Tuesday, August 31, 2010

10 ways to lighten your mood

Hooray! A topic I can actually speak about with some confidence. (That Bacon Topic just left me cold, since I'm the only member of the family who actually eats it.)

1) Get a hug from a loved one.

2) Snuggle with your dog.

3) Or take your dog for a long stroll, if the weather is nice.

4) Read your children a fun book and make the silly voices and noises and faces while you do so.

5) Call an old friend.

6) Claim the most comfortable chair and knit a few rows on something easy.

7) Cook something delicious but not too fussy.

8) Grab a "beach read" and head to the seated bike at the gym.

9) Blast loud silly music and sing along. Dance if you feel like it. (Violent Femmes and Carrie Underwood are my favorites!)

10) Read a sad book that's guaranteed to make you cry. ("The Wake" by Neil Gaiman always serves this purpose for me.) Afterward, wash your face and eat a bar of chocolate. Strangely enough, this usually makes me feel better.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I don't need a new craft

but this lovely how-to on Basket Weaving has utterly seduced me...

OK, maybe next summer!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

FO: Mittens for Alyssa

I made these in the winter of 2009 but forgot to get a good picture before bestowing them on their delighted recipient. Yesterday she finally remembered to snap a picture and send it to me!

At the time, the colors horrified me. (This picture is rather muting the neon-brilliance of the green.) I couldn't believe that the mittens would work out, and consequently dragged my feet about finishing them. Even Alyssa's frequent and sincere expressions of delight over color and pattern couldn't convince me. I handed them over with a shudder of relief.

She wore them all last winter, and every time I saw them out of the corner of my eye I would think, "Wow! What a stunning pair of mittens!" Then, a moment or two later, I would remember... they're MY design. I let Alyssa pick the colors - and she was right about their effect - but I'm the one who put them together. I should be at least a little proud of them.

So here they are: my unloved, painful mittens. Suddenly I'm so proud of them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I liked them so much

that I immediately started a second pair of Bella's Mittens. This time I cast on 45 stitches instead of 43, and let those extra two stitches go up the entire hand. It made the use of yarn a very tight thing, but I still had a few yards left after finishing the thumb. This time it fits me MUCH better in the upper arm and wrist, which is exactly what I wanted to achieve. But I don't want blue mittens. So my current plan is to put both pairs away as possible Winter Solstice gifts and eventually make myself a grey or black pair that really fits me. Two of my cousins have also put in orders... Erin wants cranberry red and fingerless, and Kristen has not yet chosen a color.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mittens in August

I've been at a family reunion. Shortly leaving for another one. Knitted the first of several pairs of Bella's Mittens while in New Hampshire.

Still working on the second of the pair. Details to follow.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: 10 things to bring on vacation

Wow... sorry, very tired and rushed here. We move in 6 days!

OK, on to the topic at hand: ten things I would bring on vacation with me.

1) My family. (or was that a given?)
2) My knitting. (or was that a given, too?) Something lightweight and easy to knit because I may not be able to check the pattern very easily. Right now I lean toward one-color mittens, simple socks, or a very simple scarf.
3) My camera.
4) My wallet.
5) My wonderful black coat that is almost a rain coat and nicer than a windbreaker and can keep me warm in cold auditoriums.
6) A couple of good paperbacks that I would enjoy reading on the train or beach but wouldn't mind leaving behind if my suitcase got too full.
7) A reading light. I don't sleep well on public transportation and I like to have something to distract me.
8) My phone, which has a GPS unit and can also access the Web. (Since I'm knitting Citron right now, this has proven crucial to my success. No need to print out the pattern when you can just look up the original on Knitty!)
9) If I can, I bring along my favorite pillow. This really helps me get a better night's sleep!
10) A list of addresses of everyone who might like to receive a postcard. If I'm traveling within the USA, I also bring the postcard stamps with me so I don't waste vacation time finding a post office.