Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bingle Jells

I have decided that my favorite day of the year is December 26th. Ya know why? Because it is OVER! I really don't mean to sound like Scrooge here, but Christmas seriously stresses me out and knowing that I don't have to deal with it again for an entire year is really comforting!

It wasn't all bad. On the 23rd, I went out to dinner with an old friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in quite a while. We went to the Hampden area of Baltimore to see the 34th Street Christmas lights. I have mentioned before that I LOVE Christmas lights. I had never been to 34th Street before and it was everything I had hoped for and more! It is an entire block of houses that goes completely INSANE with lights for the holidays. I loved every excessive, tacky, glowing, electric inch of it!
34th Street in Hampen
Christmas lights insanity
inflatable Christmas
For more pictures click here.

So much fun! After dinner, we drove back to Columbia and went to The Symphony of Lights which is a drive thru Christmas lighting display. My friend had never been before and we had a great time.

I spent most of Christmas Eve desperately trying to finish Icarus. I finally conceded defeat somewhere around midnight. I just couldn't get it finished. And I was doing serious damage to my hands. They were both really painful and my thumbs were getting really tingly so I knew I needed to stop. So on Christmas Day, I showed my sister the picture of the finished shawl in Interweave and then showed her my progress so far. She is extremely excited about it and was very understanding about it not being finished yet. And she LOVED the Hedera socks I made for her! I love knitting for her because she is truly appreciative.

My sister left today on vacation, so I have some time to get Icarus finished. I only have about 10 more rows of the last chart and then the edging and finishing to do. But I'm going to take my time to finish it. I don't want to screw up my hands any more than they already are! Tingly thumbs are more than a little scary.

As for Christmas, yes it was pretty damn stressful, but there were some good things. I got some really great gifts.
Christmas books
More Christmas books

I have been pouring over these books ever since I got them. The Victorian Lace book is gorgeous. There are so many beautiful patterns in it. As soon as I recover from Icarus, I'm certain I will be choosing something from this book to make. Supposedly, there is another book on it's way - it was on back order, so hopefully I'll have it soon.

Christmas dinner was an event. We were supposed to go to some fancy schmancy restaurant for dinner. My sister had made a reservation over the internet. Well, when she called on Christmas day to confirm, they didn't answer the phone. (I'm sure you can see where this is going...) So, she and I drove to the restaurant and sure enough, it was closed. (my sister: "I swear I got a confirmation email!!!") So, we drove around until we found something that was open on Christmas Day. We had a very merry Malaysian Christmas dinner! It was really yummy but I'm quite certain that my parents were fairly irked at the situation. Ah well! Wouldn't be Christmas in my family if someone wasn't irked about something!

I hope all of you had a delightful holiday, no matter which one you celebrate. Hopefully your days were filled with lots of knitterly goodness!

I wish everyone a Happy New Year! I will be celebrating New Year's back at the beach for four glorious days!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


When you do not read the directions and you knit 4 more rows of Chart 1 than you need to, it does not help in your efforts to finish the damn thing by Christmas.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finishing the hat
(anyone besides Amie or Katie know what that line is from?)

So last night at knitting group, I was discussing what to get for a friend of mine for Christmas. After much helpful input from the group, I decided that I wanted to make him a hat. However, since I am in Icarus crunch time, I would just cast one on, wrap it up and tell him that I would finish it for him next week .

Then, Laura pulls out some yarn she just bought at Joann's. It was Patons SWS. I loved it!(Laura has a nice review of it over on her blog.) It is a soy/wool blend that is self striping and super soft. Of course as soon as knitting group was over, I headed over to Joann's and bought a ball.

Like I said, my intent was to cast on, maybe knit a couple rows and then wrap the unfinished product.

I cast on at 8 p.m., right before Act one of my show

I cast off at 10:30 p.m., about 20 minutes before the end of Act two.
Adam's hat

And now I will be sleeping with my wrist brace on because OW - fast knitting hurts!

I took these pictures with my cell phone, so the colors aren't really true. They are a tad lighter in real life. And not nearly so yellow/goldish - the yellow parts in the picture are actually more tan.
Modeling the hat
Simple hat - didn't use a pattern, but bothered Amie and Laura for assistance in the process!
Needles: Takumi 16" circulars, size US 10 - Next time, I would go with a smaller needle. This knit up a little loose.
Yarn: Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes) in Natural Navy

Again... Love love love this yarn!

Now back to my regularly scheduled Icarus knitting....

Monday, December 18, 2006


Wow! Thanks everyone for all the awesome birthday wishes! I am truly overwhelmed. You are all so very sweet. I had a good birthday. My sister had a nice dinner for me on my actual birthday.

