Monday, March 30, 2009


First: Lunch
Don't laugh. You would love it too, admit it!
And the milk was lowfat. Two lowfat servings.
And with a lunch like this, tout does va very bien, thank you very much.

Second: This is not pink snow. It is the cherry blossoms that the three inches of rain and some high winds took out of the trees. Pretty, isn't it?
Ahhhh, spring.


Older daughter sent me this information the Friday before last, and the e-mail also included a new sign of stroke - the inability of the person to stick his tongue out straight. I share this, as well as the signs below with you, because, as I found out, you never know when you will need it:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.
T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)
(i.e. It is sunny out today)
R *Ask him to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
(and the fourth, new command, *STICK OUT HIS TONGUE)

If he has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

A few hours after I read the e-mail, a college friend of mine arrived for a visit. We have known each other for about forty years, and we always enjoy visits to each other's homes. However, about 45 minutes after she arrived, she kept saying she was really, really tired. Suddenly, her speech was slurred and her head slowly tipped down onto the kitchen table. She didn't respond to our calling out her name.

I called 911 while my husband kept her from falling on the floor. She would come out of whatever it was, and during one brief period of lucidity, she was able to do three of the things listed above (I forgot the "smile" command). But then she would pass out again.

The ambulance came quickly and we live only 1.6 miles from a very good hospital, so she was well taken care of. But it was really frightening. The doctors and the ambulance EMTs at first assumed that she had had a heart attack or stroke, and she remained overnight at the hospital. Apparently it was neither of these things; it was something called a Vasovagal Syncope and it can happen to anyone anytime. It's not serious (phew!) but it sure is scary.

And even though she did not have a stroke, I was glad that I had had such a recent reminder of the four questions to ask; I would never have remembered otherwise.

I hope you never need the information, but if you do, now you have it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

What The ??????????????

Good question! This apparent mess will eventually be, if I don't toss the whole thing into a very long time out, a tea cozy. The pattern is in Tea Cozies by Guild of Master Craftsman Publications. It has patterns for thirty really cute tea cozies, and this sheep is my first project from the book.

I have knit loops before on a scarf for younger daughter, but I had forgotten how little fun they are to do. There are a couple of hundred required for this cute sheep, so I am slogging my way through.

We are having our second day of rain, with a third to follow (yay!), so I have lots of knitting time.

Now for a name; Penelope comes to mind, but I'm not sure yet. Suggestions?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Knitted Lace

Blogger Mary Ellen recently commented on one of my posts that after she tried making lace by tatting (something I would love to be able to do) she would be like a normal person and try knitting it. No one I know would call me a normal person, but I have been knitting lace. Mostly however, I have been frogging lace. Literally. I knit one row, end up with the wrong number of stitches, frog three or four or more rows trying to get back to the correct number of stitches, and even though I do not swear, I consider swearing.

I have spent more time frogging than knitting. Really and truly. I finally decided that I must learn something from this and I have. I will now pass on what I have learned:

1. When frogging knitted lace, use a smaller size needle than the one you were knitting with. (I've been knitting with a size nine, frogging with a size five) Using the smaller needle makes frogging easier but I don't know why.

2. Instead of going back row after row after row......use the smaller needle to go back and forth over the one row you have just frogged and look very carefully at each stitch. I have found that the yarnovers and two or more stitches knitted together are easily messed up when frogging and that problem has, in most cases, explained the incorrect number of stitches I have after I frog the row with the mistake in it.

I suppose these things sound very elementary, but I didn't know them, and boy howdee, has learning them saved me a lot of time.

Now back to knitting!
[I still don't know if I will like this project, but I am way too stubborn to give up on it now.]

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tacky Cool

As I have admitted in the past, I am accused by some of having tacky tastes. I just bought this gorgeous and fun jewelry holder and sent this photo of it to my daughters. Older daughter, a professional writer, said that she just couldn't find the words. Apparently she really loves it so you can guess what's on my Christmas list for her.

Younger daughter said she couldn't decide between whether it is a "Lorelei Gilmore" thing, or "OMG, you paid good money for that!" Guess what's not on my Christmas list for her.

But, don't you just LOVE it?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I am knitting lace!

I have seen many lace items that I wanted to make, but when I looked at the patterns, I found charts. Charts intimidate me; they make me twitch a little. So I sigh and go back to some chart-less projects. But while I was looking for patterns on Ravelry, I found several lace projects that had written instructions.

I have recently realized that I have the same reaction to charts that I do to maps. I just don't get them. I need directions. Turn left at.....go straight for three miles.....turn right on such-and-such street.....

So I printed out a lace pattern that looked a lot like this: K1, *(yo, skp) twice, (k2tog, yo) three times, (skip to my lou) twice, sk2p once, p1. I tried, over and over and over, casting on again each time because I defy anyone to frog back things like sk2p and have the correct number of stitches remaining.

But what you see above is a lace pattern that people at my LYS knit-night have been working on. I had lost it, but now it's found and I'm knitting away. It's easy, really, really easy. Thank goodness.

I am using some mini mochi sock yarn, and I'm not sure I'll like the scarf when it's finished, but I am so thrilled not to be screwing it up that I'll continue working on it for awhile, and see what happens.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I finished my first pair of socks knit from Crystal Palace Mini Mochi yarn, color 108, and as I mentioned previously, I threw caution to the wind and knit the second sock without a row counter. Gasp.

It did make me a bit nervous on the foot portion - what if the sock didn't fit based on eyeballing the measurement???

