Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am thankful for so many things this year, and counting my blessings on all of my fingers and toes.

Our family is blessed with health, employment, (two biggies in my book) many friends, and a wonderful family to gather with and share a feast. We will count these blessings and many more, and pray for those less fortunate. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yay Hooray! The Sweater! It is D-O-N-E!!!

Back in the spring, I went to Threadbear in Lansing for the "More Big Girl Knits" book launch. They had many of the garments from the book there to try on, and I fell in love with the Hot Cocoa Jacket, designed by Jordana Paige.  I decided to make it, and meant to have it done in time to wear at Rhinebeck. I could have done it, but I am such a procrastinator. When will I ever learn? It didn't help that I lost a month of knitting time right before Rhinebeck when I was messing around with the CRT contact lenses. Oh well, that's all water under the bridge. The sweater is done, only a month late. I sewed the button on yesterday and wore it last night to show off to my knitting buddies. It was met with rave reviews, and I was so happy to finally be able to wear it. It was COLD last night, and as I walked in from the parking lot I could tell it was keeping me toasty warm. But with that big open neckline, something was needed to go with it.

Here's what I came up with. This is a scarf I knit with yarn I spun about a year ago. It's the first project that I have knit for myself with my handspun. That makes it very special to me! I used all of the 4 oz. I had spun, with only a teeny tiny little ball left. The pattern is called Mariko,and it was designed by Joan at Heritage Spinning and Weaving. I'm not sure if the pattern is up for sale yet. I loved knitting it. Very easy to memorize and I think it was perfect for the yarn. I started the scarf last Thursday evening at our knit night, and I think I surprised a few of the gals when I walked in with it a mere week later, done, blocked, and around my neck. 

See more photos and information about both projects on my Ravelry pages. (Click up there at the top right)

Now I need to take a little knitting break and rest my hands. I figure between knitting the collar on the sweater on Friday, and knitting the full scarf, I knit almost 40,000 stitches this past week. Yes, that is the correct number of zeros....40 THOUSAND stitches. Yikes!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Overheard at Great Clips

I took Jake to get his hair cut today, and was knitting while I was waiting. BTW-- The Hot Cocoa Jacket is OFF THE NEEDLES and in the process of being seamed. Everybody say YAY!  (YAY!) I was knitting a scarf with some handspun. 

There were two little girls, sisters, maybe 5 and 8 years old. Their grandma was getting a haircut and they were very patiently waiting. The older one was reading to the younger girl. I heard the older one say "she's knitting" which made my ears perk up and then the little one said "I like that!" So I looked up, and she was looking at me, so I said "Thank You!". She asked me if it was going to be a scarf. I said yes, and held it up to show her. The older sister said "Is that really hard to do?" I assured her that once you learn how that no, it really isn't that hard at all. Then the little one said:

"I thought that was in the olden days". 

I very gently corrected her and said "Oh no, there are lots and LOTS of people who like to knit!!"

I hope someday they will learn how. I would have showed them if Jake wasn't done just then!

Friday, November 14, 2008


  • A day that started out gray and drizzling, turned into a sunny, warm day with a beautiful full moon at night.
  • I am sooo close to being done with my Hot Cocoa Jacket. I'll be so glad to weave in the ends and finally wear it! Just in time, because the weekend looks to be freezing!
  • Kaitlyn's teachers had nothing but good things to say about her at conferences last night. She must really shine when she's at school. I am proud of her hard work and am amazed by the effect she has had on her teachers. 
  • Getting together with my knitting buds last night was a blast. There were only 4 of us in attendance last night, which is unusual, but we had enough fun to make up for those who were not there. A lot of laughter (and good-hearted teasing) and more's a wonder we didn't get kicked out. Good times, for sure.

I am keeping my nephew Jared, and his lovely Annalise, in my thoughts and prayers today. They were evacuated from their home in Santa Barbara due to the fires. I pray they will be safe, and their home and belongings will be untouched by the flames. 

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Spinning again!

Coming home from Rhinebeck with some lovely fiber has inspired me to dust off the spinning wheels. They haven't been touched in many months. Shame on me! I forgot how much I enjoy spinning!

