Wednesday, November 30, 2011

an ode to my new camera

Ohhhhh, how I love thee, my darling new camera, with your mighty zoom lens.
Ohhh, how I love thee, let me count the ways....

Those are some wild turkeys that live in some open space behind the strip mall where my vet's office is.

I hope they all survived the holidays.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

like a fiend, i said. like a fiend.

I am knitting like a fiend, to keep away the crazies.

I finished the sweater tonight, and will try to get some photos taken tomorrow. I have some other languishing projects that I am going to work on completing, but instead if pulling them out of the knitting bag, I have decided to cast-on for a very quick little lace project.

And that's because right now what my brain needs is to be knitting nice little organized lines of holes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

mom's new hat

I know that what I am about to tell you is going to make me sound like one crappy excuse for a daughter, but the reality is: I am a selfish knitter, and I rarely knit for other people, and that is why my mom has been asking for me to knit her a hat for awhile (years, in fact), and hasn't gotten one.

Well, I guess I wouldn't exactly say she has been asking. It's been more like very strong hinting, including her reminding me regularly how cold it is outside...and if she only had a HAT. Stuff like that. A couple of years ago, when she was shivering and whining, I gave her a hat I had just finished. A very warm hat, at that. And she wore it (or at least she says she did), but she always made it very clear that she was really just tolerating it, and that it wasn't the hat that she really wanted.

A few weeks ago, I started knitting a hat for her. It was yarn and a matching pattern that came in a club kit from Knitspot, and it had enough yarn to make a hat plus matching mitts (which she had also been "hinting" about lately). I started the hat, and was going to surprise her with it, but about half way through the hat I got worried it might not fit or be to her taste. It was my buddy James at the convalescent hospital that urged me to check in with her before continuing. Sure enough, when I showed it to mom, she didn't like it. And the poor hat is now staring at me from the WIP (Work In Progress) pile waiting to be completed. *sigh*

The hat she really wanted, she told me, is the hat in the vintage photo I posted not too long ago:

I had yarn left over from the scarf that TheMostImportantGuy had claimed, and over the summer when I was dealing the dog attack crap, Lorraine/MaidInEngland had gifted me the purchase of a pattern, that I swear, matches my mom's hat old hat almost to a T.



I'd say I was pretty damn close this time.

And now mom has already ordered another pair of socks. LOL

Ravelry link to Mom's Fenimore.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

reminding me of spring

Ya' know, the late spring this year was intense. The new house was way deep in the early phases of its renovation, and dad was in the hospital. On the heels of that was the dog being attacked.

Now here it is, almost winter, and except for the weather being a whole different story, it is beginning to feel like spring all over again.

Tomorrow, we start another phase of renovation at the new house. We're taking care of the drainage issues this time, so at least it's work being done on the exterior of the house, but I imagine it is going to be quite the thrill (*ahem*) to see how much of the yard and driveway are still in tact once it's all over. Meanwhile, he whole time the drainage is being worked on, we are knee deep in the planning phases of fixing our sad little kitchen and bathroom.

Meanwhile-Meanwhile, my dad has a new medical condition to contend with (cryptic, I know...sorry...but I'm not ready to jinx things by writing about them just yet). I'm going with my folks tomorrow to meet with a specialist about his course of treatment, and once I can wrap my brain around the details, I swear I will get it all out here "on paper".

Meanwhile-Meanwhile-Meanwhile, TheMostImportantGuy's mom has spent this past weekend in the hospital with her freshly diagnosed case of diverticulitis (and she was so sure that what she was dealing with was food poisoning contracted on Thanksgiving. Nope.) She seems to be doing just fine, but it is definitely affecting my mood, and that is an understatement.

So, is indeed a season other than spring now. But it sorta has that "same shit, different day" aroma to it, if you know what I mean.

My strategies for dealing with it all this time?
Ask for help often. Rest more. Meditate regularly. Eat clean. Spend less time with fraternizing with the cookie jar and more time talking with real live people. And knit like a fiend.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

snaps on saturday

Evidence of knitting (details soon--I need to snap a photo on the recipient to go with the post).

