Monday, December 21, 2009

This, That, and the Other Thing

A couple of weeks ago, while I was driving around lost in a maze of condominiums, Len called me in a bit of a panic. Since I was already close to a meltdown, he decided whatever he had to tell me could wait. This sent me further over the edge because he had spent the day with his mother and ailing father, so I made my apologies to my family (or the part of my family I was meeting for dinner) and hightail it home. It turns out all of the drama was because Lizzy chewed up some knitting and a needle. This knitting, in fact. After some minutes of trying to decide if at least some of it could be saved, this is what it looks like now:

Starting Over

No dogs were harmed in the destruction of this knitting. Oh well, it could have been worse, I have a ton of this yarn, and while I had gotten pretty far on it, the hat wasn't deadline knitting or anything. So the dog got off with a {shrug}.

After 2 months of searching, Len finally found a truck (2006 Toyota Tacoma, 4x4, 6 speed manual, extended cab). It took a long time because he had some very specific criteria and we were beginning to despair of ever finding what he wanted. We had to go all the way to not-so sunny Akron, Ohio (it took us about 12 hours total), but he finally has a truck and a budding case of buyer's remorse (par for the course with him).

Then I was laid up all day Sunday with a nasty sinus headache. Are sinuses really necessary?

I finished Gilead a little while ago. When I first read reviews, it sounded good but very dry, demanding, but kind of dull. I knew I wanted to read it, but I was afraid it would be a chore. I was completely unprepared for what a deeply moving experience it would be. Demanding, yes. The book demands time, attention, and no small amount of devotion, but for this the reader is rewarded with a literary experience brimming with grace, love, and redemption. It is one of those books that makes you happy to be alive.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gingerbread Houses

For the past several years I've been going to an evening craft show in Saline and in the last couple of years my niece Lauren and nephew Isaac have come along. A particular feature of this show is the Gingerbread House competition/fundraiser.

Gingerbread Houses

Part of the competition is for professional bakers. The public votes for their favorite houses by dropping change in a little box by the displays, the display with the most money wins and all of the money is donated to a school charity.

Gingerbread House Decorated with Glee

I voted for this one. It was decorated by the children of the bakers and it is just so gleeful (more is more!)

Patriotic Gingerbread Houses

The area school kids get in on the action, too. Part of the school's cafeteria is taken up with their houses. I think the younger kids all do the same basic pattern and the older kids get more leeway.

Serious Decorator

There is a cookie decorating station. Lauren takes her decorating seriously.

Grumpy Cookie

Sort of.


Isaac is of the More is More school of cookie decorating.


He went out on a sugar high.


We came home to find my dad backing out of the attic crawl space with this little guy in tow. Lauren was smitten, much to my dad's horror. They took him a few miles out to a nature preserve and let him go.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Silence and Knitting

I can't guarantee my blog silence is over, but I will try. We are finally getting DSL at home, so that might help (although our computer is still ancient and sometimes it has trouble working things out).

One small piece of housekeeping: I moved my photo blog to WordPress. I was playing around with that platform for a work project and decided I liked the way it worked for the pictures better than anything I could come up with here at Blogger. Because I am a bit obsessive, I reloaded most pictures so they would be that nice big size.

Anyway. Despite feeling like I don't have much to say in the last few weeks, I have been knitting. A lot. My knitting mojo has raised its fuzzy head in such a way that I am having a hard time keeping myself from casting 5 or 6 new projects, despite actively knitting on five projects (not to mention the projects I want to be knitting but am not getting to). I have not been as successful at keeping myself from ordering yarn.

Austrian Socks

Austrian Socks from Interweave's Favorite Socks (also a very old issue of IK). I didn't do the i-cord cuff because I am not bright enough to figure it out. My aunt convinced me I'd be happier with a ribbed cuff anyway. I don't think I'm happier with it, but it is fine. I am at the toe of this one, then I knit the second one then I can make knee socks (don't ask me why I want knee socks but I do). I have yarn to do the Treetop Socks from Knitty and ordered yarn to do these (yes, Koigu, I am a lame copy cat).

Barcelona Jacket Front

Sorry about that picture. This is the right front of the Barcelona Jacket from the Fall 2009 IK. I'm not planning on making the full collar. I would normally do both sides at the same time, but there is way too much shaping happening at both sides for me to able to make that work. After this, there is a whole bunch of Mission Falls burning a hole in my stash. And alpaca. And...oy.

Stocking Ornaments

Teeny, tiny stocking ornaments. I love these. These are Priscilla's Dream Socks (also from the aforementioned Favorite Socks), 32 stitches, size 2 needles, scrap yarn, a couple of hours and done. I don't have much more red, but I do have a ton of green in various shades, so I think the next 4 will be different textures (cables, lace, etc.).

Gray Cables

Hat for Len. I have quite a bit more than this done (6 cable crossing). I've been knitting this while riding in the vanpool (very productive), but it is getting so that it is too dark to see so progress may slow on this. He wants more socks and more hats, which is easy enough to accommodate.

I'm also making some progress on Frost Flowers and Leaves, which I don't seem to have posted about since April 2008 (scroll down). It looks like that, but bigger.