November 30, 2006

The edging that never ends

Yup. Still working on it. My goal was to have it done by the end of November…. I have tonight to work on it and this much left:
Totally doable if I can keep myself from getting distracted.

November 29, 2006

The first of the charity knitting


It’s a scarf for our troops knit out of bernat camo yarn. Right now Catans is doing a thing with the USO where they are donating yarn for scarves. Appantly the average cold temp. in Iraq right now is 38 degrees which I totally didn’t know. How it works is you buy camo yarn from them, knit or crochet a scarf then bring it back to Catans, and they reimburse you for the yarn. It’s a pretty good deal. And however you feel about this war supporting the troops in any way possible is definitely a good thing.

The scarf is 14 stitches on size 15 needles, double stranded yarn, garter stitch all the way. It took me not very long at all… I knit it mostly on our trip to Pittsburgh to visit Matt’s family for their Thanksgiving. Where by the way I got to re-teach a 6-year old how to knit! I taught her last Thanksgiving and this year as soon as she saw my needles she was all over me. Her enthusiasm was great – she kept asking me (even during thanksgiving dinner) "can we get back to the knitting now?" and even better "maybe just one more row." How quickly they learn.

November 28, 2006

Thuja is just a Red Herring.

So right... let's get back to the knitting shall we?

Check out my "progress" on the second Thuja Kneesock:

Ok… so in case you haven’t noticed I’ve pretty much been exclusively posting about Thuja as far as knitting content goes… and those of you who know me know that I am NOT a monogomous knitter. Yeah….

I’m doing it again. I don’t know how this happened… I don’t know how I got back to this place….but I’m starting down the slippery slope that is The Christmas Knitting. I tried a different tactic swearing that I was only going to knit one big gift. One ginormous, extremely complicated, very intense shawl that I’ve been working on since June. Its for my grandma and knitting guru so it’s totally worth it…But then my brother asked for socks….And the edging of the shawl is really boring to knit and I’m an epic procrastinator. ‘Cause if I’m knitting other Christmas gifts then I’m not really procrastinating, right?

It’s been downhill from there.

I’m trying to initiate a few rules to maintain sanity this year:

  1. If they got a handknitted gift last year, they aren’t getting one this year (Mom) (Well ok so my brother who mocks my knitting more than anyone somehow is managing to get me to knit for him two years running. He did ask, though. I’m totally weak to requests for the knitting.)
  2. If I can’t think of anything fun to knit for them I’m not just going to knit something random just to include them (this pretty much eliminates all of the guys in my family) (unless any of you want a hat…hats are so universal and manly)(and that’s the thinking that got me into this situation in the first place. Forget the hats)
  3. I’m done now. Seriously. I’m not going to let myself think that I HAVE to knit for anyone. Whatever I have done that’s it. I’m not making lists (except this one), I’m not starting a million projects all at once, I’m just going to knit one thing at a time and consider myself done, done every time I finish a project.
  4. Other forms of craft do not technically count towards the Christmas knitting.
  5. Charity Knitting - it seems like nice way to spend my knitting time during the holiday season - so I'm going to try to do as much of this as I can. Even if it means that I can't knit gifts for people that I actually know.

We’ll see how sane I am come Dec. 23…Especially since this is starting to call out to me:


I so want to knit it for Matt…It just screams Matt… and the cables - they speak to me. I’ve never knit him a sweater before and I think that 2 years of marriage eliminates the sweater curse… plus I haven’t knit anything that big in a long time. There’s no way in hell I’d get it done by Christmas but it might be kindof fun to try! And if not his birthday is in March…. Have any of you knit anything out of the Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed before? I’ve heard good things about it but it’s kindof pricy…

November 23, 2006

Success!

Everything today went very well… and I learned that there are two things about hosting Thanksgiving that are indescribably cool:

  1. You get to smell the Turkey all day while it cooks.
  2. You get to keep the leftovers. It’s awesome.

Anyways I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Matt and Dexter carving our first bird

Thankful

Well… I got it all done. My house is clean (despite the boys weekend… holy crap can a group of guys create a mess!), the table is set, the sweet potatoes are ready to go into the oven (thanks Michelle!), the cranberry sauce is chilling, my house smells like pumpkin pie, and the turkey is occupying a very large percentage of the refrigerator:

And check out the dining room:

We had to put two tables together b/c we don’t actually own a dining room table yet but I think that it looks pretty nice. This is the first time we’ve used our china so even that is exciting.

Really exciting actually....

'cause I loooove the gravy boat.


It makes me happy...


Anyways with all of this talk of "what are you thankful for" I thought I’d let you guys know that I’m thankful for knitbloggers and for this amazing online community. Thanks for inspiring me to create, for teaching me so many new things like lace and socks, and for being so supportive when I just want to give up on projects like the interminable Tempting II. You guys rule.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 15, 2006

Procrastination as an art form

So remember this?


