Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012- In Review

Was it Walter Cronkite who used to say "..and that's the way it is".  All in all, it wasn't a bad year. Crummy summer, but I've come to expect that.  The highlights for me were The Fingerlakes Festival, turning 50 {{cringe}} and connecting with some grade school friends.

 Some pictures of Christmas.......
 Laura and I with Quinn Tin Tin.  I am wearing my "Charlie Brown Christmas" t-shirt that some friends gave me.
 My sister with her nephew.  And his massive, silly paws.
 Laura got a brand new bag. I love shopping for her, SO much fun.
And KC slept through most of it. What a guy.

My haul included a new spinning wheel from FC, an Ipod Touch (from Alex), a "Say Tea" gift certificate from my brother and his family (yay)- pajamas and a Charlie Brown mug from my sis, a nice sweater and some bath stuff from Laura, and some books and clothes from FC. I also got a Prince Charles figurine from Greggy- I bet no one else got one of those. I love HRH.
 I spent a day organizing my spinning stuff into a cabinet. Oh, I got some deadly English combs too.
 FC's wrapping job.
 And I picked up this project "Rams & Yowes"- that according to Ravelry, I started back in July.
 We got snow, and Quinn didn't want to go doo doo in it.  He's fussy at the best of times, but eventually he had no choice.  What I don't get is people who think it's okay to leave it out in the snow- they don't have to pick it up?  What is UP with that?

As I look forward to 2013, as usual, I think of all the things I have, and I am always a little relieved that Christmas is over.  I love winter and because of the dog, I am getting outside and enjoying it.

I have declared 2013 a year of "Austerity"- something I always think about.  Do I need it, or do I want it?

More on that later.  Oh, and see you NEXT YEAR.

Fleece out.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Before The Fat Fellow Comes Down The Chimney

There probably won't be a "Ten On Tuesday" so I'm going to take this time to wish all of you, my dear blog friends, a lovely Christmas and holiday.  Nicole, I know you have gotten engaged and I wish you every happiness. Chris has been bringing us linkitys and kitty news, Mr. and Mrs. Pao- the cutest couple in the blogosphere, I hope you have the best year ever.  My friend Brigitte is on the road to recovery after surgery, and this year WILL be better.  Everyone else, you know who you are, and I wish you a terrific and wool enhanced 2013.

The dog seems to have taken over, and a kind friend gave him a bag of dog toys. He has succeeded in chewing up most of it- but I bet you can see the excitement and energy in the picture. He has an antler and he won't stay still.

I did make a slouchy hat- Felicity- out of some handspun, because my ears are getting cold on dog walks.

I also did the tam from the Maud set, and have decided against the cowl. I don't think it's something I would wear, so I have enough yarn for probably a couple more sets of gloves.

Okay, I'm off to do some laundry, set the table, tidy the bathrooms, and take Quinn out.  Have a great time, and don't eat too much turkey- it cuts into your knitting time.

Peace out.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ten On Tuesday-Pictures!!!

The 10 things we like to photograph at Christmas.
1.My kids, who are no longer kids. So I don't have one.
2. Animals-this is Kitten Chow sporting a tiny bow on his big head.
3. The dog- who refuses to stay still.
4. Back in the day, you had to have pics of you and your swag. I call this "The Leatherettes"- my sister and I sometime in the late '60's.  Pleather was far out, man.  Those were Walkman prototypes around our necks.
5. And you also had to have your picture taken with Santa. I always wore blue, and my sister wore red or pink, and everybody thought she was a boy.

6. Usually the tree, but this years is boring, so I won't bother.

7. The turkey- one looks pretty much like the next.
8. The Black Christmas House- my favorite movie.

9. My latest knitting project- this is from a kit I got last year.
10. Many more gratuitous kitty photos......

My buddy Jerry did this one- I think it's cool.

