Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's the little things....

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the year. It was good. Some are good and some are bad, but this one was good.

We got a lovely new grandaughter. Her brother adores her. He did right from the start.

My husband got a new job that makes him happy.

I had a bad year selling real estate but you'll have this from time to time as the market re-adjusts. It's bad when it happens but it's normal. (Well, usually it's normal anyhow)

We started some long awaited projects on our house which made me feel much better because those much needed repairs kept me up at night worrying.

In retrospect if I had to say what I'd like to change about the year it would be that I was so preoccupied with work and family that I let some things slip with friends and didn't do some of the things that I really enjoy doing for myself. I couldn't find the time to go to knitting night. (ONCE A MONTH!) I rarely called my friends on the phone to say hello. I forgot most birthday cards.

I think I got lazy. It was easier with everything else that was going on to just ignore the things that weren't vital to daily existence.

I have a friend who is amazing. She never forgets anything. And she works full time and pretty much takes care of her Dad since her mother died a few years ago. But I can guarantee you that she doesn't have one friend who doesn't hear from her in some way at least every other week. It might be an email or a voice mail or a quick phone call but you hear from her.

I want to try to be a better friend this year. I want to try to be a better communicator in general. My New Years Resolution is to be more thoughtful. That's it in a nutshell.

I need to be more thoughtful.

Below is another one of my Christmas presents. My (very thoughtful) daughter and son-in-law took Clare for a professional portrait in the baptism gown I made for her. I can't stop looking at it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas and 2009 Knitting Resolutions

Could this be a subtle hint??

I believe my Christmas present says, "Put the knitting down and get some excercise."

Point taken.

Last year at this time, when taking stock of my year in knitting, I resolved to use up my stash in 2008. I didn't. This coming year, I will make a concentrated effort to do just that. I have some beautiful yarn, most purchased with a particular project in mind and some purchased just because I liked the looks of it. In reality, it's wasteful. So I will try. Really. I will. I could make Clare 30 pairs of socks with left over sock yarn and I'd still have some left over.

I'm not sure why I didn't photograph all of the Christmas projects I completed. I think I was out in left field somewhere for the last two months but I will make an effort to get back on track.

The beaded scarf turned out well even though I screwed up the pattern. Michael's fingerless gloves were a hit. I think the girls liked their socks. Denny liked his cashmere scarf even though I think it's flimsy. Something that cost that much to make shouldn't be so non-substantial. Give me 100% merino any day. Lesson learned.

So, I just want to say Happy New Year to all of my knitting friends near and far. May 2009 be a great year for everyone!

(Gratuitous grandchildren photo to follow)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Charlottesville, VA

I just got back from a week in the beautiful
city of Charlottesville, VA.
The countryside is beautiful even in the winter.
And the weather is mild. Much warmer than here.
We saw John Grisham sitting at his desk at the window in
his office. (that was sort of exciting!)
We even got some shopping in at the Downtown Mall pictured
And, of course, we had to hit "The Needle Lady"
Incredible inventory.
Cate had to drag me out of there.

Thanks to this little vacation (of sorts), the Christmas knitting is just about complete.
Colin's sweater is finished. A scarf is finished.
Fingerless gloves are nearly finished.
The blocking board comes out tonight.
It will be good to get back to more leisurely knitting!

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Rant

Times are tough. According to what I've been reading in Time and Newsweek, they're going to get tougher. When times are tough, that means that times are really tough for charitable organizations. When you have to cut back, I would think that one of the first places you look is the money that you give away. So I feel sorry now for the people responsible for raising money for charitable organizations.

Having said that, here's the rant: I'm tired of every checkout person in just about every store I walk into asking me if I want to give a dollar to this charity or that organization. At lunch time, it was for an organization I never even heard of. And, it was the second person today who asked me. The first was at the supermarket before work, and, yes, I gave a dollar to .... wow.. I can't even remember now what I gave it for. But I did recognize that organization. The second time I was asked was at Taco Bell and I have no idea what that money would have supported.

I usually say yes. But it annoys me. It's the principle. If I chose to come into a store to purchase something, they should have the courtesy not to ask me for more money.

I'm not cheap, I'm not stingy, and I'm not a great big grouch. But I prefer to choose who gets my donations. I have pet causes. I can't help it. I'd rather the MS Society get all this money I'm forking over at the checkout counter. Or the food bank. Sure, I know I can say no, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who do indeed say no. But I do not like being put in that position when I go into a store in good faith to do business.

