Saturday, January 28, 2006

Greetings to my cousins Martha and Karen and their mother Jo

Today I received a letter from my cousin Karen in Illinois. She checks my blog periodically, so I am taking time now to say Hi to her and her sister Martha and their mom, My Aunt Jo.

Today has been a good day. I worked until 4pm then came home and went for a walk with Molly for 30 minutes around town. I've been reading The Giants In The Earth since. I'm taking a break for dinner and to pick up the house a little. Then back to reading I will go.

Oh I almost forgot one thing that made today special. At work I had the privilege to help out with the therapy certified dogs that came to the store today to be read to by children. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me. I want my next dog to be a therapy certified dog. I think it would be very rewarding volunteer activity. Go around with my canine best friend to hospitals, retirement communities, libraries, ...and visit with children and the elderly. Sounds like fun to me. Yvnonne...this event was geared toward elementary children who know how to read to give them someone to read to...I'll let you know when the next one can bring Mathew and Robert. I may find out ahead of time and ask off so I can be there as an observer to take pictures and enjoy the event.

Y is for Yarn

at first I selected Yaweh but I did not have supporting picture, so next I chose Yarn and here is a's coming.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I signed up for sockapalooza...

I found the link tonight on Jillz's blog and signed up immediately. I am so glad I found it. I can't wait to get my sock pal with the sock preferences.

Not to get anyone mad at me...but...

I could care less about the Steelers. I've never watched or listened to a game and I could care less.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha Author...

Karen, Jennifer and I went to hear Arthur Golden speak at the Carnegie Lib in Oakland tonight. It was a fun night.

My Current Read...

I am Reading Giants In the Earth by Rolvaag. It was translated into English from Norwegian by the author in 1927. It is a Classic, though not well known. I am reading it for my Classic's Book Group at Barnes & Noble.

Holly's ZYX...Let me catch up

Z is for Zither...a musical instrument with 30 - 40 strings plucked with a plectrum and the fingertips. Music soothes my soul, hence I start my ZYX Fridays with this lovely instrument.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My New Favorite Book...

"...Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. what does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye?...I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity my be insignificant....A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life. It is hard work to fill one's life with meaning.... A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here..."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Can I Scream Now???!!!!

I just ripped hours and hours of knitting because it was frustrating. Stitches kept falling off the needles, I had not finished a row but I had finished stitches, k3tog's were I quit. Never to return. Good-bye Bed Socks. May you rest in peace.

MEME from Heather

Four Jobs You Have Had In Your Life:

Talking Christmas Tree
Camp Counselor
Computer Programmer
Adolescent Treatment Facility Psychiatric Aide

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over

A Christmas Carol
It's A Wonderful Life
Sister Act

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch

Law and Order
I Love Lucy
Dick Van Dyke
Golden Girls

Four Places You Have Lived

Chicago, IL
Orange County, CA
Durham, NC
St. Petersburg, FL

Four Places You Have Been On Vacation

Smokey Mountains
Grand Canyon
San Diego, CA
New York City

Four Websites You Visit Daily


Four Of Your Favorite Foods

Ice Cream
Ice Cream

Four Places You Would Rather be Right Now

Knitting with my knitting friends
Camping in a warm climate state
With my friend Pam Logan in AZ

Four Cars You've own

Buick Regal (inherited from Grandpa Birkmeier)
Ford Escort Wagon
Toyota Trcuk (my favorite I put 174,000 miles on it)
Isuzu Rodeo SUV

I’m tagging : No one

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday Post

I started my sleeping socks tonight. I'd like to knit for a couple more hours, but I must get to bed. I read The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald and led the Young Reader's Discussion Group on the book. Today was not the best of days, but neither the worst of days. I so hope tomorrow is better, though. I am having lunch with Connie in Oakland tomorrow and then off to Knit One I go. Tomorrow will be a good day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Branching Out continued...

I have completed 9 repeats...mostly done in the wee hours of the morning.

The Sleeping Socks

I decided to use the solid light blue wool yarn to knit the Sleeping Socks (above) and the Hand-painted Lorna's Wool yarn to knit the cable socks. I am off to a yarn store tomorrow to buy my first ever cable needle, one that I can use with size 1 and size 2 needles.

