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Vitamin D – Bring it On

Time for my twice yearly blog post. Seriously, I need to do better.

Lately, I’ve been busy with holiday shopping, W-O-R-K, which takes up much too much of my precious time, and planning for what’s become an annual escape to Cancun. Despite the fact that my eleven year old car needs new brakes and serious transmission work, hubby and  I are still flying to the Mexican sunshine soon. Because we all need our fill of Vitamin D, right, regardless of what my friends at NPR tell us.

 

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Mile High Knitting

Oh my goodness. It has been so long since I’ve posted that I forget my wordpress login. It only took a few guesses for me to hack back into my account. Very embarrassing, for so many reasons.

I am in lovely San Diego, where it is chilly and not at all California-like. I am here for work, which is fun and all, but I will admit that the biggest thrill of these cross-country business trips is the amount of knitting I can complete while flying high above our great country. Mile-high knitting is the best. No guilt, no housework beckoning. Only knitting.

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Friday the 13th

Life is good and full. I’m thinking about the fact that it is Friday the 13th. A scary day, maybe, for some. Maybe a day full of possible calamities and tragedies, spookiness and overall bad luck.

But not for me. So far, I’ve survived this Friday the 13th no worse for wear. My workday was uneventful, full of silly meetings, spreadsheets, and voice mails. Jeff welcomed me home with a smile, and dinner on the table. A healthy dinner of grilled chicken and special salad (made special by pumpkin seeds and cranberries – yay autumn!) Lovely music was playing on the iPod dock.  Sounds of KT Tunstell, Jimmy Buffet, Abba. All good.  We sang to Max. He grunted in approval.

Knitting and DVR awaits me.

The landscapers came today and blew all the leaves off the front lawn, which is fit for a magazine cover photo now. Tomorrow the rain will come and it will look messy again. For now, it looks pretty.

It is a good day.

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In Pursuit of Perfection


Fall is in the air. Can’t you just smell it? Max can.

Yesterday was a picture perfect day. Temps in the high 70s, bright sunshine, vivid blue sky. Suddenly, we’ve gone from summer to autumn, which means it is time to unearth the Debbie Bliss cardigan from the knitting basket. Yes, I know you are all sick to death of the progress updates on this sweater that will never end, but please believe that I am DETERMINED to finish this before October 1. Of this year. Hopefully.

I was almost done, but as I laid out all the finished pieces I noticed that the right front was a completely different shape than the left front. Apparently, I’d gone a little crazy with the decreases. Instead of just shaping the neck edge, I threw in a few extra (incorrect) decrease rows along the sleeve edge, making the whole thing more of a trapezoid than a rectangle. ARGH.

So rip, rip, rip, and I was off again trying to make the right match the left. After an hour or two of knitting, I noticed a mistake on the cable pattern. So I ripped out the 20 offending rows and began again. I’m almost there, but now I realize that there are at least 4 extra rows of ribbing on the right front as well. I can’t explain any of these mistakes. I am really obsessive about recording every row and decrease in my little yellow knitting notebook. To keep me organized. So pieces will match. So I won’t make mistakes. Ha.

I’m struggling with this dilemma…do I use “creative blocking” to make it fit, or do I continue my pursuit of perfection and start the whole piece over from the beginning?

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Vocabulary Lesson

I was taught, if you don’t know the meaning of a word, look it up. Apparently, many journalists today have misplaced their dictionaries.

Refugee:

  1. One who flees in search of refuge, as in times of war, political oppression, or religious persecution.
  2. An individual seeking refuge or asylum; especially: an individual who has left his or her native country and is unwilling or unable to return to it because of persecution or fear of persecution (as because of race, religion, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion).
  3. An exile who flees for safety

Exile:

  1. Enforced removal from one’s native country.
  2. Self-imposed absence from one’s country.
  3. The condition or a period of living away from one’s native country.
  4. One who lives away from one’s native country, whether because of expulsion or voluntary absence.

The victims of hurricane Katrina are not refugees. They are not exiles. They are American citizens who have suffered from and will continue to suffer from the greatest natural disaster in this country’s history. Many, if not most, have lost their homes, possessions, and jobs. Too many have lost loved ones. They may be homeless. They may be evacuees. They have not left their country. They are not refugees. They are survivors and fellow citizens who need our help.

