Sunday, November 28, 2010

Determination or Denial?

This is right below and in front of our house. If it weren't hunting season, I imagine the deer jumping up and trying to get the last remnants of the growing season. Where's Gary Larson when you need him?

The new knitting resolution has been a good plan. Whether I really do it or not is not nearly as significant as is the fact that I'm going through the books and will have some to move to better homes very soon.

To be filed in the category of things I wish I had said:

I was wearing this hat at the grocery store yesterday. It is very warm and I noticed, also makes people smile a little when they see it. The clerk checking my groceries said,

"I like your hat but I honestly have to say I'd never wear it."

Had I the wit and wisdom of someone older than myself- like those 80 year old ladies that say whatever they want- it would have occurred to me to say,

"That's o.k. It wouldn't look good on you anyway."

I suppose I can relish the fact that karma was in my favor- though I wonder if I lose points for thinking it as I drove home.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Project Number the One

This is Sunflower Tam by Nora Gaughan knit in Stitchjones Hemlock. The color is more accurate in the top picture- pattern is visible in the bottom.

I only started this 4 times and tinked back 6 more. It's not a difficult pattern. I have a short attention span and do not always heed the difference between a k2tog and right twist.

I bought this book because it is a beautiful book and it was 70% off at a going out of business sale. I didn't really see any other patterns that pulled me in but tastes change so for now this book is a keeper.

I had not really considered how I was going to keep track of which books I've used etc. *light bulb flicks on while typing* I'll label all related blog posts "knit from the library." Since I (foolishly) never use labels, they should be easy to keep track of. Shoot- now that I'm thinking about it, I might even tag them in Ravelry- if I ever get them posted there.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A swan and a turkey

....walked into a bar. Just kidding- I couldn't think up a clever title and after I put that in, the rest seemed to fall into place.

What you see above is the never-before-pictured niece of Sophanne and her fabulous contribution to the Thanksgiving Feast.

It's a frosted cooked with orange wedges for feathers, a hershey kiss for the turkey head and a red m&m for the "snood." I learned that was what the red thing on the end of a turkey's nose is called.

Sister of Sophanne prepared a fabulous meal and my additions tasted like they were supposed to (which is all a girl can ask for).

In some knitting news-

During some free time yesterday, I considered the possibility of culling my knitting book stash. When I approached myself with the idea, I found that my attachment to the potentiality of projects prohibits me from doing this just yet.

New Resolution.

(why yes, in fact, this is another one of those blog resolutions that will fade away into the archives of this blog)

My newest knitting goal will be to knit at least one item from every knitting book (AND MAGAZINE) that I own. There will be no yardage rules- just as long as I knit something from it, I can justify keeping it for now. It also makes the question of what to knit next a little less overwhelming.

Giving Thanks

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

look away, no need to stop here...

Unless of course you're interested in this week's cooking forays.

I told sister that I would bring homemade mac and cheese. (which really involved using jars of cheez whiz so I'm not sure how "homemade" it really is- but it's what we used to eat at home.)

Realizing that there would likely be little room in the oven for such an ordeal, I put it together (with noodles mostly cooked) and put it in the crockpot. I'll bake it for 2 hours on high tomorrow morning and hope for the best- the lunch crowd said an hour and a half but I'm tacking on an extra 30 minutes because it will have been refrigerated. We'll see.. we'll just see.

Sister also declared cranberry sauce as disgusting and slimy. I'd be sad without a little cranberry flavor mixed in with everything. I went a-searching online and found a recipe for a cranberry mold. Apparently cranberries have their own pectin if not cooked too long- who knew? Right now the berries are popping and bursting in a honey/orange juice/cranberry juice base. The jello mold is ready. Nobody has to eat it. It might not turn out but I will have had an adventure.

As is the case with all such adventures, right now I am full of excitement and hope- thrilled at the possibility of having made something people will eat.

We can all be that hopeful- at least until the serving spoons appear.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another one down, approximately 100 more to go if I last that long

I'm referring to dental cleanings with the assumption that I'll live to 95. If not- then there will at least be fewer trips to the dentist. I can picture it now. I'm on my death bed, my organs slowly shutting down and I weakly look up (at who I'm not sure having had no children- we'll see who shows up) and declare "I will NEVER have to go to the DENTIST again.!" These will be my famous last words.

This evening's pre-trip anxiety could have been really bad given that Mr. Sophanne doesn't get home until around midnight tonight. However, I had a delightful surprise. Grandaughter (of Mr. Sophanne) #1 (age 10) rang in on skype (likely missing Grandfather who had just left) I happened to be blog reading at the time and was happily surprised to get the "call."

