Sunday, December 31, 2006

Christmas Among Knitters, or Gloating Over My Hoard

I know. I know! This is just gratuitous. That's why I've held back for almost a week now. But I've decided I'm not even sorry about being so juvenile (Looky what I got! Looky what I got!). See, this is part of the fun of having been a knitter for less than a year. There's so much I can still get excited about, because I still know so little about what's out there.

Besides. This haul is amazing. And I have to post this today, because by January I should be all blase and adult about this, right? And posting about real knitting again.

Two of the knitting books I've been longing for. If I didn't get them for Christmas, I was going to treat myself at the bookstore this week. I'm fascinated by shawls, albeit a little intimidated by the actual projects here. I'm drinking up the information about the knitting traditions, though. And Knitting for Peace! Got to find out if they're still adding to the Red Sweater Collection.

A Tilli Tomas knitting bag from my mother, in my favorite color combination. Okay, she had a little help from me on this one. But I didn't realize just how well thought out it was when I saw it online. That little gold silk bag holds a pair of folding scissors (included). And not only is it not overwhelmed with pockets (I never manage to use them anyway, and always forget what I've put where when I do), note the cool yarn storage.

That snap on the interior fastens a flap that hold balls of yarn in place. There are grommets to thread the ends through. Could this be the end to yarn that jumps out of the bag and rolls across the room and under the couch, bonding with the dust hippos and cat hair?

Extreme knitting needles from Cate.

In a size 15; the size I didn't have when I began my struggles with her Fleece Artist Poncho.

The best Christmas knitting stuff, however, not only wasn't my work, they aren't even my presents.

My amazing sister made these. Left to right, one for Marco, one for John and one for Clare.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

29 Years

It's our wedding anniversary.

"And now it's crumbs in the butter
you didn't change the litter
you squeeze the toothpaste from the middle
and your shoes are in the middle of the floor.

"You leave the toilet seat up
you broke my favorite cup
you rummage through my purse
and what's worse you're getting on my nerves.

"You're driving me crazy, how can this be?
When I love you and you love me.

"You say I interrupt you when you're talking.
I hurry you up when we're walking.
I talk about myself too much.
and I make noise when I chew.

"I'm driving you crazy, how can this be?
When I love you and you love me.

"You say that I'm nagging, this can't be true,
You said I was perfect when I married you."

"Crumbs in the Butter," Bonnie Koloc, Here to Sing

Twenty nine years. Talk about a long, strange trip.

Friday, December 29, 2006

And Near Success

This, now. This is where "almost" comes in. Also the advantages of not being a one trick pony. Knitting purists may want to scroll down a bit.

I did finish the actual crocheting on Christmas Day, but not all the fiddly bits, like all those ends - two for every stripe. (You may notice, there are a lot of stripes.) And the 80+ tassels. But my in-laws are still in town. If necessary, I can get it in a box and UPS it to my sister-in-law's before the Ohio crew heads back. So I figure it counts, but only sort of.

I like this pattern. It's your basic V's-in-a-row afghan. Make a chain a little longer than the finished width (or length if you prefer). Strengthen it with a row of single crochet. Then v-stitch all the way till the final row of single crochet and fasten off. If your smart and dedicated, you'll weave in the ends as you go. If, like me, you tend to blow a v-stitch from time to time and have to rip back, you'll put it off till the end. Tassels are in the corners and every third stitch.

My husband's family has some serious health issues to contend with right now. Not to mention the fact my mother-in-law, the hale and hearty one, is not a young woman. (The Natural Fiber Only Club may need to close their eyes here before they hyperventilate). A wool afghan would have been more burden than gift. I went with acrylic: Bernat Berella So Soft, about 2 1/2 skeins of black, slightly over 1 skein each for the green and gold; 2 skeins each of Caron Dawn Sayelle for the red and blue. As proof that not all worsted weights are created equal, the Berella is thicker than the Sayelle. I wish I'd had the good sense to plan a little bit more. Or at least a little sooner. I could have used thinner yarn, a smaller hook, not double-stranded the red and blue.

As it was, I got about a third of the way in and began to question my sanity. Too many big-needle/hook projects in a row seem to have an adverse effect thereon. I began to daydream about little projects. Small needles. Tiny motifs. Making promises to myself if I would only persist.

About this far and I began looking up patterns on the Internet. This slowed down production considerably. A few more stripes and I began to get a bit desperate.

