bloody and just so depressing. We chose it because the reviews were really good but it was just such a downer. Thank goodness the company was good and that offset things quite a lot.

Speaking of good company - on Sunday my buddy Felicia, her baby B and I went on a studio tour in Maryland. Despite the lousy weather and way too many wrong turns to count (what is up with the roads in Maryland?), we had so much fun.

The first stop was Kiparoo Farm. It was way out in the middle of nowhere. Thank goodness we took Felicia's car. Her truck was much more appropriate for the bumpy, country roads and, ahem, I think that the mud looked much better on it than it would've on mine.
The shop itself was really quaint and full of great stuff. Annie has 200 head of sheep and she mosty sells yarn that is sent out for processing but dyed by her. It is gorgeous stuff and supporting local agriculture made the purchases feel great.
Here are a few of Annie's sheep having a snack. They didn't mind the rain at all.
The next stop on our tour was Dancing Leaf Farm. This studio was so lovely and, as you can see, it was full of wonderful yarn. Look how wide awake B looks. She tried on a sample hat and chose yarn for a future sweater. We all had so much fun.
Although most of the yarn Dalis sells isn't from her sheep, she does have a few on the farm and they were very curious about all of the folks coming and going.
There were chickens at Dalis's farm too. I thought that these looked so cool. There were more traditional looking chickens there too but I've never seen any that looked like these.
As you can see, it was a wet nasty day but we had a blast. We went to other studios too and, of course we came home with more than we left with. I'll show you what I got in another post.

At one point during the day Felicia and I were musing on how rural things were just an hour or so outside of DC. It's amazing to find wide open spaces and livestock in an area that you usually think of as densely populated. At one place we went, there was a conversation in progress about the ongoing efforts to preserve the agricultural spaces and prevent golf courses and big developments from ruining the feel of the area. The bottom line is that it akes a lot of effort and organization. I'm thankful for all of the hard work that goes into it because we had a fantastic day.

Dec 7, 2007

ECF - Latke Edition


No Hanukkah celebration would be complete without potato latkes and so far we've had them twice this year. I made these last night and the were so yummy. Nice and crisp and very tasty.

Dec 6, 2007

Whee and Wii

IMG_2152It snowed yesterday in DC. In the city it looked nice and harmless but closer to home it was really treacherous. Considering that this storm was not exactly a surprise you would think that the roads would've been sanded etc not no... not in the Old Dominion. People here prefer to slip and slide and crash into stuff apparently. It was especially annoying to see not one but 2 plows loaded with sand sitting around the corner from my house doing nothing. This morning, my street which is one of the main streets in the neighborhood, was not plowed, not sanded and barely passable. The ice had everyone moving at a crawl.

Last night was the second night of Hanukkah and it was perfect. The girls opened the gift Hubbo and I gave them jointly and they were totally surprised. We got them a Wii. I bought it months ago just to be sure that I'd get one. Totally worth it! We set it up in the living room to start and they played tennis, ran track, swam and jumped on the trampoline virtually. I'll tell you what, it's a good thing that the Wii will live in the rec room downstairs where there is plenty of room. That is one very active game. That's why we got it for them although I'm not sure I agree with Stinkerbelle that it's exercise.

Monday night we went to my friend's house for a latke party to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. Look who made their debut there.


Well over a year ago, before she was even pregnant, I told my buddy Felicia that if she had a baby I'd make her a Hedgehog. It turned out to be easier said than done because I just couldn't find the pattern anywhere. I searched in yarn stores all over before I finally found it when I was in North Carolina last August.

B & HedgieHere is a picture of little B with her new Hedgie. I think they're going to be great friends.

About the pattern itself, well... it's great. Making the piece that becomes the tummy, face, arms and legs is a weird experience full of increases and decreases and short rows that doesn't really make sense until much later in the process. When it does come together it's wonderful. I also think that this is another example of a perfect use for fun fur. It really is fun here and the shininess of it appeared o be the thing that B was drawn to. My girls were also enjoying it and they were very clear about wanting hedgies of their own. I may be able to hook them up.

Dec 4, 2007

Glasses on a Desk

There is a vision in my head today that I just can't let go of. It's a room and i can see it just as if I were there.

The walls in the room are a crisp green reminiscent of spring. This impression is heightened by the sunlight streaming through the blinds on the big windows.

Bookcases and file cabinets in light woods and shiny metal circle the room. They are filled with office supplies and the documentation of a life.

A large, glass and metal, L-shaped desk dominates the center of the room. On it sits the computer, phone, pens, a clock and other essentials.

A stack of holiday cards sits alongside an equal pile of envelopes with the return address labels already affixed. They continue to wait for the personal touches that will never come.

Paperwork emblazoned with names of financial institutions lays near the cards. Handwritten notations line the margins of these pension notification and a pair of reading glasses sit atop it – abandoned.

