Monday, December 15, 2008

Josephine Top Complete

I picked up the Josephine top and finished it this weekend. And it turned out beautifully.

And the back:

This is the Josephine Top from Interweave Knits from summer 2007. I can't remember the yarn now, I do know that I used a size 4 harmony circular. The sizing if I remember correctly was size 36 and 40 and I wanted 38, so I added a few stitches on the side and made the small for the top. I had to do the neck edging twice (the first time I picked up too many stitches and it wasn't quite right) and I did once sleeve cap twice (I misread the instructions and also picked up too few stitches and the sleeve was too tight). Overall, I am very please with how this turned out. I must remember now to make the mistake of being worried something will be too small and choose to make a larger size. I need to do a gauge swatch well, check and double-check, and go for it. This is supposed to a summer dud, but I didn't finish it in time. Oh, and I also decided to do the cord in a single chain crochet stitch and it turned out just fine.

I put this outfit together this morning, then went to scrape and warm the car. While I was waiting in the car in -8 below zero temps, I changed my mind and came in an opted for the Tilted Duster - a much better choice for the weather. I had to use a space heater in my office today. Yikes, it seems early for these temps even in Minnesota.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Knit Lit

I have a respectable collection of books related to knitting. I have a small shelf dedicated to it - I have Vogue Knitting (required reading for how-to's), three Elizabeth Zimmerman's and an assortment of Nancy Bush, Meg Swansen, Alice Starmore, Gladys Thompson, Sally Melville and more...just to give you a sense of my appetite for knitting content.

I have been knitting since 2004 (somewhat fanatically) and I have just learned about a whole new genre of reading related to knitting (new to me that is) - murder mysteries set in a knitting environment. Once I stumbled upon it, there's so much out there. Truth be told, I was unaware of the number of murder mysteries with a theme.

Pins and Needles by Monica Ferris - I love murder mysteries/detective stories and this was good. The book takes place in my hometown - Minneapolis/St. Paul - so I liked that. There was a shop called Crewel World in the book, which sounds great. I wish I had a shop like that...there was an antiques roadshow vibe when someone's will was being execute and enjoyable characters. I picked up two of these at the library and will start the other one later tonight (Framed in Lace).

Most overrated book I have read lately - in any genre, knitting related or otherwise is Friday Night Knitting Club. Gadzooks, this was soooo telegraphed. I can get into a sappy story, but this was a really obvious story. The review said 'just like Steel Magnolies', so I knew what I was getting into, but I just didn't like the main character that well. I didn't dislike her, but liking her was critical to this story being effective. I even imagined Julia Roberts as the main character - because of the Steel Magnolias review and because I had heard she'd attached herself to the film version of this book - and that didn't even help. I knew what was going to happen, but it didn't stop me from groaning when they got around to the inevitable end.

There as many more knitting related mysteries by Monica Ferris. I also see some by Mary Kruger. And then there are the mystery bookstore mysteries, the chocoholic murder mysteries, coffeeshop murder mysteries....who writes all of these??? who reads all of these??? I am sure I will burn through many of these and then move onto to something new.
Work in progress:
Knit Down, Made to Measure Jumper from Sally Melville

Needles: Clover circs, size 8
Yarn: Cestari in blackberry

I've made this sweater before from Nature Spun worsted and it is a quick knit. I've had this Cestari in my stash for awhile and was wondering what to do with it. I am curious to see how this washes and wears. It has a rough feel to it, but I've read on other blogs that it gets softer after washing. If that's the case, I will make the cobblestone pullover in Navy for my husband. I picked up this yarn at $4/skein when my LYS marked it down for a quick sale.

And check out the great beer in the background of the photo. Ommegang Chocolate Indulence - wow, this was an amazing treat - dark chocolate, dark malts, a fruitiness to it. Chocolate and beer lovers - this Belgian treat is for you!

I am still working on the Sea Mineral Mittens below and they are going quickly. The pattern is available for free on Spillyjane's blog. My second mitten looks better than the first. It has been awhile since I have done stranded knitting and the key is LOOSE CARRIES! Spillyjane also has some great other mittens - Polska Mittens are beautiful.