I went mining the stash and checking supplies. This is what I came up with.

Fingering weight hand-spun from eBay, Jaeger Matchmaker picked up at the sad demise of Flying Colors yarn shop, and little (for me) needles. I could do something with these. Reassured, I went back to double-stranding worsted weight, holding the promise of this stuff in my head like a beacon to get me through.

Didn't work. Saturday found me running away to Knitche. Which, of course, put paid to any hope that I would finish this on time. By the time I got back, I'd added these.

More skinny yarn and even smaller needles. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and Dalegarn Baby Ull along with a set of the Blue Sky Alpaca DPN's. I was good, though. This went into my stocking and stayed there until the afghan mission was accomplished. I have a pretty good idea where this is tending, but I need to spend a little more time in denial. It seems, perhaps, maybe, the time may have come to attempt a (small) (very small) stranded colorwork project.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Success

I emerged almost triumphant from Christmas. Of course, when you consider I had only committed to two projects, that's a little sad.

Now that I've given it to her, I can tell you that I finished Cate's Fleece Artist poncho. She knew I was making it, but she didn't know it was ready. Her not knowing was as close to a surprise as I was going to get. Since she and/or my sister have been known to look in on the blog occasionally, I didn't want to give it away.

Here it is, my dining room chair obliging as the model.

The knitting was kind of . . . interesting. Not entirely in the Chinese curse sense of the word since I learned a new technique. The long stitches are achieved by doing yarn overs and then not picking up them up in the subsequent row. Instead, you just let them unravel into one lo-ong or lo-o-ong stitch (depending on how many times you yarn over). Well, that's not how the directions actually read, but that was what it came down to. All in all, it meant the knitting was fast. Although I don't think I'll knit this again.

Details, details. I know you want details.
Yarn: Fleece Artist Kid silk in Blue Lagoon for the "normal" garter stitches and Handmaiden Silk Spun in Capri for the elongated stitches. This in itself is a variation. The Pattern and 2 skeins of Kid Silk come kitted together. I decided I liked the Silk Spun yarn with it's sheen and little irregularities for the elongated stitches.

Pattern: Fleece Artist Kid silk Poncho.
Needles: Size 11/8mm Addi Turbos.
Technique: My old standby, the Island Embrace Afghan method. I knit the 3 rows of garter stitch with one skein of Kid Silk, the row of elongated stitches with the Silk Spun, the next row ("normal" garter stitch again) with the second skein of Kid Silk, then back to the original skein for the next three rows and so on in pattern.

The gauge issues- well, we've covered that, haven't we. It did eventually occur to me that, when some of the stitches are one or two inches long, gauge is going to be shot to hell.

Blocking was an adventure in itself. Once the pieces were wet, they were like Silly Putty. Like under-cooked taffy. Like - I don't know what. Viscous. They stretched. And stretched. And stretched. I began to have serious fantasies about blocking boards. I even went to Guardian Table Pads, wondering if I could get one delivered here in time to do any good. I expect blocking to involve shaping. Not squishing. Not imposing structure and order. Words fail me, and you have no idea how rare that is.

On the plus side, once the pieces had been persuaded to somewhat match each other, the sewing up was a piece of cake. A good thing, since I was assembling it the day it was due to be gifted. And I would like to officially offer up thanks to whatever knitting book suggested leaving a long tail at cast-on and bind off to use for sewing up. I wouldn't be surprised if it's somewhere in Mason-Dixon. Most of my practical knitting advice seems to come from there.

Eh. Novelty Knitting. A little is more than a feast. I think I hear Clare's Perfect Sweater calling me.

All those lovely rows of nice normal stockinette.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Breathing Again

I have a confession to make. Around here, at this particular time of year, things go a little over the top.

We keep our tree up for the Twelve Days, so we don't get it until the weekend before Christmas.

In between decorating, there is The Baking. We've pared our cookie list down to five essentials, and then add on if the year permits. This year didn't . . .

. . . because there was a lot of this going on.

(And this is your knitting picture for the day.)

Ordinarily, we engineer a break for this:

Orchestra Hall and the CSO's "Welcome Yule" concert. Instead, John ran a fever, so he and I stayed home and the healthy ones got to go. Still, it was a break of sorts.

