Books,Books, Books!

I was on ravelry this evening looking through the new groups and found a group called 52 books in 52 weeks! There was a time when I devoured at least 2 books a week and would 've managed this challenge with with one hand tied behind my back! It's really sad that currently, I'm lucky to read a book a month. When I do read, it's usually something for work. When I pick up a knitting book, it's usually to look at the pictures to decide on the next project. However, I still can get lost for hours in a book store browsing at anything that grabs my attention! So one of my new year's resolutions is to read more. I don't make all that many resolutions anymore because they're too easy to break! I figure if winter is going to be as crazy as its been so far, I'll have plenty of time for reading and knitting! One of the threads from this group was a self meme. I'm going to try it for fun. Have a go and see how you do!!! The directions are below.

What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by Library Thing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish. since there is no underline button, I just bolded what I read for school too.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Anna Karenina

Crime and Punishment


One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wuthering Heights

The Silmarillion Life of Pi : a novel

The Name of the Rose

Don Quixote

Moby Dick


Madame Bovary

The Odyssey

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Eyre

The Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov

Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies

War and Peace

Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Iliad


The Blind Assassin

The Kite Runner

Mrs. Dalloway

Great Expectations
American Gods

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Atlas Shrugged

Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books

Memoirs of a Geisha

Middlesex Quicksilver

Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales The Historian : a novel

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Love in the Time of Cholera

Brave New World

The Fountainhead

Foucault’s Pendulum



The Count of Monte Cristo


A Clockwork Orange

Anansi Boys

The Once and Future King

The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible : a novel


Angels & Demons (reading now-It's good!)

The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)

The Satanic Verses

Sense and Sensibility

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Mansfield Park

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

To the Lighthouse

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Oliver Twist

Gulliver’s Travels

Les Misérables

The Corrections

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


The Prince

The Sound and the Fury

Angela’s Ashes : a memoir

The God of Small Things

A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present



A Confederacy of Dunces

A Short History of Nearly Everything


The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The Scarlet Letter

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

The Mists of Avalon

Oryx and Crake : a novel Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed Cloud Atlas

The Confusion



Northanger Abbey

The Catcher in the Rye

On the Road

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values

The Aeneid

Watership Down

Gravity’s Rainbow

The Hobbit

In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

White Teeth

Treasure Island

David Copperfield

The Three Musketeers

Even though I haven't been blogging for a while, I have been knitting! Mostly socks and I'm still not sick of it! I will get pictures and post specifics about finished socks. One the things I'd been wanting to knit for a long time was a Clapotis. I finished in October. Just in time for Rhinebeck! I made without any modifications (why mess with a good thing!) using bamboo yarn. It has a really nice drape and has a soft shimmer because of the bamboo fiber. I had a lot of fun making this and would make another one. There was a point when I thought the pattern repeats would go on forever, but just when you start thinking that, it's more than halfway done. Of course, one the most fun aspects of this pattern is dropping those stitches, on purpose!
Well that's it for this post. Hope to be more regular with the posts. I've missed blogging! I have been reading everyone else's blogs and that's always fun!!! Uh-oh, Allegra (Ms. Kitty) has insomnia too. She just jumped in a pile of knitting magazines, now strewn around on the floor. So much for feline grace! Gotta go!



This was my second year going to Rhinebeck and so far...The BEST! Last year, I went by bus with Yarn Safari for the day. It was fun, but definitely not enough time to see and do everything and to get caught up in the total experience. Even this year, there were things I'm sure I missed! As soon as I got on the bus headed for home, I planned on making a weekend of it . This year it was an adventure that started back in june or july. I knew I was going, but didn't want to go by myself. So, I put a feeler out on the rhinebeck ravelry board to see if anyone South of Boston would be going. I would be glad to share all expenses. OTKate responded and we began talking about it to see if it would work out. Now, Kate could have lived anywhere south of Boston from next door to Cape Cod. Turns out she lived in the same City and hospital organization where I worked! We were also both therapists! We decided it would work out and we'd finalize plans as it got closer to the festival dates. In the meantime, Kate met up with two other women who were planning on going to rhinebeck. Things kept falling into place and it became a road trip of 4! Threescompany (Heather), PurplePear (Maro), OTKate (Kate) and I were heading for Rhinebeck!

We started out as 4 strangers traveling together, but you'd never know it. Everything went so smoothly. I had the best time with everyone. I've always supported the Red Sox( come on, I was born in Cambridge and lived in MA all my life.), but I'd never hung out with such enthusiastic sox fans! It's contagious!!! I even joined the Red Sox knit group on Ravelry!

