Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Five Little Pumpkin Sitting On A Gate

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said,"Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said,"But we don't care."
The third one said,"I see witches in the air."
The fourth one said,"Let's run, and run, and run."
The fifth one said,"Get ready for some fun."
Then whoosh went the wind,and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

PC and I will not be handing out chocolate bars and snack packs this year. Our current location is chock full of kids, but letting kids know where we are and how to get to the front door is not easy.... we can't turn our porch light on and off.... it's motion sensored and hard wired to the house.

We will be watching the Ghost Hunters live marathon (7 hours) and eating yummy beef stew for dinner. Halloween is one of those nights that brings back so many memories from childhood: costumes, candy, canvassing the whole town for treats. Halloween dinner was a favorite of mine; it was always American Chop Suey. My mom would make it on her lunch break and it would be heated up on the stove and one kid would eat while the other was being costumed and then switch.... it is still a favorite memory.

I have some photos for posting tomorrow. For those who asked, it was a death in PC's family and we thank you for the prayers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I have to dry my hair....

And Pumpkin thinks it's play time...
So this will be kinda quick.

1. Home from the land o' Mickey--- nice place to Rides were fun. Took no photos. Fun family time. Good food. More rides. One upset tummy. Didn't see Mickey once. Great resort. More rides.

PC went upside down. Twice. On a roller coaster. Have I mentioned that this is something that he said he'd never do??

2. knitting. Well, I am a schizophrenic knitter lately- making no sense and bouncing from one thing to another. I have nailed down some small(ish) projects though... I think this might be the fall of small(ish) projects.

Yes, another cowl. This was completed pre-Disney but it needed buttons and trip in the sink to block it. And yes, Mari... this one is yours. Buttons are from Island Yarn, yarn (Malabrigo) is from stash.

Pattern: Piggy Mittens (pdf)
Yarn: Encore, ~50 yds?
Needles: US 5 dpns (bamboo)
For: cousin's daughter... she's 2. These will make her giggle so hard she'll snort.
2nd pair of these are underway for a friend's daughter, also two.

Pattern: my own
Yarn: Encore
Needles: US 3 dpns
For: my niece, Noodle. She's 4 months and needs her first woolie mittens (not that they are wool-- they are machine wash!)


Cast on 20 stitches, join without twisting. K1, P1 for 8 rows.
Knit one row.
Increase row: *K f/b, K1, K f/b, K1* repeat from * to * until 30 stitches.
Knit for 2 inches.
Decrease rows:
Row 1: *slip 2 as if to knit, k2tog tbl, k11, k2tog** repeat from * to **
Row 2: knit
Row 3: *slip 2 as if to knit, k2tog tbl, k9, k2tog** repeat from * to **
Row 4: knit
Row 5: *slip 2 as if to knit, k2tog tbl, k7, k2tog** repeat from * to **
Row 6: knit
Row 7: *slip 2 as if to knit, k2tog tbl, k5, k2tog** repeat from * to **
Row 8: knit
Row 9: *slip 2 as if to knit, k2tog tbl, k3, k2tog** repeat from * to **
Row 10: knit
Row 11: *slip 2 as if to knit, k2tog tbl, k1, k2tog** repeat from * to **
Row 12: K2tog all around
Break yarn and thread onto darning needle. Pull end through remaining stitches.

Make 2nd mitten.

Pattern: Spidey Mittens
Yarn: Encore (blue), Red Heart (red) and Cotton Ease (Black) all from stash.
For: piggy mittens' big brother.

3. A death in the family and starting grad class #2 this week will definitely interfere with irregular blogging... ha ha ha. Seriously, though... look for me later in the week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Almost home.....

We are probably halfway up the East Coast by now... heading home today. I hope you have enjoyed the charitable knitting info I have been giving you. In case you have no time to knit this year, but need to clean out your stash? Here's a charity for you:

Health Care for the Homeless Medical Respite Unit
Homeless women and men at a residential medical respite unit find that crocheting and knitting help with their emotional stress, and create opportunities for socialization and companionship. It also affords those who are mothers to be able to give something handmade to their children. There is always need for yarn (wool, non-wool, partial or full skeins), crochet hooks (esp. sizes 5 - 6), knitting needles, basic knitting or crocheting books. Other arts and crafts items are also welcome Please call first.

Volunteer Coordinator
Boston Health Care for the Homeless
729 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 414-7779

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Purl for a Purpose

The Pine Street Inn is hosting a knit-a-thon to make blankets for the homeless. Now, I know that Island Yarn is knitting away (customers and employees!) on squares and I have seen a few at my guild meeting... so, what's a 9X9 inch square? 30 minutes? An hour? You can do it!!! Grab your needles and knit!
(my corporate competitor is hosting this event, but this makes me more determined to get MY company involved next year. Does YOUR company match your charitable donations?? MINE does--- ask your HR rep about your company's policy on charitable giving.)

