Friday, January 26, 2007

Belated Christmas

Hi Flan,
I completely understand about the packing. I still have nightmares about the weeks prior to leaving MN (thank you for all your help during that time and for not laughing too hard when I would pick up something and say, "Flan, would you like half a bottle of obscure cooking vinegar?").

I think we have pictures today! My camera and I are on semi-speaking terms. It takes pictures when it decides there is enough battery and then has possession issues and doesn't like to share the pictures with the computer. HOWEVER, today I think we may have something. These are all from Christmas.

The 93yo Gma and The Sister enjoying a little "holiday cheer" and some Burbon Balls. The Hubby on his first sled run EVER. No one should get to be 25 and hever have gone sledding.
I went first to show him how it's done.
The Brother and The SIL. Aren't they cute?! And my, isn't that a lovely sweater he's wearing.

On the knitting front, not only has the psychosis involved planning Xmas gifties, but I'm seriously contemplating lace. The Hubby was looking at the patterns I found in my IK mags and asked me if I needed to have a lie down.

If you need me to send Simon Delivers or delivery from the Whole Foods deli, send up a flare.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I have no new pictures because for all intents and purposes, Arwen looks exactly the same now as it did in yesterday’s post. I’ve just worked the k2tog row to secure the hem, and I’m ready to embark on the big stockinette stitch rectangle that is the back of the sweater.

Jody at SavvanahChik Knits has declared that she’ll be changing this to raglan shaping, which I think looks better on me. Consequently, I have a plan. I’ll knit the back to the bottom of the armholes, and if Jody hasn’t posted direction for converting to a raglan at that point, I’ll put it on holders and cast on one of the sides. It’s just convenient that this means I might get to the pretty cables faster.

I think that as of this weekend, I may vanish somewhat from the blogosphere for a week or two. The packing is becoming overwhelming, and the knitting time nonexistent. I’ll try to post occasionally, but I can’t promise anything till all the moving is complete.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Turned Hem

Last night at knit night I worked diligently on Arwen. I worked the turning row with a significantly larger needle rather than using a purl row as the pattern suggested. I saw this on a blog recently, and I love what a neat edge it made. Then I knit on, and at the end of the night, had unzipped my provisional cast on, and knit it together with my live stitches.

At that point it looked like this:
Then I looked at it again, and decided the hem was too deep (sadly I forgot to include something for scale). So I ripped back and put it back on the needles.

Hopefully more updates tomorrow, I've just finished packing for the night, so I can get a few rows in before bed!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


You have just made my brain explode with your Christmas knitting. I am pleased that you've recognized the limits of the speed knitting, especially when combined with the unpredictable shipping times from Elann.

I'll have to check when I get home, but I used Joselyn's Fiber Farm yarn for my mom's shawl, I believe the weight was Angel Hair, and I knit it on size 8 needles. The knitting fine yarn on large needles does take a while to get used to, but the results are completely worth it.

Actually, knitting the "normal" sized yarn on my size 8 needles is feeling kind of funny in comparison. It is nice how fast the fabric grows with the larger yarn though!

I'm going to try to make it back to Tuesday Knit Night at Borealis tonight, so expect more progress! I've started a new work schedule, so I'll be off work at 4:30, and be able to go home and pack a few boxes before the knitting starts. So I've made a deal with myself. I get to go to Knit Night if I accomplish at least one of the following actions:
1. Wash two loads of dishes so they can be packed or
2. Pack 3 apple box sized boxes or
3. Sort two boxes from the downstairs storage unit.

I'm optimistic, and with any luck they'll even be pictures of the progress tomorrow!


Hi Flan,
As of yesterday there were 336 days until Christmas. I mention this not to start PTSD flashbacks of this recent holiday, but really to let you know that my knitting psychosis has reached new levels. Yesterday I picked out three (3) new projects all to do for Christmas '07.

Project 1:
Second Alpaca Scarf for The Dad. After receiving the Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in navy (the concept that alpaca and silk were spun together and I was not making a joke took awhile to get across). He says he now wants one a foot shorter and not only resisted my request to give it back so I could rip a foot out, but asked for it in dark green. I've potentially decided on this yarn and am going to do a garter w/ a slip st pattern.