Today was gathering #2 of the knitting groups. This time it was myself, 3 high school kids, 1 gal from the senior center, and 2 neighbors that both brough crochet projects. Everyone got along just fine, as once again, knitting proves to break down all age barriers. There were many stories told, laughs, and fun moments, but the highlight for me was when one of the students finished off her very first hat. Woot!

I love knitters.

Friday, November 25, 2011

so here's the problem.

I have nothing to say.

I have nothing to say because I actually have too much to say, which seems to be happening a lot lately actually....and it's stuff I really want to write about. Just not late in the day and once a day every day, which is how I've been blogging. For years.

I'm going to finish out the year. I committed to Blog365, and I'm going to finish. For sure.

But I'm trying to figure out what to do about next year.

It's feels like 2012 needs to be a year of longer, more thought out, more important, writing. Essays, if you will. And in 2012 I'd also like to blog less so that I can blog read more.

Those are my thoughts right now.
But January 1st is still a few weeks away.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

something i've never done before

44 years old with a 14 year old kid, and I've never in my life made pigs in a blanket.

Ours had cheddar cheese.
They tasted just like they looked.

Like we haven't been missing much. LOLOL

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ok, so it wasn't a party of one. it was a party of.....



The first (and only) person to be there (for a loooong time) was one of the kids from the high school. It was TheCheerleader. She is also one of the co-presidents of the knitting club. I was so happy to see her. She has picked up knitting very quickly...and she was also one of the very first of the group to in and teach when the wave of new kids (tsunami, actually) kept showing up week after week. She's awesome.

I hope she wasn't too uncomfortable talking to just me (the stodgy ol' grown up!) for the first two hours when it was just us, but as we all know, talking about knitting has a way of making age differences slip into the background a bit. Anyhow, I had a good time just kicking back and knitting with her. She told me stories about how some of the kids have been knitting in their classes. She said one teacher (chemistry) got angry about it, but another (language arts/humanities) thought it was awesome the kids were knitting during lectures as she knew that knitting helps kids focus. TheCheerleader has also taught herself to crochet too, and quite frankly, she has inspired me to give it a try (again--I gave up the last time I tried). Maybe TheCheerleader will have to teach me!

About 2 hours into the meet-up, one of the senior center ladies showed up, and there we were, teens, 40's, 60's....hanging out and knitting, and from my perspective, we were all having a good time. TheCheerleader and I exchanged emails this afternoon and she said she had a "fantastic time" and that she's going to come on Saturday and learn how to purl....but since I had showed her how to search Ravelry for free crocheted beanies patterns on Ravelry, she was at home working on a hat. Makes me so happy.

I'm hoping more people show up for Saturday, but I would also be just fine with a repeat of today.

Monday, November 21, 2011

party of one?

Tomorrow is the first of the two knitting meet-up things I am hostessing. I am notoriously known for throwing parties of all types where only 1 or 2 people show up, so I will not be surprised at all if the only thing I have really done is to make arrangements for myself to have some focused knitting time alone in a big empty space...hahaha.

Oh, well. At least I'll have snacks (I went shopping today). I'll bring a dvd or something, too. There's a big screen tv up there. And maybe I'll finally get my sweater done! I'm on the last sleeve!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

snaps on sunday, too?

Looking out the zen center window...

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, November 19, 2011

snaps on saturday

knitting on a break while at a 3-day meditation retreat at the zen center

Sent from my iPad

Friday, November 18, 2011

want to come to a knitting party? or two??

While working on getting approval for the high school kids to join the knitters at the senior center during Winter Break (which we got--yay!), I got to thinking: Why are we waiting for December?! Why not do it now, over Thanksgiving break?!
So we are!

And you are invited!**

I've decided to host two knitting meet-ups during the Thanksgiving break. The meetings will be in American Canyon, which is between Vallejo and Napa (SF Bay Area, North), in a large clubhouse with lots of couches and tables. There is plenty of room for knitting and crocheting and spinning, too!

