Montag, Dezember 31, 2007

On the Last Day of the Year . . .

. . . Sharman finished her first knitting project:

Rowan Big Wool Fusion from the Webs Sale

. . . I got my last yarn shipment of the year:

Araucania Ranco Multi in Heatwave

Beginnings and endings are the heart of the Turning of the Year.

May your Beginnings and Endings all be strong and bright in the New Year!

Sonntag, Dezember 30, 2007

On the Thirtieth Day of December . . .

"Lenore"--yarn by Tina Newton,
pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.
From Rockin' Sock Club.
i-cnut by me.

Samstag, Dezember 29, 2007

On the Twenty-Ninth Day of December . . .

. . . some birthday loot:

Mad Madam Mim, hand-dyed by Joanne

Eat Your Veggies, hand-dyed by Todd;
this was a phrase he heard a lot
back during the five or six years when
he would eat nothing but
peanut butter sandwiches

the card with a blue moon on it
plays the Star Wars theme and contained a gift certificate to Blue Moon Fiber Arts!

Helen and Estra went to the Beatrix Potter museum this summer

Other hot but unphoto'd loot: I still need to dress and photograph my bear, Snuffles, in the bagpiper costume he got from Helen and Estra for Christmas.

Waiting for an episode of Firefly to download onto iTunes so I can try out the #1 hot gift from Paul.

A sweater from Paul was a surprise for both of us--the woman at the woolen mill wrapped up the wrong cardigan! We will try to go back next week and see if the blue one is still there.

. . . in case anyone is following the TiVo saga, it is going back; a new one has been ordered. The consensus between the live Comcast person and the phone TiVo person was that this box wasn't working properly. Have ordered another one, but may have trouble returning the first one--Trusty chewed on the box! If the new one comes in time, can return the first one in the new box . . . but we have only seven business days to do it . . .

Freitag, Dezember 28, 2007

On the Twenty-Eight Day of December . . .

. . . I didn't exactly celebrate my birthday. I woke up with a sore throat and headache, so decided not to go yarn crawling with Teri. And no party because Paul was on call. Todd and I pretty much always have our party together, the date often based on when Paul is available to celebrate with us. So this year we're partying on Todd's birthday tomorrow.

I did get some birthday wishes from online and local friends, which I appreciate, and some family members called up. I had to remind my mom why she was calling.

And Chris did brave the icy streets and bring home curry and Winter White Chocolate ice cream. I'm holding out on the ice cream until I can have it as a reward after I finish getting the last bits of dog-chewed whatever, crumpled knitting patterns, leftover yarn, etc. out of my room. It's astonishing what accumulated while I was freaking out over my composition projects and getting ready for Christmas.

When it's just Paul and me here, I can sit in front of the family room TV and knit. When there are other people here, I want my love seat in the bedroom. And if the bedroom is messy, I can't knit. And if there is other stuff needing to be done that seems more important than my own comfort, I can't organize my private area but feel as if I have to take care of the public stuff. So very little knitting has been going on this month and that's why. Sharman and her bunch very kindly helped considerably with the project, which I deeply appreciate.

. . . the TiVo saga continued. No cable guy today; the TiVo decided to do it's final software update right when the CG was due. However, that brought the new TiVo, Chewbacca, up to current status, which meant that it can now share files with my TiVo in the bedroom, Solo. So right now Sharman and Chris are watching Tin Man on Chewbacca, which it is downloading from Solo. Is that cool or what? Of course we still can't watch any of the network news shows. We have a TiVo news blackout. Supposedly Comcast is sending someone to look at the cable card issue tomorrow.

So. Will there be knitting content tomorrow? Will there be birthday gifts? Will Chewbacca's therapy session with the CG be successful? Watch Eyewitness Not-News at 10:00 for the full story.

Donnerstag, Dezember 27, 2007

On the Twenty-Seventh Day of December . . .

. . . another day wasted on the TiVo. We can either get the channels Paul likes OR the high def channels. Cable card technology and TiVo technology working together like spinning silk with winter-cracked hands: A few snags here and there.

