It's Coming on Christmas

I'm one of those people that can not stand anything Christmas related before Thanksgiving - Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Sure, it's a pain to prepare to host or to pack up and travel but all you have to do is eat! That I can do.

I will shop for Christmas gifts throughout the year because I have learned my lesson that if you wait the item you want will not be there when you go back to find it. But to go into Sprawl-mart or Tar-ghay and see decorations / hear carols drives me mad! I did spot some Christmas lights up last week at houses and I just grit my teeth and drove on. (Random side note, talking about gritting one's teeth - I now wear a nightguard to protect my own teeth from further grinding damage. I think I'm clenching harder now that I have something to actually chew on. Weird. Anyway.)

We pulled out the garland and light for our stairway this afternoon. I had some fun playing around with the camera settings and was hoping I might luck out with a Christmas card photo. Didn't quite work out, but I got some neat shots.
I'm really pleased with this one:
Black and White garland

This might be my new favorite picture of Lorelai:

I swear, she does smile, but she was serious about the lights:
Garland 1

And then, bored:
Garland 2

Possibilities for the card:

Gentle glow
I like this last one the best, but she's still out of focus.

Catch Up.

A few weeks back one of my good friends requested a custom knit hat for her new baby, Will. She wanted several key features - navy blue & white colors, earflaps, ties, a sort of floppy top and a tassle at the end. I sent her many options to see online and went from there.
Will's hat #3
I mostly went by "Color at Play" from the book Babies & Toddlers: A Knitters Dozen and to try and get the sizing right I took inspiration and guidance from "Itty Bitty Hats" (my baby hat bible). I did add the blue crochet edging and am quite pleased with my single crochet skills. Go me. As far as the fit goes, well - Will's a sturdy guy and there's room to grow in it (it fits Lorelai, but we all know she's a peanut).
Will's Hat #1 Will's Hat #2
(pardon the red eyes, he's not a devil baby, he's adorable and sweet and has a fantastic little smile. poor guy has been traveling and was just out of sorts.)

Since he's the new baby and I never really got to have Lorelai wear her Jive Turkey Hat, we stuck that on him as well.
Jive Turkey Will
Poor babies, people are always putting stuff on them!

In town, traditionally the high school reunions are held the day after Thanksgiving. My friends and I have all skipped our 10 year reunions in favor of spending time with each other, since we're not often given the opportunity to all be together. And we used to spend a lot of time together doing drama club. A great equalizer that was - didn't really matter if you were a freshman or senior. Anyway, here we are now:
Anti-reunion reunion
Respectively: Mike (Class of '97), Betsy('95), me ('96), Jenny ('98) and Vik ('95). Will probably won't be attending our town high school, but Lorelai will - class of 2025, OMG. That seems like forever from now, and will be here so soon!)


Happy Thanksgiving

Looking at you
Yep, that turkey is yellow. On purpose. There's a turkey farm in town and they have a pen of turkeys out front that are all colors!

They do sell the turkeys too.


Whatever your plans are today, take good care and enjoy the day!


Looking Back, Looking Ahead

This past weekend went by in a blur - Dan & I went with friends to the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Saturday / Sunday. It was a good time, but those casinos are draining. It's sensory overload - there's music, lights, textures and patterns. I did like the carpet in our hotel room:
Anyway, we played some blackjack (after a practice session the night before with Cheerios). I only played a few hands - I find it way too fast / intimidating and then you have the regular players that shout and you "NO! Don't hit on 12 / 13 / 14!". Dan stuck with it, he was up, down / broke even and in the end lost, but it was a good time.
I really enjoyed the place we stopped at for food before we started gambling, Burke in the Box - Dan & I had different sliders - cheeseburger and chicken parm. They were so cute - had to take a photo;
Burke in a box - sliders
(When I took this photo I thought of Phoebe because she often has food pictures on her blog! Jennsquared too!)

And here we are,
Dan & Becca
Tomorrow is our 4th Anniversary. We're celebrating today (dinner and a movie (double yum!). We're hosting Thanksgiving, so we expect tomorrow will be a bit crazy with prep. Actually we're in good shape I think, even with Lorelai all about and underfoot.