I found a great website: Twist Collective. This site is an online magazine with beautiful photography and patterns. Two cool thing's about this site - you can buy online (not that novel, but convenient none the less) and the designers are compensated more fairly than in other venues for their patterns. I want to make a number of patterns from this site: Gytha and Postwar Mitts. I'd like to find a brick and mortar store where I can find Dale of Norway Baby Ull for the mittens, but I have struck out so far.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sea Mineral Mittens

The Sea Mineral Mittens are very fun to make. The pattern is simple to follow and changes frequently enough to make it interesting. And I love the colors.

I don't usually end up with puckering on stranded knitting, but I am noticing it a bit on these. I think it might be because of the gauge. I've used sport weight for fair isle before, but on a size four needle and on a much larger scale (yolk of a sweater). I am trying to be conscious of carrying LOOSELY - and my joins could be smoother. I think I am going to revisit Estonian Knitting and Vogue Knitting to refresh my memory about the best way to join new wool for this.

We had our first snow today - we had a little accumulation this morning, but it didn't stick. I have been wearing a lot of my knitting lately, but that's the only thing I am enjoying so far. The days are so short and it gets more and more difficult to get any exercise. hmmph. I will try to be positive - I have a party tomorrow with friends. Three couples are bringing meatloafs! and the other two are bringing other food and the hosts are boasting 8 gallons of homebrewed beer. I seriously hope we don't make a good dent in it, or I might be sleeping over at their house. Should be fun. And we have lots to celebrate this week with the election!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New Mittens

Here is a newly finished pair of Woodman's modified sock:

Pattern: Woodman's Socks from Opinionated Knitter
Needles: size 6 dpn Clover Bamboo
Yarn: one complete skein of Raggi in the varieted (just a teeny bit left) plus leftover cream Raggi from a previous pair

And I started a new pair of mittens from Spillyjane - they are called Sea Mineral Mittens. I can't believe this pattern was available for free - it is a beautiful pattern and so far I also think it is beautifully written. Very simple to follow.
I am using Nature Spun sport weight in bamboo, eucalyptus, natural, nervous green and plum line.

Pattern: Sea Mineral Mittens by Spillyjane
Needles: size 0 addi turbos
Yarn: Nature Spun Sport Weight

Here is an abandoned swatch with different colors: bamboo, nervous green, storm, French clay...I thought the French clay (an orange) would be a great splash of color, but with the scalloped edge these looked too much like curtains from the kitchen I grew up with.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tilted Duster - modeled at last

We had a cold and drizzly day today in Minnesota. I think there was even a little freezing rain at one point. A good day to wear a new sweater - and I got several compliments on it too! One of my colleagues said she was inspired to get out some wool from her stash. She is from Australia and she said everyone knits there - it hasn't been her experience to find many knitters here in the states.

Here's the overall view of the long awaited Tilted Duster.

Back view:

And side view:

I had made a few unintended changes. First of all, overall it turned out a little small and sleeves were very small. Also, I was unable to pick up the required number of stitches for the neck and there's no way it would layover itself as it did in Interweave. I think I am going to make an I-cord so that I can close it at the bust. I am going to make another one one of these this winter in a larger size. I love the pattern and I like the way the sweater hangs in the skirt section.

And look at my lovely dinner...I am waiting for it at the moment, london broil with asparagus. mmmm....
London broil:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Losing it?

I think I am losing my marbles. I found my camera...under the couch. I don't know what this says about my housekeeping. I should have known it was near my little rabbit warren. Since the house is under renovation, I have very little organized space. So, this little area of my couch has my bills, my books, my cookbooks, and my knitting bag piled up on and around this little section. It is all set off by the task light my husband bought for me awhile ago. It is nearly the only place in the house where a person can see enough to read really well. I'd take a picture of it to show y'all, but it is too messy.

I started a pair of Woodsmen's Socks for my husband. I sure hope he likes them - he doesn't seem too impressed so far. But he did pretend to grab them, so maybe he is secretly happy about them.

Pattern: Woodsmen's Socks from Opinionated Knitter
Needles: size 6 dpn
Yarn: Raggi

And check out my new blocking station in the laundry room (currently one of the nicest areas in the house).

Here's the Einstein:

And see the difference between the previously knit yarn and the newly knit yarn?

I just got some new buttons yesterday and hope to get those on soon.