We left VERY early and arrived at Rhinebeck right at 10:00 a.m. Maro was able to get our tickets ahead of time (Thanks!). No waiting in line for us. It was off for a fun filled day of sensory overload!
Besides all the fiber goodness to be had,there were ravelry meet-ups, wine and cheese tasting, herding demonstrations, pumpkin throwing, people watching, kinearing, and my new favorite- kilt watching. I've never seen so many men in one place wearing kilts. I wasn't able to get any pics...next year. Anyway, on to what you want to see...Fiber!

Our first stop was The Fold for STR. Believe me when I tell you the booth is small! Yet, everyone seemed to get what they wanted. That was only the beginning. The line to pay is loooooong, but it went by faster than I thought it would and we got to meet other knitters. Here's what I scored:

Maro, Heather, and Kate found some yarn for themselves and friends. After the first booth, we were on a roll. I didn't come with any particular haves on my list. However, the ravelry que list came in handy for buying yarn for particular projects. This somewhat prevented the "I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but it's so pretty syndrome" to a degree (not totally-LOL). Heather and Maro were totally organized and had que and vendors list in hand. For anyone going to Rhinebeck next year, it's the way to go! At the end of the first day, it was back to the hotel. We stayed a the Quality Inn Hotel. There were lots of other knitter's there. Some sitting in near check in knitting away. Here is what our first day's haul and how it looked like all in one place!

After we checked in; looked at the day's finds; and freshened up, it was already time to head out to the Ravelry Party. The place was packed. It was held at the Pavillion (outside) of an Elk's lodge. There were a few tents with heaters, but these filled up fast. I had a great time, but Seriously, I froze my ass off! Next year, I'm knitting up double thick long johns, hats, gloves, and scarves! I'll be prepared. There were giveaways, finger foods, and giftie bags. The bag had coupons and yarn inside. There was also a notions keeper from one of the sponsors. After the party, We headed back to the hotel to see how the Red Sox were doing. They won. GO SOX!
The next morning we were off again for another good day. There was more shopping to be done and sights to see. The day flew by. Before we knew it. it was time to head for home, until next year. See you all at Rhinebeck in 2009. I'm saving some pictures of yarns for another post. I'm afraid blogger is not cooperating!


What's new You ask?

Or maybe you didn't ... I'm telling you anyway! I haven't been posting for quite awhile, but I've been knitting! I'm on a finish those WIPS mission. I finished a pair of socks and work on some other socks in various stages of being done. I had also started a Clapotis. At this time, it must make me the last person on earth to cast on for this! In fact, I've seen many blogs where people have knitted it more than once. A few hearty souls have made several (4 or more)!!! It has been fun working on it. I'm making mine with bamboo yarn. It's really coming along nicely.

At some point this spring I became a lace addict and cannot pass on a lace KAL as evidenced by the buttons on the right!!! Have I completed them all ? No. Even started each one? Nope! They'll get done...someday. Now as if I didn't have enough knitting in my hands and overflowing out of my knitting basket, I"m now participating in the Ravelympics. You've all probably read about this until your eyes bleed by now, so I'll be brief (sort of).

The events will coincide with the opening and closing of the Summer Olympics in Beijing. I will have 17 days to complete one or more knitting projects. I have challenged myself by signing up for two events: 1.) the Sweater Sprint and 2.) the Sock put. I am knitting the Canopy Cardigan from KNITSCENE and Gumdrop socks. Pictures to follow (translation: can't find the damn things). I joined Team Overly Ambitious Yet Plausibly Possible -OAYPP and these mates are ambitious! Can't wait to see what we do. I've knit a pair of socks in three days for Sock Madness the first year out, but that's the extent of my speed knitting. Now I'm committed to a sweater AND a pair of socks in seventeen days...
If you smell something burning or see smoke, don't worry, it's me setting those needles on fire with my lightening fast knitting!(LOL ;0) ).
Well, that's it for now. I will have more juicy pictures and info on projects and progress. Gotta go...Allegra, STEP AWAY FROM THE YARN!!!


A mouse of my own!

Hi everyone in blog land. Wendy is out today and I'm a little bored...can ya tell? I never get to post on this blog. So, I'm taking over! Also, I like playing with the mouse. It's not a mouse as I know it. You know like the cute little furry kind...They're not allowed in the house! No wonder I'm bored! Anyway, I was checking out blogs and Finn from Pink lemonade, oops... pink lemon twist left an open invitation for a meme. It's my first...Here goes:

1.What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was en route, almost born

2.What are 5 things on your To Do List for today, in no particular order?
- Eat. Actually, this could BE the list of 5 things.