Sophie is a very Peaceful Cat

Sophie loves to stretch out and relax.

Perspective Project

I am debating on knitting cable socks from Interweave Knit magazine or sleeping socks from the Vintage Sock book with some of the yarn my secret pal gave me. I thought it might be nice to have a pair of socks designated for sleeping in....they would not wear out as quickly, besides I like the pattern.

Yesterday and today are messed up for me. I got zero hours of sleep Sunday night. Slept on and off Monday. Now I am up at 3AM wide awake and I work until 10PM tonight. I'm not sure why I'm having trouble sleeping lately. High energy. Anyway, back to knitting for a couple of hours before I try to get some more sleep. I'm still working on the Branching Out Scarf and my vest. I may start a pair of socks right now. I'll let you know soon.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sophie Sleeping

A Little About Myself....

I greatly enjoy the time I spend with my knitting friends. Friends are so important to me. Family is important also, but I especially like my friends because I do not have close relationships with anyone in my family. And Some day After my parents pass on, my only family will be my friends. For this reason I want to let my friends know how much they mean to me and to nurture every friendship I have. I have lived in Pittsburgh a little over a year now and I have several good friends, mostly women I have met through knitting--Thanks to our fearless leader Jane. I look forward to spending and sharing more good moments with all of you.

Work is going very good. I enjoy working at Barnes & Noble so much.

It has taken me a year to adjust to living in a new locale. I finally feel back to my old self. Enjoying myself and life. I have dreams and goals for this year and years to come. Like most Americans I am actively working on losing weight. I'd like to lose 50 lbs. in 2006. I'd be happy with losing 5 lbs. a month. I'll keep you posted on how I am doing. I've started weighing myself semi-regularily to keep close tabs on my gains and loses. I weighed in at 171 lbs. this morning (I am almost 5 feet tall) so you can see I really do need to lose weight for my health, self-image and self-esteem. By spring I hope to be back to jogging, which I love to do. Well I don't want to bore you too much. That is all for now. Til next time. Peace, Jude

Secret Pal Package--Overdue Pic

I absolutely love my package from my secret pal. Here is a picture of all the goodies I got.
The knitting is a close up of a tweed stockinette vest I am making. It is a simple basic pattern. It is nothing fancy, but it is my first non-sock project. Next I will knit the Ojo vest.

Pittsburgh Secret Pal Knitting

A Good Time was had by all as Jane would say. Below are Nora and Jane, Yvonne, Donna Heather and Cheryl and Holly.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Molly & Rosie Pics

A bettter Pic of Molly. Rosie curled up in the pillows.

This is the beginnngs of a basic stockinette vest I am making.

Knitting etc.

I finished my socks and wore them to work today.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I used my lifeline

I worked the third repeat, but on row 9 I k3 instead of k4 at the beginning of the row. I tried to take out the row stitch by stitch. It was too complicated. I ripped down to my lifeline and picked up 25 stitches. Boy am I glad I had that lifeline.

Branching Out Pic

My two repeats with lifeline. I feel like I accomplished something by knitting this. I branched out from basic scarves and socks. This is actually pretty. You could make a table runner out of this pattern.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Branching Out some more...

I don't have pics, but I did 2 repeats of the Branching Out scarf without any mistakes (that I know of). I am using a life-line at the end of every repeat so that if I need to rip out I'll only go to the last good repeat. At least that is the way I think it works.

Today was a very productive day. I knitted, I cleaned, I knitted, I cooked, I knitted, I ironed. I decided there were others things important besides knitting. You saw Jane's office? Well, that is how my entire house looks. Pretty much. I'm am cleaning up little by little everyday.

I had a good night at work. I did not work a couple of days due to severe tooth pain and associated pain medicine. It was good to be there.

I'll try to get pics tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Rosie & Sophie

Rosie (left) laying in her favorite spot.

Sophie (right) "wearing" a baggie stuck on by static electricity.

Family Photos

This is my fearless Guard Dog, Molly. She is a high-maintenance dog. But I love her just the same.

I Branched Out Tonight...

