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Minnesota, United States

30.12.08

St. Brigid

St. Brigid
Dutch School
c. 1510
I finally have St. Brigid pinned down and I'm so happy. The cables are so beautiful. The texture is amazing. It's exciting to finish be close to finishing this project. A labor of love.
Now it's time to swatch Kilimanjaro and I found out today that I have to go down a needle
size and the lace pattern is not a multiple of 9 + 4, but a multiple of 9 + 5. Anyway, I think it'll go fine and the color changes will be interesting. (Famous last words!) St. Brigid of the Dutch School seems to approve of my effort!
We had a lot of snow today and the roads were slippery. The wind is blowing and the temperatures are dropping. A good time to hunker down and keep cozy!

29.12.08

Holiday decorations--another look

Before the decorations come down after the new year, I thought I'd take a few photos and share them. I walked around the house and looked at the details. The handkerchief box has such a pretty design. The little cupboard was made by my father for my sister the year I was born. The sheep and the mustard color cupboard were my sister's, also. I knitted the Santa hat when we lived in Texas. It's come in handy this winter! The little cardinals are perched on my chandelier all year.
The sheep may want to stay out until Easter...we'll see. The papier mache Santa hangs from my Great-Grandmother's cupboard.
Tonight I finished the cable neckband for St. Brigid. N
ow I can block the larger pieces and begin to sew. It's going to be just beautiful and I cannot wait to finally wear it!
Thanks to Margie for the Holiday Spirit Award. I had much more this year than I thought. My sister must be looking out for me--there are touches of her everywhere!

24.12.08

Holiday greetings

Merry Christmas!
Fröhliche Weihnachten!

23.12.08

Snowed in

Today is baking day. I made a pan of bars last night, have a batch of cranberry/chocolate chip/pecan/toffee bits/oatmeal cookies ready to bake and will probably do at least three more favorites--peanut butter blossoms, wedding cakes, and Ben's favorite--iced brown sugar cut outs using my Grandmother's cookie cutters. He likes the polar bears. It's snowing like mad, so I have an excuse to stay in.
Last night on my way home from work there was a crowd on the hill sledding, (Ohio--sliding, Minnesota). When the temps warm a little, I may venture out and skate this year.
And now, let's all sing...this is the scarf that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends...! I finished the scarf and steamed it so I could wear it. It needs to be wet-blocked and it looks like today may be the day to do that. The scarf is very long. When I steamed it, I used lavender laundry spray and it smells wonderful! Talk about aroma therapy! I have it on, now. I must look a sight in my chunky shearling boots, sheep print PJs, and colorful scarf! I'm comfy, though and that's all that matters. Eevee loves to poke her nose in the snow. She enjoys running around, but when she's ready to come inside and get a treat, she's READY to come in.
On the St. Brigid front--she's back on the nee
dles and I'm adding the extra 21-row repeat. I have the extra yarn and I think it'll be worth the effort. The sleeves are finished and I can begin to sew when I finish the front. It's good to get back to it. While prepping for the holidays, it was nice to have an easy project. One of my students gave me a gift certificate for the shop and I splurged on Folk Knitting by Mags Kandis. Nice projects. The newer book on color is nice, but this little gem has more variety.
The Christmas tree is so pretty and I love to take photos of it. The crystal holly leaf is the newest ornament from our trip last summer. We visited the
Swarovski factory in Innsbruck again (it's fun to wander amongst the sparkles). Most of my ornaments are wooden, but I like my crystal snowflakes, little pig, and now the holly. They add such a nice touch when the lights shine through the crystal. I'm the little pilot beside the Eiffel Tower. Some of our ornaments are from our world travels. What wonderful memories! They also didn't take up precious room in the luggage!
Tomorrow we pick Ben up from the airport. I cannot wait to see him. We've enjoyed the coach's blog. The swimmers have worked hard, but also had fun on their training trip in Florida.

