Saturday, July 28, 2007

Time to stop knitting those elf hats!

They were so busy that Hermione had stopped knitting elf hats and was fretting that she was down to her last three.
"All those poor elves I haven't set free yet, having to stay over during Christmas because there aren't enough hats!"
- Hermione Granger

You know how you can be both too busy and too bored at the same time? Last week I was both too busy (driving my children to lessons and tutoring) and too incredibly bored (driving children) that it was making me VERY IRRITABLE. And the last thing you need is an irritated Mom! And it was all in a good cause - I mean, who doesn't want well-educated, able-to-swim kids?

I was getting knitting done but not the quality knitting I wanted. I was getting books read (Harry Potter, of course!) but not when I wanted to. I was exercising but not enough or at times I wanted too. A very unsatisfying week in all.

So, today we just hung out. Went shopping. Antiquing. Cooked out. Played Bocce with the kids. Made a fire in the firepit. Hopefully, this will be enough to reverse the Irritation Trend.

The Saturday Seven was another unsatisfying clump of items. Yes, Youngest Child is growing and these will go to a good cause (The Fairfield Children's Home) but it was too easy. Necessary, needed, practical but, still, boring. Seven "dull but necessary for good works" items. Just call them seven elf hats.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Five for not exercising!

It's a beautiful day here in Minnesota and I should be out biking or running before it gets too hot but, instead, I am a slave to my keyboard. I am trying to sign a daughter up for volleyball camp, get my youngest child's immunization records for school, report some nasty Pay Pal phishing (I think there is a new circle in Hell for those guys!) and, now, all my spare time is used up. Definitely no cookie for me!

Those five Rockin' Girl Bloggers? Here's my take:

Annie Modesitt, the Knitting Heretic. Her take on life is very funny, she doesn't spare us the truth about illness and love and bad teaching experiences, and she is very balanced. Despite all that is going on in her life, she gives it to us straight. And, I discovered that I am a modified combination knitter, thanks to her books and classes.

Alison Hansel of The Blue Blog. Once again, she has a great take on life. Her posts about family, work and knitting resonate with me. AND I liked her Harry Potter knits even before the Charmed Knits book.

Charlaine Harris is the author of several mystery series and my only complaint about her blog is that it's too brief! She discusses what book she's been reading (a great resource - I've liked almost all of them) and what she's been up too.

Kevyn Burger, the Twin Cites based broadcaster and host of the Kevyn Burger Show on FM107.1. She has always been a favorite radio and television person of mine and her new blog,, is a funny and thoughtful glimpse into what she is looking at as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer.

And, finally, Marie Irshad, the podcaster from Knit Cast. She is on a (well-deserved, I'm sure but way too extended for my tastes) vacation right now but, when she's back on - SHE ROCKS!

I think these are the top five I would recommend to others but - anyone on the right side links are also great. I don't read what doesn't make me laugh (even if there is some crying as well.)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Partying with the Potters . . . and the Cars

Okay, not a band called the Potters (is there one? I think there might be one!) but the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" release party at the Red Balloon Book Shop in Saint Paul. It was the first Harry Potter party they ever had (they think all good children should be in bed by midnight!) but it was great. There was a contest based on scenes from the books acted out by a youth theatre company, prizes, confetti and Butter Beer!

Someone is very tired! You can guess who gets the first crack at the book!

Of course, I get the book this week! But after our late night, we decided to have another one in a row (Whoo Hoo!) and went to Lumberjack Days in Stillwater. After five hours, I finally got one good photo. Of sorts. The final concert was the New Cars with Todd Rundgren and it was quite good! Those Cars guitarists were great and I've always liked Todd. I even saw him in a double show with the Tubes years ago.

As for the Saturday Seven - a very boring collection of Youngest Child's clothing to be sent to the Fairfield Orphanage in Zimbabwe through our church. Good works but nothing to take a picture of.

