We're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Cheers to Your New Years

In honor of this, our last post of '06, I'd thought I'd dig deep (re: too lazy to think up a real post) and find one more list. Today's rogue F.O.B. topic: What do you love about New Years?

5. One last hurrah of chocolate and overall decadent eating before everyone moves from feast to famine behavior. No wonder January's not a popular month.

4. Funny hats.

3. You make your final push into do-nothing mode, most enjoyable if you're able to do-nothing with friends and family. We chose to spend this time with our friends, Dave and Renee and their gorgeous boy Nolan, in Charleston. I must say, there has been an exceptional amount of nothing thus far. Observe.

2. December 31st, you can end most conversations with "See you next year!" to all people, from the cashier at the market to your husband, and it's funny. At least, I think so.

1. You can drink freely pretty much all day and if anyone gives you a funny look it's perfectly acceptable to say (slurring a little), "It's New Years some*hiccup*where."

What a great year, ya'll. 2007 has some big shoes to fill, but, honestly, I'm thoroughly expecting it to be our best one yet. "May no acquaintance be forgot and hmmmhmmhmm-really high pitched-hmmhmm and auld lang syne..."

See you next year!

Friday, December 29, 2006


As you can see, we're spent around here, in all senses of the word. It was a grand Christmas. So grand everyone here at the Knitter house seems to be suffering from a case of post-partinfromChristmas depression. Or maybe we're still recovering from lack of sleep. Either way, now that the frenzy's died down, the dogs are sleeping a lot (admittedly not very different from their normal routine), The Hubba's honking around with, what he would claim to be, The Worst Upper Respiratory Infection in the History of Man, and I can't seem to do much more than sit on our sofa, eyes cast on our beautiful tree, and sigh (and occasionally sneeze; the WURI hasn't entirely passed me by either).

So instead of a real post (aren't ya'll exhausted of my constant writingwritingwriting?) I give you some of my knitted goods, conceived over time and only now available for your viewing pleasusre.

Before I return to tree-staring duties, might I ask other bloggers out there in the blogging universe, how is this new Blogger working out for you? I've not updated yet and I have to admit, I'm with Brooke- my Blogger works fine, so blogger off and leave me alone. Still, they seem pretty adament about all Bloggers switching over and that kind of persistence usually wins in the end. So any words of encouragement? Hmm? Are these fantastic Blogger changes? Have all your Blogger hopes and dreams been fulfilled? And how does a spell check, engineered by Blogger, still not recognize the word "blog"?

Two flower-power washcloths

Two checkerboard washcloths

One pair fingerless gloves

And two Oh, look, scarves!

The theme of this years Christmas was definitely warmth and hygiene.

There are other Christmas pics I will be posting, but, at the moment, they're still locked away on our camera and not doing much to upload themselves to the computer (see: tree-staring duties).

A lovely last Friday of '06 to you all.

Monday, December 25, 2006


And Happy New Year to everyone! We're home to TN for the holidays and I'm back on the bloggy train (also back on the gravy train, but that's another story entirely). As my Christmas gift, while all my FOBers were fabulous, I award Knitty Yoda top marks for her dedication to this project. In my absence she has brilliantly kept the F.O.B. juices flowing. In honor of that I answer her #3 question, summed up as, now that Christmas knitting is *mostly over* (a bit like being "mostly dead") what is on or going on your needles?

3. Harry Potter scarf. Always and forever. It's near five feet in length now. The plan: knit until I run out of yarn.

2. I'd like to start a sweater for The Hubba. Our LYS is about to have a phenomenal sale and I'm thinking I'll pick up some Cascade 220 and start something in January.

1. A bag for me! I'll post pics of the yarn when we're home; it's a beautiful, Kelly-green tweedy wool.

I'll deviate from Yoda's #2 (having no Little Boo to reference ) and instead ask: what are you grateful for this holiday season?

2. We're all well-ish. The Hubba and I have both gotten a bit sniffly, but no one's had to go to the emergency room yet (coughcoughDadTheHubba) so we're on a great track (compared to the time The Hubba got the flu so badly we spent Christmas Eve in the hospital having him pumped full of fluid or the time I awoke to a phone call from Dad- sounding absurdly jolly- saying he'd sliced- his word- the tip of his finger and he and Suz Knitter were on the way to St. Mary's and would I care to meet them there before we had Christmas breakfast). Sniffles ain't got nothin' on us.

1. We're home! We're home! We're really, really home! And it's so nice to be here. I think it's interesting how I see NC as our home and yet Knoxville will always be home too. I've even used the sentence, when describing our traveling plans, "We'll head home on Friday, stay through Christmas and then we'll come home middle of next week."

And finally, Yoda's #1: If Santa could really bring anything at all, what would it be?

She- kind girl- asked for world peace. Me, well, I'm asking for inner peace or getting near that place as often as possible.

Thank you so much to all my FOBbers. This has been such a good time reading your clever questions and answers. And it certainly made the time from then to now fly by!

We here at the extended Knitter household wish everyone a delicious, joyful day! Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

F.O.B. #4: What's Off Your To-Do List?

I'm full of excitement today. Crackling with it. If I stuck my finger in a socket (not on my to-do list) I'm pretty sure I'd light up a room. Why? Because I'm DONE with my Christmas knitting. DONE. HA! Which is why, this morning, I was wrapping gifts, playing DMB's "Weekend at the Gorge" like it was Jayz's "Black" album and dancing around the kitchen as if I might, single-handedly, bring sexy back. I was also hustling (I'm a hustla, baby, I just want you to know) around the house, doing laundry, dishes, and any last minute tidying that needed doing before we leave for Knoxville tomorrow. WHOO-HOO, home for Christmas! Careful, too much more of this and I might spontaneously combust.
So, in honor of my finished knitting, today's F.O.B #4 wonders: What task are you glad to be finished with? Maybe you enjoyed it and are filled with a sense of success and peace or maybe it felt like pulling fingernails out with pliers and you've never been happier to see the back of something. Either way, what have you finished and are doing your dance of joy over?

4. Received all presents bought via the internet. Which is always a bit touch-and-go, will-they-won't-they experience if you wait until the 15th, as I do, to place orders.

