Thursday, July 30, 2009

Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can. (Danny Kaye)

Today's art project: cards for my son. PJ's still feeling very homesick, according to the last letter I got from him. He really likes getting letters. As he put it, it makes him feel loved to hear his name for mail call. So I'm trying to send him letters as often as I can.

It's not easy, coming up with amusing stories on a regular basis. I have thought of inventing things; after all, how would he know if I was telling the truth or not. But somehow, that doesn't really seem fair. I've tried telling jokes, but I don't write jokes any better than I tell them. (How important is a punch line, anyway?)

Luckily, he's so glad to get mail that the content doesn't really matter. It's the act of writing, rather than what's written, that shows the love.

He may change his mind about this, though, after he gets the food card we made. (The guys at boot camp are obsessed with the burgers, fries, ice cream, and other foods from "real" life that they miss.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday's WIPs and FOs

I've been trying to finish up my current spinning projects this week, in anticipation of the Insubordiknit workshop in August. I want to have my bobbins clear and ready to go. I haven't quite finished the Forest Lake BFL from Spinning Bunny, but I'm getting close. I think there's about half an ounce left to spin, and then I can ply it this weekend.

I did finally "whack" the yarns that I plied earlier in the month. I wasn't happy with them, since they came out a heavy worsted, almost a bulky, weight. But now that they've been blocked and skeined, I think I like them after all. Too bad I don't have a project that I can use either one of them in.
"Neptune's Daughter"
121 yards BFL/silk
(Old Maiden Aunt)

Briar Rose
184 yards

I'm finally seeing some progress on the Retro socks, and they may actually be finished before the NYC trip. I hope so, since they're supposed to be for my daughter and it would be really nice to be able to give them to her while I'm visiting. Although I still don't like the socks, I do think they look a bit better now that I'm on the leg. I am looking forward to finally having these finished.

It took a while to settle on a gauge for the Fitted Tank, but I think it's going to work out. I love the Spa yarn I'm using; it's a wool/bamboo blend and it is so wonderfully soft I just want to cuddle it all day. My original excuse for starting this project was so that I'd have a hand-knit top to wear on my trip. That's not going to happen. At least it's an easy knit, so it's become my pocketbook project.

Monday, July 27, 2009

When you meet temptation, and the urge is very strong, Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle! (song lyric)

You can't imagine how wonderful it was to come home to a mailbox literally stuffed with fiber. And I really needed something cuddly.

I spent most of the day playing at being Jimminy Cricket. My job today consisted of asking someone "Should you be doing that?" and "Is that what you're supposed to do?" The worst thing about being somebody's conscious is that it carries over into your own life (Should I be eating that extra piece of chocolate cake?).

I guess it could be worse. I could be feeling like Pinocchio, with a very long nose. (And it would be a very long nose, since I'm in denial over eating that last piece of cake!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two weeks, and counting...

Michelle found us suitcases for our spinning wheels, and the countdown to NYC has started. In just 12 days we will be enjoying a weekend of spinning and sight-seeing. (Not to mention my excitement at getting to visit with my daughter.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just another day spent shopping.

This isn't exactly how we meant to spend the day. Actually, mom was supposed to be making sure that I didn't spend more than I really should. There wasn't a similiar stricture on me for her. But that's okay because I think she likes her new car.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Please write again soon. Though my own life is filled with activity, letters encourage momentary escape into others lives

and I come back into my own with greater contentment.
(Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey)

Once again, it's only because someone has bothered to ask me "why haven't you posted?" that I'm managing to get back to this blog. Which is very odd, since I only write for myself and it's when I remember that there are others that may be reading it that I become too shy to post.

I'm going to totally blame "Pvt. Flats" for the recent lack of posts. I've been obsessively writing to my son, using up every amusing story of my daily life in an effort to cheer up his days at boot camp. So far in the past two weeks I've mailed him off three letters, each one at least 10 pages long. Which is okay, because I've already received four letters from him, each one admitting to his being very homesick.

I can't help but wonder, though, how my son is going to feel once he actually receives the letters. I think that they are wonderfully witty, with just the right note of motherliness. He, however, may find them embarrassingly corny (ie The Continuing Adventures of Pvt. Flats) and cloyingly emotional.

And because I know that I have a horrible tendency to become obsessive about my current "project," let me reassure you that I have managed to retain a life outside of my son's letters. Knitting remains my main obsession hobby, and I still have way too many projects cast on the needles. I'm currently carrying around two projects in my purse, the Retro Socks (which are almost done!) and a new Fitted Tank that I'm hoping to have ready to wear on my NYC trip in two weeks. I'm also toting around a bag of "emergency" projects to do just in case I finish the purse projects, or lose a needle, or can't reach my purse, etc. These projects include the Sampler Sock Blanket, the gloves from the Boca KAL, and a washcloth.