19.12.08

Comfort and Joy

Life Is Good mug with hot cocoa? Check. Warm boots? Check. Sock Monkey PJs? Check. Seat in front of the fireplace by Christmas tree? Check. Knitting project? CHECK! I know I have to finish St. Brigid, but I needed to do some No Brain Knitting. I'm liking the colors better in the scarf. It's going to be nice and l-o-n-g! The knitted dolls are Tomten and Helga. I made them for my sister. She loved the dolls I made for her--I liked knitting fun things for her, and miss doing that.
I've also been taking more photos of projects for my Ravelry page. The Binglebangles are fun to knit and I may do more for quick gifts. Humpty Dumpty wanted to model a bracelet.
It's time to get my errands done and eat lunch (not in that order!). Before I go, h
ere's a funny from a little book (Fraulein Bo-Peepen by Dave Morrah) I found at Half Price Books:

Fraulein Bo-Peepen

Fraulein Bo-Peepen
Ben losen der sheepen
Und puzzlen mit der gelooken.
Later der sheepen ben homen gecreepen
Mit tailers behinder geshooken.

16.12.08

Happy Birthday Ludwig!

It's the composer's birthday today and MPR is playing his music all day. The radio host said that Beethoven's actual birth date isn't known, just that he was baptized on the 17th, so it's assumed his birthday was the 16th. Symphony #6, Pastoral is playing right now. It reminds me of the landscape around Bad Windsheim in Franken (Franconia) .
The snow is falling and looks Christmas-y out my office window. I'll have to take some photos tomorrow. It sparkles and is so pretty.
I switched places with the images so Ludwig could look at my painting!

12.12.08

Jingle-jingle!

I'm feeling festive today. I met my friend Kathy for coffee and we exchanged gifts. She brought along the little sweaters in the photo on her blog. They are adorable! I'll post photos later of my pattern calendar and teeny-tiny mittens. We always manage to have a good conversation over coffee with lots of laughing.
Anyway, I finished the little sheep and it wanted to be photographed on the tree, so I posed it by the sheep ornament. I found some little bells at JoAnn's and have to make a collar and hanger for it. Now I want to make more! They're cute and fast. This one's made with oddments of my handspun.
We picked out a small tree last weekend. It's so pretty. Most of the ornaments come from Germany with some mementos from our travels. I usually put candles on the tree (just for show), but decided not to this year. It's a bit small and there's not enough room. Tonight's pizza night and Ghost Whisperer!

10.12.08

It's beginning to look a lot like...

It's that time of year!!! I'm wrapping gifts and headed to the post office today. I wanted to be sure to get the socks recorded and I finished the teddy for the Mother Bear project. I think that's a wonderful way to use up oddments. Anyway, the Santas gathered on the TV cabinet for a group photo and now they are back on the mantle. The tree is decorated and Jim got a wreath from the troop, so it's looking very Christmas-y here. Oh, and we have a nice coating of snow. I brought a load of wood in last night and will go out today and bring some closer to the house.
No baking yet, I want to wait a little while--mailing comes first. I'll work on the cards today. Tonight is bell practice, and I'm making an ornament to go along with our director's gift--a sheep. We're getting a sheep in her name through Heifer International. Good choice. I see from the time that I need to get going!!! I'm burning daylight.

Holiday Happy Dance! The boxes are mailed--ho h
o ho-dee-ho!!

3.12.08

Yowza! Brain freeze!

03.12.08 Eevee and I went on our morning walkies. I knew it was chilly so I wore my long coat, felted mittens, knit collar, and handspun hat. I felt pretty good until we turned the corner near the neighborhood park. The wind seems to be so strong there. Anyway, it was really cold! I checked the temp on my computer and it's 17! Whaaa? It was 40 yesterday! Frankly, I don't mind the cold, but that sunshine and clear sky can be deceiving. We don't have any snow--it's all south of here as usual.
I have one pair of Cottage Socks finished and am on pair #2. I found a kid's slipper pattern and will use the leftover chunky yarn for those. I'm going to rewrite my own version of the cottage socks because I don't like the heel or toe.
07.12.08 Wow, I've been busy! Jim and I had a fun weekend. On Saturday, we did the Reindeer Ru
n/Walk around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. It was bitter cold, and sunny. The snow and the festive costumes of some of the participants added to the atmosphere of fun. The long-sleeved tee was a welcomed added layer of warmth!
In the evening, we went to the
Madrigal dinner at a local high school. The daughter of our friends helped write and had a starring role. Her father directed the production. What a talented group of singers, actors, and musicians!
Yesterday
we drove up to the tree farm in the morning to get our tree. Eevee went along for the ride and thoroughly enjoyed romping in the snow helping us look for the Christmas tree. Maybe she was flushing out the critters! The tree is up, but not decorated--yet. I had to finish the little Scrunchy Slippers for Jim's great-nephews. I had plenty of chunky yarn left from the Cottage Socks, and I timed myself knitting the last one this morning--40 minutes! Glad they're done! Now I can move on to other stuff, like the cards! Brother! Christmas is sneaking up quickly this year. Ben won't be home until Christmas Eve, so I have time to get something done for him.
We have snow in the forecast again today and I have class later this morning and help night tonight. Time to get going!