3. Getting in touch with people over holiday plans. I'm not a great correspondent at the best of times and for the last two weeks I've basically cut off all forms of communication that don't involve someone standing two feet away from me, speaking loudly and making hand gestures. This lead to a lot of catch-up, that hat-in-hand "I've know I've not responded to an email/text/phone message from you since Britney and K-Fed were still a happily married couple, but we'll be home in twenty-three hours hours, do you want to get together?"

2. Out in the honest-to-God world Christmas shopping. Not exciting, not big news, not shocking, but oh so true.

1. Really? Need you ask? Christmas knitting.


F.O.B. #5: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Wow, FOBbers, this countdown has gone by awfully fast. We're down to four days today- technically- but as I might have missed yesterday's blog, here's F.O.B. #5, by fantastically clever Parisa, who writes: For today's list, we want how you satisfy each of your different senses during the holiday season.
Good one Parisa! Another "make you think" F.O.B.

1. Taste: I think we've discussed this already, but, really, it's all about the pie. Lots of pie, all kinds of pie, particularly pumpkin, pecan and chocolate. Hmm. The rest of the Christmas food I can take or leave, but pie- pie lasts a lifetime.

2. Smell: Pine of course! We always have a real Christmas tree, even with all the needles and the mess and forgetting to water it, to have that lovely pine scent in the house. As the tree dies, the better the house smells. That's a little sad, isn't it?

3. Touch: The feeling of ornaments as you put them on the tree, especially knowing you'll have glitter all over yourself by the time you're done and no matter how often you bathe and scrub, you'll find sparkles in the oddest places for weeks to come.

2. Hearing: Christmas music. Particularly by greats like Harry Connick, Nat "King" Cole, and The Barenaked Ladies- neither naked nor ladies as the old jokes goes. In fact, I heard their tune "Elf's Lament" yesterday while trying to navigate the streets of Greensboro. Even in the most stressful times, BNL can lighten any mood, particularly when the music comes off a CD called "Barenaked for the Holidays".

1. Sight: Presents. I love the sight of presents. That doesn't make me a shallow person, does it?

Excellent F.O.B. #5. I'll post four a little later today on the off chance there are any other slackers out there who haven't gotten to five yet. Probably only me, but just in case...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

F.O.B. #6: Putting the Pro Back in Procrastination!

"Panic is not our friend." Ron Howard

Well, this isn't the blog I intended to write today, but, when I couldn't sleep last night for planning when to bind-off, how soon to cast-on the next one, if I'd be able to fit a trip to the salon in, what time we should leave for home Friday morning and if my brain might just melt and ooze out my ears, I came up with a new idea. For F.O.B. #6 I ask you, When do you procrastinate?

6. Dog grooming. I'd rather vacuum every day. Which makes no sense as far as time well spent- groom once a week, vacuum every day? Huh.

5. Gift shopping. Let's be honest, if I wasn't frantically knitting right now, I'd be frantically racing through Macy's.

4. Anything that needs to be done to my car. Oil changes, renew registration, car wash, all of it, as last minute as possible. Hence owning a Civic, the most durable car in America. In fact the ad should call it "The Procrastinator's Dream Car."

3. Any time I plan to diet. I'm very much a believer in starting a diet on a Monday, so even if it's Monday eight a.m. when I decide to go on a diet, I have to wait until the following week to start. And usually, if we're lucky, I've lost interest by then.

2. Before nearly every school paper I ever wrote. If I wasn't sitting up until two in the morning the night before and printing off a finished copy twenty minutes to class the next morning I was doing something wrong. Strangely, I was a pretty good student.

1. Holiday Knitting! Who knew? I started in August with big plans and buckets of Smug Girl Syndrome, pumping out two gifts a month and now it's six days to the Day and I am timing my knitting time down to the minute. Except for moments, such as yesterday, when I got to the halfway point on one of three projects I need to finish and decided to to sit down and play around on Amazon for a bit and then take a few hours of the day to wonder around TJ Maxx and the grocery store. And then came home and went into "Hurry up and Panic" mode.

Tomorrow's blog will be hosted by Parisa so stop by, give her a howdy, and look forward to her question. Thanks for the help Oirish! (I really hope that's not some non-p.c. slang there I just used...)

And who's up for number four?




Monday, December 18, 2006

F.O.B. #7: What would I like? So glad you asked...

Yoda asked and I have answered, as our F.O.B. # 7: What knitterly items would you most like to receive this holiday?

7. From Cafe Press, the bumper sticker that reads "I Knit Therefore I Rock." So true.

6. Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush

5. A gift certificate for some old-fashioned yarn buying. One day, Christmas knitting will be over and- not that I've not loved every minute of it- I will be free! FREE! to knit what I want. And a nice long shopping trip (in person or online, folks, I'm not picky) would be deevine.

4. Any good book on CD to listen to while knitting (yeah, that's a cheat I know).

3. Koigu sock yarn.

2. Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch

1. Brooke's yarn! My current favorites are "Secret Garden" and "Viola." CoughcoughMomtheHubba (Suz Knitter's been done for weeks, I'm certain) Brooke is a super speedy shipper. Just saying.

So there's number 7. I'm getting to work on number six now, so prep up folks.

To Parisa, I know you too are working on a Mac- again, sister from another mother- and if you need help doing links, I might be able to assist. There's a sort of tricky way to get the link that initially seems difficult but once you do it a few times, it's a breeze. And whoever wants F.O.B. #5- be the first to comment and it's yours! For a limited time only!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

F.O.Bing Off

So other leaders take time off right? They take huge chunks of vacation, don't they? Yesterday was my vacation. Except not much of a vacation as we spent the day at Southpoint Mall in Durham. Seven hours, people, SEVEN HOURS there. Though, admittedly, we saw a movie, so take out two hours of that. Still, FIVE HOURS at the mall. The Hubba was nearly in hives by the time we left. Good news, though, all our shopping, a.k.a. me not knitting gifts, are done, except a few The Hubba wants to pick up. HA!

And knitting happened too. In the car, I knit all the way there and all the way back. That was nearly an hour and a half total of well spent knitting time.

