The Big One

They say a blizzard is coming. They say we should expect more than a foot of snow. This is Chicago – you can’t even bury a body here in just a foot of snow. A foot of snow is nothing.
Oh, wait..they changed it to 18 inches – now that’s the start of something.

Today is sunny and bright. I feel as if I should make a trip to Joann, Michael’s and The Woolly Lamb since they are all on a line with each other and stock up since we will not be able to move out of the house for the next few days. I have already asked Mr. Honey if he is prepared to call in Wednesday morning and he just shrugged it off. I remember he drove me to a hair appointment when there was a foot of snow on the roads – not just on the sidewalk – but on the road. He can make it just fine.

I still have the urge to shop, though. The fact that I have $3.18 in my wallet is just a minor detail. The fact I have more yarn in my stash than any of the those stores is non-consequential. That I have a resolution to break the stash is a bothersome nag on my integrity gene.

Here is the camouflage hat. I like the slouchy-ness of it. It’s kinda cool in the camouflage and can probably come in handy in the snow that’s coming our way. Don’t tell me there hasn’t been climate change that’s man made and not good. 30 states will have snow on the same day. It’s fascinating and scary.
I have another slouch hat on the needles. The Camo is in cotton the one on the needles is acrylic and in purple.

I crocheted a teen slouchy hat for my 13 year old friend, Victoria, I told her I would make it for her but she would have to let me take pics of her in it. I will see her on Sunday and hopefully I will be able to show it of. I made the smaller size cuz she’s little, so hoping it will fit her head.

I’m hoping the weather prediction will be off and we don’t get socked but if we do then I am hoping since we are entering February that it will be the last big storm we see. I hope you’re safe wherever you are and if you’re in a warmer clime, think fondly upon the rest of us.

Going Home

I admit there are times when I don’t know what to call my posts. I suppose I could wait until I write it and then think of a name but why should I be logical? So when I don’t know what to name my posts, I give it the title of the song that’s playing on my computer media player and that’s why this one is titled Going Home. I could now try and make the post fit the title but that logic things comes into play again.

My drool of the day is this knitted shawl. Lovely, just lovely. Yeah, Yarncolture!

I’m project – less. That isn’t to say there aren’t some wips lying around because there are two afghans and some other stuff that’s not done yet but I don’t feel like picking those up. Thus, I am project – less. I did a lot of photos yesterday and while today isn’t as sunny as yesterday, it is a little warmer, or rather, not as cold. Believe me, there’s a difference between the two and if I have to explain it that only means you live in a warmer climate and I’m not sure any explanation would suffice.

I was thinking about doing some more stuff in cotton. More spa stuff – maybe something for Valentine’s Day – for couples. It’s a thought. I like working with the cotton – didn’t think about it much before cuz I thought all it was good for was washcloths and I didn’t put too much thought into that. But since I made the soap bag and the slouch hat, I have to say it’s a good medium. The wonderful April gave me a pattern for a bikini and that’s made of cotton and seems like a lot of fun to create.

Then there’s the 100% Pima cotton fiber that I have about two dozens skeins of. I still don’t know what to do with that. The swimsuits would look good in those but this stuff is thin! I think any liner would have more depth than the fiber. On the other hand, it is DK weight and there’s stuff I can do with that, I am sure.

A cold seems to be making its way through the house. I have a sore throat and now a runny nose and Mr. Honey insisted he had a fever this morning when he languished in bed. He was supposed to make dinner last night and instead he stayed in bed with orders that I ‘eat his leftovers’ from our date night. No, don’t think so. This morning, when he is usually out of the bed before me on a Saturday, he was in bed until after 10. He said he felt warm so he must have a fever. I told him he would feel cold if he had a fever but I offered to get the thermometer and take his temp.

98.6 on the dot.

When I told him what it said, he pulled back the covers, got dressed, went grocery shopping and is at this very moment sitting in the dining room eating chicken noodle soup and potato chips. To be fair, he does have some congestion and a cough. But apparently the lack of a fever ended all plans for the pity party he was planning with me as the party planner.

I was so looking forward to that.

Supernatural


My drool of the day. My brother-in-law and his wife gave me a painting for Christmas – now hanging in the dining room. I went on line to try and find it for sale so I could share it but no such luck. But I did find this little bit of art that I think is great.

The fabulous Melissa was expecting she would be the subject of at least a section of my post yesterday because I threatened warned told her that would be the case and then I didn’t post yesterday because stuff happens.