I've just about finished a hat for a new baby we get to meet on Friday, but it still needs a tassel and I would rather show it off on the actual baby (I hope it fits!) It was a custom job requested by his mom....

I've also been looking at the past novembers - I was waiting a lot in November 2007, prepping in November 2006 (those WIPS from 11/13/06? Still not done. I think they are still on the needles. I should rip those out. The LnV socks I plan to fix though) and in November 2005 I was being a teacher and hadn't learned how to balance my time yet. In 2004 I married... (a photo was posted in december, here). Good times.


On the Move

Last night Lorelai started walking! We can get her to walk between us - maybe 5 - 6 steps - it's just incredible to watch her figure out her balance and such. I think she likes the falling part too. She's such an imp! Feeding is now more of an issue - I know I need to get her to eat more veggies, but she has mastered spitting them back out or flinging them everywhere. Groan. At least she's cute!

I finished the "Bitty Bolero" by PixiePurls for Lorelai this morning. Quick knit! One skein! It's just a little snug, my gauge was probably off, but it's a pattern I would knit again (in a larger size it would probably take 1 skein and then maybe half of the 2nd skein?). I used encore worsted that I got for 60% off (!). We're celebrating Lorelai's birthday next week on Thanksgiving and she was gifted a very cute ballerina-ish birthday dress - tank top style. So she'll wear that with a onesie and this little sweater.



Feels like Romper Room

I see so many knitters...
News Channel 8 Blogged about Thursday night knitting!

But, OMG, what is up with people in the comments?

Cover every little neck

a.k.a. My dog is a good sport part #3750293854 (note to Emmie beloved cat of Knelley, you could be a better sport!)




I've been wanting to make this for a while - it's a "Snood for a Hound" ravelry-link by Erssie. I love pretty much any dog anyway, but the hounds have a special place in my heart. It's a combination of the face and ears - such personality. I dream of getting an Italian greyhound (or rescue a greyhound) and naming it "Fragile" (Think Christmas Story pronunciation). But that's a long way off, I wouldn't dare do that to Jackson. I will, however, dress the dog in handknits. Anyway, Erssie sold this pattern to raise $$ for greyhound rescue.

I did have to make a few slight modifications - Jackson has a long body and head, but a short neck. I followed the pattern in the beginning, did one cable round, knit 11 rib rounds after that and bound off. The yarn is Vanna's Choice (acrylic) in a Rust colorway, leftover from a pumpkin hat. Jackson does get chilly but really gets a tad freaked out by wearing a sweater (he shakes harder!) so I'm hoping that this will give him some extra warmth (who doesn't like a bit of warmth around their neck?) without the full-on sweater-pressure. And it can be worn in a variety of styles. It also helps that he's ready to fall asleep with it on as I type this. I plan to get a few more photos of him walking around with it on.

Good dog!


FO Found!

This week we had a whole house fan installed, so the work-guys had to get up into the roof crawlspace. You get to that through my closet, so I had to clear it out. In doing so I found a FO that I forgot about. I made Bobblicious from Knitty.com, winter '05! I remember working on it on the drive into Rhode Island for Christmas Eve, so I'm guessing I started it December 24, 2005 and probably finished it before or just after 2006. I think it's lion brand wool-ease thick+quick.
(excuse the bad bathroom / low-resolution photos)

I don't really know what I was thinking with this one. I'm not a bobble-person (can't stand them actually), I never use this (obviously, it's been hiding in my closet for 3 years.) It is warm though, so maybe I'll make an effort to use it, just to curl up with / in while I watch tv at night.

I fixed my CPH fronts, yay on that. I'm going to a new-to-me SnB tonight - Dan wants to catch the Jets/Patriots game tomorrow night - his brother gets the NFL network, so I'll go knitting tonight, Dan goes out tomorrow. Anyway, I'm deciding what to bring to SnB tonight, my CPH? Maybe. I've got several other projects that are all shouting at me, "Make ME!"

