Saturday, December 31, 2005


I have finished Ginny's Shawl! I made it a tad shorter than the pattern calls for (1-1/2 pattern repeats short, to be exact) because Ginny is not a big person and she's wheelchair-bound; I don't want it to be so big that it interferes with anything.

Here's what it looked like as it came off of the needles

And what it looks like as it's drying on my bed

Even made smaller, it still measures 64" across the top.

Her son Phil is going to take it down to her in the next week or two - hopefully I'll have pictures of his visit!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Life is rough when it's raining and you can't go outside to play!

Rambo and Itty Bitty this morning

And this afternoon

water woes...

We've had a small leak somewhere in our main water line that leads to the bathroom sink. We've had this leak for a few weeks now, and I keep hearing "I'll get around to it tomorrow." It's been dripping into the basement....and now the leak is considerably worse. It's been filling a 1-gallon ice cream bucket about every 3 hours (that's the only container that would fit in the space where the leak is occuring - right on top of the hot water tank).

When I went downstairs to see if I could shut off the water line to the bathroom, the plastic fittings on the cold water pipe let go. Suddenly I was getting an absolute downpour in my basement. I did manage to find the shutoff to the bathroom sink before the entire basement flooded, but I got drenched in the process.

I found the main shutoff to the house and the secondary shutoff to the bathroom. I shut down the bathroom water, but I still have water to the kitchen sink, so at least Kyle and I can flush the toilet. I also (patting self on back) relit the pilot on the hot water tank. The bright side is, the leak stopped.

The leak is somewhere in the wall behind the bathroom sink, so that wall is going to have to be torn out to get to it. Of course, we just remodeled our bathroom 3 months ago.

Of course, himself is on another hunting trip - he was supposed to come home today. Right after I changed my clothes from the drenching, mopped and swept most of the water to the sump and calmed myself down, himself calls and tells me that they didn't get anything, and they're staying another day.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

post-Christmas miscellany

We did Christmas Eve at my sister's house. I drew my Aunt Bev's name in the family gift exchange - the vest that I designed was for her.
It fit! She wears vests nearly every day, and she really seemed to like it. :-)

Kyle was ecstatic about the boxed Narnia set that Grandma and Grandpa got for him He's been reading the series, and my boxed set is falling apart - it's over 30 years old!

Ricki, however, was NOT thrilled with the bag of coal that Grandma and Grandpa got her. It's candy coal, but that doesn't matter to a 4-year-old! :-)

My favorite Christmas present, from mom and dadI've wanted this book for eons!! It's absolutely stuffed with information about lace knitting.
I've been knitting on Ginny's shawl - I only have 2 repeats to go. It looks the same as it did, just bigger. I should be able to finish it by New Year's.

Queen Matilda was looking lonely this morning, so I dug through my roving and found this I had forgotten all about this roving - I bought it at Knitting Camp from Mielke's Fiber Farm. Queen Matilda seems to have forgiven me for neglecting her, because this is what I have so far:I just have to free up another bobbin so I can start the second ply this afternoon.

Kevin and Kelson are on another hunting trip - they'll be home tomorrow. In the meantime, I've been playing with Kelson's new MP3 player that he got for Christmas. I'm starting to wonder about my state of mind, I think...after I finished loading it with music, I realized that I managed to fill it with music that reminds me of high school and college. There's a little bit of more modern stuff, but it still reminds me of 1981...
For example:
Boston - Can'tcha Say You Believe in Me
Green Day - Time of Your Life
Moody Blues - Once Upon a Time
Eagles - Wasted Time
America - Sister Golden Hair
Zappacosta - It's All Been Done Before
Nickelback - Photograph
Phil Collins - Take a Look at Me Now
Ozzy Osbourne - So Tired
Chris DeBurgh - Ship to Shore

Wow - I sure had a lot of angst and regret in the early 80's! Most of it seems to revolve around the summer of 1981...

I'm going to have to unload this thing before they get home tomorrow, or I'll never hear the end of the ridicule. Maybe I'll burn myself a CD that I can listen to in the truck.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Knitting for Ginny

A little backstory:

When I was growing up, a very nice older couple lived next door to us (understand - "next door" meant about a 1/4 mile away). Virginia - Ginny to my sister and me - treated us like one of her own grandchildren. Gene, her husband, built a bridge over the creek that ran between our properties so we could go visit any time that we wanted, and we did; Ginny was never too busy for us. We made candy, cookies, had weenie roasts, and just generally had a good time. Our own grandmother didn't live close, and Ginny was the closest thing that we had.

After Gene died 13 years ago, Ginny sold her farmhouse and went to live with her children. She alternated between her sons in Ohio and her daughter in West Virginia. 3 years ago, she went to live with her daughter full-time. I sent her Christmas cards every year with pictures of the boys, but I hadn't talked to her for about 5 years. I had tried to call her at her daughter's house several times, but I was always told that she wasn't home...and I never heard back from her.

Tuesday afternoon I decided to call Phil, one of her sons, who lives about an hour from me. As it turns out, her daughter was not taking care of Ginny, and was neglecting her care. They were taking her social security check and leaving her in a chair all day. Her husband would not let the four boys talk to her or come to see her. The boys took a stand, though, and found her a nursing home/rehab center that she liked in WV. She has been doing wonderfully since then.

All I can say is, Barb, there's a special place in Hell for both you and your husband.

I called Ginny immediately after I talked to Phil, and she was ecstatic to hear from me. We talked for almost half an hour about kids, memories of the past, and knitting. As we were hanging up, she said "Would you knit me something? I don't care what it is, as long as it's from you." I called Phil right back, and found out that since she is now wheelchair bound, she gets chilly. He is going down to see her after the first of the year, so I decided to knit her a shawl for him to take down to her.