Ok, now for something fun. My husband found a website that allows you to take a photo of yourself and insert your face into hairstyles from various years.
Here I am in 1968:

This is my favorite...extra long neck.

Here I am in 1960:

Gypsies, tramps and thieves....Me in 1974:

And the best one yet? Me in 1978:

I seem to have developed a double chin.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where is my bleepin' camera?

I'd like to show off my newly finished projects - Einstein (sans buttons) and the Tilted Duster. But I have no idea where the camera is. The husband might know where it is, but he's sleeping. hmmph.

I finished the Einstein Sweater on natural Ecowool. I only made one small modification - I knit into the back of the picked-up stitches for slightly tighter stitches. I think I picked that up as a tip for socks when you pick-up the gussets. I stopped at my LYS after work for buttons, but they didn't have any. I wanted some plain cream colored buttons and everything was a little fancier than I wanted. More good tips...I followed Sally Melville's tip for washing wool sweaters in a machine and I love it. I soaked the sweater for 45 minutes and then used the spin cycle (refer to Knit Stitch for complete details) and the sweater is nearly completely dry in a day. The soaking also got most of the kinkiness out of my previously knit yarn. My seam up the sleeve is kinda ugly really. I had such messy slipped stitch edges from my pre-used yarn. Those are the only seamed I haven't knit in. I might work on that a bit. And while I was looking for a picture of the Einstein sweater to link to, I found a new knitting blog: Obsessed with Knitting. My Einstein looks a lot like that nice lady's.

I am also 99.9% finished with the Tilted Duster. I sewed in the second sleeve last night and seamed up the seams. The arms are wayyyy too tight, but I can live with it I guess. I am only going to be able to wear a tank top under it. There is no way a shirt would fit under it. And it is just overall a little small. It isn't going to fit the way it fits the gorgeous model in Interweave, but it is still going to be cute. I could show a picture, but....I might make this again with a few more modifications - sleeves knit in the round until the cap sleeves - maybe I would pick up the sleeves and knit down. My seaming on the caps leaves a little to be desired. Oh, and I am going to try to remember to read people's comments about their projects on Ravelry before I start big projects. If I had done that, I would have heeded the advise of fellow knitters and made the sleeves larger.

And so I had to pick up another skein of Raggi wool for another pair of Woodsmen's socks for my husband. I hope he likes these things. I haven't made him very many things because he is a little fussy. I think the Raggi that I purchased today is going to be self fair-isling. I will have the cuffs, heel, and toe in another color - leftover from the first pair I made for him. Knitting pals say Raggi is very nice.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I am back finally....

I am finally back online. I had to restore the harddrive on my new laptop and it took me a few days to call tech support to learn how to do that. I foolishly didn't have anything backed up anywhere and so I was afraid I was going to look all my pictures and all of my research and papers for my graduate program. I did lose all of that, but I was able to contact my tech person from my former job and he was able to pull my stuff off of backups from my old laptop. The only thing I lost in the end were my summer vacation photos. I am glad I put some on the blog earlier.

And then for some crazy reason, I have been unable to log into blogspot to update my blog. I thought maybe it was because of some security/ad blocking setting in my laptops restored configuration. But I don't think so....I think it was user error. This was all very frustrating.

I still haven't put my Tilted Duster together. I think that's because of fear that it won't fit properly (nervous about tight arms). And I still haven't finished my Josephine top. I started an Einstein Sweater that should be done this week. That went very fast. It was just the mindless knitting I was looking for. I am making it out of repurposed Ecowool that had been a moss knit raglan with a cable up the front that was NEVER going to come together. The downside is that the wool that had never been used looks great and the reused wool was kinky before knitting and the knitting doesn't look smooth. I hope that comes out when I soak and block it.

I went to Oktoberfest in La Crosse, Wisconsin with my best gal pals for the second year in a row. That was the weekend of September 26th. I wish I had taken pictures. What was I thinking???? I have nothing to show anyone - or no evidence shall I say of overindulging! Maybe this was a good thing.

I am adjusting to the change of seasons somewhat reluctantly. I can't stand the idea of winter yet. I need to get out for a walk and be in the weather and realize it ain't so bad. That always helps. I also had a chance to wear an EPS fair isle cardigan and a wool shrug this week. The knitwear it out and in circulation in the wardrobe.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Gentleman's Fancy Socks

I finished the Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush - just in time for wool sock weather.