Monday, December 10, 2012

 This week's Ten on Tuesday- "Ten Favorite Christmas Cookies"

1. Candy Cane Cookies  No matter how you try to avoid them, you're bound to end up with a pile of 'em, so here's a great recipe. Don't skip the peppermint extract- these are good.

2. Ginger Molasses Cookies-  These are not strictly Xmas cookies, but darn are these good.

3. Brown Sugar Shortbread - These aren't my friends' recipe, but close. They roll out beautifully, and are amazing.

4. Mincemeat Cookies  I LOVE mincemeat, and I love cookies- so this should be a win-win.  I would use butter.

5. Does this count, because MARZIPAN is a food group in itself, so anything that has it- it's on the list.

6. Cranberry Almond Biscotti- I love biscotti, and cranberries.

7. Truffles- Easy and yummy.

8. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies- I would dive into a pile of these.

9. Amaretti -Wonderful and almondy.

10. Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunky - I haven't included any chocolate- so these have some chocolate in them.

No knitting to show you this week, I almost have the second "Maud" glove done, but am still working on FC's socks. You know, the ones I say I'll never knit for him anymore.
These are the ones I don't knit.

If you look at Quinn's head from the back, he looks just like an Ewok.  Dogs crack me up.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ten On Tuesday- Favorite Christmas Albums

Oh gosh- I hope I can come up with 10. I'm not a huge fan of Christmas music.

1. This has to be number one- Vince Guaraldi's " A Charlie Brown Christmas"

2. My all-time favorite, Loreena McKennitt "To Drive The Cold Winter Away"- she's magical.

3.Michael Buble - this Christmas album is great, because he's so cool.

4. Arthur's Perfect Christmas- played it in the car for the kiddos.

5. Not really Christmas but I do listen to it around the holidays, Bach- Brandenburg Concertos. No 3 in G Major.

6. This is my favorite classical - Brahms String Sextets- it will make you cry.

7. Loreena again- "A Midwinter Nights Dream"

8. That's all I could think of- but what NOT to listen to: BING CROSBY
9. ANYTHING Christmas and Country and Western.
10. That one with the cats meowing and the dogs barking, unless you're 4 years old.
I have completed one glove- I don't think that I will make a career out of knitting gloves. 
And Quinn, he's busy chewing on his Bullwinkles.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three Little Kittens Need Some Mittens

Todays "Ten on Tuesday" is "10 Mitts/Mittens that I want to knit.  Not strictly playing by the rules here, I have knit some of them.

1. 4H Mittens- my own design for handpsun. I have made a true shitload of them, and that's alot.

2. Autumn Fire- This lady sells kits using yarns she has dyed naturally- and they are all wonderful.

3. October Leaves- I have made these and they are gorgeous.

4, Dimorphous- True genious- these are versatile and such fun.

5. Dog Mittens- She also has Cat, Frog, Fish- quite a few.  Nicely written patterns.

6. Maud- I am, as we speak, making the mittens. There is a matching cowl and tam. Classic Starmore.

7. Muckleberry Set- A Tam and gloves set- classic Fair Isle.

8. Weisdale Tam and Mittens- sense a theme here?

9. Delft- I love these, they are beautiful.

10. Stinky Pink- just for the heck of it.

There are more of course, but truthfully I am not adept at knitting mittens.  The thumbs and fingers are less than perfect, and that's one area of my life where I strive for perfection.

Speaking of which, I am bummed about my Weight Watcher situation. I should have really gotten to goal weight by now.  When will I ever learn?  I really need to up my game.
This is the Maud kit from Virtual Yarns.  The colours are somewhat duller than portrayed in the pattern.  But they are based on natural outdoors colours and birds, so I guess that's about right.

And Quinn-tin-tin, who has just returned from getting his rabies shot.  I won't mention what's coming up in February.  He has NO idea.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Gratitude Party

Late for the "Ten on Tuesday" so it'll be "Whatever On Wednesday"-

1. I am thankful for the wonderful life partner I have, who regularly drives me crazy and loves me enough to let me be who I am, and accepts me for it.  He is truly the kindest and funniest guy I have ever met, and life has never been dull.

