Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rock Star

The other day when it was a gazillion degrees below zero, J & I went for lunch. I don't think I had a hat on, and J offered me a hat with 3 different pinks and a white star top. How could I refuse? I love hand knitted gifts!

Look! Isn't it great?

Why yes, I am in front of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. After at least a year of saying we should, H & D & I actually made it to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. We had a great time, and spent 5 hours looking at as much as we possibly could. There was so much to see, and hear that we probably would have needed a few more hours - and there were even noticeable gaps in the collection. I loved it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brown Bag Exchange

My knitting guild, the Windy City Knitting Guild has a Brown bag Exchange every year. You put a skein of yarn (or more depending upon the predetermined project, i.e. socks, scarf...) in a bag, a number is put on the bag, and you choose a bag (not your own, of course). Then you find a pattern for the yarn and knit something lovely for your recipient. Had I thought about all of this ahead of time, I could have taken photos of the bag, but I didn't so use your imagination.

The project this year was a sock, a single sock using a free pattern. The idea was to help someone get a pair of socks - without risk of the dreaded second sock syndrome.

Here are some photos of the sock I made in progress...(yes, that is Chocho's paw, she was very helpful that day)

The completion date was in December, but there was a huge snowstorm that day, and I asked D to take the train home hoping that he might make it home on time. Did he? No. By the time he arrived home it was far too late to go the meeting, and there was a bit too much snow to get there and be able to park. The recipient would have to wait, and since I had the 2nd skein of yarn I decided to just go ahead and make the second sock. I liked the way the patterning of the yarn and knit purl pattern on the sock worked out, it didn't scream BEE STRIPE, and it wasn't too busy. The pattern is Glacier Lake from Yes! Suna Knits!, and the yarn is Lorna's laces Bee Stripe.

The best part of the brown bag exchange is getting your brown bag back with your goodies, and I got goodies!!!! I got a Queen of Cups sock, and an adorable mug (keeping with the cup theme) with an argyle border, some hot cocoa, some coffee, and chocolate. Ollie approved, and was glad to see the yarny goodness there, and he was pretty intrigued by the little bell on the bag.

Thanks C, it is so very lovely! The sock is so pretty, that it almost makes me want to say it is too pretty to wear, except that I don't believe in that sort of thing (which is why I lost one of my exquisite Estonian mittens). If I don't wear it who will? Now I've got to get going on the second sock, it's killing me!

Going Downhill

We were discussing how to spend Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and C#2 said that he would like to try skiing - downhill. I hemmed and hawed and finally thought, why not? So we went. We found a lovely place to stay in Lake Geneva, WI and we joined a large crowd of people renting gear and suddenly found ourselves on a bright slope with some horribly uncomfortable boots on and some skis and poles in hand. Yikes.

We had a great ski instructor, who broke everything down for us and made it all quite do able. C#2 is so flexible and has such great balance I was quite amazed at how he maneuvered his body around and managed to get righted without falling. C#1 did a great job, and really persevered. He did well and had good balance until we went to a bit more of a challenging hill and he had a great deal of difficulty regaining his balance. I think he was tired.

I only fell once, and not while I was skiing. I really enjoyed it, and was quite thrilled to learn something completely new at my age - which I don't think I'll mention. Vain? Me? Hell, yes!

I have photos on my phone, but I have to figure out how to get them on the computer. Bear with me, you should already know that I'm a luddite!

A bit of sad news. I lost one of my beloved Estonian mittens. If you see one like this, please let me know.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ollie, and some other rambling, again.

Ollie, taking a very nice sun bath the other day.

He's getting so loooooooooong. Look how he curls his tail up, and has exposed his soft and fluffy belly (that means he is feeling secure and safe).

We may be getting another kitty. A couple of months ago I found Cookie in our backyard. He's mostly white with tan, and he's very chatty and VERY affectionate. He's a winner, although any cat that finds our house is usually a winner. A winner of the cat lottery. Our friend, R, always says that in his next life he wants to come back as one of our pets. My mom may take Cookie, but her crumbly old kitty may not like that very much. We want Cookie. 4 cats are a lot, but Cookie is our kind of kitty, very dog like in behavior and really interactive. Cookie and Ollie have been playing footsies under the door, I think they'd make a dynamic duo. We'll see.

I took these photos the other day when it was sunny and warm(er). Right now it's -6.7F with a wind chill of -23F.



I'm knitting slippers for my friends, the Ys in Japan. Not just friends, they are like my parents there, Mama and Papa. They are so kind and generous and thoughtful, and I love them dearly. I never know what to get them for the holidays, they have everything they could possibly need. Like most elderly Japanese they don't eat much Western food, or much chocolate, and don't use much maple syrup, the things that are generally good gifts to send to Japan.

I thought felted slippers would be a great gift, and I started knitting, only to run out of yarn. Now, I have the yarn, and have finished knitting. In the meantime, I had to find another gift to send, so now I figure I'm ahead of the game and will be sending the slippers next year.
Yeah, I know, remind me about this in the fall when they still look like this and Mama's aren't even started yet.

Other slipper news, my favorite shearling slippers have died. An ugly death. This was the second pair I had and they were perfect for me, warm and cushy and pretty hard wearing.

Their bright replacements have just arrived, but they aren't doing it for me. The insole isn't cushy enough.

OMG, D just showed me how to put photos in my posts (quickly and easily), wow! I will not even reveal the backward way I had done it before. Like I said, I am a Luddite.

Okay, enough insipid blogging and knitting procrastinating, time to go make dinner.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another Unoriginal

One more hat for my friend L. Luckily she has finished with chemo, but it is winter here and it has been pretty cold, and this is alpaca. C#2 put it on and immediately requested "...a hat like this in red and different."

I bought this yarn at Stitches with L. in mind, soft, warm and earth tones. I guess I better look for some red alpaca for C#2, and blue alpaca for C#1 just to be sure.

Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande Paint, used less than 1 skein.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's already 2009. I can't believe that I haven't knit as much as I had planned, but whatever, I'll try this year.

I am debating a "To Knit List" for 2009, but since 2008's was such a joke...should I really waste my time? I mean Aunt G's mohair sweater hasn't progressed at all! Perhaps I should resurrect the old list...but that's not too "new year"-ish.

I have been knitting a sock for someone through the Windy City Knitting Guild's Brown Bag Exchange, and I have really enjoyed sock knitting. Very portable, and pretty fast - except for the middle when it seems like it's going on forever - but what knitting isn't like that? Well, except for scarves because those suckers do go on forever. Have I mentioned my dislike of scarf knitting? I love scarves and wear them all the time, but I have none that I have knit for myself. Oh, well. I suppose I could stop giving knits away...