Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Gift card shopping

I did some shopping with my Christmas gift cards yesterday - fun! At A.C. Moore I bought some yarn for a baby layette for my sister's first grandchild, a boy, due in February, some Kroy sock yarn, and some Sugar and Cream cotton for Mason Dixon bibs (two co-workers are also expecting babies in February) - one girl, one boy) With my Dress Barn gift card, I bought two sweaters and a jacket - and they were on sale too! With my Purely Alpaca gift certificate I ordered some Alpaca yarn in a great shade of purple. I think it will become some 'thrum' mittens, if I ever get a chance to make them. Aren't gift cards fun!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Party

Last night was our Christmas party for our friends. I always make too much food, and then everyone brings a dish as well. We did a Mexican theme this year, complete with very yummy Margaritas! We always have a "Yankee Swap". For those of you who do not know what that is - everyone brings a gift. We pick numbers and the person with #1 chooses a gift and opens it. #2 chooses a gift, opens it, and can either keep it or trade with #1, #3 opens and can keep or trade with #1 or #2, etc, etc, I got this great snowman I knew I would lose it, and I did, for one of those Hickory Farms cheese and sausage packages. But DH came through and stole it back for me when it was his turn. We had a good time - the mess is all cleaned up, and it is very quiet around here today! I think I may actually have some time to knit.

One Skein Angel Surprise

I received this beautiful scarf in the mail from Beth. I was her One-Skein Angel and she sent this as a thankyou/Christmas gift. Thank you Beth - the scarf is beautiful and much appreciated!
A close-up of the detail

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Christmas Brunch - eating way too much!

Jordyn gets right into painting one of her presents.

Tori has a new friend

Jacob shows off his muscles.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

And So It Is Christmas

My last day of school before Christmas break was yesterday. The tree is trimmed, The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. the presents are wrapped, and the house is decorated and clean (well sort of).
The knitting isn't finished and the cookies aren't baked, but Christmas is coming anyway - ready or not. There are cookies at the bakery - and there is always next year to finish the knitting.
We'll be picking up my oldest son, Scott, at the airport tomorrow afternoon (He's flying in from Austin, Texas) and then going to my daughter, Diana's house for Christmas Eve dinner. She is promising fresh scallops this year (she married into a family of fishermen). On Christmas morning everyone will come here for brunch and we will have our 'tree'. That is the Downeast Maine term for opening presents. Christmas night will be relaxing and lazy with a light dinner, since we all really fill up on brunch. On Tuesday, I'll be getting ready for our annual Christmas party on Wednesday, for friends and neighbors. Everyone brings a dish (there is always way too much food) and a gift for the "Yankee Swap". Good times with good friends.
The rest of the week will be 'downtime' and I am looking forward to that! New Year's Eve we usually babysit the grandkids - we stopped going out for New Years when we couldn't stay awake until midnight! Can it really be almost 2007?
A very Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Two of a Kind

I have a friend named Dottie who lives in New Jersey. We have been best friends since 7th grade. We were inseperable through Jr. High and HS - then life got in the way. She got married - I went to college, I got married and moved away - we kept in touch as often as we could, but hadn't seen in other in years, when along came the miracle of the internet and we reconnected about 8 years ago. Since then we e-mail every day, and visit a couple times a year either in Maine or NJ. Anyway, we mailed our Christmas gifts to each other and both received them on the same day. I made her a shawl (she is always chilly at work) (for my Whoduknit friends - this shawl is also for Grandmama Ellison) I included an antique pin that I found at a craft fair.
In her package to me was a hand painted lighthouse (I collect lighthouses), and a pair of gold earrings. I didn't see the little box with the earrings under the tissue paper, and she didn't see my little box with the pin under my tissue paper. So...
We each sent e-mails thanking each other for the gifts - she didn't mention the pin, I didn't mention the earrings. So we each e-mailed back and asked about them - I think we probably each said OMG at the same time! and rushed to find the box, that fortunately neither of us had thrown out. So, okay, maybe you had to be there to appreciate how funny this was - but aren't old best friends just the greatest!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Whoduknit Holiday Swap