-. I'd Sun myself a bit on the bedroom window ledge or by the slider door, but it's too hot and I can't unzip myself out of this fur coat! So instead, I'll lay out near the air conditioning. I love the way the air blows my fur about!

-Check each of the windows for birds I can chirp at and make other funny sounds.

- Unroll the toilet paper in the bathroom (I usually do this when I'm bored or being annoying)

- Wash myself from head to toe. I love doing this, but hate the fur balls ...yuck!

3. Favorite snacks?

cat food, yarn (she won't let me near the stuff!), human food (when I can get on the counter without being noticed!), kitty snacks, and I love chewing on those little plastic milk caps. Of course, a little cat nip is great crack..ooh, snack!

4. What would you do if you were a millionaire?

No brainer, Daily order of McDonald's chicken nuggets and fresh shrimp. Then, I'd hire Wendy full time to take of my every whim (then I could get on the dining room table anytime I want!) and who knows me better than she!

5. List the places you've lived:
a. Marshfield, MA (I was born here at the CodyCats Cattery).

b. Middleboro, MA

Just like Finn , I won't be tagging anyone in particular, but if you need a blog post, feel free to consider yourself tagged!

Well time for me to sign off. It was fun and I'll take over again sometime! Gotta go, I hear a key in the door...

P.S Wendy will be back soon!


Samantha...sweet girl

September 1993 -April 15, 2008

This is my sweet Samantha who left this world for a better place last week. She was a beautiful cat with a sweet disposition. All I had to do was look at her and she'd start purring! She loved to play with her basket of toys and often dropped them at my feet to join in her fun and was a big fan my yarn and knitting. She never met a yarn ball, she didn't like. I thought I'd have her for a lot longer, but it wasn't meant to be.

Samantha was a charmer right from the start! I had offered to pick up the "twins" for my mother who wanted 2 cats to keep each others company when she was at work. They were 2 siblings that looked alike expect for the size of a white stripe that went from the top of their heads to their noses. Otherwise, you couldn't tell them apart. My friend Sandy, kept the kittens in the recreation/playroom, so they wouldn't get into to much mischief in the rest of the house. She told me she had one more kitten left and that one was going to the pet shop, because there were no offers to take her. I thought about it ,but wasn't really planning to get a cat at that time.

All of the sudden we heard pool balls rolling and out of one the pockets popped up a kitten, who then scurried across the table doing 100 mph! When I saw that beautiful and spirited cat, there was no way in hell she was going to any pet store! She rode to her new home that night tucked in my sweater with her head poking out every once-in-while and purring like a machine. She's been one of my best decisions in life!

She had recently developed a slight limp that resulted in a Vet visit. At the time it was thought to be an ingrown toe nail. it was clipped and she seemed fine. For a few days she seemed like her old self, but I thought her weight had changed slightly, the nail seemed to be sticking further out than the other nails and she was limping again. At the follow-up visit, Dr Wolfthal felt a small bump behind the nail. It was one of two things " An infection or tumor. He treated it as an infection and if it wasn't perfectly normal in a week, He'd x-ray it and remove the tumor. Everything went down hill quickly. The tumor grew rapidly and the foot a just didn't look right. We scheduled her to have the toe removed in the event it was malignant. She continued to decline and X-rays the day of her surgery showed a malignant and fast invading tumor. It had gone to her bones and lungs. The only thing that could be done was feline hospice or euthanasia. Dr. Wolfthal recommended euthanasia because although she never was a cat who showed any sign of pain, she had to be in great pain. I took her home that day so I could have one more day with her and brought her back the next day to be "put to sleep" . It's one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make and I didn't want to be selfish and hold on to her for my sake. She just wasn't the same and looked as though she wanted it to be over. All she wanted to do was to be held on my lap and sleep. I was there with her and held her to the end. My sweet little Samantha, you always be in my thoughts and in my heart. I miss you more than you'll ever. know.


Hibernating,knitting and a sick cat.

can't believe how long it's been since I last posted. At the beginning of the year, I had joined blog 365 and then decided that blogging 7 days a week would be more of a challenge than I thought. I ended up going from posting 7 days a week to zip, Nada, zilch, zero! I haven't dropped out of knitting though. I joined a few KALS and have been knitting scarves and socks. The KALS have all been lace related. So, I have projects to keep me busy! I'll have some picture to show soon. I broke my camera back in January. It still works for the most part, but when I try to adjust or use the zoom lens, it goes out back-and-forth in and out of focus. Ain't that a bitch... My camera needs glasses!