Needles: Size 1 Addi Turbos
Yarn: Knitpicks Bare Superwash in Donegal

The picture isn't that great, but I didn't want to take the time for new photos. Fall is definitely in the air in Minnesota and I've been looking forward to making some seasonal recipes. I started marinating sauerbraten that I should be able to make by the middle of the week and I am making bean and ham soup. Lots to do today - taking out the air conditioners, cleaning the yard, laundry, putting away most of our summer clothes....somehow these chores don't seem so bad today with the sunny and cool weather with yummy food on the way. It does seem odd that on Labor Day weekend it was so hot and humid and now we've got lows in the 40s and highs in the 60s/low 70s. Fall started on the first day of school this year. I hope it last a looooooonnnnnggggg time before the snow flies.

See the Josephine top in the background of above pic? I am have a few inches to go on the back and then onto the v-neck front. These latest projects have been taking me a long time to finish. I have been brainstorming about my next project - that I am not starting until the Josephine Top and the Tilted Duster are finished. I might try some mittens from the Estonian knitting book. Or something maybe with the reclaimed Ecowool from a frogged sweater. I also have enough Cestari to make two sweaters (navy or blackberry). I might see what others are doing with Cestari on Ravelry - always a good place to gather ideas.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Laboring on Labor Day

I haven't had the weekend that I expected, but it has been fairly productive. Productivity was supposed to be the theme of this weekend, but factors have conspired against the progress we expected. We were going to paint a rubber roofing compound on the dormer of our house. We never intended to do it Saturday, then we chose to do other work yesterday and now the weather is hideous today and it would have to be an emergency for me to spend the day working outside today. Hot, humid, just gross. We were going to scrape and paint our front steps yesterday and realized that the project is in the category of 'hurry up and wait'. We scraped and realized we had to apply spackle. So, that was done. Then we wait. And now today and spackle still isn't done and we're expecting rain tomorrow. Which means this project is going to take a week. Spackle, wait, sand, primer, wait, paint, wait, paint wait. Insert rain at least twice. Everything's like this.

I cleaned the basement yesterday and got rid of a lot of things and organized others. I threw away probably 12 pillows yesterday - I had no idea I had them. And I found a big plastic bin with one sweatshirt and one pair of jeans. What a waste of space. I found an air cleaner, food dehydrator, beer brewing notes, a bundt pan, a popover pan. And I have a TON of laundry to do to prepare for a huge trip to Goodwill.

After cleaning the basement, I cleaned myself and plopped in from of the TV and watched the 1963 version of The Haunting with Russ Tamblyn and Julie Harris. Spooky. I should be able to finish the Gentleman's Fancy Socks today - I finished the leg, turned the heel, and finished the gussets during the movie.

I'll probably do some more knitting today while I am doing all this laundry. Maybe a little cooking - should be a decent day. But I have the usual mixed feelings about Labor Day - sad because summer is over and apprehensive about starting another class and work getting into full swing. There are still so many things that I wish I had finished this summer. C'est la vie.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The new school year and fall are coming

I thought I'd share my progress on the Josephine Top and my Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. The first photo shows the overall progress and is taken of the back. I knit the bottom in the round and separated after knitting a row. The eyelet round looks good and the pattern on the back doesn't look as pronounced on my top as it does in Interweave Knits.

This shows a highlight of the pattern and I expect it to block out nicely.

As I was reading blogs last night, I see that the Yarn Harlot is making the Josephine Top too. She had some trouble with a portion of the instructions that say 'at the same time and separately' - I will have to pay close attention to that when I get there. I am going to find a long sleeve slim fitting shirt to wear under this so I can get a little use out of it this season.

And here's my gentleman's fancy socks. I want to wrap those up shortly because sock weather is right around the corner and I love the look of these. I think they're going to look great with my brown Dankso clogs.

And then I need to put the Tilted Duster together - I can't believe I have set that aside for so long, but I wanted to wait until it wasn't such a hot mess on my lap during the warm summer months.

