Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why I'm Knitting My Way Home

While I was born in Minnesota, I moved to Texas in the mid 1980s. Didn't know a soul there. I taught school in an inner city school for a year, now that would fill up a few days worth of blog posts. Then I changed careers and started working in the legal world as a paralegal. I lived in Texas for 13 years. During this time, I made great friends, learned a lot about myself. Found I could do a lot of things I never thought were possible. I adopted my oldest daughter from China. Worked full time as a single mom. Loved my life.

After getting Anna I decided I wanted her to know her Grandma and Grandpa more than what we would get living so far away. So I found a new job in Minneapolis and moved us back home. It was a hard transition. Missed my Texas friends a lot. Got reacquainted with WINTER. A Minnesota winter, not a Texas winter. Eventually settled in. Made more friends. Watched Anna revel in the love showered on her by her grandma and grandpa. Two years later, my dad had the first of a series of strokes which eventually resulted in his death after 2 long years of declining health. Watched my mom struggle to make a new life without the man who loved her. I adopted my second daughter. My life was full and rich. I had my two girls. I had a good job. A year later my mom and I each sold our homes and moved in together into a new home. Three years later here we are. Through the bumps of life I've reviewed my choices. I will never regret moving back to Minnesota, I was able to be here for the last 2 years my dad was healthy and watched him love and play with my daughter. I was here for the last two years of my dad's life as he struggled and disappeared due to the strokes. I supported my mom through losing her husband and friend. Together we joined forces and have done well. She has had her own health issues the last few years but we are ok.

Someday I will find my way back home to Texas. I miss Texas. Texas was where I learned who I really was and found strength I did not know I had. I learned all things are possible. Even things I thought were impossible. While I can not move back to Texas right now, Mom is and always will be a Minnesotan. I will go back home. Often while knitting, I'm dreaming of Texas. To the day where I can go back and be in my adopted home. I too will always be a Minnesotan but I'm a Texan by adoption. And that will hold me for now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spring Flowers

While the picture is not the best, the flowers are WONDERFUL. I got them "just because" from a friend. smile....they are so nice. I love tulips and these smell like spring yet fit in as a winter gift due to the white color.

For some reason I'm trapped in never never land on my second Tonks sock. I have been on the heel flap for over a week. How is that possible? I haven't been monogamous, I've also been working on my malabrigo afghan, but MAN! I'm turning the heel now, so hopefully tonight I can get through the gussets.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

cross one off the list

These are the mittens I made for a Christmas gift. I'm very happy with them. They are only my second stranded work so I'm pleased with the end result.
I also finished the second brown sock on my previous post. So the first pair of socks for 2009 are finished and off the needles and on my feet.
There are festivities at our house this weekend, my mom's birthday is next week so we are having a brunch for her on Sat. My sister, BIL, and my nephew Kyle and his Anna will come so we can properly pamper and love mom. It will be a good morning....

Monday, January 19, 2009

A tease.....or placeholder

I have a basket next to my bed which holds most of my works in progress. And some patterns. And some notebooks. And some needles. And some yarn. Get the idea? It is a hodgepodge of things. I sorted through it on Saturday night, and here is the list of what I found.

1. A second sock, nearly to the toe decreases - estimated time to completion? 3 hours These are truly vanilla socks, basic yarn, simple stockinette. Happily the crazy pooling that started in the first sock disappeared into a more pleasing mottled effect.

2. A second glove, actually a glitten. The first glove and flap are finished. The second glove is to the finger sections. Which is why it is stalled, I find the fingers of gloves so putzy and fiddly. Another reason to love mittens!

3. A lap blanket, half done, unknown completion date, malabrigo yarn, different blocks and colors in yummy fall colors...

4. A second sock to the heel flap - Tonks sock. I like the yarn much better knitted up than what it looked like in the skein. How long before I can tell what something is going to look like knitted up? That is something I still struggle with, I look at yarn or even roving and am mostly clueless how it is going to look knitted or spun up. Hopefully I will get better at visualizing this.

5. Two lacy scarves - one about 2/3 done, one about 1/3 done. The one on the left of the picture is 2/3 done. Can't wait to see how it looks once it is blocked out. The colors remind me of spring flowers. And in the cold of January, something I'm looking forward to. The second scarf reminds me of summer up north in the woods and lakes of Minnesota. Deep greens and lavender with shots of bright blue skies.

6. A lap blanket, about half done - no picture, buried in the closet....

7. Second sock that probably no longer fits Anna since I've mucked around so long with them.

Do you see a trend? Clearly second socks slow me down. Or rather, more broadly, second HALVES slow me down?

Tonight I will take pictures of all of the above items, post them and then make a mad dash and start crossing these things off the list.

I want to do 12 pairs of socks this year, well I have three single socks so far and I'm not going to count that!

And on the weather front, I'm happy to report, we are out of the below temps. We spent 85 hours straight never getting above zero. That is hard even for this native Minnesotan. But it is above zero and even though we are getting more snow off and on the next couple days, I will take it.