2007 was a mixture of good and hideous! My last few years have been like that and I was hoping to get a break in 2008. I'm probably no better or worse than off anyone else, but it would be nice to have a year that goes smoothly for a change. For fun I went to a psychic party in November of 2007. I'm always a little surprised when someone tells me things about myself or my life, especially when I don't volunteer any info that can help them with the predictions. This psychic new I had surgery and told me to expect another one but minor nothing to worry about! She also told me that 2008 would be a great year because so many good changes would be happening. These included a new house, going to a wedding and having a wedding. Now all I have to do is meet prince charming, fall in love, get engaged, plan a wedding and get married. This woman also told me I would write that book I'd been planning (it's true, but I never shared that with ANYONE until now!) but not until a few years from now. I was also told that as much as I disliked by job and as "itchy" as I was to escape from it, I needed to stay-put. I am still there, but looking... It was also interesting that she brought up my dancing and skating. She told me I was artistic and that I wasn't finished dancing. Peta (the psychic) insisted I would be dancing again. I had to laugh out loud and tell her: "My dancing days are over!" except maybe for some dancing at parties. I was told the above prince charming would be well off (slackers need not apply!) and finished off the reading by chuckling and saying: "hmm, I see you getting a new computer".

Should I have asked for a money-back guarantee? Do you think I can get my money back or do I have to wait until the end of 2008 to see how much came true? I'll tell you readers right now, this year is not shaping up to be a winner as predicted!

One of the most important reasons I haven't been blogging is my cat, Samantha. My beautiful purring machine has not been herself for a while and I've been spending time taking care of her and giving extra kitty love. About a month ago, I noticed her holding her paw up when she was sitting down and easing herself off of furniture instead of her usual leap. I inspected the foot, but didn't see anything wrong with it. I called her vet and a few days later we were at the office to check it out. It seemed she has one of her nails in-grown into the pad. Her nails were clipped. The small nail in the pad was removed and she was placed on antibiotics as a precaution. The other problem was her weight loss. I bring her in for blood work every 3 months due to hyperthyroidism. She takes medicine daily and did well. I did notice a small change in her weight and the vet confirmed it, but decided not to change her medicine because all of her blood work came back normal. He felt she might stressed by the foot problem and cats will lose a little weight when sick or injured. She took her medicine without too much trouble and I thought things were going well, until I looked at foot one morning and noticed it seemed swollen. I mentally made a note to call the vet from work. As I was leaving for work that day, I returned to my bedroom to retrieve my forgotten glasses and give Samantha a pat on the head. My brain couldn't quite wrap-around what I was seeing ...blood. there was 4 streams of blood rolling down my bed quilt to the floor! I picked her and saw it was coming from her nail . Right then, we were back at the Vets. He put her on more antibiotics, inspected the wound (she must bit the nail while grooming and that started the bleeding). He felt a hard lump at the base of the nail and came up with 2 possible diagnoses. A bacterial infection from the in-grown nail or a tumor(that caused the nail to curve into her foot pad. He went with the bacterial infection because after Samantha opened it by biting at the nail, it stunk. So, she was put on antibiotics and I had to soak the foot twice a day. He said if the foot wasn't completely normal when I returned in two weeks, we'd have to consider there is a tumor behind the infected part of the foot.

We returned to the Vets office on Thursday and he was not pleased. The infection is gone and the wound is closed up. However, the hard lump is still there. The Vet felt if it had been just an infection, the lump should be completely gone. She has also continued to lose weight despite eating (she is eating less). The next step is a chest X-ray and an X-ray of her foot. If she has a cancer it will show up in her lungs first. If the Chest x-ray is negative, he'll operate and remove the affected toe.

She's fifteen years old and other than hyperthyroidism is in excellent shape. I'm hoping for the best, but every time I look at her I feel very sad. In the last month, she's lost a lot of weight for a cat (3lbs). Since the infection has cleared up, she's been more like her old self. I'll know for sure on the 14th whether she'll be able to have the surgery.

I'm out of hibernation and plan to post more regularly. Until the next post, happy knitting. It's a great stress reliever, for sure!!!


Special Notices Only...

