Tuesday, November 28, 2006

November Book Report, Part II

While traveling for the holiday, Italian and I had a chance to listen to Red Rabbit by Tom Clancy as Little Clover watched a DVD. I enjoy Tom Clancy novels and will pick one up blind. This one, despite the ending, didn't disappoint me. The book had a fair enough of suspense and a lot of great character background. Clancy give the right amount of insight into Jack Ryan's background and introduces characters that are present in earlier novels. He builds the situations up to a burning point that keeps your ears prickling with anticipation. Then he brings you down before rising the suspense again. Chronologically, Red Rabbit takes place earlier in Jack's career even though it was published later than some of the Jack Ryan books.

I must admit, the ending was abrupt. This time, the abruptness didn't annoy me as much as the abruptness of The Time Traveler's Wife, probably because I can read more Jack Ryan books. This book is not the end of Jack Ryan. Fortunately, if I want to find out what happens to Jack, I can pick up another book. Overall, if you are a fan of Tom Clancy, then you will enjoy this one as well.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Family Tradition

How does your family celebrate Thanksgiving? Mine goes out into the woods.

We spend actual Thanksgiving Day doing the more traditional things. We wake up and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while we lazily drink coffee and chocolate milk. We casually take our time getting ready for the day's parties, and sometimes we cook in the morning. Then, as Santa gets closer, we load up in the car and drive to our first stop, my grandma's house. We eat crazy amounts of food that my aunts, uncles, cousins, have made. We throw the football around a bit, then we pile up in the car again to have dessert with Nana Clover's family. Then, the real holiday celebrations begin.

We load the car up one more time and drive to the cabin out in the woods by a lake. Some of my other aunts and uncles have cabins close by as well, and we have a campfire and play and sit outside the entire day after. There is no shopping. We are not one of those "Make a mad dash to the store" type of families. Instead, we roast hot dogs and marshmellows, eat lots of snack foods, and (this is the best part) we shoot each other with paintball guns.

Now, I would like to state that for the most part, my family is a family of doves. With that in mind, my family also has quite a few former and current military men. Maybe that's why we enjoy the paintballing as much as we do. Plus, it kinda harks back to the days when pioneers had to go and hunt down the Thanksgiving day turkey. Little Clover even got into the paintballing this year (despite the protesting and worrying of his mom). He donned some gear and dueled with Papa Clover. Little Clover won.

We also walked along the bank of the lake, skipping rocks and looking at tracks. Little Clover put on a lively dance for us while shaking the pancake batter. We even got in a game of Scrabble.

In between paintballing, football throwing, and hot dog roasting, I managed to work on a scarf for a charity auction and an entrelac sock.

The sock is knitted with Trekking XXL in 104. The colors are amazing and seem to be made for entrelac. The changes between each section are perfect. I'm not really using a pattern. I found a cuff down entrelac sock online, but the entrelac stops when you get to the heel. I'm knitting these two-up with a short row heel. I thought the diagonal seem on the heel would compliment the entrelac. I'm just now trying to figure out how to rejoin the heel stitches without disturbing the pattern.

The charity scarf is a simple double crochet that I crochet longways. I have no idea what the yarn brand is. The colorway though is called Parrot. I found it deep in my stash and it was one of my first parchuses from a real yarn store. It came in a huge hank and I used exactly one hank. The only scraps I had left where the clippings from trimming up the fringe. Good karma!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Yarn, good

Last night, while tucking Little Clover into bed, we had the following conversation:

LC: Mama, why do moth's eat yarn?
Me: Moths lay eggs in yarn and when the eggs hatch, the larva eat the yarn.
LC: So, daddy moths don't eat yarn?
Me: Nope, just babies.
LC: Why?
Me: Because they are hungry.
LC: Will they eat the baggies
Me: Nope.
LC: So the yarn is safe?
Me: Yep.
LC: Good.

He was worried about my stash! Isn't he the best little kid ever??? Every once in a while, a moth will find it's way inside from the great outdoors. When one does, Italian and Little Clover proceed to execute Operation Yarn Rescue. Little Clover will thrown something over whatever knitting is on the sofa and then yell for Italian. Italian will then have to corner the moth and catch it. We don't like to smoosh most living things. Then, I open the door (because by this time, some ruckus has been made and I've entered the room with the ruckus). Italian will final release the moth back into the wild and everything returns to the way it was. The guys have learned that yarn is good. I must now give them some yummy wooly goodness.

