Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve

Well, the 'dust' is starting to settle here after our Christmas frenzy of buying new computers, accessories and setting up the wireless networking and new cable Internet access. Here's some of the debris:

A lot of boxes ready to be hauled out of the dining room, temporarily used as a new computer staging area!

You saw the Dell desktop in my last post. Today, my new notebook arrived!

I love it, especially the color! See, it goes with my favorite wrist warmers.

So, I've been on the computers most of the day, but I did break to make this French Onion Soup for lunch:

It's a rather boozy version, with a combination of sherry, brandy and white wine, perfectly warming for a winter day.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Quick Holiday Update

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Jeff and I, along with our pets, are having a happy time. Along with spending time at home, we've visited with friends and family and it's been good to catch up with everyone.

I did a lot of baking and highly recommend some new (to me) cookie recipes: Cornmeal Cherry Cookies and Butter Pecan Cookies. Yummy!

Christmas Day, we got some nice loot like DVDs and books. Friends Debby and Chris gave us this beautiful book of cycling pictures!

Jeff and I treated ourselves to an overhaul of our computers. We got hooked up to cable high speed (at last!) and have this new Dell desktop along with a lovely flat monitor. Jeff has been working hard on the wireless networking and gizmos. The new computer is in the dining room for now, until we clear out one of the old computers in the office area.

We have a new Dell notebook on the way! I can't wait to be able to use that anywhere in the house. It will be especially nice to be able to read blogs while hanging out on the couch!

Oh, we also got new KRZR cell phones and accessories! So we have plenty of gadgets now!

I managed to finish knitting a number of wrist warmers for Christmas presents and they were well received. I didn't get knitting stuff for Xmas as Jeff and I decided I would just order some things after the new year to make sure I get exactly what I need.

However, I did get some knitting things at Barnes and Noble tonight. I took advantage of the 50% off sale for calendars and got the Knitting Pattern-A-Day one. I think it was the last of its kind in the entire store! They also had the latest Simply Knitting and Knitscene magazines. So, I have lots to look at now.

I'll be back in a few days to tell you more about our hols and new things. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Saffy's Early Christmas Present

Jeff and I did a little Christmas shopping for our pets today at Target. We got this cozy bed for Saffy and couldn't resist giving it to her early. She got into it straight away in the kitchen and didn't want to get out of it!

At last, she let me move it to a better spot near a radiator and she curled up and slept and didn't even raise her head for at least an hour!

Silas was similarly curled up next to her, but we didn't give him his new bed yet. He gets nervous about new beds and tends to lay next to them for a week or so before he will get on them. Yes, he's weird! For now, he's using an old rug he likes, but soon we will get him adjusted to his new bed too.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Visit with Friends

Saturday, we drove to CT to visit with Debby and Chris. We went book shopping at the Book Barn in Niantic. (I got four and Jeff got a stack.) There are many cats living among the books. This little orange cat was especially cute curled up on a pony in the kiddie section.

You really never know when you'll turn around and be eye to eye with a cat! Here's a little tiger with Debby.

The same tiger really wanted to play with Jeff, but Jeff likes his fingers intact, so he didn't get too close to the claws!

After shopping at the Book Barn, we went to Essex which is a quaint New England town all decked out for Christmas. I experimented with my camera settings and was able to get a few shots even though it was pretty dark out. Here is a street scene.

And a typical colonial home, prettily lighted.

We did a little shopping on the main street. Jeff and I found a funny sign for our house, it says "Chien Lunitique". (Which will refer to our somewhat neurotic Silas, of course!) Also a lovely set of salt/spice cellars, glass with little spoons, from France. The shopkeeper wrapped them up in gorgeous paper and ribbon even though they were for me, so I can't bring myself to open them just yet. I'll get a picture for you when I do. After a delicious dinner out at The Black Seal, we stopped at the train station where a holiday steam train ride was getting ready to begin. I'm sorry the pics are sooo dark, but hopefully you can see a little bit of detail of the steam engine and decorated station.

Chris, Jeff and I were allowed to climb aboard and gaze into the coal fire. It was great to be near an inferno like that on such a cold evening!

After, we settled for the evening at Chris and Debby's house to watch a movie by the fireplace and play with their 3 sweet kitties. Also, Debby and I worked a little on our knitting projects.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Q: How does an oyster ask for a bun?

A: Gi's a bun!

I finished these wrist warmers for Jeff. They are a variation of the pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Had to make a quick run to the yarn shop today and snapped this picture of the sky on the way. Looks wintry, don't you think? We are between storms at the moment with the next one due Saturday night.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


We're getting the first accumulated snow of the season. Jeff came home early and we played with the dogs in the snow. They *love* snow!

Jeff happens to be wearing one of my grandmother's hats.

Saffy likes soccer games the best in the snow since the ball slides around easier. She makes us both play with her. She likes to try to steal the ball away from us and then wants us to try to get it away from her.

She's really good at this game!

Silas has yet to figure out how to play soccer, but he has fun too.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Good Day to Stay Cozy on the Couch

I'm having a really low energy sort of day. It's dark and rainy out and just cold enough that the rain freezes on everything in a pretty glaze.



and a back corner of our yard.

