Monday, November 26, 2007

What to write?

Sad posts are such a bummer. But I can't think of much else to write other than this. If your children are sick, follow your gut and do something about it. My college student son called me 5 am just days before he was to come home for the holiday, that he was sick. I told him (and myself) to ignore the $100 deductible, the cost of the cab and the bother with getting dressed and all when you are sick and GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

He had a staph infection on his arm. It started out as a small pimple that grew in 2 days to a quarter sized abscess. He could have died. He didn't. I'm grateful. Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Leaves and Snow

This was the Monday morning scene here in Northern New Jersey. Snow falling mixed with falling leaves. Truly weird. Our town hasn't even begun to make a stab at fall cleanup. There are mounds of leaves still awaiting pickup and tons of leaves glued to trees holding on for dear life trying to delay their eventual demise - or in my case, to return to the earth as mulch.

This is my deck, yup I haven't moved the cushions yet (what will the raccoons sit on?)

Oh well, let mother nature do her thing. Fortunately, I did get this done...

Lawn sprinklers winterized - check

Pool closed - check

And because the appliance gremlins won't leave me alone, I had to buy a new dishwasher. So far they've successfully killed my refridge, my dryer and they are working on my stove. I'll fight on, I must, I can't let them win!

On the knitting front, I've been having fun. I started that Elann Pinwhell sweater coat.

After about 10 tries to do a circle using size 10 doublepoints, I remembered that I had these cute little ones I bought at Rhinebeck last year.

I'm stumped now at the sleeves. I'll have to get some advice from my LYS.

Finished the back to a sweater

and made these lovely neck warmers called Cherry Garcia.

STAY WARM or send me some of your heat!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mom's Birthday Update

Mom: "Ok, so what did you make?"
Me: "Mom, you know how you always say you are chilly indoors."
Mom: "Not anymore, because they (my sister and her family) keep the heat up now."

Mom opens the package and looking quite skeptical, slides her hands into the gloves mitts.

Mom: "Where are the fingers? You didn't have time to do fingers?"

I give up...

Friday, November 09, 2007

What season is this?

When I was single and living in New York City, I didn't pay attention to the seasons as much. I knew that winter was coming when the heat came on (thank you landlord); I knew that spring was coming when I got more requests for dates (you know, spring fever); I knew when summer was imminent when my coworkers began plotting planning their weekends at the shore and each morning in the fall, it was actually glorious to go out to work with the bright skies and colorful leaves - central park was a painters palette of beauty.

Now, in the suburbs running a household you are supposed to be acutely aware of Mother Nature and HER schedule. Yes it is fall, but just because there aren't many leaves actually falling doesn't mean you get to goof off.

For example, my pal Phyllis knew what time of year it was when she showed off her pumpkin patch that had overrun her deck at her lake house

She was also hip to the season, regardless of the weather, when she showed off her newly minted sweater made with the lovely Louet Gems -

It was Halloween and she was playing around

But me, I'm a romantic (and lazy I reckon), I was swayed by the balmy unseasonable weather and, well, you know, the need to knit. Last week I did do something seasonable, I hauled in my tropical plants because the weatherman said Jersey was going to go frosty overnight.

Otherwise, nada. I haven't done much seasonably. Oh, I did buy bulbs but I haven't put them in the ground as yet. I haven't had the sprinkler system winterized (shush, don't tell the insurance company), and, one other kinda major thing I haven't attended to -

I haven't closed my pool!

I keep telling myself that I'm mentally fatigued from the drama with sending off my first born to college, AND living through two other major milestones - turning one child 13 and another one 16 all in the same year! Poor family planning...

Anyway, if I give you pleasant proof why it has been easy to forget about fall tasks, will you think kinder of me?

Freesia still in bloom in November - amazing!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Doin the math

Whelp, after my last post about my subnerdy disability with math I decided to give this whole math and knitting thing a try. I won't attempt to learn the source of my math aversion without professional help but I'm open to suggestions, all I ask is that you all be gentle...

This would be a good time for me to overcome this problem. This week is my mother's 87th 82nd birthday (I think, wait, I have to do the math 2007 - 1925 = 82!) I've decided to make her a pair of fingerless mitts and perhaps a scarf. Each year finding the right thing to get her is a serious challenge. She saves everything! Unless it is from one of my brothers then she flaunts wears it often. Not with one of her darling 3 daughters. She saves it, she says, for a special occasion. I'm not even going to try to analyze what that is about!

I made this silk shawl for her out of 5 different kinds of silk yarns -

I've never seen her wear it except for this shot that I took shortly after I gave it to her. Oh whatever. I'm going to finish these

and give her something to match. Should I give her another scarf or a hat? Seriously I don't know why I'm even trying to figure it out, she'll never wear them...

I shouldn't complain. She's is entitled to do whatever she pleases. She raised 7 of us! I can't even begin to know what that was like. I have two brothers who are twins and they are like 6'4" and my mom is only 4'11" She had to keep those giants in line! And me, I was the mouthy type. My older sister used to stop traffic with guys gawking at her all the time and my older brother was sent to Korea to jump out of planes and my other brother broke his hip jumping off something he shouldn't have and my baby sister escaped an abduction and...

So, Mom, you can do whatever you damn well please - just please do it wearing my cute little mitts?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bingeing on Hats

I love making hats. I hate the math involved. You know there's the gauge divided or multiplied by circumference and stitch pattern divisible by... I've always had a math blockage. Even when I was a techy, I could do hexadecimal because somehow I thought that kind of math was more logic and patterns and not really numbers. One day I'll get to the bottom of that but for now, making hats isn't that easy for me - the getting started part that is but I love the process of going around and around and finishing with something you can wear the next day.

Phyllis gave me that tam pattern she got from the internets. It was supposed to be a chemo hat for my brother-in-law but I thought it looked too feminine so I guess I'll keep it.

I made this one for him instead in Blue Sky cotton. It's called Utopia. I hope it fits him.

I'm sending him this bulky roll brim one too

while waiting on Trick or Treaters last night, I made this easy k1p1 rib with the softest two yarns: Classic Elite Premiere and Lang Thalja

and I decided to rinse out a few of my hats and have them dry in the autumn air

Oh, and while browsing at Modern Yarn in Montclair during their Anniversary weekend, I saw that headband in the store and I loved it. I've made two in Noro Silk Garden 1 skein and you can make it in a couple of hours. I left out the button you're suppose to put in the back. I just tie it. Yeah, lazy.