The good news: the TiVo's spiffy new wireless network adapter, delivered by an exhausted UPS guy at 7:10 p.m., is working. The not-quite-long-enough phone cord that's been stretched across the family room all day can go back in the drawer.

The bad news: the new TiVo is two software updates away from multi-room viewing. I was hoping . . .

For tomorrow: a yarn crawl? sledding? a date with the cable guy? Stay tuned!

P.S. Should people with addictive personalities avoid TiVo along with alcohol and hard drugs???

Mittwoch, Dezember 26, 2007

On the Twenty-Sixth Day of December . . .

. . . I mostly set up Paul's TiVo.

For some reason it didn't occur to me that I would need a wireless adapter, so I trotted out to Radio Shack and bought one. No go. The TiVo did not like it. I ordered a TiVo brand one from, and went looking for a phone cord.

The longest phone cord I have is not quite long enough. If I take the TiVo out of the TV stand and put it on a stool, I can just plug the phone cord in. Later tonight when no one needs the phone I will hook it up again, but for now we have a day's worth of programming. The remote is set up, the skip-ahead cheat is set, and Paul's favorite shows are taping.

We'll see what happens.

By the way, I got a sale notice from Webs on Thursday. I ordered two things, and they came on Saturday. I was stunned. How did they get it packed and shipped fast enough for me to get it here in Utah in two days? Especially with it arriving on Christmas Eve!

Pictures tomorrow. I'm still stunned, as in, I feel as if I had been hit over the head with a brick, from Christmas Day. That is one exhausting holiday.

Dienstag, Dezember 25, 2007

On the Twenty-Fifth Day of December . . .

I hope you had a lovely day. We did! We had the whole family here (except for Cherry, who is spending the holidays in Germany with a friend) eating dinner and opening presents. As usual, Paul outdid himself.

OK, just a minute, there seems to be a cat in the way (as usual).

There, that's better. Yes, it's a Krummhorn!!!!!

Che got me some Corbie Laci from STR. Here is how it really looks:

And here it is, lightened up so you can see the undertones:

I got one real knitting-related present, two dishcloths from Joanne, in colors that match this gorgeous ceramic she got for me this summer at the farmer's market in Salt Lake.

Paul also got me a wooden set of Tangrams because he thought it was funny that the individual pieces are called Tans. I think it's clever, too--I didn't know that. And I got CDs, including an awesome 2-CD Nightmare Before Christmas that has both the soundtrack and the songs performed by other artists, as in Marilyn Manson, Fiona Apple, and the composer. Anyway, I'm sure you don't want to hear the whole list of my Christmas presents.

And on the subject of things you really don't want to hear--my sister sent us musical crackers this year. The family expects crackers, of course, but we have never had these ones. So of course we tooted away on the whistles and here is the proof. Thanks Christie!

In the first fraction of a second you can see Howard conducting (the set comes with a sort of chopstick-like baton). It sounds more than a little odd because we couldn't find whistle number 1, so Mike had to play 8 every time 1 came up; and whistle number 7, mine, was tuned to the same pitch as Mike's so I had to put my finger over the hole to lower the pitch. I'm not sure number 3 worked at all. Later we found an unpopped cracker, explaining why there was no #1 pitch.

Anyway, what a kick. We made merry, and hope you did, too!

Montag, Dezember 24, 2007

On the Twenty-fourth Day of December . . .

. . . the stockings were hung on the piano with care
in hopes that Trusty would not get in there.

There has been no knitting today so far. There was a big breakfast, held today instead of Christmas morning to make tomorrow a little calmer. There was a pretty much unnecessary trip to the grocery with half an hour in line--much shorter than the wait for Harry Potter 7, so I'm not complaining. There was some sneaky present opening. There was some salsa making and some seven layer dip making, and some Christmas story reading from the Bible.

When Paul gets home we will also read the Cajun Night Before Christmas, an important Christmas tradition for a pretty long time.

