Friday, December 29, 2006

A New Project

Have you all seen the Winter Issue of IK?? Isn't that Nantucket Jacket on the cover gorgeous? Did you know that there is a KAL for it? And that many of the ladies knitting this jacket are making modifications to the pattern, so there will be lots of interesting things to learn, and lots of experienced knitters to help you if you want modifications? Yeah, it is so awesome that I decided to choose this pattern for my first me-sized sweater! I am so excited!

I ordered some Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks, so if I decided to say something-that-rhymes-with-Nantucket, and chuck it, I won't be out a bucket (of cash).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

How many steps did you take today?

I got a pedometer for Christmas - it is very cool, it even talks to me. All it is lacking is Anne Robinson's sarcastic voice to tell me "You could have walked 10,000 steps. Instead, you completed an appalling, dismal, disgraceful 1438 steps." I need to start walking more because in March, TRHM and I are going to The Mouse House with my sister and her family. They'll leave me in the dust to be sure! How many steps do you walk in a day?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Filling in the Blanks

In October, I posted about something I was making, and said I would fill in the blanks. I was making a felted messenger bag for my Knitted Purse Swap partner, Mel. I was thrilled with the way it came out.

I learned a lot of new techniques/stitches in making it. The bag is knit from the top down, with 2 inches of linen stitch, then twisted stockinette. The "edges" are done by slipping a stitch every other row. The bottom is mitered and cast off with a three needle cast off. The flap is knitted seperately, then sewn on. I decided that stripes would be nice on the flap. The strap is knit using a slip stitch with 2 rows of solid followed by 2 rows of varigated. This technique resulted in a cool almost houndstooth pattern. When the yarn arrived, I was a little nervous about the varigated not matching with the solid, but after felting, I think it looks great! One of the coolest things about this pattern was that the swatch became a pocket! How cool is that?? I really liked the way that the twisted stockinette resulted in a corduroy-ish fabric. Mel liked it a lot, and I am really glad. This was a fun swap, and I am signed up for the next one. Come and join the fun!!

Did you finish your Christmas Knitting??

Well, 5 out of 7 isn't too bad ... I was planning to knit 6 *** for ***, but I only got 5 finished. But they are wrapped and ready to go.

The *** I was knitting for *** is about 2/3 finished, and there is no hope of it getting finished for Christmas. But that is okay, because there are other goodies under the tree for that person.

Almost all of the other presents are wrapped and in boxes, ready to go out to the car. We are leaving at "early-thirty" (as TRHM says) to go to Rhode Island to spend the weekend with Mom and Dad and the rest of the family.

Did you get your Christmas knitting finished? Are you ready? Santa is on his way, you know!

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Visit to The Mouse House

I just returned from a long weekend in Florida. I went to Orlando with my sister, Heidi, and my Mom. We went to see the Christmas lights and also to celebrate Mom's birthday. The first stop was Animal Kingdom. I was working on my socks - you know, the Trekking socks that I was planning to have done LAST July 4th ... the red, white and blue ones ... mm-hmm those. We saw the Tree of Life - it is a truly amazing site! The animals carved into it are very lifelike. We also saw the "It's Tough to be a Bug" show - it was fantastic!

After Animal Kingdom, we went to MGM. Lunch was at the Sci-Fi Drive-In theater - it was so cool! There is a huge screen, and there are "cars" from the 50's that have tables in them. On the screen, they play clips from old scifi movies. Also at MGM is the Osbourne Lights display. This family had so many lights that their neighbors got an injunction, so they moved the display to Disney World. I couldn't believe how many lights there were! After a quick tour of the lights, we took the boat launch over to The Wilderness Lodge for dinner. Heidi had arranged for a special birthday dessert for Mom, and we had a very nice dinner. I ordered a martini that was blue and had a blue blinking cube in it! At the end of the night, we staggered back to The Swan (our hotel) and fell into a coma until morning.

The second day, we went to Epcot. We rode a new ride, called Soarin'. It is really neat - you sit in a row of seats, and when everyone is buckled in, the row of seats is raised in front of a huge screen. Air blows on you and a movie plays, giving you the sensation of soaring over California. Well worth the 75 min wait! We toured the world, then had dinner in Germany. The food was wonderful and there was a great floor show. After dinner, we went to the Candlelight Processional - it was one of the best Christmas shows I have ever seen! It is the story of the nativity, with a special guest narrator (ours was Stephen Curtis Chapman), an orchestra, a choir of Disney cast members, and several guest choirs from high schools and churches all over the world. After Epcot, we ran over to The Magic Kingdom for Spectromagic. What a neat parade! All of the floats and characters were covered in lights. One of the floats had the Three Pigs on it, and when the pig dipped his paintbrush into the barrel decorated with white lights, all of the float's lights (for every float, not just that one) turned white, and when he dipped the paintbrush into the barrel decorated with colored lights, all of the floats turned colored, again. Very cool.