There will be folks from my other knitting groups and classes there. Some of those people know me as their knitting "teacher" and so I expect that some of them will be there to get some help from me, but's a party! Just a casual gathering. Some nibbly-foods will be provided, but feel free to bring a lunch for yourself. There is a full kitchen with a fridge if you need to store anything. You could also bring snacks to share if you'd like to bring something for the group...but that's totally optional, not required ;-)

party #1 Tuesday, November 22nd, 10am-2pm
party #2 Saturday, November 26th, 12noon-4pm

If you would like to come, I would love to have you!
Send me a PM on Ravelry, or email me here through the blog, and I will send you the knitty gritty of how to get here.

If this ends up being a good time, I will probably do it again in the new year.

** Sorry to not invite y'all individually, but this was a very spontaneous plan on my part. I just arranged getting the clubhouse yesterday afternoon....and this Fri-Sat-Sun I am doing a 3-day meditation thing at the zen center, and I can't email back and forth with everyone and stare at the floor at the same time! LOL

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm am super happy to report...

....we have survived the 7-year itch.

AND, I might add, during our 7th year together as a couple, TheMostImportantGuy and I even tossed in 2 family health crises, 1 home purchase, and the huge major remodel of said home (which is still in progress). And we're still making oooogly eyes at each other (most of the time)!

I like to think we've passed the test :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Photo taken at a sheep farm I visited over the weekend that I can't seem to find time to post about (*sigh*).

I got fully overwhelmed today teaching the high school kids knitting. Fourteen new kids showed up (in addition to the already registered 41). I didn't have enough supplies for all of the new kids, but most....but ask me what it's like teaching that many new kids how to cast-on and knit when we only have 45 minutes together.

Then I came home and help keep MyFavoriteKid on track while he studies for mid-terms some more, all the while roasted 5 sheet pans full of various fall vegetables I shopped for today so that I have something to eat at the meditation retreat I am trying to get to this weekend (because now that I am allergic to everything they toss into the communal soup I normally partake in, I have to bring my own food. Yay me.)

I'm actually happy. Just a bit overwhelmed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

not the evening i intended...

I though I had a bunch of time to myself tonight to post, but sadly, I do not.

MyFavoriteKid is going out of town this weekend with a friend and the friend's family, and part of the trip required the kids missing school on Friday. I agreed to this months ago when the airline tickets were purchased.

What we didn't factor in though, was that several of his teachers would schedule mid-terms on Friday. MyFK went to the teachers and made arrangements to take the math test on Thursday, and the Spanish test....tomorrow! So am I am now helping him by quizzing him.

I owe ya' one.

Lo siento.
Buenos Noches.


Monday, November 14, 2011

knitting like a kid on fruit loops....

Today has been full and hectic, and I really need to take a moment to post about this past weekend, because I had a good time and have some great photos. Tomorrow I have a bigger chunk of time, but tonight, since I have less, I am going to tell you that my knitting is sorta driving me crazy right now!!

I have way too many projects going, and I'm dibble-dabbling with each of them, actively knitting and making progress, to be sure....but it's scattered, and making me crazy.

I have the sweater going, which went off track (for not the first time), but is now back on track and almost done. The most recent issue is that when I went from knitting flat (for the body) into the round (for the sleeves) my gauge changed enough to make me want to rip the sleeves out and tinker with different needle sizes. I'm almost done with the first sleeve. Again.

I started a hat for my mom using a club kit and yarn (yay me! using the club stuff!) and got half way through, but mom doesn't like the color or style. So I'm throwing a row onto it here and there, but barely, because I'm knitting the hat she really wants.

The hat she really wants has a bunch of cables all over it (every other row has cabling) and it's on a purl background. I'm doing it. But it's slow. Because that's not my favorite kind of knitting.

I am knitting fuzzy rabbit slippers, following along with a student who wants to knit them, and it involves thrumming, which I have never done before. Super fast knit, except that I am never going farther along than she is, so I can demo for her all the little pattern bits that she needs to be guided through.

And the two matching mystery shawls I was working on are just sitting there weeping.
Plus about 400 different projects I have seen lately that I would really like to try knitting....things I haven't done before, I dont do that much, or things I like to wear (like more knee-highs)....

