Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor. (Victor Hugo)

Sigh. I did it again. I was almost finished with the Pettine, and I frogged it. It just wasn't big enough. So I'm trying it on a slightly larger needle (size 7, instead of size 6). I already like it better.

Monday, December 27, 2010

We were all pretending. The important thing is to maintain a straight face. (Maurice Valency)

Every year about this time I debate on whether or not I should make New Year's Resolutions. I really like the idea of starting over and doing a better job with my life. On the other hand, I have a horrible track record on actually sticking to the resolutions.

So do I act the role of the optimist, and take the opportunity to better myself. Or do I admit that I'm never going to successfully change and save myself the inevitable failure. (Huh, I guess I am a pessimist after all.)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Music is the universal language of mankind. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

This past week I went to Cityplace see Andrew Doll sing. He's my friend's grandson and has an amazing voice. What a wonderful concert! I'm looking forward to hearing him again soon.

Actually, he's going to do a concert for Exceptionalities next week. I can't wait!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store. (Theodor Geisel)

Christmas only lasted a short time before the kids had to rush off to be with their father.

I'm going to spend the day with Dr. Who. And my new camera: A 12 megapixal Coolpix that Becka and PJ gave me. It's very nice. (But dinner with them would have been better.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Money can't buy you happiness, but poverty can't buy you anything. (Timur Sahin)

It is Christmas Eve, and I've just spent the day shopping. This has got to be the latest I've ever done my shopping, and I don't understand how anybody would purposely wait until the last minute like this. Of course, I'm still trying to Bah, Humbug my way through the holiday. There just doesn't seem to be any reason to be happy this year.

Shopping at the last minute didn't help.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either. (Elizabeth Zimmermann)

I finished the Pettine shawlette. Well, it still needs to be blocked. But the knitting is done. It was a lot of fun (except for the little frogging setback). In fact, I've already cast on another shawl by the same designer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

If we do not ever take time, how can we ever have time? (Wachowski Brothers)

Now that I've settled into the food plan, it's time to add activity to my weight loss program.

I'm trying to walk a little bit every day, even if it's only ten minutes at a time. I figure that something is better than nothing. And I do like to walk.

Eventually I'm going to need to do more than just an easy walk. My apartment complex has a really nice gym, but I don't know what I should be doing. The treadmill is pretty self-explanatory. But I don't know how to use the rest of the equipment.

I wish I played tennis, or something that would provide a fun means of getting exercise. I wonder if I could do yoga? Or maybe I should find a dance class. There has to be something I can do...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. (Woody Allen)

Sigh. Does anyone know of an opening in my field? I'm willing to relocate.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

If you're going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now. (Marie Osmond)

I had a message on my phone this morning. It was one of those calls that every parent of a teenager dreads. "Mom, everything's okay but I screwed up and the police want to talk to you."

Let me go back a moment and say that I left my son at home alone. He's 19, but very mature and trustworthy. He's been working full-time for a year now, and he knows and follows my house rules. Besides which, he's a hermit. By that I mean he has two friends and otherwise keeps pretty much to himself. So it's not like he's going to be having wild parties or getting into trouble. His dad lives half an hour away, so there is an adult he can turn to if needed.

What I totally forgot was that even though my son has two friends, those two friends have lots of friends. And somehow all those friends ended up at my house for a party. The police got involved because of the noise. (I've not had any evidence or complaints of alcohol involved, so I'm trusting my son when he says it was only noise. Nevertheless, I'm upset that he allowed a situation to happen that involved the police at all.

I won't be taking any more trips that leave him home alone for a while.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Man is made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another. (Anatole France)

I brought my spinning wheel with me, with plans to finish the Corridale. I even bought metallic thread to ply it with. Unfortunately, I haven't done as much spinning as I thought I would. Part of it is because I'm upset. I have a suitcase that I pack the wheel in for traveling. This usually keeps it safe. Except that I tried to save space by packing all of my clothes in the same suitcase, and I obviously over-packed. The screw for the maiden head was threaded, and I had to McGyver a fix. Which I was able to do, luckily. But I'm still upset at myself for being so stupid and not taking one more bag. As a result, my spinning mojo is off and I can't seem to get the calming rhythm.

