Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here comes 2007

My tradition is to make resolutions but not call them resolutions. Let's just say I agree in principle with the first four ideas, but I am not going to obsess about them.

1. 2007 - Year of Creativity
I mentioned to Sand a few weeks ago how I wanted to incorporate more kinds of art into my life. Specifically, I had been reading about sketchbooks and illustrated journals. I love them.

Anyway, Sand pounced on the idea and declared 2007 the Year of Creativity. This sounds much nicer than last year's declaration of "The Year of Crappy Doodles." The idea is to do something creative every day. Write, draw, paint, knit - heck, arrange flowers as long as you do it with a creative spirit.

This is the perfect opportunity to use up some of those Moleskines that are so enticing.

2. Knit From the Stash
Wendy got the knitbloggers all fired up with her plans not to buy yarn for several months, and only knit with yarn she already has.

I know myself well enough to recognize that I would chafe under such restrictions. I have quite enough nice yarn to see me through the year, though, so I had better have a darned good reason for buying any more yarn for awhile.

3. Sock Marathon
The esteemed Lime & Violet are sponsoring a three-month challenge to knit with sock yarn. The rules are pretty flexible, just the way I like them.

I have gobs of sock yarn. I need to knit some of it. Now. Two of the three projects on the needles are past the halfway point. My first new project will be knitting two socks on two circs. I have never tried this technique, so it also qualifies as...

4. Try Something Different
My corollary to the first three items is to try some things I haven't done before. Painting, yoga, fair isle knitting, salsa dancing - whatever. Revisiting things I have tried but sort of forgotten, like spinning or playing the guitar, is also acceptable.

The goal is to try one new thing each month. I was late ordering my Fever Dreams calendar this year, but as soon as I get it, I will use it to record the cool things I try.

The Knitwits have agreed to join me as needed if I say, "Hey, let's go to the pottery-painting place!"

5. Run a 5K
This is the "Holy crap, what was I thinking, and I wasn't even drunk" item. The Knitwits went out for dinner tonight. One minute we were discussing what yarn we liked, and the next minute we were shaking hands on a solemn agreement to do Race For The Cure in October.

No, I'm not a runner. None of us are. But we said we will do it, and I think we will.

At least it will qualify for the "Try something different" category.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Nice Knitting

I couldn't wait to try out the Malabrigo, so Thursday morning, I wound one skein into a ball and cast on.

The colorway is Water Garden, which Margie and Kim picked out for me. I would never have picked mint green - in fact, I don't even remember seeing it on the rack. But why not? I have a green coat, so it will probably look okay with that.

I'm using the Yarn Harlot's One-row Handspun Scarf pattern, which is magnificently simple, but more entertaining than plain ribbing.

The needles are Lantern Moon rosewood and ebony, which I purchased at a deep discount from a yarn shop that is closing. I started out on metal needles, but they were too slippery for the yarn. I would have bought Brittanys, but they didn't have the size I needed. Sad, isn't it, that I once again was forced into buying the jaw-droppingly beautiful Lantern Moons?

Katie gives the scarf her seal of approval - briefly, until I rescue it. She also loves watching the long straight needles flap around as I knit.

Coming tomorrow: my non-resolutions for the new year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


A few days ago, I got a postcard announcing that Personal Threads in Omaha had a sale beginning December 27. In a remarkable coincidence, several of the Knitwits were off work on the 27th. So we all piled into Amy's van early this morning and headed west.

Once there, we ran into the world-famous Miss Violet of Lime & Violet podcast fame and her friend Alcariel. Storytelling and yarn enabling ensued. Much Malabrigo left the store. Four of the skeins were mine, plus a skein of Schaeffer Andrea silk laceweight.

After finishing our shopping, we went for coffee and visited a while longer, and laughed and laughed. Thanks, ladies for showing us a good time in your fair city.

I've been knitting on the two socks I don't hate. Today on the trip, I picked up the heel flap stitches on the Opal Zebra sock and the Cherry Tree Hill Fish Scales sock. When I get to that point, the end is in sight.

While I have not completely subscribed to the "Knit From Your Stash" rules that are swirling about the blogosphere, I certainly agree that I have plenty of lovely yarn on hand to keep me busy for a good long while. However, I told myself I could not start any more socks until these two were done. I have Socks That Rock in my stash, people. I have Artyarns and Schaeffer Anne and Mountain Colors, and I can't even remember what else. I need to get these socks finished so I can try out some of the other yummies.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Case in point

I decided I wanted to make a pecan pie for Christmas. Specifically, I wanted to make my mom's pecan pie, which was much admired.

