Archive for November, 2005

I am nothing if not pie.

You Are Pumpkin Pie

You’re the perfect combo of uniqueness and quality
Those who like you are looking for something (someone!) special
What Kind of Pie Are You?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

We have three family things to attend (2 tomorrow, 1 Saturday). I may have to roll all the way home. I may also be persona non blogga this weekend (although I’m sure I’ll get drunk on the cooking wine [again!] and take many pictures of my wacky fams, just for fun!).

If the urge hits you, leave a comment telling us what you’re thankful for this year. Seriously.

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“Shocking!” say friends. “Is her stash up for grabs?”

(no way in hell, my dears)

It’s been a long few weeks here at Chez Hook, and it has involved very little stitching.

Two weeks ago we got the diagnosis for my Grandma, and she does indeed have cancer. Plans are being made and carried out, and I worry about both Grandma and my Mom. Grumble grumble. But Grandma is in good spirits, and we are all trying to visit her as much as possible (“all” meaning her 7 children and 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren). I worry that she’s missing her crochet (she makes afghans for everyone in the family and in the church), but she’ll get back into it after she moves to a nursing home. I did bring the Malabrigo 100% Insanely Soft Merino for her to see, and to show her that not all wool is scratchy and unbearable. She liked it.

Thursday last I had a meeting in Rockford (whence stands the hospital in which my dad and sister [the nursing student] work, and Grandma waits), so I got to see Grandma again. I also had lunch with my other sister (the library student), who of course snapped this picture of me:

It’s extremely flattering, yes, but I’m not posting it for the thousands of compliments that will doubtless pour in now (“Your brow is so shiny! How do you get it so shiny??” or “My, what a lovely mouth you have! Is that your tongue? How Michael Jordan of you to need to stick your tongue out while performing your signature move!”). I’m posting it as evidence of only the second of two pieces of stitching I was able to do this week. Two! I’m going bloody mad! (note the Julie-Scarf! Not as evidence of madness, of course. Just note it.)

This is the first. And it’s a Finished Object (abruptly shifted from UFO status after a small but pointed domestic storm, during which the words “if you can’t finish it soon, I’m going to go buy one” were uttered. As you may have guessed, this inspired a rapid–but not hasty–finish, with only slight recrimination).

It’s the long-awaited BathMat. And glad as I am to have it finished (and to have been greeted upon my return from Sit-n-Stitch [during which the BathMat was completed] with joyous exclamations of “I can shower now!”), I wish I could have been working on Christmas presents, most of which are taking more time than I thought possible.

Fortunately, tonight Heather has invited Sandi and me over for a little impromptu mini stitch-n-bitch tonight. There may be wine, and there may be strange pictures (watch tomorrow’s blogs!). I may even get far enough on the [unnamed project worked in the Malabrigo 100% SoftyGoodness Merino] to post a picture.

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From the Library Basement

In case you ever need to know this…

Knitting needles are used in the repair of book hinges. After you run glue down behind the loose fly-leaf, hold the fly-leaf in place by placing a knitting needle in the gutter/margin (on the public side of the fly-leaf), close the lid (cover), and place a 10-lb brick on top of the book. Use up to a size 3 needle.

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Oh My Gosh

Another beautiful happy thing happened on Monday, but I lacked the photos to properly tell the story until now.

I got my ScarfMe scarf!

Thank you to Julie of Maine for making me a lovely lovely scarf that came just in time for the crappy crappy weather here in Northern Illinois (there’s a menacing wind throwing snow pellets at everyone, but I just laugh and give it the finger, because I have the Scarf of Warmth). Here’s how my lunch hour went on Monday:

I get home, see I have a package (hooray! I’m doing the puppy wiggle in anticipation!), open the package and see this:

Not only did she make me an amazing scarf (you’ll see, just wait), she wrapped it in a lovely sub-package. With a ribbon for my hair! (You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.) When I untied the ribbon, I found this:

And that’s when I started saying “Oh my gosh” a hundred times. It’s Andean Silk from Knit Picks (alpaca, silk, merino… soft as the day is long and warmer than a misplaced metaphor). I’ve been wanting to make the Here And There Cables scarf from Scarf Style since I saw the pattern, but have been putting it off until after Christmas. And here it is! Already! No waiting!

Here’s a closer look at the amazingness:

Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. And there’s more!

Julie also sent these oh-so-very-hip-and-lovely notecards. They pain me with their beauty. I will share their beauty with the world, and the world shall know of the beauty of knitting! The world must know! … Um, yes, I got a little mad with power for a moment. Moving on to the last picture (please forgive the foul flourescent lighting):

Me and my cables. Julie, thank you for making this scarf extra-long. This is how I like to wear scarves (and it saved my face from certain flying snow bullets today, walking home from work). It might look like my left eye has a weird twitch or something, but I’m just really happy.

Oh my gosh!

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Five Happy-Making Things

[taken 2 weeks ago, half a block from my house, no photo editing at all. Seriously.]

(2) My fabulous Beloved has just been sworn in as an attorney. This is the last of the (many) high points along the Law School Highway. I’m so dang proud of him for wanting to make the world better via lawyering, for getting through law school with fantabulous grades (despite the tragedies of varying degree that seemed to occur at the end of every semester, just when it’s time to take the final exam), for studying so hard for the bar and passing it on his first try (yay!), and for being a wonderful human being throughout the whole process. Nice power, sweetheart.

