Wednesday, February 28, 2007


All of my love, all of my kissin, you don't know what you've been missin, oh boy.......

If you haven't seen the live production of the Buddy Holly story, then you truly don't know what you've been missin!

We went Sunday afternoon to the Seattle production and it was fabulous! There were 22 numbers performed by VERY talented musicians. The lead in the Seattle production was Billy Joe Huels and he was so much like Buddy Holly in voice and appearance that it was almost eerie. I can't say enough about his musical talent. Equally great performances were given by the "Ritchie Valens" and "The Big Bopper"characters. If the run continues in Seattle, it is a must to see because this is a great night out. If you're not in the Seattle area, and this production comes to a city close to you, treat yourself and go see this production. It has been three days and I just can't quit humming Buddy Holly's songs. What a loss when his plane went down but what a gift that his legacy still lives on.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tonights The Night

What a week. I feel as though I am going in thirty different directions and not accomplishing a thing, except getting rattled. If I had made time for myself to sit and knit a little each day I would only be feeling rattled a portion of the time, that is, when I goof up something and need Lilly to fix it for me. Most of the time knitting provides a calming effect, not only to me, but my family as well. Or at least the kids. I don't think my husband gets a warm, cozy feeling inside when he see's me sitting there with my needles clicking away. Rather, he's probably happy I'm doing something fun for myself, and since he's been married to me for 25 years he knows if I'm having fun I'm in a fine mood, and when I'm in a fine mood I'm not asking him to do any "honey-do's", which, come to think of it, might make him feel a little warm and cozy.

A few years back, my son who was about 8 or 9 at the time, asked me if I was going to knit that evening. I wasn't sure why he was asking so I asked him why he was asking, which is what you do if you don't know the reason someone is asking a question. Well, his reply made me pause. He had noticed that when I sat in my chair at night, with my dogs on my lap, knitting needles in hand, a fire glowing in the fireplace, the television on, (because the rest of the family wouldn't be sitting around doing a jigsaw puzzle or that would be a scene from Leave it to Beaver and my family doesn't qualify for the "peaches and cream" pureness of such a perfect family), a calmness would fall upon the room. A little homey and a little old fashioned, perhaps, but it would set the tone for the evening. All that was missing was a Yankee "Apple Pie" scented candle glowing from the kitchen.

Looking through the eyes of a child will make you see things you never see. Unfortunately, as we age and have life experiences our thoughts and views become much more complicated and we miss the simple beauty surrounding us. I couldn't believe I had never took notice. I knew I was calm and content, knitting away on a project caught up in the rythym, the beauty of the colors and the feel of the yarn, but I failed to see the rest of the family was being affected by this as well. Although I am often referred to as a "Jr. Psychologist" by my husband I can't say why this happens. Is it possible the kids feel my sense of contentedness and peace as I sit and knit and, therefore, they feel it too? Or is it the ambience of the room, a scene out of a Norman Rockwell painting, that we all crave from time to time? Whatever the reason, my family has been 'off center' as a result of my absence from knitting this past week. And dare I say I have been 'off center' as well? I've been going in too many directions, trying to do too many things and it isn't working. I know this as well as my family does. So, tonight's the night. I'm going to sit in my chair and knit for the sake of my family!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Swan Song

