Friday, December 31, 2010

Winter arrived...

But this is as bad as it gets!
Feeding the hungry birds

Grandma next door

Snow covered luminarias

The finishing touches

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Projects finished!

Given as gifts, now exposed in full:

Fingerless mitts are so simple and for those who don't knit, they are sooo cool!
And we have snow here in New Mexico!

Fingerless Mitts pattern by Ann Budd, published in Weekend Knitting;  Yarn:  Encore Colorspun Worsted by Plymouth Yarn Worsted / 10 ply, 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool

And the finale of the slippers.  (Can I gear up for one more pair for me?)

Felted Slippers by Midnattsol from Midnattsol's Blog;  Yarn: Classic Wool Merino by Patons Worsted / 10 ply, 100% Wool, Merino  (Discontinued: Replaced by Patons Classic Wool. Some colors still in stock in some stores are made partly from Merino fleece and do display the “MERINO” designation. No new yarn is being made with the Merino designation however.)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Tis the time of year to reminisce about the year gone by and the traditions we have kept in the past few days.
The short story:
As a church musician, my celebrations are intertwined with everyone else's desires for a meaningful Christmas Eve.  Every year is different.

The long story:
My daughter remembers each Christmas celebration because they are unique!  We've celebrated with real trees, artificial trees (large and small), poinsettias, and hand crafted replicas.  The most memorable was a craft paper tree (green,"lifted" from the supply room at school) taped to the wall.  Ornaments cut and pasted on it, and made very "life-like" with markers (HO HO HO).
We've celebrated on Christmas Eve (late) and Christmas Day (late, usually), and at everyone else's house, and in a hotel.  We've had guests from 2,000 miles away and from 6,000 miles away. We've had just the two of us (like this year). We tried Skyping but not with success.
This year I chose to vacation up to the end of October, and paid dearly for it during November and December.  When I walked in the door at 9:45 PM on December 24th the sweetest gift was my husband decking the table with Cornish Hen (full meal) and flowers.  He also placed and lit 7 luminarias (paper bags) in the driveway.  He's SUCH a keeper!!  Today (3+ days later) I'm starting to feel human again.  Planning for the future and all that!!
Ahhh.  Back to knitting...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Short Norwegian Days

A view from an island on the west coast of Norway, taken yesterday.
FYI: Just south of 60º N Latitude.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Don't you feel sorry for kids?  What they have to endure for a little traditional fun for parents:  Heeeeere's SANTA
This is even more evident when I saw my granddaughter's reaction to the Julenissen appearing in the living room!  Where did he come from?  He normally lives in the barn, of course.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

At last!

Wishing everyone, everywhere, a Peaceful Day!

Are any alike?  I don't think so...  What fun, and next year I'll use them!
OK.  I cheated... I have two more to complete the set. 362 days to finish!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Counting up!

And some music to accompany it!
Here's a great explanation of Christmas Carols. I learn so much from NPR:
Carols Meet Christmas.   Let's all sing now:  "The Fruit Cake That Ate New Jersey, never shows no mercy!"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Counting up!

Before felting

Happy Holidays

Click to play this Smilebox greeting
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
This ecard personalized with Smilebox

Some scenes from the past year:
"Our family in Dubai" :  C, H and J briefly visited Dubai just before Christmas and their return to Norway.
"Christmas Stamps" :  Made to order for C's card mailing from a photo from Christmas 2009 when Juju was 6 months old.
"Julia, the Cacher":  Caching all over, this time in Yellowstone Park
"Mick, the Grandpa":  Summer in our backyard.
"The J's":  Juju and Grandma in Sydney. (sigh)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Counting up!

Another twtkntw

From Knit One, Drink Two Too:
Hmmm.  Is this the same photo from 2 weeks ago, B?  No, it's fresh off the press, of frogged project. Decision: Last one was too wide... what a brave knitter!
Another repeat?  S is SOOO near the finish line.  She's actually starting the bind off of her eleventy-thousand 600+ stitches!  She made a good start of it while listening to blather of the others.  Focus!  (Gorgeous colorway!)

D was in trouble right off the bat!  Her "Wild Woman" pin grabbed her knitting and with much name calling and attempted smiles for the camera, she was free at last!  "Wild Woman" RIP.

The Surprise Finish!
L showed off her project of the year!  Congratulations.... It's a real PRIZE!  Look at those colors!! Yummy, in time for a road trip, with no discussion of tree watering etiquette... (inside story).
J makes some minor adjustments, but I think it's all in the pretense of feeling up the yarn!
Why, oh why didn't I take a picture of the pretzel/Rollo/pecan creations?  Well, we're keeping THAT a secret, too!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Counting up!