I'm close, ya'll. Very close. In fact- deep breath- I only have two gifts to finish. Technically. Because I'll finish two other gifts tonight, so I'm considering those done. As of Monday, I'll only have two gifts to finish. And we don't leave for Knoxville until Friday. I've got nothing but time.

So, in light of that, a little F.O.B. catch-up. Brooke has mightily handled the last three and- because this is the way my brain works- I'm going to list eight first and nine second. It makes sense to me.

F.O.B #8
"I'm thinking that for #8, we could list 8 projects that we have either completed, are currently working on, or reeeeally want to make from Knitty's huge archive of patterns." Wrote Brooke. Which feeds my Nosey Knitter habits greatly- what are YOU wanting to make?

8. I've made the "Fetching" gloves and loved them. And... that's it. That is all I have done from Knitty. How is that possible? I love their patterns, but in the stark light of this F.O.B., I now see I've not challenged myself on any other project. Is that possible? Already starting my New's Year's Resolution list...

7. Kureyon Kozy

6. Crusoe Socks; in fact I've got some Brooke yarn I think would be brilliant.

5. French Market bag

4. Bad Penny

3. Bellle Epoque. A little because of the film, but mostly the sweater.

2. Branching Out

1. Norberta. Yes, I know it's a dragon and I have very little use for a dragon, but this little thing hooked me.

F.O.B. #9
"All you have to do is find 9 bits of info on the number 9 and share them with everyone on your blog." So sayeth Brooke and so I say, pulling from Wikepedia, here are nine facts that I found interesting:

9. "Before 2006 (when Pluto was officially designated as a non-planet), there were nine planets in the solar system." This bugs me. I did SUCH a meticulous job on my solar-systems chart in fifth grade. This was before you could buy a kit at Michael's.

8. "In Egyptian mythology, there are nine major gods and goddesses (see also Ennead). The ancient Egyptians believed that a person had to earn the right to enter the afterlife. Before an individual could pass into the next realm, nine great gods known collectively as the Ennead had to judge his worthiness." That is so cool. And a little terrifying, if true.

7. "In classical music the curse of the ninth refers to the superstition that a composer who writes a ninth symphony will die soon. Beethoven, who left his Tenth Symphony unfinished, is regarded by the superstition as the first victim of the curse."

6. "In the NATO phonetic alphabet, the digit 9 is called "niner"." For all you "Tommy Boy" fans, "Did I hear a 'niner' in there?"

5. "There are nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring in The Lord of the Rings saga, to balance and combat the nine Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths."

4. "In Greek mythology, nine goddesses called the Muses were responsible for inspiring the art of musicians, artists, and writers."

3. "In tarot, card No. 9 is "the Hermit"." I bet I would get this card A LOT.

2. "In Maya mythology, nine levels existed in the underworld. Metnal, the ninth level, was a place of eternal darkness, cold, and suffering." Also known as our time in Chicago.

1. The Hubba has seen DMB play nine times. Five more times than me. The *@%#^$&. Not a quote from Wikepeidia.

Thank you for all these great questions, Brooke! If anyone else wants in on the F.O.B question-making-action (Knitty Yoda, we know you want to...) let me know! Because, seriously, it's helpful! I've got a good one for number six, but, please, feel free to bring it on! And a huge hand for Brooke and all her help! If no one steps up, Smarty Girl, got any ideas for Numero 7? No pressure or anything...

Friday, December 15, 2006

F.O.B. #10: Where Does She Get Those Wonderful Ideas?

Today's F.O.B. comes from Brooke and, well, let's face it, the girl's cool. To explain #10 she wrote, after referencing what sounds like an intriguing book, "I came across this section that challenges you to write down 10 short statements summarizing what advice you would give another person, the 10 most important lessons you've learned so far."

Good grief. And I'm writing about favorite movies and pie-eating.

10. Appreciate whatever you can, as much as you can, as often as you can, every single day. Even the teeny-tiny things, even if all you can find to appreciate is the roof didn't fall on you, appreciate it. I make a list every day and, I kid you not, I've written down something as small as "I've got my finger nails." I mean, if you've got your finger nails, you've got it all, right?

9. Spend time with people who laugh. Live with someone who laughs all the time.

8. Your attitude is the only thing you have complete control over.

7. Music makes everything better.

6. Listen to, watch, and read people who inspire you.

5. As long as YOU get YOU, it doesn't matter who else does.

4. Spend extravagantly on what you love; spend time, spend thought, spend money, spend energy, spend all that you can.

3. Don't take anyone too seriously. No good will come of it.

2. Talk about what you WANT, what you HOPE. You get back exactly what you expect. Trust me on this one.

1. Always look on the bright side of your life. Can't say it any better than that.

Huh, I think I'm noticing a pattern.

Brilliant one Brooke. If anyone else wants to play Fearless Leader with a question, drop me a comment.

A great weekend to you all!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

F.O.B. #11: Knitter Down, Knitter DOWN

*Just Added: check Brooke's blog for tomorrow's F.O.B. #10! She's got some fantastically clever question to ask and while she's typing away, your Fealess (Thoughtless? Feckless?) Leader will be hitting the snooze button four more times. YEESSS! Thank you Brooke! Can't wait to answer!*

Today's late Christmas blog? Give us eleven holiday favorite films. Doesn't have to be a "Christmas movie" but one YOU associate with Christmas.

Yes, I'm not that impressed by it either, but, ya'll, I'm spent. SPENT. No good reasons, but there you have it.

11. A Christmas Story

10. Die Hard. So sayeth The Hubba- it does take place at a Christmas Eve party.

9. When Harry Met Sally...

8. Lethal Weapon. So sayeth me and it's also at Christmas. So there.

7. Something's Gotta Give.

6. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

5. It's a Wonderful Life. Don't start with the stones, but I hadn't seen this one until last year. LOVED IT.

4. The Sound of Music. Have they already played it on ABC yet? I've not noticed.

3. Christmas Vacation.

2. The Family Stone.

1. Love Actually.

Tomorrow's topic will be great, much more interesting. Knitter's honor.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

F.O.B. #12: The Unbreakable Vows

First, Brooke's back in blogging land and I know we're all looking forward to reading how their trip to the hospital went and how Eli's now doing. I'm in such a rushed and lazy mood (hence today's late post) I'm not going to link her (I'm on a Mac, it's tricky), but just direct you to check out my sidebar under "White Willow Market" for her latest update.