There is an event coming up:

Sunday, November 9, 2008


11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Hosted by GE Healthcare, 116 Huntington Avenue, Boston
(Across from the Prudential Center and accessible by the Prudential and Copley stops on the Green line and Back Bay station on the Orange line.)


To make a difference in the lives of formerly homeless men and women

Info from the webpage:

How to Get Started


Sign up today! To sign up or for questions, please e-mail Eric Monty or call 617-892-9173.


Create your own web page for pledges! Go to and follow the easy instructions to set up your personalized pledge page where you can direct friends and family members to donate to Pine Street.


Start Fundraising! Ask your friends and family to either make a donation on your Web site or pledge on a per-square basis. (For example: $1 per square x 50 squares = $50.) Read our tips for fundraising. Although fundraising is not a requirement, we strongly encourage all knitters to fundraise or make a personal donation to support Pine Street.

Step 4:

Start Knitting! Even though the event is in November, begin knitting now! Knit as many 9" x 9" squares as possible. We will knit squares at the event, but pre-knitted squares will allow us to assemble more blankets.


Tell all knitters!
Invite your friends to join in the fun.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Warm Woolies

Warm Woolies is a great charitable organization that helps children both here (US) and abroad. It primarily works with native American reservations (some of the poorest children in the US live on reservation lands... ) and Eastern European orphanages, which offer suffer from lack of heat. I have a few pairs of wee mittens that will be winging off to them this winter.

They offer free patterns for donations, too... what a great idea!

Here the guidelines and address:

Feel free to use any child-sized pattern you like so long as it follows these four guidelines:

  • First, we use wool. The kids we're knitting for live in extremely cold climates. Wool is warm and stays warm even when it's wet. It also holds up better and we intend for the items we knit to be passed down as they are outgrown.
  • Second, any child-sized items are welcome. By "child-sized" we mean newborn to 16 years old. If your item turns out larger or smaller than you intended, that can be your secret! Whatever you knit will fit a child and be a blessing.
  • Third, the warmer the item is, the better. Warm Woolies patterns call for size 10 1/2, 24' circular needles and bulky or doubled worsted weight yarn. Finer weight yarns are okay only for the smallest sized items.
  • Fourth, think coverage and closure. A little too long is fine in a hat, sweater, vest, or sock cuff - a little too short is not. Sweaters and vests need to close securely all the way down.
  • Fifth, if you have acrylic yarn, please consider making a baby blanket. You can follow any pattern you would like, the warmer the better.
  • Please send finished pieces to
    Warm Woolies
    5572 E. Mansfield Ave.
    Denver, CO 80237
Note: they are 501(c), so your donation is tax deductible.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Red Scarf

The Orphan Foundation of America's Red Scarf drive is in full swing. You have until October 31st to get your scarf to them!

Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive
Sterling, VA 20166


Scarf Size: Approximately 60" long and 5" to 8" wide. Scarves should be long enough to be wrapped around the neck, with tails long enough to be tied in the front.

Style: Think unisex collegiate. Ask yourself if your son, brother, and/or husband would enjoy receiving the scarf. Fringes are optional. Your scarf should drape and tie easily.

Yarn: Preferably DK, double fingering-weight, worsted weight, or light bully yarns. No laceweight, super-chunky, or mohair yarns as there are many people who find mohair too itchy. The yarn should be soft.

Color: Red! However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red. Other unisex colors, including black, navy, teal, olive or gold are also welcome.

Finished and tagged: Yarn ends should be securely sewn in. For a personal touch, attach a tag saying "Handmade for You" with your first name, city, and group affiliation, if any. Donors have also included washing instructions, messages of encouragement, gift cards, burger bucks, books of stamps, etc.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Warmer Winters

Warmer Winters is an organization that knits items for donation in the Leominster and Fitchburg area. It uses volunteer knitters and also has ambitions of being a co-op for disadvantaged women who can sell their knitted items.

The Metro West Knitting Guild is currently collecting knitted items for donation: must be machine washable, adult/child/baby items needed.

Central Massachusetts has the largest population of children under the poverty level in the state. Organizations in this area often have difficult times raising funds or meeting the community needs because the entire area is struggling. Chronicle recently had a segment on Fitchburg and the new Main Streets program for revitalization.

If you are looking for a charitable cause during the season of giving, please contact Warmer Winters.

*Warmer Winters is not a 403(c), so your donation is not tax deductible.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Last night, at the guild meeting, I was dubbed a princess and provided a tiara! (which I wore through out the meeting.... i might wear it to Disney this weekend.)