Things reached a bit of a fevered peak on Christmas Eve at my sister's house. I was permitted to assist Clare with the little piratical rats from Dream Toys: A Collection of Knit and Crochet Fantastical Toys by Claire Garland (an early Christmas gift to Clare because she Really Needed It). Clare did the knitting. I got to sew up. Then she let me crochet the two tiny, tiny scarves and sew on the ears while she knit minute eye-patches to match the scarves (the rats were all of 3 inches long). Since we were pretty much past the eleventh hour, she also allowed me to embellish one of the two crowns she made from Interweave Knits Summer 2006 issue. This, upstairs in one of the cousin's bedrooms while the Christmas Eve family party gamboled on below. She felt strongly that, having knit for her uncles, aunts, grandparents, and older cousins, the younger four cousins should not be left lacking knitted gifts. She made it, too. Admittedly, she did the last row and bind off on one of the scarves after gifts were exchanged, but she finished it before we left the party.

Honestly, is it any wonder we need reminders to breathe?

Monday, December 25, 2006

In the Bleak Midwinter

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light .


Thursday, December 21, 2006

It'll Take A Miracle

I may have been a little rash.

First, you need a some background. My husband is from Ohio. He's the oldest. He has two sisters. Celia, the youngest, is an osteopath and lives here in the Northern Suburbs. Paula lives with their parents in Ohio.

Second, I need to tell you that, for the first time at least since Clare was born (she's 19) and possibly ever, the Ohio branch is coming to Illinois for Christmas.

Third, you need remember (or go back and read) what I did last Christmas.

And now, back to our story.

Ordinarily, we send a mini-Christmas tree and assorted goodies and trimmings, thus blackmailing them into, I mean, assuring they celebrate Christmas. Clearly, this year we need to adjust. The adjustment we came up with involves this.

And this.

Fortunately, I have a secret weapon.

I can do amazing things. You rush a Miracle Man, you get rotten miracles. But never underestimate the power of a Determined Woman with a size N crochet hook.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Flexibility, or Knitting on a Wing and a Prayer

I have a bad feeling about this. I'm getting gauge and I shouldn't. This is the third or fourth (or maybe fifth, if you count the design experiments) time I'm knitting this, and I've never gotten gauge.

Have I mentioned I really, really, really want this done in time for Christmas? I decided an act of faith was called for. Or at least some serious rationalizations. Maybe I wasn't supposed to get gauge. Maybe the elongated stitches skew things. Maybe it's up to me to determine the final proportions. Maybe the assembly helps it hold its shape. Maybe this time blocking really would work magic. And pigs may whistle, but they've poor mouths for it.

I finally gave in (gave up?) and tried to figure out how to accommodate the results of the gauge swatch (up 2 needle sizes, 1/2 stitch per inch tighter than the pattern called for) and those of the first full size knitting attempt (1/2 spi looser than the pattern called for). In some mystic combination of alchemy, stream-of-consciousness, and splitting-the-baby logic, I decided to go back down one needle size, but cast on extra stitches.

I knit. Reminding myself that not getting gauge was not cause for panic. Ignoring how stretchy it seemed. Telling my hands to stop with the commentary and just knit. I finished the first half. It is beautiful. It is nowhere near what the gauge swatch said it should be (27" by 18"), but I expected that. What I didn't expect was for it to be so close to the gauge the pattern called for. It's 33 inches long. At gauge it would have been 32.4 inches. I expected somewhere around 31 inches.

Okay. Fine. Breathe. I can work with this. If that's the way it is, that's the way it is. With some creative stretching, I can persuade it into, if not the dimensions it was supposed to be, something that would be wearable as a poncho. It will be a dramatic and flowing poncho. I doubt this will disturb Cate.

But how did this happen? I changed the damn plan to accommodate reality. Reality now dictates that I have an approximately 33" by 19" rectangle that is so malleable I can make it 30" by 21". Or 29" by 22." Or 35" by 15". And why do I have this crazy fear that the second piece will have nothing in common with the first, except the yarn?

Things are getting worse. Send chocolate. Preferably Butterfinger Jingles.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Little Inconsistency Would Be Nice

In Mason-Dixon Knitting, when Ann and Kay warned that one day I would knit before coffee, I scoffed. I laughed. Nothing comes before my coffee. I have been known to wake up half an hour before I have to roust Marco, just so I can have 15 minutes peace in the kitchen with my first cup.

