Friday, November 30, 2007

When You Can't Knit

You can always go out in the back yard and take pictures of "Autumn in So Cal" to remind yourself of what you've missed this year.

Apricot tree with some of its leaves fallen. They are a nice bright yellow and sort of give that "fall" effect, even if it is spoiled by the greenery in the background, blooming roses, that kind of thing.
Front yard features the liquidambar, which should have yellow leaves instead of these dry brown things.
Well, there's a little color on the tree. And there are still a whole lotta leaves left up there, so I think there will be carpeting on the lawn for quite a while. This was my other excursion: went to the Gamble House to pick up a copy of the magazine shown here. Please forgive my execrable photos--if you get a chance, do check out the gorgeous photography in the magazine. Larry Underhill took the Gamble House pictures and they are superb.
I love the Gamble House and going to the bookstore there is like stepping back in time. Luckily, I didn't have a lot of time to spend there--or I'd have spent the afternoon, and a whole lotta money too! However, I do plan to go back and maybe even do a little holiday shopping there. I've toured the house: as part of their restoration/repair project they did a series of tours showing the techniques used, and I had to find out all about it. After all, I have an old house to "restore" too! Well, not quite that old--but mine was built in 1921, even though it's a rather different style.
Hmm... wonder if I could make mine "look" like a Craftsman bungalow? Bet anything is possible with enough money, right?
Okay, going to try not to sulk about the shoulder today, and just enjoy the rain. I'll try a little knitting later on and see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

When All Else Fails...

...bake brownies!

I sprinkled some peppermint crunchies on half the pan when they came out of the oven--they melted a little so they stick to the brownie and crunch when you chew them!

These have big chunks of chocolate as well.

When life gets tough, the tough turn to chocolate. More fattening than shopping, but cheaper. There was a special shopping night at one of my favorite stores tonight, but I opted to stay home with the brownies. I think it was probably a good decision!

Today was a knitting day, and I actually have found that I can knit, oh, about four rows, before my sore shoulder starts screaming. I started this Faroese-style shawl last night while watching "my" shows--I am shamelessly addicted to Dancing With the Stars and The Biggest Loser, and they are great knitting TV.

Anyway, details: this pattern is from a 2004 issue of Cast On; I'm doing it, not in the Lion Brand Homespun called for, but in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in pale pink--one of my "steals" from the Pink Porch sale last summer. You will notice one of my biggest aggravations with this yarn: the balls disintegrate and I find myself knitting from a tangled mass of soft pink fluff. Yes, it is incredibly soft. The color is actually pretty true in these photos.

Since I have 5 skeins of this color, I'm hoping it will be enough to make a decent-sized shawl. This one is for a dear friend who's undergoing chemo for a recurrence of lymphoma. If you have any spare prayers, good thoughts, good wishes, and good vibes, please send them out to her.


I have 5 more skeins of this yarn in a deep purple. So there might be another one of these in my queue before too much longer. It's a relatively simple pattern--should finish up with 11 repeats of the arrowhead lace in the center panel. I'm pleased that I'm able to work this without too much trouble, since it had me defeated a couple of weeks ago. Something about all the hot dusty winds we've been experiencing and my allergies flaring up--not a good combo for my lace-knitting mojo. At least, the inspiration and motivation are here in full force. Now if we can just get the shoulder to cooperate, we'll be in business!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Good and the Bad and... bad? This bad! What a way to start a new week, especially after a great relaxing holiday!

This is what greeted D4 when she pulled her car out of the driveway this morning--it didn't seem to drive right. Hmm, flat tire? Oh yeah. Apparently, while we were out at D5's on Saturday, someone sideswiped her car, doing a terrific job of making it undrivable. The bumper is cracked and needs replacing, the wheel cover was cracked and broken (she picked up the bits in the street), the back quarter-panel is scraped and dented, the side mirror housing is cracked, and all of the wheels are a little lopsided. Insurance adjuster will be by tomorrow morning to take a look at it and give her the orders for repair. In the meantime, of course, there's the massive inconvenience of being car-less and having to juggle all the phone calls and appointments and dealing with insurance and body shop and... I certainly hope this driver at least gave himself whiplash, since he didn't even have the decency (or the sobriety) to stop and leave his phone number!

The good:

found the missing Ab Fab! It was in a different basket, and a different room, than the one I searched the other day when I was looking for it. I found it last night and did a couple of rows on it, but my shoulder still hurts too much to do much knitting.
I was going to try a smaller, lighter project today, but my meetup was not to be. Instead, I was helping with Damage Control. I contented myself with downloading a couple of patterns, including irtfa'a, from Knitspot.

When you can't knit, dream!

Oh, the ugly? I'm finishing up all the cleanup after the holidays. Last on the agenda is the gronky turkey roaster. Yeah, I know, it should have been done right away, and it would have, too, but remember that plumbing backup?? So it finally came home, in a big ol' white trash bag, and it's currently soaking in very hot water with grease-cutting dish soap and it will be nice and clean once this post is finished and I get back to scrubbing it. Scrubbing + sore shoulder = not too much getting done at once. (And yes, I did spray the nonstick surface with nonstick spray before adding the bird. Those drippings still make a mess after baking on for 8 hours at 325!)

That's it for today. Hopefully, there will be more interesting fibery activities around here to report on later this week!