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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years' Resolutions: What's on Your Needles for 2011?

Today, the snow  is melted and all but gone. It disappeared almost as fast as 2010, fading away to reside in our  thoughts and memories like a melted Sno-Cone.

Now's the perfect time for planning new projects for the coming year, while clearing out the cobwebs of the past year. Time to empty those knitting baskets, so we can fill them with glorious yarn finds! The Tootsie roll canister is filled and close at hand (food for thought). My desk is not nearly as cleared off as I had hoped, but will be, soon.

I am compiling a To-Do List, things I want to make in the coming months. I'll check off my WIP list from Ravelry first, then fill in with ideas from some new books I received today:
  1. finish Sharon's Winter Socks
  2. The Agatha Cardigan
  3. make a felted purse: Pursenalities: 20 Great Knitted And Felted Bags
  4. make Igor a jacket from stash.
  5. finish The Raven Doily by Halloween
  6. start 99 new coasters for 2011 Christmas card inserts
I'll add more as I go, but this will keep me busy, for now.

I think the weather has the woodland critters confused. Today as we were driving back home by way of a country road, we saw a very large 'Possum on a fallen tree, a fallen victim of one of last Summer's random tornado episodes. He looked disheveled and confused.
Then tonight, I spotted a very large rabbit sitting at the bottom of the hill out back, shaking his ears.

He better be careful or he'll be a munchable for a passing Owl.

It is so warm outside tonight, you can hear the wind in the trees; sounds and feels more like late-summer. It's suppose to grow very cold overnight, but for now, it's weirdly surreal outside. I almost expect an Aurora light show, if not for the clouds overhead...

This is my last post for 2010. May we all find peace and hope in the coming days, weeks, months. We are all in this together, one World united by hope, peace and love of life. Tomorrow, we will begin our day with "business as usual"; but for now, let us will dwell with our memories of Yesterday.

~Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Steady as she knits..

The Agatha right front panel is moving along. Well, I should say I'm moving along with it; as one fellow Knitter said, I may have found the rhythm, and it's going faster now, with fewer rip-backs...
Agatha close-up of a 2-pattern repeat
Agatha right front panel
 I found 4 new books today, am excited to get them! The felted purses looked interesting, especially after my first attempt at felting, back in Nov. during a knitting suarez over at Kellie's house. I'm linking to some Amazon listings,  while they are still available. In no particular order, it clogs up my blog a bit, but hopes it will help someone find a copy they might like.

The Variety Book of Crochet (No. 10)

It was a fair morning, the temp was around 29  F., (wind chill 11 F.) so I opted for a walk with the neighbor, just a couple miles. It felt good to get out again, to inhale the brisk morning air, to feel the tingle work it's magic in my nasal cavities. I woke up at 4:00am to a clogged face, and soon realized I was in the midst of an allergy attack. I had messed with the cat's bedding the night before, and although I made sure to wash afterward, it was already too late. By mid-morning, I was in a full-blown sneeze attack which came and went sporadically then hung around until late evening. I'm not liking this one bit, and will have to wash the cat's blanket at some point, but for now, I'll stay away from it. It's not bothering Miss Pepper, so I'll leave well enough alone, for now.

DD19 brought me home a container of Tom and Jerry Mix (recipe); they make it in her bakery! YUMS!

Miss Pepper misses Summer and being outside, as much as I do...
Igor is having a riot in the snow~

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Liat Knits a Key Cozy - Videos Part 1 and 2

Liat shows us how to make a Key Cozy, using the Magic Loop technique. Good practice for beginners. *M1 (Make 1 stitch), shown at approx. 8 minute mark.

Liat's Limitless Cast-On for Two-at-a-Time Anything! Part 1

Liat's Cast-on socks, cuff down~

Liat's Limitless Cast-On for Two-at-a-Time Anything! Part 1

Liat's Limitless Cast-On for Two-at-a-Time Anything! Part 2

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We can haz Ixchelbunny Yarns!

I just got the most wonderful surprise in the mail today!!! Actually I got it yesterday, but we're finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel and I have now got free time to actually catch up on friends and to write to let my dear friend know it arrived :)

I love the calender! Birds are my passion, I just adore watching them. Mike and I had an unusual day today. Mike hollered for me to come look out the back window-a Red-Tail hawk had snagged a squirrel on our back deck. I had just put peanuts out, and apparently one squirrel wasn't paying attention. After catching his prey, the hawk carried it up into the trees, while a family of crows huddled nearby, giving  Hawk no end of grief. I ran upstairs and confirmed the actual catch spot-the evidence was on the deck rail and in the snow below. I felt a mixture of sadness and celebration of the Circle of  Life.

I'm going to remember this day now, every time I put peanuts out for the Blue Jays, Crows, and squirrels. It's going to be tough, I don't think I will be able to stand at the window now, there will be moments of regret. I'm glad I wasn't there to witness it, but I knew about the family of Hawks-they have been nesting here in our neck'o the woods for 3 years in a row, and have decided to stick around a while.

I have the calender by my coffeemaker now. The lace yarn, Ixchelbunny Mulberry Silk, "Shiburi Indigo" is absolutely delicious~ what can I make with it, hints and ideas welcome!

Mike made us Sloppy Joes tonight-they are so good, but very messy. Mike's is growing cold, as he is outside in Garage World, yucking it up with a friend on the phone. Igor is driving me nuts as I type, laying his head firmly on my arm and is really pushing down, while eye-balling my plate of Joe. Goofball.