My goal for the first 3 months of this year re knitting? To work at finishing projects before I leap off and start new ones. We will see how long that

Thursday, January 15, 2009

-23, come get me

Because clearly I have lost my mind. Why else would I stay in a place where the air temp is -23. where the windchill temp is -44. And they expect you to leave your house. Not only do they expect you to leave your house, they expect you to come to work. While they “work from home”

Come get me. but you won’t. Because you are smart. You live in a world with a sun that is out and bright, and has heat. Not the fake sun that is “shining” outside right now. That is an illusion. There is no heat. It teases you. then it freezes you. Come get me.

I would come to you, really I would. But I can’t go outside again. My nose will slam shut. Tears in my eyes become crystals. My jacket stiffens and crackles as I walk, I pray it will not break and fall off of me in pieces. Because if it does, I will become immobile in a matter of seconds.

So when I leave tonight, I will shuffle out to my van. Sit on the ice block of a seat. Turn the key and pray the engine starts. Then I will drive over bumpy ice packed roads until I pull into the garage. Come get me. I will pay you. Kidnap me. I will pay you ransom. Oh wait. I have no money. Please come get me. I have yarn.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crazy Minnesota

I do not know why the pioneers decided to stop their trek across the country and choose to live here. I'm sure they did not get here in the winter and say, yup, this is the best place to live that I have seen in my long arduous journey. I'm going to pick that spot over there between the snowbank and the iced up lake to build my dream home. I'm just not seeing it.

Today's high is going to be 0. ZERO. That is not a number I equate with a high temperature. We got several inches of snow yesterday, my normal commute of 25 minutes from work to home, took a plodding 1 and 1/2 hours. But it wasn't scary driving, it was the slow, methodical creep home. Everyone was behaving themselves, no cutting in and out of lanes, just careful driving so everyone could make it safely home. This morning? ahh that was something totally different. Today it was -20 waiting for the school bus that never came, so I ended up driving my frozen Popsicle girl to school. Then I spent the next hour driving into work. And passing car after car in the ditch. The roads were completely ice covered and with the temps that low, the chemicals put on the roads by the transportation department does not melt. (instead they put sand and granite chips down....granite chips? who knew) And apparently all the careful drivers from last night were not driving anymore, instead it was cars cutting in and out of lanes, going way too fast which resulted in all the cars in the ditches and medians. A very stressful drive in. The one bright spot was it is sunny and due to the cold, there were glorious sun dogs out. Little rainbows next to the brilliant sun is always pretty...not warm, just pretty...

But I'm here, trying to focus on work. Instead I'm wishing I could just curl up in bed and work on the second Tonks sock or the lacy scarf but no, that would mean I'd have to go back out to the frozen car and skate my way home. Can't do it. At least not yet. Who knew I'd choose work over knitting just so I wouldn't have to drive on frozen paths called freeways....see I told you it is not normal to live here. Now I'm really worried. I'm picking work over knitting. Call someome fast please...I truly need help.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lumpy Lace

I picked up this UFO again. I think I started it last fall, then I got swept into my craft fair frenzy and part of my delusion was I could finish this scarf, 4 hats, 2 socks, and 2 pairs of mittens in 2 weeks. Ummm ya, not so much. So the scarf has been waiting for me. Doesn't look like much at the moment, funny how lace does that. But I love the colors, it has greens, lavenders, yellow greens and then shots of sky blue, I'm calling it my Woodlands Scarf. I don't have the yarn info, I'm terrible about losing it once I wind up the yarn. But it is a really nice light and soft sock yarn.
I'm also continuing working on the Tonks socks. First pair is charging down to the toe decreases, so hopefully by Sunday sock number one will be done.
I agreed to teach my good friend how to knit socks. She is champing at the bit, waiting for her selected Knit Picks yarn to arrive, and they watch another sock convert will join the group. I really hope she enjoys making socks as much as I do. And we will see how well I can teach someone else how to do it. I sure don't want my teaching efforts to turn someone off of knitting something new and wonderful!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Filling up space

Copy, paste, and bold what you have done!
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Gone rollerskating
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (and have since forgotten much of it)
37. Acted in a play or performed on stage
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Won money
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Had to put someone you love in Hospice Care
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Friday, January 2, 2009

A new year

I'm not one for making resolutions, but I'm looking forward to this new year. It seems every year has endless possibilities and I'm the only thing that stands between myself and new opportunities. I can dream about my knitting life, learning new things, hoping to get a spinning wheel and thus creating even more beautiful yet useful items. In my personal life, there are exciting family adventures coming up, not one but two weddings and Emily will be a flower girl in both of them and Anna will be a junior bridesmaid in the July wedding in Florida. So much joy will be enjoyed by my family.

My work schedule has been delightfully wonky this week. Worked Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday and Thursday, and at work again Friday. Although today will be an "easy" day. Very few people are here, none of the people I support are here. So I'm free to work on my outstanding projects and cleaning up my desk. Works for me.

So tonight I will continue working on my Harry Potter sock, the first of 2009. Maybe that will be my goal for the year, to complete 12 pairs of socks. One pair a month. So there, it is in print and I said it. Check back with me in December, and we will see how I did. I am enjoying the Tonks yarn, love the colors and how they are rolling off my fingers. Just a nice soothing change of pace for myself.