We chatted for about 15 minutes, she showed me the Seattle snowfall out her window and then the call sort of transitioned from a telephone call feeling to a "hey let's hang out even though we're on opposite sides of the continent" feeling.

She got out her violin and played some tunes. I had her hold the music up to the screen so I could do some rhythmic tutoring. I let her know why "Boil Them Cabbage Down" is such a great song and why she doesn't really have to hate playing it. She continued to practice, I took the computer into the bathroom and gave the dog a bath while I listened to her play. Before I knew it an hour had passed and I realized that my face was killing me from smiling so hard!

There are moments in life when the right things happen at the right time and you will remember them forever. This was one of them. I am such a lucky duck.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Why is ice cream so good?

Why could I eat it for every meal?

Who thought of putting ice cream in between two chocolate chip cookies? That person should have be financially responsible for the personal trainer I now require.

Why is it that even less than perfect combinations of ice cream and stuff (I tried the m&m cones/drumstick ones) is still better than any balanced meal I could ever hope to concoct? (except the ones maybe involving lots of cheese which really aren't balanced at all)


Mr. Sophanne returns tomorrow when I hope to return to a slightly less ice-cream-filled eating schedule. It's just been so quick and easy for meal time and there's no one around to give even the hint of a guilty look or ask, "another one? really?" (the only time the dog gives that look is when I don't share it with her which is never.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Before I got married I,

Did laundry when all of the underwears were dirty.
Did dishes when all the dishes were dirty.
Ate when I was hungry.
Never ate snacks.
Didn't have cable.
Stayed up at night until I couldn't keep my eyes open

For the last seven years I have

done laundry every Sunday.
never gone to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.
started eating lunch and dinner with some regularity.
Started eating snacks with greater regularity.
Watched t.v.(I don't really commit to it but there it is- often on.)
Tried to go to bed so that I wouldn't be tired in the morning.

I thought these changes were mostly because I was living with another person. Every now and then during hyperhormonal moments I even get annoyed at Mr. Sophanne in my head and blame him for making me so "regimented."

He's on a little adventure of his own and I was left to my own devices.

Last night I still made dinner, did the dishes, ate a pile of ice cream sandwiches and went to bed at a reasonable hour. The t.v. was on as I transitioned from late afternoon to evening but the volume was way down. I have assimilated structure as a part of my life where there once was none.

Those things still felt a little weird to me. I'm used to my brain racing everywhere. I imagined myself getting into all kinds of mischief with knitting books and craft supplies and maybe some crazy cooking project at 2 in the morning. It's still how my brain works most of the time. I flit, I flutter, I wander from thought to thought and my being is guided by the whims of my brain, often becoming so overwhelmed that rather than do anything, I sit and knit.

There's more balance in my life and I've still hung on to the creative/random way of being. There's more food in my life which isn't necessarily a good thing. It's a change that I wouldn't have really noticed if Mr. Sophanne had not gone adventuring. It's a good thing to notice. There's more to it than I can articulate but for now I'm just going to notice it and feel it and maybe I'll figure out what it all means- or doesn't mean.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hat's On.

This is one of the hats from Charlene Schurch's book Hat's On. I figured once I had gauge figured out with the busdriver hat, I might as well whip out another one to make me laugh.

I looked at the book and realized that I have made 5 of the hats in it. That's a record for a book and constitutes a "mighty good purchase."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

a lull..

I haven't had any deep meaningful adventures or thoughts of late but I do like this blog so here's some more random.

Sad News. My favorite music store (the one with The Claw) officially closed after 28 years of business. It was a surprise to me. Like a sudden death. I am in denial. I feel as though if I don't go to the town with the store, then it won't really be closed and I can live happily ever after. (No wonder denial is so easy when it comes to knitting.)

Good News. Mr. Sophanne and I have figured out Skype. I was chatting on the regular phone with his daughter about how she should get him to figure out when he's there for a visit and realized that he didn't have to be 2000 miles away to set it up. I went into the bedroom and he stayed in the living room and we practiced skyping. Easy Peasy.

Hopeful News. I cast on once again for Icarus- it's in some peacock-feather colored lace- written directions, I love you. Having finished a shawl or two, lace knitting no longer seems like a black hole to me.

Not So Hopeful News. I've lost my pattern for the Giant Queen's Anne Lace that I haven't finished. Finding a copy of the pattern is easy- it's right here on the laptop. Figuring out where I was in the pattern. Not something I'm going to even pretend to try to do- life will have to become pretty desperate for me to go there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

a funny lunch story I forgot to tell

We were talking about pets at lunchtime yesterday. (a common topic.) LisaLunchFriend shared this story.