Yesterday, for reasons I do not understand, but suspect may have something to do with the end of my Christmas shopping being in sight, I woke up over an hour before I needed to. Sad experiences have taught me that if I go back to bed, my body will convince itself that it has the morning off and will not wake up until it's time to start shrieking about missing buses and lunches not made.

So, at 5:30 in the morning, as I was filling the Krups, I decided to go ahead and knit the last 3 rows of garter stitch on the first half of Cate's poncho. (It's the only gift I'm knitting this Christmas. And it's not a surprise, so I can write about it without giving anything away.) Garter stitch is easy. Kay and Ann's statement (it's on p. 17, "Great Things You Will Do") implies you will knit correctly. That's why it's "great things," not "goof-ball things." It doesn't say you will screw up your knitting before coffee.

I know what I am like before coffee. It isn't pretty. I must have still been asleep. Semi-conscious sleep-walking. It's the only possible explanation. I'm knitting this with three different yarns, two of slightly different weight and color (Fleece Artist Kid Silk in Blue Lagoon), and one of significantly different texture (Handmaiden Silk Spun in Capri).

Of course, I knit with the wrong one.

I suspect no one is surprised.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Meanwhile, Not Quite Back on Earth

Shouldn't a little reality dispel a nice euphoric fog?

Marco wants to charge me a fee for his modelling services (and for agreeing to give up Red Scarf #2). Payment is to be made in scarves. Yes. Scarves. Plural.

He has raided the stash and unearthed some of my best stuff. From right to left, he has chosen Mountain Colors 4/8 in Pheasant for his math and homeroom teacher, Blue Sky Alpaca Melange in Relish, #808, for the mysterious Miss Ferguson (mysterious because I have no idea who she is), Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sport in Watercolor for his speech therapist, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Argyle for his scarf (this, admittedly, with some prompting from me, since that was its original intent), and Reynold's Odyssey in Brown, #503, for Dad.

Euphoria is one thing. Insanity is another. No. I am not going to attempt to knit 5 scarves in a week. Of course not. But boy, I sure am flattered that Marco thinks I should.

Of course, there are key-hole scarves. They're small, right? And where are my crochet hooks? The big ones.

P.S. They finished the porches last night.

Is finishitis contagious?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sweet Release

As Gilbert and Sullivan have so eloquently expressed it, "Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses, tan-tan-ta-ra, zing-boom." *

They're done, they're done, they're done!

I give you, Red Scarf #2 ,

AND Branching Out.

I'm giddy. I'm euphoric. I'm ( almost) free. Almost, because Branching Out still needs to be blocked. It's soaking as I write. But it's off my needles. Out of my knitting bag. I don't care how grey it is outside. I don't care how noisy the porch- builders are. I don't care that I'm less than half-way through my Christmas shopping. If it weren't for my understanding that straight-jackets are out of fashion I would be running out into the street and accosting total strangers, demanding they exult with me.

The sane and sober part of my brain is murmuring, "Oh for Pete's sake, they're scarves. They're just scarves." But they've been the thorns in my side, the swords dangling over my head until I've felt like poor Damocles, the Nemesises (Nemeses?) that have accompanied me on every yarn store trip, muttering that I have no business buying more yarn while these two were left languishing. And now they're done and they're beautiful and I love them and I want them gone.

So, nitty gritty. In keeping with my resolve to not cheap out for charity, Red Scarf #2 is Mountain Colors 4/8 in Sierra. Not quite two skeins. Size 8 needles of unknown brand. Yarn Harlot's pattern: knit, knit, knit in the back, purl for an eternity plus one. Except for it's lesson in monotony and overcoming same, it's most interesting characteristic is how incredibly handsome it turned out.

Branching Out is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Sweet Green, shade #14, also on unknown brand size 8 needles. BO offered an entirely different set of lessons. Even single repeat lace means attention to detail and an absolute requirement to compulsively check the work - I think I purled through the garter stitch border no less than 4 times. Knitting lace from charts is the only way that makes sense, else expect to be found one day, helpless and gibbering. There's a reason for lifelines and knitting lace without them is like doing a high-wire act without a net. Or even a wet hankie spread on the ground.

Bottom line. I am not a process knitter. If I were I would have abandoned these two long ago and devoted the yarn to some other, more congenial project. On the other hand, product will only get you so far. Do I have any interest , however remote, in making another of either of these?