The drive to Anacortes every week has been very interesting. Mt Baker is covered with snow and looks so amazing, but this was the other sight that was a nice surprise. I have seen swans before, but usually in a park on a pond, or in a zoo. I have never seen them in the wild like this and in such large numbers. Last week, there was probably three times the amount shown in the photo. In fact, there was so many that I wasn't sure they could be swans. This week, the numbers had gone down quite a bit. If you click on the photo with the smallest images, it will enlarge and you can see more flocks in the background. Since these birds migrate from Ontario, Canada in the winter, my guess is that maybe they are returning back to Canada. After this wonderful sighting, I decided to educate myself a "little" bit about Trumpeter Swans.
1. They mate for life. Ahhhh If one of them dies, they will find another mate, but will still mate in the original mating grounds.
2. A female swan is called a pen.
3. A male swan is called a cob.
4. A swan under the age of one year is called a cygnet.
There are many websites about Trumpeter Swans if you want to learn more. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I don't just stare at my manure pile and dream of colors and textures and lovely projects. I put my inspiration to good use. This one must have been thought up while looking at the little red worms. This hat was a very fun project. It has cables, and bobbles, and ribs and garter stitches. The pattern is called Braid & Bobble Hat by Carolyn Doc. I had so much fun making it that I offered to make one for my husband in black with a little orange so he could wear it while riding his Harley. I can just see him now one bitter cold day as he pulls off his helmet at the Harley store for a hog meeting, that little orange braid would be swinging away. I know Lily's husband, also a member of the Harley family, would be so envious that he would beg Lily to make him one too. Well... My husband said " have got to be kidding!". So OK , that's the end of that little day dream, I'm sure tomorrow well supply me with something new to think about.

Rollin' Down the Highway

What a joy it has been to drive to Anacortes, Washington every week. The weather has co-operated, and I've had crystal blue skies, fields of swans (photos of the swans later this week) and snow covered mountains as my scenery. Ahhh, the good life. I signed up for this sweater class because it intrigued me. I love Noro Kureyon yarn and the color options are plentiful. I have chosen, a teal, blue, green and purple combination which is color 163. The jacket is knit entirely in strips of garter stitch on size 7 needles, so it provides hours of mindless knitting, yet the color changes keep me motivated. The teacher at Ana-Cross Stitch is a wonderful teacher and has provided many hours of enjoyment the past few weeks. I now have a month to get all my strips completed and we will set in the sleeves the last class. I have also made my sweater a little longer than this sample shown below since I really would like it to be more like a coat.

Each week I have chosen a different restaurant to eat lunch at before I go to class. Yesterday I ate at the Rockfish Grill and enjoyed their Fish and Chips. I chose the Sweet Potato Fries for my chips and the meal was wonderful. The atmosphere was fun, lively, and funky. For the first time in my life I also wished I was a beer drinker. The restaurant is also a brewery and had several house beers that looked interesting. I needed Flo and Jo along to sample those I guess! So, it's back to garter stitch strips for me, which remind me of rollin down the highway with the ever changing colors of the scenery.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Heart of Mine

After all it is Valentines Day (hence the title). Love comes in many forms so if you don't have somebody special in your life, don't fret. Just throw yourself a little pity party with some chocolates and red wine and you'll soon be over it. Really. However, if you do have a boyfriend and you had good intentions and knit him a sweater for Valentines Day, well, you'll soon be over that, too. There are rules about that. Even I know the rules and I'm not a professional knitter...yet. Lilly told Jo and I all about the curse of the this evil sweater when she first taught us to knit, not that we were in harms way of having the dreaded boyfriend break-up that is the final outcome of knitting your beloved one of these sweaters. What can be worse than putting forth all the time and effort and frogging involved only to be dumped? If you did happen to break the rules and knit the sweater, you also might want to throw a little pity party, (if not now, later). After all, we are well past the stage of having boyfriends. Instead we have husbands and mine is still waiting for me to knit him a scarf, let alone a sweater. I did purchase some nice sock yarn to knit him some warm and cozy socks but I decided they would compliment some of my dark and boring outfits and, besides, I don't have enough yarn for his ski's so I'm keeping them, that is if I get them finished. Anyway, I do have a special guy in my life (besides my man with big feet) and he came into this world on Valentines Day in 1995. He is my third child and first son and to be born on Valentines Day, well, how special is that? What made it even more special is Lilly knit this sweater for him and sent it to me all the way from New Zealand. She was living abroad for a few years and she knew I was having a baby boy so she just whipped one of these little numbers up in no time. (She is a professional knitter and has been known to fall asleep in her chair with her little hands just throwing those stitches on her needles.) I'm not sure of the yarn she used but it is ever so soft and washable, too. Thank goodness for that or you would see a yellow blob on it from when he spit up all over the front of it. I kept it on there so I could smell it whenever I felt the longing for a little baby (a sure cure), and once I got over that I threw it in the wash and tucked it away for safe keeping. Some day I plan to knit an adorable little sweater for my future grandchild. It's much safer than a boyfriend sweater... instead of breaking up they grow up, but their heart is still yours!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Steppin' Out