And then blogless Cheryl had a birthday/holiday party at her house this past weekend.
Birthday/holiday fun!
Front row L-R Eunny, Jen, Laura
Back row L-R Amie, Jolene, Erin, Lolly and that's me on the end in the pink sweater (cashmere! birthday gift from my sister!)
Cheryl took the picture so she is not in it!

It is completely coincidental that we are lined up by the color of our tiaras!

I got lots and lots of awesome gifts. Thanks guys!!! And many thanks to Cheryl for opening her home to us all. (oh and the chicken curry? YUM!) I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful new friends through this crazy internet thing. I am so grateful to have you all in my life.

I continue to slave away on Icarus. I am almost done with the last pattern repeat of chart 1. I'm starting to question if I'll be able to finish this by next Monday (aka: Christmas) but I'm really going to try. I have a fair amount of available knitting time this week, so hopefully a miracle will happen and I will finish it in time.

Off to work on it some more!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Birthday to ME!

cutey baby me!

Yep, it's official.... I'm old.

And since I'm old, I feel I'm allowed to torture you with baby pictures of me!

Daddy and me
Here, Daddy and I show off our giant craniums. Hello gene pool!

me and dad

I always have loved this picture. How cute are my matching coat and bonnet? I'm pretty sure this picture was taken on Easter so I think I'm about 16 months old or so.

My birthday
I think I'm three in this picture, maybe two. It's my birthday! And that's my birthday loot. Anyone recognize that baby doll? I feel like she had a name.... Crazy to think this picture was taken on this day, 30 some odd years ago. (um... yeah, I turn 39 today. I can't believe it.) I'm sure that the bunny on my head is courtesy of one of my siblings.
something was funny!
Obviously, something was quite funny about my birthday. Perhaps I am laughing that I had a bunny on my head!

always a princess
See, I was into the Arts, even way back then! I am a Prima Ballerina! And I obviously had killer fashion sense. Yes, I did put that outfit together all by myself. I believe the lacy item around my waist is a doily off the back of a chair.

I will be celebrating my birthday by waiting tables and doing a matinee. Then I have the night off from work, so I will be heading to my sister's house for a birthday dinner.

Somewhere between my matinee and dinner, I have to rush to the MVA because I just realized that my driver's license expires on my birthday! Oops!

See I'm old and I forget things!

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Lovely Weekend

Actually, it was a lovely Saturday. Since I always work all day Sundays, I don't really get a weekend. But Saturdays are mine.

I was really productive during the day and finally got some cleaning done. My room was a big disgusting mess, and now it is CLEAN! I still have a fair amount of pre-holiday cleaning that I would like to get done around here, but I'm happy to have my room back in order. I have a plastic, three drawer storgage thingy under my desk where I keep all my crafty stuff. In my cleaning frenzy, I finally got around to organizing it. I can find my glue now! Now, if the magic laundry fairies would hurry up and get my laundry finished, I'd really be a happy girl!

Saturday night, S. came up and took me out to dinner for my birthday. (which is on Wednesday, the 13th.) We had a yummy meal at Macaroni Grill, followed by their sinfully awesome chocolate cake. I even managed to convince the waitress NOT to sing Happy Birthday in Italian to me. (They make you swing a dinner napkin over your head while they sing to you. Um... No thank you! ) S. and I have both been so busy, we haven't seen each other in ages so it was really nice to see him.

After dinner, we went shopping and I bought myself an early birthday gift.
My new printer

That behemoth is my new, much needed printer. A particularly lucrative waiting shift, a sale at Best Buy and she's mine. My old printer was 11 years old and definitely showing its age. I'm kind of hoping that if my mother actually remembers my birthday, she will send me her yearly birthday check and then this can be my birthday present from her!

So far, I love it! It's a copier/scanner/printer combo. And, I can either hook my camera directly to it, or it has a slot for the memory card from camera. Fancy stuff! My only complaint it that it is HUGE and takes up way too much space on my already too small desk.

Many thanks for all the compliments on my latest crop of baby hats! Here is the rainbow/snowflake one all finished:

finished rainbow snowflake hat

Oddly I think it looks much better in photographs than it does in person. The snowflakes are much easier to see in the picture. I look at this hat and all I can think of is "Pinata!"

I also made this over the weekend:
baby penguin hat
I'm not really happy with my knitting on this one, but it's still pretty cute. My floats are a little too tight, so the hat is lumpy. I tried blocking it a bit, but it's acrylic, so it didn't do much good. It will be getting some pompoms on it soon, because nothing's cuter than a baby wearing a penguin hat with pompoms on it! This one is going to my college friend's baby. Hopefully, she will send me a picture of him wearing it. I'm really looking forward to seeing one of my baby hats on an actual baby!