Project 2:
A sweater/ hoodie for The Sister. Encouraged by Gracie to knit something for myself, I re-discovered the Ribby Cardi pattern. While looking for yarn colors at elann, I found one color I love (Grape something) and one I thought would look fab on The Sister (Oregano). I found the designer's website and was delighted by a variation on the Cardi for a Pulli (scroll to the bottom for the hoodie variation, but with the longer arms). I was so enamored, I tried to calculate if it were possible to order the yarn and then complete the whole thing by her birthday. Given that the last sweater took me three years, I thought that getting it done in 5 weeks might be a bit of a push, so it's now postponed until Christmas. Horay for elann prices. I think it might be possible to knit her a pulli and have enough in the budget for the cardi for me.

Project 3:
I was in true project planning mode when I arrived home. I organized patterns like never before. In the process, I found the Fibertrends Stars and Stripes that I picked up at last year's Yarnover (April 21, mark your calendar). Inspired by your beautiful photos from yesterday I thought about tackling lace. It boggles the mind that the pattern calls for laceweight and yet tells you to knit on 7s. There are options for either a shawl or a throw and I was thinking shawl given the climate in which I am knitting. What yarn would you recommend for a beginning laceweight project?

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Project Alert

Well the weather didn't cooperate with my desire to take modeled pictures of the shawl. Once again it was gray and snowy all day long, and I had no desire to leave my apartment. So more pictures will have to wait.

In celebration of the finishing of the epic lace project, I spent a good part of the weekend swatching. First I swatched for A Cardigan for Arwen. I was very good and even washed and blocked my swatch so that I would have a good comparison.

While that swatch was drying, it really looked like it wasn't going to make gauge, so in frustration I decided to swatch for Elizabeth as long as I was at it. I started on 4s, as I habitually go up a needle size due to my super tight knitting, but almost immediately it was clear it was too big, so I dropped back down to 3s. This is going to be a challenge- it's a tight gauge on 3s, and with the cotton content of the yarn, there's not a lot of stretch and forgiveness. That swatch is still drying, so I don't know yet whether the 3s were a good decision. I've thought about going back to 4s and making a size down from what I was planning. That might require the dreaded math though.

Once the first swatch was thoroughly dry, I carefully pinned and counted several times, and decided that I could use the recommended size 8 needles, which never happens to me. I'm about a half stitch off over 4 inches on both swatches, but I went up a needle size and no dice, so I think I'll go with it. I'll just be extra careful, especially with length, to make sure I get a sweater that fits. So last night once I collapsed from packing, I cast on for A Cardigan for Arwen. I'm just to the turning row for the hem in the back, but I love the yarn, and I can't wait. The back is pretty much a boring rectangle, and what I'm really craving are the cabled fronts, so I may cheat and start a front before I finish the back.

I still need to retrieve a needle from J to work on the mittens, so no progress there either.

So there is my text heavy post. I'll try and get some photos tonight so that I can at least enliven my post with pictures tomorrow!

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Thursday night I knit through an episode of West Wing, Grey's Anatomy, another West Wing episode, and the local news, and finally cast off the last stitches of my mom's shawl at about 10:45 in the midst of watching Jay Leno. And then I had this:

This morning I decided to do the blocking of the shawl. You may recall that he red dye hadn't fully exhausted from the yarn, and my hands kept coming up red after knitting. So I knew there were going to be multiple rinses. This was at the beginning of the first rinse:

Seven or eight rinses later, the water was rinsing a very faint pink (as opposed to blood res the first time). I decided I was done. I very gently lifted it out, wrapped it in a towel and stood on it to get water out, and flopped it on the futon- also known as my improvised blocking surface.

More than an hour of pinning and re-pinning later, I had this:

And a closeup of the point:

Next post: pictures of the shawl once unpinned. I can't wait.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

No Fingers

Hi Flan,
Thanks for your encouragement into Library Science. I'm not sure after all those years of amusement at the expense of the Katies I could become one. Besides, UNC has the #1 program in the US, PLUS you have family in NC, PLUS it's not MN, SO... You and Mikey should move there! It's a good idea. And warmer too.

