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Showing posts from 2007

"It's Not Easy Being Green!"

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We're celebrating New Year's a little early this year. Mr. T., Missy M, and I had a wonderful time last night at The Fabulous Fox Theatre in STL, enjoying the musical Wicked. Have you been to see it yet? You should grab your broom and go! Here's what one reviewer said:
“A surefire hit! This sensational prequel to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is the kind of grand musical Broadway has been missing for years. A terrific evening!” --Jeffrey Lyons, WNBC-TV

The cast of characters/actors were superb, and the music was fantastic...even though the accoustics in the STL Fox are...well, let's be kind and just say "somewhat less than ideal." The weather outside was frightful...oh, wait...that's another song, isn't it? Anyway, we braved the cold, the rain, and the fog...and the road closures in and around STL (something quite awful...nearly every major highway or by-way is either closed or closing or so torn up due to construction that the City appears to have been bombed re…

Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas FO's!!!

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I finished! And, before the Fat Man came down the chimney, too!! The photo to the right shows the Christmas Finished Objects (FO's) that were wrapped up and under the tree on 12/25/07:
In the back, draped over the chair, is Nana's Prayer Shawl, using Lion Brand's Homespun in Barrington, knitted with a strand of worsted weight, plum-colored yarn to give it weight. I used the pattern in Debbie Macomber's latest book, Back on Blossom Street, for the Triangular Prayer Shawl...and added fringe on three sides, to serve as woven prayer beads.On the left is M's Felted Mobeius Bowl with added I-cord accent, knitted in Cascade's 220 Quatro, Number 9434. I used the pattern for the largest bowl in Cat Bordhi's book, A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting. I got both the book and the yarn in Lawrenceville, GA at The Yarn Garden.Continuing on around the photo, lower right, are the socks I knitted for M. using the Duet Sock Yarncalled Middy from A Swell Yarn Shop(online). …

Oh, What a Christmas!

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We are so blessed...and so thankful for all our blessings! Not only did Santa load up both Christmas trees (!) with goodies, we also had the pleasure of welcoming our former neighbors to help us in celebrating the Holidays. After all, the Season is all about remembering the birth of the Christ Child by sharing love and joy with family and friends...and we certainly did just that!




Their five-year-old, shown in the photo to the right, in the Santa's Elf Hat (AKA the Elvis Hat...needed in order to be an official deliverer of Christmas presents) is like our pretend grandchild...he even calls Nana "Nana." I can't tell you how very much we have missed them since they moved to IL a couple of years ago...and how precious the time we do get to spend with them is.

What a fun time we had on Christmas Eve Eve! For our dinner, I tried out my version of Rachael Ray's Orange Balsamic Chicken (she used Cornish Game Hens; I used chicken breasts and legs, which I browned in the EVOO…

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

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We got home on Sunday night from the weekend in Louisville and look what we found! Snow!! Officially, they say that Lambert (the airport in STL) got 7 1/4 inches...the most snow since 2000, which means this is the most since we have been here. It looked so beautiful, especially with the Christmas decorations (see the photo of the front of our house, right)! Of course, it's a pain to shovel and sweep walkways...which is the first thing Mr. T had to do on the deck in order for the dogs to go into the backyard. They hate to have that cold wet stuff on their bellies...and other parts. Of course, they had been at the Bed 'n Biscuit, so they were ready to run around the backyard to see what had happened since they had been away from home!

On Monday morning, we stuck this ruler (left) into the snow piled on top of the patio table, just to see what it would say...and, after a couple of days of minor melting, we still had nearly 6 inches to measure.

Speaking of the weekend in Louisville…

Christmas FO's:Shhh! Don't Tell Anyone...

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Sneak a peek at some of my Christmas FO's: 2 Pairs of Sox for 2 Sisters-in-law and an Irish Hiking Hat for Brother T, finished at 1:00 this morning! Woo-hoo!!

I used Kentucky Blue 4-ply Regia Superwash Sock Wool for L, my KY sister-in-law, knitted in a K2, P2 rib, with a long cuff to fold down. Of course, they could also be called Memphis Tiger Blue, couldn't they?

