Saturday, January 31, 2009

I blame it on the wine

Okay, so there wasn't any Friday post yesterday. I was a little overwhelmed getting ready for having guests for dinner and after the cleaning and cooking and then, the wine, I didn't get anything Internet related done at all. It was a lovely evening - fire in the fireplace, home made pasta for dinner, interesting conversations and a little too much wine. Well, at least I slept well.

On the knitting front, I picked up DH Andy's Gentleman Socks again and put in about an inch. I took them to the Minnesota Opera with me again - maybe these will turn into three Opera socks. There were no gasps from my neighboring seats this time.

I've also been chugging away on the sleeve of my February Lady Sweater - I think my small circular needle is just a scosh too big for the sleeve diameter.

By the way, anyone know the origin of the word scosh?

It means "a little bit" (or, if you believe the Urban Dictionary, "to hook up with a female") and I've heard it came into usage after the Korean War when veterans used a Japanese word which means a similar thing. I don't know if that's really true but . . . inquiring minds want to know!

Today's Saturday Seven turned up when I was de-cluttering. A basket that came with a plant in it when Youngest Child was born (he's five), a men's medium jacket that Oldest Daughter bought on vacation one year when she was caught without a jacket. Um, we girls have these things called "hips" and this will never fit anyone here again. A Bible Study guide from a study at my church some time ago - well, someone might want it at a rummage sale! - and an expandable file folder that doesn't fit in any of my file drawers. The pants and two shirts are from Youngest Child. He's outgrown them and my fall-back child - Baby Karl - doesn't need anymore clothes right now. So, off to the charity clothing box. Perfectly good stuff - just not for me.

Well, off to excercise a little bit and then, errands. After that, There Will Be Knitting

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not exactly flashing the stash -

I had a little time to myself today whilst waiting for the dishwasher repair person to arrive (11-3 p.m. is a long time to be hanging around the house!) so I decided to check through my stash and see if all my yarns were photographed for Ravelry yet. Well, most of them were but . . .

several "project oriented" yarns were not and I decided to get things organized. I will warn you - I bought most of these during the last year and some maybe even earlier. It's not like I fell off the yarn wagon this weekend. Oh, wait, I did that at the Bohus Stickning exhibit. Last weekend.

I bought this Fat Fairyhare yarn at the Kimmet Croft booth last year at Yarnover - I think for a baby present but if I have enough - maybe a vest for me? I had to enter this yarn on Ravelry - I have a hard time thinking that I'm the only one who bought this! It's very nice - the owner of Stagecoach Yarns was the dyer for the "Poems of Color" Bohus book and she spoke at the Radiant Knits exhibit. She also took over the Kimmet Croft shop last year. Right now, however, she is taking a leave of absence and won't be selling yarn for a while so I might have to wait a long time to get any more of this soft Kimmet Croft Yarn from her.

These two Filatura Di Crosa yarns came together in a kit for a scarf that I bought at the MKG December meeting. It was going to be a birthday present for my sister. Now that that's over, I might make it for one of my daughters' birthdays.

These three softies are going to be baby hats - probably the Marshmallow Hat from Itty Bitty Knits. I wish I could use them for myself!

I probably bought these shiny and soft skeins of cotton yarn last spring from Michaels. I think I would buy Patons Grace yarn just based on their names alone - Azure and Sky. They were probably meant for baby clothes but since I just picked up Color Splash Dishcloths by Evelyn A. Clark - I might make some face cloths for gifts.

Now, back to the dishwasher!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Something good to eat

Today I had a lovely break from routine with my book group friends - we all went out for tea to celebrate one member's birthday. It was at Lady Elegant's Tea Room and we had a delicious time. After coming home for a brief nap, I discovered that DH had been practicing making ravioli. Ah, so much for calories today!