As far as the packing goes, I would encourage you to convert to paper plates and plastic utensils for the last couple of weeks. I know it runs counter to all the eco-friendly, pro-recycling tendencies, but the horrors of Moving trump all.

The Baby Blanket is finished! I don't remember if I mentioned it, but it is done done done done DONE. I'm so relieved. I'm going to try and resist starting another for hopefully at least a month or so.

I admit to having caved to the yarn sirens. Yesterday, with full knowledge of the things on the needles, I started these. All the ladies here had been getting a little gaga over these little fingerless cuties and I am happy to say I have joined in their infatuation. I had a skein of the called for Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. After slogging through The Baby Blanket of 1/2 cotton 1/2 acrylic (I know, I know, acrylic is the devil, but I really love this yarn) it was such a delightful relief to knit the divine combo of merino and cashmere. I am currently making a pair for The Hubby's cousin in black. They fit nicely and are surprisingly warm. How do I know they fit well? Because after one afternoon of knitting the pair was almost complete. Instant gratification. The infatuation with the first pair is such that I have three other pairs planned; one with a leftover ball of Calmer, one with a single skein of Karabella (a yarn I've never gotten to use and am thus excited to experiment with) and possibly another out of Cashmerino. I might even keep a pair for myself.

Happy Packing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Knit Night

Library science sounds great. You know, there's a great program at St Kate's here in the Cities. I think it's a Masters degree, and I've known a couple people who've done it. (Yes, I know it would take a lot to get you back here, but I would love it).

I went to the Tuesday night knitters group at Borealis last night for the first time, and it was great! What a welcoming group of knitters. I'll be going back for sure, though probably not till after the move. I knit along happily on my Jaywalkers, chatted with knitters about various patterns, and was generally pleased.

I'm almost done with gusset decreases on the foot, I didn't touch the shawl, and I haven't yet retrieved the missing needle from J, so no progress there. Tonight I don't plan to knit, as I think its kitchen packing night, but tomorrow is a new Grey's Anatomy, so chances are good for shawl progress then.

My current contemplations revolve around just how few dishes and pots I can leave out of packing and still survive for the next few weeks.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

So Close

Hi Flan,
There was significant progress and significant tears with The Baby Blanket this weekend. It turns out that knitting a bit and then stopping for awhile, refreshing your memory and continuing on does not always produce the desired result. The first wave of knitting ended after approximately 1/4 of the blanket. It was then put away and not touched for a year or so. I rediscovered the pattern, pulled out my handy dandy row counter and went to work. Set down again, but for only a few months. I happily knit away, loving the pattern, the yarn and life itself. I was so proud of my progress, until Saturday night. IT came Saturday, the realization, complete with a thudding sound and quickening of breath, the realization that-with 3/4 of the blanket completed- I had made a slight "design modification" 1/4 of the way in. I almost cried, deep breathing was practiced and Time Out was enacted.

For the first bit I had adhered to the pattern and knit two garter ridges, an eyelet flower, then two more garter ridges. Coming back a year later I, for some unknown reason, decided to eliminate the last garter ridge. Therefore, the squares have two ridges, flower, then one ridge. There was far too much knitting invested to rip and the thought made me light headed. I just couldn't handle the thought of having to redo that much. (Though a deep and intense discussion about the quality of duplicate stitches raged in my head. Sacrifices to the knitting overlords were considered).

Gracie and I layed it out, surveyed and discussed. There were three real and one ridiculous possiblities.
1. Continue with "modification"
2. Undo the beginning, and redo with "modification"
3. Continue with pattern as it written, adding second ridge.
4. Rip.

We decided that although the two ridges look better, there are few people as anal as I and most probably wouldn't notice. We went with Option 1.

The happy news: It's almost done! I'm so excited and almost stayed up until the wee hours but remembered that my knitting quality sharply diminshes when sleep is removed. On the whole it is looking pretty good.

Left on the needles:
1. 2/3 of a sock for The Hubby. Happily this is the second sock of the pair.
2. Mittens for me. I need to do 3/4 inch more on the hand as well as thumb on mitten 1 then knit mitten 2.