My sad conclusion is that I am a middle of the road knitter. No big lace project in my future; ribbing in only the most minor of details. I want my pattern stitches to be engaging. Pleasant and interesting company. Not needy and demanding. With sincere apologies to Edna St. Vincent Millay's Goose Girl, I would herewith like to state, "If ever I said, in grief or pride, I tired of garter stitch, I lied."

But damn, that Red Scarf #2 looks good.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Excuse Me While I Pick My Jaw Up Off the Floor

As he watched me work on Clare's sweater last evening, John announced, "You know Mom, I've decided maybe this knitting thing isn't so bad. So. Do you think you could teach me?"

He has no idea what he's getting himself into. I'd be evilly chortling if I weren't so flabbergasted.

And here I thought I bought those Dale of Norway Learn to Knit Kits so I could get the cool little needles.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet

I'm stalking recalcitrant scarves.

Okay. Sorry about that, but the boys have discovered Looney Toons, and an Elmer Fudd moment was inevitable. Especially since I'm trying to not draw the attention of said scarves. I don't want them to notice that the working-on-them-alternately method is working.

I knit on Branching Out until I think if I miss one more yarn over, or forget one more time about the pass slipped stitch over part of k2psso, or have to fight my way through one more k3tog that I will attempt to fly off my not entirely existent back porch. Then I switch to the eternal k, k, kb, p that is Red Scarf #2 and work on that until I feel my eyes getting heavy and my head descending to the tabletop.

I've only got 5 repeats left of Branching Out.

And a mere 4 1/2 inches left to do on the most boring piece of knitting ever devised.

I have further promised myself that I don't have to do anything to either of them until tomorrow. Right now, they are co-existing peacefully; sharing the same kitchen chair until I'm ready for them.

Speaking of peace (oh, come on, you knew this was coming). There is no noise in Mudville today. Apparently porch builders can work in sub-zero windchill, but not wet.

Three flights and three platforms. I'd rejoice in the quiet today, except I'm afraid it means they won't finish this week. My Christmas decorations are back here and to the right.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

I know it doesn't take much, but I'm so pleased. I finished another Red Scarf. This is the final version of the Variation on the Island Embrace, aka Red Scarf #3, that started with this. I decided 1) the colors hurt my eyes, 2) even knitting three rows before I switched colors was an annoying way to knit and 3) this yarn is way too thin to knit single and make any sort of progress.

I started paging through the Red Scarf Project scarves and found this scarf. Honestly. How obvious. If knitting the width makes you crazy, knit the length. Once I'd gotten over that hurdle, the rest of the solutions seemed obvious. Too thin? Double up. Too bright? Make the second strand a nice sober neutral. Not happy with the colors? Add some more and Ta-da!

The added advantage of knitting lengthwise? Fringe and no ends to weave in.

The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. The nice neutral is graphite, color #19. I stranded it with - in this order - claret (#24), ferrous red (#06) , which sure looks orange to me), sunflower (#30), sweet green (#14), and and teal (#20). Think rainbow. It's garter stitch all the way, switching colors every row. I used US #10 Addi turbos, but since we've established that I am that sad creature pitied by Elizabeth Zimmermann - the tight knitter - a normal knitter could probably go down a couple sizes.

Quantities - 2 of the grey, 1 of everything else with this much yarn left over.

The only thing is, it was supposed to be my reward knitting. Now it's finished and I'm still faced with these two. Red Scarf #2 and Branching Out. 11 inches and 10 repeats, respectively. Maybe I'll take turns.

Oh. My favorite part of Red Scarf #3? I cast on 214 stitches, since the scarves are going to be delivered on 2-14.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I Really Don't Think It's Me This Time

Diane once told me she reads my blog for the mistakes. But this time, it's not my fault. At least I don't think it is.

I admit, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I started with the Fleece Artist Kidsilk Shawl, then decided the elongated stitch would look really pretty in something shinier. Besides, I'm making this for my niece, Cate, and Cate believes in shiny. Before I even cast on, I went back to Knitche and bought this lovely stuff. Handmaiden Silk Spun in Capri.