This Saturday Seven is a little pathetic. I was following some suggestions from the Fly Lady website and I cleaned out my sock drawer. I have undies and socks in the same drawer so three pairs of socks, two wretched but new bras and a travel bag that doesn't work in this time of quart plastic bags And one book leftover from a class. That actually wasn't in my sock drawer - but it was nearby. I bought the bras because they were the new version of what I had - but they are so scratchy because of the "tagless" sewing that I couldn't bear it. Hopefully, they can go to someone who doesn't mind it.

The large pink socks were actually the first pair of socks I knit for myself outside of a class. I thought I could shrink them but I unfortunately used non shrinkable wool so they never got any smaller. The grey socks were also hand knit - an okay fit but a little too thick for me.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A colorful Friday

On a snowy winter morning, this is what's on my kitchen table.


And this as well - very cheerful.

Well, some of you might have guessed that my package from the Swedish American Institute arrived. As soon as the Shop Swedish links from the Bohus exhibit at the Institute became active, I placed my order for a Forest Darkness sweater kit as well as for a Green Meadow Tam.

I didn't really expect them to arrive before the exhibit, "Radiant Knits: The Bohus Tradition," opened but I was worried that they might sell out so I chose safety over picking out my kit in person. And in person means I'll be at the Swedish American Institute's Radiant Knits opening tonight at 6 p.m.

And just in case you want to be there as well:

Weekend events include:

6 p.m., Friday, January 23: the exhibit Radiant Knits: The Bohus Tradition officially opens to the public.
6:15 p.m., Friday: Bohus Stickning designer Kerstin Olsson will be speaking informally about her designs.
7 p.m., Friday: master dyer Solveig Gustafsson will speak about her efforts to recreate dyes and designs.

These opening talks as well as showings of the film “Bohus Knitting – From Relief Work to World Success” will rotate throughout the weekend. The exhibit itself, however, will continue through March 29, 2009.

GFMelissa and I are stopping by on Sunday for the full day package - I think you can still get admissions at the door of the SAI. Oh, and just in case you were wondering. If there are any kits left over after the exhibit closes in March, the Minnesota Knitters' Guild has agreed to purchase the unsold kits and continue to sell them at our events. I seriously doubt that will occur but you never know . . .

Another event I heard about through the Textile Center of Minnesota:

Saturday, Jan. 31, Noon- 4 pm
Textile Center of Minnesota
Cash or credit card - All sales final.
Attention all fiber artists: Thousands of yarn hanks and other curiosities at 50-80% off retail. There are bulky alpaca/wool and sport weight 100% baby alpaca, organic cotton, natural fibers from around the world. Also Heather Bailey fabrics, French ribbons, beads, trims, sample swatches, baskets, small store displays, many one-of-kind items plus, framed photography by Chad Niemeyer. Finished trunk show items including scarves, hats, sweaters, coats, dresses, pillows, felted bags and more.

Just remember that I would never expect you to buy anything that I wouldn't buy myself! I probably won't have any money left by then but it does sound tempting.

Finally, for Friday Films, another interesting (but far less colorful - it's filmed in black and white) glimpse into wartime Britain, check out this film about Learie Constantine. Constantine was a famously talented Trinidadian-British cricketer who later had a long career as a broadcast journalist, administrator, lawyer, and politician. During World War Two, he worked as a Welfare Officer for the Ministry of Labour. He worked with immigrants of color who were employed in munitions factories in Britain.

Later in his life, he was the first person of African descent to be given a life peerage. There is no sound with the film but you can only wonder what he talked about as he went through his day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Someone comes to stay!

I broke down yesterday and bought a dressmaking model. I bought a model made by Adjustoform and I found it on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics. It wasn't the fanciest one - I am a little bummed I couldn't find the one with a trouser form - but I like it. I really recommend their website - it has a lot of information about using a dress form to fit clothing.

Maybe I should give her a name like Bertha over at Knitting Daily?

I'd been thinking about getting one for a while - especially for working on dresses and skirts for the girls - but I got to try it out with my February Lady Sweater.

