Monday, December 31, 2007

So This is New Year's

Happy New Year.
It is that time of year when we tend towards looking backwards and forwards. In ancient times, the new year was celebrated in the spring, when the world was renewed. This to me makes a great deal of sense. Why do I want to change in the middle of winter? Why would the darkness bring forth a renewal in my life? I have decided this year that I will follow the ancient calendar and come up with resolutions in the spring. For now, I will continue to exist. I will think about the future, but I will reserve the right to not change until March. This seems fair to me. Of course, it is probably just me procrastinating, but it is the course I am sticking with this year.
As far as looking back at the last year, I have never seen the point of it. In reality the last 12 months of your life is still too close to look at objectively and actually learn from it. Really, it is best to look at how your life was, say 5 years ago. Look how far you have come... I know that 5 years ago, I was not in as good a place as I am now. I hope to be even better off 5 years from now. That is not to say bad things haven’t happened, they have, some of the quite bad, but over all, things today are better now. I think I like to solve a problem when I occurs and revisit years later as to whether or not it was the correct solution. So there will be no yearly highlights here.
So, just a wish for a safe and happy new year. I hope 2008 brings peace to the world. And be careful out there.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day

It is snowing here today. I have to work, so no after Christmas sales for me. It is quiet at work, of course, because a lot of people took the rest of the week off.
I figured I would do a quick update.

1st off: FOs
Here is the elephant I made for my littlest niece for Christmas. It is from Debbie Bliss’ Knit Toys. I think it turned out pretty darn cute.

Here are some Angels
These are from my 2005 Knitting calendar. One is made from Sugar and Cream cotton and the other from crochet cotton. Note the size difference. I sent the little one to a former co-worker as a gift.

2nd order of business: Movie reviews
We went and saw 2 movies yesterday. It is our tradition to go to the movies on Christmas Day. We had planned on seeing only one, but decided we had plenty of time, so why not 2. We saw “Juno” & “Sweeny Todd”. Both were very good.

“Juno”: It is well written and very funny. Parts are sad as well, so you may cry. Not a complete tear jerker, but tears may occur. Don’t say I did warn you. If you do not know what it is about, in a nutshell: Juno, 16, gets pregnant after having sex with her best friend and she decides to give it up for adoption. It has potential for melodrama, but does not ever reach that point. It has a very good soundtrack as well. I give 3 ½ out of 4 knitting needles

“Sweeny Todd”: I have seen this in the play form so I knew the story and the music ahead of time. Not sure everyone in the audience did. Sweeny Todd is a barber who was wronged and has come back for revenge. He is helped by the meat pie maker, Mrs. Lovett. It is a musical. There is a lot of singing in it. I say this, because there were some people behind us who did not seem to know it was a musical. There is also a lot of blood. However, most of it occurs during a singing montage, so if it bothers you, you could just close your eyes and listen to the incredible score.
This movie is a stunning adaptation of the Sondheim musical. Everyone sings beautifully and the scenery is incredible. You do feel like you are in Victorian London. Johnny Depp does a magnificent job in the role of Sweeny. This is probably one of the best films I have seen this year. I give it 4 out of 4 knitting needles.

3rd order of business: Christmas
My mom did seem to like the tank top I made her and it fit. I was very relieved. She is going to wear it like a vest, which I think will be nice.
The Girl liked all of her gifts, I did not finish her socks, but I showed them to her and told her they should be done by her birthday. She said she had seen them already and knew I was working on them. She was very happy.
My DH gave me a set of Knitpicks Options and “A Gathering of Lace” so I scored big time. Overall a good Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

another day, another dollar

I hate work
I hate work
I hate work
I hate work
I hate work

Today is a bad day at work. I actually like my job most days, but today not so much. I really don’t know that I like working in an office any more. It just seems to me that there must be more to life than worrying about shipments and deliveries of parts.

Yesterday I left work with no energy and so I did not take a picture of my elephant. I did almost no knitting. Well, I did teach myself to do mosaic knitting out of Barbara Walker’s book of the same name. So I guess technically I did knit. I watched the Vikings beat the Bears. It was not a pretty game, but they won and that is honestly all I care about.

