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March 30, 2008

Boston Not-So-Red Socks

I've been in Boston now for more than 24 hours, and I'm at the halfway point in my East Coast trip. This weekend has been mostly down time here in Boston, although I've gotten some good walks in. And of course, lots of knitting, although this is certainly not my best work:

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This is Pagewood Farms colorway "Crayon." I really like the colorway a lot, and the yarn is very soft. These socks are, once again, the Yarn Harlot's Basic Sock Recipe, which makes for good mindless knitting while attending conference sessions.

I tend to be a loose knitter, even with my KnitPicks US size 0 circulars. I'm really hoping they make the 00 circulars sometime soon, as I could really use a smaller needle. But, if you look closely (although I'd prefer that you don't) you can tell when I was attending the session that really ticked me off, because my gauge got a little tighter. I decided to continue the tight gauge all the way through, which led to a somewhat tapered leg and nicely-fitting sock. We'll see if I can replicate all that on the second sock, but the good news is at least that I've already cast-on! See?

March 2008 015.JPG No second sock syndrome here! And I have a week to go to finish my East Coast socks--I think it might actually happen!

Posted by chri1010 at 10:10 PM | Comments (1112)

Kitty Love

I'm on my two-week business trip to the East Coast, and I miss home.

This is what I miss:

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A boy and his cat. Can it get any better?

Posted by chri1010 at 2:39 PM | Comments (1228)

March 29, 2008

Knitty Gritty Up Close and Personal

Awhile back, our LYS had a special event--Crafty Planet had Vicki Howell, host of DIY's Knitty Gritty over the on the eve of Knit Out.

My little guy adores her--in fact, DIY is his favorite channel, although he probably likes the home improvement type shows more than he likes the crafty shows. Nonetheless, he didn't want to miss this opportunity to tell Vicki he likes her knit bits.

It turns out she's got a couple boys, and she loved meeting J! He gave her a little gift of chocolate, and she seemed really pleased. Maybe he'll learn to knit after all?

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Posted by chri1010 at 2:33 PM | Comments (454)

March 26, 2008

Minneapolismama has left the city

I am on a two week work trip to NYC and Boston. This week I am in NYC for a conference. I am hoping to also see a few things while here but so far it's been mostly conferencing, lots of walking, and some good deli food.

I am knitting up a great pair of socks on my trip. I will try to post pictures soon.

Posted by chri1010 at 8:41 AM | Comments (521)

March 18, 2008

Kitty in the City

It's been two months since Pearl came to live with us, and already it's like she's always been here. She snuggles with me while we watch tv, she plays with the kiddo, she irritates the dog just enough to make me happy and not enough to tick the dog off, and she hasn't caused a flare up of C's allergies. YAY!

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Everyone tells us we have an incredibly affectionate, wonderful cat, and I cannot thank our Animal Humane Society enough for introducing us to Pearl.

I spent a long time searching their website, waiting for the right animal friend to come along for us. I still find myself searching their pages. I feel sad to see how many unwanted pit bull puppies there are, and how many adult cats seem to stay at the shelter for months before they get adopted (we thought about an adult cat, but the humane society recommended against it, since we wanted the cat to be friends with our dog and son).

This cat, for example, has been there since December. Alice.jpgIsn't she cute? If an adult cat had been right for us, she would have probably come home with us. But, the decision to get a kitten was definitely the right one for our family. I hope this cute little gal finds a home soon, and her picture's off the website.

Look at this guy. I wonder what he's thinking? 319412.jpg He was surrendered because the owner had too many pets to care for. That must be one of the choices on the surrender form, and it's one that gets checked a lot. I think there are a lot of sad reasons why animal friends end up at the humane society: too expensive to care for, displaced by divorce, too energetic (that, on a surrender form for a Yorkshire terrier...I could understand it on a golden retriever, but c'mon. A Yorkie?).

Animals are our friends, and they do a lot of good things to help us be better people. I feel sad when I think about how many animals find their way to the shelter.I think the people at the shelter where we got Pearl did a great job of taking care of her before we brought her home, but it's still no vacation.

I think about Pearl and what she must have been thinking when she was placed in the overnight drop box. It must have been so scary! I'm glad she feels safe and secure now.

Posted by chri1010 at 11:50 PM | Comments (151)

March 12, 2008

Knits All in the Family

I am a muggle-born.

Nobody in my family taught me to knit. My mother knows how to knit, but I'm sure she hasn't done it for at least 30 years. Instead, she's a quilter through and through. My grandmother knew how to knit, but she preferred to spend her craft time baking, sewing, beading, embroidering, and crocheting. I have strong memories of my aunt knitting when I was a child. My cousin and I would play with her knitting needles, wondering how it all came together, and how a person ever got the stitches off the needle. But, as it turns out, that knitting project still isn't finished these 30 years later, and it was the one and only knitting project my aunt ever attempted. She was surprised to hear, this weekend when I showed up for my mother's surprise birthday party, that she was my original inspiration to learn to knit.

As I mentioned awhile back, I decided to make my mother a pair of handknit socks for her birthday. This project went through a few iterations before I finally settled on some self-striping yarn and the basic sock pattern from the Yarn Harlot. I knew my family would be impressed with the self-striping yarn, and as the time crunch increased, I knew I had a chance to finish them because I didn't have to pay attention to the pattern.

I took the train to North Dakota for the big birthday surprise. Yes, my mother did not know that three of her four children who live out of shouting distance from her were all coming to visit, unannounced. I was counting on some good knitting time on the train to finish the socks, but I didn't plan for the heat to go out in the train.

Let's face it--when it looks like this outside:
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and there's no heat inside, it's hard to do this:
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Folks, there was frost on my needles! I contemplated the notion of knitting to stay warm, but I was so cold, I couldn't do it. Eventually, they got some repair people on the train, and it started to warm up, but we were practically to my destination at that point.

At any rate, I kept at it, and got the socks finished for my mother's big birthday. I decided not to worry about having the self-striping yarn match on each foot, and it was a good thing, too, as in one place, the yarn was actually knotted together, and I didn't figure it out until much later but there was a huge gap in the pattern at that place.

Finished socks! Yay!
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I gave them to my mother with all of the beaming and raw emotion of a child. It was like I was 7 again, giving her a glue-smeared popsicle stick birdhouse ornament for mother's day. She took them, told me they were beautiful, and then said, "they're much too pretty to wear" and put them in her drawer. I responded in words I knew she would understand: "you wouldn't want me to say that about your quilts--they're much to pretty to use."

She paused, and realized what she had said, and apologized. The proof, however, was still in the pudding. She didn't wear them the rest of the weekend. Muggle. No more handknit socks for her!

Posted by chri1010 at 11:00 PM | Comments (393)

March 5, 2008

And now for something completely different

In which Minneapolismama endorses her political candidate.

I was out of town for the caucus, but back then, I was undecided. Yeah, way back in early February. The Democratic race having dragged out as it has, I have really had a chance to hear Obama and Clinton, and make my decision. Not that my decision matters--I missed caucus night (in case you didn't hear me say it the first time.

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I have come to truly admire Hillary Clinton over the last several weeks. She's smart, tenacious, and willing to laugh at herself. She's come through some tough challenges all the better for it, and she knows how to change her strategy in the face of adversity. Hillary Clinton is my candidate for president!

To be fair, I'd love a Clinton-Obama ticket, and I'd even be happy with an Obama-Clinton ticket. But, I just really think that it would feel ever so good to hear, in January 2009, the words "Madam President" associated with our country.

Posted by chri1010 at 4:31 PM | Comments (588)