I received the most amazing package from my Whoduknit Holiday Swap SP, Patty. Patty and I have been friends since I was her upstream SP in a KTC book swap and we e-mail often. Little did I suspect that she was my SP in this swap - very sneak Patty! I don't even know where to start! First there were 5 books! The Christmas Thief by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, Chill Before Serving by Cynthia Lawrence, Shakespeare's landlord by Charlaine Harris, Blind Side by Penny Warner and The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt. I have not read any of these books, and can't wait to read them! Then there were a bunch of post cards from Florida, where she lives, a beautiful crocheted star (I had admired her stars when I saw them on her blog) an adorable picture frame ornament and cute toothpick holder, and just look at these beautiful stich markers - don't you just love the one with the snowman! (well - blogger has decided not to let me load the picture of the stitch markers for some reason, but trust me they are beautiful and I'll try to post a picture later) And last, but certainly not least, the most beautiful Koigu yarn and the pattern for a Koigo neck shawl from Patternworks that I have been admiring for weeks (how she knew I have no idea!). The box was also filled with candy and hot chocolate packages.
I am really overwhelmed with her generosity (and sneakiness LOL). This was way over the top for the swap, and she explained that was because it was also a Christmas and birthday present. Thank you so much Patty - you really pulled one over on me, and it was a lovely surprise!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What Kind of Reader Are You?

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Sad Dancer

I received an early birthday present in the mail from my sister yesterday. When we were kids my two sisters and I took dancing lessons and danced in recitals. We have always joked about being the Dancing Donnellys (our maiden name). I don't know where she found this picture! I do remember the costume (my mother made all of our costumes). I think I was supposed to be a teddy bear - see the ears? She also included a necklace with a ballet slipper. Don't you just love gifts that have so much thought put into them?

Friday, December 08, 2006

KTC Ornament Swap

I received a package from Theresa, my KTC Ornament swap partner, today. I have been admiring these ornaments in the Knit Picks catalog, but didn't think I would have the patience to knit one. Now I have one that I didn't have to knit! Isn't it beautiful?
I just love it. And please notice that I have not eaten the chocolate....yet! There was also a cute card and an adorable oven mitt with cookie mix in it.
Thank you so much Theresa!


We had snow on Monday - not much, just enough for the kids to play in. By yesterday it was gone - but it's snowing again this morning. I guess winter is going to come this year after all.
I had a table at our school's craft fair last night and sold some felted bags and some scarves. They were mostly things I had packed away in a tote, so I was happy to get rid of them and make some more yarn money!
I finished my dishcloth for the Winter Wonderland Swap - It's the December Monthly Dishcloth - a poinsettia. That, together with the snowflake illusion cloth, some handmade soap, chocolates, and a pattern will go off to my SP this weekend. That will be the last of the packages for the swaps I joined. I just have the Knit Mitt Kit swap left, and that is not supposed to be mailed until January 16, so I will get that together after Christmas.
Christmas shopping is going slowly! I've received some orders from Amazon - but still have a long way to go. I'm also still working on my Christmas cards - they may be done by next Christmas at the rate I'm going!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And the correct answer was.......

34! There were so many close guesses and two correct ones, and of course I wish everyone could have won. The two names went into a hat (Tori's hat of course) and....more "Time to Knit" is on it's way to you, MARY LYNN!!!! Congratulations! And to Fiadhnat - a consolation prize will be coming your way soon.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Whoduknit Hound of the Baskervilles' Project

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes" Sherlock declares in chapter three of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Observe the common dishcloth.

Now - take a closer look -
Elementary my dear Watson, elementary!

Find the pattern here

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How Many Knitting Magazines?

My granddaughter was helping me organize my books and magazines today. We were sorting them into piles and she was trying to guess how many were in a pile, and then count them to see if she was right. I had to come up with prizes for when she guessed correctly! It was so much fun, I decided to invite you to play. This is my pile of knitting magazines. Guess how many magazines are in this pile and e-mail your guess to by midnight PST on Monday, November 27. In case of ties, Tori will do the honors of picking the winner.
The prize - something that everyone needs, especially at this time of year - More "Time to Knit".