I am supposed to go the Knitting Guild Holiday party tonight, but I can not remember if we are supposed to bring something or not. I do not want to show with out the proper food or drink so I think I might just skip it. I have a ton of other stuff I need to do tonight anyway. I have yet to actually attend a Guild party in the almost two years I have been a member. I am not good at going to social events. I never have been. I take after my father. I have been trying to get better, I attended the company holiday party last Saturday for example, but it is hard for me.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Movie review and knitting news

The family went to see “I am Legend” on Saturday morning. It was very good, 3 out of 4 knitting needles. It was very psychological. Will Smith was fantastic and he is the main reason to see the film. I love him. There were no hand knits in the film, which oddly makes sense as he is the last living person in NYC; not like you can’t find clothes there. It is not very gory so if that sort of thing bothers you, you might still enjoy this film. There are some jumpy bits, like well, I am not sure what to call the infected people, but sometimes they jump out. You know, it is sort of a horror film, for lack of a better word. However, I think of it as a more thought provoking and questioning film, in the vein of “28 Days Later” and “The Mist”. It brings up the ever present question of what if we are messing with stuff that we really don’t know how to control? The premise of the movie is that a miracle cure for cancer mutates into something deadly to humans. Think of all the drug ads we are subject to every day. They all look alike, regardless of what they are “curing”. They all show people outside biking, gardening and crap. This is the case for almost everything from allergy medicine (which makes sense) to erectile dysfunction and herpes (which really doesn’t). I do not have either one of the last two listed, but I am pretty sure neither one impedes one’s ability to garden or ride bike. Could all of these drugs really be good for us as a nation or as a world? Could the cure be worse than the disease? I know sometimes I read or listen to the side effects of some prescription drugs and think that it really doesn’t seem that the drug is any better, like the drug for the toe fungus where one of the side affects can be liver damage. Maybe it’s just me, but I think I would rather have my liver intact than beautiful toes.
Just a few things that the movie made me think about. You can take it or leave, it matters not to me.

On to knitting news. I finished the elephant I was making for my littlest niece. I will take a picture tonight before I send it off. It was from Debbie Bliss’ Knit Toys book. I like the book. The patterns are fairly clear and straight forward. One complaint I do have, is that sometimes they say how many stitches are at the end of a decrease or increase row and sometime they don’t. I personally like to have them there, but I feel it is better to choose one way or the other.
I have been working on The Girl’s socks, they are going well, but I really do not think they will be done for X- mas. I think they will have to be for her birthday (it is in January). I will keep plugging away at them though. I also have to do a few more things for the in-laws. I think it will be fine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Here it is. The infamous tank top…I hope my mom likes it.

Here is a close up of the collar. As you can see it is a little wonky. The other side is worse. I am not sure what happened.

Plus a bonus FO: the hat and neck warmer for my co-worker’s husband. I brought it in today and she is not even in the office, so no paycheck today.

Next up, I am going to finish up the elephant I have started. That should only take a couple of days since I have already started it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekend update

The tank top is done. The collar is a little hinky, but it will have to do. If my mom does not like it, she can send it back and I will fix it. I have pictures in my camera. I forgot to download them so I will have to wait to post them.
I am almost done with the neck warmer for my co-worker’s husband. I should finish it up today. Tomorrow I should get my 1st payment for a knitted garment. Pretty exciting. I had hoped to finish it over the weekend, but I went shopping on Saturday and I fell asleep during the Vikings game yesterday. So that was valuable knitting time lost. The shopping was pretty fruitless. I really have not been in the buying mood. I picked up one thing for my husband, which I can not reveal here as he does actually read my blog. HI HONEY!
The Vikings are on their way to the play-offs. I just know it. I realize they will not probably win a playoff game, but a month ago I was getting worried they would not actually win any more regular season games. Skol Vikings!
The Girl was late coming home last night and we were getting ready to ground her when she finally arrived and told us she had lost her cell phone. She noticed it on her way home and went back to look for. She did not find it, of course, because it was 10 at night and dark out. She also was on her way to a nice case of frostbite when she finally did get home. She will be the death of me. DH went out to look for it this morning, but also no luck.
We have 30 days to get her a new phone or else the line will be cancelled and I will have to pay a cancellation fee. This is very disheartening. I think I will wait a little while and let her stew a bit.
Last night I watched the 1938 version of “A Christmas Carol”. I think I have mentioned before my strange obsession with Dickens’ tale. The 1938 version is fairly condensed as far as the story goes. It does not have Scrooge’s fiancĂ©e or going abroad on Christmas Ever. It does however have the sickliest looking Tiny Tim. I think sometimes the boy playing Tim must grow between the casting and the actual film and they really don’t look like they might die in less than a year, but this Tiny Tim does not disappoint. He looks very ill and he seems a bit addled in the brain. So I can recommend this “Christmas Carol” mainly for that. Reginald Owen does a fine job, but he is no Alistair Sim, who is hands down the best Scrooge ever. Normally, seeing “A Christmas Carol” puts me right in the Christmas mood, but not this year. I am not sure what is going on this year. I do feel stressed out or anything, in fact, sort of the opposite, I feel very lazy. I know I have a ton of stuff to do, mainly knitting and buying the DH some more stocking stuffers.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mini Update

I have new tires! It took them forever and they called me on my cell phone while I was in their lobby to ask where the flat was. Very bizarre. They are Nokian Tyres. I was a bit leery about getting tyres that seem to be made a cell phone company, but it was all they had that would fit on our Passat.
I only have to knit the collar and weave in the stitches and I will be done with my mom’s tank. I was going to knit seed stitch around the arm holes, but I tried it twice and did not look right. So I just did a single crochet stitch around them. Hopefully tomorrow I will have photos. Then it is on to the next project.

