Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Moments

I have a moment to share again - I was at a party over the holidays, and wearing a white sweater, dressy pants - just the right look for a casual party, you know? And I'm chatting away with a woman, and go to refill my glass of wine. The wine comes in a box, which I don't mind, and I'm not too proud to type that I drink boxed wine if that's what's tapped. I am, however, too stupid to figure out how to work one of these things. I twisted the tap part a bit, but that didn't work. Then I pressed on this little button on it, and red wine shot out of the spout, straight up into the sleeve of my sweater. My first thought - check to see if it got on the white carpeting. No? Excellent. Next check - did the lady I was talking to notice? No. How could she? It was only a glob of red wine up my white sweater, which I had to swab with a napkin up my sleeve. Very weird. She didn't say a thing, and in fact, we kept talking about our educational system here in Michigan. When I was young and figuring the world out, this was one of those things I decided showed a lot of class. If no one drew attention to the fact that I just dropped a crab claw, shot a cherry tomato off my plate while trying to cut it (to look classy, you know), or sprayed wine up my sleeve, those people are pretty cool. I am always glad to find myself at that kind of party.

Here's my second happy moment - I took that sweater out of the washer this morning, days after the event, and the wine came out! Huzzah! I have no idea why that even happened, but it made me smile.

Since the big holiday, and the pressure of the holiday knitting, is past, I've been spinning. I took a couple of ounces of Corriedale wool with sparkle, from Black Cat Handspun, to the in-laws and spun on the spindle. They love to watch this, and never fail to tell me how clever I am. That came out to 46 yards of two-ply, heavy worsted weight. I also washed up the Llama Llama Duck 4 oz. batt from Black Cat, as well. Remember how stressed I was, and I kept smelling this wool, trying to get relaxed with sheep smell? Well, I wanted it in a scarf, so I could bury my face in it in future stressful moments. I've washed the yarn, of course, but I now have the memory of it making me feel better, so it's special. It came out to 144 yards of thick and thin single-ply. Chunks of locks are in the yarn, and I love that. I washed both skeins in the tub, then snapped them sharply to get the extra water out, and laid them flat. I didn't weight them to dry this time, so I'm curious as to the difference that will make when I knit them. I'm trying to think of how I'll wash my handknits, and if the yarn that is weighted to dry will draw up when it is washed. I'll let you know.

For Christmas, I gave my mom a pair of thrummed mittens, which I somehow can't find the picture of. But it was a close thing that she even got them, because I loved these. I'll definitely be making myself a pair, but my daughters are claiming their pairs first. Never an end to the knitting list! In return, she gave me a lovely pair of handknit socks. Ah, gifts amongst knitters. It's a wonderful thing.

She also knit my daughters, nieces and nephew all sweaters. November and December had her very, very busy! I wish I had pictures of those, but I don't. I'll try to get them. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Soon-to-be Merry Christmas to you!

It's 10:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and this is where I am at on my daughter's socks:

Am I stressed? No, and that's for several reasons. The first is that, when you live in a state of high stress, eventually its effect wears off. My body no longer wants to be stressed, so I seem to have become immune. Yay! I am also not stressed because the daughter that is to receive these socks loves handmade things in the disproportionate way that we wish every recipient loved our stuff. I will tell her that I was unable to finish the socks because I have to measure to her foot, and all will be good. I'm also going to knit a bit more, but not much.

Otherwise, the stockings are hung by the quilt rack with care, and I'll be heading to bed soon so I don't hold St. Nick up. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

If you're a country bumpkin, sorry.

Yay, we're getting close to deadline! I've got some great pics of the Xmas presents, but of course it's all stealth knitting, as I'm sure many people's are. We'll all be posting a lot after the 25th, won't we? But I'm doing well, only one gift to finish, and if I put a movie in tonight, it will all be good, babee. I'll be sure to get it done.

I have to share this story. I was at a Christmas party, sitting across from a very nice gentleman and his wife. We were discussing where they were from, making nice chitchat. And I said, "Oh, I believe there was a sheep and fiber festival this summer in your town. I missed it, though, and I was really sad." The wife sat up straight and said, "Oh, no, we didn't. There are way too many rich people from that area. There is no way there was a sheep and fiber festival." Heavy pause. I was trying to think of some way to nicely contradict her, in that there certainly was a festival, and people with lots of money were helpful at these things. That's when she waived her hand in front of her face and said, "If you're a country bumpkin, sorry."