I've also been working on two really big, non-knitting, projects. One I'm not going to be able to talk about for a while. Although there are already some very amusing stories to tell, it's way too soon to share with other than a very few select people in my life; I just don't want to jinx it.

My other big project, though, I'm very willing to share. I'm going to be heading to NYC in two weeks with my friend Michelle to attend a workshop with Jacey of Insubordiknits. She's a wonderfully talented, amazing spinner and she will be teaching us how to spin art yarns. I've gotten my airline tickets, paid for the workshop, and ordered an amazing selection of fiber for the class. (I'll also be going on a fiber crawl once we get to NYC; at this rate my fiber stash will begin to match my yarn stash!) We're staying with my daughter. She has to work over the weekend, so I don't feel guilty at leaving her to go spin. And since she has Monday and Tuesday off, I'm staying an extra day to spend time with her.

Right now, life is looking pretty good.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go finish a letter...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wed WIPs & FOs

I've only managed to finish one thing this week (a washcloth, go figure), although I'm finally making progress on the Retro socks.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Multimedia message

It's been a really nice day. I went out with my friends for lunch, managing to knit/spin while we were at it. Then I spent the afternoon on a Dr. Who marathon. (My daughter has a lot to answer for, since she suggested what has quickly become an obsession.)

I had originally planned to go into work and catch up on paperwork, but I had a lot more fun with the revised plans.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Well, how did you expect me to celebrate? Knitting, friends, coffee, chocolate, and Dr. Who made for a perfect day. (Okay, family would have been better -- but my kids had other ideas.)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday's Favorite - Ambrosia

Today's favorite thing is ambrosia salad. Last week we held a Luau at work, and I brought a double-batch of ambrosia as my contribution to the potluck luncheon. It was so popular, that I decided to bring another batch to work today for our Independence Day picnic. This time I had to be sure to make a batch for home, too.

Ambrosia really very easy to make. I learned the recipe when I was in 7th grade. My best friend back then was Lori M., and the ambrosia was her mother's recipe. I was at Lori's house for a sleepover party when her mom showed me how to make the salad. (Parties at Lori's were always the best, since she lived right on the water and she had a sailboat -- I love sailing!)

I've been making Ambrosia ever since. It's been my take-along standby for church dinners, picnics, family celebrations, and just about any other special or not-so-special occasion.


1 large container of cottage cheese (16 oz?)
1 large box (or 2 small boxes) orange flavored Jello mix
1 can (large is better) mandarin oranges, drained
1 large container of Cool Whip (12 oz)

Mix the cottage cheese and jello together. (Note - use the jello powder straight from the box.) Add the drained mandarin oranges. Fold in the Cool Whip. Chill, then serve.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

It's never too late -- in fiction or in life -- to revise. (Nancy Thayer)

It's been a good week, knitting-wise.

I finished the sweater for Cassie. That, by the way, is the secret gift-project I was working on. I don't think that Cassie's gotten the sweater yet (although it has been mailed off), but the surprise was already ruined when I accidentally posted this picture on Facebook. Well, I meant to post the picture on Facebook, in my "knitting" album. I thought I had the security thing figured out, so that only my Fiberholic Friends would be able to see it. Apparently I was wrong.

My knitting group started the Mitten KAL today. I had decided on doing the Kingdom gloves from This is probably a mistake, since I only managed to get the first chart finished, which isn't even halfway around the cuff. The others are almost through the first mitten. Even with cabling without a cable needle (thank goodness I can do that!), this is not a quick knit. And it's something that you really have to concentrate on, so I won't be able to do it while sitting around with others. It really is pretty, though. The picture isn't a good one; the color is actually browns. You can see it better on the swift.

My wonderful brother-in-law made this swift for me, and this was the first real excuse I've had to use it. It's wonderful. I've always had to put the yarn around my feet and do "sit-ups" when I wanted to wind my yarn. The swift is much, much quicker - not to mention much easier!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

It's Wednesday, so you're probably expecting a fiber update. And I've got lots of excitement to share about my fiber fun. But I'm really tired, and the thought of figuring how to get all the pictures from my phone to the blog (my camera was accidentally sent to my mom's house) is just more than I can handle right now. So I'll wait until tomorrow to post progress and details.

In the meantime, go check out my friend's latest creation ( It's a great resource for all things fiber -- knitting & crochet clubs, local and online yarn shops, lots of free pattern listings, and lots more that I'm still exploring. I would have given it a big plug anyway, but be sure to check out the banner along the bottom of the homepage. She's made us feel so big-time special-important!