And now...

It's holiday time again, and with only twelve days (how, How, HOW is that possible?) to go, I think we'll stick to holiday-ish topics from here on out. Inspiration for this F.O.B. struck when I found myself hanging around Target, in line, with a basket full of raffia ribbon and frosted silver ornaments. On that feeling and in honor of the upcoming New Year, I ask you for twelve "I Will Not" vows you make every holiday season, those promises made to yourself that seem destined to be broken. C'mon, we all have them. My twelve look a little something like:

12. I will not put head gear/bows/bells/or costumes of any kind on the dogs. A pair of half-eaten soft antlers are the only remnants of a lesson well learned.

11. I will not end up with bits of glitter all over my face the whole holiday season. Why do they bedazzle ornaments that way?

10. I will not spend a small fortune at Target on items I would never buy any other time of the year, like red and white striped tissue paper or cranberry scented hand soap.

9. I will not burst into "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." I will NOT, no matter how tempting the line "As for me and Grandpa, we believe."

8. I will not eat my weight's worth in pie.

7. I will not second-guess every Christmas gift I give.

6. I will not, when some merry bell-ringer wishes me a happy holiday as I make my fifth trip through Best Buy, find myself thinking "Oh, why don't just go blankety-blank yourself" two days before Christmas.

4. I will not, when The Hubba looks away from his football game/basketball game/random martial arts film on HBO to my frantically knitting hands and says "I'd help if I could," want to staple things to his head,

3. I will not find myself frantically knitting, with only twelve days to go, and approximately fourteen hundred gifts left to make. (This is a first, by the way.)

2. I will not fight for parking spaces like they're made of solid gold and I'm Midas in need of a fix.

1. I will not end up in floods every time I hear "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Something about the line "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow" brings on the sobs, people. SOBS.

So we're clear, I've already done nearly all of these things, except, perhaps #12 and #8. All I can say to that, in my best Nick Nolte rumbling growl, is: Give it time, Lowenstein, GIVE IT TIME.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

F.O.B #13: Knitter, Do YOU Believe in Santa Claus?

F.O.B #13 (and you'll notice my introductions get shorter and shorter- this 20 days of blogging, not easy ya'll) asks: What, as a mature, rational adult, do you still believe beyond all fact and reason? For me, these are a few:

13. Thinking about exercise and actually exercising are equally beneficial.

12. It's OK to get an ipod wet.

11. The Colts' defense is not a disaster.

10. When we drive through a car garage, if I duck my head, the car won't scrape the ceiling.

9. Credit cards are play money.

8. There WILL be enough yarn to finish.

7. I am coordinated.

6. The trip from Chicago to Knoxville by car CAN be done in under eight hours.

5. If I buy it on sale, even if I have no use for it at all, I'm saving money.

4. Chocolate is good for you. All chocolate, any kind, in any amount (really, I just wish I believed this).

3. Stuffed animals have feelings.

2. Dumbledore is JUST FINE.

1. There's plenty of time to finish all these heah Christmas gifts.

Sad to say, this list is true.

Our great FOBber Brooke is off for a few days, while they take her gorgeous boy to the hospital for some tests and an overnight stay. I thought- being not only a Neighbor, but also a Bossy Knitter- it would be nice if anyone who comes to this here blog wanted to stop by her site and leave some words of encouragement. I think we can all agree- either having been the child or the parent- it is no fun at a hospital. So drop her a line- let her know what great readers ya'll are and how much we appreciate her!

Monday, December 11, 2006

F.O.B #14: These Are a Few of My Craftiest Things

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important BAL! The weekend definitely threw off my loose version of organization and I've spent this morning frantically trying to catch up on all the Christmas knitting I didn't do Saturday or Sunday. I'll be coming around shortly to catch up on your FOBbers out there- sorry I've been lax in the commenting arena this weekend. So, in the spirit of knitting and crafting (as this blog was once something to do with that topic) I ask you F.O.B. #14:

What are a few of your craftiest things? What have you learned from knitting/crocheting/sewing/macrame/whatever your skill, what do you particularly enjoy, how have you benefited? Put all your dear yarn thoughts out there for the rest of us. For myself it's been:

14. Doing a knitting BAL reminds me that Christmas really will arrive at a set date. This is good for my tralalala self regarding the finishing of gifts.

13. I love small projects like a pair of socks or gloves. This coming from a girl who's never read a short story half as good as a five-hundred page novel, but there's something to be said for little enterprises that take just as much detail as the big ones.

12. THE Harry Potter scarf.

11. Be kind to your cabled Gap sweater. For that sweater might be a fine wool or wool blend. Clothes I never questioned the material and make of, I now find myself looking at closely, reading the material, checking the tag for how to care for it, and treating our garments more gently. We saw the film "The Holiday" this weekend and I paid as much attention to the construction of the actors' scarves, sweaters and hats as I paid to the plot.

10. I like weaving in ends, an art I put to a great deal of use during Knitty Yoda's surprise blanket. Probably this is the closest I will ever get to actual sewing, so I find something oddly soothing about pulling the yarn needle through the finished item and watching those little ends disappear.

9. Even with my slow Christmas knitting, I love making hand-knit gifts. It brings gifting to a whole new level of enjoyment.

8. I can't stand having idle hands. I've not yet risked the LOOK The Hubba would give me if I brought a project to a movie or sporting event, but there aren't many other times I won't knit through, including movies and games at home, cooking, and driving- passenger, of course, though occasionally at a drive-thru window I've been known to pick up my DPNs...

7. I love doing cables.

6. Did you know all wool is shorn by hand? A little fact I picked up from the Yarn Harlot's book "At Knit's End," wool cannot be got through any means other than by man. There is no piece of machinery yet built (no matter what Wallace and Gromit might suggest) that can remove the wool of a sheep. If, for some reason, it turns out this is inaccurate, I ask you not to tell me.

5. I'd rather do something small, with quality yarn, than something big with cheap yarn. I've nothing against acrylic because there's plenty of really interesting acrylic and acrylic blend yarns and there's a lot to be said for machine washable. Still, I know most of the time I'd rather do my socks than whip out a sweater from yarn I don't enjoy.

