17 November 2017

Old Photo Friday

My sisters and I at Bear Mountain, NY, probably 1960 or early 1961.  At that time, we lived in Teaneck, NJ, and used to go to Bear Mountain pretty regularly.  I'm not sure why, as we did not ski, hike, or do other winter sports.  But I do remember it was fun, and there are very few pictures of the three of us, so this one is special.

I also remember thinking that my jacket was quite the thing.  No one else had a plaid jacket with a hood, you know ...

Have a cozy weekend!

16 November 2017

Three Kinds of People Who Make Me Stabby

Well hello there, and welcome to this week's Three on Thursday!

Now just as a disclaimer, when I participate in this, I really do try to think of three things that are funny, happy, interesting, etc., because in spite of my personality, I don't want to go out of my way to post mean or terrible things. But to borrow a phrase, sometimes in the course of human events, people get to be too much for me, and I have to get some things off my chest. 

Thus is born this week's list:

 Three Kinds of People Who Make Me Stabby

I want to emphasize before I begin that I really and truly don't care what people do or think or say in their private lives and minds.  And if I actually ask you something, and you answer in a way that annoys me, I may be annoyed but I don't care because I asked you in the first place.  But the types below are those who must proclaim themselves, even if no one has asked them in the first place.

1.  The Noble Intellectual.  We all know at least one of these people.  Someone will mention how much they like a certain movie, TV show, book, celebrity, etc., and The Noble Intellectual proclaims, "I don't own a TV, I find it a waste of my time," or (this one is one of my co-workers), "I only read the classics, preferably in the original language."  

I always want to respond by saying something like, "Oh thank God someone here has taste and dignity!  I've always wondered if I'm the only person who has read the Bible from cover to cover in the original Aramaic."  I do practice self-control and keep my mouth shut, but it irritates the noodles out of me that there is always a person who clearly feels embarrassed that they were lowly enough to bring it up in the first place.

2.  The *Truly* Generous.  I'll say something like, "I had so much fun wrapping birthday/ Christmas/Arbor Day gifts this weekend," and The Truly Generous will proclaim, "We don't waste money on gifts, since we don't need to only give them on certain days, we love each other all year.  We make a huge donation to The World's Most Important Charity in honor of the holidays, because we feel that is the true meaning of giving."  

Puh-leeeeze.  I was always taught that true charity is giving your time, money, whatever, because you feel it is something you want to do, and that it is not something you go out of your way to point out to others, because that is not what giving is about.  Pointing out your own generosity is not just annoying, it's rude.  A lot of us are generous people, we just don't feel the need to let the world know every time we do something kind.  A lot of us would love to be able to give to specific organizations or causes, but don't have the luxury of extra money.  And a lot of people  enjoy wrapping up a gift - large or small - to give to someone else, even if they have also donated a million dollars to The Fund for Shutting Up The Truly Generous.

3.  The Annually Horribly Offended by Decorations.  These are people who are not just dismayed that retailers start with Christmas/holiday decorations or products near or right after Halloween, but somehow are convinced that no one else has noticed, and they are so affected by this offense, that they are unable to continue to enjoy ANYTHING.  

Spoiler alert: I don't know anyone who is thrilled with this, even the retailers themselves.  But they are in business to sell things and believe it or not, people actually buy things before December starts, and besides this happens every single freaking year.  And apparently, they are absolutely incapable of ignoring it.  These are generally the same people who regularly ignore signs saying "Please wait until your number is called," or, "Pedestrians have the right of way," or the homeless person on the street that they pass on a regular basis.  But I guess those situations are somehow different.

As you may have guessed, I have recently been around the above types to the point where it makes me want to scream.  But because I am a Superior and Controlled Person, I have not physically attacked them, nor have I placed anything dangerous into their food or drink.  And I felt the need to proclaim that, so you would be sure to know.  ;-)

15 November 2017


Look - it's a cuff!  

So far, that is what I have done on the pair of fingerless mitts for The Tim that started out possibly being for his birthday (which is this Saturday), but are now going to be a Christmas gift.  Paired with my bag from Evertotes that celebrates Canada's 150th anniversary, it actually looks quite festive!

I have no doubts that I will have the project completed for a Christmas gift, it's just that I haven't spent time working on it over the last week, since I was determined to finish the socks in the previous post.  The biggest problem is that I would prefer not to work on them when he is around, but that might not work out.  I'll just tell him they are a gift, he doesn't need to know they are for him!

Today is Unraveled Wednesday, so in addition to my knitting, I should tell you what I'm reading.  On my way to work this morning, I returned the copy of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby that I had borrowed to the library.  It's a no-finish for me, as I just couldn't get into it and didn't care about Joan Ashby enough to make myself continue.  It was a bit disappointing, because I had read reviews that made it sound really interesting.  Oh well.