2. Goes without saying, but I have 2 exceptional children who also make me laugh, and at the same time I couldn't be prouder of who they are as adults.  Caring, intelligent, and delightful human beings- I wish they were still home watching Sesame Street with me, but at the same time, it's been great to see them become independent and find success and happiness in their lives.

3. I have the best family. My sister, my twin, my partner-in-crime, who never fails to make me laugh to the point of pants-peeing.  My brother, who has always been there, and his family, whom I adore. 

4. Friends- most of whom are long term.  I can't say that I have lots in terms of numbers, but those I do have, well, you're the best.  I have also made some really great online friends, through blogging and Ravelry, and I can truly say that life without any of you would be very empty indeed. 

5. My pets. Well, Kitten Chow and now Quinn.  They bring me joy every day. (Kitten Chow has bit the dog on the nose this morning, for those of you wondering how it's working out)

6. My fiber crafts.  Knitting, spinning, quilting and cross stitch make me content and excited, and I spend many hours a day dreaming up new projects- it's my creative expression.  It's that or the insane asylum, and that isn't far from the truth.

7. Where I live, in the burbs, is a nice balance between the big city and country, and while I like the quiet, I couldn't be without the creature comforts of stores, and doctors and things.  My house is nice and the neighbors are great- so what's not to love?

8. I am happy that we live in an age where you can watch what you want, when you want as many times as you want.  We used to have to wait for a movie to come on tv, and then usually missed it until it aired again. This part of technology is great to those of us who grew up with black and white, and 3 channels.

9. My car. Sounds crazy- but I LOVE it.  I can hop in and go whenever I want and feel such a sense of freedom.  I can drive fast and pass other cars- it's a blast.

10.  For a 50 year old, my health is pretty good. I can now walk for hours without getting tired, and have lost enough weight so my joints don't bother me.  I can also chase the dog around, so getting older really can mean getting better.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bumbles and Devils and Elves...Oh MY!

I'm happy today for a number of reasons.  Yesterday, FC and I cleaned out the crawlspace. That may not mean alot to most people, but it has been bothering me for a long time. My house was built in 1968, and crawlspaces were a part of many ranch, split-level home designs.  Well, the Keebler elves could live in this one, it is HUGE.  We even use a creepy-crawler to get around in there, and when I say we, not ME.  The only time I have ever gone in there was to retrieve some fish medication, and that was only because lives were at stake.
 This is a view into the underworld of basement dwellers. We threw out 3 tv's, tons of boxes, and other assorted flotsam.  Now there are some decorations, out of season linens and clothes, my Silver Cross pram, and some fish supplies.  The server is under there too- but I don't mess with that.  All vacuumed and cleaned- this makes me happy.
Puppies are joyful. We have re-christened him Quinn Wolfenstein Parker.  It is something like living with the Tazmanian devil-he doesn't stop for a moment.  I'm fairly exhausted, but long walks have been great and we have met so many people in the neighborhood.  People stop to ask what he is, and he has even herded a couple of them. I don't think he realizes they aren't sheep.
I got some really nice Socks That Rock from Lettuce Knit. I plan on knitting myself a pair of "Holidazed" socks, while watching.......wait for it......The 2012 Santa Claus Parade..   Can you believe it?  He's coming to town!  You can watch "A Christmas Story", "Elf", "Black Christmas, "The Ref", "Delias Christmas", and oh, everything.

This is one Mighty Humble Bumble.  May all your storage spaces be clean.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


"No fruits, no flowers,
no leaves, no birds,

Old English saying, quoted in "The Private World of Tasha Tudor"

And it has been cold.  As I have been going for alot of walks with Quinn, I have to dress for it.  I am also sure to bring along mini milk bones, and pet waste bags.  It is amazing to me how many people let their dogs run around the streets without a leash, and they think it's cute.  I have a puppy who is learning about the world and other dogs and people, and a 150 lb Black Lab looming up on him isn't helping. But it isn't even the big dogs, it's the small yappy ones who are aggressive.  I wonder how "cute" they'll think a $5,000.00 fine is?

