Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Cuteness

Who wants to see some cute pictures of the babes? I hope you said "I do", because here they are.

This is Emma (on the dog bed) and Tara (on the ottoman) lounging around, getting rested up for the Christmas excitement to come. Mellie declined the invitation to have her picture taken. She thought she was having a bad hair day, and didn't want it recorded on this blog for all the masses (ha!) to see.

"Hooray - presents! Grammie and Grampa brought presents! We love presents! We love Grammie and Grampa!" Emma has her head in the bag, while Tara watches patiently. Again, Mellie used the bad-hair-day excuse. I think she was just too lazy to bother getting off of the sofa.

Here's Mellie - caught on camera at last! She is sneaking away with one of the new bones from Grammie and Grampa.

Here's Tara, enjoying her new bone. Note the use of her paws - holding the bone upright so she can chew it better. So very intelligent... When we first got her from American Brittany Rescue (a GREAT organization), she didn't know what toys and bones were for. How sad is that? She was wary of people, too, but quickly learned how to wrap everyone around her little finger, or should I say dew claw.

And here's Emma, of course. She is posing with her new bone. Doesn't she look regal?

Here's Grammie (a.k.a. Mum) decked out for Christmas with the bow from one of her gifts. This is just after dinner Christmas Eve, and we all opened one present each before she left to sing in the church choir. I tried to convince her to wear this bow to church. I think it would have been a nice addition to the traditional Christmas Cantata....

If you'll look very closely, you will see evidence of actual knitting. What looks like a misshapen blob on the table is actually the jaywalker socks I've been working on. Yes, they are a Christmas present, and yes, I know Christmas is now over.... Gotta get working on them there socks.

And here is Grampa (a.k.a. Dad) opening one of his gifts. The mat says "Welcome to my garage. Not just parking space, but a world class destination." You have to know him to know just how appropriate this is. I stopped by their house on the way to work the other day, and he was on his hands and knees scrubbing the garage floor. I don't even do my KITCHEN floor on hands and knees. He's the original "Mr. Clean"-- it's a sickness.

Finally, here is sweet Mellie, zonked out from a day of partying and such. Please don't mention her hair - she's very sensitive about it.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate. Personally, I'd like to see Festivus become a national holiday!

"And now for the airing of grievances...I've got problems with all you people!" Frank Constanza, Seinfeld, season 9, episode 10.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pre-Christmas frenzy.

I am still without my car, so am driving around a big behemoth of a rental vehicle. I got tired of stopping for gas every couple of days and dropping $20 into the gas tank, so filled it this morning. $37 dollars...can you believe it? How do people afford these gas guzzling monsters? The rental company has been trying to find a smaller vehicle, but no luck. How hard can they be trying? It's been almost 2 weeks since my car accident. Oh well. My problem is that I need 4WD. Why? I don't know. Do I think it will snow? No. When it does snow, do I drive in it? No. Not if my father is able to take me to work. Why is my father still driving his 40-something daughter to work when it snows? He taught me to drive in the snow, and it was such a traumatic experience that I am paralyzed with fear at the first flake in the air. But that's a story for another day.

Well, I have been a very bad knitter this week. I hope the knitting Santa wasn't peeking in my window to see how much progress I have made on my current WIPs. Knitting has taken a back seat to Christmas preparations.

Here is my first Jaywalker sock. Complete except for the kitchener stitch at the toe, but that doesn't really count. I like to have several socks done to that point and finish all of the toes at once. I think that is a throw-back to when I first learned to knit socks, and had to have a book open with diagrams of the steps of kitchener stitch before attempting it. I would put off finishing the toes until I ran out of DP needles. I think my record is 9 socks at one time worked up to the final two needles and waiting for me to finish them. This is Opal yarn--a real pleasure to knit.

This is the pitiful progress I have made on the baby set. The thing in the center is the bonnet. I'm almost all done with the body of it, and will then just do the two seams at the back of the head, and them pick up & knit a couple of rows at the bottom. On the big circular needle is a blanket that I am making to go with the sweater set. I am just using the same pattern as the sweater, but cast on 363 stitches to make it big enough. I'm using size 3 needles, so from the gauge swatch, this should be approx. 36 inches wide. I used a provisional cast-on and will worry about what to do on the border another time. It's the old "I can't think about that today..." thing, you know?

And for your viewing pleasure, my little Christmas babes. Emma is up on the ottoman, and Mellie and Tara are sharing (!!!) a dog bed on the floor. Mellie (front) does not usually care to share her space, but I guess she is just chock full of the holiday spirit. Yes, that is the Christmas tree in the background. You would think that it would have been decorated by now, but noooo. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, for sure by Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Limping along on three wheels.

