Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I made Shelley some sparkly knit earrings this year - no time to knit her a pair of socks, but maybe the next best thing? For about a minute I had the mad idea to knit a similar pair for Shana but I came to my senses. They are not exactly her style. I will definitely make myself a pair though. Not too hard once you figure it out, and very pretty.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Today was the day for Shana to take Aunt Rita out to do her Christmas shopping. This is something she's been doing for many years, and it's down to a very tight routine. It always happens on the last or next to last weekend before Christmas. There is a list of socks and underwear in various sizes and forms for everyone. If Rita gets me a gift she selects freely from candles, with occasional ventures into house shoes. Some years Nancy has time to help her make gifts, so less shopping is needed. Shana usually takes her to Target, and tries to get out early to avoid fighting with a crowd. I went along this time because I had one more gift item to pick up and I needed shoe polish and face soap (I lead a riveting life). I also wanted to memorialize the yearly occasion when Aunt Rita opens her wallet. It's something of a family joke that Rita has more money than anyone because she never spends any. It's actually about half true, and she has mastered the slow fumble and the "forgotten" wallet perfectly.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Even though I has down to the wire with my knitting I agreed to have Vivian spend the evening with me last Sunday. It was worth every minute of craziness to have her over to visit. I had the mad thought before I picked her up that I might be able to get in a few rows while she was here but of course that was not possible. She was running around getting into everything, and it quickly became obvious that if I whipped out the knitting she would be right there taking it apart. She was wearing little pink boots that she loved so much that I could not get her to take them off even to take a nap.
Baking starts today, although I probably won't be getting everything done today. I have only one small oven to work with - Oven Man (my hero) is coming Tuesday for the third visit to get the upper oven repaired. It won't help my cookie extravaganza, but we'll have two ovens in operation on Christmas Day, which makes out planning for our brunch much easier. Typical for this year of having all of our holiday out of whack, we don't even have our ham yet.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Off to bed, with a visit to Boston's Aquarium planned for the morning. We are staying at the Harborside Inn, which I thoroughly recommend. The location is great: walking distance from Faneuil and the North End (and a couple a great pubs). The rates are great and the rooms are nice, including very nice firm beds.
Tuesday was rainy, so indoor activities were the order of the day. We went to the New England Aquarium first, where we enjoyed the penguins and a terrific display of jellyfish, then on to the Imaxx program on dolphins and whales. After seeing the sea life it was time to eat some of it - a delicious lunch at Legal Seafood where I revised my standard for clams upward. Next on our list was the new Institute of Contemporary Art. It is not a very big gallery, but very interesting and the way the various pieces were displayed with plenty of breathing space allowed showed them off to great advantage. I seldom have a chance to see installations, so this was a treat. There was an interesting exhibition of Tara Donovan's work that Shana and I both loved. Philistine that I am I did snap a quick picture of Shana with an installation featuring thousands of plastic cups before the guards told me "no".
Friday, November 21, 2008
I arrived at the end of lunch time and she was in a great mood. Vivian knows a fair number of words, but apparently only uses them for her daddy. Mom and I get smiles, kisses, giggles, and all sorts of fun stuff, but almost no talking. Jamie told me she has to hide around the corner and listen to hear any of her words.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Some final thoughts on the project: I do have errors that I did not go back and fix. In a few rows my decreases did not line up exactly. I was concerned that they would be really obvious, but not enough to tink back to them. I generally corrected the position in the next repeat and went on. In the blocking I was able to "fake" them into line a little better where they were obvious. I can see them when I am looking for them, but are otherwise not obtrusive. I counted every repeat every time on both sides, and had the stitch numbers on a sticky above every row through the whole shawl. I have come to terms with my inability to memorize lace repeats, and in any event every row was different on this particular project. The yarn, Super Due Merino from Madil, is very fine and did not bloom noticeably on washing. It shows off the pattern beautifully.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
I did take a couple of days off of my knitting last weekend to go camping. We'll be out of the season for it soon enough, and Shana and I have both really wanted the quiet time away from everything. Last weekend the weather was just about perfect, so we took advantage of it to get away from town. I went down right after work Friday to be sure of getting a campsite, which gave me ample opportunity to walk around on the bluff by myself. It's so refreshing to be up there in the afternoon by myself, when the loudest sound to be heard is birdsong and wind. We got to hear lots of elk bugling at night, and not only did we hear coyotes, we even saw one. She was on her way to the Coyote Cafe, otherwise known as "Prairie Dog Village". We took our mountain bikes with us this time, and although we did not do any offroad cycling I was glad to have a little time to get used to that bike. We had the clear starry nights that I love so much out away from the light pollution of the city. Saturday afternoon instead of motoring into town to watch football we took a hike on Elk Mountain. The combination of exercise and sunlight boosted our spirits, as always.