I don't know how I feel about my knitting talking back and getting fresh.


Quoting Homer

"Aw, crap."

I am was going strong on my Central Park Hoodie. I'm working on the Left Front. I read the directions for the neck decreases and knit away. I pulled out the Right Front (previously finished) just to double check and see the length. Then I noticed something wonky.

(Left Front / Right Front iphone photos, excuse the quality.)
CPH Left front CPH right front

Um, see the cable on the right front? How is gets, what's the word? Oh, decreased? On the shoulder edge? That's an odd design modification. I don't know what I was thinking when I did that, or exactly when / where it happened - was I talking at SnB and not paying attention? Likely. Sigh. I think I can thread in a lifeline, then just rip back and re-do the neck decreases properly.

Read twice, knit once. (This has happened to me before - I struggle with P2. My brain wants to P2tog and so my hands listen. Then I snap back to reality and wonder where all the stitches went!)



Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter
Thank you Lori!
This most awesome plurk-swap package arrived yesterday. There's bananagrams, Maine soap, the Yarn Harlot's "Free Range Knitter" (can't wait to dive into that!), Maple candies and blueberry candies and a plush toy for Lorelai (how sweet of you to think of her!)

And the yarn - Oh My! The color is "Clemantis Vine" - it's the greatest blend of blues-purples-greens EVER! The tag indicates it's 375 yards of Targhee Wool - it's so fantastically soft! Her etsy shop is fromthewoolroom.etsy.com - love it!

Thank you again very very much!


September / October 101 Update

(Gosh I'm behind on this!)

Original post here. Updates: January, February, March, June, July, August

I like a challenge. I love lists. I think this sort of list would be good to help me keep some focus (on me) now that the bulk of my focus is on my family. This list has been inspired by my family, friends, and the other lists in blogs I read...

Day Zero, Home of 101/1001 Project
The Mission
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