Yep, Joe Jackson. Another good song. I guess Lilly started something when she used a song for her title. Even though there are no rules, I kinda like this one. And, I kinda like the fact that I'm in another challenge with my Michigan friend, "Wik'd Wench," to see who completes the most miles by this Saturday. I'm "Bustin' Booty" in case you didn't guess and I also happen to be in the lead. Imagine that. Yes, they do have below freezing temps and 8-9" of snow is expected over the next two days but she has been known to strategize and I wouldn't be surprised if she has a trip to Costco planned sometime this week. The rules are we must sync (upload our miles) each evening until the 14th. Thursday and Friday we can walk until we drop and keep our mileage to ourselves so we will have no clue how far the other person has walked, or if they are still alive, for that matter. Then we upload for the final time on Saturday at 9 p.m. EST, even though it is only 6 p.m. PST, and I am getting cheated out of 3 hours of walking. Just so you case I lose. One more thing. Yesterday I set out on my walk/run, enjoying the mild weather and wearing shorts, mind you. In February. Yes, in Seattle. No, it wasn't raining. Anyway, I was feeling good and had lots of energy for a change, listening to some good music (I think it was "Dance Naked" by John Mellencamp), when it occurred to me I hadn't heard Lance talking to me. Well, I knew I had passed the mile mark and the 1.5 mile mark and I started getting rattled and when I get rattled I break out in a hot flash and even though I was wearing shorts I still got hot. I stopped and pulled my ipod out of the armband and wouldn't you know it, I forgot to push the center button to begin my workout! Of all the stupid things this should not be one of them because there is no way the "Wik'd Wench" is going to believe me. I was out at least 1.5 -1.75 miles. Ugh. Another goof-up. I wonder what would happen if I put my ipod and sensor in Lilly's milkbox?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

It Keeps You Running

It keeps you runnin, yeah it keeps you runnin
It keeps you runnin, yeah it keeps you runnin
It keeps you runnin, yeah it keeps you runnin
It keeps you runnin, yeah it keeps you runnin