KTC Holiday Ornament Swap

My KTC Holiday ornament package is ready to go! I decided to go with a Victorian theme (sort of) since the KTC December book is Dicken's Christmas Carol. I crocheted the ornaments around a Styrofoam ball using one strand of Katia Granada in a shiny green color and one strand of some metallic gold I had in my stash with no label, then added the tassel. I added a candle, handmade bookmark and some potpourri and it's ready to be mailed.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

All Day Crop

Some of the results of the scrapbooking crop I went to yesterday. Most of all it was fun just to relax, chat, and create. We made a fall page, a Halloween page, Christmas cards and Christmas tags and got to try out some neat new products. The day passed so quickly - I still had a bag full of projects I wanted to do.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


We had our Thanksgiving dinner at school this week. Every year it is our tradition for the kindergarten and 1st grade to dress as Native Americans and the 2nd grade to dress as Pilgrims (I'm on the right, trying my best to hide behind a Pilgrim boy). and have turkey dinner together (our great school cooks provide the meal). favorite Pilgrim \

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Needled to Death Whoduknit Project

Here is my Alpaca scarf for my Needled to Death project for Whoduknit. It is knit from Knitpicks Decadence 100% Alpaca in the Spring Leaf colorway. The pattern is the Super Yak Scarf from One Skein Wonders (I love that book!)
I doubt if there were any Yaks on Vickie Claymore's alpaca farm, but I suppose there could have been. I worked the pattern from a chart which was a new experience for me. Charts have always been a mystery to me - what in the world do all those dots, slanted lines, etc. mean. But after unraveling (frogging) several times, the pattern became clear and I have solved the mystery of working with charts! Of course my scarf has lots of twists and turns like the book, including a "make 7" stitch in which you make 7 stitches out of one. I think that this scarf was as much of a challenge to me as solving the case of Vickie Claymore's murder was to Kelly.....and I didn't have Maggie Sefton to help me!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Three Day Weekend!

Hooray! And it's finally stopped raining after two days of down pouring. It's even warm - almost 60 degrees!
Last weekend I went to a United Maine Crafter's Show in Bangor where I met a lady from Scandinavia who was knitting fleece lined mittens. I've been wanting to learn how to do that (you add the fleece as you knit), and she showed me. She was also selling some hand spun yarn and had one skein left of a gorgeous silk that she had marked half price. Who could resist! - she even included a scarf pattern.
"On the needles" - an alpaca scarf for my Needled to Death Whoduknit project. I'm using the Knitpicks Decadence that I received from my One Skein pal, Mary Lynn, and the Super Yak Scarf from One Skein Wonders. I don't know if I will finish it on time - maybe I can claim it is not finished because Maggie Sefton's series is not finished yet???
And a shawl that I'm making for a friend for Christmas. I'm using LB Microspun and the Lacy Winged Shawl pattern from the 2007 Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar (March 28).
Last night I took a break from knitting and went to a scrapbooking class. We made this adorable mini-star album. I think I'll be making a few more for Christmas gifts.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Warning - Danger!

Swap-bot is a very dangerous place to be - DON'T GO THERE! Don't click on that link! You will end up spending the rest of your life at the post office - your mailman will hate you. Your family and friends will question your sanity. Don't click on the Funky Scarf Swap or The Knit Kit Swap and whatever you do, don't click on View All Swaps
That Funky Scarf Swap is soooo tempting....but no, I have willpower!
But..seriously. I'm not sure about this whole Swap-bot thing. It seems very impersonal - like an automated swap. I guess I'll see how the Knit Mitt Kit Swap turns out. At least that one has a home page where you can post.

I guess I should post a warning about going to your local book store too. I found One Skein Wonders at mine today. I love it! I think I like it better than One Skein. I don't think there is anything in it that I wouldn't want to make. Like one of the scarves.. Hmmm - I still have 8 hours to sign up for the funky scarf exchange.
I also picked up a copy of Frankenstein for $2.00. That's the book Knit the Classics is reading this month. But after reading the first couple pages - I really don't think I want to read it. Too many other good books on my list. Which leads me to - or maybe leads you to the poll for the Whoduknit December Holiday Mystery book. There are some great choices and great possibilites for projects to knit.