But it's a holiday. There should be knitting. It is very tempting to start a scarf for Paul in that Black Parade we were looking at a couple of days ago. Or a hat for Todd in Blue Moon Leticia, which I have in a masculine colorway (black with green).

And now: Merry Christmas to all,
till I saw you some mo'

Sonntag, Dezember 23, 2007

On the Twenty-third Day of December . . .

. . . we had horn carolers:

The green stripe across the picture is meant to keep the children's faces from being seen while allowing the music to continue. I wonder if it's too late to put "Roxio Creator 9 for Dummies" on my Christmas list?

The performers, from left, are:

Jeff's sister on flute, my son Howard on french horn, "favorite other sons"* Roger, Rich, and Jeff, Rich's brother James. MIA: Kyle, who is in Germany with his family this Christmas.

Horn carolers have been an integral part of our Christmas for many years--since the guys were in high school, and Howard graduated twelve years ago. Most of them don't play regularly any more. For example, one is getting a PhD in choral conducting, and his main instrument is piano. Howard's main instrument is actually trumpet, but he was successfully showing off during his warmup, playing lip trills and and a jazzy, valve-free version of jingle bells on the horn.

So there you have it. Not professional, but it's Christmas, from our house to yours.

*The Favorite Other Sons were Howard's friends who were partly raised at our house, while their parents were partly raising Howard. Rich says it in French, but I can't spell it.

P.S. Does that last, lowest note on the bass bone rock or what???!!! Low brass! Low brass!

Samstag, Dezember 22, 2007

On the Twenty-Second Day of December . . .

. . . it is time to talk about yarn. Somehow, in the midst of all the Christmas preparations, yarn keeps showing up on my doorstep. I think we might have more yarn than snow.

Note: there are some yarn club spoilers at the end of this post. If you are late getting your Booty or your STR, y'all been warned.

Now, to business:

  • There is the Scary, Stiff Yarn category.

  • I had to order this silk and linen laceweight just to see what it was like

    Handmaiden Flaxen in Masala

    but until I have a chance to swatch it and see what it does washed, I can't imagine what to do with it. When I wash my linen tablecloth and hang it to dry, it is stiff enough to stand on end. Will the silk soften this up?

    And then there's this Noro sock yarn:

    I couldn't resist, but it feels like . . . what does it feel like? Sharman suggests raffia. G thinks "rubber bands mixed with string." Again, only swatching will tell. E' me if you test yours before I get around to it.

  • There is the Opposite End of the Scale category.

  • Check out this Pashmina.

    Joseph Galler Yarns Pashmina, colorway Bordeaux

    What the heck can I do with 170 yards? Where is my one-skein book? I was thinking about ankle warmers for my mom, but I Don't Think So now that I've seen it.

    And now grock this one:

    Yarntini Cashmere in Pomtini

    It's soft as a cloud, but no one in my family over the age of six will wear pink. Can a 6-year-old take care of a cashmere whatever?

    Oh, you're asking why I bought it if I don't have a clue what to do with it. It was like, I don't know, the Call of Cthulhu or something.

  • Next: the Almost as Good as Cashmere category.

  • Here we have Dream in Color Classy in two great winter colorways.

    Gothic Rose and Black Parade

    Since I am saving club yarns for last so as not to spoil anyone, it's now time for

  • The Not in the Other Categories category.

  • Here is the Yarn Pirate Christmas colorway, Hawthorn, in that lovely, reflective merino/tencel blend Georgia uses.

    And finally we have

  • The Sock Club Spoilers category.

  • Go away if you are going to get mad at me for this.

    First we have the Potter Covers yarn.

    I have not had a chance to look over the pattern yet. I will be kind of glad when we get past the orange covers and into Order of the Phoenix and Halfblood Prince. Next Carrie should do one of the sets of British covers.

    Today I got both Yarn Pirate Booty Club and Rockin' Sock Club. Tina and Georgia are definitely on the same wavelength. I am seeing deep winter shadows on snow at dusk, only Tina was standing in the woods and it might have been a little later in the evening. Now, this is my interpretation, not the dyers'.