Samantha came over with Vivian last night to trick or treat. Vivian was wrapped up as a mummy. Samantha did not dress up. Alex claims Vivian can whistle, but although she did pucker up for me she would not whistle.
We are all eager for the election to come. For myself, I am creeped out by advertising for candidates I consider to be crooks or worse. Amazingly James Inhofe, who famously announced that global warming is a hoax, is favored to win by a large margin. His television advertising has been almost uniformly negative. One ad in particular intersperses pictures of felons with those of his opposing candidate and Barack Obama. I've given up on civil discourse at the office with anyone aside from the three or four Democrats in the building. It's not that I am reluctant to press my point, but I have arrived at the point where I can't listen to any more Republican b******t and still maintain the respect I want to have for my co-workers. I'm hoping for a Democratic landslide, and have a lovely Cotes du Rhone ready to toast the exit of the Republicans January 20th. Like many Democrats, I have my fingers and toes crossed that we will really be having this celebration.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday morning I joined some of the cycling group to ride out to El Reno. It was a perfect day, and we made an easy ride of it. It's probably a sign of our progress as cyclists that a forty mile ride appeals as an "easy" morning on the bike. Five of us rode out, and whenever we regrouped the conversational groups were shuffled. I think everybody got a chance to visit on the road. I was especially thrilled to find out that Melissa has actually raised sheep and GOATS! The only thing that marred our ride was a very new chip surface on about 8 miles of road. There was a huge amount of loose gravel on the surface, so we had to slow down and pay close attention. I like to think it's a great opportunity to build our skills to run into things like this, but I really think one mile instead of 8 would have been sufficient for that purpose. We're really past the season for rigorous training now, so we were just out enjoying the day and could take our time to look around. We're determined not to lose all of our hard won endurance over the winter, but the need to keep up a particular pace has faded a bit. We stopped often to regroup and enjoy the scenery and quiet of the country, including snake spotting off of a bridge. That made a nice change, as most of the wildlife we saw was in the form of roadkill. I don't know when I've ever seen so many and of so many species. On the way out Diane and I noticed a little cat up in a tree. When the cat was still there (and looking unhappy) on the way back. Diane decided he (she?) needed to be rescued. Diane used her bike as an improvised ladder and saved the day. Then we adjourned to Jim's for a bite and some additional conversation before we went our separate ways.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
After the shopping trip I adjourned to my craft room to work on the Peacock Feathers Shawl. I've started on chart 3, row 87 of 250. That sounds like I am nearly halfway done, but that is only an illusion. The shawl gets wider with every row, and for every row of the chart there are two rows of knitting because you purl back after every row of the chart. I'm a slow but persistent lace knitter. How people can memorize a chart and buzz right along is a mystery to me. I've got post-it notes with stitch numbers laid over every line, and I still have to count my stitches going both ways for every repeat. Also, once the knitting is done there is a looped crochet bind off that will take a fair amount of time. Luckily crochet holds no terror for me. The Yarn Harlot has said that lace in progress looks like a**, and in this she is certainly right. I have now arrived at the point where I will no longer be able to stretch the shawl out to get a peek at the pattern without risking dropping part of it off the needles. Except for its ever-growing size it will look exactly like the yarn barf you sometimes get when trying to find the leading end of a center pull ball until it's off the needles and blocked. This is the leap of faith that is lace knitting. Oddly, even though it looks awful, getting to this point gives me confidence that I will be able to finish it.