Other than taking the dogs out to play and snap the pictures, I've stayed in with my knitting, working on Christmas gifts. When I've needed to rest my fingers I've looked though two new pattern books I got yesterday at Sakonnet Purls. Jeff and I were out doing chores and both felt like a little drive in the country rather than heading straight home, so I suggested a route that 'just happened' to go by the yarn shop ;) Well, as soon as I walked in I saw the RYC Classic Tweed book I've been longing for. And Coast has appealed to me for some time too, so I figured 'why not' what with it being the holiday shopping season!

I might just attempt a first ever DH sweater from Classic Tweed. He likes the yarn colors pictured, so I will look into getting those. It would be a good project for '08.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Yarn Mail

The Mountain Colors weavers wool is my new favorite yarn! Here's what I bought from Fuzzy Mabel:

Ruby River

Wild Raspberry

And, a HUGE amount of Winter Sky. I'm thinking about a wrap...for ME! What pattern should I use??? Sooo many choices!!!

Also, I have a new Simply Knitting UK to enjoy as the November issue was available last night at the Barnes and Noble (if you knew to look on the trolley of new mags that weren't on the shelves yet!).

Mitten Lining

For Ina and others who may be interested in how my grandmother adds a lining to her mittens. Here's a picture of the inside of the mitten I posted about yesterday.

You can buy or even recycle some quilted material and cut it into a couple of panels for each side of the mitten which you then stitch in place with a matching thread.

This simple technique makes the mittens very warm and blocks the wind a bit too! I think it's also good when you've been carrying a lot of colors across the back of your work as it prevents your fingers from catching on any 'carries' when you pull the mittens on. And, it helps keep the shape over time.

My grandmother is 94 years old and thinks her knitting is not good lately, but I still love when she makes things for me.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Decorating, Naughty Dogs, Complaining about the Cold

We put a Maine blue spruce wreath on the door yesterday that we received from Jeff's family. We have some 'Charlie Brown' style lights on the front porch, but I still haven't put up the tree!

Who do you think chewed up a cardboard box this morning? I held up the soggy evidence and asked them and they both looked guilty.

They probably think they are practicing for opening presents on Christmas morning, but I told them that Santa won't bring them any presents if they keep acting so naughty. I'm sure they quickly forgot their lesson of 'Thou shalt not take from and make a mess of the paper recycling bin'.

On our morning outing, Saffy quickly made a nest in the leaves and began chewing up sticks.

Silas worked at chewing another branch.

I don't know why they are even more interested in chewing than usual. Do you suppose it is something to do with the cold, wintry weather?

While the dogs happily played, I froze, despite layers of clothing and some mittens my grandmother made me with her yarn scraps. They are lined with quilted material for additional warmth.

Our temperatures have been 10 or more degrees below normal and I am not enjoying it!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Another Misty Garden (in progress)

I liked my first Misty Garden scarf so much that I'm working on another for a Christmas gift and may even make a couple more after this one! Here's a detail showing the lace pattern and variegated colors of the Mountain Colors weavers wool in Meadow.

I have been very good about using up the yarn I've purchased. I've used/am using all 3 skeins that I bought at the blogger meet up in November!

Soooo...I've rewarded myself with a little shopping spree from Fuzzy Mabel and Purl Soho. I'll show you pictures of my yarn mail soon.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

FO: Ribbed Wrist Warmers

I've been working on some Christmas gifts. Today, I finished these wrist warmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. The yarn is Mountain Colors weavers wool in Sapphire Trail and I loved working with the autumn hues.

At Michael's craft store the other night I found myself drawn to the twinkling glitter and brought home several shades and some Martha Stewart acorn boxes to decorate. I need to think of more things to glitter...any ideas?

The two shades on the left will be used for the acorns. The other shades are silver, red and pink.

Friday, November 30, 2007

FO: Misty Garden Scarf

This was a fun, quick project from the book Scarf Style. I love the way the pattern and variegated yarn look together and think these shades of blues and purple will really dress up my typical outfit of jeans and plain tee.

Doesn't even seem to need blocking!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blogger Meet Up

Saturday, I went to the 3rd Southern NE Knit Blogger meet up at Mystic River Yarns. It was fun chatting, knitting and shopping with these creative women! The shop is charming, as I'm sure you can see in these pictures. The owner gave us each a shop mug at the end of our meet up.

Cindy and Debbie:

Debby and Kristen:

Valerie, Karen and Cindy:

I worked on my Black Raspberry top. I've knit the front and back sections in parallel. The front is ready to be divided for the v neck shaping and then I will begin the armhole shaping on both pieces.

I purchased 3 skeins of Mountain Colors weavers wool quarters which I have not worked with before. I initially picked them for socks. This one is meadow:

This one is sapphire trail which I thought might be good for Jeff either as socks or wrist warmers. He balled up the skein for me last night while we watched TV together.

I balled this yarn which is called winter sky and thought it was just too pretty to have hidden in shoes and cast on for a scarf instead. It's the Misty Garden pattern from the book Scarf Style. It's a very different yarn than the one used in the book, but I think mine will be nice in different way. It's knitting to the same width. What do you think? Should I keep going with it?