4. Adventure! Sure, I'm no Indiana Knitter, but I'm branching out and trying more complicated patterns. That's big- huge!- for me.

3. There has been some improvement to my math/analytical skills. Unlike reading a recipe, reading patterns has proved far more challenging, but slowly- SLOWLY!- I seem to be doing better. I no longer see lines and lines of pattern, feel my eyes start to cross, the world around me go black and need to lie down. Now I observe the lines of pattern, maybe even read a few sections, then lay it down and return to my HP scarf until I feel sanity return.

2. Taking something apart and putting it back together can be as worthwhile as getting it right the first time. Sometimes more worthwhile. Frogging bothers me less and less and it can be weirdly satisfying to yank all that kinky yarn out, rewind it, take a deep breath, and start over.

1. It's about the process, not the finished product, as one bright young woman, at the store, said the other day. This, too, is big for me, as I tend to wrap myself up in "finish! have something to show for yourself!" and not enjoy the movements and time it takes to reach the ending. Occasionally, when a project is very frustrating I have to remind myself of this. Often as not, I have to remind myself of this in other aspects of life too: "It's about the process not the finished product." It's a lovely life lesson, I think.

So please keep sharing! I'm enjoying your lists so much, this is a project I never expected to be half so interesing as it's turing out to be. So blog! Blog like your Christmas knitting depended on it!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

F.O.B. #15: The Wonder Moments

Might I say, this is going brilliantly! Not only are the three FOBbers keeping up fantastically well, we have a new member! Give a big, warm welcome to Miz Knotty- she's bringing blogging back! Yeah! I'm sorry, but I'm digging that song. Not only that, she's caught up all our F.O.B.'s in a matter of one post. Shocking! Check out her latest answers and give her a BAL hello.
After the more materialistic #17, I'm going to ring in the changes and ask you today- Can you name 15 memorable experiences? They don't have to be "Best ever" but the kind of memory you like to take out, polish up, and look at.

15. The first article I ever wrote for UT's student paper, "The Daily Beacon." Reading it now, I must say, it's pretty atrocious, but this is still a great one. It was Kelly and I, at eighteen, in her sister's car, off to a club (Senor Frog's, I'm sorry to say), to watch K's Choice perform. The best part- the opening band was some group called the Judy Bats, and in my article I gave them a bit of a hard time (I believe the last line ran something like "though starting off on a poor note with the JudyBats..."). Apparently, the Judy Bats were actually a well-known group around town and The Beacon got a number of letters over my critique that started with something like "Who is this idiot girl?" and ended with "... clearly an idiot girl" and my entertainment editor was pleased because it was my first article and people had responded to me.

14. Our second trip to Las Vegas. I luff this city. Blackjack is my secret addiction.

13. Taking Pops and Suz Knitter to a Lyle Lovett concert in Knoxville a few years ago. The night started off with a dinner mishap- we were late for our reservations only to find out they wouldn't have table ready for another half-hour- so all four of us, in great spirits, sat outside in The Hubba's car at a little chicken joint, eating chicken tenders out of Styrofoam boxes before we headed off for Lyle.

12. Seeing the Colts play the Tennessee Titans in Indianapolis. The Hubba and I drove from Chicago to the game and back in a day and the whole trip was smooth, easy, Colts won, and I can say I've seen Peyton in a professional game.

11. My first- and so far only- trip to Maine. Mum Knitter packed me in the car for a summer trip, we took two days to drive from Tennessee to the northern coast of the state, we stayed with friends who had rented a beautiful old home and we were there for nearly two weeks. Strange how some places just catch your attention and make your heart sing- that trip did it for me.

10. Learning to knit! Talk about a world opened up!

9. Taking my Dad to a Lyle concert. Sounds a lot like # 13, except I was still a reporter (ha!) for The Daily Beacon, and I had comped tickets because I was covering (double ha!) the concert. I walked up to the ticket booth and gave my name and the name of the paper, my heart in my throat, and the fella behind the booth said "Who? I don't- oh, here they are!" and pushed two free tickets across the shelf to me. Wow. Talk about feeling important when Dad and I went into the concert on the tickets I got.

8. Having Kelly and Alyssa read the first half of my book. Talk about a Gulp! moment. Of course, they've been fantastic about it, super encouraging and asking to read more. Still, another heart in the throat moment.

7. The rescue work we did with East Tennessee Border Collie Rescue. We had more than fifteen dogs come through our home in a two year period and it was from this group that Miss Georgie came to us.

6. Seeing "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway in NYC with my mom and my grandmother. Especially, when the Phantom's just finished off Act I, with a particularly heartbreaking finish, him hanging off a balcony above the stage and Mammer turned to me and said "Phew! I was worried he would fall out if he kept waving his arms around like that."

5. The first time I heard, really heard, Wayne Dyer's "The Power of Intention".

4. All DMB concerts I've ever seen, but particularly these last two in Charlotte and Raleigh. The band was on, the crowd was great, The Hubba and I were in fine form, and we had a blast.

3. Our wedding. I realize some will think this should be higher on the list, but, truly, The Hubba and I were married before we were ever married- I think you know what I mean- so this was really about having a big party to celebrate. It was a charged day, lots of Crazy Family, lots of Fantastic Family (these two were mostly one in the same), lots of friends, lots of food and drinks, and good music, and hot weather, and irritating innkeepers, but even with all the rigmarole, and the tense moments and the parts that got left out, I love remembering the day. Though, I will say, if you know any brides-to-be out there, PLEASE don't say this will be "The best day of her life." God help the girl who stands at the altar and thinks that. For me, our wedding day was one of many of the fabulous days we had had and have had since then.

2. The first time I broke a board in Tae Kwan Do, mainly because I was nervous about performing in front of others and beyond that I was terrified of hurting myself (honestly, I was seconds away from being sick on my bare feet kind of scared). At the last minute, Master Kim pulled out two boards and stacked them on top of each other. The Hubba, who made a short video clip of the moment, laughed because, he says, my face went from "What a joker! Hahaha!" to "OH *%$!" in two seconds. For those who haven't seen this, I broke both boards, straight down the middle, my first try.

