Friday, January 25, 2008

Twilight Zone Moment

This is really bizarre, and hard to explain!

The other day I signed into my online account at the local library. I wanted to place a hold on a book that I had heard about that sounded interesting.

But, there in my "checkouts" list, was a book that I had not checked out. It was "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin.

I made a mental note to call the library and let them know that I had not checked out this book. (At the time I thought to myself that I had never even heard of this book....)

Later that day, I took a few moments to read a page or 2 of the book that I had been reading for about a week called This Day in the Life, Diaries from Women Across America. It's a great book where women from all walks of life sent in a diary of what they did June 29, 2004. I was reading the entry of Nadine Goldman, 65. She is a grandmother from Baltimore.

I read a few pages, and in the last entry of her day, written at 11:20 pm, she wrote that her 9 year old grandson loaned her a book that he thought she would enjoy reading. Then she named the book....

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.

(insert Twilight Zone music here)

How strange is that? Nadine goes on to say that he probably read it in one day but it was taking her longer, even though it was a good book and she was enjoying it.

When I went to amazon and checked into this book, it tickled something in my memory that I had indeed heard of this book before and thought it sounded interesting. However, it was not on my "to read" list, I had not reserved it at the library, and I definitely had not checked it out, no matter what the library's computer said!

I am thinking maybe this weird coincidence is trying to tell me something. I think now I have no choice but to read this book and see if there is a message somewhere in it that the universe is trying to get me to see.

Here is what amazon says about the book:

When an eccentric millionaire dies mysteriously, sixteen very unlikely people are gathered together for the reading of the will . . . and what a will it is!

I don't know what message I could find in this storyline, but I'm going to keep my eyes wide open to the possibilities.

Apparently this is a children's book, and perhaps I first heard of it from Jake's school librarian. I think I will have him read it to me. I love when he reads me a book (paybacks for all the books I've read to him!) The last one I think was Charlotte's Web. He's got a knack for reading aloud. He really puts a lot of personality into the characters and uses great voice inflections.

I think I should have Jake check it out from the school library though. It seems weird to put it on reserve now, after just having had the conversation with the circulation desk insisting that I didn't check it out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Today I was working on my new mitten pattern, and I looked down and saw something on the floor by my knitting bag. I picked it up, and was quite disappointed to see that it was a broken piece of one of the needles I was knitting my socks on.

I'm assuming that maybe Jake stepped on my knitting bag since it was on the floor, and the piece fell out of the bag. I was knitting the socks on two 24" circs. It was the first time I had tried this method, and I had pretty much decided that I still like Magic Loop best. I really wanted to knit more on my socks tonight, so I am Magic Looping on a 24" needle. Yes, 2 socks on 1 circ, that is not nearly long enough, but I'm managing. I'm hoping that when I go to the shop in the morning that there is a size 1 24" needle waiting for me so I can knit on my socks more comfortably again.

On another note...I finally remembered to get a picture of Kim's Peekaboo mittens that I made her for Christmas:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Speaking of turning 50....

I'm really feeling my age today, after getting a look at what's going on in my body....

Last Tuesday I was innocently going about my business, about to make a pot of chicken soup. I filled the stock pot in the sink, then as I picked it up and turned to walk to the stove, I felt something not quite right in my back, and went quickly (OW OW OW OW-ing) all the way to the stove. By Friday I had decided I would make an appt. with a chiropractor because it was still pretty sore. I have never been to a chiropractor before, but I figured it was time I checked out this form of "help" with a body that seems to need more and more help these days.

I was able to get in that afternoon for X-rays and a consult, went back Saturday morning for an adjustment, and today we went over my X-rays. I could clearly see the areas where there were problems. There was some mal-alignment, but I also have a couple of bone spurs, early Phase II arthritis, and some decrease in disc space.


Even though arthritis is not reversable, I was assured that its progress could be slowed with exercise, and keeping my spine in line. He also suggested I change the way I sleep (that's going to be a tough one, after 49+ years). I highly doubt I can train myself to sleep on my back, but maybe my side. (I am a stomach sleeper, which apparently is hard on your neck)

So I'm going to give chiropractic care a whirl and see what it does for me. I figure, it can't hurt! Our insurance fully covers 24 visits a year, so that's cool.

Any time spent in the waiting room, or waiting in the exam room, will of course be spent knitting.

Today I took my socks to work on. I'm getting bored with this pair and really want them off the needles so I can get on to something else. But I am persevering. The reward of a really cool pair of socks will be worth it. I'm thinking I'm really getting ready for a knitting challenge. What will it be?

But first, I need to get back at spinning.

PS...look for a new mitten pattern soon

Monday, January 14, 2008

Rhinebeck on my birthday!

I've been wanting to go to Rhinebeck (the New York Sheep and Wool Festival for anyone who doesn't know) for several years. I never could quite justify it. I was thinking I would try to go this year, and then when I went to the website and saw that Rhinebeck opens on my birthday, I knew that I had to make it happen. Especially since this is a momunmental birthday....I'm hitting the big 5-0,(EEK!) and what better place to do it than in the midst of fiber and friends. Yay!

So I've started looking at flights, and have lots of time to stash away some $$$ for fiber stash! (and travel, etc.) I have a very generous friend in CT who is going to get me from the airport, put a roof over my head, and accompany me to Rhinebeck. I have "known" Christine for 10 years, but it has been an online friendship, and I am so happy to be able to finally meet her in person. I am really hoping my other friend, Jane, who I've also known for several years, online, will travel to Rhinebeck this year too, because we have been very anxious to meet each other as well!