Final projects for the weekend - I finished my baby blanket. Sleep tight, honey! The edging was tricky but I think the baby won't mind the grafting job I did.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Learning something every day

After all that stressing, I am finally cruising along with the edging. (Hmm. A long lost Nicky Epstein book?) It is easy to lose your place but very easy to find it again. I am halfway around the blanket - but will I have enough yarn? I was listening to a comment on "It's a Purl, Man" and someone there said her edging took more yarn than seemed possible.

Nothing like a knitter's guild meeting to kick start your skills. It was either that or a few episodes of "Eureka." Nice to see that other people also fuel their knitting with mindless t.v.! My husband says I have the movie tastes of a 20-yr. old boy and my current addiction to the Sci-Fi Channel proves it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!

What a fun thing to happen! I am still in my happy, happy Ravelry daze (Ooh, I'm adding books to my library! Yea!) and, now, Lovely Lorraine sends me this. Thanks - I'll have to send some mental yarn your way. I am supposed to find 5 bloggers to nominate so I will have to go think on this awhile.

Knitting-wise, I am planning on taking my wierd lace edging project to the MN Knitters' Guild meeting tonight (It's a picnic - and I don't have to make the sandwiches!) so I am hoping to post some pictures tonight.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ravelry came calling . . . and I can't say no!

I first heard about Ravelry on the Stash and Burn podcast. It sounded like the perfect place for me. According to their creators,
Ravelry is a "place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration."

In other words, it's a giant form of spreadsheet - but with photos and links to others. It's kind of like when you are searching for a yarn over the Internet and you find out how others are using it. Plus, you can find out what ELSE is on their needles. Knowledge and nosyness go hand in hand, you know!

So, when I got the email that I was invited to join the site, I dived right in. Watch the Daisy do her happy dance! It is taking quite a lot of time to load things onto the site but it is oh, so fun!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Inanimate objects make me feel guilty.

I think one of the reasons I really like the Saturday Seven concept is that unused objects make me guilty. Here I have a stack of perfectly fine school uniform skirts, a school polo, and an outgrown pair of Kermit pajama pants are going unused. I don't have any reason to keep them and they are all too good to throw away. Yet, they've been lounging about my laundry room all summer. They have no purpose any more in my family. Not allowing these objects to have a purpose makes me feel bad. Guilty, even. It shouldn't matter - it's not like they are animate, living beings - but I feel like their purpose is being denied.

In Nina Kiriki Hoffman's great book, "A Red Heart of Memories," Matt (Matilda) Black can speak with inanimate objects. She talks with cars and trash cans and walls - generally everything. Mostly, they tell her that they are happiest when they are doing what they are designed to do. Garbage cans are happy when they have trash in them. Walls like standing up. Cars like running smoothly. Now, I don't really think that these skirts will feel happier being worn by school girls - but that's what they are for and I want them to go on working. Someone needs them and I don't, so - off to the uniform exchange. The pajamas will probably go to the daughters of a friend of mine. They can fight over Kermit.

My trusty Lendrum has been making me feel guilty for another reason altogether. I pulled it out last spring to spin up some pin rovings I dyed. The roving is just too rough, however, so I left it out to use after Shepherd's Harvest in May.

Well, since then, it's been gathering dust. Just something to vacuum around. Friday, however, I found the lovely Riverwinds Farm Cormo roving I bought at Shepherd's Harvest and went searching for fiber. I dug up this gorgeous blue Corridale roving (from last year's SH, I fear) and began some spinning. Late in the day, I had a spare hour and ran over to Creative Fibers in Minneapolis where I picked up this great Oak Lichen greeen cloud roving made by the Matt Shimon's Red Star Yarn Company. It is the nicest prepared fiber. I think I was almost giddy with happiness on the way home. Sometimes, you just need to make some yarn. That roving was calling to me to be made into yarn! I am a bit puzzled about what the yarn will need to become but . . . that can wait. After all, it took amost two years for the blue yarn to "become."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It came today! Yea!!