But it does, and I will admit that I enjoyed the process more by NOT counting all the rows. My feet will not know the difference!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Say

that a truly nice person would not put something potentially addictive in front of someone who might end up addicted to it when the formerly truly nice person knows that the other person was already addicted to something similar.

I say that I will NEVER watch The Real Housewives of New York City again just because older daughter's discussion of the newest show compelled me to watch a repeat of it last night.

I would say that I will be strong in order to not watch it, but honest to doG, these women are even more shallow and superficial than the OC housewives, and who even knew that was possible? So it will be easy to ignore the show. (Won't it???)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

That Might Be Me

if I were a cat. My daughter sent me this picture and said that it reminded her of me.

She's right. I have to cop to it. I always straighten things on walls, even in places where I really shouldn't do it, like at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. It's a wonderful museum that bills itself as America's First Museum of Modern Art.

The Collection is in an old mansion and the day we were there, the staff was getting ready for some sort of event to be held that evening. As a result, there were musicians throughout the museum practicing for later in the day. The museum was beautiful; the music was beautiful; and the art was stunning. It's a wonderful place to see all sorts of great works by all the best modern artists and we were lucky to be there on that particular day.

However, because it is in a large old home, the museum comprises many, many separate rooms. At one point, I happened to be in one all by myself and I noticed that one of the paintings was crooked. I looked around. No one there. No cameras that I could find. So I straightened the picture. And left the room quickly in order to blend in with the other visitors. Nothing happened; no alarms went off, but I suppose it was not a great idea to tamper with great art.

Like the cat in the photo, I just couldn't help myself. Really.

Marley Too/Two

and... nature rules!

This is a Star Magnolia that we planted during the drought last year (which of course, continues this year) and despite the bad conditions, it is blooming! Yay!
I love the flowers---they look like orchids.

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's a Hat!

I finished all the tying up and weaving in at Knit Night last night, and now Elizabeth will have a bright Marley Hat, designed by Susan B. Anderson and found in her book Itty Bitty Hats.

It was fun to make, and really, I could use any combination of stitches I like, and just put the toppers on and still get the same look.

Off to the Post Office...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More #$%^& Bits

This will become Susan Anderson's Marley Hat.
I really, really, really hope.

In the meantime, I'm chugging along on my socks - without using the row counter. It's going well; I'm on the leg and just about ready to start the heel flap. I'm eyeballing it and feel pretty confident that it will work out OK. But I'm not so sure about the foot portion; I do want the sock to fit. It is nicer to work without counting every row - really a great default, carry-with-me project.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's 12:30 pm

and I am just now out of my jammies. Isn't that terrible? But I have an excuse.

The house is a MESS: The dressers are in the upstairs hallway. Our bed is on its side in what we refer to as "older daughter's room," even though she only technically lived here part of one summer. Everything else from the bedroom is scattered around the second floor. The bedroom itself, which I have to go through to get to the closet (which dh has agreed to do at a later date - or never, in my view) is empty save for a saw and all of the oak that will eventually be the floor. So the house is no inspiration to get up and enjoy the day.

However, I have accomplished:

Reading all the new blog posts on the blogs I read regularly. Older daughter set up a feed-reader for me, so as soon as there is a new post, I am THERE.

Vacuuming the room where I knit. There was a lot of scrap yarn and fuzz in there, so it was about time.

Writing notes to my two granddaughters about how much I enjoyed my last visit, which was a few weeks ago now and which they've probably pretty much forgotten about by now. I also enclosed Box Tops for Education, which I am supposed to save for them, but which I usually don't remember to do. Each girl is getting one box top; won't they be excited?

And returning my roots to their natural dark blonde/red color. Yes, that is too my natural root color. I have pictures from my childhood to prove it. And my eyebrows. I know. The instructions say not to use the product on eyebrows, but I'm careful, so sue me.

All in all then, a very productive morning. Really!

Monday, March 2, 2009

"The fiddly bits"

says the Yarn Harlot. Anthony Bourdain would probably say "the nasty bits," (although probably about something truly nasty), but I say the "#$%^&*bits. I don't like fussy, fidgety projects and yet I keep making them. Oh well. The end results are generally worth the swearing. Not that I swear. Pay no attention to hokgardner's claims to the contrary.

Henrietta (might mean woman who may have a little too much time on her hands in some language someplace) is finished and gracing my kitchen counter. The knitting part is easy and so are all the %^&*%^ bits, but they do take time: three crowns, three tail feathers, two wattles (what an ugly name!), two eyes, and one beak.

It's sort of fun and if you, too, have a little spare time and want your very own Henrietta, well, knit it yourself. Once was enough!

[Oh, and the messed-up Kitchener's stitch? Still messed up, but you'll notice the angle I took the photo from!]

Mistakes Were Made

I am making the Knit Chicken from Blue Sky Yarns and designed by Susan B. Anderson. It is really cute - at least hers is - but boy, did I ever mess up the Kitchener Stitch last night. Where it worked, it worked well, but where it didn't - what a mess.

I tried, I really did. But the chicken has to be stuffed before it is grafted closed, and so the fabric fights back. Somehow I ended up with a messed up closing and I didn't dare to take the stitching out in order to try and get it right. The tension on the stitches as I worked would have unravelled the stitches, I think. Today I will try to fix this by using matching (I hope) thread and pulling the loops and holes into some sort of decent-looking fake Kitcheners. But if all else fails, Henrietta will live on top of the refrigerator, where no one will see her back.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Northerners, Don't Laugh...

But this is what we Southerners call a snow storm. It's still snowing and 33 degrees and falling, so it may accumulate.

We get the best type of snow here: arrives and leaves in one day!