Please donate whatever you can. American Red Cross

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Eating Locally, Finally


Really, I had such good intentions. Encouraged by Liz, I was fired up to take part in the August Eat Local Challenge. It seemed like such an easy thing to do, determine my goals, do a little research, and add some locally grown and produced food to my shopping list each week. And Liz was so generous with her advice and support…But before I knew it August was gone, and I felt like a failure since this was the only local food I’d eaten all month. Sigh.

But today, my Dad phoned and announced he’d be stopping by for a visit. He brought me a surprise, locally grown tomatoes and eggplant from his little garden! Thanks Dad, I may be a few days late, but better late than never. Now I’m off to find a good eggplant recipe. Yum.

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Feel the Love

Yarn is my comfort food. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed with work deadlines or weighed down by household worries, I can pick up my latest project, pat my most-recent yarn purchase, or just thumb through the current Knitter’s magazine and feel a sense of calm. But like too much comfort food can lead to heavy hips and a double chin, too much yarn and too many unfinished projects can also make me feel overstuffed.

So yesterday, I tidied the coffee table, gathered up all the single socks waiting for mates, all the notions and notebooks with project details, all the pattern books and magazines. I did a little organizing of my stash and realized there is enough wool in this house to keep me full for months.

Motivated by Marguerite, I will try to limit myself to only two projects at a time, one for home and one for the train. Life is too short to actually go on a yarn diet. I can’t give up my lunchtime trips to Windsor Button and I surely am not strong enough to resist the perky email announcements from KnitPicks about their newest yarn and free shipping. But, I will try to finish up some of the larger projects in my stash before starting anything new. The eternal Debbie Bliss Jacket will now be my home project and it will be done by October. Socks will continue to be my commuting project.

So, from out of the plastic bins and bags, came the Debbie Bliss, needing less than one sleeve and a hood. Out came a rumpled print out of Grumperina’s instructions for cabling without a cable needle. A few rows in, and the pattern and technique started to feel familiar again, like getting together with an old friend. Do you ever have that feeling of absolutely loving to knit? That’s how I feel whenever I work on this sweater. Maybe that’s why I’ve let it drag on for so long. I don’t want the fun to end. Does that make sense?

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That’s It, I’m Sending My Resume

A few months back, Berroco was searching for a new knitwear designer. By all indications, the search continues.

What in the world are they all smokin’ out there in Uxbridge??? Seriously, what is wrong with this company? The yarn is nice enough, and a search of the free patterns section on their website shows that not everything they create is god awful fugly. So why do they insist on featuring all these horrid designs in their monthly newsletter?

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Back from the Ivy League

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but work has been keeping me much too busy. Since Sunday I’ve been feeling a bit out of my element, as I attended a conference at one of the country’s most renowned institutions of higher learning.

Initially, I was very interested as I arrived and admired the incredible architecture in the university building that is home to the conference. That soon changed as I sat inside a dim lecture hall listening to many very smart people for three straight days, explaining every detail of their very important, but mostly dull powerpoint slides. (I hate you powerpoint.) And to make the whole thing even worse, I could not knit. Apparently some people think knitting in this setting would be “unprofessional.” Hmmphh.

But I could knit on the train. So each day began and ended with work on another Branching Out, this time using KnitPicks Andean Treasure in Lagoon. Oooooh, I just love this color! Here’s where I was on Saturday…

And here’s the progress as of today. Only about a half a skein to go.

And with this, my second Branching Out, I’ve completely memorized the pattern. Imagine what other amazing feats I could accomplish if I could only stay focused!

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Friday Harbor Socks Redux and Gifts!


Just call me determined. A few months ago, I started the Friday Harbor Socks from Knitting on the Road. Actually I started them, I ripped, I started again, and finally gave up in frustration. Last night, while watching the Red Sox, I picked up the book again and thought I’d give it another try. And whaddya know…I’ve made my way through the blasted cuff, with no problems at all. Maybe my brain just needed to stew over that lace chart for a while. Who knows, I’m just glad it’s all coming together so nicely.

And another very nice thing happened today…my super fantastic secret pal sent me this….
The book is perfect! How did she know I’d been eyeing it recently?? Funny, it’s a book about gifts, and it is the perfect gift. It has patterns and instructions for all kinds of neat, funky, sophisticated little items. I especially love the teeny, fuzzy mohair baby booties and the cashmere tea cozy. Little luxurious one of the kind gifts that will be so much fun to make. And how did she know that the numbers were wearing off my old boring measuring tape? This one is so sweet. Max likes it too! Thanks Secret Pal, you are the best.

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