Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Did You Do This Weekend?

Honestly, I did not plan to spend my entire weekend planted on the couch knitting my fingers to the bone, but up until today it has been rather gloomy and wet. Add to it some really great TMC flix and that was that!

The piece on the left is my second "Dr. Knitting" favor. A co-worker's mother made two of these sweaters many years ago; one was better than the other. This particular one was seldom worn as the left sleeve was uncomfortably tight. Recently she ruined the comfy one and has been hiding this from her adult daughter who likes to wear the sweater when she comes home for a visit. It took me most of the morning to tease out the yarn that was holding the sleeve in its death grip. I nearly had a heart attack when I found it thinking I was unraveling actual knitting - it appears that the sleeve was crocheted in place! The blue is obviously my basting thread and I shall get to that later today.

The center piece took me less than one half of The Devil and Daniel Webster to do. I had some re-used Noro Silk Garden and The Yarn Harlot's One Row scarf pattern and that was that. This one is destined for Helen so that she may walk her dog in comfort. She is also the only one in my Tea Group that appreciates hand knitting.

I have spent the last two full days getting about 9" of the Christmas sweater done. The resulting hand cramping is making me wonder if I can really knit for more than two hours at a stretch! Fat begins again tomorrow and this has been an exceptionally empty weekend.

But here is the big news of the weekend! Our fledgling spinning and dyeing guild now has a name: Common Threads. We had our first board meeting yesterday and realized that a name had to be chosen to get our checking account, membership forms, post office box and the like. I think it is a good choice because it is 'symbolic' and open to some interpretation. To clarify our purpose, our stationery and such will say, " a guild for spinners and dyers". So we are set for our first guild meeting at the Hull House Farm and Homestead on January 17, 2010.

Our initial program will consist of membership, dues collection, etc. We will also be looking for folks to fill the empty of archivist, co-librarian, and web master to name a few. As we have no idea how many folks will be in attendance, we are also asking that the first meeting be a drop spindle only program. I am so excited!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Past

When my oldest daughter was almost three, Baby All Gone was the only item on her Christmas wish list. Each and every party we attended that involved presents also involved a temper tantrum when the little trinket she opened was not this doll. I don't know how many of you remember this doll, but it is now easier to purchase this plastic baby on e-bay than it was that holiday season of 1991. My mother, eager to be the miracle worker, hit every store in the Western New York area. And she found it. She convinced the store manager at a JC Penney catalogue only store in Lockport, to box up the one in the store window as its mere presence was driving the employees crazy. The doll was impossible to get by Christmas and to have it in the shop was nothing short of mockery to many a mother and child.

So Christmas at Beachie's arrives and Amanda is fully expecting to find Baby All Gone under the tree. She has asked for only one gift and this is the first Christmas that she fully understands the "true meaning of Christmas" - ask and you shall receive. My mom is the hero, the BEST EVER. The bottle is refilled, the cherries are slurped, the diapers are chan....

STOP! The baby doesn't wet? What do you mean she doesn't wet? My little peanut has provided Baby All Gone with countless bottles, just where is all that milk going? Thankfully, for my mom, it took Amanda three or four days to figure this out. My little genius realizes that the doll does not have the properties of a real baby and she is feeling betrayed. Truly.

And so was I. The Baby All Gone Christmas taught me a huge lesson about buying my children exactly what they "had to have." I learned that there was no toy really worth the effort my mom put into finding that gift, that the BEST toy, gizmo, or trinket was eventually going to the bottom of the toy box. That Christmas taught me not to be an East Amherst Mommy.