1. Our move from Chicago to North Carolina, for so many reasons. This was a leap of faith for us. Really. We had no money to move, we knew no one in North Carolina (except Betsy and her family and The Hubba's old boss, Dave), we never saw the city we were moving to, but, for us, it felt like the right decision and we believed in each other. The Hubba came home and said "They're opening a new office in Burlington, NC," I said, "North Carolina would be ideal," and two weeks later he was in North Carolina and I was packing up a house, ready to sell it and join him. The move was huge for both of us, him being there on his own (on his own, but with Barkley; we found a pet-friendly hotel) and me, and our other three dogs, selling a house in a city where we knew almost no one, and I had no familial support. (the only reason The Hubba and I managed to sell our house and leave TN in the first place was because I had Pops Knitter doing all the necessary house repairs and Mum Knitter helping me clean and tidy and throw away). Leaving Chicago was a huge moment in my short little life because I did this thing on my own, without any fallback, and I didn't buckle or panic or stress- or not much anyway!

So there's some of Knitter's favorite moments. I could take out any of those fifteen and in a few seconds of thinking about any of them and I'm there. As Kramer (Seinfeld anyone?) would always say "In my mind, I'm already there."

Saturday, December 09, 2006

F.O.B. #16: Put on your Shakespeare Thinking Caps

Good cold Saturday morning to everyone out there! Firstly, did anyone see the feature on Yahoo! this morning? It reads- wait for it- "Knitting is Cool." Finally- Finally- after twenty-six years skimming the edges- FINALLY I'm in with the popular crowd.


Today's an important blog and I ask, if you only participate in one F.O.B. this year, let it be this one.

Ya'll, (this is how I spell it Yoda; it's how I roll) the Yoda family needs our help. They are weeks away from a new addition to the family and a name is not yet decided upon. And I think Willy was great with his "what's in a name?" but I also think we can agree a young'un's future can be severely altered if kids are calling him/her "Bart the Fart" or "Millie the Silly" or whatever cruel things children say to each other. We know you can't throw around names like Shannon for a boy or Noah, unless you feel chances are the good the child will grow up to play tight-end for the Denver Broncos or build an ark. I'm also avoiding all the popular-right-now names like Olivia and Emma, because no one wants their child's future CEO to walk into a room and say "Olivia?" only to have eighteen same-aged girls chorus back "Yes?" One final thought, Mr. Yoda prefers males names that be might shortened to one syllable for sports-playing-purposes.

The Yodas don't know the babo's sex so I'm asking for a list of eight girls names and eight boys names to make up our F.O.B. #16 (and if we're very lucky and the docs have missed it, she'll have twins! Wouldn't that be COOL?!) So I give you, my own theory on what makes a good kid's name.

16. Harry. C'mon, you had to see this one coming. Just think about it, Knitty. Harry Yoda. It has a real ring.

15. Alice. Sweet, simple, classic. Also, heroine of a psychedelic kid's story.

14. Jack. Steady, reliable, and already saying "Put me in coach; I'm ready to play- today."

13. Virginia. I know there's no real affiliation to the state, but it's a gaw-jus name. Plus, you get the British spelling of "Ginny" from it.

12. Daniel.

11. Carolyn. "Caro" how great is that?

10. David. Hold on, there are reasons besides the obvious. NOT that the obvious is all that bad.

9. Felicity.

8. Anything from which you derive Gus. Augustus, Angus, Fergus- it's the best shortened name around. Just never Argus. Ever.

7. Catherine, Cate, Kate- any of those versions. You've already got one in the family- ring in the changes, name a child after a female family member! And you know a terrific Cathy! I think it's fate.

6. Lawrence or Laurence. Remember Laurie a.k.a. Teddy? Sigh. But, please, before any decisions are made, see earlier note, re: tight-end for the Denver Broncos.

5. Elizabeth. Yoda, I think you why.

4. Any name from which you can make Eli, including Elliot and Elijah. Yes, a good friend of ours named her son that, but look how fabulous he is! Also, they live in Florida and I do not think Baby Eli and Baby Yoda would mind.

3. Love the lovely Sarah too. It seems to guarantee a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Bring-It-On cutey. Mind you, she's closer to home so there might be trouble.

2. Rupert. Sigh. Yoda, you know.

1. Purl. And spell it the clever way. Then not only do you knit and are cool, maybe you could pal around with Gwyneth and Madonna, eh?

Friday, December 08, 2006

F.O.B. #17: Not without My Dyson

So we sprung a little surprise on Knitty Yoda (street name: Ann) last night.

Unbeknownst to her, Miz Knotty (with a little help from yours truly) orchestrated a sneak-attack baby shower in honor of the Baby Yoda-to-be. The idea was a knit/crochet patchwork blanket, with squares contributed from around the globe (OK, contributed from the eastern United States). Miz Knotty contacted Yoda's long-distance friends and I got the gals from the shop and between us we came up with:

Awesome, huh? Twenty squares total, knit and crochet, four colors, five of each color. I get goose-bumps thinking about all the women who put time and energy and thought and good wishes into this. I contributed four squares (there was actually some desperate knitting going on this weekend to come up with enough blue squares when we realized one source couldn't get hers to us in time) and here are three of them.

Watering can

Two hearts (one for Little Boo and one for baby too)


There's also a sadly sheepish sheep. Yes, Knotty, I know I need to let this one go.

My favorite square happens to also be one done by Miz Knotty of baby feet.

You just can't argue with that kind of adorable.

Hoping that this item will become a treasured part of the Yoda home I've deemed F.O.B. #17:

What possession would you not want to live without?

These are physical items and while, of course, they don't MAKE our lives (not really, anyway), they are beneficial or add meaning. Because I am not only a Fearless, but also a Benevolent Leader, I will allow certain groupings such as: my DPNs, my make-up, my Van Goghs, you know, things that you think of in sets. Without further ado:

17. My non-stick omelet pan.

16. Our DVD player. The more I read this list, the more disturbed I am by the number of electronic gadgets I've listed. Let's hope there's never a Y12K or some such difficulties. It could lead to a total Knitter shut down.