...and so the point is, I am completely scatterbrained with my knitting right now and moving along, but not finishing anything, and my brain is melting due to switching between charts and thrums and whatnot.

I think I need a weekend to myself to just do one. at. a. time.
And be done with it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

vintage me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

snaps on saturday

Spent all day long (and I do mean all. day. long.) at the marching band competitions. Left the house at 11:45 am, got home at 11:40 pm.

It was f-f-f-freeezing out there once the sun set, and not only was I wearing thick jeans, boots, a turtleneck, and a heavy sweat jacket with the hood up, but I was also layered in wool. Handknit knee-high sock, fingerless mitts, scarf, beanie, and the sweater I was working on sitting in my lap on top of the blanket I had covering my legs. I also had a thermos full of tea. And I bought some coffee from the concession stand.

I am still defrosting!

Friday, November 11, 2011

eleven eleven eleven

Aside from being an interesting collection of organized numbers, I have heard some people saying this marks something like....the dawning of the Age Of Aquarius or something.

Sure, these "some people" are folks like my all time favorite granola astrologer...but whatever. I'm dying for a shift in the universe, so I have decided to believe it.

I am so ready for some change, baby. It's time to reinvent myself. And as I look back over the past year or so, it seems like I've been slowly doing that.

Of course today I just settled for changing my hair color....hahahaha....but hey ;-)

Other exciting (knitting) news items of the day:
* The high school knitter kids are starting to get set up on Ravelry and a couple of them worked to set up a group page, complete with the graphics and all...woot!
* I found a daytime knitting group on Fridays that I can go to, and I'm going to start going next week. Finally, a place I can go and be with "my people" but also have it be one where I can actually knit, because I won't be teaching.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just home and winding down from dance class. It's late, and I am whooped. I will share one little tidbit of info before I pass out....

As of today, the high school knitting club has 41 members (!!), complete with 2 co-presidents, a vice-president, and secretary/treasurer. They have filled out the paperwork to apply to be an official on-campus club, and they voted to name their club "Hands In Motion". One of the officers has started to develop a webpage for the club, and they are starting to research who they want to do their charity knitting for. Several of them have completed the fingerless gloves already (some just by looking at my finished pair, and not even using the pattern), and the small handful of kids that showed up already knowing how to knit are knitting their first hats and stuffed toys and whatnot. The kids are all helping each other when they get stuck, and I swear, I barely do anything for them but cheer them on.

They are very inspiring, and I am having a blast.

Then I leave the kids, head over to the senior center, tell them how great the kids are doing, and the seniors get all "dang whipper-snappers!" about it, and in retaliation, they are now all knitting fingerless gloves, too!

The kids have 3 weeks off in December, and during that time the senior center group will still be meeting. I'm going to talk to the senior center administrator and see if we can pick 1 week where the kids and the seniors can all knit together. And if she says it's against policy (which I bet she doesn't), then I'm gonna rent the clubhouse here and throw a shindig.

Because I think it would be awesome.

Knitters unite!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

an interesting option

I've been keeping my eye out for some carpet for the craft-room at the new house. I had been thinking about maybe using some FLOR tiles to make a small area rug because I find that they play nicely with wheelchairs. I'd been looking at the catalog and online from time to time and didn't see anything jump out at me....or maybe it's more that several things jumped out at me and I couldn't make my mind up...I dunno.

But today I got the new Flor catalog in the mail and....

....doesn't it look like knitting??

Not sure if I'll go for it or not, but certainly fun to consider.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

when missing an exit is actually a good thing

This is definitely the Reader's Digest version, completely paraphrased, but the cell phone conversation went something like this:

Me: "It's been great chatting and catching up, and hey... it's been so long since we've hung out! we really should try to schedule somethi....oh crap. I think I just missed my exit. Wow, I actually think I might have missed it awhile ago. Hahaha."

MizzSincereSheep: "Where were you going?"

"Well, I was leaving the doctor's office, but rather than taking highway 37 home, I was going to overshoot that exit and hit up Whole Foods on the way home and then double back afterwards. And now I have just missed that exit. And is nowhere to turn around! I think the next place I can turn around is...!"

"Oh jeez..."