On the one hand, I'm glad they raise a lot of money from people like me who can't say no. People need the money. On the other hand, it still annoys the hell out of me.

Ugh. I'm so conflicted!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yo! Family!

I want this book for Christmas!!!

Does anyone have it? Is it good?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holiday Knitting

Jade Sapphire 100% Cashmere scarf
I would love to have made this a little longer.
But I have more money in it than I should to begin with!

I came up with this stitch on my own for this scarf. Not that it is anything
out of the ordinary. If I had it to over again, I wouldn't have made it so wide and
I would have used bigger needles. It's a 100% merino DK on size 5's. It's a little stiff.
Look below how the front and back differs.
The back is pretty cool.

Below is Colin's sweater.. all finished but the neck.
I'm not sure why Blogger decided to upload this photo
on it's side. ???
The yarn doesn't look very attractive in this photo, but
actually, it is a very pretty green with colorful specks.

So, at this point I still have two pairs of socks and another scarf to complete.
Every year I swear I'm not going to stress myself out like this, and every year
I do it all over again!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

Well, not really. Just trains. We took Colin and Clare to a model railroad exhibit. He LOVED the trains. He especially liked watching them come out of the tunnels. It was also a craft show with tons of nice things. I didn't buy anything. I would have liked to have gone back by myself to walk around and think without the distraction of the kids but that didn't happen.

On the knitting front, I'm working like crazy on a lot of small projects for Christmas gifts. I have many more projects in my head (including sewing projects) than I will have the time to complete so I'm trying to prioritize. It's not easy!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And it begins....



Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

No children were cooked for this holiday display.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I stopped at Wendy's at lunch time for one of their new flavor dipped chicken sandwiches ...shown here:

It's waaaay better than fast food.™ It's Wendy's.® -

I got the buffalo chicken type. Looks good, huh? It was.

But I have to tell you this. Do NOT get one of these if you can't

A. sit it down on a huge sheet of that paper like the kind that you roll out from a huge roll for picnic tables. It's the only way that it can be cleaned up adequately.

B. wash your hands and face with soap and running water and reapply your makeup.

C. power wash the immediate area after you're finished.

It was the messiest sandwich I ever ate. Ever.

But put on your hazmat suit and I think you've got something here.

Three Projects and a Wedding....

I did something I've always been tempted to do. I bought two skeins of 100% Cashmere.
I'm usually not so extravagant.
And the worst part is, I have no idea what it will be.
I'm waiting for it to speak to me. (but I'm really picturing something
around my neck!)
Below is an easy sweater for Colin.
A simple raglan pullover for Christmas.
It's Donegal Tweed Homespun by Tahki. 100% wool.
I know....not the best choice for a kid.
But I saw the yarn in a shop at the beach and it just said, "Ireland" to me.
So I bought it.

The third project is a Halloween sewing project for Colin
and I've been sworn to secrecy.
So look for that next week.

And Congratulations to my nephew Clark and his lovely bride, Annie.
Great wedding, great weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008


It seemed like a good idea at the time. We were in a little kid's boutique in NYC last year and came across this hat. It's adorable. Really. But when his mother put it on him, he kept asking for his baseball cap. I think this wearing could be a one-time thing. He's definitely not feelin' it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Knitpicks Email

This is the second time this year that Knitpicks has featured a sweater that was too small on the model. It's a nice fit other than the gapping at the bust. I don't know. Maybe it's me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Special Sewing Project... complete!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What's For Dinner?

Oh, say it ain't so!

Fingerless Gloves

I love these. But because one is decidedly shorter than the other one (I have no clue how it happened), I'm not going to gift them as intended. Yes, I know I could rip the short one apart and make it longer, but I don't have it in me.
They're mine. All mine.
I can handle the imperfection. And to be honest, I think I'm using the imperfection as an excuse to keep them for myself.
Pattern here:
I have to say, it's not the most "user friendly" pattern in the world.
If you have never knit gloves before, this isn't the pattern to start with.
I'm not big on hats, but here is a cute pattern for those of you who are:
It's so cute, I may consider making one for myself even knowing I would probably never wear the thing.
Here is another pattern that would make a perfect Christmas gift... and fast.
Work Beckons.....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spiegel's Signature Style Quiz...

Your Signature Style is: Understated Elegance
Taste may be acquired for most people, but you've always had it. You just know when something works. Whether it's the way you dress or the way you entertain, you're comfortable with who you are and it shows. You work quietly at doing things well and are never satisfied until you get it "right". The first question you ask when you choose something is "how well is it made?" Your friends think you're a perfectionist. Is there anything wrong with that? Not in your world.

