Friday, December 29, 2006

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout

It's been a knitterly kind of Christmas here at the Daisyfrog estate. My family was very good to me - here's what I got (I feel like it's the first day back to elementary school and I'm showing off my Xmas presents to my little friends):
  • Denise Interchangeable Circulars (thanks Hubby Wubby!)
  • Gift certificate to The Tangled Web in Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia), PA (already spent)
  • Gift certificate to WoolPlay in Haddonfield, NJ (thanks Dad!)
  • Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
  • Scarf Style edited by Pam Allen
  • Fabulous and Flirty Crochet by the Sweater Babe (whose real name escapes me at the moment)
  • Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne
I love my WT and my dad and my Little Brother (who is larger than I am by 5 inches [and I ain't short {here I go with the parentheses again}]). I got 7 hanks of Cascade 220 in a purple heather and 6 hanks in a brownish heather. It's gorgeous. I'll be using the purple to make the Kenobi Sweater by Norah Gaughan in the Spring 2007 Knitscene. I went to the Main Skein in Ambler and got two balls of Cascade 220 Superwash and 2 balls of Filatura di Crosa Baby Kid Extra to make the leg warmers in Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Apparently both my father and husband had an easy time getting the gift certs and the Denises. WT walked into Tangled Web with a blank look on his face and said, "Denise" and the woman behind the counter quickly went and got the needles, which, by the way, are PINK. YES. Five dollars of the cost goes to support breast cancer research. Dad went into WoolPlay, where the owner looked at him and said, "Let me guess - gift certificate." Women's intuition, I tell ya.

And here is a precious knitting story. I had to take WT's car in to get inspected, and so of course I took some knitting with me to work on while I waited. The waiting area was somewhat crowded, but a woman came and sat next to me, saying, "You're a knitter too, so I'm sitting next to you." We began to talk - she was making a multi-directional scarf out of Diaketo (or however the hell you spell that). Turns out we are both in the same field (special education), we both shop at the same yarn store (The Main Skein), and we both want to get certified as teachers. Then we talked some more, and it turns out that she knows my sister-in-law and her daughters! How crazy is that! I love that knitting automatically gives you and strangers in public something to bond over.

I'll post pictures when I actually have stuff on the needles/hooks. Thanks for stopping by friends!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas memories

Banana is four years old. When she was about two, I told her all about Santa Claus and how he brings presents in his sleigh to boys and girls around the world. WT was miffed, to say the least. "We're not really going to let her believe in Santa, are we?" he asked gruffly. "Of course we are!" I replied. He felt we were lying to her. I said it was a lie that every American kid could deal with, just like the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. He disagreed with me, but acquiesced and let me continue the charade. "You can comfort her when she finds out it's all a lie," he told me.

Tonight, the Norriton Volunteer Fire Company came roaring down our street on their ladder truck, and lo and behold, there was Santa himself in the back, waving and smiling. We threw on sweaters and shoes and ran outside to wave. You have to understand, we live on a very busy thoroughfare. But don't you know, they saw us standing and waving and smiling, and they stopped that truck and a junior firefighter got out and handed a candy cane to Banana. He climbed back aboard the truck, lights flashing, sirens wailing, and all the firemen smiled and said, "Merry Christmas!" Banana was starstruck, and frankly, so was WT.

"That was so COOL!" he said when we got inside. He had never witnessed that before. I leaned over and whispered so Banana couldn't hear, "That's why you believe in Santa. Magical things happen." And I do believe he understood why I wanted to let Banana believe too.

My mother loved Christmas. We didn't have many traditions in my family, but most of our traditions were centered around Christmas. The four of us, me, Mom, Dad, and Little Brother, would decorate the tree together and listen to holiday music. Dad would put the lights on the tree and curse as my mother directed him, "No, HIDE the cord, Richard." Then we would all put ornaments on the tree, and my mother would come behind us and rearrange them so that they were evenly spaced. Sometimes we would put tinsel on, sometimes not. Many ornaments were handmade, and we still hang them on Dad's tree today - the felt and glitter angels that Aunt Ruthie made, the macaroni angel that Mom bought at a school craft fair, the starfish painted like Santa from Cape May; the list goes on and on. But Mom's favorite ornament was a handmade one, one that I made in December 1978, in kindergarten. It was an angel made of blue and red construction paper, with three tiny pieces of tinsel glued to her dress with thick elementary school paste, and a crayon smily face. It's awfully faded now, and practically falling apart, but a couple of years ago, when Mom was still here and not sick yet, she decided to replace our traditional corn-husk angel on the top of the tree with my kindergarten construction paper angel. And it still is there today, almost 30 years later. It's strange how things can last longer than people, but the things remind you of the people, and that's good.

