Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy Birthday, Jenn!

21 years ago on a snowy New Year's Eve about 11pm or so, it was finally time to go to the hospital to welcome my very long awaited and special daughter, Jennifer, into the world. I'd been in labor since the early evening before (27 hours before it was over), and she didn't decide to appear until 6:32 am on New Year's day. I guess I should have known then that she wasn't going to make things easy for me! But like anything that's worth the effort, and she certainly was and is worth it, she was worth every moment in labor, and even the challenging moments afterward, and even the moments that made me cry. She's grown into a beautiful young woman that I'm proud to be the mom of. Happy Birthday, sweetheart! I love you!

A moment taken out to relax and spin

Last night, my dh and I visited with LizzyB and her dh. We went out for dinner but spent lots of time spinning and chatting, watching a good movie, and generally just relaxing. I spun some brindle alpaca roving which Liz then plied from a center pull ball, and while she was plying some of her gorgeous Marigold heathered yarn, I finished one bobbin and did another of this shiny and soft Merino/Silk in multi-colored green. I plied it today. All day. There was a lot of yarn on those bobbins, and I plied it into one monster skein! I did a little bit of plying, then walked away and did something else that was on my "to-do" list, then came back and did a little bit more. Finally it was done! Now I'm spinning some Apricot Merino/Angora that I've been wanting to play with. It's very wonderful...of course, that's on one wheel, I have things going on multiple bobbins already. Call it startitis...but the green was a finished skein so I'm so excited! Now to decide what to knit of it.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I'm going to be a bit quiet for the next week

I hope you'll forgive me if I don't get much posting done in the next week. I have to study for my annual requalification for my "real"'s all about the things that we hopefully will never have to use but need to know word for word as well as practical examinations. There's lots of pre-work to be done online and the usual making new flashcards and drilling myself on the written items that we could be tested on. It's next Friday and Saturday in Chicago. Hubby is going to fly there and meet me and take me to dinner at the "Shnitzel Hauss" before we come home (forgive me if I've spelled it wrong) which is such fun and with great food too.

In addition, I got this lovely bunch of spindles just today. They all need to be weighed, listed, and photographed so that they can start to be adopted out to good homes. That's going to keep me busy!

And in knitting news, I bound off the Gypsy shawl today. I'm hoping to get it blocked onto the carpet in my guest room sometime over the weekend. I'll wait to photograph it until then. The crocheted fringe will be added after it's blocked. I began to gather up some of the UFO's today to work on, and they are numerous. Ah, the startitis always gets me, I wish I had finishitis too!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A little knitting, a little catching up, a little Holiday frenzy

This is the Koigu gypsy shawl at it's present state of knittingness. The lace pattern that I'm doing now seems to have my brain tied up in knots and I think it's just that I'm so busy and frazzled. I knit at Weight Watcher meetings and a little bit when waiting for planes at work, but I don't really have any time to just sit down and knit so it'll get done when it gets done. I'm actually about 12 rows from binding off, then it'll be blocked and the fringe edging will be added after blocking. I really like larger shawls, so I'm waiting to see if this is large enough for my liking before I bind off the edges. I purchased an extra skein of yarn so I could make it a little bit larger if I thought it needed it.

I'm valliantly trying to catch up with the business issues while getting Holiday cards out and keeping up with the travels and activities of the various children! Mark went to see Matt and Nick this morning and to bring Meg back from Michigan, we had dinner with Jon last night (he picked US up in his new car!) and Jenni is supposed to come tomorrow. I love having a full house! Of course, flying is very busy this time of year too, so that takes a little bit of time out of my schedule. I do hope you and your family aren't getting as frenzied as we are here, and I send my warmest wishes for a delightful holiday with family and friends near and far.

My "to do list" isn't even beginning to have progress made, as I have a dye run to produce for a dear and wonderful customer's request as well as keeping up with orders and trying to get to a point where I can even imagine closing out the year's books here in a week or so. I'vealso got a secret for all you fiber folks out there...plenty of customers are ordering things for themselves that they're not getting or not asking for as Holiday gifts which makes me smile with fibery warmth. There's nothing like enjoying a nice relaxing spinning session to de-stress from this busy period.