Interesting news from the C, H, and J front.  They've found Christmas in the most unlikely place!
Here's a report from NPR.
Two Emirate men look to a Christmas tree which has been decked out with 11 million U.S. dollars (14.3 million euro) worth of gold, at the Emirates Palace hotel, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Thursday Dec. 16, 2010.
Here's news from Dubai via Juju:

 Today we wanted to visit the tallest sky scraper in the world, the 828 meter tall Burj Khalifa. Alas, we were not alone in having such desires, so when we arrived at the ticket office we were told the waiting time was 7 hours.
C says there are 3 enormous Christmas trees in the lobby of their hotel! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Counting up!

More slippers in the making.  Who thought up this pattern?  I sew one little seam, and then I spend 10 minutes examining what I did wrong, cuz... It can't be right!  Then I check, re-check and decide it's OK.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Counting up!


Lest you think I'm spending hours and hours on these Advent Socks, keep in mind that I cast on 24 stitches at the cuff, and they are no more than 6 inches/15 cm long.

And a little laugh!
Annoying Songs at Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Counting up!

In's and Out's of Music

My Ebonies and Ivories have a problem.  And it's not ALL me... something isn't working correctly which doesn't matter when it comes to playing, just the sound.  

Organ playing can be beautiful and brutal.  It's a wonderful instrument with vast changes of sounds and power--real power. (I'm talking shake the rafters power.!)  The problem with the instrument I'm playing right now is that every sound has to be set manually.  So?  What does that mean besides reaching up and flicking a switch?  First off, there are LOTS of switches.  Second, hitting the correct switch(es) in the split second that you need it, say, between eighth notes, and using those same fingers to keep playing is pretty tricky.  Third, I'm entirely spoiled.  Up until last summer, I was used to using my feet to make major changes in registration (that's the word we use for turning on a whole lot of pipes and making a particular sound).  Then, that ability was suddenly taken away by some force of "age of the instrument" and I'm left relying on my fingers.  It's scary.  I often find I can't be as creative, and more often, I don't get the sound I want.
Thanks for listening!  As if my hardships are hardly hardships... just a little frustrating.  Anyone knowing anyone with the ability to fix such things, leave a comment!  I'll get back to you!
Meanwhile, here's the lovely instrument, and some of it's inner workings. (I took these to send to people who might be able to help.)
The culprit

The rest of the Beast Instrument

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Counting up!

I thought:  This will be easy!  Only 7 socks to knit, and numbers for many more... but it's a busy time.  I'm scrambling to stay ahead of the days!  Thanks for being part of my project to get this done this year!!! (Originally, I hadn't planned to get these out of hiding.  :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Counting up!

The Old 
The old...(frogged)
The new... changed colors!
The story:  Started more than a year ago, I love the looks of this pattern, and even though it wasn't small enough for my little one, I HAD to get my needles into it.  Even though it's in nasty Danish, and very confusing, I knitted up the border in the first picture.   

I finished it enough to know that it's still too big, but... what a swatch!  
I did the math to calculate an appropriate size for the near future. Then, due to the frustration of the Danish instructions, a friend encouraged me to write it out in a form that wouldn't be so prone to exclamations and language  that I wouldn't want to associate with my little one.
And it worked!  And this is what I have now.  AND I'm happy to say it went quickly with clear instructions, and fewer stitches!  Happy DAY!!  Next I have 12+ inches of blue...
Another (happy) day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Counting up!

Maybe next time...

The first time, it's too big.  Looks like it may fit a 4 year old.  And I'm knitting with the recommended yarn, and getting gauge!  However, the dimensions on this Danish pattern are too big for a 1-1/2 year old.  At least MY 1-1/2 year old.
Here's the fun part:  
 Truly, it's really interesting to knit.  What isn't so much fun is trying to make out what the pattern is calling for.  And in paragraph form, it was VERY interesting.
I determined that I wasn't doing myself any favors if I struggled along a second time, so this time I took the time to write out the pattern, as I interpreted it, in English.  Any Danes out there, have a look and see what you think it should be.
Meanwhile, I couldn't wait to get started again.  Besides switching the bright red and the maroon colors, I'm sure I'm adhering more to the pattern.  See below (my remake) to compare to the first model.
Here's a sample of the Danish: (The pattern does the back and front separately.)
Strik 1 p(2 r sm, slå om p)med gul, 1 p vr and 1 p perle med lime (perle=skiftevis 1 r, 1 vr p hen), 1 p ret med pink, 1 p vr med rød, 1 p (2 vr med orange, 2 r med gul), ....
Here's my interpretation: (Re-written for circular needles so I could do the front and back at the same time.)

Row 1:  Knit 1 row (k2tog, yo) with yellow, Row 2:   knit with lime, Row 3:  pearl stitch (k1, p1) with lime. Row 4:  Purl with pink  Row 5:   Purl with red  Row 6:  k2 with orange & p2 with yellow
And I have substituted blue for the yellow.  The yellow hasn't been available for the past 2 years!  Seriously!  The orange isn't available either, but that didn't bother me.  I prefer the maroon.

Nice yarn.  The first sweater I made from this same booklet, for my newborn granddaughter. She cried she was so happy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Counting up!

What's more fun than knitting?  Ask my kitty!
Relax?  What's next?

Watch that needle!!




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