School starts next week and the throngs of freshman are on campus walking around in packs with a sort of stunned look on their faces. They are busy making friends and establishing themselves in their new environment. They are trying on new personas and figuring out how to be away from home. It is all very exciting really - I like this time of year. The leaves on the trees will be changing color soon and campus gets more and more beautiful until the snow flies. That I am not ready for - not yet anyway. We've got a gorgeous warm and sunny long weekend (staying indoors because the Republican National Convention is in my town) and we're going to work on house projects.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No knitting and no keyless entry

I just got back from a week camping at St. Croix State Park and had a great time hiking and sitting around a campfire. We recently purchased a bunch of new camping equipment including a new Coleman Weathermaster:

The new tent has a battery powered light that is operated by remote control. Can you believe it? The technology. But it did not have keyless entry - that would have been super cool. We also got a new camp stove:

We had great food - hamburgers, bratwursts, macaroni and cheese. Real camping, you know?

And here's the fire tower I was too scared to climb:

The park suffered storm damage on July 11th - a storm came in at 8 pm just as the camp was filling up and the main campground and surrounding trails were hit by 70 mph winds. The camp lost power and cars were blocked in by downed trees. Rangers had to use car headlights to see to cut back and remove the trees that were blocking cars. Campers occupied every single building including the bathroom and gift shop for safety. Large sections of the park are scheduled for clear cutting because the trails are not safe. We were standing on a trail, I heard a creak, I pointed, and Mark yelled 'run' and we ran as fast as we could as a HUGE tree fell behind us. I told the ranger and she calmly said 'oh, that happens all the time'.

We hiked to a CCC site - from 1931-1939 unemployed men worked at sites as part of a relief program. Here's the fireplace from their rec center at the current St. Croix State Park.

And here's the Kettle River:

And no knitting all week long. I have made good progress on the Josephine Top and will have a picture of that soon.

I started my new job on Monday - this position looks very promising.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I have made progress on three fronts. First I have made progress on the Josephine top from last summer's Interweave Knits.

I was having trouble making any progress because I wasn't happy using open stitch markers instead of the rings (I need to use markers to make doing the pattern easy for myself) and I wasn't happy using Addi Turbo needles. The Addis were much to fast for this project and I was struggling to hang onto the project. I stopped at Depth of Field today and picked up the necessary accoutrement for adjustments and I am now set. I picked up the project last night after finishing the Woodsman's socks and I thought 'something's got to change with this'. I switched needles and I am cruisin' now. I must say that I am surprised about how well I like these needles. It is a size 4 Harmony bamboo and it is speedier than Clovers are at first, but the real treat is the flexibility of the plastic part - wow, very flexible. I thought the Clovers were fine until I tried these. I love 'em.

More progress...I have a new laptop. It is a Gateway something or other and that too is great.

But the real progress is track lighting in my hallway.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I am finishing things.....

I finished a pair of Woodsman's Socks from the Opinionated Knitter. I have made these once before and I made some modifications for this pair. These are for my husband and I think I will make him a few more pair. The socks are featured with Wrap Style by Pam Allen and Ann Budd during some kind of inventory reduction sale. I got it for about $5 - what a deal. I might be inspired to make something out of there.

Yarn: Jarbo Raggi Wool
Needles: size 6 dpns
Pattern: Woodsman's socks

I made the heel with a slip 1, knit, turn, slip 1, purl back - this makes a very sturdy heel which is important for a thick wool sock that might be rubbing inside of boots and leather slippers in the winter.

I also made the cuff with a 1x1 ribbing before switching to a 2x2 ribbing. And I skipped the garter stitch section on the ends of the heel flap. I know...several modifications...but EZ would say 'be the boss of your own knitting', right?

And look Sue, no holes:

I finished celebrating my going away with colleagues last Thursday where we had an ice cream sundae bar and and I got a couple very nice gifts. I work with graduate programs and my colleagues gave me a mug made by a third year graduate student in art:

And then the really thoughtful gift was the little bird below. The picture isn't very good - you can't really see that it opens up and has a note inside. It came in the pretty box with birds next to the mug. This was given to me by my friend at work - she's the one I made the lace leaf scarf for back in December as a thank you for how supportive she's been to me this past going on two years.

I finished handing off most of my project work today and am detaching very nicely from this job, am clearing my head of this work and starting to think about preparing for the next position. Although that's just on my to-do list (much closer to the start date).

I will have be starting lots of new things in the coming weeks...have any of you read Eunny Jang's editorial in the new issue of Interweave Knits? All about fall and the beginning of things. That will be true for me this fall.