15. Stitch n' Bitch by Debbie Stoller. If there was ever a go-to book for new knitters...

14. My Harry Potter series. Six down, one to go...

13. My first pair of hand-knit socks.

12. My bed. Wait- let me explain (Linda, Sarah- BE-have). We just have the most comfortable bed in the history of the world. No, that's not an outrageous claim. Fur and all, best bed ever, hands down.

11. Our collection of Dave Matthews Band CDs.

10. My Peyton Manning jersey.

9. My ever-growing sock yarn stash. It is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and I would look at it all the time if I didn't keep it contained in the non-furry postal bags in which they were delivered.

8. "Bridget Jones' Diary" and "The Edge of Reason." I luff this character.

7. My DPNs. With all this fast and furious DPN-required knitting going on, how can I leave the house without my Clover Bamboo?

6. My favorite wedding picture (Warning! Warning! first time ever picture of Neighbor Knitter on this here blog).

5. Panda. Ironically, a Christmas gift when I was eight, from Mum Knitter, making this his eighteenth Christmas (which is approximately seven hundred forty-two in panda years- he's about middle-aged). Poor Panda's not lived the cleanest life; he's been to sleepovers, college dorm rooms, fallen into the jaws of the wrong kind of dog and is no longer the bright, white, fluffy bear he once was (sounds a bit like PANDA- The E! True Hollywood Story). Panda's my Velveteen rabbit. I wouldn't be surprised if, now that he's got bits of fluff coming out and had the fur loved off him, he did come to life. And, oh how our dogs will rue the day (When Pandas Attack..).

4. My groovy ipod.

3. Though it was close, my iBook G4 beat out the ipod. Sure, I love getting groovy but my ipod can't link me to all you grand folk in reader/blogger land can it? No, it cannot. So the laptop has it by a nose. Or a plug.

2. My Dyson vacuum cleaner. People, the hype is true. If you have any kind of hair/fur issue, GET ONE. Your life will never be the same. Truly.

1. My teapot. Always and forever.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

F.O.B. #18- What's in your Kitchen?

In honor of my dear friend, Miz Knotty, I ask you- What's in your kitchen? She has Counter-Concern and no matter how often I assure her of the horrors that are my kitchen, she worries. SO, I ask you, Can you find eighteen items that don't belong in your kitchen? Or if the kitchen's not your thing, your bedroom, backpack, handbag, closet, car- wherever all your cluttter lives. Our clutter is throughout the house, but seems to congregate mostly in the kitchen (we like to live out loud). If you cast your eye around our cooking/eating area you would see:

18. A pair of women's Doc Martens

17. A vaccum cleaner

16. Wedding rings. I can't cook with them on, so that's where they go. At least once a week, right before I fall asleep, I sit straight up and gasp, "Where are my rings?" And The Hubba, and oddly he can be anywhere in the house and still hear this question, will reply, "On the counter, of course." Of course.

15. Digital camera and more wires than you would ever find things to attach them to in your entire life. Just one big messy pile of wires, some that connect to electronic equipment and the rest to oversee the connecting of the electrionic equipment. We must assume that's their purpose.

14. One drill. Lord knows why, The Hubba isn't what you'd call handy- I actually had a Home Depot delivery man ask me that once: "Is your man handy?" I wanted to say "well, he's got two of them, if that's what you mean," but didn't, of course, because I am Southern and polite.

13. Two laptops- one functioning and useful, the other not so much.

12. One woman's rain coat

11. One toy frog

10. Dog hair. Hence the vaccum. I wish I could tell you the fur doesn't move through the air and eventually settle on chairs, tables, and counters, leading to my compulsive use of 409. I really wish I could tell you that.

9. Man's tie

8. Woman's shirt (Perhaps these two shouldn't have been listed so near each other. Before you get the wrong idea, the woman's shirt never made the trip all the way from the laundry room to my upstairs closet- I don't remember why. The tie- well, The Hubba is a "stay where it lay" kind of un-dresser so clothes tend to hang about the whole house until he comes stomping downstairs, demanding "have you seen my DMB shirt?" only to discover it hanging over a kitchen stool or draped across a knitting bag. By the way, The Hubba voted I leave this to your imagination, but my father reads this blog for God's sake.)

7. Speaking of, a knitting bag.

6. Stacks of DVDs. One day these will either go on eBay or back into our entertainment center. Depends if they break my spirit leering up at me from our dining room table before I actually sit down and put them up for sale.

5. Nearly half-finished Harry Potter scarf.

4. Emory board, still in it's original box.

3. Magazine, one Rolling Stone that will probably sit out until one of us notices it, around the time the next Rolling Stone arrives, and throws it out. We have no idea why we get it, but it's addressed to The Hubba and arrives promptly every Wednesday. Also one Glamour, which will end up either in our overflowing magazine basket or under my bedside table, covered in fur.

2. One pair of women's sandals. Yes, it's December. No, I can't explain it.

1. And the number one unexplained item in our kitchen is (does this have that David Letterman feel?)- Yarn! That's right, a bag of yarn from Bella Filati still sits on the table, along with some random, half-used skeins of dishcloth cotton and a bag with some finished dishcloths.

So just put that on your kitchen counter and than cover it up with a bunch of junk mail.

Our BAL Has a Name!

Hello, and Welcome to our Festival of Blogging!

News: F.O.B. has participants! Who could have expected it?! Let's all give a big, warm welcome to Brooke and Parisa and Knitty Yoda, who will also be keeping up with the questions. I've thrown down some rules- snort, laugh, me, rules?- let's say guidelines for the blogs. I'll post my comments first thing in the morning- today not withstanding- and if you choose, use the same questions and if something strikes your fancy, post on that and maybe we'll follow your lead. Exciting, yes? Feel free to join at any time. You can see what a formal group we are.
So, for F.O.B. # 19 Show Me:

Nineteen Favorite Characters (Films, Plays, Books, Television) and maybe a little word about it.

19. Emma, from Jane Austen's book of the same name- I think I'm The One who liked Gwyneth's portrayal of her.

18. Albus Dumbledore, from any of the "Harry Potter" series, but preferably from the last two, Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. Dumbledore is "The Only One He Ever Feared.". Chills. Right up the spine. Every time I read it.

