Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to ALL

To Flan and Everyone:

I hope you and yours have a delightful December 25, with whomever and whatever that may bring.

From Kathleen, who is enjoying every single snowflake here in the Pacific Northwest.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Plan B

Hey Flan,

So somehow I thought that with a transcontinental journey, I would somehow warp the space/time continuum. Somehow, the SEVEN Christmas projects I needed to work on would get done by space warping, creating eight of me- one to drive and seven to knit- all whilst speeding up my general knitting rate until it fit in to the time allotted.

However, it seems the general fabric of space and time chose not to follow my plan. This means the knitting is NOWHERE near where it should be. To top it all off, I am so tired and on the brink of illness I have COMPLETELY STOPPED CARING.

Yup, don't care any more. I'm seeing YOU later this week! BIG HORAY!
However, do you think I could find the needles that I need to pick up around the neck for your supersecretproject?
Do you think I could get The Mommy's Cardigan out of the bag and slog along the body- straight stockinette which should be good for illness?
I have ONE legwarmer for The Sister completed. I had her try it on to see if she liked it. She did. Now I have the other one to do. Think I can be bothered?
Not in the slightest.

What am I working on? A Swallotail Shawl for LittleBabyGirl to be wrapped in while christened. I decided non-white was better than white, so it's indigo. Very pretty, very soft Malabrigo lace. The thing is... THEY DON'T HAVE A DATE FOR THE CHRISTENING. It could happen at any point - or at NO point. CHRISTMAS, on the other hand, has a definite date.

Have decided to warp the space/time continuum my own self. Have decided to deny that Christmas has a definite date and am going to classify it in the "wedding" category. According to Emily Post, a person has a year after the wedding in which to give the gift.

I will have 364 days from this December 25 to get this year's gifts completed and they will STILL not be late. At some point during the next year, mysterious packages wrapped in holiday paper will arrive at their destination, hopefully bringing joy and really "keeping Christmas throughout the year". Merry Christmas! It's July and here's some Wool! Festive, no?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Hey Flan,

Just as a public service, not to frighten anyone: Christmas Day is exactly thirty (30) days from TODAY.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Hey Flan,

In a pure fit of Auntly necessity, I purchased a plane ticket and flew to observe the tiny creature The Brother and SIL produced. I can honestly say they've done quite an amazing job!

Here is my self portrait:
We were a little worried as LittleBabyGirl was not putting on weight, however, she seems to have gotten over that and we are all very excited. Here is a stretched out shot of the string bean:As I had never visited our nation's capital, The Brother and I left LittleBabyGirl with her mother and grandmother and did a little bit of drive-by tourism. We observed the Washington Monument through the Mini's moon roof.
I took a picture of the IRS building out of spite.
Finally, we went by the White House. It looks just like it does on The West Wing, only without Toby, Josh, CJ, Leo & Charlie (sad).
The Brother and SIL left me to babysit! Can you believe it?!?! This was after I informed them I would be the Auntie that would teach her all kinds of inappropriate phrases. They had lots of faith in their daughter not to listen and she slept practically the whole time.
Isn't she precious?!??! I'm so smitten.
A post script on the first photo here and on her announcement photo:
The pink flower hat was from "Itty Bitty Hats"- an excellent book that everyone should buy immediately. I've knit practically half the book for LittleBabyGirl already. I had some pink alpaca whose yarn label is long gone (I believe the phrase "catalina" was on their somewhere, it's worsted wt). I made the smallest size.
The purple one above is from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts". I used an Australian yarn called "Heirloom". It's their cotton and I did it on 6s.
With baby hats I pretty much don't check gauge, which is unusual for me. Most of the time I am extremely paranoid trying to get the numbers to come out just so, but with baby hats I simply can't be bothered. For her, I've been making the smallest sizes (which are still far too big) in whatever needle size is recommended and whatever yarn happens to be lying around. Thankfully, so far she hasn't seemed to mind.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I voted this morning, and I have to say it was inspiring. Walking to our polling place (we're lucky enough to live less than a block away), I wondered where the heck all the people were coming from. There were literally people walking toward the polling place from every direction. I've never seen it so crowded.

I knitted in line, and chatted with various neighbors, and they moved us through quite quickly (40 minutes, start to finish).

I'm cautiously optimistic that Obama is going to win, and though all the polls are in my favor, what liberal doesn't worry, after the last two presidential elections?

So anyway, the point of this post is to tell people to vote! This election is important, and regardless of your position, I refuse to listen to complaints if you chose not to vote!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I made the Hat...

... They made the BABY!
Little Baby Girl is HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Future Niece is now HERE Niece!!!!
Little Baby showed up yesterday morning.