She knew someone devoted to her cats. Upon finding a cat that had been run over in the road, this person was certain that it was her cat and needed to have a decent burial. She and her husband built a coffin, dug a hole, had a service and buried the cat with much boo-hooing.

The next day the cat in question came back and sat on the front porch. Some stranger's cat got a very respectful burial and memorial service.


What I've learned this week...

About the accordion:

You can feel the muscles in your "arm wattles" with a minimal amount of playing.

The rhythm of playing/pressing keys/buttons is completely different from the "rhythm" of squeezing in and out. Totally unrelated.

The big white tabs above the piano key side are stops that change the octaves. There is a 3rd grader proudly taking credit for discovering that. I had no part in it.

The accordion can make VERY loud sounds but sound better when played softly.

Guitar amps of the 1950's often had jacks for two pickups. (the place where you plug things in so they'll play really loudly). An informed source tells me that one was for the guitar and the other was for the always present accordion. Why anyone would amp an accordion is beyond me- unless maybe their arm wattles were tired.

About knitting for other people. This by request knitting feels great when the requester knows what she wants, knows what it's worth and then wears it every day! I knit a fair isle hat with earflaps from a modified Charlene Schurch pattern. (Hat's On!) I decided that I wouldn't do it for free- I asked her to pay the $20 cost of the yarn. The hours spent knitting are happy hobby hours and I don't need reimbursed for them.

Yesterday I got a thank you card with $50 and know full well she won't consider taking any of it back. Sometimes people want to pay what it's worth to them. She'll be wearing it everyday this winter as she drops kids off at school (during my morning bus duty.) I will see her enjoying that hat every single day of winter. Now THAT's some kind of knitting payment right there.

Someday there will be photo/video ops- right now it's just time to enjoy the moments.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Accordioning to who? (to whom?)

Why yes, it is my birthday. And Mr. Sophanne made it as awesome as ever. (though how do you top a LizaJane b-day) I don't post the specifics because the world will be jealous of my life and probably come and try to kidnap him.

BUT..... in other news.

I was visiting Aunt of Sophanne yesterday and the subject of accordions came up-and she has (had) one. And I said I'd take it off her hands whenever she was ready. And now I have one instead.

And the sound of the accordion- even poorly played- makes me SMILE!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I'll give you stripes...

horizontal AND vertical.

I call this design "cherry cordial." I used the same pattern and went up a needle size to account for the extra pull of yarn.

Come to find knitting with two colors isn't as relaxing to me as using just one but you can't argue with the results. I hope I cast on for the second mitten. I know I won't cast on a new mitten until this one has a match so if nothing else it's a cure for my mitten knitting addiction.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My new knitting Crack

Mittens- my new crackcocaine of knitting. I think I'm going to do something else- maybe try a pair in 2 colors, maybe work on the shawl collared vest, maybe pick up the Queen Anne's Lace that is so close and yet so far from being done, and yet I find 40 more stitches magically cast on and a feeling of ready set go. I can finish one of these in a standard Mr. Sophanne t.v. time evening. The rush of finishing something so quickly is more than I can resist.

Once you do enough of them the whole thumb gusset thing becomes a non-issue-that's what's slowed me down in the past

I'm going to share these with my lunch crowd at Christmas (yes, even the endless talker because that's how I roll). As long as their hands are close to the same size as mine, they will have warm mitts for the winter.

I've also taken apart some of the multi-color babette the two to have enough yarn. This mitten binge is an awesome way to reduce the one-skein-multi-colored stash that I have acquired of late. It feels good to be knitting from the stash and while I haven't declared and official "yarn diet", the idea that I need more more more yarn is less and less prominent in my mindset.

Thoughts on a big yarn stash- when I first began knitting with good yarn, I was constantly concerned that I would not be able to get my hands on some. After experiencing the joy of knitting with wool, the idea that I would only be able to find red heart to knit with was horrifying unpleasant. Now I know I've got 3 LYS's within an hours drive and I also know that there is so much fabulous fiber online and independent dyers ship really fast.

That's not to say I don't have my weak moments- Sharon-Stitchjones-Mymommadethis posted the MOST GORGEOUS yarn there ever was. Fortunately I had just paid the credit card balance and wanted to go at least a week without adding to it. But oy, can that woman dye some beautiful colors.

There's no school because of election day so today I will go vote, go to lunch with a few of the school lunch friends, work on lesson plans so that I don't go crazy between now and the Holiday program, and probably knit another mitten or two.