I used a lovely Forrest Green Regia Sock yarn for J, my TN sister-in-law. Not a school color, but just a color that I thought she might like to wear with jeans, etc. Then, to make it personal, I used a pattern in the One Skein Wondersbook that had been submitted from the Haus of Yarn in Nashville (where J lives)...it's a subtle Slipped Rib pattern that doesn't show up well in the photo (right), but is pretty in person...and easy to memorize. I liked the pattern so much that I used it for...oh, I can't tell about that just yet.

And, as modeled by Ted E. Bear, I used a Pine Green Paton's Pure Wool to knit…

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

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I absolutely love this time of the year! As you can probably tell from the photo (left), we collect Nutcrackers for display...our collection numbers 45 at the moment...and putting them out & about is one of the first things we do when we start decorating for Christmas. You can see only a few of them in this photo, as they not only cover the mantle...they have spilled over onto the entertainment center...and onto the sofa table in front of the bay window.

You may not notice it, but take a good look at the lower right portion of the photo (you may have to click on it to enlarge it)...see the white figure? It's difficult to make out, but that's a ceramic of the Holy Family, made by Thomas' Mom more than a decade ago. Mrs. Adsit passed on in January 2002, but we keep her memory alive when we display this, along with the ceramic nativity set she made for us (which is also displayed on the coffee table, but not visible in this photo).

The right-most stocking hanging on the ma…

We Say Thanks

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What a wonderful week we've had! M was home for the Holiday week, and we tried to make the most of her presence. We may be mother-daughter but we have fun together like best friends! For our girls' night out, we headed to a class at Whole Foods and wound up at our favorite "bonding" place...Macaroni Grill. We cooked Thanksgiving Dinner for three days, and then enjoyed it in less than an hour on Thursday. And, then, for our After Turkey Day treat, we dragged Mr. T. to see the new Disney movie "Enchanted," and afterwards tried out one of our newest restaurants, The Japanese Bistro (where they cook your dinner on the grill in front of you). It was certainly a sad moment on Sunday when we had to bid M and Charley Dog goodbye. As Mr. T. said, "it sure didn't seem like a week, did it?" No, it did not.

Of course, our Holiday was made even more special by the fact that Mom is on the road to recovery following her recent illness. She's still not 10…

Never Give Up Hope

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When we enlarged our deck three years ago, we included two lattice pergolas...on opposite sides, to give a little definition and interest. The larger of the two has a swing and gives us shade from the hot summer afternoon sun. Last year, I planted Moon Flowers (a cousin of Morning Glory) there...and the vines and fragrant white flowers soon covered the entire pergola.

On the smaller of the two...dubbed the Mini-Me, we planted Queen Elizabeth climbing roses, one bush on either side. At least, that's what the package said they were. One of the bushes has been a wonderful climber and bloomer, producing worlds of the largest, prettiest, longest-lasting pale pink roses you could ever imagine. The other bush, however, has been a different story. Oh, don't get me wrong...it has been a prolific climber, sending thorny branches all over the lattice. The problem was...it has never produced a single bloom in the three years since we planted it. Until now, that is. I noticed this…

Let the Writing Begin!

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"It was a dark and stormy night..."

Thursday marked the beginning of November, as well as the first day of the National Novel Writing Month: NaNoWriMo. What is NaNoWriMo? Well, here is the scoop straight from their website:
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweak…

Two FO's

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Check...and double check! I finished the two cotton baby sweaters last night...and delivered them to the "new" mom (my doctor) today. Her twin boys were born (prematurely) on Easter Sunday, so they are just now arriving at a 6-12 month size...and she assured me she thought the sweaters would fit just fine. I hope, I hope...

I used Plymouth Yarns Jeannee yarn, which is 51% cotton, 49% acrylic...and 100% soft to the touch, a delight to knit! I bought the yarn at Island Knits in Pawleys Island, SC, while we were there on vacation last May. I found a pattern for the Baby Teddy Bear Sweaters from Crystal Palace, to which I made few, if any, alterations (for once...:). And, I put into practice some of the things I learned at my recent "Finishing Techniques" class.