My List
Start date : 01 January 2008
End date : 28 September 2010

Not yet started
In progress

1. Fill the large collage photo frames. (1/3)
2. Hang the photo-filled large collage photo frames (1/3)
3. Declutter: sell or give-away 101 material items I own (25/101)
-yarn, -clothes -books
4. Learn to use the drop spindle. Completed: 3/11/08
5. Make enough yarn on the drop spindle to make a hat.
6. Learn to crochet. Completed: 8/30/08
7. Use crochet to make a simple amigurumi character.
8. Open a savings account for Lorelai and save $250 (250/250) Complete: 5/17/08
9. See 10 movies in the movie theater (4/10)
**1)Sex & The City
**3)The Dark Knight
**4)Mamma Mia
10. Submit my resume to the new science museum. Completed: 2/28/08
11. Attend a sheep and wool festival in CT
12. Go to the local farmer's market 15 times (4/15)
13. Submit photos to the Durham and Guilford Fairs each year (0/6)
14. Submit knitted objects to the Durham and Guilford Fairs each year (0/6)
15. Photograph Lorelai on the 30th of each month (10/33)
16. Cook one new recipe a month (9/33)
**"Chicken Bruschetta Bake" from the Stove Top Stuffing Mix Box. Just ok.**
**"Curried Lamb" from Woman's Day Magazine, crock-pot recipe. Bland.**
**"Stuffed Pepper Soup" copycat recipe of 99 restuarant recipe. Burnt the soup. Ick.**
**Turkey & Brocolli Casserole thing from Taste Of Home Magazine. Not bad.
**Mini Lamb Burgers with Couscous Salad from Real Simple - Delish!
**Baked Mac-n-Cheese with Chicken Sausage from "6 o'clock Scramble" online - yummy!
**Blueberry Cake from Cooking Light - ok, but all the blueberries sank to the bottom!
**Chrispy Chicken Romaine Salad - back of the bread crumb box - ok
**Blueberry Crumb Bars - not bad.
17. Drink 2-3 Liters of water a day.
18. Write a letter to Koji and Noriko to tell them about Lorelai.
19. Knit a sweater for me that fits and I love. Glee!
20. Knit 30 socks (15 pairs) (9/30)
**Bartholomew's Sock #1 done 1/21/08**
**Bartholomew's Sock #2 done 2/4/08**
**Lenore Socks #1 & #2 done in 10 days! 2/14/08**
**Two wee socks (one for the wee sock swap) 3/30/08**
**Tidal Wave Sock #1 done 5/25/08**
**Sanrio Socks #1 & #2 done9/30/08**
21. I want to make the “Heirloom Ring Blanket” for my mom. Deadline: December 2008.
22. Sign Up for the 100 Push Up Challenge
23. Complete the 100 push-up challenge: initial test, Week 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
24. Update the blog once a week for a year. (12/52)
25. Go to four dachshund meet-ups. (2/4)
26. Make updated moo cards. Completed 10/15/2008
27. Make my own granola.
28. Get a routine physical with an internist. Completed 8/5/08
29. Get a body scan to check on the freckles / moles.Scheduled for Feb. '09
30. Go to the dentist twice a year (2/6)
31. Start doing yoga once a week, build up to three times a week.
32. Take Jackson for a walk daily, weather permitting. (Let's face it, he's a dachshund and doesn't fare well in cold, wet, or snow)
33. Save $1 for every item completed from this list.
34. Sew a pair of pajama pants.
35. Read 10 books. (10/10)
**1) The Good Good Pig
**2) The Memory Keeper's Daughter
**3) The Tender Bar
**4) You're Not You
**5) Water for Elephants
**6) Diary
**7) The Know-it-all
**8) Prince Caspian
**9) Smotherhood
**10) Redstripe
**11) In Defense of Food
**12) Garbage Land
36. Create a coordinated Halloween costume for Lorelai and Jackson. Complete 10/31/2008
37. I'm going to allow myself to purchase yarn with the condition that an equal (or greater) amount leaves the house.
38. Clean out and organize the junk drawers in the kitchen (2/2) Complete: 6/29/08
39. Write recipes on recipe cards as needed. No more torn out from magazine papers!
40. Send the grandparents a card / Lorelai photo once a month (9/33)
41. Post an Update of my 101 each month (8/33)
42. Grow plant / veggie garden from seed.
43. Grow 3 "new to me" plants / veggies each year (3/9)
**1) Broccoli
**2) Peas
**3) Corn
44. Give blood once a year. (0/3)
45. Read "The Killer Angels".
46. Try out peapod or other online grocery service.Complete: 1/2/08
47. Try out g-diapers.
48. Clean out email inbox and maintain so there's never more than 100 messages in there at a time.
49. Get a professional portrait of Lorelai. Adorable.
50. Buy 5 gifts from etsy.com each year (2/15)
**PrettyInPosies hair clips for Lorelai**
**Gift for Dan**
51. Clean out / organize the bloglines reader to remove blogs unupdated / uninteresting / topics /etc. once each year (0/3)
52. Get back in shape to fit into my regular non-maternity clothes. All the maternity clothes are put away!
53. Bring old maternity clothes and newborn clothes to Beyond the Stork. Donated or put away
54. Replace the lights along the front walk. Complete: 6/8/08
55. Get back to at least my prepregnancy weight (minus an extra 5 - 7 pounds)
**As of 1/11/08 I'm down 28 pounds! 13 more to go to get to pre-preg.wt**
**11/4/2008 another 8 pounds to go.**
56. Buy a scale to keep an eye on #55.Complete: 1/15/08
57. Rediscover my yarn stash - pair up 20 new projects with stash yarn. (3/20) - rattles!
58. Complete 20 projects using stash yarn (4/20)
**1) Snowman Hat **2)Bunny Cozies **3)Batman Hat **4)rattles
59. Knit 30 baby hats for charity, donate in Lorelai's name. (1/30)
60. Make my own sushi.
61. Make photocards for Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving on home computer.
62. See a Broadway show.Complete: 5/3/08 Macbeth
63. Visit New York City.Complete: 5/3/08
64. Snorkel in the British Virgin Islands.Complete: 4/22/08
65. Try 10 recipes from Alton Brown's "Good Eats" (0/10)
66. Host a holiday dinner for the family at least once a year. (1/3) Easter '08
67. Garden indoors with the AeroGarden, maintain the water and nutrients.
68. Get a bikini wax.
69. Vote for president. Completed 11/4/2008
70. Listen to 8 audio-books. (3/8)
**1) Microthrills by Wendy Spero
**2) The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
**3) Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
71. Get my first tattoo
72. Go back to church
73. Knit three projects from each knitting book I own.
**Itty Bitty Hats a)Snowman Hat b)Bunny Tails Hat c)Upside-Down Daisy
**Mason-Dixon Knitting a)Baby Genius Burp Cloth
74. Join a local mom+baby group.
75. Copy the phone numbers in my cell phone into my paper address book.
76. Reinstall itunes.Complete: 1/3/2008
77. Expose myself to new music: Listen to one new artist a week (3/143)
78. See if the nerds / geeks can rescue the data from the Dell hard drive.
79. Get back on birth control. completed 1/13/08
80. Write a letter a month (2/33)
81. Sort through the boxes brought home from school.
82. Fully update stash on ravelry.
83. Fully update books on ravelry.
84. Fully update needles on ravelry.
85. Set up an etsy shop. Complete: 6/27/08
86. Sell 25 items from etsy shop. (2/25)
87. Get a table / space at a local craft fair. Completed 10/18/2008
88. Knit Dan & Virginia's wedding afghan. Deadline: June 2009.
89. Knit afghan for me!
90. Re-read 10 books that I read when I was in grades 6 - 8. (1/10)
**1) Little House on the Prairie
91. Purchase a TerraPass / CO2 offset for my car / home / acrylic knitting.
92. Knit all holiday gifts by December 13.
93. Embroider a onesie for Lorelai.
94. Use the canvas / knit bags not plastic when shopping. This is a full time habit now
95. Try sign language with Lorelai - 5 signs (4/5) **1) More (we're working on Help, Thank You, and Drink)
96. Come in second in the fantasy football league. OMG, don't want to jinx it but as of 11/4/08 I'm #1!
97. Read more than just the Art section of the New York Times Weekend Edition (\2\4/143)
98. Eat vegetarian for a week.
99. Learn to make pancakes.
100. Eat out at 5 new restaurants (5/5)
**The Time Out Tavern, Durham, CT
**The New Deal Steakplace, Westbrook, CT
**Mia Dona, New York City
**Nellie Green, Branford, CT
**Miso, New Haven, CT
**Tuscany Grill, Middletown, CT
101. Smile everyday. Be a good example / role model for my daughter. Be a good wife to my husband.