Isn't she beautiful and perfect and EVERYTHING!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm thrilled to bits to be an Auntie and want to knit her even more. Thank goodness she was born during a cold season.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bartlett for President?

I got to work Monday, and my students told me that Martin Sheen (aka Jed Bartlett, my favorite president ever), was visiting campus Tuesday.

So I arranged for my lunch break to fall during his visit, and heard an impassioned Mr. Sheen talk though a power outage (which meant no microphones, he just projected). He was funny, smart, and compassionate, and even though it was Martin Sheen, and not Jed Bartlett talking, I couldn't help but think of how much hope and eloquence I found in the West Wing when it was on tv.

Here are the best of my pictures from the event (you can tell which Senate candidate he's campaigning for by the backdrop).

Given the election, I suspect there'll be more political posts from me in the next few weeks, and I think anyone who knows me can guess that I'll be voting for Obama...but I still sometimes wish that someday I'll walk into the voting booth, and see Jed Bartlett's name on my ballot.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm a Bad Blogger

Ugh, apparently this wasn't my best summer/early fall for blogging. Summer busyness combined with an early start to the school year here, the RNC, and Fall travel season have completely killed my will to blog. But today, I want to blog, so we'll go with it!

Since my last post: I turned this:

Into this:

and filled my freezer with fresh pasta sauce.

We went to an excellent concert:

Went frisbee golfing in northern MN:

Played with bumper boats:
We had a great baby shower for Maya:
for whom we made a fun group blanket, and I made the tiniest and most adorable baby booties (if I do say so myself).

I had occasion to drive into downtown Minneapolis before dawn:
I just got back from Texas (ack, Texas!) where I saw a giant statue of Sam Houston on the side of the interstate.

I also explored 2 yarn stores in Houston, one of which I just saw the sign for out of the corner of my eye, the other of which I sought out. Both were great, both contributed to my stash.

And somehow, by the time I got back from Houston, it was Fall in Minnesota.
Nothing like autumnal weather to get the knitting going. I'm working on Christmas presents, a long abandoned scarf, and itching to start something new for mindless knitting.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

September Already?

Hey Flan, Wherever the summer went I do not know. I sort of remember a work induced haze of screaming children and angry parents. Thankfully, all the "little darlings" are back in school and work is back to the regular chaos and insanity and not the extra strength version.

We dodged the bullet on Hurricane Gustav and are now watching for Ike. Who knew that so many people could discuss the potential doom and gloom for so long? My co-workers and customers alike had one topic of discussion and all the focus on what "the storm" could do was very freaky to those of us who had never experienced one. My preparations largely centered on having enough wine in the house. I was told not to buy anything that had to be refrigerated, so I bought red instead of white. Then I decided that might not be enough and bought some gin as well. Our part of the Gulf Coast was fine and in our little section we didn't even lose power. Fingers crossed we are lucky enough again.

We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary by going to the Georgia Aquarium and looking at all the fishes. Apparently, fishes are romantic. Seeing as I am generally terrified by all things aquatic, I felt that inviting The MIL along would be a fine idea. She had a great time and the fishes are rather impressive.
Naturally, I knit on the way up, the way back, and a little whilst we were there. Delightfully, The MIL asked if I would like to go to a yarn store and I got a little trip to Knitch. There was some beautiful yarn that I got to make a little something for my future niece and a lovely time was had.
Sadly, my knitting mojo seems to be sputtering. I picked up stitches along a neckline and, when I had over 100 too many, decided it would be fine. 450 stitches at 1x1 ribbing and an inch and a quarter later it's not fine. That one's on time out.
I got some knitpicks Crayon and made all the bits of a pullover and then lost interest in making up, so that's on time out too.
I'm working on a project for the future niece, but it's worsted wt on size 6s. Very slow going. Bribe myself to work on it.
Started the Cables & Os from "No Sheep for You" for The Mommy's Christmas present. Started a sleeve as a swatch. Found out that the guage I have is 1/2 an inch too small. Time out again.
In sheer desperation, I started the February Lady Sweater for me and had to rip back and start again. So far, looking ok, but now I'm paranoid and overly cautious.
I have had to delegate the laundry basket for all of the items on time out. There were too many when just lying around the house. Today, I am going to try and organize a bit. Hope everything is going well.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


is for Jam. Yes, I'm still behind, but still working on catching up. I grew up making jam with my mother, who made it with her grandmothers. It solves a perennial gift giving dilemma, and provides a delicious taste of summer in the midst of a Minnesota winter.

This is my jam total so far this summer (minus a few already given as gifts). On the table for this picture are 78 jars of jam.