Monday, November 20, 2006

November Book Report

I've finished two books recently and was disappointed by one and taken away by the other.

The first book I finished this month was The Time Traveler's Wife which began rather well and seemed to be a very promising book. The book is about two main characters: Henry the time traveler and Clare, his wife. Clare first meets Henry when she is six and he is in his 30s. Henry first meets Clare when he is 27 and she is 20. The book begins well and does a great job of setting up the rest of the story. The middle section was a bit tiresome and I struggled to get through it. The writing was good, the middle was just a tad bit boring and lost some of the momentuum at the beginning. The book picks back up again and I was enjoying it once more, until the end. The ending was terrible. It had the feeling that the author just got tired of writing and decided to stop. There is no resolution and there is no end. Maybe that was her point, afterall, if one is a time traveler, there is no end nor beginning. Time is one big circle of existence. I, though, am not a time traveler and I prefer endings to stories. Honestly, the lack of ending ruined any enjoyment I had.

The second book I read, The Thirteenth Tale, was absolutely delicious. I was hungry for it when I wasn't listening to it. The words in the book were perfectly choosen and satisfying. The story is about a storyteller who believes that every story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This story fits those requirements. There are stories within stories and each story is interwined with the main story. The characters float from one to another and as a reader, you find yourself drawn into their own stories. The Thirteenth Tale is part fairy tale, part ghost story, part 19th century British Literature. The writer was definitely influenced by Bronte, Doyle, James, and they weave themselves in and out of the book as well. This book is an excellent book for people who love books, especially rich decadent books. I'll read this one over and over again.

Now, the book was wonderful, the story was absorbing, but the best part was the knitting. Yep, there is knitting in the book and not just any knitting, there is sock knitting! In fact, one chapter is titled "Ms. Love turns a heel." You just can't get much better than that.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Quick Trip

I snuck away for a quick little trip to Missouri. A and I have been planning a surprise for Foxy for two weeks. She had mentioned that all she wanted to do one weekend was to go shopping with me, and since I live in another state, it was a wistful comment. A called me right away and we began scheming. We are good at scheming together. I packed up a small bag Friday and headed out for my drive. While somewhere in the middle of Missouri, I searched and searched for a gas station. I searched for over 30 miles before I found one. When I pulled up towards the pump, I was shocked to see a friend from college. He was headed to Tennessee. We chatted and laughed at the randomness of our meeting.

Foxy was surprised and we had an awesome weekend. We stayed up late talking and then spent the next day power shopping. We played with dress up at a Sephora and were asked if we were twins. We responded simultaneously, "No." Mind you, Foxy is definitely midwest German, I'm definitely Asian, yet, we didn't find the question odd. The girl then asked if we were best friends, and again, we simultaneously responded, "Yea." We even had the same head tilt and nod as we responded. I think it was obvious that we had been friends for over a decade.

I had a great trip. Being with Foxy for no other reason than to just hang out was refreshing. Unlike other trips, we didn't have a birthday party or another cause for our being together. We got to just be the friends we are.

Friday, November 17, 2006

How long have you been biking?

Trying to explain to your non-fiber friends that you can't go to lunch because you have a spinning class leads to some interesting comments. First they look at you with some amount of admiration.

"Wow, how great of you to stay in fit," they think.
I see the look and respond to their thoughts by explain that I am learning how to spin yarn, and not spin a yarn as in a story, but to actually spin wool into yarn. They they look at me with the "Why in the world would you want to do that?" type of look.

After the initial shock subsides, they then ask if everyone else who spins is like way older and in their 60s. Nope, I reply with a grin. In fact, my classmate yesterday was about my age and has been knitting for about 2 years now. I actually don't know of any older spinners which strikes me as odd. She was just learning how to spin, and I was just learning how to ply, and what a difference plying makes!

I left the class with a different Louet to try out, and after the first few minutes, I could tell that I did like the Louet 75 much better than the Louet... It spins more like the Schact I tried yesterday, which was amazing!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Just in Time

The socks are complete and I finished them just in time to enjoy this:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Panic! Must..remember..to breathe

Quick post, no pictures for this one.