Friday, August 8, 2008

High School Reunion

My reunion was great. Here is a group shot and a shot of me with the gal pals. It was at a beautiful park, very little planning involved, potluck, great weather and good time had by all. I wish a few more people had attended, but those of us who did attend had a great time. Our high school English teacher came too - think they could have sent a representative from the school that actually liked us. But it was something to laugh about.

I wonder when I will ever get back to some knitting content here. I don't seem very inspired lately. I have a few unfinished projects and I don't know quite what's going to trip my trigger. I have been reading tons of books though - two Harry Potter books in a week, a couple Janet Evanovich books, and The Thing about Jane Spring by Sharon Krum. This last book listed was very fun - it is about a tough as nails lawyer who wants a man in her life so she transforms herself into Doris Day and makes it her mission to succeed in love. I read this rather quickly, but the vibe of the book has been staying with me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Scarf is nearly done

Nearly done with my scarf.

That lovely table was given to me recently from my dad and grandma. I think it is probably about 75 years old or so - just a guess. It has a little hinge on the underside and the top flips up. Here's the stem:

I went to the Blue Nile Restaurant for an amazing Ethiopian meal and Belgian beers with friends last night. The food was served in the traditional manner so we all got to try everything. I am feeling the effects this morning of too much frivolity last night. My stomach is even a little sore from laughing. I think I might need to go swimming to clear my head and snap out of it.

I started reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince a couple days ago. I can feel the Harry Potter grip on me again. The first time it happened I read the first 3 books in two weeks. Now I think I am headed down this path again - the timing is not right for this! I need to write three papers for my research methods class before the end of the month. Ugh. Why can't I be gripped with enthusiasm for that?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


After I finished my class, I decided to do some leisure reading and picked up The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This was an all-around incredible book - I started it at 10 pm on Sunday night and finished during my lunch hour on Monday. This was just the thing I needed. Something really accessible after reading a book on research methods for the past three weeks. The protagonist Christopher has autisim and tries to solve the mystery of a dog murdered in his neighbors yard. It was a frightening and funny tale as he learned secrets about his family. I would highly recommend this. I only know of one person who read this - she liked the book, but has worked with kids with autism and said the ending was disappointing. We didn't have a chance to discuss it, so I don't know what she means. Maybe I will learn more later.

I also read Dark Victory, an autobiography of Bette Davis. Not too good as far as old Hollywood celebrity autobiographies go. Nowhere near enough dish. Pretty dry. Probably true for the most part. I wanted to read the dirt on Bette and Joan Crawford's rivalry. Boring.

My next reading will be a quantitative research article in the field of human resources development. I can't wait to finish these papers so I can sell my book back. I still haven't recovered emotionally from spending $101 on the book.

In addition to an accessible book, I got some really fun yarn this weekend to make an easy scarf. I've been having a hard time finishing some gentleman's fancy socks from Knitting Vintage Socks, the tilted duster and a lacy tank from Interweave. My MIL and I went to Borealis this weekend and each bought two skeins of Araucania hand dyed wool from Chile- and we were both compelled to cast on almost immediately. Our local yarn lady told us it looks great in seed stitch and we cast on identical scarfs - 27 stitches on size 8s in seed stitch. Aren't the colors amazing? My scarf is in the blues and Sue's is in the other with the golds. The picture doesn't quite do the colors justice.

I am just a little into my second of two skeins:

And here's the tip 'o the day from the yarn shop:
if you want to do a seed stitch scarf, always cast on an odd number of stitches. This way you always start with a knit stitch. Duh. Then you don't have to think too much.

I also picked up a couple skeins of cream colored worsted weight Raggi. This is some pretty cool yarn - very fluffy and superwash. I am going to make some heavy weight winter socks with a cable pattern. Again, recommended by local yarn lady - she says her husband loves his Raggi socks and wears them while doing winter hiking. I'll make up the pattern based maybe on Elizabeth Zimmerman's woodsman socks with cables instead of ribs.

