Friday, January 15, 2010

California Dreamin'

We're in southern CA for a quilt show - the wonderful Road to California. Our road here was a bit much, but we're really enjoying the weather!

We got a later start than expected/planned. Bob thought we didn't have enough dowels and we would just have to make do with what we had. While I was at work Fri night, he found more. I got home from work about midnight to a new plan. Bob's idea was to leave later Sat and spend the day making more product to take with us - including cutting and sanding all the dowels he found. The dowels are the necessary part of the thread organizers that we make. So instead of leaving around 10 am, we managed to pull out of the driveway at 11:55 pm! My son Pete was going with us.

He's lived in the San Francisco area for three years and decided that he wanted to move to NYC. He stayed in PA for about a month before he decided that he'd had enough of the cold and wanted CA weather back.

Pete being with us worked wonderfully. It was his idea to alternate driving and just drive straight through. Since we were tired enough to sleep in the car and Pete can sleep just about anywhere, that's exactly what we did. And by saying that "we" drove, I mean that in the broadest sense possible. I think I drove one hour!

Southern CA in the "winter" just can't be beat. On Tues, we sat outside at In-n-Out for several hours enjoying the winter weather (mid-70's) and sunshine. Due to the seasonal shift in the wind direction, the sky is beautifully blue and clear. There are roses, primroses and bird of paradise blooming everywhere. So much for winter!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cowls and mittens and shawls, Oh my!

What is on your knitting schedule? Mine seems to be over run with knit alongs and goals! From Ravelry - the Woolgirl group is having a fingerles gloves/mitts KAL which coincides with National Knit Mittens Month. It's rather nice to have one project fit into multiple spots! The Embrace the Lace bonus kit is a very lovely cowl and the pattern being used in the Cowl group's Jan KAL is also lovely - and those who have knit it already have commented on what a quick knit it is. The Sivia Harding group is having a KAL for the Heart to Heart beaded scarf this month. I've knit one and gave it as a gift to my cousin. Since then I've bought the cashmere yarn and beads to make another for myself.

And then the shawls! The end of last year - no I think most of last year! - didn't see much positive progress on shawls for me. My aeolian is only four rows away from being bound off and is waiting patiently to be finished. I spent quite awhile knitting my Norwegian Woods shawl only to completely rip out all progress. And yet I somehow managed to get sucked into the idea of 10 shawls in 2010. Conveniently the Seasons of Lace winter KAL is (of course!) a shawl! It's a free pattern entitled Echo Flowers. I spent too long dithering about which yarn to use. I've wound one of the two skeins in a silk/cashmere blend I bought several months ago.

Looks like I have my work cut out for me this month! Now to see just how much of it I can actually accomplish.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Do you believe in the power of prayer?

It should be obvious from the title, but if you have no religious belief, move along!

I received some bad financial news last week. And then a few days later received even worse financial news. Cancelled a Woolgirl subscription (Alice in Wonderland series), evaluated a few things, etc. Got info on where to go to sell blood plasma, evaluated things around here that might be sold.

And I prayed. A lot. Asked God for a Christmas miracle. And today that miracle was delivered by the USPS. It doesn't completely solve Problem #1, but it solves even worse Problem 2 and makes #1 easier to handle. I've been in tears ever since.

Monday, December 21, 2009

That light at the end of the tunnel?

Nope, not the rescue team. Fully loaded train barreling into me. For the first time in my life I'm having to remind myself that buying a lottery ticket is not a wise investment of a dollar. I've never been tempted to buy lottery tickets before. The odds of winning are so terribly bad, I've figured that my odds of winning without a ticket were just slightly lower than if I had a ticket. Sitting down and crying won't help. Maybe I'll go scrub something. It doesn't cost me anything and has good results.

If someone wanted to share the winning numbers I wouldn't turn them down.

Monday, December 7, 2009

RIP Norwegian Woods Shawl

Let's all have a moment of silence in respect for Felicia's Norwegian Woods shawl. NW met her demise this evening due to a severe run-in with a drunken frog. NW was completely ripped while in the frog pond and her remains have been rewound into a fresh clean center pull ball. No beads were sacrificed but were carefully scooped up and put back into the altoids tin to rest with their friends until knitting recommences.

After becoming suspicious about the size of the remaining ball of yarn, Felicia realized that her shawl plus beads and needles weighed over 160 gms and the remaining yarn was under 50 gms. While NW was in the stages of Chart B, Felicia knew there would not be enough yarn remaining. In an act of supreme self sacrifice, Felicia pulled the plug/needle out so that NW would not have to suffer.

Felicia does not have exact plans at this moment. She has been knitting for months without any finished objects - or at this point, any knitting to show for her efforts. She is currently torn between the idea of casting on the current Embrace the Lace club shipment of a cowl for some quick and easy gratification or resuming NW. NW II could be reincarnated in the current fingering weight yarn and the smaller size or in the correct lace weight yarn in the desired large size.

Please send wine. Cheese, crackers and maybe a tissue or two would also be appreciated.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Snow

We had our first winter snowfall today. Well, technically, it was yesterday. But I just got home from work, so to me, it's still today. If that makes any sense at all! Anyway......on Saturday we had our first snowfall.

I will be the first one to tell you that I am not a big winter fan. I don't participate in any winter sports. I don't ski or snowmobile or even snowshoe. So for me snow is just something to shovel and it makes a mess.

But the first snowfall? Magical. We're not far from the full moon and combine that with everything covered in white and it is very bright out there! I really enjoyed my drive home from work tonight. It was a fairly wet snow so everything is covered with an edge of white. Tree branches are no longer invisible in the night but are instead beautifully covered in snow. They stand out in ghostly silhouette against the night sky. Pine and hemlock needles are gently bowed under the weight of the snow. Fence lines and electric poles have this magical white glow about them. This is the time to take a professional camera outside and set it to the slowest shutter speed possible to capture the magic and beauty of the night.

There isn't enough snow to break brances or down power lines. Depending upon the temperature, we might even lose all the snow tomorrow. The ground isn't really cold enough for the snow to stick around. Next time? It won't be too long before it is cold enough for the snow to stick around until spring. It gets dirty and dingy and we all become sick and tired of shoveling this blasted stuff.

But for now? Magic.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Two Weeks? Really?

I was awfully busy at work, but I also know I'm not the only one. How on earth does everyone else manage? Or is it that I've never made blogging a habit? That is probably it. I can't guarantee daily posting (ha!) but I'll make an effort towards more reliable posting.

1. Bob is home. Which threw my whole schedule cattywampus. Still recovering from that!

2. My dryer broke as soon as I got home in Oct and I still haven't been able to replace it. If you can't count on Lowe's to run a fork lift into a dryer, what can you count on!

3. Turning wood is lots of fun. New stuff coming soon.

4. Pictures too.

5. I am very thankful - that I really don't have holiday knitting to do!