I believe that Dr. R. was genuinely surprised by the gift, and I was overwhelmed by the kind responses from many of her office staff. When I was checking out (after Dr. R. had shown the sweaters to one-an…

Fire On

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Fall has arrived! It has finally turned cooler around here, with wind and rains bringing us temps in the mid-50's during the day and low 40's at night...enough to turn the heat on yesterday. Although I hate to have to use the heat (why is that, I wonder?), I do so enjoy our gas-log fireplace (photo, right): fire on, oooh; fire off, aaahh. So, the past couple of mornings have meant hot tea in front of the fire. Ummmmm...such a gentle start to the day ahead.

Then, fortified with my Earl Grey (or, even better, some Lady Grey, which has lemon flavoring instead of the bergamot), I once again take up my knitting. Last weekend, I nearly went blind while working on a sock (one single sock, mind you) of a pair that I am knitting for Mr. T, made out of black Panda Cotton (which is 55% bamboo, 24% cotton, 21% elastic nylon). Sunday night, I had to cast on the second sock just as soon as I had finally finished Sock #1...as I feared I would not want to revisit working on black yarn on tiny …

Progress Report: Makin' a Moebius; Separatin' the Sleeves; Pickin' the Peppers; and Greetin' Our Guests

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It's been a productive week for my UFO's. I took a class while in ATL last week, at my new *favorite* yarn store in GA, The Yarn Garden. Yvonne taught me how to make a Felted Moebius Basket, using Cat Bordhi's book "A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting," page 28-29. What an interesting technique, this so-called Magical Knitting! You start here, go 'round there, and end up back where you started...but with a twist that you actually meant to be there. I learned how to knit socks on two circular needles by reading Cat's "Socks Soar on Two Circs" book, which I checked out of our local library, and I've been knitting on two circs ever since. Admittedly, I would never have purchased this book, as some of the most prominent photos on the front look just plain silly to me (really, would you spend the time to make a Jester Tentacles Bag or Hat when there are so many sweaters that need knitting and baby blankets that need crocheting?) Ah, it would ha…

Is It Wednesday Already?

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I was finally able to get a video of the bright red (male) Cardinal that has been visiting our fountain on the deck outside our breakfast room door. I was too afraid to speak while filming, lest I scare him off, but you will hear the soundtrack of the AMC movie "Christopher Columbus" on in the background. Odd choice of music, I know...but I couldn't exactly ask Mr. Cardinal to "wait a minute while I mute the TV."

Where has this week gone? It's hard to believe that we've already arrived at Hump Day. Wasn't it just yesterday when I was leaving for Atlanta? No...it was last Wednesday!

I had a good trip to ATL last week. I took this picture (right) from my exit row window seat on my Delta flight home on Saturday. It's the first time in the four years we've been here that I've actually seen the Arch from the air...woo-hoo!

It hasn't exactly been the greatest week (so far, of course...it could get better any minute now). Mom's got some h…

Goodbye to the Red Scarf and the Red Birds

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Time to send the Red Scarf on its way, as the scarves are due at HQ by October 15th this year! I knitted up some Berroco's Comfort in "Wild Cherry" in a 2x2 rib pattern (photo, right) and attached a label, using these neat wash tags created and shared by The Crazy Cat Lady Mel. I hope that whoever receives this scarf will wear it in good health, knowing that someone "out there" cares. As Norma (she of Now Norma Knits) says:

The Red Scarf Project, a project of the Orphan Foundation of America, or Orphan.org, collects red (and other unisex-colored) scarves to send in Valentine's Day care packages to college students who have aged out of foster care. These brave young people are going it on their own and trying to improve their lives and the community by attending college. The care packages are welcome tokens of encouragement to young people who otherwise receive little to no mail.

In other knitting news, I think I may have solved my DesignYourOwnSweater dilem…

Birthday Weekend...and Projects Galore

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A busy weekend...