We also finished applying a new rubber roof to the top of our dormer. By 'we', I mean my husband and FIL. This was a much needed project because we were getting a little leaking on our back wall each winter. I'd show you a pic, but I am too scared to go up there. This was mercifully and uniquely a project that was significantly easier than we anticipated. This NEVER happens to us.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Meme - 10 years ago

What was I doing 10 years ago?
I went on an archaeology dig in Scotland on a project digging Roman hill forts from the University of Manchester (where I took two showers in four weeks!). It is amazing what becomes ok in a no time flat. It was shortly after Princess Diana died and people were still talking about it quite a lot. We drove through Ewan McGregor’s hometown every morning on the way to the dig site where I bought what I think were tallow and bone marrow pasties and candy bars every morning. Yuck. I was so hungry that month.

I attended my 10 year high school reunion, which means I am attending my 20th later this summer. My friends from school started a yahoo group to start sharing info and photos. I am on a strict weight watchers diet – 22 points per day until the reunion. I want to be down 10 pounds in 7 weeks. I have lost 4 lbs. in three weeks so far. Seems reasonable. It could happen.

I graduated from college with a degree in anthropology at the University of Minnesota after a long haul. Apparently attending college full-time for five years with too many majors to count (music, German, English, journalism to name a few) was insufficient, because I continued taking classes in the evening for another five years. However, the jobs listed below were daily reminder to finish the damn degree.

And I got married after having shacked up with my husband for 7 years. It was a teeny wedding – highly recommended. There were about 10 people in attendance and about 35 for dinner. Shacking up for several years was fun too – I’d also recommend that

What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
Trim the lilacs and the bridal veils, go to Menards for mulch and door hardware, start cleaning since my in-laws are visiting next week, procrastinating doing my homework, pay bills.

Snacks I enjoy:
Anything chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate almond ice cream, peppermint bon bon ice cream, almond joy candy bars, chocolate rice cakes with a smear of peanut butter, any kind of fruit smoothie, popcorn popped on the stove (in my Whirlypop).

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Hire professionals to finish my house while my husband I traveled. Oh wait…a billionaire? I’d move

Places I have lived:
Maplewood, MN
Stillwater, MN
Oakdale, MN
St. Paul, MN
Minneapolis, MN
La Crosse, WI
I wish I have lived in more places

Jobs I have had:
Dairy Queen confection preparer and server (this was the best job – I was just 16, ate ice cream constantly, never gained a pound)
Sales lady at the Gap, JCPenney, and a boutique
Emergency room admitting clerk
Sandwich maker
Health insurance claim analyst
Assistant to the queen bee of a historical society
University bureaucrat

Consider yourself tagged and please let a comment if you choose to complete this meme so I can read your responses!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My grandma

My grandma passed away at age 98 last Friday. I would like to share a couple stories about my grandma.

In about 1976 Grandma came to stay with me, my brother, and my dad back while my mom was in the hospital having surgery. When my mom called from the hospital to find out how we were doing, I wasn't too happy about the menu situation. I told my mom that I didn't know what grandma was making for us, but I think they call it "home cookin'". Now, my mom made home cooked meals for us every day - to the extent to serving us hot breakfast all through high school. But grandma's cooking involved rutabagas, parsnips, turnips and who knows what else. This I was concerned about and very glad when mom came home from the hospital. But grandma took great care of us, despite all these foreign root vegetables.

I am going to post a photo taken back in January. My folks, my husband and I visiting grandma while she on Christmas Day while she was rehabbing in a care center. She liked my Norwegian hat and wanted one JUST LIKE MINE to wear home when she got sprung back to her apartment - in a week. I knitted like mad at my in laws and she did indeed get to wear her hat home. One of my younger cousins Mollie suggested that I just give her mine and tell her it was a new one just for her (she's good at figuring out time saving strategies!), but then I would not have had this great photo.

Grandma celebrated her 98th birthday in March where she proclaimed she was going to live to be 100 years old. She had a great time surrounded by children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. My grandma had a very generous heart in any situation. She was surrounded by family and friends for her entire life - she always loved a party.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day and my gardening

I finally took a great picture. It is of a perennial called Blue Loveliness Self Heal. This will be my wallpaper for awhile on my laptop.

Also my two clemetis (clematisses? clematii?) have started blooming:

And we're having the first full summer with Ninebarks and to my surprise, they are blooming. I had no idea there would be flowers.

Happy Father's Day! We're off to my folks for fried chicken and mojitos.