It took several tries, but I finally finished one repeat of the Branching Out Scarf. Around row 5 I see a mistake, plus the cast-on is too tight, so I will start over one more time. I think the size 7 needles will work Okay.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A rare moment when Sophie is not racing around the house.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Reading The Hobbit, the prelude to Lord of the Rings

My current pleasure read is The Hobbit by J.R. R. Tolkien. It is the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, which I plan to read next. I finished One Flew Over the Cuckcoo's Nest by Ken Kesey and led a discussion of the book last Tuesday at work. It was a very disturbing book as Rick Marteeny, the store manager said. The Hobbit is very enjoyable. I am eager to read the Trilogy next.

Overdue Christmas Pics

This is Mom wearing her December 10th birthday scarf which I finished Christmas Eve.

This is Pam, my sister, wearing the scarf I made her. She liked it a lot. She commented "I did not know you could make this stitch."

I'll be Branching Out

I bought this yarn to knit the Branching Out scarf for my mom. Her favorite color is green. But to her this yarn will look blue because she is loosing her color sight due to glaucoma.

Knit @ Panera's Saturday

I had a wonderful time knitting with Connie, Koley, Yvonne and Cheryl at Panera's Yesterday. I knit the heel flap, turned the heel and started the heel gusset. I hope to have this pair finished by the end of the week.

This is my friend Bruce. He cooked Mac-n-Cheese for us Friday night. He is a talented knitter and needlepointer. I saw a beautiful Aran sweater he knitted. He has sold his needlepoint commercially.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One More Day without Knitting

And it is past midnight, so there is no way I can sneak it in. I was busy reading the Sparknotes for One Flew Over the Cuckcoo's Nest in preparation for the book group I lead at work. The group went well. I felt spent afterwards. I think everyone enjoyed it. Later today is another day. Maybe I'll get some knitting in.


Monday, January 02, 2006

The Second Day of 2006

I did not knit today. I was busy taking care of things that needed to get done. Cleaning my house. Paying bills. Preparing for work tomorrow. I did go see Memoirs of a Geisha with my friend Karen Lumley. We went to Mad Mex for lunch first. I liked Mad Mex. I had a Thai Curry Burrito. Interesting twist on a burrito. I need to get to bed now, but I would like to get some more pictures posted. Hopefully soon.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

I am very much looking forward to 2006 and the good things it will bring.

Below is a little tiddy I stole from Yvonne who stole it from someone else...

1. What new knitting techniques did you learn this year?

I blocked for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised by the results.
I learned to do ssk properly...I used to slip purlwise instead of as if to knit.
I polished my sock knitting skills.

2. Which completed project from the last 12 months are you most proud of?

Socks for my friend Karen. I used self-striping yarn with the Railroad Rib pattern. They turned out very nice. Much nicer than I anticipated.

3. What was your biggest knitting disaster of the last year?

Well, there were two disappointments. One was after knitting three days on a scarf for mom, I decided to rip it all out and make the scarf narrower. I've never ripped that much work out in my life.

The second small "disaster" was my sister's socks could have been a wee bit longer. Her foot is a little longer than mine and I misjudged a little.

4. Who or what has been the biggest influence on your knitting in 2005?

The Cranknitter group has been the biggest influence on my knitting in 2005. I've met so many diverse knitters who are all inspirations in their own ways. Jane inspires me to greatness. Yvonne inspires me to try new things. Nora shows the artistic side of knitting with her beautiful accessories. Connie inspires me to knit forever. Mary Ann inspires me to deviated from patterns and make up my own when I can't find one. Linda lets me know mistakes are Okay. The group as a whole keeps me knitting with regularity and gives me ideas and encouragement to try new things.

5. What knit craze grabbed you this year?

I grabbed onto the sock knitting craze in Jan 2004 and am still on it. I did not grab onto any new craze this year. We will have to wait and see what 2006 brings.

New Year's resolutions:

In 2006 I will knit: an entrelac scarf for a friend at work, a vest for mom and start a sweater for myself. I may also try a felting project...not sure what though. I am not a purse person. Maybe the cute slippers Jane knit for her mom.

I will learn to: splice wool yarn, modify a man's sweater pattern to fit me, do entrelac and a diagonal scarf.

To become a better knitter, I will: Knit something besides socks and scarves. I will stick close to my knitting friends.

So what about you?