A princess, you say? What makes ME a Princess?

I have strong feelings about birthdays. I think you should celebrate and shout from the rooftops, if that's your thing. I don't believe in ignoring your birthday. At all. It's a special day commemorating the day you landed on this earth. A very special day. No "it's just a day" or "ignore it, I'm too old"--- nope. I want a cake and a card and someone to say "Happy Birthday!" to me. I like me. I like that my mom and dad made me. I am eternally grateful that my mom had me.

So, today's my birthday and I am giving DIANE a present!

Diane- send me your address (do I already have it?) and I will send you a surprise in the mail.

Tonight, I am having world-famous PC-made corn chowder (it has asparagus and if have seen my house, you know about asparagus!) and I already got a card from both PC and Pumpkin.

My friend Mari called me to sing "happy birthday!" this morning.

It's a good day. It's my birthday!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I am in that place where waking up in the morning is impossible. Staying awake past 10pm is unthinkable. I am dozing off at my lunch hour. My hands hurt from sheer exhaustion.

You know that level of tired when it hurts to make a fist?

I'm there.

Damn. I need this vacation... no wake up calls on Sunday, okay honey?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Get ready to .... Cowl?

Usually October is the month where you get ready to Howl... big harvest moons, chillier air and of course, Halloween. I had an idea for a friend (who shares my birthday, yes... you were all right- Thursday is my 31st birthday! I'll pull a name on that day) who needs a present. She's a new mom and routinely takes her new son for walks in the baby bjorn carrier thing. But she needs to stay warm too (he's well bundled... he has a fleece snowsuit and a winter one) and a scarf kept getting pulled on her neck when the baby shifted. So, the cowl was the answer!

(before and after blocking)

Pretty, huh? But, wait! There are TWO cowls here and unless my friend is a two-headed new mommy... she only needs one. I have found cowls are like potato chips. You. Cannot. Knit. One. Nope.

Pink for S. The buttons are from the League of NH Craftsman's Fair-- S picked them out for me a few years ago... little does she know that I have been waiting to use them for her.

Yarn: Manos de Uruguay
Needles: US 9 nylon circulars
Pattern: Philly Cowl (Rav link) by
Modifications: none, but the thick'n'thin yarn was harder to deal with than I expected. The overall product is beautiful (blocking is a miracle), but throughout, I was concerned about the texture. Now, I love it!

And the Blue??
Yarn: Malabrigo --- oh, yum....

I have an aunt in PA who just loves Blue. All things Blue. So, this one is for her. She's also the mom of two boys and I don't think they knit for her. And she deserves it. She's a nice aunt and I know she will be tickled pink(blue?) when this arrives for Christmas.

We're off on vacation at the end of this week. I am trying to think of stuff to pre-blog for while i am away. Also, we have some family stuff going on, so think good happy thoughts for us.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

One week from today.......

Today is EXACTLY one week (7 days) from a very special day.

Anyone guess what it is?

Guessing correctly might win you a prize.....

(Mariuca, no giving away the answer in the comments!)


PS_ No muscle cramps last night thanks to Icy Hot (oh god did I smell awful, but PC also had some on for muscle pain from working out- we smelled like old people) and a banana-chocolate-peanut butter-milkshake.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


(crappy Palm Centro shot)

Pattern: Branching Out (Knitty)
Yarn: Frog Tree Merino, Purple, 2 skeins
Needle: US 8 20 inch circular nylon
Dimensions: 60 inches long, 6 inches wide
Comments: LOVE It! I am thinking of making a few more of these. :) This pattern was easy to memorize and the scarf flew along. I think they'd make excellent gifts. I am not planning to knit for the holidays, but some friends will most likely receive a few handknits. Small things. Mittens. Scarves. In fact, this might be the perfect color on my aunt.

QUESTION: I am using some of those puzzle-mats as my blocking surface. They are new and they stink of petroleum. Anyone had this problem? Am I going to have to bite the bullet and buy the knitter-specific ones? The ones that advertise in VK and IK? Do they stink too???

And, this is one bored cat. Bored b/c someone was busy rushing around taking photos and brushing teeth (slept in today!-- horrible muscle cramp in the middle of the night-- 3:40a.m. screaming and crying in pain... still hobbling around this morning) to pay attention to a kitty who wants to be carried.

This is funny because when we first got her, Pumpkin hated being picked up. Now, she will head-butt me until I pick her up.

On a side note: doctors-nurses-anyone: how to prevent muscle cramps in the legs? I get them something awful and my screaming and crying can wake up the neighborhood if I am not careful. I know PC jumps up and into action. My dad always said "stand on it!!" (this has been a problem since childhood) and while that works eventually, I have fallen more than once doing this.