On a brighter side, it's nice to see my mom is officially a full-fledged Knitter now. She has multiple projects on the needles, and she brought them all with her. She even had several projects out at one time. (And I remember her seriously asking me why I didn't just finish something before starting a new project.) Welcome to the dark side, mom!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach. (Michelle Held)

My favorite thing this week is the sound of the ocean. Mom and I have been keeping the balcony doors open so we can hear the crash of the waves on the beach. It brings back such wonderful memories!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

He who would travel happily must travel light. (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

I took Becka to the airport this morning, and then mom and I drove to Daytona Beach. We've got four days at the time share, and I am so happy to be here. Even if it is cold and rainy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You bet I did. And I enjoyed it. (Michael Bloomberg)

Since I had a couple of days before my daughter's trip to New Jersey, I decided to make a hat for Cassie. I 've been wanting an excuse to make the Rosebud pattern out of Itty-Bitty Hats, and this seemed like a good time to knit it. The hat itself took no time at all, but the roses were a pain in the butt to sew on.

I can't wait to see a picture of it on Cassie!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work. (H.L. Hunt)

I am a total point miser.

Weight Watchers allows you to eat whatever you want, as long as you count the points. (Points are based on the protein, carbs, fat, and fiber content of the individual food.) There are daily points, plus extra weekly points that be used. Without going into details, I have an awful lot of points so I really can eat what I want. Instead, I carefully hoard my points and only eat foods with minimal points. For instance, I passed up a cookie (7 points) to eat a clementine orange instead (because it was 0 points).

Being a point miser would be a good thing, except that I generally end the day with more than 10 points left untouched. (So I could have had the cookie after all.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pace yourself. An elephant can be bite at a time. (Annon.)

I have a new datebook. Maybe now I'll be able to get control of my life.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

I haven't done much spinning lately, but that's changing. We (Lisa, Paula, and I) have decided to bring our wheels to knitting night on a regular basis. Peer pressure is a wonderful incentive to be productive!

I did finish the Shetland Top from Crown Mountain. I did a 3 ply, and it came out to be a nice fingering weight. When I finished plying it was 20 wpi, but it fulled out really wonderfully to a fluffy, soft 18 wpi. I ended up with 374.6 yards.

I also did a little bit (29.25 yards) as a navajo ply. You can see the difference the two techniques make in the picture.

My next project will be a Corriedale Wool Top from The Woolery. The colorway is Dark Green, but it looks very dark with individual strands of color carded into it. I have 8 ounces to play with, so I want to do a thin fingering weight that can become a shawl.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients. (Julia Child)

At work my secret santa gave me a pedemeter. It's really neat; it tracks steps and miles, calculates the calories burned, and even checks your pulse.

My first day using it I tracked 1, 526 steps. Considering that I keep reading websites that state a goal of 10,000 steps, I think I need to get a little more active.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy. (Albert Einstein)

My favorite thing this week is Fruit. I've been eating a lot of fruit because it's free on the Points Plus plan. I've been eating bananas every day. I've also discovered clementines, a type of tangerine orange that is sooooo good (no seeds, and easy to peel). Cherries are also really wonderful, although they are a bit expensive right now.

Actually, I think I'm going to go grab a snack right now...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling. (Edna Ferber)

I'm sorry, but I just cannot get into the holiday mood. By now I should have my house decorated, and cookies baking. But honestly, I'm not sure I even want to put up a tree much less go out and buy presents to put under it.

Can't we just skip the whole thing this year?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits. (Satchel Paige)

But mostly I just knits. (Sandrilene)

It's Wednesday WIPs and FOs, and I have a lot of knitting projects to brag about. Not because I've been knitting any more than normal, just because I got so far behind with my blog posts.

