Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today is the first day of (fill in the blank)

Okay everyone. How happy are you?! I won't spend any time complaining about the past 8 years. It's over--finally--and we are at the dawn of a new day.

I have never been so moved by a politicians speech. The fact that President Obama (I love writing that) included "non-believers" when he talked about religion in America is one of the most inclusive, exciting things I've ever heard. Especially coming off a presidency that was so deeply rooted in Christianity. Now don't get me wrong, I have no problems with Christianity. I am a Christian and have my beliefs but President Obama (did I mention that I love writing that) has taken an oath to serve the constitution and that includes everyone--regardless of what you think of their beliefs.

I also loved that his speech was about hope. Perhaps I am naive but I think he will give us an administration that actually inspires hope and belief in a better future rather than outrage, secrecy and confusion. Most importantly, I think he made it clear that we already have a lot of the tools that we need to accomplish anything that we desire--we just have to start using them effectively and openly.

I went to the Yonkers Public Library to watch the inaguration with my community. There were people there of every age, color, style and sanity level. And yes--there were knitters! And there was lots and lots and lots of cheering! But the most amazing thing happened afterwards. Strangers were stopping each other on the street (it happened to me twice) and saying "Hey, we were at the inauguration together this morning." And then they were stopping and talking to each other. It was amazing. I don't know if you are at all familiar with downtown Yonkers but that is not a common occurrence there. It was a wonderful feeling!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Look What I Got!

My birthday was last month. I got some great gifts, had some wonderful meals and terrific times with friends and family. I like to make the celebration last as long as possible. This year, it poured rain on the actual day (which I love) and we had a very cozy dinner at Jake's in the Bronx. It was wonderful. I was promised a trip to Flying Fingers for my gift. The deal was, the gift giver had to pick something just for me and I had to make something for myself with it.

Well we finally made it there today and look what I got! Isn't she pretty.

It's Colinette Prism in the Florentina colorway. I can't get over how gorgeous the colors are in it. I immediately cast on wham bam thank you lamb to keep my neck nice and cozy. I'm on size 10 needles over 33 stitches and already have a few inches done. I'm madly in love with it and can't wait to wear it.

This morning, I took Boy to get a haircut from my wonderful friend Chloe. She is also a knitter so I had a few projects to show her (I will blog them later this week). We had such fun. Too bad that she missed this. She would have loved it as much as I do. Tomorrow night, my friend Laura is having a ladies night at her house that is totally knitter friendly. I hope I haven't finished this by then because I want everyone to be able to take a few stitches on it. I like doing that sometimes. Even a non-knitter can manage a few stitches with some coaching and I love the idea of other peoples hands being on a gift. Particularly if it is for someone special. Imagine a dad being able to button his baby up in a cardigan knowing that he had put a few stitches into it. It's funny that men seem much more into this than woman are. Regardless, I love doing it and it makes me happy so pooh on you if you don't want to play.

The timing couldn't be more perfect for this project because it is as cold as it could be here in the Y.O. today and it's not going to let up any time soon. The house is cozy and the cats are surprisingly into this project. Here's what it looks like when you try to take a picture of yarn with Heatherthecat helping out.

Tiny Cat is snuggled up with it on the couch right now so I must go rescue it (translated--I want to knit more on it).

Friday, January 9, 2009

Christmas Continues

Okay so I still have a few pieces of Christmas knitting that need to be finished. But the only one with a deadline was my gifts for my book club friends. This year, we'll be keeping everyone cozy and warm with my standard wrist warmers. I LOVE this pattern. I've made piles and piles of them. They go really quickly, you can work on them anywhere and everywhere--they're much more discreet than a big pieces of lace--and they keep your hands toasty.

These are all done in Lamb's Pride Worsted. There's a Raspberry pair, a White Frost pair, a Misty Blue pair, a Clematis pair and a Charcoal pair. The photo above is a little bit dark but the colors are really fun. I'm going to wrap them all up and let everyone grab bag for their color (trading is welcomed and encouraged).