Mini Update

I have new tires! It took them forever and they called me on my cell phone while I was in their lobby to ask where the flat was. Very bizarre. They are Nokian Tyres. I was a bit leery about getting tyres that seem to be made a cell phone company, but it was all they had that would fit on our Passat.
I only have to knit the collar and weave in the stitches and I will be done with my mom’s tank. I was going to knit seed stitch around the arm holes, but I tried it twice and did not look right. So I just did a single crochet stitch around them. Hopefully tomorrow I will have photos. Then it is on to the next project.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tires are the bane of my existence

My beloved called the tire shop to make an appointment to get new tires on Monday. They said sure we have those tires, come on in; we’ll take care of it.
So we showed up a little after 5 and they looked over the tires and got all the numbers, blah, blah, blah and told us it would be about an hour. Now keep in mind, I had to stay late at work and did not have time to pick up my knitting before going to the tire shop. We sat through almost 3 sessions of news, local, national, more local. I was thinking it’s been more than an hour and I hear the clerk say bring the Volkswagen around. Hey, that’s us! Well, they brought the car around and told us that they did not have the tires after all. We sat around for 1 ½ hours and still no new tires! Arrrggghhh. Think of all the knitting I could have gotten done.
So they called yesterday to say they found some tires for us and we made an appointment for 5 pm again. Well, it snowed yesterday. All day. Rush hour was a nightmare. It took me 1 hour and 20 minutes to get home. Normally it takes me about 20 minutes, 30 minutes if there is bad traffic. So we cancelled the appointment because I was not going to make it and even if I did, I would be really crabby. I hate traffic.
Tonight, is the night for new tires, I know it. The sun is shining and I should be able to get home on time, get my knitting and get to the shop by 5. Wish me luck.
I should be able to finish my mom’s tank top tonight. I will post a picture when I get it done. I promise.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bad Weekend Blues

I didn’t finish my mom’s tank top…oooooo
And it needs to be mailed…ooooo
Nothing can stop the bad weekend blues

I blew a tire out on my car… ooooo
And missed my Yarnover meeting... oooo
Oh I got those lowdown bad weekend blues

Ah, Robert Johnson, eat your heart out.
Seriously, it was a bad weekend. I hate it when I am glad to see Monday come around. It snowed here on Saturday, which I love, but I was driving around in it and my windshield wipers decided that it was too much work to move snow off the windshield and just sort of went over it, leaving lovely smears.
Then on Sunday, I was heading over to my Yarnover meeting and my tire blew. It did not go flat, it actually came apart. I have never actually changed a tire and it took me over an hour to get it done. It would have been longer, but a very nice driver for the St. Paul Hotel stopped and helped out some. He loosened the lug nuts which I was not able to do. But then he had to get going as he was on the job. If you ever are in St. Paul, think of staying there since he was the only one on the busy highway to even stop. So I missed my meeting, even though I had left early. Plus I missed the Vikings whomp on the Lions to boot. And I hurt my back pulling the spare out the trunk. Sigh.
The worst part is that both of these problems are caused by me not taking care of just regular maintenance. Well, that is not totally true, the wipers were working fine until Saturday, but the tires should have been changed this summer. Enemy thy name is Procrastination.
I worked on my mom’s tank top and I had hoped to get it done by the end of the weekend, but alas I did not. I got past the arm hole bottom so I am working on the front. The end is in site so long as I have time to work on it. The other must do before Christmas is The Girl’s socks.
On a semi related note: in the USA Weekend dealy that comes in the Sunday paper, they had a list of gifts to give to your teen. Having a teen, I figured I could get some good idea’s. Well, not really and fresh ideas here, but there was one bullet that caught my eye. It said that teen like clothes for Christmas, just not the ones you have knit by the fire. They want them from Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, or American Eagle. Phooey I say. I read this paragraph to The Girl and she agreed that she would rather have something knitted than anything from one of those stores. She said she would be pissed off if she received clothes from any of those stores and so would a lot of her friends. Of course I know that my little punk rock girl does not shop at these preppy paradises, but what of people who might not. Plus, I think you can knit some pretty cool stuff for a teen that they would want even if they liked these store. So I must say do not take their advice for teen shopping as every teen is different. My advice is to ASK the teen what she or he wants. Trust me, they know.

The husband’s family is all coming up for his 40th birthday; they arrive on 1/3/08, so they will get their presents then. I have a couple of those done already so I think I will be okay, as the biggest thing I plan for this holiday was my mom’s tank.

Here is a picture of one of the Scrabble bags I have made for the in laws.