17. Lucy, from Chronicles of Narnia, especially "LWATW". And the girl who played her!- The Hubba and I wanted to go to England, put her in our suitcase and smuggle her home. She was that cute. (That wasn't meant in the slightly disturbing way it sounds, by the by.)

16. Tommy and Tuppence from the Agatha Christie's series. They're fantastically British.

15. Luke Wilson playing Ben Stone from the film "The Family Stone." What with this being a holiday BAL you'll be hearing more about that film, but, for now, FAAWW goes to Luke.

14. Dori from "Finding Nemo." If I was a fish, I would want Dori's attitude. Scratch that, I'm a human and I want Dori's attitude.

13. Vizzini from The Princess Bride, book and film. Could Wallace Shawn BE anymore perfect in the movie? "Never mess with a Sicilian when death is on the line! AHAHAHAHA."

12. Radcliffe Emerson and bad guy Sethos, from the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. How can a character on the written page be so romantic and sexy and funny? I love the whole family, but another FAAWW goes to those two fellas. Forget the books' younger generation, those two are so worth a lifetime digging through the desert.

11. Max, from Where the Wild Things Are. No one says "NO!" better.

10. Robert Redford, as Denys George Finch Hatton in the film "Out of Africa." Sadly, I've never read the book, but if the real character was anything like the one in the book/movie, than WOW. What a FAAWW-ella.

9. Reese Witherspoon playing June Carter in the film "Walk the Line." I want a shirt that says "What Would June Do?"

8. Dr. Cox, from the TV series "Scrubs." The character is, well, perhaps an example (and we all know Knitter rarely uses *language* but in this case it doesn't work otherwise) from the show is best. Dr. Cox tells guest star doctor Heather Graham, "The world is full of bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling." Maybe not my personal philosophy but The Hubba and I hee-hawed for days. All it took was one of us saying "The world is full..." and off we'd go again.

7. Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown in "Singin' in the Rain." "Moses supposes his toeses are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously."

6. Margaret from the book "Howards End". The movie, also, with Emma (how I love Emma! and true love lasts a life time) are both too good for words.

5. Stewie from "The Family Guy." Just- just watch one show.

4. Amelia Peabody, see the earlier reference. Start with the first book and you'll be hooked.

3. Ruby Thewes from "Cold Mountain." I will, one day, in the near future, finish the book. Because, goodness sake, I loved the film. Renee as Ruby- priceless.

2. Bridget Jones. No further explanation needed.

1. Aunt Elner from the Fannie Flagg books "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl," "Standing in the Rainbow," and, most recently, "Can't Wait to Get to Heaven." This woman is my role model. She is spectacular.

Good news: these will get shorter every day. I actually struggled to come up with nineteen characters, isn't that weird? Of course part of it is that Memory Black Hole that happens when you're put on the spot. Such as someone says, "What's that holiday? The big one in December? About a baby in a manger and a fat guy in a red suit and presents and turkey?" and you hear yourself saying "aawww, if you hadn't asked me, I could have told you." You know what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Knitter Challenge

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland"

I've been inspired by some old posts by the always delightful Harlot, and the November Blog-A-Day to try a Christmas countdown. As of today we have twenty days to Christmas. I am- big, deep breath- going to post every day between now and Christmas. These posts, while they might be lacking in knitting pics, will pertain to the number of days we have between now and C-Day. Somehow, to my logical mind, there is a connection between the two- days to Christmas and knitting pics. Today's topic will be

20 Things You Might Not Know about Neighbor Knitter

20. I love the smell of gasoline. I don't huff it or want it as a perfume but, you know, in general.

19. During my "Muppets/Muppet Babies" years, I wanted to be a comedian like Fozzy. Wakawakawaka!

18. I'm a blue belt in Tae Kwan Do.

17. I have never broken a bone.

16. I painted our living room red and I LOVE it.

15. If I had a boat, I'd go out on the ocean. And if I had a pony, I'd ride him on my boat. Hmm...

14. I've never smoked a cigarette in my entire life. Not one single puff.

13. I'm not crafty. Except for this knitting thing.

12. I've lived in three places: Knoxville, TN; Chicago, IL; and Burlington, NC.

11. When The Hubba and I have bazillions of dollars, I will have a driver.

10. I love the idea of reincarnation. It's my favorite afterlife going.

9. Sometimes I break into a bad British accent for no reason.

8. Right now I have no idea where my keys are.

7. I own the CD of "Rocky Top '96" (thanks Kelly!).

6. My house is the place that fur goes to die.

5. If I could eat only one food every day it would be pasta. This makes a low-carbohydrate diet very, very hard.

4. I fancy myself a writer

3. If I could play any musical instrument, it would be a banjo.

2. You will never hear me say "I'm just off to do math now" and sound happy about it. Ever.

1. My idea of hell is a waiting room with nothing to read.

There it is, the start of the Twenty Days to Christmas. Maybe some of you others will join in- all my bloggy friends, Knitty Yoda, Brooke, Parisa- or if you're not of the blog world, leave it on my comments. C'mon, it'll be fun! All the cool knitters are doing it...

Enough of the peer pressure (#21, I'm lousy at peer pressure). This is my personal goal. The best part: the number will actually shrink the more days that pass. HA! I'm defeating the system. What system I'm not sure, but a system somewhere is being defeated, I feel certain.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Knitter of Mystery

The Not the Best News: there's knitting here. That I cannot show you. That I might be, just a touch, scrambling to finish. That I am, currently, hung up on because Knitty Yoda (who apparently is not waiting eagerly by the phone for me to call with knitting issues) is not available. That is where we stand.

The Great News: I'm thinking of a dozen different projects a day I'd like to start!

Such as this gawjus bag in a kelly green Cascade 220 wool at my LYS.

Or this aforementioned scarf.

And any number of Christmas gifts I mentally keep trying to add to my list. For people I don't speak to regularly, people I've not spoken to in years, actually, and yet I still find myself thinking "What she really needs are some Fetching gloves" or "He would look so great in that cabled hat from Stitch n' Bitch Nation!"

Yet as I have no knitting I can show you, inspired by a recent jaunt here with Knitty Yoda and Little Boo, I give you my latest Series, Dog at Rest;

Next Series: Dog at Work (note: it looks suspiciously like Dog at Rest).