Wishing you all a good night and sweet dreams~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Knitting Instructional Video - How To Do a Russian Join

Jeanne from Jimmy Beans Wool demonstrates How To Do a Russian Join while Knitting. Jimmy Beans Wool is your LYS... online!

I'm going to use this technique on my Agatha Cardigan pattern I just purchased. It's one-piece reversible construction looks really exciting. I'm thinking I'll use Plymouth Encore Tweed, Grey Heather T781. I purchased it from Ben Franklin Crafts a while back, not quite sure what I was going to use it for, but this might work out great for a mid-weight sweater, after I've re-calculated the gauge.
Agatha Cardigan
Agatha Cardigan closeup

Agatha Cardigan

DD19 just called to tell me they canceled the get-together at 2 Seasons Bowling Alley, too foggy tonight, making driving hazardous. I'm glad she decided not to go, but now I have these batches of FUDGE I was going to gift. OFUDGE! now I will have to eat it all or see if I can freeze it for later.

I am thinking of trying these gloves for Winter Hands; they sound perfect for moisturizing and protecting from dryness. Check back for reviews.

Peacel, Light and Love~ knit warm and stay happy!
Our Winter Solstice Tree

Friday, December 17, 2010

Recipes from the Hearth: Artichoke Spread

Tonight is a good night for a nice relaxing evening with friends. Time to kick back, turn off the phones, get off the computers, and chill with a glass of wine, some appetizers and a lovely view of the snow-covered woods.

Artichoke Spread is my annual Holiday favorite, served on warm toasted Parisian bread from our local bakery.

Here's an easy recipe:

Artichoke Spread

1 13-ounce can artichoke hearts or quarters, drained
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
a dash of red pepper flakes for garnish

Mix all in a small food processor until creamy. Chill and serve on toasted slices of good french baguette slices, rubbed with a clove of garlic.
Serve with a nice Moscato

Bon Apetite!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tommy James & the Shondells_Crytal Blue Persuasion

Fanette Island Tea house, Crystal Bay, Lake Tahoe '80
My friend Linda reminded me of a song I fell in love with as a kid: Crystal Blue Persuasion. I remember EXACTLY where I was when I first fell in love with the song. In the back of my Mom and Dad's '64 White over Aqua Blue Chevy Impala, in the parking lot at Harrah's casino, North Shore Lake Tahoe, with my sketch book, colored pencils, and 3 new issues of some teen horror mystery pocket book I had picked up at the local 5 and dime. I was 13 and didn't have to stay at the Recreation Center (Kids Center) for the first time ~I was truly in my element up there in the higher altitudes -Life was good. :)

I should get back into my art again. Every Winter, I find myself either knee-deep in comtemplations of days gone by, or up to my hooch in snow on the front porch. The quiet serenity that I feel every time I look out the big window facing West, reminds me of Home, of care-free days and Loved Ones now passed. Sometimes my Soul aches to fly out that window, over the hills and trees beyond the pond, toward that beautiful sunset. I yearn to once again visit Yesterday before it disappears forever. But before it goes, it displays it's radiance in such breath-taking colors, I catch my breath and stop to stare. Then I remember where I am, and I'm content in knowing I've made it this far in my Journey, and that is enough to still my heart.

Tomorrow is Dad's birthday-he would be 96, but to me, he will always be that brave soldier who's hand I held until his battle was finally over.

Happy Birthday, Dad~ I love you!! ♥♥♥

Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Reviews, Picket Fences and Rome, Wisconsin

We're about done for the night-what the heck, it's Friday night and we're bored??? We're caught up from the past couple weeks, it's been crazy busy for the pre-holiday rush, but finally, things are slowing down just a bit.

Still reading Death in a Prairie House, nearly half-way into it. I'm finding too many freaky similarities in the Lloyd-Wrights' and the Coleman/Schwabs. Frank's mother reminds me too much of Mike's ex; all about her family, and persuading the children in the ways of the Colemans, diminishing, minimizing everything having to do with the Schwabs. Money talks, BS walks.....siiiigh, some things never change...

Am shopping for a new book out by Chris Wooding, The Fade. It's something Nats would like, subterranean world-stuff.
She likes his books, just finished reading Poison, and I'm giving her Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray ; I want to read that myself.

I was emailing back and forth with Linda G. tonight, talking about Picket Fences, the HBO series. She told me that Rome, WI, in Jefferson County did, in fact, exist. I did not realize it until she mentioned that the father of Myrtle (The Poison Widow) Schaude's dead hubs, Ed,  was born in Rome, WI. Why I find that story strangely fascinating, is beginning to become clearer to me, now. It's the atmosphere of the area, drawing me in. Places have that affect on me, I have noticed. No coincidences here.

I'm also going to check out The Hunger Games series, which comes highly recommended by Linda~
I'm more driven to look for and find a deal with individual books, thinking outside the box. It's the thrill of the hunt.

OHEY, I finally got around to downloading a new cellphone picture of Baby Rhonda, perfect for this cold first-snowy night! She's such a cutie-pie, in her Snow Bunny Snow Suit.♥♥♥
I made her some Winter Socks, to match Mommy's Winter socks. Boy, am I behind in my Project Posts. I have been knitting in the background, always make time for that in the mornings.

Just about to call it a night-my Old-Fashioned did not happen, Mike is falling asleep at the wheel here.

Wait, I hear him stirring in Garage World....there is still hope for that Old-Fashioned yet!

Simon's Cat in 'Santa Claws'

Merry Christmas, from The Cat.