That would be the Cherry Blossom Shawl that I’m knitting for my grandma for Christmas. I just need to finish the extremely boring and yet too complicated to knit while watching tv edging. Last night I should have been doing laundry/cleaning /grocery shopping or doing about a million other things that I need to do to get ready for Thanksgiving that I can’t do this weekend because my house is being taken over by a herd of guys. Instead I worked on the shawl. But it totally counts as being productive since I have to have this done by Christmas… and knitting is waaay more fun than cleaning the bathroom.

Yeah. I’m an epic procrastinator who will probably be pulling an all-nighter next Wed. night making sweet potatoes and scrubbing things.

But there will be progress on the shawl!

Thanks, by the way, for all of your encouragement about Thanksgiving! I've totally got it under control now. Sortof.

November 13, 2006

But a little Freaked Out

Things that are freaking me out right now:

  1. I’m having Thanksgiving. At my house. Like a grownup. Complete with a turkey and pies and china and extended family and everything. I’ve never hosted an actual holiday before. It’s not like we haven’t done plenty of entertaining – but seriously? Entertaining my friends is no biggie… they are just happy that we have a house and food for them… they’re not so picky about how clean that house is or what we’re feeding them. But this is Thanksgiving! With Grandparents! And I don’t even own a dining room table!!!
  2. Thanksgiving is only 10 days away.
  3. This weekend I’m leaving my house completely unsupervised so that Matt and his boys can have a guys weekend. This is perhaps not so good.
  4. I found out that Brittany got married 3 days before we did...and she has two kids. For some reason this freaks me out. Not that we want kids right now or anything... just that that's even possible.
  5. Christmas is only 41 days away. And people keep feeling the need to tell me this. Christmas knitting? What Christmas knitting? Who said anything about Christmas knitting?
  6. I have a huge work deadline on Dec. 1. I know we can handle it and I know I’m capable of getting everything done that needs to be done, but still. Big deadline.
  7. This website. Amusing, but kindof freaky.
  8. I’ve never made sweet potatoes or cranberries before… any ideas for recipes? I’ve also never made a whole turkey but everyone assures me that this is easy… I’m borrowing my grandma’s roaster to make it in… the roaster is 58 years old. That freaks me out, too.

Stress is good, though… keeps me on my toes… but sadly it cuts into the knitting time… Thuja part deux is barely started…

Oh well… at least we finally got around to raking the leaves!

November 10, 2006

Fingerlakes Fun (Oct. 8-10)

Riiiight… so I wrote this all up literally the day we got back. That was what… a month ago? Then I never finished downloading all of the pictures and putting the post together to share…. Better late than never I guess, right?

Well we had a wonderful trip… I can’t say enough good things about the area, really. Good food, good wine, perfect fall weather…. I’ll just start at the beginning…I have to warn you – this is very long and boring but I wanted to write out my impressions of the wineries for future reference for myself… you can totally just skip all the words and look at the pretty fall pictures if you want. I won’t be insulted!

We left on Sunday and checked into the B’nB at around 3:30ish leaving us just enough time to hit up a few wineries before they closed...

Keuka Spring:
Photo Hosted at Buzznet
This winery had a hell of a view. I can’t really give a good honest opinion of their wine b/c when we were there I was just so excited to actually be at a wine tasting that my judgement may have been a tad clouded. We did really, really like their syval blanc though. Nice and dry and crisp.

McGregor Winery:
Photo Hosted at Buzznet Photo Hosted at Buzznet
This winery is also on the Eastern side of Keuka but they are set back a little further from the lake. The tasting room was set up so that you sat down and were served each type of wine. Much more relaxed than standing at a counter which was nice. We loved their 2002 Pinot – and it was really cool to get to taste it next to their 2004 Pinot. I’m not sure if it was the growing season or the age of the wine but the ’02 was way, way better.

The next day it was all about the wine… we spent the whole day on the Eastern side of Seneca lake....

Fox Run Vineyards:
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Yeah… we liked their semi-dry Reisling the best even though we usually like the dryer ones…. Matt liked their blush wine but I didn’t. I’m not really a blush wine kindof gal, though.

Seneca Shore:
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This place had a ton of wines to try. We really liked their Gew├╝rztraminer … and they had a couple of different ones to taste. However, we ended up buying the Traminette because it has a cool story – It essentially was a gewurzt grape that the people at Cornell messed with so that it would be hardier in this region. I thought that was cool. It tasted similar to the Gew├╝rztraminer (spicy) but with a different finish. Yes I actually know what that means now!

Anthony Road:
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This place had the really cool feature of a garden overlooking the lake. We got to try several different varieties of the grapes straight off the vine! Their wines were kindof eh though. We liked all of them but didn’t flip over any of them. Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Prejean:
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This place was weird b/c all of their wines tasted spicy to us. That worked out really, really well for some varieties and not so much for others. I loved their Cab Sauvignon and Matt loved their Chardonnay (the oak barrel one, not the steel barrel one).

Miles Wine Cellers:
This place was really cool. Literally right on the lake… check out the view...
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And the people there were super-friendly and nice. I actually really liked their Cab Franc and I usually don’t love those…. But picturing it with a steak dinner.. mmmmmm. We also liked their Wisteria blush – again I don’t usually like blush wines but this one was by far the best we tasted. It didn’t leave that super-fruity taste in my mouth at all. I could picture it being real good on a 100 degree day in the middle of July.