I started another hat for my pregnant college friend, but I wasn't happy with it and frogged it. I had found a different snowflake chart, but it was really too big for a baby hat. So, I will go back to the original pattern I have been using and make another black and white one.

Well, I'm off to bed. It's my last night as a 38 year old! :)

Friday, December 08, 2006


I should be working on this
still plugging along

That's Icarus. Still. I swear, I am still working on it. And I fully intend to finish it by Christmas. No doubt I will be blocking it on Christmas Eve.

But I needed a little break.

So, I've been knitting these:
a pair of snowflake hats

Yep... More baby hats. Lisa is collecting hats to give to Caps to the Capital and Jolene is collecting hats for the kids at the Hopkins clinic. (go check out Jolene's site - the details are there. She will be collecting hats of all sizes through January. Help her out!) I made both of these yesterday.

I love the black one, though I kinda messed up the pattern. It's a 14 stitch pattern. I did it over 13 stitches. Duh.

snowflake hat

I did the correct number of stitches on the blue one, but you can't see it at all! There are white snowflakes (flowers?) on it if you look really closely!
invisible snowflake hat

Today, I started a third hat that I expect to finish tonight.

colored snowflake hat

I'm not sure yet how I feel about this one. It's the same snowflake/flower/star pattern, but I used a crappy rainbow yarn. I'll reserve my judgment of it until I finish it.

I also need to knit two more baby hats for friends. Every year at Christmas, I get together with a group of women that I went to college with. It is the only time I ever get to see them. They live all over the country, but all have family in Maryland. So Christmas is our only chance to get together. I look forward to it every year.

Last year, in a completely insane moment, I decided to knit them all flower washcloths from Weekend Knitting. I think I knit 7 of them in about a week and half. I was actually late to our dinner together because I was sewing the last one together. I paired each washcloth with a bar of hand-made soap. (not hand-made by me!) They turned out to be really nice gifts, but I will never knit 7 washcloths in a week and a half again!

So this year, I've decided to limit the hand knit gifts to two of the women in the group. One is my college roommate who just announced that she is expecting her first child in March. So, I plan to make another black snowflake hat, with the correct stitch count, for her. She is not a baby pastel kinda girl, so I'm quite certain she will appreciate a black baby hat.

And another woman in the group just gave birth to her third son last month. So I'll make a hat for her too. I think I'll do another fair isle type hat, but something other than the snowflake. (I do like that snowflake alot!)

Now I just have to figure out some other little giftie kind of thing that I can make/buy for the rest of the girls!

My mom sent me an email (2 emails actually...) asking what I wanted for Christmas. I sent her a list of knitting books that I want including Latvian Mittens: Traditional Designs & Techniques . She immediately decided that she wants a pair of Latvian mittens. She has never really asked me to knit for her before. I never thought mittens were really her thing, but if she gets me the book, I will make her a pair of mittens. And despite the fact that she can't remember what she had for lunch, I am quite certain that she will remember to bug me about these mittens until they are on her hands. I thought about making her a pair of Eunny's gorgeous Anemoi mittens for Christmas, but I think I will hold off and make her mittens for her birthday in February.

After all...
I still have an Icarus to finish!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


december at the beach

It was perfection. I arrived at my sister's house very late, or very early I guess - 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning. I got up with the sun Saturday. Every room at the house has HUGE bay windows, so basically, when the sun is up - you are up! (thought I discovered on my as I was leaving to come back home that there were actually blinds on my window that I could have pulled down!)

I drove into Rehoboth and had breakfast at a little diner on the the main street. Then I just wandered around Rehoboth for a little while. I was really surprised at how many of the shops were actually open. Most of the tacky beachy shops were all boarded up, but the little specialty gift shops were open. I guess they were open for the Christmas shopping season.

Then I headed to the beach. It was a beautiful day, but really chilly.
empty beach
Looking North on Saturday

rehoboth beach, DE
Looking South on Sunday.

You will notice that there are NO other people on the beach. Anywhere! I had the whole beach to myself! It was incredibly peaceful.

After visiting the ocean for a bit, I headed back into town. I was hoping to go here:

Knitty Gritty
That's Knitty Gritty of Rehoboth. And it was CLOSED. I was very sad! There was a sign in the window that said "we will be closed Monday, December 4." Um... Ok... How about Saturday, December 2?? It was supposed to be open!

