Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Would Like to Preface This Post With...

My child was neither drunk nor had she eaten any candy this evening when these pictures were taken...

Tinkerbell costume courtesy of Grandma H. This kid made out like a bandit, let me tell you... our neighbourhood doesn't have many small children and most people were either giving out full-sized chocolate bars or 5-6 smaller ones.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Little Miss Copycat, or... 48 Questions

Now before someone gets picky about the timeliness of my answers, I wrote this up late last week and have just today remembered to post it here..

1. FIRST NAME? Josephine
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Jo March in "Little Women"
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Watching the film at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia on what people had to go through during the Civil War.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes - I have very neat handwriting.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I'd like to think so. I'm nice, outgoing, and generous.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I used to keep one, but then blogging took over. I have some pretty embarrassing journals spanning from ninth grade through university. I was *such* the drama queen.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Never in a million years - you have to write your weight on your hand!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Fiber One Honey Clusters (and I add dried cranberries to it)
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Most of my shoes do not have laces.
14. SHOE SIZE? 6.5 - 7 wide
15. RED OR PINK? Red. The darker the better.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My parents.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Beige pants, white button-down shirt, brown vest, and brown shoes.
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Cherry Vanilla Yogurt
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Carrie whispering to Raul.
23. FAVORITE SMELL? Roast beef cooking. I'm such a carnivore.
25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? If they can make me laugh or not. If they can't make me laugh, there isnothing there no matter how physically attractive they are.
27. FAVORITE DRINK? Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte
28. FAVORITE SPORT? To watch? Baseball - but only in person. To do? Swimming
29. EYE COLOR? Golden brown
30. HAT SIZE? I don't know. I don't have a big head, but do have lots of hair.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope. Nor glasses.
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Lots of things - although I have been on a curry kick lately.
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter. I hate hot weather.
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Rhubarb Crisp with vanilla ice cream on top.
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Nora Roberts' "Dance of the Gods"
41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don't have a mouse pad - my mouse is on a tray off my keyboard.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Willow giggling.
44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles. Mick Jagger weirds me out.
46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Putting baby doll clothes on the dolls.
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? British Columbia
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I picked it off of someone's website and have seen it many places since.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blogstalking: Hallowe'en Costume (and finished objects!)

This week's Blogstalking task was to show a picture of yourself in Hallowe'en (yes, I spelled that correctly) costume, be it the current costume or one in the past. It has been a few years since I wore a costume (I think the last was 2 years ago when I went as barefoot and pregnant - wearing my wedding dress with a beach ball stuffed underneath. I went around asking my male co-workers if they would do the right thing by me...) and this was the only picture I could find of me in costume:

This was nearly 10 years ago, when I was teaching English in Japan. My boss was American and she liked to have Hallowe'en parties for all the kids and the kids loved getting dressed up as well. Hallowe'en doesn't really have a firm presence in Japan, but I think the idea of the kids dressing up, even if it just for a party, is catching on. There was even a Hallowe'en parade in Tokyo the last year we were there. As you can see, I was dressed up as a black cat. See the shiny areas on my chest? I had no clue (and no one deigned to tell me) that my pink satin bra was perfectly visible through the black polyester costume... Happy Hallowe'en!

And now for the finished objects! This hat is for the Dulaan package and it's just a basic in-the-round hat made out of Lion Brand Jiffy I had left over from the next finished object. This was an extremely quick knit and I had about 80% of it finished on our trip to the beach last weekend.

And this is the afghan that up until 3 weeks ago had sat unfinished on my sofa for over 2 years... It is a broad mix of acrylic and acrylic-wool blends crocheted in a basket stitch in a red-blue-red-green pattern. It's nice, heavy, warm, and just big enough to lay over you while you lounge on the sofa. As you can see, I got my one-nice-picture allotment out of the child with the last picture...

There will be a few other finished objects in the next couple weeks - a Dulaan sweater, another Dulaan hat, and a sweater I cast on for Willow in a super-chunky yarn.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Blogstalking: Bathroom Cabinet... and Yarn-Related Beach Purchases!