Am doing well trying to bare the needles, however, after completing the Baby Blanket I might need something quick and fast and am thinking about the cabled fingerless gloves from knitty. The yarn sirens are calling and my willpower is shrinking.

On a completely random note, I'm thinking about switching fields and going into Library Science. What do you think?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Snow Keeps Falling on my Head

It started snowing Sunday, but I didn't because I was in a frenzy of packing. Then I started to leave to meet Mike to get dinner, and discovered that I would have to spend 15 minutes clearing off my car, and decided to go back inside and eat at home. And then I kept packing.

All in all, it was a very successful weekend of packing and getting stuff under control. Although I still have lots to do, I'm feeling better overall than I was on Friday. Driving to work yesterday was the normal challenge because it seems that Minnesotans don't retain the memory of how to drive in snow from winter to winter, but I made it safely.

This morning, to cap off the weather, it was 5 below zero when I woke up. Now I'm not going to complain too much, because there wasn't much wind, and people to the North of us were much much colder (-24 before windchill), but I am reminded of how cold winter can be in Minnesota. This has inspired me to pull out the yarn you gifted me with for my birthday last year. Nice warm Alpaca in a lovely blue and black combo. Then I looked for the pattern for the bulky mittens. Amazingly, I hadn't yet packed it. Then I looked for size 10 or 10.5 double pointed needles. And there I struck out. I can find circulars, and I might even be able to find 2 circulars the same size, so I'm considering using the two circulars method. This is all to avoid going to the yarn store and being tempted by all the yarn.

We shall see. Knitting progress is slow due to the constant need to pack, but I think I'm one to 1.5 solid nights work away from being done with the shawl.

I'm also working my way down the gusset shaping of my current sock, and discovered last night that my missing knitting needle for J's Manly Mitts is in J's truck. So as soon as I retrieve the needle, I can work more on those, which are great for almost mindless knitting.

I hope the staring at the ground expedition went well.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

No good title


The Blue Moon thing is absolutely amazing. And entertaining. Though I think Stephanie may have a point about the fact that the business is owned and run by women, and the bank would never do this to a male owned business. But I digress. I love that they wouldn't believe that many people would be interested in sock yarn!

I've run out of clever and not so clever titles that involve edging. Nevertheless, I'm still knitting edging. But today I've managed to remember a picture!

The magic of blocking is yet to come, but I have faith. Last night I watched classic West Wing and knitted up a storm, so life is good. I'm one repeat of edging away from the center stitches, but was too tired to continue.

Tragically, this meant I didn't pack. Not even a little bit. This may have been a bad decision, but I decided I would buckle down on Saturday afternoon and finish packing the contents of the big closet and all but the most basic of my cooking supplies. I feel that I can survive the next couple weeks with a few pots, 2 plates, 2 bowls, 2 mugs, and 2 glasses, plus some silverware. What do you think?

Knitters v. Banking

Hi Flan,
Cara has given a pretty good description of the recent kurfuffle involving the nice people over at Blue Moon Fiber Arts, their Socks That Rock club, and their former banking institution. I will say only that I find in pretty funny that a bunch of knitters have brought down the banking industry. Also, what kind of a jaded world do we live in that there would be a scam involving knitted socks? Seriously, who would think, oh yes, the company that sells yarn has now decided to scam their customers by, let's see, selling product which they currently offer?

The Hubby and I are both off for MLK day. Given that we are in the Heart of Dixie it might be a good time to think of race relations in today's day and age, or perhaps do something civic minded; but we aren't. The Hubby and I are going to drive into the "country" (which, given that we are in LA- Lower Alabama- is not all that far from anywhere) to stare at the ground. Granted, The Hubby calls this activity "rock hunting" and finds great joy in doing so. I call it staring at the ground. Resources needed: happy knitting for the ride to and from The Country- have great hopes for major progress on The Baby Blanket, music or book on tape so the mind has something to do whilst staring at the ground, and lots of good picnic food to fortify us after having spend long periods of time staring at the ground. Some womens' husbands go to strip clubs, some are glued to ESPN, some are addicted to online gambling, some have mistresses, mine just likes to stare at the ground and pick up rocks. Ah, wedded bliss.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


As this month gets crazier and crazier, I'm trying to schedule my life further and further out in advance. This was helped by the arrival in my mailbox this weekend of the advance registration for the MN Knitters Guild Yarnover. Once again it looks like great classes and a great deal of fun, so now I'm debating. Full day class? Two half day classes?