But had I posted about the fabulous Melissa it would have been because she has been cursed with Finishitis. That is the condition when you get near the end of a project and you just want it over and done. She is working on a Christmas present – before you stand in awe of her organizational skills, let me point out it is for Christmas 2010 and not Christmas 2011 – she is putting together squares of an afghan. This is one of those ugly duckling patterns. It wasn’t that impressive when the squares were on their own but she placed some together during knit night Wednesday and it was really impressive but she is ready for that thing to be done.

I am glad to know I am not the only one who suffers from this and I am glad I was not in the throes of the disease so I could enjoy seeing her go through it.

The hat in the photo was the hat I started Wednesday night and finished it yesterday. Crochet is fast. I finally got to use the green yarn that has been in my stash since the beginning of my knitting phase. I don’t even remember the brand name. It’s somewhat stiff but if I steam it, I think it would ease up somewhat.

On the needles right now is another slouch hat that I am making in cotton. I am making it in Camouflage and it should look really cute – I guess I don’t want to use cute as I am making it with a guy in mind. But guys don’t mind being cute do they?

On another note, I didn’t have a workout scheduled yesterday and the first thing on my mind this morning was making sure I got up and got my workout in right away so i didn’t fall off the wagon. It takes about three weeks to make a habit something that sticks and I wanted to make sure it stuck. So, I got up and did my workout and my thighs are talking to me. It’s a good feeling – used to have this feeling a lot but it took more of a workout to get it. The muscle breakthrough didn’t happen during this workout but maybe next time. I’m thrilled I stepped back into the plan. Yeah for me.

I am hoping to get some shop quality photos done with the pile of finished objects I have so I can get them into the shop. That’s my goal for the weekend and I have more knitting/crochet to do. Today will be the warmest day of the next seven days – a whopping 33 degrees – and the sun is shining so now is the best time to get those photos done and to move the car from the side street to the front of the house. I’m sitting in the living room with the blinds open and sunshine is streaming in. Makes that snow look like I could almost like it. Almost.

Have a great weekend!

Cuteness

So, here’s the hat I was working on yesterday all finished and cute. There’s a newsboy cap that also almost done.

I woke up this morning moving like a 70 year old. A 70 year old that’s in bad shape. I know some 70 year olds that put me to shame. I figured it was because my workouts are all ganging up on me and making my muscles sore – which means a muscle breakthrough is just around the corner. I gave thought to not working out today but I have no workout scheduled for tomorrow so I did my workout today like a dutiful little darling and I feel so much the better for it.

Before I forget, this my drool of the day. Maybe because the color is similar to the hat I made just yesterday. I will get into making infinity scarves for all seasons. It’s on my list and you know how that goes.

Did you watch the State of the Union? I watched it and the response(s. I didn’t think any of the speeches were that great as far as oratory goes but the SOTU isn’t an oratory speech. It’s really more of a report so great oratory it wasn’t but that’s OK. It was different than the usual long wish list. This one seemed more rooted in reality and was really short on depth dealing with what we have in front of us. That’s probably a good thing. What I took away from it was that it would be really hard for the Republicans to attack. So they attacked the president instead.

I don’t dislike Republicans – I’ve voted for Republicans. I don’t love Democrats. There are Democrats I haven’t voted for. But at some point, they’re going to have to change the game plan. The lack of job growth lost the house for the Democrats. It’s what we do in this country. If progress from the president isn’t what we like, we throw his party out of Congress. Happened to Regan. Happened to Bush. Happened to Clinton. If Obama isn’t elected for a second term, it is almost certain the House will move back to the left and if the Republicans keep delaying true details instead of broad strokes, it’s possible we will get that rare thing of both branches belonging to one party.

Didn’t the Republicans make it seem like once they were in office that jobs would follow the next day? And yet, there is no job plan and businesses don’t seem to be placing job ads all over the place. Huh, imagine that.

And Michelle Bachmann? What is with people trying to rewrite history? So much for her presidential aspirations. Who is she gonna run with – Haley Barbour? So the founding fathers eliminated slavery, did they? Sally Hemmings turned over in her grave and slapped Thomas Jefferson for not telling her she was free.

God, I hope she doesn’t knit.

Give In To Me

I have ended the little pity party I was throwing for myself yesterday. I was going through my books and out dropped two little ones that I forgot I had. They were both on slouch hats – one knit and one crochet. Instantly I felt better. I did. These two little gems were in my library and I put them at the end and their turn came.. I have this little beauty on the hook and I am looking forward to making a newsboy cap (not in the slouch books but an old favorite standby.) Just like that the mood has changed.