When I became obsessed with knitting, I also became obsessed with joining Yahoo groups related to knitting. I joined a particular group based on my current interest or if I thought I'd have difficulty with a particular pattern, I'd join a Yahoo KAL. Well, 15 groups later: "Stick a fork in me, I'm done!" Just like Ravelry (which I enjoy immensely), groups and the numerous e-mail messages that go along with them, can be real cyberspace vacuum cleaners, sucking up all your available free time!!!
As people who are involved in these groups know, you can participate as much or as little as you like. This morning, I decided to have it my way (just like McDonald's burgers) and used the Special Notices button! This means, I will only get a message from the group when something important information needs to be imparted. The amount of time reading e-mails was only a part of my reason for going on special notice. Lately, the threads seem to be the same tired topics and the "Off topic messages are worse! I think that people e-mail for the sake of seeing themselves in print ( you know 50 people sending a "Me Too" message). Others are lurkers, like me who only post sparingly. I generally like the lurkers because when they do post it's something interesting, helpful, or seem to put the group back in balance when the flame wars start. I've noticed a trend in the last year or so, in lack of internet manners or out and out rudeness. Members in various groups used to be gentler, kinder and more helpful, now behavior is more like the terminator! No question was too stupid and discussions were real discussions with various points of view accepted. people could "agree to disagree". Now, when one posts, he/she better read it 6 times over, wear their thick skins, and be prepared for the hailstorm because at least 3 or more readers is going to rip you a new...you know what! It's really sad. For instance, a member of one group writes in CAPS due to a vision issue. She was so excited to be a part of the group and share her experiences as a new knitter. This woman clearly explained why she did this. She still got several message telling her she was yelling when she did this and it was rude. Others replied that it was okay and they understood her need. Still, some people couldn't leave it alone and specifically told her what she needed to do to rectify this. One woman, was bold enough to tell this woman in no uncertain terms that it bothered her even though it didn't bother anyone else and instructed her in what needed to be done! The woman felt bad that she'd caused such a problem and offered to leave the group. Many people encouraged her not to and offered to help the woman figure things out off the group. This woman was very gracious and accepted offers and stayed in the group. Tell me, is it me or is this insane or what? I've decided for the most part many group members are sane, rational, polite people who love to knit and love sharing their knowledge and handiwork, but more people are critical, have to be right all the time know-it alls who lessen the experience for others. I'm a pretty laid back person. I'm usually one to go with the flow and just use the "delete" button, but it's time to reduce e-mail toxicity and take a vacation. Calgon, take me away! (do they even make this product anymore?). Now don't let me sway any of you away from groups, If you have a sense of adventure, can take the thrills and chills, then by all means continue on...
P.S. Hope this doesn't sound like a rant, it's not meant to be. Just expressing my personal experience. Next...

To my very small group of supporters of my 365 days of blogging (Chris, Are you here? ;^) lol, I've decided that blogging everyday just does not fit my lifestyle. I definitely plan to blog more frequently than last year and my ultimately goal is to enjoy blogging and continue to meet some incredible people. Since I started blogging nearly 3 years ago, I think I live in the best Internet neighborhood around. All you knitters rock!!! Now don't start pulling out the tissues, you'll get me started ;-(Other than having my ass glued to my desk chair reading e-mails, knitting blogs (I'll never give you all up!), I am really knitting and will have some progress pics for the next post or some eye candy to show!Enjoy the rest of you Sunday ( Mine is a bit snowy) and break out the knitting!


Tag, double dutch, rollerblading...

When I was a kid I was always outside playing with the neighborhood kids. We played tag, jumped rope (double dutch- that's exercise!), chinese jump rope,skating and riding bikes. Of course in the "old days" we had no choice! As soon as I got home from school, My mother or grandmother told me and my sibs to change into play clothes and go outside until supper time.
As an adult, I never seem to have the time...
Now I'm sitting at my desk and looking out the window at the bright sunny day. I think for 2008, I'll try to come up with more reasons to exercise instead of reasons why I can't!

Time to get off my ass and go for a walk! So, I'm off. Hmm...Where did I put those sneakers?
Enjoy your day.
Go for a walk!
353 knitting and blogging


Knit Related

A few posts ago, I wrote that I had signed up to parallel play with some other bloggers who wanted to blog every day for a year, except on February 28th (leap year day). This will be a day off from blogging should choose too. This posting everyday is a lot harder than I thought! I don't want to bore people who visit often. So, it will be good to challenge myself to be a better writer and to find interesting material! Today was definitely a knitterly type day. I belong to a sock group and one of the women in the group mentioned a LYS in Cohassett, MA has moved to Hingham, MA. These are quaint little towns South of Boston. I had never heard of the store, so I thought this weekend would be a good opportunityto take a ride to find it, especially because all the yarn and books in the store would be 20% off this weekend. I'm so glad I went! The store is beautiful and looks exactly the way I like a yarn store to look (if I had one ;-) . This store has every kind of yarn you could imagine and some I'd never heard of. At this point in my knitting life, I recognize a lot of different yarn brands!