Yes, that’s the Malabrigo 100% Merino Butter. Again. I can’t even tell you how lucious this stuff is. I’ll tell you what it’s cast on for later (I have to tell certain family/friends to not read the blog for however many days it is until Christmas, or their birthdays).

(4) Sit-n-Stitch is tomorrow night (or tonight). I’m so happy to have a night with some yarny girls (and guys, in theory), who are perfectly happy to talk about whatever the heck comes up. The state of the schools, sick children, weird family members. Thank you, lovely ladies of the Noble Sit-n-Stitch (or Yarn Liberation Front, as Heather & Anna have suggested).

(5) I think we found Nick’s wedding band. It’s lovely, exactly what he wants, matches my ring(s)(I don’t wear the band yet, obviously), and is in my price range. Dress and His Ring, cross ’em off the list. Woohoo!

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First: Thank you to everyone who sent me and my family good thoughts, either by comment or by email. You all really lifted my spirits, and I appreciate it tons and tons. Thank you.

Not five minutes after I posted my last post, the midwife called and I drove out to a birth. I helped catch again, and it was lovely–healthy baby & healthy mom. I got home at 5:00am and slept most of the morning (Tuesday). I found out later that day that Nick’s grandmother had passed away (it wasn’t sudden, but still). I went to work, had to leave work to sleep, went back to work and taught the last crochet class.

Wednesday night I saw my Grandma in the hospital for an hour. That was positive, but a little hard. I spent the night at Mom & Dad’s house, drove back to DeKalb on Thursday with Nick’s Mom to meet Nick and drive to Elgin for the swearing-in ceremony (Nick is now officially a lawyer!). We spent some time afterwards in Geneva, shopping with Nick’s Mom (she bought us all the bread in the Great Harvest store. Almost), then back to DeKalb. Friday morning was the funeral for Nick’s grandmother, and that was hard. Lunch afterward and then back home and pretty much falling asleep immediately.

I want things to be quiet and normal. I want it to be the 23rd, because then I have a 5-day weekend. Granted, there will be Thanksgiving celebrations and whatnot, but that part is fun. Of course, there’s not going to be much quiet and normal for a while (we’re still waiting on test results for my Grandma, which will determine where she gets moved to–Madison or Chicago) , but that’s what I want. Quiet and Quiet.


In the interest of normality, here are pictures of the wonderful Yarn Crawl of last weekend (Nov 5th) that included Anna and Heather (don’t you think Heather needs a blog?) and Me.

(The grey yarn is totally copping a feel on the red yarn at Ye Olde Yarn Shoppe)

(Heather trying not to smile even though she knows I’m taking a picture of her admiring random yarn at Ye Olde Yarn Shoppe)

(Me, overwhelmed by the amazingness of the kid mohair something-or-other at Wool & Company. I was too gobsmacked by the softness to remember what it was)

[I had a picture of Anna and Heather lounging at Wool & Company — they have couches there, which is wonderful because the place is so huge and so full of yarny goodness that sometimes you have to sit down and just breathe — but the picture wasn’t terriffic. Heather was talking about yarn and Anna was looking away at the sock yarn, drooling a little.]

(This is what I bought. It is Malabrigo. It is 100% merino. It is the softest damn wool I’ve ever ever touched. I went into yarngasm when I found 2 big shelves full of this stuff. I wanted to buy for myself, but I bought for a Christmas gift which will likely be finished in time for the recipient’s birthday. Next Summer.)

(And of course, we had to shuffle through the leaves on the walk back to the car)

Thanks to Anna and Heather for making the day awesome, and for putting up with my incessant chatter (I had too much green tea that morning).

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By Default

I wanted to post a post full of beautiful pictures, but Blogger is being a booger and I can’t. So now is the time where I write the post about my Grandma.

My Grandma Shirley watched me after kindergarten and first grade (and maybe longer), and would give me slices of white bread (which we never got at home) with butter and honey on them. She would scratch my back while we listened to old records (Liberace!) (and the old records were dusty and she would dust them off on her hip) and let me read stacks and stacks of old Archie comics (old like 1960s old). She listened to me make up stories, and she was fully supportive of me when I said I wanted to be an astronaut and that someday she would see me on the moon with my long blonde hair (it was blonde then) flowing in the non-wind. She and Grandpa lived on enough land that I was constantly finding new places to explore, but was never in danger of running into the road. Grandma Shirley gives the best hugs, because there’s so much softness to hug.

Grandma is in the hospital now. She went in about a week ago, and since she’s been there they’ve found more things that need fixing beyond the problem that brought her in. Tomorrow we get a test back that will tell us how big the problem is.

It might be cancer. (Does that get capitalized? Did you know that Galen named these things cancers because they looked like crabs? Did you know that the word “cancer” is related to the word “canker”? Did you know that the word “cancer” was brought into Middle English from the French [Old or Middle, I’m not sure] “cancre” in the 1600s? Did you know that filling your head with useless, semi-related facts helps you keep a distance from stupid reality?)

I’m not trying to be flip. I’m trying not to wig out before wigging out is required. If I don’t think about it in Big Letters, then I can be stronger for my family (?maybe?). I don’t know. This is new to me. When my Grandpa died, I was 8 years old and didn’t know what was going on, other than everyone was sad and I was sad and holy crap thank god I hugged him and told him I loved him that one time (Grandpa was not a demonstrative man). Now I’m a grown-up (ha!) and I have to deal with these things like a grown-up. Sort of. So far that means being an hour from my family and wanting to help but being unable.

That’s all I have just now.

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