I'm also reading Buried, about a series of murders of librarians (!) that a true-crime author decides to investigate.  So far, I'm finding it interesting because, come on, WHO WOULD MURDER A LIBRARIAN???  ;-)  Having said that, even if I decide I don't like it as it goes on, I'm not out anything, since it was an e-book freebie for my Nook.

What are you up to reading and knitting wise?  Inquiring minds want to know!

14 November 2017

The Story of My For the Birds Top

Hello all!  Thanks for your kind and supportive comments on my last post about my finished socks.  They are safely tucked away in my Box o' Socks, and I do think by the time I open the box and then wear them that I will feel much more favorably inclined towards them.  :-)

Do you remember a while back I posted this picture, showing the beginning of a work-in-progress?

The pattern is Main Street, and the photo above is about halfway through the bottom border of the top.  In between finishing my Cranberry Custom Fit sweater and the Annoying Pumpkins socks, I've been working on it for bits of time here and there, especially since I have reached the stockinette portion, which is perfect for knitting while watching TV or podcasts, etc.  At the moment, it looks like this:

My photographic skills and lighting, however, cannot really show the lovely shade of the yarn, so here is the link for you to get a better idea of how it actually looks.

OK, so now on to the rest of the story.  

When I decided to try to knit this pattern, I didn't have enough of any stash yarn to use.  However, I did have a store credit at Hidden River Yarns, so The Tim and I drove over there one weekend day to take a look.  My friend (and the owner) Lisa was there, and with her help I decided on the Tern yarn from Quince & Co., and also decided to try a color other than the usual blues and greens that make up most of my sweaters and knitted tops.  We decided on the colorway Dusk, shown on their website in the link provided above.  I was able to get what I needed for making this pattern with my store credit, which was exciting because it was "free" (yes, I know not really, but work with me here).

So I had nice yarn, a pattern I wanted to knit named for a type of bird, and then there was the dye lot - 007!  (Cue James Bond theme.)

And so, this became my For the Birds Top.

Why, you ask? 

Tern = bird
007 = James Bond

But James Bond is not quite who you think he is.  Nope, not the REAL James Bond.

Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond 007 stories, was an amateur birder.  He was very conscientious, keeping lists of birds he had seen, where he saw them, etc.  At the time he was creating his master spy detective, he was also reading a book (possibly Birds of the West Indies), written by James Bond.

WAIT? What?

Yep, James Bond was an actual person, and a well-known ornithologist at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.  He and Fleming even met a few times.  Reports say that he got tired of people asking him about his name, unless it got him a good table at a restaurant.  :-)

Now, this is all highly amusing to me.  And so, when I started knitting a sweater in a bird-named yarn, with a dye lot number of the master spy, I just *had* to call it For the Birds, to entertain myself!  

James Bond, 007

Another James Bond, 007

Most recent James Bond, 007

The REAL James Bond, noted ornithologist.

And *that* my friends, is the rest of the story!

13 November 2017

Thank the Lord These Are an FO!

This past Saturday, I was determined to do one particular thing.  And I did! 

Project:  Annoying Pumpkins
Pattern:  Little Pumpkins, by Sabine Ruppert (a freebie)
Yarn:  Socks That Rock Lightweight, colorway Oregon Red Clover Honey
Needles:  US size 1 1/2
Modifications:  None
Notes:  I like the finished socks.  I absolutely hated knitting these!  The pattern was very fiddly, and sometimes hard to understand.  I had to go to someone else's notes to figure out parts of it.  Now keep in mind, the pattern writer is German, and I am suspecting that English is not her first language (of course, I'm sure it's better than my German could ever be ...), so that might be part of it.  But mainly there was just too much going on all the time for me.  Once I finished the first one, I seriously considered not doing the pattern repeats each time on the second.  But then I decided that in for a penny, in for a pound, so to speak.

I know others have made these and didn't have issues with the pattern, so it may very well be me.  I like textured and/or patterned socks, I guess I just prefer it in smaller doses.  And as you can see, I managed to survive, so it may very well be that my issues are just so  much blather.  These will go into my Box o' Socks, and hopefully by the time I open said box and wear them, all of my feelings will have moved on.

The yarn was great to work with - very smooth, and takes stitch definition really well.  This was my first pair made with Socks That Rock yarn, and I did enjoy using it.  The color is also perfect, so that made me happy.

Here's a bit closer look at the stitch pattern that creates the pumpkin-looking texture.

I knit these for the I ♥ Fall KAL hosted by Dee and Vera, and that was fun.  But I REALLY hope they are not prize-eligible, as the prize is getting them finished and out of my life!

So, on to the next thing, yet to be decided.  I'm happy with the way these turned out, but I also have to say #neveragain.