Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How Cute Is This Hat?

I finished my cable hat. I LOVE IT! I'm knitting another one right away. Yes, I'm going to wear it today, in spite of the balmy 78 degree weather.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Knitting The Night Away

I recently discovered that one of my friends is a knitter. She is fantastic! I've known her for about 5 years and never once did I hear about this hobby of hers. Recently, we haven't been as close, but I'm trying to make up for my non-existence in my friends' lives. When I went to see her new home, I saw her work; she was working a bunch of scarves. Her work was so professional and her stitches were so pretty and orderly and neat (sort of like her). She gave me a bunch of good ideas which I put into practice right away. It was like I rediscovered my friend.

There is no local yarn store near me so basically my experience is limited to Michaels and JoAnns. Michaels had a big sale last Sunday, so I bought several skeins of a wine-colored Bernat yarn (sport satin). The pattern on the label was so cute that I ran home and downloaded the free pattern. It's a cute cable hat (easy pattern - good for me). This is my progress so far.

I love knitting with this yarn; it's so soft and the color is really beautiful. With money tight right now, I shouldn't really spend a lot on yarn. This stuff was $1 off and I had a coupon for an additional 15 percent off. I realize that I'm excited over Michael's yarn (which I assume is akin to being excited over a Walmart purchase). I would not know what to do with myself at a real yarn store with exotic and expensive yarns. I usually pick out solid color yarns, but I would like to find a really beautiful multi-colored yarn. The ones at Michaels do not feel pretty - more utilitarian.

After I mastered this pattern (which might require me knitting it a few more times), I'm going to try my skills at a shawl (also a free Bernat pattern). In addition to the wine-colored yarn, I bought jade-colored yarn from the same company. The shawl will probably be knitted with the jade yarn. I'm so excited about these patterns.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Forgot

I've had to start over so many times that I have lost a lot of my memories, both tangible and in my thoughts.

Occasionally someone who remembers me finds me on Facebook and send me an email. For a few, I sit on the email for weeks or months, not sure what to write back. Others, I respond to right away. I can't tell you why I do this; but it's quirky. One friend, from high school, wrote me a very nice email about 2 months ago. It's still in my inbox, but I haven't responded.

As I move past an event in my life; it's treated like the pages of a book folding up on top of themselves. In my head, the memory gets sucked into a black hole. I have a terrible time recalling so many things now, and now is when I really want to know. I protected myself to my own detriment.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blog First, Title Last

My postings suffer because I focus on the title of the post; then I build some type of narrative around it. Because my mind is going so many different directions right now, I've decided to just start typing and the title will come to me.

Our office had a Christmas lunch at Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, where we celebrated with a buffet lunch and then we all went to see the exhibition called ICE. ICE is a collection of ice scupltures (in Florida, yes, ice is a big deal) with a Christmas theme. Outside of this exhibit is a collection of Florida county Christmas wreaths. I had to take a picture of my hometown, Polk County.

Then we venture into the exhibit (really you are just walking into a big freezer). The hotel provides you with a heavy-duty jacket but you supply anything more, such as mittens, hats, or scarves. I brought my knitted hat. The ice scupltures were very well crafted and the room with gigantic ice ornaments was cool (no pun intended).

One room had two or three slides crafted from ice. I had to try it, but I sucked at it - I didn't slide down very fast. Steve said I was out of practice. However, after 30 minutes, the atmosphere was no longer fun and I was just pretty damn cold standing around a bunch of ice cubes. So the nice man at the door let me out of the freezer and we went from 9 degrees to a humid 80 degrees.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Close Up and Personal

Just a quick couple of photos, close up, of my latest scarf. The pattern is a tri-cable and it's really pretty. The yarn is just too busy to show it off well. I should have made this in one solid color and the pattern would pop out. Live and learn!

Monday, December 1, 2008

So You Just Figured Out We're In a Recession?

I have to laugh - the top story on the evening news was confirmation that yes Virginia, there is a recession, and we are in the thick of it. I roll my eyes at this news broadcast because while most of the country is just a few months into this ridiculous economy, I've been watching it unfold for about a year and a half.

Around June of 2007, a bunch of mortgage lenders starting losing business and shutting their doors. At that time, I was in the thick of the mortgage closing business so the monthly reports of friends and colleagues losing their jobs was troublesome and becoming more and more commonplace. So now, 18 months later, I'm thinking that I cannot imagine having to put up with this for another four or five years!

The news is also reporting that here in the State of Florida, we are in a serious budget shortfall, and, in order to balance, there are going to be massive state layoffs. Even if you don't work for the State, by now, everyone should realize there is always collateral fallout. Sort of like six degrees of separation, the massive loss of jobs is going to affect you in some way.

Is it too naive to hope that Obama can take this mess and turn it into something that will stimulate the economy and create new jobs? I don't like to put all my eggs in one basket (if you will permit me the tired cliche) but what else can I pin my hopes on?

If we need to go back to basics, then I'm ready to provide for my livelihood with my trade - knitting. I finished my reversible cable scarf - the pattern is so pretty but gets lost in the yarn I choose. No matter. It's warm, thick, soft, and about five long. I've hired myself a houseboy to model my creation (and he comes really cheap because he's a silly old man - but a really good sport, too). Just in time too, because it's supposed to be C-O-L-D these next few days.....well, cold for Florida, which is about 40 to 50 degrees fahrenheit.

Finding My Treasure

Now that my shawl is complete (yarn purchased during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl in March), it is just hanging out in my foyer until I de...