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February 25, 2008

Welcome, readers!

When I started this blog four years ago--a lifetime ago in blog years--I was writing a lot about my impressions of the Twin Cities, a place that we've been somewhat reluctantly, although less so now than ever, calling home. The transition to Minnesota has not been an easy one, but this is not another post in which I whine about the weather, MN nice, or the grocery stores.

In recent months, my blog has become more about knitting, a new obsession I picked up a few years ago as one way to cope with the long dark winters in Minnesota. I've gotten a little crazy about knitting in recent times, and my stash has grown to more fiber than I really care to admit. (But, sock yarn really doesn't count as stash, does it?)

I think I've probably lost a few readers over time, and gained others. For awhile, there were a few of us at the U of M who were all working on dissertations. We never have met, but we'd read each other's blogs, and be encouraging. Interestingly, right now I work one floor up from one of them and yet, we have never met in person. Blogging is sort of fun like that. But, I'm not really sure that SITBB still reads my blog these days. I'm not much writing about the philosophical ruminations in my mind, or even the mundane challenges of trying to start over on chapters 1-3. She's done with her degree, and moved on to the next stage in life, which includes some excellent collaborative posts for Black History Month, the Extended Version.

I didn't ever really start this blog to develop a readership, although I like that there are a few people out there who seem to wonder what I'm up to, and read about my latest knit project or my son's Chinese classes.

But, I DO enjoy checking up on my Site Meter once in awhile. I wonder what brings readers from Mongolia to my site. I chuckle when I see that a google search of "knitted gifts for bicyclists" somehow brought someone here. I'm not sure what my site has to offer on that, but I guess I write about knitting a lot and my husband DID get hit by a bicyclist, so who knows.

The Yarn Harlot (who, by the way, is coming to town in April, and I have ALREADY scored my free tickets) says that a blog is sort of like a visitor you invite over. A guest in your living room. I like that. And, I like that you've stopped by, even if this wasn't the living room you were looking for. I'd love to have you leave a comment, and tell me something about who you are, what you value in life, and what brought you to my site. But, if you'd rather just listen/read, that's fine too. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by chri1010 at 12:20 AM | Comments (1928)

February 17, 2008

Whoo hoo! A new banner!!

I think i have a few kinks to work out of the banner, but I'm very, very satisfied. Let's face it--the extent of my programming knowledge is "make blog go." So, I'm not sure I'll ever really figure out how to stop the banner from repeating and get the Winter in the Cities part to be darker and better placed, but hey--I'm just so happy I have something nicer than the little snowflakes. Whoo hoo!

In case you were wondering how someone who only knows "make blog go" can have such an awesome banner, I got it from my very talented brother-in-law. He knew exactly what I wanted, and it was really fun working with him on this little project.

He's an excellent photographer, too. Check out his website: www.IAmWhatISee.com

Posted by chri1010 at 10:53 AM | Comments (2509)

February 10, 2008

新年快? : Happy Year of the Rat

Awhile back I wrote about our decision to send our son to Chinese immersion school, and my family's general negative attitude when they first heard of our decision. The school year's not half over, but already, folks have come around.

We went to our first school performance, in honor of the Chinese New Year. My mother was delighted to hear about the performance, and is talking about attending next year. She's proud to hear that J knows at least 100 words in Chinese, that he's doing well in school. He LIKES school, and LIKES his teacher. He's joyful and happy--something we didn't see so much in preschool, when he wasn't being challenged.

Our first of many photos like these: hard to see, grainy pictures taken from too far back, of cute kids showing off their hard work to smiling faces in the crowd.


Posted by chri1010 at 6:36 PM | Comments (1673)

February 6, 2008

What's in the queue?

So my LYS is moving, and they're clearing out lots of good yarns so that they have less to move. If you're a local, you should stop by and check out the sales! I ended up buying some things other than sock yarn, on speculation. Lots of cotton, which is one of my favorite yarns for baby knits. It all got put away, though, because I already feel like I have too many projects on the needles:

1. Bird in the Hand by Kate Gilbert. My first real two-color knitting, and so far so good. Almost one mitten finished. They'll probably be done right before winter's over, but hey! it's Minnesota! Winter'll come 'round again, I'm sure.

2. Boring ol' legwarmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. While the pattern has long since lost my attention, the combo of Cascade 220 and Rowan kid mohair have not. So soft and lovely. These have a chance of being finished before the snows have come to an end. After all, they're supposed to be "last minute" right?

3. Another pair of Waving Lace Socks from Favorite Socks by Interweave Press. My mother turns 75 next month, and I thought since she likes socks, it might be nice to make her a pair of handknit socks. I'm glad I already know she's not a stickler for deadlines, since I'm doubtful I can get them done for her birthday, which is the first week in March.

4. a scarf for my dear, sweet hubby. To be fair, I made him a scarf a few years ago, and he lost it within two weeks, so I'm not exactly in a rush to get this one done. But, I think I've finally figured out what I want to do, and I've got it started. It might be finished before the snow stops falling.

5. Natalie Coat, from Big Girl Knits. I'm not so far, though, so I hesitate to put it on the list. I tried to start this project once before, but gave up because I was still learning how to read the pattern. Now I understand it better; it's just that I've never knitted a full garment before (outside of baby sweaters), and this is an undertaking, just from the sheer volume of knitting to be done.

So, that's about it for now. I'm in Atlanta for a meeting, so I'm working on the socks for my mother, since they're a nice, portable project and they have the most time-sensitive deadline.

Since I have no pictures of knitting to share, I leave you with a cute kitten picture. It's a little blurry, I know, but that's because she was moving when I took the picture. And, if you come across her on Kitten Wars please vote for her. She must be up against a real winner because my cutie doesn't have the best stats so far.

second run photos 2008 024.jpg

Posted by chri1010 at 7:18 PM | Comments (2743)

February 1, 2008

I HATE the Yarn Harlot

I could be knitting. But no.

I could be dissertating. But no.

Why not, you ask?

Because I'm too busy launching little hamsters into the air.

Thanks alot, Yarn Harlot!

Click on the link. I dare you. You'll thank me later, I'm sure.

Posted by chri1010 at 10:46 AM | Comments (1809)