Mr. T and I visited M. over her Birthday Weekend, helping her celebrate the occasion...and finish some house projects (painting the guest bedroom, repairing the broken basement window/installing a new pane of glass, and installing a new storm door on the back door). I tried to keep my mind off my aching back (it's that l-o-n-g car ride that does me in every time) by finishing my Tam o' Swatch (seen on Ted E. Bear, left) and starting a crocheted baby blanket with some yarn M. had in her stash. The shell pattern uses three colors of yarn to create the rows and will be edged in the white with a scalloped edge. This is the first crochet "pattern" I taught myself to do after the 9/11 security rules forbade taking knitting needles on planes (since eased, thank goodness)...but fortunately allowed crochet hooks in your carry-on. I've been making these Shell Baby Blankets ever since! Yes, it's made of acrylic yarn from Michael's...and the purists…

She Who Knits in Public

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What a wonderful morning! Mom and I attended our first performance of the new season for the Symphony today, enjoying the concert program of Britten, Martin, and Brahms. We subscribed to the option of Friday "Coffee Concerts" which are co-sponsored by Krispy Kreme...featuring, drum-roll, please...donuts and coffee! Treats for the tummy and for the ears!!

Mom has said in the past that she just doesn't care for the sound of violins (?), and her hearing is so poor these days that I was concerned she wouldn't really enjoy the experience. Fortunately, she seemed to have a great time, even though it appeared every violinist in the bi-state area was on stage for the Brahms! The Friday Coffee Concerts attract a, well...different crowd from say, Saturday night. Instead of sequins and tuxes (although I spotted a few of each), there were canes and 4-prongs and walkers a-plenty. I imagine the only concert-goers under 50 in attendance were there accompanying/helping a grandparent…

Waddle and WIPs

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Basset Alert!

That got their attention!

This past weekend was the 10th Annual Basset Hound Waddle, held in conjunction with the Heritage Days Festival in Dwight, IL. Between 80-1000 Bassets and their People attended. To see what in the world a Waddle is all about, follow this link to a slideshow that the local paper near Dwight, IL, put together : //www.morrisdailyherald.com/media/070924hounds/index.html

We had so much fun there in 2003 (that's a photo of Thomas, carrying the Missouri State Standard, waddling with D & G, left) and had hoped to return for the 10th with all three (Duchess, Elmo, and Gus, in the photo above/left). Unfortunately, Duchess has a nasty cyst on the back of her leg and would have found walking the 20 blocks (10 in the parade, 10 back to the staging area) nearly impossible. And, since she's now up to 71 pounds, she's way past the "carry me" stage. On Monday, we took her to our vet (who no longer does surgeries), who recommended us to anot…

How Many Projects are Too Many Projects?

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Whatcha think? I finished M's "Ampersand Socks" a couple of weeks back when she was here for the Labor Day weekend. Of course, I made a change or two in the pattern (well, it wouldn't be really 'mine' if I didn't do it a little differently than the designer, would it?), like discontinuing the pattern stitch on the Instep and Foot portion of the sock. Silliest thing to have a pattern that (a) is rarely seen when the sock is inside a shoe and (b) just serves to increase the "bulk" of the said sock in the said shoe. And, I used Crystal Palace's Panda Cotton instead of the recommended yarn. But other than that...! Anyway, M says she loves 'em, and that's really what matters.


She and I had such fun doing a yarn crawl around the Gateway; we "hit" 3 yarn shops before we had to stop the madness for sustenance...and headed straight to M's favorite: PF Chang's. Before yielding to Hot 'n Sour soup and Crispy Honey Chicken (…

A Warm Welcome!

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Hello again! It's been a couple of weeks since my last entry, and lest you think I've been idle (or simply sitting in my chair knitting sock after sock after sock...:), please know that it's been a hectic fortnight, for sure. We've had visitors from far and near, along with a few projects reaching the finish line. The photo at the left is a big TA-DA, especially for Thomas. We got a new front door and sidelight installed a few months ago, but hadn't been able to brave the excessive heat to finish the project with paint...until now! In addition to painting the door, sidelight, and its exterior trim, Thomas also painted our faded [wrong-color-green] shutters a beautiful, high gloss black. [He also painted the interior side white to match the other trimwork inside.] As Maredith said when she saw the new door and matching painted shutters, "it changes the whole front of your house!" Oh yes, we're pleased with it. Check that one off the To Do List for 200…