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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I did it!!!

Okay with 13 minutes and 47 seconds to go before midnight on November 30th I did it, I finished my first NaNoWriMo!

That's right stand up and applaud!!! Wahoo! Oh wait, you don't know what NaNoWriMo is? Okay each year starting on the first day of November hundreds, no thousands, in fact this year about 60,000 people from around the world scraped every bit of free time they had to try and write their very own 50,000 word novel. Hey, it is harder than you think! The writing is a challenge but the hardest part is finding the TIME!

In 2003 I was a lurker, in 2004 I got about half way through and then died about Thanksgiving but this year I finished. Now my novel isn't done and it is a whole bunch of crap but I did get 50,083 word done and turned in before my monitor turned into a pumpkin so I am counting that as good!

So what did I win my kids asked? Well nothing but I did get a coooool button to stick on my sidebar! Well I at least think it is cool. (See! Look! It's over there! -->)

Stephanie, one of the creators of the Knit the Classics site finished daaaays ago and in the process I found out that Melanie (Teabird) was also a NaNoWriMo slave so I will have to find out how she did as well.

It was a great experience and I will definitely do it again but I will make sure that I don't plan a single solitary knitting project during the entire month!

I'm tired and I just realized it is December, so off to bed with me! I don't think I will be typing for a while in fact I think I will just switch to quill and ink for a month or so and write some plain, simple, short letters.

'Nite all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Time to catch up!

Okay, the knitting has been sitting and seriously neglected AND the holiday gifts are now laughing at me! "You can't possible get us finished now!" Ugh!

I was looking for a nice cable pattern for a man, something elegant but not flashy, and I stumbled upon these two sites:

MenKnit - and internet men's knitting netmag where I found this Irish Walking Scarf
Dave Daniels'Cabin - is another men's knitting site and he has some lovely woodwork as well.

Well that is all I have for now... I have to log in and work some on my NaNoWriMo novel.

Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2005

A lovely surprise!

"One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world's end somewhere, and holds fast to the days ..."
-Willa Cather

This is the quote that opens the lovely book "Maiden Voyages" that Teabird sent me as part of our KTC book exchange. I just happened to be listening to the above song while I flipped through the pages so it was really special! I love to travel and don't get the opportunity to venture out very often but I have been blessed with two very special trip with Girl Scouts so I have the bug for sure.

When I flipped the book over and looked at the quote on the back I almost cried with laughter! Take no offence fellow crafters.....
"If the exploring of foreign lands is not the highest end or the most useful occupation of feminine existence, it is a least more improving, as well as more amusing, than crochet work."
-Mabel Sharman Crawford, 1863

Melanie included a lovely journal for me to capture my next big adventure! It was so thought full of her to take the time to get to know me a little! Thanks Teabird, I love them!
Here are my lovely gifts with my little teapot from China...

It was a good weekend for movies! I took my daughter and her friend to see the new "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" on Friday after school and then on Sunday the same friend and her mother joined us to go see the new "Pride and Prejustice".

Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and nothing to worry about. Keira Knightly didn't come close to capturing Elizabeth Bennet and she seemed forced, silly, and a screen hog. As Darcy, Matthew MacFadyen has potential, they should have given him more screen time and not taken away so many of his great lines. Now on a positive note! Judi Dench was wonderful as Lady Catherine de Bourg, she terrified me! The supporting cast was good, actually I think they cast Jane and Mary wonderfully and they did a great job Kitty and Lydia were passable. The location shots were beautiful. I would love to find all those wonderful old trees they used and sit back and enjoy the scenery. The soundtrack is absolutely AMAZING! I would really be surprised if it didn't take an Oscar, it is just stunning. There were a couple of scenes that I liked, the dance scene when they ended up dancing alone was a good effect and I love the final scene. It is worth going to see the movie to enjoy the music and scenery but if you are a big fan of the Firth and Ehle duo then be prepared that it isn't going to be a satisfying....but then again HOW do you take "Pride and Prejudice" and cram it into 2 hours?!?
Okay, Alice, take a deep breath!
Ah! I'm better now.

Knitting didn't happen this weekend and neither did any writing for NaNoWriMo so I am going to close this post and get busy!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A little surprise is in the mail!

Well! I am very excited, and relieved. I have faithfully surrendered a package to the U.S. mail to be carried Eastward to my dear friend Stephanie in Cabin John, Maryland! Isn't that just a lovely sounding name for a town Cabin John...and her address is even better Cypress Grove Lane. So sweet!

Hey Stephanie! Look out over there!

So, here is a hint (a very lame one at that) for what she is receiving in the post.

Like I said, lame hint. But since Stephanie has done such an outstanding job with the KTC book exchange and the KTC site I threw in a few extra little trinkets!

On the knitting front not much happening. I have picked up all the billions of heel stitches on those tiny "0000" needles. What ever possessed me to knit that small. The end result in quite fine (ha ha ha!) but still it is time consuming. I might possibly do it again but then again "0"s might be just fine enough.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy Knitters and Feet-to-Be!

So I have to show off "The Group"!

Now don't let all this industrious head-down-hard-at-work body language fool ya. This crew is chatting madly and so into their own knitting (and everyone else's) that they don't even know the picture is being taken! (Thanks! Charlie!) Unfortunately we are missing Deb and Ingrid from the picture. They really do exist...I swear!