After my yarn store disappointment, I went back to the house. I spend the afternoon watching movies, knitting, and enjoying the incredible view.
sunset on rehoboth bay

In the late afternoon, I headed to Lewes, DE. I hadn't been there in years. It's a cute little seaside town with lots of nice shops and restaurants.
lewes, DE

So I'm strolling past a little antique store when I see this:
Yarns for sale!  Yay!

And in the window, I see this:
knitting window display

Yarn for sale?? why yes thank you, I think I will!


In the back of this little antique store was a yarn shop!!! Huzzah!

Ginger Moon yarns

How cute is this place?? It's Ginger Moon yarn shop. I was greeted by Betty who I stupidly did not take a picture of. Betty was (according the shop owner) a Jackuaua - part Jack Russell Terrier and part chiuaua. Whatever she was, she was very cute. She obviously thought that everyone who came in the shop was there just to see her!

I figured since I was on vacation, so I could buy myself a little present or two, right?
Wool in the woods
Wool in the Woods in colorway High Sierra.
I need more yarn! really I do!

I've been coveting this book for awhile, so I finally bought it.

After a quick stop into a coffee shop for a mocha latte, I staked out a spot on the street to wait for the Lewes Christmas Parade!
Lewes Christmas parade

So cute! I had such a great time! It was surprisingly long. I think every fire engine, scout troupe, and church on the Eastern seaboard participated in the parade. But the thing I truly loved about it was the small town feel. It was such a cozy, quaint and festive atmosphere. My camera does not like to take night shots, so these pics are a little hard to see, but trust me - super cute!

I drove back to Rehoboth feeling very festive and Christmassy. It was still fairly early, so I went to the Rehoboth Boardwalk to see the Christmas lights there.
Rehoboth Boardwalk at Christmas time

(by the way.... note to Ava, I am using Flickr Toys to make these mosaics!)

A quick stop to buy a bottle of wine, and I headed back to the house. I had some pizza, drank some wine, knitted a bit and watched some mindless TV.

Sunday was very quiet. I went and got some coffee and breakfast, wandered the beach a bit, wandered the shops again and then went back to the house. I had contemplated going to some of the Rehoboth outlets, but they were insanely busy. I decided to continue with my peaceful weekend and avoid the Christmas shopping frenzy. I spent the rest of Sunday just hanging out at the house. It was wonderful.

It was so painful to have to leave. I did not want to come back! I definitely like the beach in December. It's an entirely different experience than the beach in August.

Fortunately my sister just said to me on the phone "You can use the house anytime you want!"


Friday, December 01, 2006

Pretty Hedera

finished hederas
Knitty's Hedera
Yarn: Tess superwash (I think the color is called "nutmeg")
Needles: Addi Turbo 40" circular, US size 1
Knit magic loop, two at the same time
started: November 4, 2006
finished: November 27, 2006

completed hedera

I could not be more pleased with these. I think they are gorgeous and are going to make a great xmas gift. They took me forever to finish, but mainly because I was being a lazy knitter. The pattern was very easy to memorize and it was also very easy to catch mistakes early. I am going to be sad to give these away, but they are destined for my sister!

I had fully intended on having an outdoor photo shoot for these, but I haven't had a spare second of free daylight time to photograph them. I haven't had a day off in two weeks! And in the span of four days, I will have worked 10 performances of three different shows and four waiting shifts. I am exhausted!

Fortunately I am running away this weekend! YAY!

I will be here:
Kerry's house

Enjoying this view:
Kerry's view

That is my sister's beach house. It's actually on the bayside, but only 5 minutes from the beach. She has graciously offered it to me for the weekend. Originally, she had invited me to go with her, but sadly there was a death in her husband's family, so she can't go. But she told me that I can go anyways. While I am seriously bummed that she can't go, I am still ridiculously excited. A whole beach house all to myself for an entire weekend!!! Sanctuary! I will knit and read and knit and shop and knit and relax and knit... And I will visit the ocean and try not to freeze to death! And most importantly, I will NOT be at work!

I did a little research and supposedly the boardwalk will be lit up with Christmas lights. I LOVE Christmas lights. Christmas in general tends to stress me out, a lot. I know that's sad. I used to love Christmas, but in the past few years, the magic has dwindled for me. However, I am huge sucker for Christmas lights. I love going to see the houses where the people have gone completely mental and covered every square inch of their property with lights and light-up plastic reindeer and giant blow up santas. I also love the more simplistic approach with a single candle in every window. Every year I will happily fork over the $15 it costs to go through the local hospital's drive through lighting display, despite the fact that it is the same every year.

So, slap some Christmas lights on the boardwalk and I will be a happy girl!

I've never been to the beach in December before, so I'm sure it will be interesting!

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be on retreat!