Yep, The Doobie Brothers is the group who sang this song. Another good one for "those were the days" nostalgic moments that pop into our heads every now and again. And this song is on my ipod's playlist that I listen to when I go for a walk/run. I mostly walk but I run when I feel like it. Again, there are no rules. I don't have a coach yelling at me to get moving or run faster. I only have Lance Armstrong's (he's hot, in case you didn't know) voice in my ipod telling me my distance, time, current pace and how much farther I need to go to reach my goal. I received the Nike+ ipod kit for Christmas and it has become my new favorite gadget. It is good for keeping track of your mileage etc... and since it is an Apple product it is easy to use as well, and did I mention cool? You sync it to your itunes and 'voila' the information is right there. The fun comes into play because it allows you to challenge a friend, who may become an enemy if they keep winning, to a race. You can choose distance, time, whatever you want to do. Lot's of options for those who like a lot of choices, like me. So, I decide to challenge a friend of mine who lives in Michigan to see who can complete 100 miles first. I did this after learning she gave her husband a Nano for Christmas, thinking he wouldn't mind if she borrowed it for walking. Little did I know she would delete all his music from it and give him some old thing she had been using that didn't have the cool factor of an ipod nano. I really didn't know if she would accept this challenge because, after all, she lives in cold & snowy Michigan and I, on the other hand, live in wet Washington state. The loser buys the winner (and the poor spouse who is now using a non-cool ipod wannabe) to a big and juicy burger and a beer. True to the competitor she is, she quickly accepted and proceeded to kick my butt. True to the nice person I am, I didn't want to put her on the spot and make her feel like she had to walk around Lake Michigan or anything, so I decided to keep my walks around 2-3 miles at a time. This was in early January, FYI, and Seattle was experiencing a cold snap with snow that lasted a good week or more. Unheard of for this part of the country. And, Michigan, yes the "Great Lakes" state, was experiencing temps in the 50's! Do you think she gave me a break or felt sorry for me trying to walk on ice covered streets and sidewalks that nobody shovels because we never get snow and we don't want to disturb it and make it ugly? No. She put on her walkin' shoes and walked. And walked some more. Every morning I would check our standings on the Nike+ website, under Challenges. It shows the leader on the top with a figure running across the screen while adding the most recent mileage to the the graph. My jaw would literally drop and I would have to set my coffee cup down so I could grasp the situation a little more clearly. Then I'd pick up the phone and call Jo. "Can you believe she walked 6 miles? Geez. I bet she attached the sensor to her dogs collar and sent him out for a run." That was my first thought. My second thought was "who is this wench?" Well, if that didn't get the competitive juices flowing. I had some serious walking ahead of me so I donned some hiking boots and walked on the ice, slipping and sliding my way towards my goal of kicking her bootie. Once the ice melted and I could slip into my running shoes, I cranked up the volume and started adding more mileage to my daily walks. Gone were the leisurely 2-3 mile strolls, looking at the scenery and daydreaming about warmer weather and what I was going to eat when I got home. I was on a mission and I found myself walking 5 miles a day. She was walking 6 or 7. Geez. Well the gods were with me and the cold front that left Seattle was now hovering over Michigan and staying put. Yes, thank you Mother Nature! I had no mercy and was quickly gaining on her and getting a certain amount of satisfaction from it as well. My muscles were aching, my legs were cramped and the "fun challenge" was taking on another meaning altogether, but every time I uploaded my miles and watched my little runner gain ground, it pushed me even more. Do you think snow and freezing temperatures could deter my competitive friend from walking? No. She walked at the malls, she walked at Costco and she walked on the treadmill. All were within the legal bounds of this challenge. My strategy was putting a scare into her though and the many miles I was walking was eating at her. One day I logged 10 miles and was sure I would overtake her and win sometime within the next two days. I was smiling the entire day and night thinking I had her. The next morning when I logged on I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Her little running wench on the Nike+ website had reached the 100 mile mark! She had logged over 12 miles the last 24 hours and left me in the dust.

So much for this "fun" gadget. I think I'll finish my sock.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Good Days

The last two days have felt like spring. Fifty degrees and more or less sunny. I had a good ride on my young horse, she is finally understanding the concept of a canter. She is a Tennessee Walking Horse and has a running walk, a gait unique to TennesseeWalkers, very smooth and easy to ride. My dog had training yesterday. I put him through a series of exercises including finding scent articles, heeling backwards, and 5 minute sit stays, all with the chaotic distractions of other dogs working, a crate full of puppies barking and lots of people coming and going . He is a young Golden Retriever with very high energy so being successful in these tasks can be difficult, but he is doing very well. He is very pleased with himself as I am also. Today I completed cutting the pieces of a quilt I am starting. I haven't made one in several years so I am excited about this new project. Sewing the pieces together will be great fun. Piecing together all those strips, squares and triangles is like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle. I know winter will come back to torment us again this year but it is springlike days like these with small successes that motivate me.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Something to Talk About

Okay, I had my 8 a.m. phone chat with Jo and we had our normal discussion about the ups and downs of life. After all, between Jo, Lilly & myself we have: 3 husbands, 10 kids, 2 grandchildren, 4 horses, 3 dogs, 3 cats, and lots and lots of yarn! That alone gives us plenty to talk about, not that we ever have a shortage of subjects, mind you. Well, shortly after our phone call I receive another call from Jo. The first thing out of her mouth was, "you're wrong." I'm thinking, huh? She mumbles something about it being rib stitch, not stockinette. Finally I realized she was referring to my previous post but I was still a little confused because I knew what stitch I was doing when I made my goof-up. Well, silly me. She was more concerned with her goof-up. Not that she didn't want anyone to know she is capable of such a thing. She was okay with that. She wanted to clarify that she was not simply knitting in STOCKINETTE stitch, she was doing something much more difficult, mind you. Her mistake, uh, goof-up, was made when she was doing the ribbing stitch at the top of the sock which is k2, p2! Oh, I'm so relieved she told me that. I was losing sleep thinking she could be so careless to make a mistake while doing Stockinette! The moral of the story is if you make a mistake doing stockinette, embellish it a bit. Walking, chewing gum and knitting in stockinette is worthy of a goof-up. Just make sure you have a sock bag to prove it.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Puppy Love