Mindful of the lesson I learned about gauge with the Perfect Sweater, I decided swatching would probably be a good thing. Necessary, in fact. Garments are supposed to fit. They're not like afghans or towels or scarves that can be successfully rendered in not-to-gauge variations. The pattern calls for 7mm needles/US 10 3/4 to reach a gauge of 2 1/2 Stitches per inch. Having established that I'm a tight knitter, I tried my US 11/8mm. No go: 3 1/2 SPI. Went up to (yikes!) size 13/9mm. Nope: 3 SPI. I don't own 15's, and don't like working with 17's. I decided to do the math and compensate. I dutifully took my gauge and multiplied by the length I needed to achieve. Cast on accordingly.

So how did this happen? 2 SPI?!?!

Mel Brooks, in The 2000 Year Old Man, observes that everything comes from fear. He may have a point. I was suddenly seized with the fear that I knit swatches at a different tension than I really knit. I immediately envisioned the Perfect Sweater turning into some thing appropriate only for an orangutan.

All I can say is, "Whew!"

So what happened with the poncho? I haven't the vaguest. Back to the 11's. This will actually be my third attempt, but that's a story for another blog. And, third time is supposed to be the charm. Well that, or you're out.

For those following my porch progress as avidly as I.

Two flights and a platform. What will tomorrow bring?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Knitting to the Rescue

This will be something of a flying blog, since I have to go get ready to spend an evening being a lawyer's wife.

"Knit with confidence and hope, through all crisis." - Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Note she doesn't specify what sort of crisis. I, of course, have the current local state of construction in mind. We have achieved a platform. No more hope of flying out my back door, even if they released me. Here is today's construction photo. Bear with me, I need the proof that the work progresses.

In the interests of maintaining confidence and hope, I have my pretty knitting.

All in all, a practical lesson in why I've become an official Zimmermaniac.

Think of me this evening as I do the polite. I'll get through by thinking about knitting.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Don't It Always Seem to Go . . .

My home is not a haven these days. For reasons best known to the condo board, the managing agent, and the City of Chicago, it has been determined that our porches must come down and be rebuilt. Right now.

I know it has to be done. These are pretty sad and sorry porches here. The building dates to the early 1920's and I suspect these were original.

Looks like a fine tenement, doesn't it? The apartment builder's in Chicago in the 1920's didn't much care what you saw from the back. Only servants, garbage men, tradespeople or such-like non-entities approached the building from the rear.

It is disconcerting to look out your back door and see stairs to nowhere.

We have been barricaded in for our own safety. Lest we absent-minded Hyde Park types forget and try to step off into nothing. Or fly.

Two days, and this is what we've got.

Two days of it sounding like the construction is going to break through into my kitchen. Two days of buzzing and pounding to the accompaniment of intermittent crashes. I'm sure Charles Ives could have done something with it. Or Jimi Hendrix.

With all this dissonance, why am I working on this? My least favorite, must grit my teeth, what madness made me start, project?

Is this really the time to prove myself a disciplined knitter? Is the ten additional inches I've produced these past two days worth the cumulative aggravation? I don't think so.

Two days. We've been told the project should take 2 to 3 weeks. What are the chances they'll finish early? Or even on time? Or maybe have moved on to the second set of porches by this time next week?

Meanwhile, I'm going to go find me some pretty knitting.

Some completely useless factoids, but I love Chicago and Hyde Park so these things are endlessly fascinating to me:

1. I'm not entirely kidding about the non-entities bit. Our unit had what I would consider a large closet which was, in point of fact, the maid's room. Off the kitchen, of course. Some of the units still have them. Real estate agents generally refer to them as "bedrooms." Some of the more accurate ones call them "studies." I think the smartest ones point out the advantages of enlarging the kitchen.

2. In the photo with all the debris, with the porches gone you can see little doors beneath narrow windows. The doors were to accommodate the ice delivery back when refrigerators really were iceboxes.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

'Tis the Season

Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas. I was a good knitter. At least, I was a reasonably well-behaved under sometimes extreme provocation knitter. It counts. I also remembered to leave my shoe out last night, a very important thing if you have any hopes of getting loot on December 6th.

Look what the good saint left for me.

Is this great or what? Well, okay. Except for the pink yarn part. I tell myself it could be worse. They could have decided to include either of those particularly virulent colors known as "Christmas Red" and "Christmas Green."

Are you seeing this? Tiny red circulars, itty bitty red stitch markers , a red darning needle, and an elf-sized doodad bag. The little booklet has basic techniques. St. Nicholas may have to leave another kit for Clare when he comes back on Christmas Eve.

All that and chocolate.

Bet you're sorry you didn't leave your shoe out.