The store was very well stocked and organized. The owner was there and I was very impressed with her treatment of customers and down to earth manner. It's no wonder the store was as busy as it was. Both the owner and her staff were helpful, pleasant and seemed to really enjoy interacting with the customers. I over heard the owner helping a brand new knitter choose project, needles and yarn. I bet she's given many a newbie the passion to knit on! As I was shopping she came over introduced herself, offered help and chatted for a few minutes and then left me to explore her store. I was able to get the yarn I needed for the SOTSII KAL I joined (fiddlesticks/ lace weight 50/50 wool & silk). Of course, because there was a sale, I had to buy something else...Noro sock yarn!

For anyone trying this new yarn, one of the employees gave me some helpful hints for using the Noro . she told me to:
~pull the yarn from the outside, not the middle because the yarn tends to stick on itself

~ Use slightly tighter gauge for knitting the sock because if it's too loosely knit, it will felt in the
washing machine. At the tighter gauge (tighter or smaller?) it will not felt when machine

I had some restraint and just bought the 2 different yarns, but there many many yarns to be tempted by, but I was good today!

I will definitely visit this store again for future knitting needs!

No pics today. I will take some and post them later.

Almost forgot! The name of this wonderful LYS is Creative Stitch.
354 knitting and blogging



This is going to be a really short post! It was such a crazy busy day today that I almost did the happy dance as I left work! I grabbed some dinner and headed for a knitting group I go to once a month. It was nice to sit and relax and laugh my ass off, cuz it's one funny knit group!!! Now 2 whole days of off .. time to play! So, this post isn't totally boring. Here is some random cuteness:

It's my favorite old chair and I'm not moving...

Where are you sleeping...

Never met a box, I didn't like!

355 knitting and blogging


Knitting Around the World

Last year I read a couple of blogs about Japanese knitting and was immediately drawn to the patterns and the idea of trying something new I fell in love with the sweaters in a book called "New Style of Heirloom Knitting" . I really wanted to knit the cover sweater! The problem I faced was my lack of the Japanese language. NO, it wasn't the language barrier in terms of making the sweater. I was bold enough to think if I could conquer a french language pattern, then ...Japanese-schmapanese.. this would be no problem! (yeah, yeah... I know...I'm an idiot). My biggest problem was order the book from a Japanese website. I was clueless and afraid I'd order a million dollars worth of books (a million yen might be a little cheaper). Luckily for me, after joining the yahoo group --Japanese knitting, I found an English website and ordered the book. Turns out Japanese knitting depends more on charts than text in making garments and they have standard knitting symbols! Maybe I'm not such an idiot. If you don't like working with charts, your SOL. I have to say, the patterns and the layout of the book are great and the pictures are beautiful. With a little patience and references from the knitting group, I could tackle any item in the book. Many people went Japanese knitting crazy (that old knitting OCD) and bought several books. Me..I bought two and that will keep me busy for a long time. (With my knitting OCD and ADD, they could just be coffee table books for a loooooooong time). The other book I bought is called "KNIT" and I love the patterns in this book too. they're a little more funky than the Heirloom book.

French patterns were my first trip in transatlantic knitting and Japanese the second and now in 2008 Denmark is the "it" knit! My first glimpse of this book was on Fleegle's blog last spring. At the end of her post on this book...sad news! It was not available here in the states and it was not in English. Damn, not another language to decipher!!! What's a knitter who has plenty of English knitting books to keep her busy for this lifetime and a future lifetime to do? Don't let unavailability of the book or not being born in Europe where people grow up learning 20 or so languages ( I know I'm exaggerating aaaaaaand I'm envious... Europeans do learn at least a few different languages!), find it! I e-mailed a Nordic yarn website and asked about the book. I got an e-mail a month later stating were interested in the book and would pursue getting it here! They are now the only U.S. distributors for the book. It became available in October and I was right there ready to order a copy. The book is not in English, a full 3 page translation from danish to English of knitting terms is included and the charts in the book are clear. The book was worth the wait! There's not one pattern in the book I dislike (this is rare!). So who knows, I just might be knitting a something danish. That's the nice thing about knitting..do what you want,when your want or not... or Hmm, it just might make a nice addition to the coffee table.
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In the middle of working on a language activitiy, one of my pediatric patients said "Bubbles!" with enthusiasm and a giggle. Now this is a kid who loves bubbles! He knows all the words to the "Bubble Song" (maybe I'll teach you sometime) and it's his favorite activity outside of playing with cars. I'm thinking to myself, cool ...that would be a nice way to end the session today. Then he says again: "Bubbles" and he's giggleing. I'm just about to to tell him, we can play with the bubbles at the end of this activity when I get a whiff of "eaude de Bubble". See class how "bubble " can have more than one meaning? Kids say and do the darndest things!!! Now where do I keep that room spray?
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A quilt, Couch, Clicker, T.V. and Knitting