From there we were a little tasted out so we just asked the ladies at Miles where we should go next. They recommended several places to get some variety into our trip. We ended up going down to Glenora to see what a more commercial Finger Lakes winery was like. It was a zoo. Tour busses and all. Exactly what we expected. So all we tasted was their Raspberry Spumante b/c that sounded fun. It was fun. That’s about all I got on that. We did eat lunch at their restaurant outside with this view:
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Beautiful. Oh and yes that is Adamas I'm wearing.

From their we skipped down to Lakewood Winery mainly because of the name…
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This place was ok… we liked their standard wines b/c we figure anyone would like them. We actually drank the red we bought here on Halloween – goodstuff…. Also we tried a port here and it was pretty phenomenal.

From there we were done with the wine. I can’t believe it but we were. So we went hiking in the Watkins Glen Canyon. Here’s some pics:
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Very cool.

Then it was back to the B’nB for a nap before a fancy schmancy dinner at the Esperenza Mansion. Worst picture ever of us taken at dinner:
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Seriously. We’re not that unattractive usually.

The next day we were exhausted and had to drive home. So we took it easy and drove to Keuka State Park and hung out there for awhile. That place has some beautiful views:
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And the Keuka Lake water is so clear!
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From there we decided that we were only going to go to one more winery before headed home….
Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars:
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This place was probably my fav. It’s located really high up just south of the fork in Keuka Lake which made for some more spectacular views.

I liked that they were commercial without being a frickin’ tourist trap… and their wines seemed very well thought out (if that makes any sense). Anyways we went nuts over their reserve Reisling. Best Reisling we tasted all trip by far. Unfortunately that was a tad out of our budget so we settled on their Salmon Run Dry Reisling to take home with us. Not a bad compromise. We also liked their pinot (and their fleur de pinot – both were good) and really enjoyed trying their different varieties of champagne back to back.

After that we lost all will power and stopped at just one more winery…

Heron Hill:
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This one we thought was closest in feel to a California winery – probably because of the fancy tasting room and swanky architecture. I really wanted to love either their eclipse red or their eclipse white because the bottles are so cool… unfortunately they were just ok. Their Late Harvest Vidal Blanc dessert wine, however was fantabulous.

Here’s some more pretty pictures from atop Keuka lake:
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Photo Hosted at Buzznet
Photo Hosted at Buzznet

It was a great trip.

Whew that was a loooooooong frickin' post!

November 8, 2006

Happy, happy

Things that are making me happy right now:

1.)


2.) I’m almost out of yarn on the Thuja Kneesock which means it’s almost done!


I even wound the yarn for its mate last night. Hopefully I’ll get it started tonight. I’m not going to cast off the first sock until the second one is done, though since my goal is to use up every single inch of yarn…


3.) I found that white wool in my stash yesterday (and wound it into pretty cakes while watching the election results come in).

It’s two skeins of Patons Classic Merino in winter white that I bought eons ago to dye. Well I’m not going to dye it but it’s perfect for what I had in mind for one of my Christmas gifts. Yeah for not buying more yarn!


4.) and also Yeah for buying more yarn! After I post this I'm off to make a big knitpicks order for several super-secret projects. I’ll keep you updated when it gets here.


5.) Brittany divorced Kfed!


6.) Today I’m sending off the Odessa I knit for Caps for the Cure (a week late but whatever…)


7.) I finally downloaded all of the pictures from our anniversary Fingerlakes trip! But blogger is being pissy so I'm going to have to upload them to my photoblog before I share... I'm going to go do that now.... it could take awhile. But hopefully tomorrow there will be a big long post with lots of pretty pictures!

November 7, 2006

Vote!

Well I’m back from the convention and I’ll post about that later…

I just wanted to remind everyone that today is Election Day. It is so, so very important that everyone vote. As someone who works in Historic Preservation I am strongly supporting Strickland for governor… in case you were wondering... But really, whatever your political affiliations are go vote.

And when you do here’s a few icons for your blog:


and one really political one:


Also here’s all of the general Cleveland voting info copied from Cool Cleveland and a few other places:
  • Polls are open on Tuesday, November 7, 2006, from 6:30AM to 7:30PM.
  • Confirm your polling location by calling your Board of Elections here.
  • Bring your ID to the polls: current photo ID, driver's license, current utility bill, or government document with your name and current address. In fact, bring 2 forms of ID to be safe.
  • Get in line and stay in line Don't let anyone tell you to leave. Once you're in line, you must be allowed to vote.
  • If you don't get a ballot, provide the last four digits of your SSN and cast a provisional ballot.
  • Students can now use any document with their name and address from a public university to vote.
  • Cuyahoga County Board of Elections 2925 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-2497. Voter Information Hotline: 216-443-3298. General Information: 216-443-3200. http://www.boe.cuyahogacounty.us
  • If you have a problem voting on Election Day, please let the ACLU know by calling 472-2220 or visiting http://www.ACLUohio.org to complete a form.


Yeah for democracy!

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