Before I could get started on the beautiful BFL I got from the Briar Rose booth, I had to crack the whip on myself and finish up the merino I started spinning for Linda (I hate to say how long ago). It has been a huge weight on my shoulders and I am happy to say that since I've been home, I finished spinning it, plied it and then this morning wound it into 2 hanks, soaked them, and they are outside drying right this very moment. I'm hoping that the 70 degree temps and sunshine will help them dry so I can present them to Linda at our knit-night tonight. 

Meanwhile, here's the first bobbin of Briar Rose BFL. (isn't it GORGEOUS?) Click to get a better look....

The fiber is prepared well, and it is a joy to spin. The colors in the roving are just beautiful and I love seeing how they blend together as I spin. I will probably end up with 3 bobbins, and am debating if I should do my first 3-ply or stick with 2 ply. I'm not sure if the colors will look too muddy if I ply 3 strands together. I guess I could try a little bit and see, and if I'm not happy, just do 2 ply!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Abolish the College!

Electoral College, that is...

A little politcal rant here. I try not to talk politics with friends and family or on this blog, and this isn't about the candidates or how I am voting, but I need to vent....

My annoyance at the electoral college method of election is growing again since I heard this morning that McCain could have 3 to 4 MILLION less votes than Obama and still (possibly) win the election. I totally do not agree with this. I would like for someone to please explain to me why it is so important for us to vote when our individual votes are not what decides the election. Is this democracy??? Hardly.  I understand why they might have thought it was a good idea at the time (not that I agree, but that was THEN, and this is NOW!) Does it make sense to hold onto this old idea? We have come a long way since this system was put in place for its archaic reasons.

I would like to think that all Americans would say they are perfectly capable of making up their own minds on who they would like to vote for and that they would like their individual vote to count. Is there really any average-"Joe The Plumber" who thinks the electoral college is still a good way to decide our leader? 

If you agree with the Electoral College, please leave me a comment and tell me why you do not want YOUR vote to count. 

I know I want MY vote to count. I want my family members, neighbors, friends all to have their say. I want YOU to have your say. I want everyone's vote to have equal weight in a decision this important. I want those who are voting for my choice as well as those voting for the opponent all to have equal say in who runs this country for the next 4 years. I want people in states with only 3 EC votes to feel their individual vote counts as much as someone who lives in a state with many more EC votes.  Why is this not the way we do things? 

I suppose if you live in one of those "undecided" states today, your vote will count. Sort of. I am reminded of 2000 when I felt like only those who lived in Florida had any say in the election. Oh how those votes were scrutinized and agonized over, and gosh, was your chad hanging or not? Over a month ....they counted and recounted while the rest of the country (if they were like me) sat back and wondered "why isn't MY vote just as important as those in Florida?".  

And when all was said and done, a group of 538 strangers decided our president. Decided for the masses. I much prefer if the masses decide for ourselves, thank you very much. The masses said Al Gore, but the EC said nope, you get George Bush. I thought there would be talk of changing the system at that point. I thought the people of this country would say "Wait a minute! What just happened here!? We need to look at this and see if maybe we shouldn't come into the 21st century and really let the people decide (since that's what most people incorrectly assume is actually happening). But the uprising never came. 

Click here for an explaination about how the Electoral College works, (you should really go read it if you're not clear). I especially like the final paragraph:

If all this sounds incredibly complicated it’s because it is. This is, however, the way the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest democracy” conducts its business. A far more democratic system would be for the American people to vote for the candidate of their choice. The candidate with the most votes would be declared the winner. This would also mean that the candidates would have to campaign in each of the fifty states because every vote would count. From my point of view, this would certainly not be ideal, but it would be an extraordinary improvement over the absurdity that presently exists.

So, I'm off to vote, even though it doesn't really count..... Michigan is already decided... Our EC is blue. McCain gave up campaigning here many weeks ago. Basically this said to me "Michigan's votes don't count anymore."  I guess the only votes that really count today are from the states that haven't already been decided before election day. I really hope this system changes in my lifetime, or at least in our children's lifetime. 

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Main Entry:
Inflected Form(s):
plural de·moc·ra·cies
Middle French democratie, from Late Latin democratia, from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos + -kratia -cracy
1 a: government by the people ; especially : rule of the majority

End of rant...

Have a great day (It's going to be in the 70s here today! Woo Hoo! Gotta love Indian Summer!)