On the third day, we went to The Magic Kingdom for the day. We rode the Jungle Cruise, the Delta Queen, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Mom had her first smoked turkey leg! We watched the fireworks over Cindarella's castle, then buzzed over to MGM for Fantasmic. That is an awesome show! There were fireworks, pyrotechnics, water spraying, and all sorts of wonderful effects!

Tuesday was my last day, but Heidi and Mom stayed one more night, to return home on Wednesday. Tuesday morning, we got up and took the monorail over to The Grand Floridian to see the huge gingerbread house. We had a fun breakfast with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Alice, The Mad Hatter, and Mary Poppins. The gingerbread house was incredible! The decorations were very elaborate - with each window box filled with red and white sugar pointsettias. After we saw the gingerbread house, we took the boat launch over to the Beach Resort to see the chocolate carousel. It smelled sooooooo good!!!! Each horse was sculpted of chocolate with chocolate curls for a mane, and was decorated with a different motif. One horse was decorated with a red blanket and a bridle of sugar pointsettias, another with a green blanket with holly, and a third with a blue blanket covered with sugar snowflakes.

We had such a great trip - lots of fun and laughter all weekend long!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Light a Candle

When my son was born (more than 19 years ago), I was living in San Francisco, and a new epidemic was sweeping the city - AIDS. I was managing a large apartment complex of 3 buildings and 108 units on Lombard Street just three blocks from the famous zig-zag block. My assistant manager, Ginger, was a very interesting woman who was very active in the gay community. Her mother was a costumer on Broadway, and had come to San Francisco to visit for a couple of months. She was making a Maleficent costume for a man Ginger knew who was dying of AIDS. One of his last wishes was to dress as Maleficent for a costume ball that he had attended every year for many years. He knew this year would be his last, and Ginger wanted it to be the best ever for him. One night, he was at Ginger's apartment for a costume fitting, when I brought my brand new baby over to see Ginger. My 3 year old daughter used to call Ginger "Girlfriend" and they got along famously. He was oohhhing and aahhhing over the baby, and I held the baby out to him and asked if he wanted to hold him. He took the baby gently, rocked him and sang to him. There were tears in his eyes as he handed the baby back to me and told me that ever since he had gotten sick, his family had shunned him. They were afraid that if they touched him or were in the room with him, they would catch "The Gay Plague". He thanked me for making him feel like a normal person and letting him hold my baby. He said it was the kindest thing anyone had done for him in a very long time.

Later, Ginger told me that when the night of the costume ball came, he was too sick and weak to wear the magnificent costume her mother made. She also told me that the night I let him hold my baby was one of the last things he talked about before he slipped away. I do not know his name, but it is in his memory that I lit a candle. Bristol Meyers Squibb is donating $1 to The National AIDS Fund for every candle that is lit at their website. It doesn't cost you anything, just a moment of your time. Light a candle, spread the word.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Heart the Mailman ...

The mailman brought me a lovely box all the way from Alameda, CA. It was from my purse swap partner. I wanted to open it, but I hadn't mailed mine yet, so I e-mailed Mel to tell her that I got her box and was dying to open it, but decided that the least I could do was get hers in the mail, first. She promptly replied - open it, open it!!!! So I happily obliged. She told me that it was the best FO she ever made, and she hoped I loved it as much as she did.

Well, guess what?? It is PERFECT in every way!!!! Thank you, Mel!! I love love LOVE my perfect purse!! Yours is on it's way ;)

The color is a really pretty soft grey, and the cables are beautiful. When I looked inside, there were LADYBUGS!! How awesome is that??? And it was filled with goodies - an album, candles and the cutest ladybug buttons I've ever seen!. There were even goodies under the purse ... how did she know that KitKats are my fave??

It's Beginning to look like Christmas!!

Wow - everyone is getting their decorations out, and at night, the twinkling lights are lovely! My neighbor's all have their wreathes on their doors, and many of the condos are sporting lighted windows.

But I think someone needs to tell the geranium that it is time to go to sleep until next year.

And they might want to consider having the landscapers cut the grass again.

What the heck is going on???

I am pretty sure that today is the first day of December ... that is what the calendar says ...