I looked in her recipe box. No pecan pie.

I looked in my recipe box. No pecan pie.

Mom was not the type to keep her special recipes secret, and I knew she would never let me grow to adulthood without telling me how to make her pecan pie.

Then, I saw this sitting on the shelf.

Her Betty Crocker cookbook from 1961, so well used that it is held together with duct tape. In desperation, I turned to the pie section. Et voila!

Pecan pie! And more importantly, it had an X penciled next to it.

Mom loved collecting recipes, and I suggested one time that she should mark the important ones, the ones the family considered the "real" version. Over the next few years, she did just that, so I knew I had found the king of the pecan pie recipes.

Incidentally, the secret is to use light corn syrup, not dark, and try to forget for a few days that you even used the now-vilified corn syrup in anything. Also, the pie crust must be in one piece, without any patches or tears. The filling will seep right through a patch, and then you have an unholy mess.

Terry just called Starbucks and found out that they are open until 4:00 PM. I guess we are headed out for a holiday Frapuccino.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Making stuff

I've been an orphan for three years now.

Three years ago today, after having ominous reports from the nursing home and hospice, T and I moved up our vacation and made the eight-hour drive to Kansas. We went straight to the nursing home, where the nurse told me, "She's been waiting for you." Mom had been unconscious all day, but we held her hand, talked to her, and said a prayer. We left to go get a sandwich and check into the motel. Less than an hour later, Mom died.

Almost immediately upon hearing the news, I realized that there was now a huge gap in my life. She was the one who remembered all of the stories about the past, her past and my own. She would remember stories I had told her about my life long after I had forgotten them.

She did leave me with a legacy, though. She taught me how to make stuff. She was a homemaker. She liked doing all of those homemaker things, and she taught me as many of them as I could bear to learn. Thus, I can cook and sew, knit and crochet, quilt and embroider. I don't do them all now, at least not regularly, but if I have to, I can do them all.

Today, I knit.

I am determined to get these socks finished so I can knit something else for awhile. I just started the heel flap on the first one. I am a few rows away from the heel flap on the second one. The third one - oh, dear. I just have a horrible time feeling the love for this sock. I don't know why. I will be SO glad when it is finished... in 2008, at this rate.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm a cat

You Are: 20% Dog, 80% Cat

You are are almost exactly like a cat.
You're intelligent, independent, and set on getting your way.
And there's no way you're going to fetch a paper for anyone!

Katie, I'm sure, will be insulted to know this. Maybe I should wake her up to tell her?

Monday, December 11, 2006

One click for healthy chicks

You've seen the things where you click on a link and provide funding for some project or the other? This one funds free mammograms for women who can't afford them. Just click the pretty pink button to go to the site.

Getting a mammogram is just an annual inconvenience for some of us. For others, it can be a fiscal nightmare to get a lump checked out. Here's one way you can give them a hand.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my cold added the disconcerting elements of fever and chest pain over the weekend, so I ended up at the walk-in clinic Sunday. Bronchitis, said the doc. I'm now enjoying a whole new set of meds - but feeling better. My voice is still a mess. You should have heard me singing the Hallelujah Chorus along with the radio tonight. Then again, maybe not.

I felt well enough to knit tonight, and put a couple of rows on the neglected 3xChic sweater. I assume we will get true winter weather someday (not this week, they tell me), and I need to be ready.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The crud

Since last week, I have had some combination of headache, sore throat, cough, and congestion. At work, everyone downstairs tells me, "Oh, you have that thing that's been going around down here." You know the one - more than a cold, less than the flu, and nothing you can do but wait it out, sometimes for weeks.

What really ticks me off is that most of the multi-symptom cold medicines, like Tylenol Cold and Dayquil, have replaced pseudoephedrine with phenylephrine. Phenylephrine, to be blunt, Does Not Work for me. Fine, if they want to keep all of the Sudafed behind the pharmacy counter. Just sell me something that will take care of all of my symptoms so I don't have to tote four different medicines everywhere I go and mix my own. Sheesh.

I'll write again when I feel better - I hope.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Duh, what?

You scored as Judge. You are a Judge Empath, one who is a "truthsayer". You can tell truth from lies, good from evil. You do not tolerate wrong doing. You are a defender of the good and the innocent. You are kind and merciful but do not play foolish games. (from "The Book of Storms" by Jad Alexander.)





Fallen Angel












What Kind of Empath Are You?
created with

I'm not sure what the heck a "Judge Empath" would be, but the description sounds about right, especially with a heaping serving of Artist on the side. No idea what the Fallen Angel is all about. Thanks to Lydia for sharing this, albeit ages ago.