Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Shawl At Last

I look horrible here but the shawl looks good. The color is more a deep cranberry than what you see here.

Thanksgiving was good. We had DD, DS, DH and my brother-in-law and mother-in-law and of course me the chef. On the menu were Matzo ball soup, two kinds of cranberry sauce, corn relish, my Asian Cole slaw, Matzo kugel (think stuffing made with matzo instead of bread and lots of mushrooms), DS's specialty, mashed potatoes, and two desserts provided by my brother-in-law. A good time was had by all especially the adults who drank too much wine.

I finished my first Knit for Kids sweater, and have been working on crochet squares made from the stash of acrylic I keep complaining about. I've not crocheted in years and it was fun to get back to it again. The other day, while crocheting the hook broke in two. DH attempted to glue it back together but it didn't work and now I have to get a new J hook. The aran sweater did not get worked on much, but I did pick it up this morning and began the raglan decreases.

Today we go into Brooklyn for my mother-in-laws 80th birthday party. She's still going strong although she has slowed down a bit in recent years. There will be 9 of us and we're eating dinner at a restaurant that has been around for like a hundred years. Not sure how good the place is, we've never been there, but it has a good reputation and we're all looking forward to it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Sunday Post

Went to see DS today. He had a rough week so we thought it a good idea to spend some time with him. He seems to be fine now which is a relief. (DS has Autism and goes to a special needs boarding school because they couldn't find a school near us that met his needs) I did not bring any knitting with me and regretted that I could have gotten a lot done in the car while DH was driving and while he and DS went bowling. From now on I won't make that mistake. Better to bring it and not use it than not to have it along at all.

The Candleflame shawl is done. I am pleased with how it turned out. I elected not to block it as I thought it looked fine just as it was. DD and I spent a long time trying to get a decent picture of it and concluded it would have to wait till morning so that we could use natural light. So you will all have to wait till tomorrow to see it, sorry. I have also been working on the Aran Sweater and will be done with the front sometime this week if all goes well. My latest project is a sweater for Guideposts' Knit for Kids Project. I chose this project for charity knitting as they don't require wool yarn to be used and I have a ton of acrylic laying around. This week I hope to get to the LYS and pick up yarn for the Berry Bobble Hat from the Interweave Knits Holiday issue. I am not going to use the suggested yarn, but don't have anything in the stash that looks like it wants to be the hat. So off to the yarn store with me minus my credit card so I am not temped to get the cashmere yarn called for in the pattern.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Secret Pal Questions

I signed up for Secret Pal 13. It's been a while since I did a Secrect Pal swap and I thought it would be fun. Here's the answers to the questions posted on the Secret Pal Blog.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I don't have a real favorite but if you stay away from plasticlike acrylic and mohair you'll do fine.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have a needle roll and a box for them.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting for over 40 years and I consider myself to be an advanced knitter

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes I have an Amazon wish list.

5. What's your favorite scent?

Spicy woodsy type fragrances nothing too sweet smelling

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I sure do! Love sour stuff, but I'm on a diet so please keep candy to a minimum

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I do counted cross stitch but not very often. I don't spin but desperately would love to learn to do it at least on a spindle.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like rock and roll as well as jazz and classical. I can play MP3's

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

My favorite colors are green, brown and orange, any earth tones really. Stay away from pastels.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I'm married with two teenagers, we have a guinea pig.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Scarves, hats, and mittens no ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I don't have a preference. I knit all sorts of things.

13. What are you knitting right now?

An Aran sweater, a shawl, and some socks

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Circular, I love bamboo but have recently begun to use Addi turbos so aluminum is fine too just not plastic

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I have both

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

About three years and I don't think it's ever going to be finished.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?

Thanksgiving and Passover are my favorite holidays. I observe Hanukkah.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Yes, penguins

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I'd love to try the knitpicks harmony needles because they look so nice, I don't subscribe to any of the magazines I prefer to pick them up when I see that they have something I like in them.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'd like to master making socks on two circulars, I've been working on a sock that uses the method without much success.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I am a sock knitter but have a ton of sock yarn right now, my foot is 7 1/2 inches long not including the toe, and 8 1/2 around the ball of my foot.

23. When is your birthday?

August 20th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

Yes I am my ID is Fizbin.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

One more Political Post

Saw this on Lizzie's Loose Ends. She posted it because she wanted easy access to the speech and I am doing it for the same reason.


If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

Its the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

Its the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and hes fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nations promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nations next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while shes no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done. But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generations apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

And here's another sentiment that I recently saw and is worth repeating:

Rosa sat so Martin could walk so Barack could run.

Lord, I am so proud of this country

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Political Junkie

Got up early and went out to vote. I had to wait about 20 minutes but lines for other election districts were much longer. I was the 207 person to vote in our election district, DH who went earlier than I did said he was 95. We figured out that that meant that there was about 100 people an hour coming through. A big turnout, very exciting! If you are reading this and haven't voted yet what are you waiting for?

I didn't take any knitting with me the day I volunteered for Obama, in the end I realized I'd be too busy and I was. We called people in Florida and asked them to vote for the Senator during early voting if possible or today (election day) if not. I got a lot of answering machines and left messages, had a few nasty people too but that's par for the course. It was fun and they even provided snacks and food for us.

Today after voting I went off to Barnes and Noble and got the holiday edition of Interweave Knits. A very nice collection of patterns and I am already planning on making a few things. Spent the rest of the day glued to MSNBC and working on my shawl. Which is pretty much how I plan on speding the rest of the day as well.