There's raspberry
and Rhubarb (this is more like spread than jam as it was an experiment that didn't quite set).
Still to come? Grape Jelly if the concord grapes survived our weird summer of weather.

Most of my jam lives in closed boxes to keep it out of the light. But I keep a selection in our little corner cabinet to grab quickly for gifts:
Seeing all that jam on the table makes me feel a great sense of accomplishment for the hours spent prepping fruit and cooking jam. Plus I know how much I'll appreciate the fresh fruit taste come winter. Store bought jam just can't compare.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


is for iPod.

Mike and I gave each other iPod Nanos for Christmas last year, and though it may not be the most romantic gift ever, it ranks up there in the most used for both of us. My blue one accompanied me every day during reading season, allowing me to block out noisy coffee shops, office chaos, and concentrate on my files.

It also was key when I was training for the Grand Canyon New Years hike, getting me through quite a few long workouts, both at the gym and while traveling.

This fall, my iPod will travel with me to at least 3 states, making plane rides and airports more bearable, and catching me up on books I've not had time to read.

Which brings me to one of my favorite things about my iPod. Although I'm capable of (and regularly do) knit while reading from either a computer screen or a book, there's something very pleasant about listening to an audio book while knitting away. So I is for iPod, my faithful companion.

PS: See that extra layer of plastic on this thing? Those that know me are aware that a) I am a klutz who drops things and b) that I like to be able to just throw things in my bag and not worry about them. The hard plastic protective case accomodates both of these tendencies.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

H for Hedgehog. When I was a kid, my family took care of the science department hedgehog (creatively named Sonic) for an entire summer. What I remember the most of that is the snuffling noises Sonic would make.

A couple of weeks ago, Jen brought her hedgehog, Mina to Knit Night. She was on her way somewhere else with her, and it was too warm to leave her in the car, so we had a special guest at Knit Night. As you can see, we were all enchanted with her.

Here she is with Carly:
With Maggie:
In close-up:
And finally, with Jen:
(oh, and my memories of the snuffling? Totally accurate.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Playing Catch-up, Again?

My summer blogging laziness apparently took over, since I haven't posted in almost a month. There's been knitting and spinning, but mostly there's been being busy.

So, a few things I missed:

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Graduation to the Hubby!

Mike and I drove all over the Midwest, visiting our friend's babies, seeing my grandparents, and attending an amazing Hindu wedding. We also visited the sights in Chicago, and spent lots of casual time hanging out with people we don't get to see much of these days.

A quick photographic recap of things that have happened since my last post (no pictures of the babies cause I'm not sure how their families would feel about them being posted on the internet):
Visiting the new Grizzly Coast exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo, featuring a water fight between the 3 Grizzlies!

Finding out that Mike has the wingspan of a Bald Eagle:
Seeing Sue the T-Rex at the Field Museum:
Being distorted by the Bean in Millenium Park in Chicago:

Fireworks over Navy Pier (from a boat out on the lake):
And for a wedding that was a multi-day affair, there were a lot of different outfits:

(and I'm actually missing one that I managed to get no pictures of). As has become par for the course this summer, I have lots more pictures, knitting, spinning, and ABCalong to catch up on, etc. I'll get there eventually!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Day at the Beach

Hey Flan,
Friday, in celebration of The Hubby finishing his undergraduate degree (!!) we took a day and went to the beach. I was ensconsed in a UV Protection tent and wearing 50 spf sunscreen along with regular clothes (as opposed to swimming attire) and - of course- still managed to get sunburned. Pasty people really do not belong on a Florida beach in August.
I re-read Matilda, a wonderful book and thought about knitting. Turns out holding the book and knitting needs more talent than I possessed.
We were visited by a friendly heron. At least, The Hubby said it was a heron who was molting- looked like a tall, skinny, brown bird to me, but I don't really know.

Mr. Bird helped The Hubby fish all day (even during the rainstorm that drove me to the car). I knitted on the way over and knitted in the car whilst listening to my audio book. All in all, it was a very nice day.

So... The knitting front.

Anyone else started their Christmas list yet??

So far I have:

3-4 sweaters

3 scarves

1 felted vest

a "few" pairs of mittens- might have lost grip on reality there.

2 baby hats

1 regular hat


2 pairs of socks- yeah, I know I don't knit socks, I have no idea how these got there.

That does not include the blanket and christening veil for future little niece to be, who, inconveniently, is arriving during manic knitting season and not after. Guess it's a little too late to ask them to change the due date. I told The Brother that they could name it after me and if they did I'd knit her twice as many gifties. Somehow he didn't seem very swayed by the offer...