29.11.08

Elf knitting

I whipped up some cranberry apple crisp on Wednesday evening. I love this recipe and I like dried cranberries in it. It's pictured right before I popped it in the oven.
Now that Thanksgiving's over, it's time to go into Elf mode. I made two pair of bed socks for a couple of Ben's buddies, and have one and a half pair of fingerless mitts done for the girls going back to college tomorrow. Yes, it's almost time for my baby to go back. We've had a nice visit. He's putting up his tree right now because he won't be back until right before Christmas.
St. Brigid's on the back burner (no pun intended) until I get the mitts done. I've also got some cottage socks started for my MIL and SIL in Ohio. Those will be nice to work on when I have some time at work (LOL--not likely!).
Time to get back to laundry and knitting!!

27.11.08

22.11.08

Spinning dizzy...and a major award (it's not a lamp!)

My drop spindle class was a success today. It was fun to teach something different and my students (7!) did a great job. The spindles worked out great and everyone had fun. When lunch was ready, they were so focused that they waited for a bit before eating! I'm sure I'll have another class soon.
I received a very nice award recently from Margie at Margie's Crafts. Thank you so much! I will post more about it soon!
I haven't posted since the our flying squirrel incident--I've been a bit busy. Jim brought Ben and three other classmates back to the cities for Thanksgiving. It's WONDERFUL to him home again for a few days. The college had a live feed for a swim meet on Friday. I managed to watch a bit of it and see Ben. I lost the signal a couple of times. It's amazing to watch something like that from my computer! Cool!
I'm really pooped and I see why--it's late. The guys already crashed, so I guess it's my turn...good night!
24.11.08 Listed below are the rules for the award.

1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs.
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

And the first nominees are: Zinnia Bouquet, Fibres for Ewe, and Sunnybrook Farm Designs
The rest will have to come with time. I only follow a few blogs right now.

18.11.08

Visitor

As I was headed downstairs to get my knitting bag for work, a flash of gray with a fuzzy tail whizzed ahead of me down the stairs scaring the $#!+ out of me. Jim said he'd never heard me yell like that before! I was shuddering as Jim checked out the scene in the family room. Hiding at the top of the bookcase by the fireplace was a squirrel. (This is going on less than 30 minutes before I have to be at work!) Jim got the cage trap and I got out the peanut butter. He put it on the hearth while the critter stared at us with his large beady eyes from his perch beside my antique Noah's Ark. Now he wasn't moving. I had time to think this might end up being a Kodak moment, but thought better of it. My luck, the squirrel would decide to lunge at me. Jim got Eevee's blanket and was going to lure it closer to the cage. It crawled back and forth across the stones of the fireplace. I was by the stairs "helping" (making sure I could make a quick exit, if needed). We discovered we had Rocky the flying squirrel as he flew from my side of the room to the other with Jim in hot pursuit. At this time I realized I could open the door and maybe it would run outside. Jim was to the left of the door and I was on the right. The squirrel was in the middle behind the TV cabinet. I told Jim NOT to scare it toward me before I got the door open. The squirrel dashed past the door back to the fireplace and Jim managed to catch it in the blanket and take it outside. As he let it go I told it not to run toward the house (like that's gonna help). It ran up the tree and I dubbed Jim my hero. Eevee didn't bark once! I think she rather enjoyed the whole scenario. I had ten minutes to get to work and calm down. At the stop light I reached for my Altoids and as I got one, I caught the paper in the tin and the mints went flying all over the car--dang! I managed to get one in my mouth and a couple back in the tin. Made it to work with a minute or two to spare. I was getting out of the car and my silver bracelet managed to come of and I watched it go around and around almost rolling under the car. I retrieved it and walked into the shop. Carol was laughing and flapping her arms. It was so funny. I took a minute to gather myself and get to work. Geez-Louise, what life can pack in 30 minutes!! We've had a variety this year with the bat and the squirrel! What next? I shudder to think...