I hope that I can create as many happy memories for the Banana as my mother and father created for me. Mom let me believe in Santa, and every Christmas, we listened to our favorite holiday music - Christmas Carols with John Denver and the Muppets. I know, everyone laughs, but I have the same tape in the recorder now that I listened to as a child, and together Banana and I sing and decorate our tree with meaningful ornaments, and we go outside and see Santa on the fire truck, just like I did when I was her age.

Memories are what make us human. Our lives are nothing without good memories, or bad memories, for that matter. My parents provided me with myriad good memories, and they help me get through the bad ones. I only had my mom for 33 years, but she lives in my heart and my mind still, and there she is well and happy and she can talk and dance. And wherever she is now, she is listening to John Denver and the Muppets and decorating a tree, perhaps with her mom and her dad. We miss her here, though.

Susan, Sue, Susie Q, Mom

1947 - 2006

Gone too soon. Miss you Mom.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I've been busy (like the rest of the world hasn't)

So here you go - a bunch of finished objects, all of which became holiday presents.

The above crocheted log cabin-esque afghan was given away this evening at my job's holiday party, which was a total hoot. Our union rep (I work at a high school) went home with it. I hope it keeps him toasty warm.

The afghan above was also crocheted, using mill end chenille and Lion Brand Homespun. I didn't used to like Homespun, but now I'm sold on it for afghans. This thing weighs a ton, and it is so cozy. My cousin's wife will be getting this for Christmas.

The first feather and fan scarf completed by yours truly. Made with Schachenmayr Lipomo (however the hell you spell that). I gave this to my boss, and she seemed to like it. I liked it. I'm happy with it, especially for my first attempt at knitted lace (or lace knitting, I know there's a difference, but I can never remember what it is [I use parentheses a lot, don't I?]). I'm super happy to see my double chin is coming along nicely. Not.

And finally, here's the Banana modeling the hat I made for my student. Isn't she precious? I used Plymouth Encore Worsted for this, and I'm quite happy with the results. The pattern is from Hip to Crochet by Judith Schwartz.

Just look at that precious little face.

I won't post again until after Christmas, most likely, and hopefully I'll be posting pictures of all the yarn and stuff that I get on Monday.

I wish you all a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Joyful Kwanzaa, Happy Winter Solstice, and a healthy, wonderful, fulfilling New Year.

See you in 2007 (or perhaps before)! Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fiber content - no; funny story - yes

Yo peeps, it's been a while. I've finished many projects and will post and talk about them soon, complete with pictures. But it's been pretty crazy around here, so I'm just going to slip in this funny story, which I think most of you will appreciate.

Hubby WT has a good friend we'll call GuitarMan, GM for short. GM has 4 kids - 3 daughters and a son. The oldest daughter recently had a momentous birthday, the one where she became old enough to drive.

Right before her birthday, Miss Thing marches up to her father and announces,"Dad, you know my birthday is coming and I'm getting a license. I expect to see something in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 (yes, 200) mph in 5 seconds, and it better have a big red bow on it."

GM, being the excellent, kind, giving father that he is, agreed. So on her birthday, Miss Thing wakes up, goes outside, and sees in the driveway a .....

bathroom scale with a big red bow on it.

GM says,"If you and your mother stand on it at the same time, it will go up to 200 really quickly."

And then he walked back into the house.

Parents, it's important to pay attention to the trials and tribulations that parents before us have had to endure. We can learn so much for them. I am becoming better prepared for Banana's teenage years each and every day.

Thanks for stopping by. Fiber content soon!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Jeez-o, I need to practice

Click here to see Lily Chin crochet a sweater for David Letterman in 40 minutes. It's crazy, just crazy I tell ya.

Monday, December 04, 2006

What happened?

All of a sudden, it's December! Damn, I just got used to writing 2006 on my checks and whatnot. Anyhoo, I don't have any pictures to show you, but I'll summarize as best I can and provide visual entertainment later.

In the past month, I've completed 2 scrapghans and am currently about 2/3 of the way through the 3rd one. They are all going to be Chrismahanukwanzakkah/white elephant presents. That's fine with me. I'm almost finished the feather and fan scarf, but I think I'm going to have to frog back a bit because my stitch counts are all off. Humph. I'm going to bust out as many scarves and stoles as humanly possible between now and the end of the month as gifts. Then I can start knitting/crocheting stuff for ME. mwahahahahaha

I guess that's all. I was giving the Banana a bath last night, and noticed she was doing something odd with one of her bath toys. When I asked her about it, she said, "I'm just picking my butt with my bath dog."

Freud, where are you when I need you...