It looks big (well, it is a slouch hat) but I’ve tried it on and it fits fine so when someone with, you know, hair, puts it on the fit should be just right.

Let me completely change directions and tell you about the chicken piccata I made last night – it was my second attempt and it was delicious! Butter should have its own church! That sauce served over pasta is one of the Heaven’s best dishes. OMG, that stuff is good. Ever since I ordered it at Maggiano’s a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting to recreate it – and I knocked it out the park last night. Now the trick is to not make it too much. That won’t be a problem because Mr. Honey usually gets to pick what he wants me to make the three days of the week I cook – no, I don’t tell him what I want on his three days – and he will bring home the chicken cutlets when he wants them next.

My cooking library is far more advanced than his. He does a couple of chicken dishes, a couple of pasta dishes, and a couple of pork dishes. I think he may have ten dishes in his repertoire. I, on the other hand, have thousands because I will visit http://www.allrecipes.com and l will pull out a new recipe a couple of times during the year and try them out. Just like knitting, I won’t completely follow the pattern. There are very few duds on that site. I just love it and that’s where I went to find a recipe for the chicken and I took the best of several and made the dish that has delighted us both. I have a little left over from last night and that will be my breakfast/lunch/snack this morning.

Are you going to watch the State of the Union? I always do and I listen to the response from the other party. This evening we will have two responses. I admit to being much more interested in Michelle Bachmann. I can’t tell if she’s Sarah Palin’s Mini-Me or Eve Harrington to Palin’s Margo Channing. She certainly seems to have jumped in the void left by Palin’s fall from popularity. I will also be interested in seeing who the ‘prom dates’ are as Republicans and Democrats sit together and who will be sitting next to Joe Liberman. Grumpy Mitch McConnell has said he’s going to sit in his usual seat. I think Barney Frank ought to sit next to him and hold his hand.

I’m Still Here

I know it’s been a week since I’ve been here….some of you may not be able to forgive me, hence, the two less followers that were there just a week ago. It’s been an interesting week of recovery and thinking.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

I don’t know how to tell when I’ve grown up.

I was also trying to do something with Yang ribbon yarn and I tried something three times and it hasn’t worked so the yarn is now back in a ball and I have nothing on the needles.

Nothing? You say. What about the shawl that never ends. It’s ended. Cuz I stopped it. Now, not only do I not want to complete it. I’m actually bored with it. I did manage to make another hat and two hand puppets. I tried taking a photo with one hand and the puppet on the other and it was really bad so I will have to wait until Mr. Honey gets up from his respite and he can be the puppet. So no photos of anything today.

I also did a ruffle scarf – so it’s not like I’ve been idle.

The big thing is that I’ve worked out just about every day – six days a week. I’m waiting for the temp outside to hit 35- 40 and I can add walking to my workouts.

The easy chair is filled with items I’ve made since the beginning of December. Here’s the list:
Lion puppet
Ripple afghan
ruffle scarf
Frog puppet
turquoise scarflette
turquoise fingerless mitts
brown slouch beret
green slouch beret
variegated beret
child’s poncho
soap sack – which i forgot i made
turquoise hat
golf club covers
crochet hat
purse with bead handle
four baby bibs
and several squares
blue bohemian afghan

Apparently, I like knitting and crochet. Maybe I can do something with that when I grow up.
Yes, there is a snow blower in that box cuz Mr. Honey wanted a snow blower to handle the snow but he feels the snow we’ve gotten wasn’t sufficient enough to use it – even though it was sufficient enough to use the other snow blower. Don’t ask me. I just love the guy.

All Over the Place

This has been the week of all weeks. Hard to believe that the shootings in AZ happened just a week ago. With a 24 hour news cycle, we’ve heard so much that it seems longer than just the week. Then Sarah Palin. Then the President’s speech. Then my car being towed. Then my friend’s husband passing.

And knitting through all of it and finishing a ruffle scarf and thinking the shawl that never ends will really never end.

My friend, Vivian, is the president of the Chicago Northwestern District of United Methodist Women. I met her because she came and recruited me into the group. She is almost impossible to say no to. She has fire and spirit and such faith. Her husband had been sick with stage 4 cancer and we had a meeting at her house this past Saturday morning so she could stay near her husband who was in great spirits but weaker. Treatments were no longer an option and he wanted to be home.

We had a wonderful meeting Saturday morning and left her house at about 12:30. Yesterday morning she sent an email to say he passed that afternoon. I am not worried about Vivian who is standing firmly and gracefully in the arms of God. We gave her a prayer shawl Saturday morning as a way to take care of the caregiver. But she is strong. And while we know there will be tears; there will be no regrets for the life he lead and the one that now changes with his absence. She is a child of God and knows where to find her strength.

