Monday, January 30, 2006

Dear Pointy Ladies -
Here are my latest pointy projects: next to the top is the first cat bed, a present for Larry the Grandcat; next is a cat bed in its pre-felted state, a present for Lola the Grandcat; and last is a Turkish string bag, made on #11 needles out of 100% linen yarn. On needles are a baby blanket and a sock, using Wool-ease worsted weight and Trekking XXL, respectively. I am strongly attracted to this hat. Maybe I can use it in Norway, even if I will be there in June.

About Norway, this is the deal. My DH (not designated hitter) is going to Norway in May and June, and I will meet him there for about 2 weeks at the end of his trip. He has been there 3 times in about the past 8 years, working with an old graduate school friend at the University of Bergen. I have been able to join him for parts of 2 of these trips. I am very excited about going back to Bergen, but am not looking forward to the time when he will be in Norway and I'm in Tallahassee. In the past I have always had one or more of the children at home, but this time it will be just me and the cats. It will be hard to resist my natural tendency to stop cooking and live solely on cottage cheese and bananas (and Margaritas for the vitamin C.)

Is anyone else watching Bleak House on Masterpiece theatre? I am really enjoying it. I read the book in college just for fun, but I've forgotten most of the details. It seems like with Dickens it is easier to remember the atmosphere of the books than the actual plot, and the TV series has certainly captured the sense of folly and pending loss and ruin that I remember.

Today is my daughter Camille's 27th birthday. (Her picture is at the top.) I was almost 27 when she was born. It is hard to believe that my life has been equal parts without Camille and with Camille. She has always been a great first child: seemingly indestructable, and determined to be her own person, even before she could talk. She gave us a lot of confidence as parents, because whatever we did seemed to work out great. Maybe someday she will knit!

Cathy, I can't wait to see the finished product on the Spanish christening shawl. You have promised us a fabulous knit-on border. Does anyone else have projects to show and share?

Gotta flit. It is Bikram yoga night, so I have to get home and fix dinner for Gary and get to class early, or there won't be room for my mat.


Sunday, January 29, 2006


The bloggers have been quiet. My excuse is that I really have not been playing much with the pointy things. My new volunteerism at church occupied a good bit of time but things are slowly falling nto place there and it will not be as time consuming.

I thought this item might be of interest to my fellow bloggers. In today's Parade Magazine in the Tallahassee Democrat there was an article by the editors of AARP The Magazine giving advice on helping prevent various health problems, especially if your family is prone to them. Dr. Robert Wilson senior neurophsychologist of the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center said mental exercise is also important : mind challenging exercises are associated with lower risks of dementia. Brain-boosting activities include reading, playing cards, solving problems and knitting. (emphasis mine) Getting out of the house--gardening or going to museums--stimulates the mind as well. "There's pretty good evidence" Wilson says, "that people who are socially active are less likely develope Alzheimer's disease and decline cognitively." So let's keep on knitting and gardening.

Ellen, your Chico Amaryllis is gorgeous, an exotic beauty. What an imressive list of knitting you did last year! Your sweater is beautiful. I can only claim 6 scarves and 3 crocheted shawls. But I am knitting on 2 shawls now.

Cathy and Sharon, share your last year's output with us. I know you both were busy little knitting bees.
Cheers. Naomi

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My goodness - Spanish Christening Shawl

Naomi, Sharon, and Ellen,
It's been quiet as a mouse on Plays with Pointy things, and I know that my birthday didn't stop anyone (in fact, I believe that Sharon does have a birthday in January, but if I am correct, I don't remember the date).