Today would’ve been my father’s 65th birthday and I know that he was really looking forward to this day and retirement in general so it’s doubly hard. Retirement to him meant that things would be a little easier – finances a little less tight. It hurts to think of all the anticipation and the planning for a retirement that never came.

Happy Birthday Dad!


My apologies to DQ for using such unflattering pictures.

IMG_2143I comitted myself to making a bunch of hats this year so it's a good thing that there is no shortage of cool hat patterns. I saw Foliage in the recent Knitty and I knew I'd be making a few of these. It's such an easy pattern that barely into the first repeat on hat one I was able to put away the pattern and fly through it. These hats are cute too.

This is the first version of Foliage that I knit. The yarn I used was Scoubi Du which is a cotton with a nice cozy feel. It will be a gift for someone with serious wool allergies. As cotton's go, this one wasn't bad and I think that it makes a nice, soft, squishy hat. I hope that she'll like it.

IMG_2142This is the second version that I knit. For this one I used Classic Elite Beatrice in a color called Zinnia Bouquet. This is also a gift and it's on it's way to it's new home as I write this. I wish that I had taken a better picture of it because the yarn was nifty. It's a three ply with ochre, orange and a rust tone. This yarn is really sproingy and goes well with the pattern which, being lacy, has a lot of give.

I can see the leaves and calling this pattern Foliage makes sense but it reminds me a lot of a pineapple. This is especially true when the hat is unblocked and the leaves pucker a little. One thing that concerned me a bit was the open-ness of the hat. I wonder how warm it will be. It seems like this would be more of an issue with the second version which uses bigger needles for the thicker yarn. I think that this hat could be really cool if I knit it with a lining in a contrasting color. I'll have to try that.

Hanukkah starts tonight so this would be a good time to address The List. I'm referring, of course, to the overly ambitious list of holiday knitting that I posted a while ago. I'm knitting the items listed on it at a fairly quick rate but, I have to admit that I don't feel the usual sense of urgency. Full disclosure time - I bought gifts for most of the people on my list and delivered them to the recipients during our trip to NY. Thr trip just seemed like such a great opportunity to avoid the wicked shipping charges and the mad rush at the last minute that I did a whirlwind shopping day the week before we went to NY and finished it all. I'm actually happier than usual with what I got everyone and I can't wait to hear how everyone likes what we got them.

I still want to send hand knits to many of my friends and family but now they're special little extras rather than the only gift so I can knit with less pressure. I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

Dec 2, 2007

DQ's Birthday - the End of an Era


IMG_2141Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people - DQ! She's turning 12 and, as I made the cupcakes for her to take to school it suddenly hit me... this is the last time I'll be making cupcakes for her. Next year she'll be in middle school and, as such, way to old to bring cupcakes to school on her birthday. I can't believe it.
DQ's twelfth birthday also means that a certain major event is just a year away. I'm kind of amazed to find myself at this point because I really don't feel old enough but I must be. At any rate I've got some planning to do and one very big project to get started on. I've got ton's of dyeing and hooking to do.
IMG_2140This was the pile of gifts she opened this morning. The biggest was from hubbo and I. We got her a new boombox to replace the one we bought her at birth which finally died. Did you know how hard it is to find a boombox these days? Apparently they're nearly extinct but when you do find them they've got ipod docks and remote controls and other fancy stuff. Nothing stays the same.
So, what do you suppose was in most of those packages? Books! (perfect for the daughter of a librarian) DQ was thrilled to find nearly a dozen books wrapped up and waiting for her. The other thing was a music stand. Books and music - that's my DQ in a nutshell and I'm perfectly ok with that.
At twelve, DQ is an amazing kid. She gets all A's in school and manages to keep up with dance classes, a special school band group, Girl Scouts and so much more. She's a wonderful, positive kid and I'm so proud of her I could burst.
Happy birthday darling!

Nov 30, 2007

ECF - Mystery Location Edition

I bet you'll never guess where I took this picture.

Relaxation Defined

I took this shot exactly a week ago during my trip to New York. We spent most of the week in Queens but we did take one long drive up the Taconic to visit my sister-in-law's country house. I'd never been there before.
My in-laws were there visiting from Florida and my brother-in-law was there with his family too. We rarely have the opportunity to get together as one big group and all of the cousins had a blast. The adults relaxed, drank wine, and caught up with each other by the fire crackling in the fireplace.

Home in the Trees

I liked this picture too. Stinkerbelle was so jealous when she saw this treehouse. She would love to have one. I suppose that when you have 5 or 6 acres of tree covered land to work with it's not too hard to find a suitable tree. We don't have nearly as many to choose from in our little yard in Fairfax.

Rowboat to Nowhere

How perfect is this cute little rowboat that sits in a small pond in front of the house? By small I mean barely more than a large puddle. The ducks seemed to like it.

So where is this? Believe it or not it's in Rhinebeck!