So, Friday my knitting group met and the bookstore. We usually park across the street because the parking lot is free. It is still free but with the new year came a three hour parking limit. We stayed for three hours and ten minutes. And the cars that were parked there were gone. I called Mr. Honey who came and got us and drove us to where the cars were and $194 later….OK, this so isn’t going to happen again.

I’ve said before I didn’t vote for Barack Obama (didn’t vote for McCain, either.) I knew McCain was not who I wanted and I was too involved in Chicago politics to be easy with a very green state senator who surrounded himself with a group of Chicago party players. I remember the speech he gave in 2004 and I turned to the person next to me and said, “They’re going to run him for president in the next election.” That was no great pronouncement.

But he has surprised me for the exact same reason Sarah Palin does not: he is showing a skill in growing into the job and he is showing that while the change that was promised isn’t coming in this thundering, sweeping way that the country imagined it would, he just might be making inroads that weren’t there before. If you look at his list of accomplishments, it is impressive.

The speech he gave Wednesday hooked the country at different places. For me, it was when he changed what was on the paper. The original text was: “I want us to live up to her expectations.” But when he paused and then said: “I want to live up to her expectations.” and you could hear that something in his voice, for me, I felt what folks had been feeling during the race. How he has handled himself throughout the three years and how he handled this situation is impressive.

Can anyone imagine he was not thinking about his own 9 year old? Can anyone imagine that his daughters have not received threats? There are so many things we don’t hear about but we know the threats to the president’s safety has gone up since this election and I don’t think it is unreasonable to think that some of those threats were directed toward his family.

The tone was perfectly set to make us think about the tone of general discourse that has been around the country. It’s been almost game like. One upmanship and making sure there were winners and losers and not connecting with the fact that the decisions that are made affect real people. Nastiness as a management style. Even though the president made it clear that the incivility was not caused by one specific person, we now have the opportunity to make sure that if this should happen again there will be no opportunity to try and make the connection between action and rhetoric.

Which brings us to Sarah Palin. What a shame to blow that opportunity. There was no way that there would be no question about political rhetoric especially given how much of it she uses. Someone was going to make that case even if the conclusion was wrong. I get the anger of being singled out for something you didn’t do. I have someone who lies about me at every chance. But if you’re going to pretend to be running for president, you’re going to have to pretend to be presidential and this was a moment that could have moved her up in the minds of people but that message was so off base and so offensive that all we could talk about was how she purposely upstaged the president on a national day of remembrance and how self centered she appeared. I never thought she was running; it was a way to keep herself relevant. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if she did run just to keep herself on a stage that the GOP is going to move her off of. If she doesn’t want to become a joke she needs to figure out how to gracefully exit that part of politics and make her living in political media instead of trying to be a serious contender for public office.

There’s talk about the Republicans and Democrats sitting together at the State of the Union. It is a great step to make. It will be harder to cry out and act out and it will help move it back from the hurtful atmosphere it is to a more grown up event even if there is disagreement on the issues. I am hopeful we will hold ourselves accountable for the behavior we control and the behavior exhibited by those we elect.

And what an inspiration Gabrielle Giffords is. She talked the talk and walked the walk and her progress and recovery is a model of strength and truth and power. I fully expect her to return to her office one day and I cannot wait to see that day come.

This is a new week. I am hoping to have a more stable week and I hope we can all get our balance back. There will be times of imperfection but that’s OK. We just have to make more perfect moments. Just a few more here and there until it’s a habit then maybe we can move toward the King promise and the nation can be judged by the content of its character and not the color of the states.

Sigh

This is now officially the new shawl that never ends. It is beautiful, it takes concentration and skill and I am so glad to be doing it – but it would be even better when it is finished.
There have been some miscounts but I’ve been able to track them down and
most of them occur within the first three stitches of the row so in essence, they don’t really affect much but are being fixed anyway.

I’ve needed to have another break from the work because my mind was turning into gravy and unless Mr. Honey’s mind was turning into mashed potatoes, there doesn’t seem to be any need to make brain gravy. So during that second break, I managed to make these petal baby bibs (there’s only one shown but there’s another done and another one on the needles) and the beret was also done.