I just realized that I am traveling for Thanksgiving and won't be taking a spinning wheel. My chest just kinda got tight and my breathe stifled under the weight and I honestly felt panic rising up. I will be without a wheel for at least three days. This is sad. I'll still have my knitting. I'll be busy hanging out with my family, yet I am wondering if there is anyway I could spin while with my family. I don't even own a wheel yet! I'm still renting a wheel from my LYS. Oy! I think I have official crossed over to genuine fiber addict.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Not Waiting

I've been patiently waiting for my International Scarf Exchange package. (Let's face it, I don't wait patiently for anything.) Everyday for the last two weeks, I've had an anxious moment when I came home thinking, will it be here today??? Then I'd get disappointed when the package wasn't on the doorstep. Well...it came!!!!! It also came at a perfect time. I was having a rough day at work on Tuesday and really need the pick-me up that was waiting for me in the kitchen. I opened the box and was greated with an array of surprises in edition to the scarf.

The incredible entralec scarf was tucked into a beautiful Latern Moon sock bag.

The bag is perfect for me to stick my current sock project into it AND it is thin enough to place inside my purse! I no longer have keys tangling up with my yarn! Plus, Skylar put yummy chocolates and caramel cookies and gum and Jelly Bellys in the package. She also gave me Mint Hot Chocolate. Yummmmm! The hot chocolate matches the scarf which reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream. The colors are beautiful and look completely fabulous with my coats and jackets. She did an awesome job with the knitting and DH was very impressed. I love the picture on her blog of the scarf, and it does look good unblocked. The diamonds are puffier and make the scarf look fun. Thank you, thank you, thank you again. I love all the treats and the scarf is perfect!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Dear Irish Clover,

I have recently been notified of your desire to join the National Knit a Sweater in a Month along. In response to your interest, I am forced to ask the below question.

What in the world is wrong with you??!!?!?!!!!!!!?


Your sanity

Oh, as I wrote about the serentity I was feeling and how happy life was now that things had slowed down, my need to be busy and stressed out kicked in and paniced that I was not busy and stressed out, so I decided that I would knit a sweater in a month.

I know, I know, that sounds like a really crazy idea, but hear me out. I need to redeem myself. Italian's annivesary sweater took me 7 months to finish. I can do better than that. I am fully moderately quasi confident I can knit a sweater in a month. It's biggish yarn. Oh, I didn't tell you the super fun part! I don't want to knit any old sweater. I want to use the yarn that Italian gave me for our anniversary. I also didn't want to make it easy for me either, so I'm going to design my own pattern! Hee, hee. I think I am going over the deep-end.

Without further ado, may I introduce you to Anniversary Sweater Part II, the swatch!

Oh, and Italian's sock, too.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Nana Clover!

A few years ago, my dad called me to tell me he had met someone special and they were getting married. He was right, she is very special. She has the gift of making my dad smile and laugh. She brings him joy. She opened her heart to his family and she is loved in return. She is caring, she is warm, she is thoughtful, and she is full of life. I am happy to have her in my family and I am thrilled to be a part of hers. Happy Birthday, Nana Clover, and thank you for all that you are.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I don't know if it's because today is November, or soccer season is over, or work is slowing back down to normal chaos, but I feel rejuvinated. The last few weeks, I was on edge, waiting. Waiting for more time, waiting for my marathon meetings to end, waiting for less distractions, waiting for life to return to normal. I don't like waiting. I missed out on enjoying the moments that were happening because I was too busy waiting for them to be over.

I think November is my favorite month. Fall is definitely my favorite time of year, and November seems to be the best month. The leaves in our neighborhood are in their best technicolor glory. There are only 21 more days until Thanksgiving. There will be pies to bake in the next few weeks. I'll be cooking sausage balls and I'll beg Italian to make his Andouille Sausage and Irish Cheese Grits. We'll start to pull out our coats and scarves on a regular basis as we traispe through fallen leaves. Finally, we will have our first real wood fire in our house. I'll claim my spot next to the fireplace with my knitting and egg nog. I love this time of year. I can't wait!

Italian's Socks

Italian is feeling the knitted love. After a couple of false starts, the first sock ended up being a perfect fit. It is Schaffer Anne and the yarn has a beautiful twist. The singles are tiny and perfect looking. Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to spin singles for a double ply sock weight yarn. I'm making up the pattern as I go, following Wendy's toe-up sock formula, but I've added a ribbing pattern. Here, the sock is getting an interesting view of our living room.