    The name of this colorway is Bella Coola, or in Salish, Nuxalk. Why does that name make me think of vampires? The pattern is by Cat Bordhi. I'm glad I got letter markers.

    The Booty Club selection is called Icicle, and like the Hawthorn, is merino/tencel.

    What am I actually knitting, if I actually get any knitting time?

    Just a minute . . . let me see if I can get these away from Che . . .

    OK! One finished pair of kid mittens! hah hah hah hah hah!

    I might finish my first pair of Lenores. These are the ones where I am having to knit the top separately and graft it on. I plan to knit a second set following the pattern like a good girl.

    Or I might start in on the red mittens.

    However, I still have a headache (42 hours and counting, but luckily not as bad as when it started), and I am not sure I can knit or graft black yarn. I think I'll feel better when the Christmas organ playing is over tomorrow.

    I may just wind Bella Coola and stare at it for a while.

    Freitag, Dezember 21, 2007

    On the Twenty-first Day of December . . .

    . . . we had some knitting

    Tiny Toes held double but I will never remember the color name

    and some snow

    more snow pictures below

    and some crafting

    Sharman's completed picture boxes went off to grandmas today

    and some clogging in Minnie Mouse shoes

    E got these at the Disney Store

    and some using of all the Lincoln Logs (TM).

    A corrects me to say that after
    this picture was taken he found three more pieces, so it was
    only MOST of the Lincoln Logs (TM).

    . . . my friend Tola got married, only I was not able to go to the wedding since it was a big snowstorm here and the wedding was a half-day drive away. But congratulations, Tola.

    . . . in less than an hour it will be the moment of Solstice. Who will tend the hearth overnight?

    My fireman, Howard, in his Smurf Coat.
    It was part of his uniform for an elite marching band
    that performed during the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002.

    It won't be me, because I am still not back to normal since MegaMigraine, my friend from early this morning. My brain has been wanting to sleep it off all day.

    Are you impressed that I even went outside???!!!

    Donnerstag, Dezember 20, 2007

    On the Twentieth Day of December . . .

    . . . we are all completely useless. The kids are playing. The grownups are making grocery lists and menus and then scrapping them and starting over.

    Only Trusty and Che are completely focused, their course for the day established and well under way.

    With the idea that things may never get more concrete than this today, I asked Sharman to show me how to make gift boxes. She learned this technique from her friend Cecily in Portland. Cecily is a crafter extraordinaire. Cecily's are actually scrapbook boxes, with the box portion clipped to hold six photos and folded, not taped, but I wanted gift boxes.

    Materials: Two coordinating pieces of scrapbook paper. We used Festive Dots SGC#104 and Candywrapper SGC#101 from My Minds Eye (thanks, Joanne!)

    scissors or paper cutter
    tape--we used some each of double-sided and regular

    We began with the lid (all photos are on Flickr so click for big).

    1. Trim the paper so it is an exact 12" square.


    2. Find the center of the paper.


    3. Fold the corners in to the center.



    4. Now fold each straight side in to the center. These creases will make the sides of your box lid.



    5. Next comes a tricky bit where you fold a crease backwards and make a new crease where none exists in order to shape the edge of the box. I think you will just have to look at the pictures (maybe click to enlarge) and make yours look like Sharman's to see how it works.



    As you do this shaping for each side, the box lid begins to appear


    until voila! There it is!


    6. Now, make the box to go with the lid. Again, begin by trimming your paper to an exact 12" square. Then mark the paper 4" away from each corner on all four sides. You are dividing your edge into thirds.


    7. Fold each edge using your marks and crease well. These creases will form the bottom and sides of your box.



    8. At this point, if you want to make a photo display page, cut away the corner squares and glue photos in the five remaining spots. However, if you want a gift box, fold these corners back out of the way and tape in place inside your box.


    9. Pop on the lid and y'all in business!

    No tickers