I can’t tell you when this shawl will be done. I work on it daily and I count the rows and I see the count increase every time but when I put it down and look away it’s like a row disappears and just comes back when I do the count. It is supposed to be 72 inches across and I’ve only got half way through. I started it on the 3rd and had to start it again on the 5th so it’s not like I’ve been working on it for the last 5 days. But, come on, you all know me, five days is forever when I’m not working on an afghan. So this is slowly wearing on my psyche. Of course, it’s one of those things, you know, the guy got half way to his destination and decided he couldn’t make it so he turned around and came back. I think I’m halfway home so I might as well keep going. I am rethinking this as a thing I want for a bridesmaid. Could you see me having to do five of them? Maybe better suited for just the mothers.
I am pleased to say when i went downstairs to do some stash shopping that three of the boxes were practically empty. I am certain if I took the time to combine them the contents would fit nicely in just one of the boxes. So it seems I was further along than I thought I was. Perhaps when we get to the May date the stash will be almost history. At least the stash in the basement.

A girl can dream.

Twilight Zone

So, I decided I needed to take pics of the projects that are finished and will find their way into the online shop and I have that wonderful camera that has the fancy settings including the face recognition setting. I wasn’t surprised when it focused in on the face because it looks like a face. However, I was a little surprised by what happened next.

I took the picture, then the screen flashed a message that caused some pause because the message said:

Blink detected.

Ponder the possibilities. It happened three times in a row. it could have been the cold weather. But I’ve been very nice to this head ever since. Just in case…you know…it she blinked.

Not only did I take photos of the hat, there’s a neck warmer, a child’s poncho and an afghan. There’s a lot that can go into the shop so the fact that the shawl is taking longer and everything else is taking longer isn’t driving me as crazy as it would if I didn’t have them. Of course, that’s not necessarily a wide margin.

I’m working on baby bibs. I have some cotton yarn and I want to use it up and baby things are something I need to work on. I also need to….purchase some DK weight yarn…to do baby booties. But before I break the resolution, I have some DK weight yarn from when I purchased a lot to dye. So, I will use that first. Hopefully by the time I get to it, it will be time to purchase yarn again. I will be going back to the shawl today. I had to take my eye away from it because it requires so much concentration.

I am also working on other things: a StitchCraft newsletter, a reworking of my website (don’t quite know what I want it to be) and sticking with the resolutions. My brain is a little fried but it is part of fear facing.

My drool of the day is this scarf by badanartisan. It’s funky and retrofresh. Check it out and give the girl some views to her shop!

I’m going off to the knitting needles and the shawl and baby bib. Hopefully, something will get done today!!

See What Happened Was…

Happy birthday to my sister, Carole….I got involved with a lot of stuff because of my sister: I did theatre (not the theater – those are movies. I haven’t done a movie – though I did do a commercial)because of my sister. I took French in high school because of my sister.I didn’t think boys were yucky because of my sister…OK, that part’s not true – I never thought boys were yucky.

My sister is a world traveler and an educator and still manages to be fun. She is one of my rocks – keeping me grounded and one of my pillars – encouraging me to reach. I still feel like a baby sister when I’m around her and that’s not a bad thing. There are worse things in the world than being a baby sister – like being a baby sister without a big sister like her.

I can so thoroughly explain why the square afghan is not going to be made for the family Christmas on the 22nd

Now before you start on me about not being focused or lazy or any of those other things I want to state emphatically that it was not either one of those.
As you may recall, I said there were other things that also needed to get done and I wanted to make sure there was enough time to get those things done as well. After thinking about it, I decided I needed to at least get started on those things so there would not be this mad last minute rush. Besides, there are now a dozen squares so it’s not like I’m a slacker. I’ve been working on this:
I think this would make a gorgeous gift for the mother of the bride/groom for a wedding or for a new mother. It’s kind of easy to get lost in the pattern and I have a couple of times. That’s two days worth of work that I may have to frog and start all over because I’m bothered by the rows where the count was off. It is so true that lace work is best done with the t and v off. I will have to work on this without the visual distraction. But here’s the good thing; it took two days to get this done, the redo will be much shorter, I will probably be able to get this amount done – correctly – in half the time because I am more familiar with the pattern. Some good will come out of it. The time is not wasted, it was used in study.

So you can see why working on this might delay the squares? But wait, there’s more: I’ve completed these:
don’t tell me you don’t think these are cute. I know cute when i see it and these definitely are. I did one of the numbers with intarsia and one with duplicate stitch to see which one was easier – duplicate stitch won out though I was a little rusty on the technique but i still like the results.

See? I wasn’t being a slacker and I am still working on the squares (there are even two sewn together and two more on the blocking boards) but I needed a bit of a distraction – you know how that goes when you’re working on a long project. You need to turn your head just a little so when you train your vision back on the object, it’s with a new focus. How about that for spin?