Myself, I'm looking forward to sitting down and spinning some more of the merino and NZ possum blend that I sent to be processed this fall. It's really exquisitely soft and wonderful, as I was able to spin some of it at a guild meeting/party last Sunday. I'm also looking forward to sharing some with my dear (local) fiber friends. Thank you so much for your friendship, laughs, sharing, and fiber togetherness this year! I feel very blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.....that's a cleansing scream from all the activity. Gee, I feel so much better now...time to get back to work!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tagged by LizB

Well, I got tagged by Liz for a meme so here it is:

Make a List of all the Different types of items you’ve knitted and completed:
Hats of many varieties, scarves, sweaters, shawls, headbands, socks and mittens. I'm more of a spinner than knitter, but I seem to make the same things. That's going to have to change. I'm ready to step outside of my comfort level!

Of all the things you’ve knitted what was your favorite type and why?
I enjoy doing color work, and really enjoyed doing stranded fair-isle patterns. I did a beautiful sweater that was color stranded leaves on a cream cardigan. It was horribly stranded and it didn't fit, but I've wanted to do more color work. I'm playing with the idea of doing a fair isle sweater from handspun, but I don't know in which lifetime I'm going to have the time.

List the types of items you haven’t finished yet, but intend to either finish or knit at some point.
That fair isle sweater, another Koigu shawl, a whole set of mittens, scarf, and hat in a fair isle style. I'd love to say that I'm going to finish all my unfinished projects, but I know myself and that's not realistic. I'd like to learn to do cables, and aran knits too. Too many aspirations, not enough lifetime left to do them all!

Have you ever knitted anything that at one point you had sworn you would never take the time to knit?
Not really. I knit so slowly that I plan each project and start it (yes, I do have startitis!) as something I'm planning to allocate the time to finish. My problem is more that I don't finish what I start. I also tend to start small projects so they are portable like socks so that I can take them when I fly.

Thanks Liz, you made me think! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A very emotional day

Today is my son Jonathan's 18th birthday, and his graduation with a Maryland High School Diploma from the National Guard Challenge program. He's posing here with his mentor, Scoutmaster and all around Fantastic Person, Mr. Charlie. Mr. Charlie really helped him through this tough program of personal and academic change in which Jonathan turned himself around completely. He was awarded both a Savings Bond and a $500 scholarship for his great work in the program, and we're so very proud of him! The second picture is of him giving a Keynote speech that brought everyone (especially me!) to tears in the audience. It was a beautiful and sunny day for this event, cold but clear. Here's one of the family (Jennifer, Jon, me and Mark) enjoying another hug before departing for home. Unfortunately not everyone could come to the graduation while all us parents and "additional parents" as well as Aunt Wendy were there, Jon's Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and cousins in Illinois and Iowa, brothers and sister in Michigan, and Brother-in-Law deployed in Iraq also are very proud of his accomplishments although they were unable to attend. BUT, I know I've been ignoring my knitting, and I will get back on it now that some of the excitement of the season is over. In fact, I'll have a pattern and some info if you'd like to help me in a project that will be posted on the blog this week.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Playing Catch up

My absolute apologies for not posting for awhile. We were away for Thanksgiving (pictures are: of me with DSD Meghann at my Mom-in-Law's on Thanksgiving, of my DS Jon with a friend at parent's visit day the weekend before Thanksgiving, and of my DD Jennifer with my DSL Michael in Texas a day before he had to board an airplane bound eventually for Iraq) and it's just been crazy here since then. I'm back to flying, and you know how the holidays bring out the most frazzledness in people! Actually Jenn is home for a little while now in preparation for moving down to Ft. Bliss to await Michael's return.

And on the fiber front, I've gotten a few more rows knitted on my Koigu Gypsy shawl, I think I'm to about row 135 on that. I'll get a picture up soon, I promise. I'm really enjoying working on it, I love the yarn, but I have so many handspun projects percolating in my head (and some already cast on and on the needles) that I want to get moving! Could anyone send me some time that they're not using? On the spinning wheel: I'm doing some grey yak, but I don't expect to get much spinning done in the conceivable future.

Also, you might have noticed the sidebar has an addition, Mark and I joined Weight Watchers together and we're charting our progress. So far I've done ok but not what I'd hoped for, but then again with Thanksgiving (and left overs!) I didn't gain and that's the important thing. I'll keep updating the figures on a weekly basis, my goal for the holiday season is to not gain, and perhaps lose. Mark is doing much better than I am in terms of amount lost, but he's my helpmate and it's so much easier to do the program when he's on it too.