I posted on my other blog one of the things I have been working on so I must share this with you. However, though it is pretty, it is the same old pattern over and over again. That is not to discount its loveliness, but pictures just demonstrate the repetitiveness of the center of the Spanish Christening Shawl. I do believe one more skein will see the center to its finish, and I just began the skein. So.... without further ado, and to let people know the blog has not gone caput and dormant in the winter, I present my partial labor of love to you. I believe you can click on the picture to get a larger image.
I hope Elliott will enjoy it and find it fits him. Won't be finished for the shower, but will be for a very special day. The edging should be what sets it off.
Details: Pattern is from Cheryl Oberle's book Folk Shawls: 25 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World - Dale of Norway Baby Ull Yarn - 100% superwash merino - and is soft soft soft. Size 8 needles.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Cathy!

Happy birthday, Cathy and many more.

May this year bring you much joy and happiness and many happy shopping trips for yarn and needles.
Love, Naomi

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

All of you have been tagged by me

Ellen, Naomi, and Sharon,

I need to post on other more timely topics, but I got tagged, so I am tagging all three of you. Here it is:

Norma tagged me on this one (my husband said he couldn't think of any - he is such a smart man)

Rules: “The first player of this game starts with the topic “five weird habits of yourself,” and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don’t forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says “You are tagged” (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours.”

  • in the morning - I put my sweetener in my coffee before I pour my coffee and milk in the cup so I don't have to use a spoon. I have not convinced anyone else in my house that that is a good idea.
  • I hate to iron - really hate to iron - if something is wrinkled, I will throw a damp towel in the dryer with the wrinkled item to see if I can get away with not ironing it.
  • if I am practicing singing and start with a pitch from the piano, and then sing without accompaniment, I have to check afterwards to see if I stayed in the same key or went sharp or flat.
  • I prefer drinking iced tea out of a plastic cup instead of a glass one. I also prefer that the tea be just brewed and melts the ice than having the tea refrigerated.
  • If I go to a town and stay in a motel, I check to see if there is anyone in the town with my maiden name. There is a good chance I will call that number to talk to them. THERE JUST AREN'T THAT MANY OF US OUT THERE!
    Hmmmmmm, tagging time - Emily, Naomi, Ellen, Sharon, and LutheranChik

Dear Cathy, Sharon, and Naomi - Happy 2006! May it be filled with happiness and creativity.
I commend you, Sharon, for taking the road less travelled to Christmas. Every year I have my own doubts about the Christmas juggernaut, but I've decided to let it be a cultural institution that I will respect if not wholly embrace. Anyway, my husband loves Christmas and I share his enthusiasm.

The pictures show the amaryllis "Chico" in full bloom and Purl, the Manhatten yarn shop owned by the author of Last Minute Gifts to Knit. The amaryllis has a second flower stalk just about ready to open. Purl was one of three yarn shops I visited in New York. It was cozy and had heavy worsted New Zealand wool on sale for a very good price (I bought some to make cat beds). They wound the skeins without asking, too. The Yarn Company was less impressive (or maybe I was too tired after a day at the American Museum of Natural History), but the Knitting Cove of Port Jefferson was my favorite. It was a bit more spacious, the owner was very nice without being intrusive, and there were a lot of yarns and needles on sale. Of course I bought full price yarn but did get two circular bamboo needles for $5 apiece. I hope to have pictures of my new yarn for my next post.

At New Years I like to look back at the previous year and, hopefully, learn something. 2005 was the year I rediscovered knitting and discovered knitting friends for the first time. I find it hard to remember how I spent my free time before I took it up. Here is a list of projects completed in 2005: long sleeved pullover (for my husband, begun in 1997!), short sleeved pullover, 3 tank tops, lace shawl, 3 pairs booties, baby bonnet, 6 pairs socks, 2 pair wrist warmers, 3 scarves, shawl, 2 knit bags, cat toy. Works in progress include 2 socks and a baby blanket. In the queue are cat beds, a Turkish string bag, and some scarves/shawls using lace yarn that I've been acquiring.

I'm looking forward to the routine of the New Year, with regular work weeks and V.A. rehearsals, but this weekend Gary and I will be in Boston for the American Economic Association's annual meeting. There is a Cubism show at the Fine Arts Museum that I hope to see, and there are surely yarn shops to be visited.