I love it when I'm camped out on my couch with my "clicker" and knitting. What do people call their remote controls? Am I the only one (and my family) to call the remote control a clicker? I started calling it that when I was a kid and still do. Tonight, I'm watching two of my favorite shows: "Bones" and "House". I never saw the first episode of either one and tonight both shows are showing their first episodes! The shows are on the same station and back to back, so I might not even have to touch the "clicker". I have loved David Bonreanaz ever since his days as "Angel"! I love "House" because of the rare and weird diagnoses he and his team of tortured colleagues(House tortures them with that scalpel-like tongue of his) have to figure out each week. His bad boy behavior wouldn't fly in a real hospital, but it's fun watching him! It's also time to break out the Shibui! I feel a sock coming on.
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Just another Manic Monday...NOT!

I woke up this morning my usually Monday morning crabby self because it was the beginning of another work week. I arrived at work and put my coat and bag in my office. As I was heading for the fridge to put away my lunch, I ran into the outpatient team leader who had a total look of surprise: TL: What are you doing here?

Me: Huh? (looking surprised and a little speechless. Did someone have a pink- slip party and I wasn't invited?) Ah, It's Monday. I'm supposed to be here.

TL: No, your off today. I'm not kidding, really!!!

Me: No, that can't be. I was on vacation last week. I'm supposed to be here.

TL: (laughs) Come on in (her office) look....No patients on your schedule.

Me: Sure there....HUH? How did that happen?

TL: Let's see whose name is in the computer for cancelling.

Sure enough, somehow when I cleared my schedule for vacation. I inadvertently cancelled by self for today! My team leader said "No patients today means you get to have to have today off! WOOT! What did I do next? You guessed it. I grabbed by keys, coat and bag and said: Hold all my calls! I'm going shopping!
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SHAZZAM!!! ...No, it's SHIBUI!!!

It's time for some sock knitting and I'm trying some new yarn! It's SHIBUI and it's beautiful. The pattern is a mystery pattern so, I'll show progress photos until it becomes a whole sock! It uses two shades of yarn and has a little bit of intarsia. The pattern is on a need to know basis and that's all we need to know this week! I'm making mine in ivory and Chinese red. Here's a sneak peak of the yarn color. I lurve this yarn!

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Here the first finished FO for 2008. It's a scarf made with Lion Brand 100% wool. It was a simple chevron pattern I found on the Crystal Palace website. This yarn knit up well with no splitting and it was very soft. It took almost 2 skeins of yarn knitted on size 10 needles. I started it in late December, but was not able to work on it too much due to the silly season craziness. So I finished it a couple of days ago. It's already been gifted ,so I have this picture to add to my knitting journal. I try to keep a journal with pictures and info on each project, but I don't always add them to the journal right away, so...

some day!. Of course being a creative knitter (lol) I have another use for this scarf...
The Kitty Shawl! Note the reluctant model or is that "Strike a Pose"?
P.S I didn't finish this post until after midnight. I almost forgot to post. I went out to dinner with friends and decided to see a movie. I saw "I am Legend" starring Will Smith. Intense!!!
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New Year , New KAL

It's not even a week into the New Year and I've already signed up for a knit-along!

After the fun of Melanie's Mystery Stole 3 last summer, I'm ready for another one. Mind you, I still need to block the the stole from it. The theme turned out to be "Swan Lake". It was my first experience with lace and I really enjoyed it. After this one, I'll be ready to work on the Here Be Dragone shawl. I still have a few UFO's from 2007 that are nearly finished that I'm working to turn into FO's. I don't know what's gotten into me, but I'm actually enjoying working one these. Sometimes, I get a case of "startitis" and then abandon one project to start a new one! Short post tonight cuz my stomach is growling and I see Chinese food in my immediate future.

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Gunslingers, Towers and Quests...No Knitting.

I learned to read at a very young age and have never stopped since. In elementary school it was fairytales, short stories for children and comic books. My grandfather brought me my first comics and I enjoyed them so much, I started asking for one everytime we went near any place that sold them! I liked the comics for "girls", but I really loved the superhero comics. Batman,spiderman, and others not as famous. As I got older, I traded comics and fairytales for the Secret Garden,Anne of Green Gables, and stories of the supernatural (ohhhhhhhh scary!). I loved scareing the crap out of myself with my blanket pulled up over my head, imagining there were ghost in my room . The closet door was always SHUT, because you never know what's hiding in there, damn closet monsters! I used to check it twice, just to be sure.