"Oh well. But hey, isn't there a yarn store in Petaluma??"

"Yes, there is Knitterly...."

And so....detour!!!

Very cute little shop there! And very nice people! I also always forget how charming downtown Petaluma is. It's a little historic shopping district with cute little boutiques and restaurants. Being only 45 minutes from home, I really should make it a point to explore it more deeply some weekend soon.

Oh, and yes, I did buy a little yarn (have to support the local yarn stores, don't we?). I picked up some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool to knit the North Hanger Abbey Hood that appears in the Jane Austen Knits magazine that just came out).

On the way out, I even ran into a Whole Foods in Petaluma on the way all bases were covered...and for once, making a wrong turn (or missing one altogether!) didn't seem to be such a bad thing after all.

Monday, November 07, 2011

me, at dawn...playing with the new camera

spiderwebs in the tree, shot through the front window

Not a fancy camera, just a point and shoot...but boy, am I happy! My old camera was plopping a dark splotch in the bottom right corner of every frame. I had gotten quite good at taking photos and positioning the splotch into an area that already had something dark in it. What a drag!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

the uppity scarf

This knit was intended for me, but while finishing up the last few inches of it, TheMostImportantGuy lost his own scarf, and I don't know about where you live, but here in Northern California, it is feeling like winter is fast approaching!

I asked TheMIG if he might like this scarf when I was done, and he said no because it looked like it might be a little too “uppity” for him (which totally cracked me up, and from that point forward, I could only refer to this scarf as The Uppity Scarf).

Once the scarf was done and blocked though, TheMIG tried it on and he was super happy with how warm and cozy it was....and so he has kept it!

Impressive, considering that within his first few moments of wearing it another guy told him it looked a little “metro” on him.
(Personally, I think he looks smokin’ hot in it. Even if it is a little GQ for his normal style of dress.)

He asked me to sew on one of my new little labels I recently ordered that have my name on it. That just tickles me pink :-)

If you are interested in the labels, I ordered them from Mountain Street Arts on etsy. It was the first time I had ever seen labels where I could order 30 instead of 500 or something. I feel so fancy having my name on a label, in some silly sort of way!

If you want more details about the scarf (pattern, yarn, etc), click on over to the ravelry project page.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

snaps on saturday

Waiting to be blocked....

Friday, November 04, 2011

vintage me.

I'm pretty sure this session of dress-up was compliments of my Grammy Faye (dad's mom, still living, just turned ninety......six? seven? ....I don't know for sure because she keeps telling me she's fifty-nine):

photo is imprinted Dec 1969, putting me at about 2-1/2, almost 3 ;-)

Thursday, November 03, 2011


This is what Thursdays are going to look like until the end of the year:

* Teaching knitting at the High School (the 2nd knitting class of the week for them), from 12:10 to 12:50. In 40 minutes, it's me in a room with a little over 20 teenagers, 95% of whom are first time knitters.

* Teaching knitting at the Senior Center ten minutes later from 1pm to 230pm. And I can't seem to catch my breath during the 10 minute drive between the two teaching gigs, so it's *ahem* a bit of a shift.

* And then teaching dance class at night.

It's sorta whiplash-y!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

life at my house.

MyFavoriteKid is in the High School Marching Band. The marching season ends November 12th, but after that, he will still be taking the regular band class for high school credit, which is Concert Band. But he recently announced that once Marching Season is over, he is going to pursue a new extra curricular activity: Winter Drum Line. There will be a two week drum clinic that will begin a week or so after marching season ends, and then the auditions begin.

Guess who is already practicing.
(why bother with the question mark)

So around my house right now, my life is going pretty much just like this:

I am in total support of MyFK when it comes to doing anything creative or musical, and I am thrilled to bits to have him pursuing this sort of school activity.

Even if I am grinding my teeth while I am being thrilled to bits.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

on the playlist.

I bumped into this band called Blood Red Shoes while trolling the internets a week or so ago, and I've been playing them to death ever since. I picked up an import album that isn't available in the U.S. yet, and it's so heavy in the rotation that the rotation aint even rotating right now...hahaha.

I love them :-)