I love my book club. There are only six of us and we have a wonderful time. Everyone in the group knew someone but no one knew everyone so it was a great way to meet new people and make new friends. The other upside is that we are sure to see each other once a month so the relationships are fun, easy going and unstressed by trying to schedule time to see each other. I truly love it and am grateful to have these amazing women in my life. We've had the occasional male visitor--a husband or friend stopping by--but we have a girls only policy. It sort of reminds me of my Mom and her friends playing Mah Johng when I was a kid. No guys around, no need to behave and lots of interesting conversation. It rocks. Especially when we argue (which we have been known to do).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Waiting for the Snow

Snow is predicted here in the Y.O. and I'm sure it's going to be ugly. All the snow and ice that we've gotten in the past few weeks is proof to me that God is laughing at Yonkers. You see the day of the first big snow storm, the city laid off 42 public works employees. So fewer plowers, fewer sanders, you get the picture. It was mayhem!

At least I am home and have this fabulous box from Viki to play with. I had some lace weight she wanted, she had some alpaca that I wanted and she was kind enough to throw in some treats for me as well. Perfect toys for a cold night.

I'm going to play!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jersey Gas

As much as I love being a New Yorker, I still can't get past the cheap thrill of Jersey gas. $1.45 per gallon! Can you believe it. I wished I had two cars to fill up.

Not a great picture but definitely worth posting. Do you see that? Do you? Do you have any idea how exciting that is to me? It's better than chocolate! It's better than getting a surprise party! Dare I say it, it's even better than Chardonnay!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Looking Back

I've spent the past few days looking back at 2008 and wondering what the hell went so terribly wrong. Possibly the hardest part about doing this has been accepting the roll that I played in creating my own miserable year.

So here are some of the things I think I did wrong. I'm releasing them to the universe in the hopes that whatever is out there will wisk them all away with the wind.

1. I put another person's needs before my own. Now I know that sometimes that is the right thing to do but not if there is no balance. I allowed my self to stay in a relationship where I was providing all of the emotional support and I wasn't receiving any in return. I thought that loving someone was enough and that things would work out. That was a mistake.

2. I didn't stand up for myself or demand what I needed. I let people in all the areas of my life run rough shod over me. I was naive to think that things would work out in the end and I should have fought back--for myself--more often. That was a mistake.

3. I should not have let all these hurts and slights build up inside me. I'm guessing that if had done a better job at numbers 1 and 2, this would be a moot point but, I have to live with it and try to do a better job in 2009. That was a mistake.

I am still considering making 2009 the year of the bitch but it's hard to be bitchy all the time when you're used to being nice.

Okay--I'm going to try to let all of this go for the time being and see how I feel tomorrow.

Now that I have that off my chest, I can show you some of the beauties I finished for Christmas.

Here's Bratty Girl's scarf and mitts. The mitts are the Mountain Colors Mitten Trio pattern and the scarf is the Streaming Leaves Lace Scarf. Picked up both patterns at Flying Fingers and love them both. The yarn is from Rhinebeck and just gorgeous.

Here's Blueberry's scarf and mittens. The mittens are from the same pattern as Bratty Girl's and the scarf is an adaptation of Rachel's snowman dish cloth. The scarf took FOREVER but was worth every minute of it.

I love them all!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hoppin' John

It's New Year's Day and I am making Hoppin' John! Black eyed peas, onions, ham hocks, green peppers--all sorts of good things. And, most importantly, it's supposed to bring you good luck for the year if you eat it on New Year's Day. So I am living on superstitions right now and hoping for the best.

I'm not in a much better mood than I was yesterday so I have spent the afternoon licking my wounds and knitting.

I still have some items left to finish from Christmas. One is my sister's Hey Teach sweater. I finished as much as I could before I needed to try it on her for size. I'm glad I didn't finish it because I need to add at least four more inches to make it fall right on her (she's very tall). I've gone from the eight inches below the bust in the pattern to 14 inches to get it right.

I am also trying to finish Granny's Christmas scarf. I love the wool from Three Irish Girls. Their colorways are so beautiful. I found this pattern for free on their website and it is a fun knit. I'm using a beautiful merino and silk blend that I bought at Rhinebeck. It's so soft it's like knitting a cloud.

Also trying to finish the wrist warmers for book club. I have three pairs done--two to go. I love this pattern. It's so easy, so fast and so cozy. I'll post a photo when the whole pile of them is done.