Let me loose in a bookstore and you'd have to send a search party in to find me. To this day, When I say: "I'm just going in the book store for a minute..." The answer I get from friends/family "We'll meet you at the_________" or from my smartass sister "Did you Pack some food and bring a sleeping bag?" My sister didn't read for enjoyment until she was an adult. Until that point, a book was like her own personal kryptonite. "NO,NO get that book away from me, your killing me! I don't need no stinkin books!"( only exaggerating a little B-> )

Right now I'm reading the last book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. If you think Harry Potter fans are a dedicated lot (I read all those books too). It ain't nothing compared to Rowland Fans. The first in the series of 7 books came out in 1982 and the last book in the series was published in 2004! I didn't come across the book until 1986. I wasn't even sure I wanted to read it. It was different then Carrie and another one I'd read. I had loved the Carrie book! Wow, to have telekinetic powers!!! Anyway, one rainy day, I started reading the Dark Tower: The Gunslinger and have been a faithful reader since. Unlike Rowling, who published a book every one to two years, King really teased and tortured his readers by writing the next in the series every 4 years. After Wizards and Glass, he took a 6 or 7 year break and he even stated in the afterward of the 4th book he might not complete it and leave the story where it ended! What? What!!! Are you F*%$#ing kidding me? What kind of Bullshit is this?! Luckily he came to his senses. Though he didn't come to his senses until after he was nearly killed by a hit and run driver! I don't know if his life flashing before him had any influence, I'm just saying... I'm glad he he got better from the accident and got around to finishing the damn book!

If you haven't read any of this series, what are you waiting for? Get thee to a library, used book store or friend's bookshelf. Thank ye sai and if your reading this post, its Ka. What am I talking about sai? Ka? Get the book!!! The story has influences of Lord of the Rings, Arthur legend, and a poem by Robert Browning called "Childe Rowland to the Dark Tower Came". The main character is Rowland, a gunslinger. A kind of knight of the Round Table. He is the last of his kind and on a quest. Along the way he meets 3 other characters who will become very important to his quest of reaching the Dark Tower and have their own personal demons to conquer. It's how they meet and become a band of gunslingers to be reckoned with that gets and keeps the reader invested in these characters. Just like Harry Potter, I'm going to miss these characters when the adventure ends! Some of the other science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers I enjoy are Graham Masterton, F. Paul Wilson, Dean Koontz, and Theodore Sturgeon (The Dreaming Jewels), and Terry Brooks. There are many more, but enough about me. What do you like to read? I'm always up for reading new authors (anyway, new to me ).

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Reducing your stash? Let me help!

I've given up on New Year's resolutions. That way, I can't fail and feel bad that I couldn't stick to them! Last year, I posted that I was going to not buy any yarn. I lasted about three months, before I found myself standing at the cash register of my LYS with an armful of yarn, reaching into a bag to see what my discount would be (Damn mystery discount sales!). I got all that fiber goodness for 50% off. How can you argue with that? It's like getting yarn for free!

Joining Ravelry made me take a good look at my yarn inventory. It's too large to call a "stash" anymore. I think of a stash as a little (yarn, money etc..) something you can put away for a rainy day. My "stash" is not small enough to hide away (lol). My plan this year is to knit some of it up. So, I'm on the look out for patterns. Like I really need more patterns!!! We won't go there today.

Here's one very nice neck warmer to help reduce that stash and keep you toasty on a winter's day! I found this today on Veronik Avery's blog. It's a Chevron Neck Warmer. She didn't write a formal pattern, but provided her notes on making it. These notes and chart are very easy to understand. According to her blog, people saw her wearing it and requested a pattern.

I know exactly what yarn I'll be using and where I can get some buttons ! Go visit Avery's blog and get knitting that stash down. I'd love to see other's neck warmers. So, post it to your blog so I can see ! I'll Post mine too.

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Only 364 more days to go...

Reading my blog post title, you'd think I'm anxious for 2009 to arrive, but I'm really not. Instead, I've just lost my mind and signed up for blog 365 ! I've seen badges for this on other blogs and my curiosity got the best of me . The premise is to blog every single day for 2008. Currently over 600 people have signed up. This will be quite a challenge for me seeing as I only blogged 24 times for all of 2007. This means more knitting posts than ever before AND you'll get to know more about me than you ever have or maybe want know!!! I have to have something to write about daily!

365 and knitting/blogging!