Well, while I may indeed be a country bumpkin, I have in the past been a court reporter, legal assistant, manager at a document and film storage facility, et cetera, et cetera. I am now a country mother of three, grooving on getting back to nature and being kind to the planet. Every one of these things are important in their way, but I believe I am doing my most important work so far right now. And she waved me away. Well, what would you have done? I admit, my first instinct was to straighten her out. (At least her husband looked embarrassed, having cottoned on to the fact that I wouldn't have brought up a sheep and fiber festival if it wasn't something that interested me.) My second instinct, close behind the first, was to just freeze her out, making pointed conversation with everyone around her, as I'm not naturally a confrontational person. But really, it was the office Christmas party, so I smiled and asked about her children. Now, I'm not one to point out when karma owes me one, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to win on a lottery ticket or something for looking the other way on that one. Plus also, she hasn't felt my thrummed mittens. I should carry a set to pull out and show people who think knitting is for rubes. I am completely hooked on making these, and every single person who has tried one on sighs. Oh, yeah. They are so soft and squishy, they should have the power to enlighten the high-minded but socially challenged.

A picture for the knitting minded: I knit garland a few years ago from silver eyelash yarn, while watching The Wizard of Oz. Well, it took more than a couple of nights, but that's what I remember most, knitting cording while watching Dorothy. Pretty, no?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

One more holiday event, down.

It is an unfortunate truth that events that take weeks and months to prepare for can be over in a couple of hours. It happens to parties, birthing babies and, sadly, drama club productions. We had our Christmas program yesterday, and the kids got to perform three times, which was a happy thing. At least it wasn't just once, with all that preparation! The last few weeks before a performance, things aren't very joyful at drama club. I mean, we try to make it fun, but we really have to crack down on kids learning their lines. And it always happens that they do learn their lines in time, and it all works out great. And they are so excited and pleased to have been on stage, and performing with the lights and attention on them, and they are excited to do the next production. I swear, the week before, they would pass by me with nary a glance, they're so disgruntled with the hard work or the guilt, but after a production, I get the hugs! =) Very fun stuff. But it is over, and after Christmas break, we need to think about a spring production. But first a pizza party, and a chance to pat each other on the back. Whew! It's over.

I am WAY behind on my knitting. I've slashed my list of projects, so that many people are getting jam baskets or coffee baskets, instead, and I still have a scarf to finish, a pair of mittens and a pair of socks. However, here are a couple of dishcloths that I've knitted for my gram, who wants to gift them to her friend back home. It was such a compliment that she asked me to knit them, that I had to do it, even if it means giving a gift on the needles in two weeks. But I can finish, right? Sure, sure. I can still do it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ode to the Webkinz

o, little Webkinz,
so sweet and squeezably soft,
When I found you in a Unicorn,
I didn't hold you aloft,
but tucked you surreptitiously
between my coat and purse,
Happily, gratifyingly
grateful I found you first.

Because I just passed by a lady,
walking really fast,
Hoping to find a Uni,
with a GPS and a map.

I won't tell anyone
about the score that I just found.
Someone might grab you from me
and trample me to the ground.

So I'll pay and take you home with me,
my sweet little pink amore,
I'll say I got you on the Internet,
not the last one in the store.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Busy, busy!

It has been a very, very frustrating couple of weeks. I feel like I've done nothing to refresh my soul, and it's all work, work, work around here. I try to remind myself of all the times I'm very happy, and that all things pass. There are happy times, there are frustrating times. But I don't think any of us refresh our souls like we ought to, or our parents wish we would. Don't you think that's true? I hope my children grow up, do their jobs, then come home and paint, or laugh at sitcoms, or go out and dance until they're sweaty. There should be some roundness with our days. Instead, when my 3-year-old wakes me up at 4:00 a.m., all I think is, "Oh, good. There's an extra hour and a half that I can get things done this morning." Bah, humbug. lol - I think that just put me in a better mood. hehe. I'm not really a "Bah, humbug" kind of girl, and now I'm smiling that I even typed it.

I've been working on a scarf with yarn my daughter picked out at our LYS. The last three days, all I'm thinking is, "Man, this is NOT pretty. I don't like this weird beige they threw in here." So I pulled it out to show at my knitting group this morning, and in the bright sun of the room, looking at it with my friends, I realize it's doing this:

Do you see? Yes, it's blurry, but see the argyle effect going on? What a happy discovery! It's criss-crossing with the beige and the blue and all. I like it! I can't even tell you what the name of this yarn is, since I didn't bother to keep the ball band. And I think I must be feeling especially curmudgeonish to knit for three days and not step back and look at what I'm knitting. However, I shall be going back and getting another skein for a scarf for myself. (This one's a gift) Isn't it neat how this argyle pattern works without my knowing anything about it, doing anything special, casting on anyone's suggested amount of stitches? I think that's pretty cool. And my, that beige shows up nicely.