I love it! My HKSK swap partner, Gina, sent a great package all the way from Hawaii. It was full of great stuff - Merlin the Cat superwash sock yarn, a copy of "Charmed Knits", a beautiful bag, some cool pins and yummy Hawaiian coffee. Just the stuff to keep me going. I think Ms. G. may be Mama Monkey over at so check her out, her bags are really lovely.

Of course, this brings me up to six new skeins of sock yarn acquired after the Lime & Violet Sock Marathon began - and only three pairs knitted so far. Yikes - good thing Minnesota weather encourages sock wearing!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Who do we love?

My husband can tell you (and so will I - but no one ever believes me) but I don't like to talk to people. He claims that I just keep him around so he can do all the talking. Today? He called the lawn care company. BUT it was a draw because I had to call the piano teacher. It's not that I am anti-social but there is only so much time left in my life and I don't want to use it up talking to strangers. Give me a couple of newspapers, knitting magazines, my knitting and an internet connection and I am A-OK. I generally rate things as "worth losing knitting time over" and talking to telemarketers, door to door people, school administrators, sales people and "chatty people who I don't know" do not make the list.

However, family and friends do make the list. And, while I am not "Hail fellow, well met" with Annie Modesitt, I have taken classes from her, read her blog and loved her patterns. Now, some of her friends have created a great We love Annie blog to help with the non-medical monetary needs that have arisen from her husband's recent diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer that manifests itself in the bone marrow and is quite painful.

Visit this website and consider donating. Visit Annie's pattern website , the Red Carpet Convertible, and consider purchasing one. This is a really nice family facing some serious times and I would have no trouble talking to you about them. And that IS saying something!

As for my own shawl knitting - I am visiting the frog pond. I have only three skeins of Cascade 220 superwash and I am using Eveyln A. Clark's "Edged with Lace" pattern as a baby blanket.

The official photo is much more "shawl" like. My green blankie is going to be very warm!

I was a bit worried that I'll be short yarn for the edging so I am making the shawl a few inches shorter than the pattern called for. But, the knitting was so mindless that I went too far. Time to rip and it's the worst kind of ripping - the counting kind. I need just the right stitch numbers to start the lace edging.

Note to Andy: Don't be silly, honey. I keep you around to get the unblemished fruit from the back of the produce display.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

We LOVE Travel!

Well, back in the land of internet connections - we find our faithful heroine, Daisy, resting up after her Minneman Tri on Saturday, June 30. Sad to say, but I just don't care what I look like when racing and this was the most flattering photo available. I think I am due for another bike fitting - this just doesn't look right! But the day was lovely, my run was fine and I came in 13th for my age group.

Afterwards, we loaded up the car and drove to (Beverly?) the Wisconsin Dells. Our family enjoyed fabulous weather and some great water attractions. Even a day later, I was pretty much running on memories of fumes at this point.

Then, we drove on to Pennsylvania. Now, our family ranch/farm is pretty much out in the country and comes without cable, computer connections or even a radio. (I think we know what we are getting Aunt Kim for Christmas!) But it is very relaxing and we would be sleeping in if it wasn't for those darn roosters!

We spent our Fourth of July getting ready for my brother-in-law's big race at the Mercer County Raceway. But he was rained out - too bad!

I did get to a yarn store - the Otter Creek Store in Mercer, Pa. - and bought some great Queensland Collection aran yarn. I brought along my baby blanket - almost finished, thank you! - socks and Andy's sweater. I'll have to break that out next.

And was there a Saturday Seven? I actually got ready ahead of time - I sorted out some teenagers' rooms and set up two Saturday Sevens last week.

A basket, a pair of shoes, three books and two sweaters. Off to Saint John the Evangelist and their fabulous sale! They must have excellent storage because they collect items all year 'round.

Now we are off to my parent's house in southwestern PA. See you soon!