Now, I have to say that I thought this was a really odd Blogstalking theme - in a million years I would never have thought I needed to take a picture of my bathroom cabinet... but here you go:

Be honest - how many of you cleaned up your cabinet before you took the picture? I did. I also turned the packages around so you could actually see what is in there. Nothing terribly spectacular or scandalous, I'm afraid (that's all in the en suite bathroom cabinet!), but you will notice that there isn't much on the top shelf... and that is because I am only just about 5 feet tall on a good day with thick socks and can't reach the bloody top shelf! The two prescription bottles there? Both mine - one from the multiple conjunctivitis bouts I've had due to Willow's daycare and the second from the time I threw out my back.

And now for the fun stuff... It seems that every time we go to the beach it is Sunday, and that means the lone knitting store in Rehoboth Beach - Knitty Gritty - is closed. But we went down on Sunday this time (yeah, I had a hand in that!). It was interesting - I wouldn't say they have the selection of the other two LYS around here (Garden of Yarn and Stitches With Style), but they did have some yarns that I have never seen before, like this stuff called 'Autumna':

Don't they look just like the little pumpkin?!?!! They are 100% merino and are sooooooooooo soft. There is just shy of 200 yards altogether and I'm trying to think what I want out of them.

My second purchase is for Willow:

See the striped hat in the lower right corner? About the only one you can make out because of my wonky flash? I'm going to make that balakava hat for Willow (non-striped because I don't do that if I can help it!) in this Encore DK - and the colour is much more aqua in real life - not so much ordinary blue.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Under the Boardwalk...

There really isn't anything. Andrew looked. Perhaps the iconic boardwalk in the song is somewhere else, but it certainly wasn't based at the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk! We just got back from spending the weekend at the beach. I'm conflicted about beaches - I mean, I love the ocean, walking on the beach, boardwalk foods/activities... but I hate crowds and hot weather. How do we fix that? By coming to the beach in off season. The temps were in the mid-60s so it was quite pleasant - we had been wearing fleece sweatshirts and found them to be too hot after walking around.

Here is Willow starting out with her sandcastle:

And the finished structure (which, promptly after this photo was taken, she destroyed like Godzilla in Tokyo):

Me and the erstwhile architect:

This was the sunrise this morning:

I mentioned to Andrew and Willow that scenes like this remind me of something in a children's book - I think it may be Pippi Longstocking - where they say that sunbeams coming down like this are angels looking down from heaven. When we get home I put our holiday pictures on a slideshow to show Andrew and Willow, and when this one came up, Willow said, "Look Mom - it is the angels looking down from heaven!"

I'm glad the thought stuck :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Day in the Big City

Okay... three guesses where I was today (and the first two don't count!):

Now, I'm willing to forgive my Canadian and International readers for perhaps not recognizing this quote - but you Americans should really know this one ;)

Today my father-in-law and I went into Philadelphia to go to the Constitution Center, Independence Hall (which is directly behind the bell), and the Liberty Bell exhibit. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time - but really not something I would take Willow to yet. It was a beautiful day, too - we couldn't have hoped for anything nicer. A few facts about the bell - it weighs 2080 pounds, was created in England, but cracked the very first time it was rung (and was melted down and re-cast by Americans), and didn't get the title "Liberty Bell" until the abolitionists in the 19th century adopted it as their emblem (due to the quote above).

Here is a picture from across the street from Independence Hall - which, incidentally, is only a nickname. Its real name is the Pennsylvania State House and the whole kit and caboodle is run by the National Park Service.