I am putting about two more inches of pattern and then diving into the edging. I was so excited to find that it actually fit me and the measurements are just right so far. It's a little clingy on the dress form covering but that's just the yarn.

Who knows - I might actually have a February Sweater by February!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Change in the New Year

Sometimes, people ask me how I can get rid of things week after week. This is easy. In any room, drawer or cupboard, I could find seven items that I no longer needed or wanted. Sometimes these are things with very little life left. After all, who wants old worn out undies or socks without mates? Sometimes, it's just that I put things away with a particular purpose in mind - and forgot them. I've been working at re-finding objects and finding them a better home.

Sometimes this is good - once I found a box of chocolates that I had been given for Valentines Day but I had hidden them from the children. Godiva chocolates are still great in June! Their home was with me!

Sometimes I find things in a bad way - my husband says I have "The Nose" when it comes to finding dead mice. Their home? The trash.

Object wise - there are two adults and three teens living here - there is a lot of stuff in my house! Perhaps they are not intentionally squirrelling away books, socks, pants, boots, what-have-you but things just get put away in the darnedest places and while they are there - they turn into junk. Unwanted, outgrown, not used junk.

For example, last Saturday, when I felt better, I was turning my closet inside out trying to find the sport/fanny pack that I use when I go skiing. As I don't have much shelf space or even a light inside my early-20th century closet - finding things involve taking almost every thing out.

That's when I found these four purses. I think I was keeping them because a) I might fix the zipper (the green bag), b) I wanted to knit a sweater using the same colors (the brown striped bag), c) a black bag is always handy to have (the black bag - one of four), and d) I thought I might need another summer bag (the cream colored bag.) None of these situations ever came to pass and so - out they go. The other purple bag is one of those free University of Saint Thomas bags from the State Fair - doesn't everyone have one of these hanging around? It will join its brethren as well as a trashy paperback book that my daughter brought home from the pool and a skirt hanger. I don't know why the book was in my closet . . .

All of these are being bundled up and given to the charity box at my church. They are all still quite usable and would not be junk for someone else. They are not going into the trash or a landfill or into a closet for my children to have to deal with someday after my death.

I haven't always been so organized. After one disasterous ski outing where I lost my car keys out of my pocket when I took a fall and had to ski around in the dark looking for them - I now use a bag to carry important things. I keep my library books together after one too many fines. I keep the sugar up in the wall cupboard after Youngest Daughter decided to show me how she could "cook." (She was three.) And the more things get picked up or given away to be used - the more time I have for more fun things like swimming or knitting or watching Middle Daughter play Bully on the Wii. (It's a bad, naughty game - T for teens - but very addicting . . .)

Two things that have helped me get other things under control in my life have been SparkPeople - which is an online, free weight-loss program - and the FlyLady, a website for controlling clutter. Both are dedicated to making you aware of what you are doing - how much you are eating, how much you are exercising, what you are wasting - and then giving you the tools to change things for your self. I'd recommend them both as a starting point for change.

Sometimes you do get to meet other people who are participating in these programs. For example, I went to a Spark People meet-up on Friday at the Mall of America. We met, introduced ourselves and them walked around the mall - a total of 2.28 miles. That was a lot for someone with a nasty cold! Other than GF Melissa, however, I've never met a FlyBaby in person. That's fine with me - I have the information online and can use it however I want.

So, that's the story. Now, back to the knitting and the tissues and that oddly funny Wii game . . .

Friday, January 16, 2009

Time for another tissue run!

Yep, Youngest Child passed on his cold. He may be back at school but I am out of commission. I have used some of my down time for knitting - but mostly, I've been hitting the cold medicine and the tissue box. As for the weather, the one good thing is that my February Lady Sweater is made of alpaca so it is toasty warm to knit! I am hoping that Maddy over at Chez Maddy has been able to get some "Freezing Day" knitting in place of her "Snow Day" knitting.

I do have some photos - but some reason, the old blog software has been trying to post them sideways - let's hope this works!

I am enjoying this pattern - very memorizable - and once again, loving that Alpaca!