I finished the baby sweater for Bia's baby. I've been promising my daughter that I would knit a baby sweater for her friend ever since she told me that Bia was pregnant. Bia had the baby this summer. She was premature, but that doesn't excuse the fact that I didn't get the sweater done on time. I didn't even have the sweater started when the baby was born. Luckily we live in southern Florida, so I was able to use the excuse that it was too warm for a baby sweater. Instead, I knit a 6 month size sweater for the baby to wear in December/January, when the weather actually gets a little cool. I used Judy's Grandmother's Baby Sweater pattern from Greetings From Knit Cafe. I used this pattern before, and I'll probably knit it again. I love the way it looks, and it's a very easy knit. The yarn was Lion Brand Baby Soft, a nice easy-care acrylic for young first-time mother.

I made several hats for Knit.Pray.Love. My sister had suggested this charity program that she had heard about on Mornings with Brant. They were looking for 100% wool baby hats to be taken to Afghanistan through Cure International. Of course I did my favorite preemie pattern.

I wanted to try something new, so I also made a couple of hats using Leslie Clarkson's Fresh Picked Baby Hat pattern. I modified it a little bit, since I'm not crazy about the look of the i-cord on the top of the baby hat. Otherwise, it's a wonderful pattern.

My third pattern was Bev's Baby Ribs Hat. I think this will show up again with my preemie baby hats!

I had a little more yarn left, so I tried something different. A pair of booties that feature a brioche stitch. These were very clever, but I want to see them on a baby before I get too excited about knitting them again. (Although I probably have to knit at least one other pair, since this pair was sent to Afghanistan and I won't be able to see how they fit. Hmm.)

After I finished the Knit.Pray.Love. hats, it was time to knit hats for soldiers. One of my favorite podcasters, Coggie, asked her listeners to knit hats for the men that had been deployed with her husband. Naturally I had to do something to help, so I sent her two hats.

My cousin is expecting a little boy, so my next project was a sweater for the baby. I used a pattern by Nancy Pietraszek, and I think it turned out adorable. I found the best silver buttons, which I think gave this sweater a really polished look. I can't wait to see it on the baby!

It has taken forever, but my Riva is finally finished. I had originally planned to wear this for New Years 2010, since all the knitting was done. Somehow, the two side seams have taken me almost a year to sew. It's not that sewing up a seam is difficult; I just don't like to do it. But after much encouragement from my knitting group ("When are you ever going to finish that sweater, anyway?") I bit the bullet, printed out instructions for the mattress stitch, and finally finished the seaming. Too bad the sweater doesn't fit me. (But I have faith that with the help of Weight Watchers, I'll be able to wear the sweater soon.)

Becka is going to New Jersey for part of Christmas break, so I decided to make her a pair of "Oh, Shiney!" mittens. I used the pattern from Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders. I treated myself to this book, and there are several patterns that I'm looking forward to making. This has become one of my favorite knitting books!

And, since I made something for Becka, I decided it was past time to make something for PJ. Actually, my mom pointed out that I never knit for my son. So I made him a hat. I think it looks good on him!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. (Lou Holtz)

I am very excited about the new Weight Watchers program. After one week on Points Plus, I lost 7.4 pounds.

I know I'm not going to have results like this every week, but it was really wonderfully motivating to stick with the new plan.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

I like this place, and willingly would waste my time in it. (William Shakespeare: As You Like It)

I spent the afternoon at the Morikami Museum, and it was every bit as wonderful as I remember it being. I just wandered around, re-familiarizing myself with the different gardens. We (my family and I) used to visit Morikami quite a bit when my oldest was in high school. But I haven't been back in at least three or four years.

I imagine I'll be spending quite a lot of time there now, though. I was able to get a Membership to the gardens through Groupon at a really nice price. Now I can go any time I want (and bring a friend with me). I picture afternoons walking the gardens for exercise, followed by a knitting session with a beautiful view...