I wish I had taken a picture of this face more in profile - he is in Independence Hall and has such a smirky look on his face:

And I do have some knitting content for the day (although not a photo because cameras aren't allowed in the Constitution Center). I chatted up a female re-enactor (does that make her a re-enactress?) who was spinning. I asked her if she knew how much spinning wheels cost in Colonial times as I had researched their current prices and were surprised they could go $800 or more. She said she didn't know - that the only historical reference she was able to find was it would cost about one months' salary... but that is such a variable reference. She pulled a drop spindle out of her basket and recommended I try this first - that mastering the drop spindle (which is inexpensive and less space-consuming) makes for better skills on a spinning wheel. I said, "I will have to see if I can find one at Stitches East when I'm there in two weeks," at which point she dropped out of character and excitedly said, "I'll be there, too - I can't wait!"

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Glorious Colours of Autumn

I love this time of year, don't you?

This is what I saw this afternoon when I was on my way to my knitting group. We haven't hit our full fall foliage swing here in Delaware - but it is on its way.

And here is a macro (not a great one, I admit...) of Christmas present # 3:

The yarn is Malabrigo - and if I see this same colourway at Stitches East, I am scooping up enough of it to make at least a vest. I love how all the blues and greens move together.

While I am at it, here is a macro shot of recently completed Christmas present #4:

See some similarities...? Yes, there is method to my madness ;)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Christmas Present #3 Finished!

I'm a bit too tired to take a macro picture of said finished object, so I will do that tomorrow when I am more with it.

A few days ago I received a thank you letter from the Dulaan people thanking me for the six objects (4 hats, 1 sweater, 1 scarf) I mailed to them earlier this year - and it made me feel so good for having done that. After these Christmas presents are finished I'm planning to start working on some more Dulaan projects... and in fact, I plan to enroll (yeah, fancy term from a work seminar on convincing people to do what you want) some of my family members at Christmas and have them help me with this. Ladies, I haven't mentioned this to any of you yet... so now consider yourself warned. I will provide the yarn and the ideas - I need your hands and time.

Monday, October 09, 2006

My New Stylist

I apologize for my absence - I was laid low was something last week. It was ironic - I had my normal check up at my internist on Wednesday and he mentioned they had received their shipment of flu shots that morning and would I like one? I declined as we get flu shots free at work. And wouldn't you know it, the very next day I start feeling like utter crap. Temperature flucuations - fever - shivers - sinus headache - sudden exhaustion - I was a wreck. Someone did try and cheer me up, however - Willow decided she would make me feel better by making me look pretty:

What would I do without her?

Yes - I am crocheting in this picture. No - I am not trading sides. I learned how to crochet long before I took up knitting but I much prefer knitting. I have this striped afghan on my sofa that has been sitting untouched since we moved into this apartment and until a few days ago it was only Willow-sized. I needed a break from my Christmas projects, so I added about 8 inches to the striped afghan. Come to think of it, the afghan is my oldest UFO, not the lacework from the last post!

And lest I forget, here is a pic of my last Project Colorswap package, from Juli :

Inside were 3 skeins of Lion Brand Jiffy in a pinky-creamsicle colour, 2 skeins of kitchen cotton, a package of Mary Engelbreit stationery, strawberry lifesaver candies, and the latest issue of "Knit Simple." Thanks, Juli - I have a subscription to this magazine, but I will pass on this copy to my Mom!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Blogstalking: Oldest UFO

For those of you tuning in who are not knitters, in knit-speak a UFO is not an unidentified flying object, but rather an unfinished object. Yeah, I know the acronym is not exact, but deal with it. This week's blogstalking project is to post a picture of your oldest or longest-standing UFO, so here is mine:

I'm not entirely sure how old it is - to give you an idea, this laceweight wool from Knitpicks was purchased when Knitpicks first started selling their own yarn. Two years ago? I decided to try my hand at lace and soon found that I really don't have the patience for it. My dream yarn has to be an aran weight or worsted weight - because as pretty as laceweight wool is, the projects are way to fussy for me. I may change my mind later, but seeing as I have pulled this one of the project shelf and I haven't touched it in probably two years and it is only about three inches long I think it will be frogged toute de suite.

That being said, I *love* these needles. They are needles intended for children and are only 6" long. They are perfect for doing gauge projects because they just fit in your hands.