In the meantime, try a little Friday Film. As the mother of an accordion player, I give this two chords up. Now, back to my drippy nose . . .

Saturday, January 10, 2009

If the sun is shining . . .

It must mean I have a sick child at home. I don't really mind being the stay-at-home-one right now while everyone else gets to run errands or off to the library. The YC is pretty happy just watching "The Princess Bride" on the couch.

Here's the Sick Youngest Child during happier, healthier days.

We are a thrifty family - I always cut off the feet of the footie pajamas when they wore out. In fact, I just heart YC telling one of his school friends that he used to have footie pajamas - only his didn't have the feet anyone.

If things stay quiet here, I'm pretty sure I can guilt someone into a trip out for cross country skiing. That's a great calorie burner, even if you are a slug like me. I ski strictly on the trails. I do like it though, it's almost like open water swimming - being out by yourself, moving on your own power.

This week's Saturday Seven was a result of putting away the Christmas presents. I weeded out the puzzles that I wanted to keep for rainy days, one ones being kept for the next generation (many years from now, I hope) and the ones I think could go to my church's junior church program. So, three puzzles, two plastic boxes of crayons, another coffee mug (good grief, these things must be multiplying like the ice cube trays!) and yet another Sponge Bob Square Pants video. Like Patrick, like Gary - hate the whole cartoon. It just gets on my nerves. I think it's because the show is a mix of childhood sweetness and sassy, teen-aged bathroom humor. One just ruins the other for me.

Enjoy the Sun!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Nite Fun - again

First off, let's look at a little knitting.

Youngest Daughter modeled these while they were all stiff and wet. I think they are looking better now that they've dried out a bit. I'll put up another photo later.

I do really like the similar-but-not-the-same stripes.

I cleaned out my knitting bag last night - time to start up on the February Lady Sweater and my scarf again. I'm also doing a little balling up of wool that I spun as well as washing some yarn from a poncho that I frogged. I always liked the yarn but not the design. I think it will be enough for a vest.

The homespun might work for a shawl or a scarf - maybe even a baby sweater. I'm have to figure out my yardage first.

What else has been claiming my time, you say? Oh, just a Wii Fit. Yes, every night since we got back from Christmas break, we've been very competitively working on becoming "King of the WII." So far, my favorite is the Rhythm Boxing but I am really doing best on the Yoga. I also like the fact that it weighs you every time you sign in. I really wish that I'd worked more on my hula-hooping as a child, though!

I've also been doing some of the video workouts on You Tube. Take a look at the Spark People video for today. It's not really great film - but it is good for you . . .

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Blue Saturday

You may have realized that the reason these are striped mittens is that I don't have enough of the nordic blue yarn. Now, I have even less. So mitten number two will have a top and bottom of blue but many, many stripes of other colors in the middle. The lesson here? Don't become too attached to the blue.

Before leaving for our Christmas holiday trip, I had to repack one of my daughters' suitcases - she chose "poorly" as Gandalf said. As a result, I found a lot of things in her drawers to give away this week. Two pairs of jean, tan pants, a skirt, a blouse, a pair of shorts and her brother's little Crocs. When you are in charge, you get to choose what goes! We are going to plaster and paint her room this January so I am anticipating lots of other items to give away!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Is Hand and Foot like Hoof and Mouth?

This is a lumpy photo but these felted moccasins are just cute as a button. Put them on an energetic five year old boy and they are like rocket skates. I may be looking for the leather slipper bottoms . . .

The Famous Lindberg Felted Mitten. Believed to have been lost by Piltdown Man . . . soon to be felted by the Saint Paul Woman. At least after I put the thumb on.

See you tomorrow!

A lovely day for a cup of tea!

Enjoy this - I'll stop back with knitting photos later. I've got a few errands to run to get laces for the slippers and to get the vacuum cleaner fixed but then, knitting rules!

By the way, GFMelissa has a bit of a monkey fixation - this is for you, miss!