Presidential election 2008

Considering that it is my job to set a good example, Lorelai came with me to vote today - our town seems to have its act together - I think we waited 5 minutes tops. We completed our scantron (yes, scantron - fill in the oval completely, so low-tech, yet reliable) and went on our way.

I live in a house divided - my husband is an adamant supporter of the other guy. I can see his point and even agree with a few issues there, but on the whole, I like my guy better. I get a good vibe.

We don't have a crystal ball we can use to say Yes, Mr. X is the better guy for the job and was able to fix the economy, the war, the environment, the schools.... No matter who wins, the other team will be making noise that had their guy won we wouldn't be in this mess. Everything won't be fixed when the new guy is sworn in. I think both candidates have a hard job to do and most of what they promised isn't worth squat. It's all spun in so many ways the messages are all tangled. And I would bet that much of what they promise to try and accomplish can't be done in 4 (or 8) years anyway.

I voted for Lorelai. You vote for a better tomorrow. You vote for the future, not the present. Years from now, she'll be dealing with the mess that was created now - will she cared who I voted for? Do I care if my folks voted for Carter or Clinton? Not really.

And while I still have my suspicions about the evil empire that is Starbucks (and I support my local economy by getting coffee there once a week - it's good! and easy to get the stroller into.) I do like their campaign today.

Give Life, Donate Blood