And they called it puppy love
Oh i guess they'll never know
how a young heart really feels
and just why i love her so
and they called it puppy love

No this isn't what you think it might be. I'm not going to reminisce about youthful love of yesteryear. Or Donny Osmond. This is real puppy love. My one year old Bichon, Bella, had knee surgery last week. It was scheduled in advance and I was well aware of what the post op "rules" were. No running, jumping, or stairs for 6 weeks and the infamous "e-collar", I refer to it as a cone, is required attire for the first 10 days until the staples are removed. The cone wasn't working for us. Bella could thrash and bang around, while under the influence, mind you, and still manage to Houdini her way loose and then go to town on that knee of hers, that is, if we weren't paying close attention. Prior to bringing her home from surgery I had visions of her, with the assistance of a tranquilizer, sleeping peacfully in her crate cozied up in front of the fireplace. Not to be. All my plans for cleaning house and concocting gourmet dinners went by the wayside. I was resigned to the fact I was going to have to sit and hold her... and knit! No guilt required. I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to finish my sock that I've been working on, especially since it is a small project with no long needles that might give her an unwanted poke. Easy enough, or so I thought. The heel was turned and the stitches picked up, I had completed my decreases, now it was time for my needles to pick up speed and make some serious headway with stockinette stitch. The Super Bowl was on and I was casually sipping a glass of red wine, Bella on my lap, kids and hubby glued to the TV when I first layed eyes on the dreaded "goof-up" several rows down. After careful examination I concluded it was indeed a "goof-up" and not a mistake. A mistake is listed under the glossary in all the knitting books and has a distinct name and specific technique to fix it. My goof-ups have been known to cause Lilly to go into a full blown head shaking lather, that is if I'm actually priviledged to be in her knitting circle at the time of the mishap. Otherwise I don't know what she does after she retrieves it from her milkbox. She's been known to drink Lavendar Cosmos's from time to time and this is probably one of those times. I had two choices. Either continue and try to ignore the hole that would be on the bottom of my sock, that most people would never notice, or strive to be like Lilly and Jo and the other Rhonda Rulebooks of the world. I chose the latter and this morning when I was having my daily 8 a.m. phone chat with Jo I casually mentioned my goof-up. There is a slight pause after I mention the word goof-up. Jo say's "but you were knitting stockinette stitch." Hello. Stockinette stitch is still a stitch, it still requires concentration and it still can be goofed up. Just because I have a fancy schmancy sock bag doesn't mean I walk around and knit socks while talking or chewing gum. Lilly gave it to me so I would feel like a professional sock knitter and, besides, I think it is pretty and I prefer to have it sitting beside me in my chair rather than hanging from my wrist. So there. "Well, I kinda got distracted." After all, I was watching my post-op puppy who was sitting next to me requiring constant attention to ensure her staples stay in for ten days. I quickly mentioned I would fix it by ripping it out to the dreaded goof-up and it wouldn't be a big deal. Well, let me tell you was I surprised and mildly shocked when Jo tells me she goofed up her sock she was working on. It wasn't a mistake (hehe) because she admitted she didn't know what she did. She might have picked it up and knit the wrong way was what she said. IN STOCKINETTE STITCH, I wanted to say back, but I didn't. Her sock is finished. Mine is still waiting to be fixed. Oh well, I have 10 more days to finish it!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Life in the Fast Lane