I drag out that memory each and every year and am very grateful my children do not beg for the impossible. As they have gotten older, their requests are more within the realm of reason and they no longer feel short changed when comparing themselves to the neighbors. But I remember Baby All Gone. May she rest in peace.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dear Oblivions,

If, by chance, you are able to open your eyes for just one moment, would you please attempt the following:
  1. If I do not answer my phone, please assume that I am busy. Kindly refrain from calling me repeatedly until I ask the person on the other line to hold, or stop what I am doing to so that I may attend to your immediate needs.
  2. Kindly refrain from leaving your grocery cart in the middle of the aisle, block one third with your person, and the other third with your misbehaving child.Please do not look so put out when I gently say, "Pardon me, please."
  3. If you are a creepy old, or young, or in between guy, do NOT ask my daughter to "jump on up there" when you ask for lots of everything on your sub. You are neither clever nor amusing.
  4. Do not call your mother at the pharmacy and scream at her like a banshee. Your mother is getting your medication and thought she had a full hour before you needed to be driven to work.
  5. Listen to your mother when she tells you she is now leaving for the pharmacy to get your medication so that you can tell her, very sweetly, that you need to be at work now and not in one hour.
  6. Please refrain from screaming at your mother for her obvious inability to read your mind when you drop her away for the workplace entrance to avoid embarrassment. How far away is too far?
On a happier note...I had breakfast with my good buddy, went to Barnes and Noble with two other good buddies, my bro and his charming bride, and I had the chance to pick up some magazines. As per yesterday's post, I now have the needed IK Holiday Knits 2009 and I found something else - Wild Fibers! I have never seen this one before and I believe this shall be at least a three on the teacup scale used by fellow blogger, Mary Ellen.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Perfect Rainy Day Movie

Hit your Netflix account and check this movie out! Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is a lovely movie reminiscent of a sweeter time that lives only in our imaginations. Add to that the London setting, the lovely young friend and the predictable ending and you have everything you need for a truly wonderful 'feel good' movie.
And now a question: Am I the only one who truly dislikes Daylight Saving Time? I get up so early, it is dark regardless of the hour difference. Instead, I get to drive home in the dark and feel as though I somehow missed the best part of the day. And I find myself wanting to pull on my jammies and crawl into bed at 7:00 which I refuse to do as I am fully grown! Yet, I am so inexplicably tired I do not have the energy to do even that. I have also found myself spending inordinate amounts of time on the commuter playing stupid PopCap Games that are truly mind numbing. I should be knitting, or rug hooking, or reading, or Christmas (!) shopping or doing something semi-productive.
Tomorrow I shall have to fill the day with postive and productive things...breakfast with a friend, coffee with my brother, and I must purchase the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts magazine as there is one sweater that I really want to knit for hubby before the holiday - best case scenario, or his birthday in February - worst case scenario. I have a very nice Tahki Tweed that I purchased more than a few years ago for a sweater for DH and I have yet to go beyond a sleeve...far too many cables. This sweater appears to be a quick knit with a bit of interest down the body sides and across the saddle shoulder and some lovely bits of sure to end quickly cables on the top.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lucy, I'm Home

Our book club's November meeting was delightful. Lucy by Ellen Feldman was an easy read about one of America's most celebrated presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I must admit, this title did leave me with more questions than answers. How does a woman have an affair with her employer's husband? How does she keep in close contact over three decades once the affair ends? Why does a woman allow herself to be snuck in and out of the White House?

After reading, I felt little pity for FDR and a great deal for his wife Eleanor. Which brings me to why book club was so delightful. Our lovely hostess, Shirley, always spoils the group with a welcoming smile, an abundant selection of food and wine, and a sincere joy in hosting our group. Shirley usually has some little parting gift: pins for the lapels of our winter coats just brought out of the moth balls, or handmade table pieces for an upcoming holiday. You get the idea. Anyhoo, this month she tricked us all.

Upon our arrival, we meet Shirley's friend, Denise. She tells us she has invited her because she is an historian who is well versed with the era under discussion. As we begin our talk, Denise disappears. Upon her return she has morphed into Eleanor Roosevelt! She entertained us for a half hour with an entertaining narration of this famous lady.

The things I learned about Eleanor! I shall sum it up by saying she was indeed a gracious woman. And FDR? He was Bill Clinton's role model.