P.S. I'm weak, I'm very weak! I just signed up for this swap

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Well Dressed Thanksgiving Hostess

Start knitting your thanksgiving hat and tea cozy now!

And get a head start on the Christmas holiday

Purchase the patterns here

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Knit Kit Mitt Swap

I just signed up for the Knit Kit Mitt Swap
that I came across pretty much by accident today. It sounds like fun and the mailing date is not until after Christmas so it seemed doable. Here are my answers to the questionnaire.

Knit Kit Mitt Swap Questionnaire:

What are your favorite colors? Blue/green/mauve

Are you a new mitt knitter? How long have you been knitting mittens? I've been knitting children's mittens for years, but have not actually ever knit adult mittens.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? multicolored

What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn? wool or wool blend

Where do you usually knit mittens? In my favorite chair watching t.v.

How do you usually carry/store small projects? In a basket, or small knitting bag

What are your favorite mitten patterns? I don't really have a favorite

What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques? I use the magic loop method

What new techniques would you like to try? Knitting a fleece lining into the mittens.

What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens? magic loop (40" circular)

What are some of your favorite yarns? Cascade 220, Patons Classic Wool, Galway, Noro

What yarn do you totally covet? Koigu

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? Can't think of one

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? metal circs for magic loop/ bamboo circs for other projects.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Probably Patons Classic Wool

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? CHOCOLATE!

What’s your favorite animal? dog

Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts? Super warm

If you were a color what color would you be? blue

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? children

Do you have a wishlist? No

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? This swap sounds like a lot of fun - can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

My weekend turned out even spookier than I thought it would. On Saturday it was storming so I opted to stay home with Agatha Christie rather than go to the Halloween party. Just as I got to the first murder in the book, the power went out. I continued reading by flashlite, with candles flickering and wind howling - it was the perfect atmosphere for a murder mystery! Our power never did come back on until 11 p.m. Sunday night, and some parts of town are still without electricity, making for a very spooky Halloween!
We had a great Halloween party and parade through town today. Do these kids know who is standing behind them?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Spooky Weekend Plans

It is the first day of hunting season in Maine, and the guys have gone to hunting camp. We are expecting a rain/snow/wind storm tonight so curling up with an Agatha Christie Halloween mystery is what I'd like to do. But, tonight is also our staff Halloween party and I really should go, at least for a little while. You know you are getting old when you would rather curl up with a good mystery than go to a party! On Sunday, there is a kid's Halloween party at the local community center that my DD is organizing. It is always very spooky and lots of fun, so I will stop by to take some pictures.
I finished and delivered two more felted totes, have another drying now, and one more to knit. Also finished my brown socks - knit up quickly on a size 5 circ and Wool Ease. I think I'm going to take a break from felted totes for awhile and knit my "Needled to Death" Whoduknit project - an alpaca scarf. I have the yarn, a gift from my One Skein SP that I have been hording. It's Knit Picks Superfine Alpaca is a very pretty green color. I just have to find the perfect pattern. And I also have to decide on an ornament to make for the KTC ornament exchange. And oh yeah, clean, do laundry, and grocery shop - these things really get in the way of my reading and knitting!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Criminal Behavior and other Swaps

Stephanie is hosting a holiday swap on Whoduknit If you like reading mysteries and knitting come on over and join us.
I've also joined the KTC holiday swap and received my SP's name today.
At school we do SP swaps once a month. The Secret Pumpkin swap is next week.
Why do I like swaps? I don't know which is more fun - the giving or the receiving!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

International Tote Exchange Bag

I received my tote today from my ITE pal, who turned out to be Bonnie, the hostess of the swap - how lucky am I? I have been watching this bag on the blog, coveting it, and checking each day to see if anyone had received it. And today, someone did - ME!
I'm so excited! Isn't it just gorgeous. She also included some Halloween peanut M&Ms, Spooky Cats Peeps, Tea Fortes, and an adorable purse notepad. The picture I took doesn't do it justice.
Here is the progress of it as posted by Bonnie on the ITE blog.
This is the yarn she used - Noro Kuryon and Cascade 220
The pattern is The English Garden Bag
And here are her progress pictures:

Lucky, Lucky, Me! I think this bag is a work of art! Thank you Bonnie!