12.11.08

First snow

Even though we've had a few flakes this month, this is (by my definition) our first snow. It's so pretty on the trees. Last night the road looked very slick. I'm glad I stayed in!
Well, the little snow ghosts wanted to be outside for a photo. I read their minds because they don't have mouths. Looking at the photo I believe they need another felting session.
I'm still plugging away on St. Brigid. I had to do another chart repeat on the back to get the proper length. With this in mind, I'm sure I'll have to add a bit to the sleeve length, too. My stitch gauge is spot on. It would be nice to see Ms. Starmore's actual sweater. Her gauge is very difficult to achieve. I found another knitter on Ravelry that did the same thing with the chart. I have the extra yarn, why not?
Yesterday I
had a go-through-the-closet-and-dresser afternoon and have two big bags for Goodwill in addition to some items in the garage. It feels good to de-clutter...(As she looks around her work room at the fiber stash, photos, art supplies, and paper work.)...of course, everything in here is creatively contained.

10.11.08

Autum art

I thought I'd take a break from photographing knitting and show photos of some of my paintings. I switch certain ones around with the seasons. The single leaf was done with a painting knife. That was fun to do and I like the texture. The Weinturm (wine tower) is in Bad Windsheim, Germany near our old apartment. It was November and very chilly the day I hid behind a hay bale to paint. The other two landscapes are from a trip to Ireland years ago. One is of the Slieve League cliffs and the cottages are in Glencolumbkille, county Donnegal. I loved that area and hope to return someday. It's chilly and sunny out today. I was surprised it wasn't warmer. (I just noticed the afternoon sun made the colors appear too warm in the Ireland paintings--I'll have to redo the photos.)
I'm on row 71 of 112 for St. B.'s sleeves. Sigh, I h
ope to be done soon. Ugh! I tripped up on chart A--the easiest knit/purl combination--a four stitch, four row repeat. Good grief. I'm on the right track, now. I had to get new cable needles because I must have dropped the one I was using and I lost my box of small, flat stitch markers over the weekend!! Jeez-Louise! Enough whining, I still love making the sweater and will be able to wear it soon enough--it will be done when it's done!

7.11.08

What a difference a day makes, twenty-four little hours...

As I'm writing this, it's snowing! Beginning to stick a little, too. The ground's still too warm, but I imagine that will change soon. Lawsy-mercy--I had sandals on just a couple of days ago.
I took a break from (gasp) knitting yesterday. My shoulders were a little sore. Today's a great day to knit. I may head down to the shop and visit this afternoon. I don't get the opportunity often.
I took the pattern for this hat down to the shop. It's the one I made for Ben last Christmas. I didn't embellish it, but will probably do one for myself soon. I got in a few row
s of my sleeves. I've made it past chart B increases and now have to incorporate chart A increases. So far, so good. I'm glad I made the row sheet for the charts. It's easy to keep track of where I am!
Oh...the pie is really good!

6.11.08

Rainy day baking

Our neighbors gave us apples recently. They smell and taste wonderful. I'd already made apple-cranberry crisp earlier in the week. Jim really wanted a pie, so today was the perfect day to bake. I didn't make too much crust, so my lattice is wimpy. The weather is quickly changing over the next couple of days from the 60s to the 30s!
I'm editing a hat pattern I wrote for the shop and want to have it done for tomorrow. I can also take along the unassembled spindles
for class. Speaking of spinning...I did a skein of my Cormo/silk blend election night. It came out really nicely. Now I just have 12 more ounces to go!
I stopped by the shop yesterday to knit a few rows on my St. Brig
id sleeves. I needed to be home and cleaning up my office/art room. The oddball tub was too full, so I started to wind the leftovers into balls. I've got some nice colors! It gave me a little room, but I still need to get another tub to fill (or two). Hummm...
The pumpkins still need leaves and curlicues. I think my little white one looks more like an onion right now. I haven't taken out the plastic bags, and still have to stuff them.