A photo shoot was done for "Minstrel"- due to technical difficulties with the computer, I hope it is resolved before too long, and I can have this up in my "NEW TWISTED TRADITIONS" pattern shop.
And since this is pretty much the start of Christmas season, whether any of us want to say it, or not, I have started my shopping- for FC.  He bought me this Emma Bridgewater mug and matching t-towel (The folks at "Say Tea" really understand the Bridgewater addiction). 

I have done some spinning, and this is a departure from my usual earthy yarns.  The sparkle in this really attracted me. It's 303 yards of wool/kid Mohair/silk/glitz. 

And some amazing Fat Cat BFL- Vampire Suicide.

And for those of you who wondered how Kitten Chow is making out, fear not. Because he doesn't.  He is holding his own admirably. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Puppy Love

It's been a while, huh?  I came down with the worst flu in the history of man. I was hoping someone would come over and dig a grave so I could throw myself in it, that's how lousy I felt.  Good thing the flu shots are available this week- not that it would have done much
Prior to getting sick, we adopted a puppy. He's a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix, that I happened to come across on Kijiji. I really didn't want a puppy- they are so much work, and this guy chews everything, including the baseboards. He's 11 weeks old now, and his name is Quinn.  He is a blue merle, but doesn't have the light eyes.  He's crate trained, and goes out for walks- he isn't too impressed with the leash, but hey, I am the Alpha here.

He also does frog legs.

My nephew got married, and here's a pic of me (sporting a lip herpes), my cousin, who is just adorable, and my sister (who is sometimes adorable).  Funny, I thought I was much taller.....

I had a pattern published in Ennea Collective. I used Fat Cat Polwarth- which is gorgeous and soft.  Greg was gracious enough to model for me, and it celebrates the albino squirrels that have been seen in Trinity Bellwoods park.  This is us outside of the White Squirrel cafe.

And finally, today is Alexander's 24th birthday.  He has previously not seen this photo, but I guess he has now.  And so has everyone else.  You have to be able to take your lumps around here.  I did ask if he wanted a clown,  but he said that there were enough of those around here.

Very funny.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pass the Hemlock

I had the best weekend ever.  I can't remember the last time FC and I went on a car trip together, but we had such a great time.  On Friday morning, we hopped into the Rabbit and headed to Rochester, New York.  Our hotel was lovely- a great big king sized bed- and we proceeded to find the biggest shopping mall, where we shopped our heads off. Christmas presents, Tassimo disks, shoes- everything.  The people were very friendly and the shops are so cool- everything is different, even the grocery stores.

We ate dinner at Applebee's- I had a Weight Watcher friendly sirloin steak.  Then back to the hotel, where I woke up at 2:30 am, couldn't sleep, so I read almost a whole book, and then drifted off.  I always feel horrible when I only get a stretch of a couple of hours sleep.  We had breakfast. and headed down to, wait for it.... The Fingerlakes Fiber Festival- ba dum dum.

Unlike Rhinebeck-this is a smaller venue, in the charming village of Hemlock, NY.  I was meeting the Fat Cat Knits peeps, but I got there early and did a bit of shopping before the girls arrived.  From L to r in the bottom pic- Alice, Deb, Laura, Ginny, random Canadian and Deb.
Some Black Cotswold/Wensleydale lamb fleece, purchased from the shepherd at Windsong Farm.  She told us all about the lamb it came from- which was really charming.
I was seduced by all the autumn shades of fiber- from Tintagel Farm, Spinners Hill and Persimmon Tree Farm.

I also got this cool basket to hold all my spinning tools.

And this guy was wookin' pa nub- he let us scratch his head all we wanted.

Would I go back next year- ?  In a New York minute.