Oh, Life in the Fast Lane. I used to love that song way back when the Eagles made it a hit. I said I USED to love that song. That is until today. I left the house this morning for my two hour drive to Anacortes to take a knitting class at their local yarn shop (more about that at a later date). I wanted to get there early, have lunch and then perhaps take a few waterfront photos. So, I'm cruising along in the fast lane singing along with my iPod, to "Life in the Fast Lane". I am excited, I can visualize all the yarn surrounding me in the shop and I will be soaking it in for THREE FULL HOURS! I can see in my mind every color imaginable! I can see it SO clearly that my rear view mirror looks red and blue! Wait a minute, skeins of yarn don't "flash" and they certainly don't say "pull over to the right shoulder"! What the heck?! Hmmm, 73 in a 60 mph zone? Really? $128!!!! Really? Geez, the nice officer says I can go to court and protest, but the only thing I really have to say to the judge is THIS MONEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SPENT ON YARN THAT DAY!!!! I doubt they would understand. Lesson learned. I've now switched to singing the Eagles hit "Take it Easy".

Touch Me

Come on, come on, come on, come on now
Touch me babe
Can't you see that I am not afraid?
What was that promise that you made?
Why won't you tell me what she said?
What was that promise that she made

I just love this song; definitely a classic by The Doors, but it is also the name of the yarn I used on this easy scarf that was then felted.

Lilly, Jo and I did one of our field trips which typically consists of lunch and a trip to a LYS. This time we visited Renaissance Yarns in downtown Kent. I knew I wanted to make a scarf out of this yarn ever since I admired the display hanging in the shop. When it "touched me" I felt the softness of it, like velvet, only better. Plus it has a lightness to it and feels weightless, yet warm, when wearing it. The big decision was not "should I knit it?" or "do I need it?" but "what color should I get?" Once I spoke those 5 words out loud, Lilly and Jo started going to town grabbing balls of yarn and holding them up to my face. I felt like Mary Kay was draping me to get "colorized" as either a warm or a cool, Autumn or Summer. Jo and Lilly were in their element and were not about to let me get out of that store with a boring neutral color to which I am naturally drawn. Not that I'm boring. At least I don't think I'm boring but my clothes are boring and I knew I needed to add some color to my wardrobe. I kept telling myself this is just a scarf and it might do me some good to venture out of my comfort zone. No rules, right? So, Lilly picks up this ball of yarn and just starts cluckin' like she tends to do when she gets excited. By the way her nickname is "mama duck" but more about that later. She grabs me by the elbow and walks me over to the sitting area where a couple of gals are knitting and shrieks, "doesn't this just look beautiful with her coloring?" Well, what could they say? Nothing like putting some poor innocent women who are knitting away on their projects, on the spot. "Hey, by the way, do these jeans make my butt look big?" Geez.

So this is how I came to have this beautiful Touch Me scarf. I must admit it is a gorgeous color, especially hanging around the neck of my boring brown jacket.

Here is the pattern:

Mistake Rib

CO 31 sts
K2, P2, each row ending with a P1
Size 8 needles (I used 7 because I didn't have 8's and I didn't want to follow the rules completely)

I used a total of 4 balls of the Touch Me yarn

Once complete, put inside a zippered pillowcase and felt in hot water in the washing machine on a complete cycle. It will feel like cardboard when it is finished but don't fret. Put it in the dryer and it will soften up and come out ready to wear!

Friday, February 2, 2007

OOOPS! I did it again!

