Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hibernating seems like a really good idea...

Sometimes motivation is a tough thing. I've had a very hard time getting myself to do much of anything the past several days. Blogging, working, spinning, even knitting -- none of these things have held much allure for me lately. I'm in the throes of winter blahs and it's hard to shake.

It's been very cold the last few weeks and is supposed to get even colder tomorrow. Unfortunately, we still don't have much snow cover so the temps are hard on my poor perennials. Kind of like trying to get a good night's sleep on a frigid night with just a sheet for warmth. I love Minnesota in the spring, summer and fall -- but I truly hate the winter. I don't like being cold, I don't like winter sports (because you're, like, COLD!).

Last night we took the Manchild to orientation for (gasp) HIGH SCHOOL! He can't possibly be old enough to attend high school. He was pleasantly surprised to find that he gets to take six electives as a freshman. Three of them will be taken up with band, but that still leaves three to choose. He's leaning toward woodworking and small engine repair. Monday night he starts lessons in bodhran, a celtic drum. And, he still has a bizillion rehearsals for boychoir, so he's a busy boy! He's also big into snowboarding right now and spends most of his free time cajoling us into taking him boarding. He's morphing into a real teenager before my eyes!

I'm trying to finish up my SP9 swap, but STILL waiting on something that was backordered from Knitpicks. Usually, they're very prompt and in general, I've been very happy with the things I've ordered from them, but they're sure taking their sweet time on this order! The final box is ready to go as soon as I have the last pieces.

I received my Knit Mitt Kit Swap a few weeks ago. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of it before I completely disassembled it. It was a terrific kit and included Eunny's Anemoi mittens pattern, which I had been coveting for quite a while! Also included were a beautiful handmade bag, a bar of yummy dark chocolate with almonds and orange pieces, a bag of fruit and nut mix (yum, already gone!), some gorgeous yarn in two shades of a beautiful green, and the book Domino Knitting, which has been on my Amazon wishlist!! Thanks, Rebecca -- you are a superb swap partner!!

Here's hoping the Knitpicks box will show up today and I can finally get my last SP9 box off to Rachael!! In the meantime, I'm going to go find someplace to hibernate until winter is over. Should only be another four months or so...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Six weird things...

A few days ago I was tagged by Lori for the "Six Weird Things About You" meme. So here it goes:

The Rules: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names.)

1. I was named after a squirrel. Really. My first name is Perri. In 1957, Disney came out with their first "True Life Action Film," in that it was filmed, not animated. That first movie was about a little girl flying squirrel named Perri. My mom was enchanted and liked that it went with "Penny," my older sister's name. There are only a handful of Perri's, in fact, I know of only two others. One is known to us all -- Perri Klass, who writes a column in Vogue Knitting. I don't know, but I bet she's 48 and had a creative mother too. I did not like my name when I was in grade school. Too many bad Perry Mason jokes. Now that I'm mostly grown-up, I like it. Except that I always have to spell it for people.

2. I have a degree in Peace Studies. Yup, you can actually get a degree in Peace Studies.

3. I once ate guinea pig in Peru. Tastes like chicken. Really. I tried very hard not to think about "Priscilla," a guinea pig I had when I was 10.

4. I am an extreme introvert. Off the scale. It's not that I don't like people, it's more that I find it exhausting to be around people I don't know well. Over the years I've learned how to act more extroverted, but it still doesn't come easily. This is one of the reasons that I really, really, hate to talk to people on the phone. I don't mean like, family, especially if they live far away and the only way to keep in touch is by talking on the phone. But pretty much every other phone call I will avoid if I can (just ask the Spouse). This can be a problem at work, where I have to make a lot of phone calls.

5. I am a classically trained singer (Mezzo Soprano). For a long time I wanted to be an opera singer and started out as a music major in college. Then I took my first music theory class. It was way too much like math (which I'm very, very bad at) and I panicked and quit. I actually don't regret not having majored in music because I've continued to train and sing when and where I want to -- no pressure!

6. I have very long thumbs. I am undefeated at thumb wrestling.

That's it. And I'm going to break the rules and won't tag 6 others (see #4).

Only two projects?

Here are the photos of work in progress, as promised:

The Irish Hiking Scarf in Lamb's Pride worsted, color "Blue Heirloom"

The Visor Beanie, in progress.

You can see the visor part, that was actually the easiest part of the whole thing. The hard part has been getting the shape of the hat right. I wanted to show you the original, but the Manchild must be wearing it today because I can't find it. It's a little bit looser than a traditional beanie. I'm trying to write down what I'm doing and will post the pattern when it's finished.

Now, to catch up on my swap posts. Here, finally, is a pic of my last SP9 pal box:

I'm quite late in putting a pic on my blog as I received this box before Christmas! It contained all kinds of goodies. Two skeins of yarn, a "Christmasy" merino from Hill Country yarns and a gorgeous skein of baby mohair/silk yarn called "Douceur et Soie," lace weight. Also included were a santa tape measure, a tiny sweater keychain, the winter issue of Vogue, some incense, chocolate, some mulling spices, and she even included some treats for the Murray, Kimi and Chuckie! We all say THANKS! What a great job she did, as a Secret Pal. I can't wait to find out who she is!

This morning I ordered the final things for the last box to my Secret Pal and a mitten kit for my KMKS pal. I have almost everything now for both boxes.

In other news, it's supposed to be in the forties today. Bye, bye snow!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Whew, made it through the holidays but I still feel like I have too much to do. We've been traveling a bit, playing a bit, working a bit and I've been knitting a bit.

First the traveling. Spent a few days up in one of my favorite places in the world, the north shore of Lake Superior. We packed up the Manchild, the dog, the snowboard and other snow related stuff and headed up. Unfortunately, there wasn't any more snow there than here. Fortunately, there is a nice ski resort there that makes their own snow. The Manchild got a new snowboard for Christmas so he was anxious to try it out.

It was a bizarre sight to see so much open water in late December. Lake Superior normally freezes over in the winter, but not this year. Ok, neighbor, can you say "Global warming?" I knew that you could. No ice, no snow. I think I still live in Minnesota.

And yes, I have been knitting! I'm working on two main projects: an Irish Hiking Scarf, which is my first attempt at cables, and -- a big challenge -- designing my own pattern.

The Irish Hiking Scarf is tons of fun and it's turning out beautifully (pictures soon). I like it so much that I've already bought yarn for the next one. The pattern design project is a hat for the Manchild. Before Christmas we were out shopping and he bought a hat that "everyone has." It's called a visor beanie and is a basic hat with a plastic visor knit into the brim. It cost twenty three dollars. Yes, you read that right. Twenty-three dollars for a knit beanie. So, I've been trying to figure out how to make one. I've searched the web and couldn't find anything that was quite right, so I decided to try to make one. Now, having never knit anything without a pattern, this is new territory. But, hey, how hard can it be?

Well, I've already ripped it out twice. Third time's the charm. I'm having trouble getting the decreases to come out right. It's either too short or looks a bit like a stovepipe. The third attempt will be juuuuust right.

I'm in the process of wrapping up the SP9 swap. I sent my spoilee a small pre-Christmas box, but still need to put one more together. The other swap I'm doing is a mitten kit swap and I still have to decide which pattern I'm going to send, but I have to pull that one together very soon. Once I get those finished, I think I'm going to take a break from swaps for awhile.

Speaking of swaps, I received my last box from my Secret Pal. I have pics but I can't post them tonight, so that will have to wait. Thanks, SP9!!

And last, but not least, it finally snowed!!! Only a few inches, but I'll take it!