I have 3 skeins of the purple Harrisville Highland that I used to make the vest, and the Falling Leaves pattern from Lavish Lace...and I cast on last night.

It will flatten out after blocking, but I think she'll like this. :-) I'm using larger needles and heavier wool than the pattern calls for, so it should be quite a bit warmer than if I had used laceweight. It's a very easy pattern; I had it memorized after the first repeat, and it just seems to be flying off of the needles.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's Christmas Break!!!!

HOORAY!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!

No school and no JDs until January 4th!!!


I now return you to your regularly scheduled knitting...

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Wow - I don't feel 40! :-)

My parents took my family and my sister's to Buca di Beppo for lunch to celebrate. Mom found a whole slew of "Over the Hill" gifts, such as this "makeup brush"
They gave me my real birthday presents months ago - they bought my plane ticket and rental car for Knitting Camp. :-)

This is me with my baby sister Michelle - she's going to be 38 next month...

Michelle found a Life magazine from the actual day I was born

and, for my spoon rack, a collector spoon from the Blue Hole in Castalia!

I can't believe she found that - the Blue Hole closed 15 years ago!

After an absolutely awesome lunch, dessert:

Tiramisu, surrounded by black suckers that say "40 Sucks." Mom had given them to the kitchen staff ahead of time (two of them were my students!) I also had a Chocolate Wedge, made especially for me by one of my studentsAfter lunch, Michelle took me to Southpark Mall and bought me an outfit for my birthday, and then we went to see King Kong. If you haven't seen it yet, go now! The scenes with the huge bugs were a little much, but Adrien Brody more than makes up for it. :-) I wish Kong would have landed on Jack Black at the end, but you can't have everything, I guess!
When I got home, my kids gave me this

Two pairs of flannel PJs, the Scarf Style book, and a pair of diamond chip earrings!

As a bonus, for the first time in many, many years, it didn't snow on my birthday!

Today I have to try to make a reasonable attempt to finish my Christmas shopping. I have everybody done except the boys...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Last day of 39...

They had doughnuts and bagels at school today, with a big sign that said "Happy 40th, Kim!"
Everything is better with doughnuts...
The Noro scarf became a quickie Christmas present - Kyle came home on Wednesday and told me "Mom, I told my teacher that you were knitting her something for Christmas!" Well, alrighty then! Today was their last day of school - 10 year olds are just soooo cute sometimes... I finished it last night at Kelson's first high school band concert, and steam blocked it when I got home. I wrapped it at 5:30 this morning. Kyle said she really liked it; I just hope she's not allergic to wool. :-)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

not a good day

Today was a pretty terrible day. When I got back from lunch, I got my coffee cup from my desk and topped it off in the teacher's workroom like I always do. When I drank it later, it tasted funny - turns out a student had, while I was gone, spiked it with the Purell hand sanitizer that I keep on my desk! 5 kids turned him in on the spot. He's an honors student, too. :-(

After the initial hubbub (the school nurse had to call poison control, etc...) I had to sit in on this kid's suspension meeting - out for 10 with a possible expulsion. He admitted it and apologized over and over again. I was extremely upset - for one thing, another teacher covers me and *should* have been at my desk the entire time. For another, I deal with the worst of the worst, and those kids wouldn't even do something like that. I never expected it from an honors kid that I get along with really well. I think my heart hurts more than anything else.

They sent me home about an hour early...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Done! (well, almost)

The basketweave sweater became a vest: I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out! In this picture, the vest is drying on a towel, and it's taking up the entire width of my dining room table. I ordered 4 small pewter clasps from Schoolhouse Press for the front of it. After I cut the front and the armholes, I ran an I-Cord edging around the entire thing (2-stitch I-Cord around the armholes, and 3-stitch around the rest). When it's all done I'll take a better picture. :-)
Now I just need to write my pattern down so I can remember what I did..

I had one ball of Noro Kureyon in color 179, so I followed Tatjana's lead and started a scarf in a brioche-type rib.

Well, one thing led to another, and Little Knits was having a clearance sale, and my birthday is coming, so I treated myself and now I have this:
Woohoo!! 10 balls of Kureyon in color 134! Sooooooo...last night I measured myself (ACK!), figured out my gauge, and cast on this:I'm making myself a sweater. :-) I did 3 rows of seed stitch - just enough so it won't curl - and now I'm going to knit until I figure out what I'm going to do for a neckline. Since I wear a lot of turtlenecks, I'm thinking V-neck. I'm going to do a little bit of shaping at the waist as I go; I haven't decided how much yet...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Presents - and snow!!

I won a prize in the Give a Little contest - vintage patterns from Stitchy McYarnpants!

There are some pretty cool aran and norweigan patterns in this mix. It amazed me as I went through these how similar many of these designs are to the "new" patterns that are out there right now. Huh.

Big snowstorm heading our way from the south - keeping my fingers crossed for a snow day tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Secret Pal(s)

My Secret Pal was Heather at She's in Calgary, Alberta, Canada...and she was one of the hostesses. She was really good to me, and I had a lot of fun!! Thank you, Heather!!

My own "giftee" for Secret Pal 6 was Julie at Jujuknits...and she's in Maine. I had an absolute BLAST picking things out to send her. She cut her hand pretty badly, and now she can't knit for a while - go over to her blog and send her get-well wishes!! She doesn't know who I am yet; her final box of presents should be there in the next day or so, and then my cover will be blown. :-)