Take the quiz:

What's Your Signature Style?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Aww... She likes it!

And a little left over for a cute headband!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Clare's Blanket....

or "bubby" as Colin would say. Finally finished. She's only (almost) 5 months old so I guess it could be worse. I didn't block it because I like how the squares "pop" unblocked. I will block it though with the first washing, otherwise it will probably be all over the place. As much as I love entrelac, I'm really entrelac'd out right now!
I have an important sewing project now that needs my full attention so the other knitting projects will remain in limbo for a while.
I also have people begging me to make soap.
I need to quit work so I have time to play.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Knitting was accomplished....

I had a wonderful long weekend at Kiawah Island, SC

I did make considerable progress on a pair of socks,

but I thought you would enjoy these photos more.

After all, a sock is a sock is a sock....

(this photo is awesome as a desktop background... it looks really cool)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My New Ride

Normally, I wouldn't post about a new car. But first of all, I've been waiting for this vehicle for a long, long time and secondly, there is an interesting story to go with it. I've always wanted a Saab. I've been driving clunkers for longer than I care to think about. I never really cared too much about what color or model I wanted, I just felt that I'd grab one some day if I could find a good deal and when one of the current family clunkers had to be replaced. That day came last week and I was able to find the vehicle shown above, much to my delight.

The interesting part is this. When the book "The Secret" came out. I read it and did my usual thing with getting excited about a concept that was going to be life changing, only to forget about it and go back to my old routine two weeks later. But during the excitement period, I did what the book suggested and made a "vision board" with photos of things I wanted and hoped to accomplish. The vision board got buried in my office with all the other junk in there and I haven't seen it since the book first came out. As I was cleaning my office on Monday, I came across the vision board. On it, there is a photo of the exact car I bought. Same model, same color, same everything. How weird is that?

There is also a photo of the Eiffel Tower on there. So... next stop... Paris.


Au Revoir

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Colin is into "monsties". There is a line of stuffed "monster" toys that he loves. I tried to find them online to put the link here, but I don't know what the official name is. Anyhow, I came up with my own version for him. He seems to like it. I called it "octa-monstie" but his father corrected me and said it's "penta-monstie". Yeah, whatever. :-)

My sister purchased the cutest knitted wrap in Colorado. It is genius in it's style and simplicity. So easily copied. I can't believe I've never seen a pattern like it before. It's a simple stockinette stitch rectangle... but the buttons, and button hole placement make it unique. Once I get my Christmas knitting out of the way, I'm definitely going to play with copying that little number.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A day in the life....

It's not like I don't have anything to do in the evenings. Believe me, I do. But on Wednesday night I got it into my head that I'd do a "Twilight Open House". They work in the cities. People come. I was excited. I had that house looking like something out of a movie. Perfect lighting (it was all adjustable), strategically placed flowers, the works. To tell you the truth, I didn't even really care if the people who came were just nosey neighbors or people who simply wanted to see a beautiful home... lookers. That's ok with me. I just like to talk to people.
So one couple came. They happened to be out walking. I guess we're just not quite ready for Twilight Open Houses here. And it's too bad. Because some houses are just beautiful at night.
Knitting news... slow progress on all projects. But I did finish a new "Monstie" for Colin. Photos to come.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Memory...

New PJ's

Giorgi looking adorable in his new PJ's.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The New

I'm obsessed. I SO didn't need this right now!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lots of stuff...

Once again... golf course knitting. Another successful Anne E. Barnes golf tournament to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society. And once again, no one at my hole got a hole in one. One of these days it's going to happen. However, this year, I did get a bit of surprise while sitting in my usual spot. I had a visitor. A four foot long black slithering visitor. Yep. Mr. Black Snake. I have to say I've always enjoyed my day on the golf course. Unfortunately, not so much anymore. I'm already dreading next year. And it's a shame. Now I'll just be terrified that it will happen again.

And, yes, I know they are harmless. But truly, it might as well have been a King Cobra.

Steeler season is upon us. Steeler mania has begun in the family. I'm the odd man out this time of year. It's not that I don't like it, I just can't get into it. I've tried. I'd like nothing more than to be as excited over it as the rest of my family. Including the pint sized members.

I've tried to force myself into jumping on board the big Steeler band wagon. But, honestly, I just don't really feel it. :-( But I do want them to win as long as I don't have to watch!
So plans for Kiawah have been decided. Four weeks from now. Which means I have four weeks to lose 20 lbs. Ugh.