As always, the scheduling is pretty rough for me given my big work event in early May, but if I block it out and commit now, I'm pretty sure I can make it work.

Now to figure out what to take for classes!

No appreciable knitting last night, due to an unscheduled visit from A and J from Duluth, in town for an evening. I did beat all of them at Monkey Bash, which is a ridiculous bar arcade game. I began to turn the heel on my sock, but no pictures of that either, I'll try and do better tonight.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I'm at the Edge

Last night was blessedly free of packing. Instead, I sat on Mike's couch, knit edging, and flipped back and forth between football and CSI: Miami. Mike sort of wanted to watch the college football game, and usually we don't see CSI because we watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip in that time slot, so it was pretty out of the ordinary compared to our usual Monday night. And I knit on the edging of the shawl.

Unfortunately, I seem to have entered knitting black hole #3 on this shawl. This first happened while knitting the main body. Then finally that was done, and I was knitting the border for eons. Last night I eyeballed where I was, knit industriously for an hour, looked at the knitting again, and seemed to have gotten nowhere. Finally at the end of the night I looked down, and I'm getting pretty close to the markers for the halfway point, so there's hope.

I've got a work meeting this evening, so progress on anything is likely to be limited tonight. I'm hoping to pack a box or two and do a load of laundry after I get home. It would be nice if the big closet in my apartment was all packed except for work clothes by this weekend.

I fear I'm going to be a boring blogger for a while due to the packing, but I will try to actually take a picture of the shawl with half knit edging tonight so that you can see it.

The Sts Go Marching One By One..

Hurah, Hurah...

Hi Flan,
I hope the rest of the packing goes well. If we both didn't hate it so much we could make a mint packing other people's stuff.

The Baby Blanket is not going to be any larger than the pattern recommends. I have decided to come to peace with the fact that I will have 3 balls left over at the end of the project. It's just going to have to be ok. I also discovered some mistakes I had made. One was 4 rows back, one just two. I was going to live with the one 4 back, but the discovery of the second mistake called for some ripping. Wouldn't you know, it occurred during the longest section (knitting corner to corner, the middle diagonal) which has taken the longest to re-do. Yesterday I took a deep breath and pulled. I am happy to report that the patient and I came through the operation well and are now back to where we were before. The huge relief is that from now on all the rows get shorter.

We got to go to a fabulous dinner at Gracie's last weekend. The Boys played pool, The Little Girl slept and Gracie and I poured over knitting patterns. We were on a mission. I have 8 skeins of this. At 100 yds per skein, that is a delightful 800 yds. I figured it was plenty to do a cute shrug from IK. However, the pattern called for 5 skeins of this. At 240 yds per skein that is 1200 yds for a stupid little shrug! I figured it was a mistake, and instead of there being 240 yds per skein there were really 140, making a total of 700 for which my current supply would suffice. No, not so much- it really has the stated 240 and I am now in a quandry. I don't really want to buy more of the stuff I have. It was purchased in one of those weak moments at the Yarnery's sale section during the '03 buying blitz. I've carted it around from state to state and would like to create something so that we can all move on with our lives. My question is this: the pattern yarn swatches at 20sts on size 6, the yarn I have swatches at 20 sts on size 8 is there any way that the increased needle size would make up for the fact that I have 400 yds to few? Stop laughing. I'm choosing to call myself an optimist. Geez, stop laughing.

Monday, January 08, 2007


That describes my weekend pretty well. I ran an incredible number of errands (when you called from Lowes, I was stuck in Ikea), I packed, I ran more errands, and I packed some more. On Saturday we went to the Albertville outlets and the new REI - which is not as good as the one in Bloomington - I went to Ikea and picked up boxes, etc. Then Sunday among my other pursuits I went to three antique stores on Selby, finding in the process some of Mom's wedding china and a piece of furniture that I'm contemplating buying. I'm taking Mike back on Saturday to get a second opinion. Oh yeah, and did I mention packing?