Now Noreen and Gwen have a reason to be heads down, tongue sticking out, deep in concentration...they are pulling out the waste yarn of their socks and picking up the stitches for the heels!

Gwen had the additional incentive of not being allowed to see the new "Knitting Over the Edge" book that Belinda brought in to share...evil Alice made her finish picking up those stitches!!! Bad! Bad! Zoot!

So both Gwen and Noreen have their heel stitches on their needles and are ready to go...and the crowd rejoices!!!

Oh! I found a delightful 'tips-and-tricks' page is from Nona who I am appreciating more and more everyday! Thanks to Nona!

Happy Feet

Today is Wednesday, Happyday, Knitday!

I wore my sandals barefoot coming in this morning so I could finish my socks and wear them! (Talk about incentive, it was in the 40's this morning) All I had left was the K-graft the last heel and weave in the ends. By the end of the 8:30a meeting I was wearing one sock, I grafted the heel in the 9:00a meeting and wore the socks back to the office and trimmed the ends there.

Happy feet!

On this pair I did the double decrease heel to mirror the toe. I think that is how I will have Noreen and Gwen finish theirs as well. On the burgundy pair I did a star heel which I actually like better but there is a lot of trying-on-as-you-go to get the depth right and I think it better to keep the directions simple. I need to find better directions for afterthought heels. I do like knitting from the toe up, 2 on 2 needles but I also like the fit of the gussetted heel. Hummmm...I'll have to think about that one.

For those of you who like the technical details both socks were knit from the toe up 2on2circs, the blue pair with double decrease heels on #0 needles and "Sock it to Me" Puzzle. The burgundy pair are knit on #0000 needles with a star heel and with KnitPicks "Simple Stripes".

Monday, November 07, 2005

Another busy weekend!

Wow! The Girl Scout troop had its planning retreat this weekend and we had a great time! We spent about 2 hours planning (there was lots of planning for other planning times too) but the main intent was to have a fun relaxing weekend. And boy did we! Needless to say there was very little knitting...I finished the blue socks but screwed up weaving the heal twice but nothing beyond that.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves....keep in mind it is hard to get climbing photos from the ground without a lot of big butt shots!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

This is soooo cooool!

Okay, I have been a major voyeur on the Mystery Shawl 2 and have the yarn to start now that everyone else has finished! Its not that I was being anti-social I just had tooo many obligations at the time and needed to postpone until I had the time and the materials.

But! That is not why I got back on the blog today!!! I was looking around at the site for the Peace Palm KAL and then drifted back over to Nona's site and found her serial knitting page. What a hoot!

Are these not the cutest little fingers! So I am going to convince my knitting group to start our own little Nona-KAL. I'm not going to let them have her website until the end so they can play with all the other installments.
I now know why I have been knitting socks all these has been so that I would have left over yarn for crazy fingered gloves!

Picking up a heel

Man is life busy! So on the knitting front I couldn't get my daughter to settle on a yarn for her OSW so I just picked up the socks that wait patiently for occasions like these and was able to finish the cuff on the second and pick up the stitches for the heel on the first while I caught up with old episodes of "Rome".

These are the same poor socks (toe up 2 socks on 2 circs) that traveled to Atlanta with me where I broke one of the circular needles and had to continue one sock at a time with a magic loop intervention. The circ is just on the limit of what can be used for magic looping so it isn't as smooth as it could be.

I also did a big 'no-no' and joined another KAL. BUT I HAVE A GOOD REASON...I SWEAR! Last year I knit Katie some fingerless gloves and they never did fit just right so I am going to frog the entire mess and start them over again. See I have good intentions, now to find the good time.

I have figured out what book I am going to send my Book Exchange Buddie on the Knit the Classics KAL/RAL it seems we have at least one author in common interest. It is likely that she already has to book so I will sneak in a couple of surprises to hopefully make it more endearing...besides you can't have too many copies of _______________. :-)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Halloween

Okay so no significant knitting has been going on, just working on the socks still trying to get the time together to start on the OSW (one skein wonder) I wanted to start last weekend.

Also plugging away at finished the Mystery of Udolpho for the Knit the Classics...I got my book exchange buddy today and I'm excited! Actually by receiving buddy already knows who I am but I still don't know who has me!! Goody! I think that since my buddy knows what is going on (she is the coordinator) that I will have to come up with an extra special surprise for her! Let's just ponder that shall we!

Today also starts National Novel Writing Month and even though I didn't get close to the mark last year I enjoyed the game so I am signed up for this year too. The trick is to make it a goal to write anything, I would die if I made the goal to finish the novel! There is way too much to do as it is, the writing is just another form of therapy. If I didn't like sleeping so much I would have so much more time! But curling up in a warm bed under my Chinese silk comforter is just too happy a thought. Ahhhhhh!

We did have a good turn out for the TAS Halloween Special public night! We had games for the kids and I did a presentation on debunking bad astronomy in a lime green cat costume. Mars sat behind some haze but people were able to see it or at least say they saw it so it wasn't a complete loss. All the experiments worked out fine but I wish I had taken pictures of the event, it would have been fun.

We also squeezed in a brewing session on Sunday so I have an Irish porter burping away in my laundry room! Smelled good yesterday so we will see how things are going when I get home from work.

Have to run, too much work and too much to do...Scout night, NaNoWriMo month, getting ready for the weekend retreat etc.