Well, nothing much to report... other than the fact that I was in a car accident. My first accident. The police officers on the scene could not believe this was my first. I suppose you can't blame them. I'm pretty old for this to be my first. I won't tell you how old I am, but if you take the number of flowers in a dozen roses and multiply it by the number of fingers on your hands (fingers only, no thumbs, please) and add 71 and divide that by the square root of...... Oh never mind. I'm 44. Fortunately no one was hurt (other than the fact that my neck is very sore), I was not at fault, and the other driver's insurance will pay for my car to be repaired, and for a rental in the meantime.

Still, it's upsetting. You should see my poor car. Most cars have four wheels, right? Not mine. I'm down to three wheels now. The whole wheel came right off the axle or whatever it is. Vital fluids were leaking onto the roadway. Very sad. With all of the damage to my car, it's amazing that there were no injuries. Hooray for Honda cars!

Years ago my dad went to some kind of training seminar for his work, and it was all about positive thinking, or some such rot like that. I listened to the tapes from the seminar, and the only thing I can remember from them is, when something bad happens, ask yourself "What's Good About It?" You know, like if you have a flat tire, What's Good About It? At least it is only ONE tire that is flat, and not all four, right? So, my list of "What's Good About" my car accident:

1) No one was injured (my neck is doing better, God Bless Advil)
2) My dad was home and could come and get me
3) The car can be fixed
4) My car insurance will not go up as a result of the claim

I'm sure there are lots more things, but those are the biggies. What would I do without my dad? My hero...my knight in shining armor. Whatever is wrong, he can make it right. If it is broken, he can fix it (except for balloons, of course). One of his favorite sayings: "I'll fix it if it takes every cent you've got!"

Well, to cheer myself up, here is a picture of one of my dogs. This is Emma being a funny girl. She is upside down on the sofa here. Does she look comfortable? I don't think so, but what do I know.

That's all for now. I'm going to go take an Advil and give Emma kisses for being so cute.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Work in progress....

I've decided to post my knitting projects that are in various stages of completion. Perhaps this will spur me on to finish one or two before casting on yet another sock. Socks are addictive, though. I just can't help myself.

me: "My name is Dianne and I'm a sock-aholic."

you: "Hi Dianne."

me: "It has been three days since I last cast on a sock."

Well, you get the picture. Speaking of pictures.....

This is a favorite pattern to work - an oldie but a goodie. It is called "Lattice and Cable" I think, and I got it from a Patons booklet about 6 years ago. The yarn is Kroy.

This is the sock that I just cast on a few days ago - and I think it is my new favorite pattern. It is called Jaywalker and I got it from Grumperina's site. The yarn is Opal. I love the colors - just perfect for a very dear friend of mine for Christmas. Gotta get busy on them, though!

This is a fun sock to work, too. It is all entrelac. The only bad part is the heel - I just cannot get the hang of doing these replaceable heels and having them look right. Grrrr. I forget what this yarn is.

This is a fun one, too, and my first attempt at color stranding. I have to pay attention to what I'm doing, so I don't work on these all that often. I usually prefer a "mindless" pattern.

This is a GREAT use for leftover sock yarn. I first read about it at www.socknitters.com, which linked to Shelly Kang's blog Shelly has a great blog, and a very informative tutorial on how to get started on one of these mitred square blankets.

And last but not least, this arrived today - yarn for a baby sweater, hat and blanket. This is for a dear, dear friend to give to her daughter who is having a baby. A baby girl, of course.

That's it for now. I'm going to try and convince myself to cast on for a gauge swatch for the baby blanket, but right now the Jaywalker socks are calling to me...

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Dipping my feet in the water....

Well, I am finally joining the blogging crowd in cyberspace. I was introduced to blogs from the sock knitters forum at http://www.socknitters.com/. Blogging - what a great idea. Express yourself, share your views, rant and rave, or just post pictures of your really cute dogs.

Well, lookey there. What a fine group of dogs! That's Mellie in the back, Tara on the left and Emma on the right. This picture was taken shortly after we got Tara from American Brittany Rescue--I can tell by how skinny she was. Not any more! ABR is a wonderful organization, and they do incredible work for these sweet, funny, crazy dogs. If you are so inclined, check out their website at http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org/. Fair warning, though--these dogs are incredibly cute and irresistible!

More later, and yes, I can promise you lots and lots of pictures!