Well, anytime I have a day off, it's almost a guarantee that I will get into some sort of yarn trouble. I got an email from my LYS that they had a new book in, so two minutes after the doors opened I was there to purchase it. First, about the shop. If you live in Washington State, or are planning a trip here, then this is one shop you won't want to miss. It's called , Renaissance Yarns and it is an absolutely beautiful store! It feels very welcoming and the owners and staff are friendly, helpful and make you feel they appreciate your business. This is not your messy little yarn shop. It is beautifully decorated and organized to show it's beauty. I went there today to purchase my copy of "Favorite Socks, 25 Timeless Designs" from Interweave Press. This book is a sock knitters MUST. It has twenty five designs, mostly knit in fingering weight yarn. There are a couple of patterns for slightly heavier weight yarn. I fell in love with each and every pattern. I was especially intrigued by a "resoleable sock". I may have to try that one out! I do want to confess that I also bought two balls of Trekking sock yarn while there. One is the "Neopolitan" colorway, so it stripes in pink, brown and white. Soooo Coooool! I love it, the other was a boring man color, but my husband loves his socks knit from this yarn. I'm taking a class in another yarn shop tomorrow, so I'm sure I will get into some sort of trouble there too. Yes, I'm "sick" too. I guess between Jo seeing sweaters in manure, and Flo standing in the cold staring, and my yarn and rules addiction, well, it tells all of you why we are good friends!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

My Inspiration

So I'm thinking of Lilly's sweater while I'm cleaning my horses stalls this morning. It's so beautiful with all the different colors and textures. It's amazing how all those different pieces come together to make something so beautiful and useful. Well I find myself in front of the manure pile. I have always appreciated the manure pile, but today I saw how all the pieces, the manure, the hay and shavings mixed with the red worms, dung beetles, bugs, oxygen and water work so hard together they create enough heat to send steam in the surrounding area. In the end they will create beautiful black organic soil. Perfect for my garden. I walk back in the house inspired to start my sweater project.

Memory Lapse

Since I made my 'pickup' at Lilly's house I hadn't found the time to sit and work on my sock, until last night. I turned the heel and was getting ready to pick up the stitches on the sides when, lo and behold, I had an "amnesic" moment. I drew a complete blank. I held up my sock, turned it this way and that, re-read the pattern, even taking my extra needle in hand hoping it would naturally assume the correct position, all to no avail. I finally did what I do when these frequent episodes strike. I picked up the phone and dialed Jo, speed dialed, that is. I often call Lilly when I'm in a bind but I knew she had worked all day and, besides, I had already called her to tell her about our trip to the yarn shop and the delicious lunch and Mojito we had at Cactus. Jo finally picked up and patiently tried to describe to me in detail how to go about picking up the stitches. I often hold my knitting backwards or upside down especially when knitting a sock so the first priority was to go over the proper positioning of sock and thread. This took several minutes to decipher which position I had it in and which position it should be in and after repeated instructions a deeply buried and dim light came on and I sort of remembered what to do. I quickly said, "oh yeah, I remember now". I hung up the phone and started working on those stitches and realized I was having difficulty seeing the stitches. I'm using a varigated yarn that is on the dark side and that alone is reason to have sufficient lighting. I didn't want to bring down my super duper light that I just had to have because Lilly uses one and she is, after all, a professional knitter. So I turned my attention to American Idol and gave up on my knitting for the night. This morning I decided to get up early and get those darn stitches picked up while I was 'fresh' and capable of focusing. I immediately went to work and picked up both sides, feeling rather proud, I might add. Now I'm ready to do some serious knitting in the round and I can't find my 5th needle! So, I push my dog off my lap, climb out of my chair and start digging in the cushion for my needle. I found candy wrappers, a Dove Dark Chocolate, more candy wrappers, a few coins but NO size 5 dpn. Hmmmm. Now I'm really getting rattled and when I get rattled I tend to break out in a hot flash so I had to go outside and stand on the back porch to cool off so I could come in and re-group. My husband came in from warming up his car, since it is sooo cold these past few mornings and the windows are iced up and all, and there I am standing on the back porch in bare feet staring off into space. He didn't bat an eye or ask me what I was doing. That's a scary thing. My hot flash episodes have become the norm. Everybody goes about their business while mom is standing on the back porch when it is 30 degrees, bare feet, pants pulled up to air off the calves, my face beet red. My knitting project is on the floor, the chair and its surroundings are in disarray from all my digging and searching for the missing needle. Or is there a needle missing? Hmmm, maybe I'm supposed to only use 4 needles since I will be combining stitches from two of the needles? Another amnesic moment. Better call Jo.