Fun, right?

In an attempt to get (and stay) ahead, I've declared that there shall be no more baking till after the move. Also no roasting large pieces of meat. Also no new knitting project starting. I did conveniently leave out of the packing frenzy 6 balls of the yarn for A Cardigan for Arwen, in the hopes that I get to start that before the move is over. Even if just a swatch.

However, I did get some knitting done. I worked on the edging of my Mom's shawl. I guesstimate I'm just under 1/4 done with that, so that project may well be off the needles this week or weekend. I like how it's turning out, but I fear that even if it comes off the needles this week, blocking may have to wait till after moving. It's possible I've already packed all my pins, which could make this more difficult!

Tonight is a night off from packing, and tomorrow I have an evening meeting, so I imagine that by the time I get back to packing Wednesday I'll be re-energized. At least I can hope, since Wednesday's agenda is the storage space downstairs, a task not to be approached by the faint of heart.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Alpaca Alpaca Alpaca

(Warning: Picture Heavy Post)

The title was the other reason for my good mail day just before the holidays.
Whoops. Ignore the mess. I've started packing for the impending move.

This is all fiber from my father, who got it from an alpaca producer he knows in Montana. Their website has been making me smile ever since it arrived. Six bags of fiber, all carefully labeled with the name of the animal it came from. I can't find pictures of two of them, but what follows are pictures of the other four.

I have fleece from this cute critter, named Cinco de Mayo.

Also from Sweet Pea, the larger Alpaca in this picture.

Beautiful black fiber from Zorro .

And then as a special bonus, the first shearing from Saffron (so cute!)

The second picture is a bonus for the cute fuzziness...

And then a closeup of Saffron's fiber. I thought the first 5 bags of fiber were beautiful and soft, but Saffron takes the cake. Too soft to imagine.

So I'm doing a bit of research into spinning Alpaca, sticking my hands into bags of incredibly soft fiber, and resisting starting to spin this until we move at the end of the month. Torture, I tell you.

On the other hand, I spun for for the first time in weeks tonight, and it's still as magical as I remember. So holding out till after moving will be a challenge.

I packed the first 5 boxes tonight, so the moving is officially started in my world. Expect less posting - and knitting and spinning progress - for the next month, but I'm still making a bit of progress every night.

Happy '07!

Hi Flan,
Just a quick post. I love all of your ideas for the Knit from the Stash but need to read it a bit more clearly. I too did not quite make the Challenge, but looked up Chinese New Year and we have until Feb 18 for that one.

Briefly, the trip home took an extra 6 hours, a trip to Egglan Airforce Base/ Okaloosa Regional Airport and a "shuttle bus" which turned out to be a mini van. Never again flying the "breakfast" named airline.

A mere 14 hours after arriving home on New Year's Eve, I came down with the most... um... involuntary "cleansing of the digestive system" that I have had in years. It was either food poisoning or stomach flu. Whichever will never be known, but it arrived with a vengance. It has taken two days to recover and there is nothing like a few rounds of illness to produce great abs. I'm almost back to regular food and am doing well with standing up. Today is the first day back at work and I'm hoping it goes well.

On the knitting front: I should read more things before I decide to make patterns of my own. I finished the hand part of the mitten and discovered it is 3/4 in too short, making it impossible for the thumb to move. Now have to figure out how to rip out the decreases- am thinking about sacrifices and incantations. Oh mohair. Also, how did I not know that putting mohair on the inside of the wrist amounts to more itchy torture than it would be sitting nekkid in a patch of poisin ivy covered with fire ants? How did I not know? Oh mohair!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy 2007!

Welcome to 2007! After a week with a minimum of internet, inability to access my voice mail, and lots of celebrating, I'm back in Minnesota responding to a backlog of work and personal e-mail and voice mails.

Arizona was lovely and productive, and I knit quite a bit. Sadly I didn't quite make the Naked Needles challenge, but I'm a lot closer than I was a few months ago, and that feels good.