I also hope there will be others that I will be able to put a face to a name, etc. I'm quite excited.

I have started a Rhinebeck fund, and so far, in less than 3 weeks, I have been able to add $195....all of it is winnings from family poker games! I'm on a winning streak it seems, so I'm putting it away for the trip. I'm hoping to continue to add to the fund, while I'm sure it won't be at this rate. It's a nice start! I think I'll put a running total over on my sidebar. :-)

I taught another sock class this morning. All went well. It's a really fun group of ladies, and that always helps.

I'm still working on the socks I started when Diane was here. I'm done with the heels, and heading on up the legs, using the Beaded Rib stitch. I'm anxious to get them done and on my feet! I love 'em!

Still waiting for my Knitpicks order to show up with my new goodies.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Holiday Knitting Pix and misc.

I'm finally getting around to posting pix of my holiday knitting and misc. I forgot to get a picture of Kim's Peekaboo Mittens, but here is everything else...

Socks for Mike. Double strand of Araucania Ranco...nice and thick, to keep his feet toasty warm when he goes ice fishing. (But with the whacky weather we've had recently, that might not happen for a long time, if at all this season! 65 in January? Weird...)

Here's Karen wearing her Fidget, and "Fidget Mitts" that I designed. I did the Fidget using Tahki Bunny Print. I had 2 balls in my stash, and used a little more than 1 for the Fidget, and decided that some fingerless gloves with a cuff using the same pattern and yarn would be pretty cool. I used gray Lamb's Pride for the main part of the gloves, and loved how they turned out.

Kim's Peekaboo Mittens were made from the same gray Lamb's Pride. I was supposed to knit Kaitlyn a pair of mittens too, but those didn't get done.

While Diane was here, we had quite a bit of fun. We spent a couple hours at Threadbear in Lansing after I picked her up from the airport the Saturday before Christmas. Mike had gifted us with a mini retreat, telling us to stay overnight in Lansing and have some "sister time". What a nice gesture that was! I didn't get any yarn at Threadbear, but I did get this lovely glass shawl pin, made by Moving Mud. Diane got one too, though hers is a little bigger.

After hanging out with Rob and Matt at Threadbear, we made a quick trip to Little Red Schoolhouse, where I got a few sheep themed items, then we had dinner at Los Tres Amigos in the same area. We spent the night at the Best Western down the road. It had a lodge theme, and we sat for a while in the log furniture in front of the fireplace in the lobby, knitting and chatting. Unfortunately I had no batteries in my camera at that point, cuz that would have made a nice photo to add right here!

We thought about using the hot tub and pool, but there were quite a few loud unruly children families there because it was winter break. We hid out in our room, chatting, reading, relaxing. In the morning we had breakfast at the hotel, packed up, went to Target and Macy's and then back to Threadbear for another quick visit. Diane wanted to show off the shawl she is knitting with the Targhee that I spun for her.


Sorry for the interruption but that was worth taking note of!

Anyway, the shawl is beautiful, and I was happy to see how nice my handspun looked and felt knit up. Of course, dolt that I am, I didn't get a picture of that either, cuz it would have been nice to add right here! (I really must start using my camera more!!!!)

After leaving Threadbear Sunday morning, we went to Andy and Karen's house to wait for Mom and Dad to arrive for the surprise. That really was fun.

On Wednesday, we tried to shop at 4 different yarn shops, but only one was open, being the day after Christmas and all. I have been wanting to get to Artisan Knitworks ever since it opened, and was happy that it finally happened when I was with Diane and Mom. Diane and I got the last 2 hanks of really great sock yarn from Autumn House Farm in PA. It is the Specs sock yarn, which is hand-dyed merino (sooooo soft) and has flecks of other colors spun in (and hanging out) I'm not sure how long the specs will hang onto the yarn when the socks are worn and washed, but it's fun knitting with them. Here are my socks in progress:

This photo shows the little specks better than the ribbing side:

So the rest of the week Diane and I spent knitting and just hanging out, which we get so little time to do. She and mom both loved the Fidget when they saw the one I did for Karen. Diane went shopping in my stash and found some Araucania Nature Wool Chunky and knit one up. Mom knit one too.

Anyway, before I knew it, it was time for Diane to go back home. I am so sad that we can't spend more time together like that. But I really appreciate the fact that she was here for Christmas. It was very special.

Speaking of special, I was definitely spoiled this year in the gift department. Here are my knitting/spinning related gifts.

12 oz. of gorgeous merino top from my friend Jane.

Jane always spoils me with fibery goodness. She also sent these two hanks of sock yarn. Aren't they purdy?

Mike got me this "Happy Pastime" Hummel. I have several knitting Hummels now, added to the collection of Hummels that Mike started buying me when we were first married.

And I had this Snowbabies "Hooked on Knitting" figurine on my wish list, and Mike came through with it for me. I also bought this for Diane as one of her gifts this year. It's so cute!

Mom and Dad gave me a Knitpicks gift certificate which I have already put to use and am waiting for my order.

Kim gave me the Debbie Bliss Teddy Bear book, and Kaitlyn gave me the Knitted Icons book (which is a real hoot!)I got Complete Feltmaking too. I love adding to my knitting library!

I also got several cute knitting-themed ornaments (including a few I bought for myself on ebay before the holidays)

And the icing on the cake....I got a Woolee Winder with not one, not two, but THREE bobbins, for my Joy wheel. I've tried it, and found there is a bit of a learning curve trying to get the tension just right, but once I get it, I'm going to really love it!

I am definitely going to do more spinning in 2008.