Still on the needles:
Mom's shawl: Ended up being an On the Needles gift. Only the edging to do now, but not sure how long that will take me. I was unwilling to start this on the plane yesterday, so I pulled out Manly Mitts and worked on those.
First Year Shawl: Still in exactly the same place it was before the holidays, as I left it in Minnesota.
Manly Mitts: Not in fact done, though the first one is approaching done. I'll work on these quite a bit this week I think.

Holidays: I had a flight to AZ that was absolutely fine until the last minute of scheduled flight. As we came in for a landing in Phoenix, we pulled out of the landing very close to the ground because of fog. Fog? In Phoenix? This was strange. Eventually we ended up (along with every other plane on its way to Phoenix, on the tarmac at the Tuscon airport. Where we waited. And waited. And waited. Tuscon doesn't have a lot of gates, so we sat on the plane and waited some more. Finally, the captain told us we would get a chance to take off in an hour (due to the backlog of planes at this point). Then we ended up getting moved up very precipitously when someone canceled a takeoff, and our second attempt to land in Phoenix was much more successful. Of course by then I had missed my connecting flight, and after a good deal of scrambling, I made it on to a later flight and made it home. I did put all this extra time to good use. On the flight to Phoenix, and on the ground in Tuscon, I busily knitted along on Mom's shawl. On the second flight I needed something a bit more mindless and smaller (due to the small plane, I couldn't take my rolling carry-on on board), so I knitted on my sock in progress.

Once I arrived though, it was a good week of holidays, socializing, and cleaning out my room. OK, the cleaning out the room wasn't fun, but it was good prep for the impending moves of both my office and home this month!

My knitting resolutions?

1. Knit From Your Stash a-Thon (see below).

2. Keep my stash better organized once we move. I have the beginnings of a plan for this, but nothing definite yet.

3. Knit and wear two adult sized sweaters this year.

4. Socialize more with other knitters. These are, after all, our people. I'm thinking of going to the Tuesday Night Knitters group at Borealis on a semi-regular basis. It would be ideal to start going tonight, but sadly we already have plans.

5. Re the blog. Less parentheses! I know I overuse them, so I'll start paying better attention to that.

I'm also joining my own version of Wendy's Knit From Your Stash a-Thon. I'm amending the rules for myself though:

The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through June 30, 2007 -- a period of six months.

2. I will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:

2.a. Sock yarn does not count. However, only two pairs of socks are allowed to be in progress at a time.

2.b. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that I really and truly do not have the yarn for, I may buy yarn to knit that gift.

2.c. If I are knitting something and run out of yarn, I may purchase enough to complete the project.

2.d. I get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- I am allowed to fall off the wagon one time. (Potentially Maryland?)

3. I am allowed to receive gifts of yarn and spinning fiber.

4. I am allowed to buy yarn while traveling more than two hours from home.

This shouldn't be too hard, especially given that once I finish the shawls, I have yarn in the stash for the next three sweaters I have planned! Although I took the yarn for A Cardigan for Arwen all the way to Arizona and back, I'm proud to say I held my resolve. No Arwen till Mom's shawl is done!

So I think the next big project is Arwen, followed by Elizabeth, followed by Rogue. However, I reserve the right to change the order without notice, especially once summer approaches, as I'm unlikely to want to knit with my Rogue yarn once it gets hot and humid here. For small projects, I think I'm going to make a scarf with my silky handspun yarn once I finish the Manly Mitts, and then I might want a pair of Manly Mitts for me (luckily, I think I have enough leftovers in the stash, especially if I play around with the colors some (danger ahead!)).

I realize I still haven't posted on the second half of my great mail day, but I'll try and take a few photos tonight to truly do it justice. This post is already really long.

Hope your re-immersion in work is going well!

PS: Did you see Stephanie's post? I don't think I've ever been so glad to be a part of the community as when I see the sheer amount of difference we can make as a group, as we proved time and time again this year. Whether the cause was Multiple Sclerosis, Breast Cancer, Heifer International, or Doctors Without Borders, as a group we seem to be uncommonly generous in our giving. This is of course on top of the incredible generosity of knitters who knit hats and scarves and mittens and sweaters for various causes; Dulaan and the Red Scarf Project jump to mind.