Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lilly is one year old today

Our Granddaughter, Lilly, was born one year ago today and we've only seen her in person 2 times. She lives in Germany with her parents and It's sad that we weren't there.
Here she is with her Mommy. They both look pretty happy. Happy Birthday Lilly.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Secret Pal 10 Questionaire.

Here are is the questionnaire for SP10. Please be sure to post it in a spot on your blog where your pal can easily find it. Since your pal will use this to help create your packages you'll want to have it posted to your blog no later than the last day of February.

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

I like to knit with natural fibers. I'm not too fond of things that are too bulky. I absolutely do not like 100% acrylic yarns.

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

I have a knitting needle case for the straight ones. I have hooks in my sewing room for the circular ones.

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 about 35 years. My mother taught me when I was in high school. I'm an advanced knitter.

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

No, I don't have a wishlist online.

5. What's your favorite scent?

Not too fond of scents. They make me sneeze.

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

Yes, I have a sweet tooth...Favorite candy is anything cherry flavored.

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

I love to sew, quilt, counted cross stitch. I also do home renovation projects. My husband and I just bought a house that we're renovating and hope to rent out soon. No, I don't spin.

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

I still like the music from the 60s and 70s best. Yes, my computer does play MP3s. and I don't have a stereo.

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

I like blues, greens, burgandy, and lately orange. Can't stand yellow.

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

I'm married (to the same man for 30 years). I have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. I have two dogs (a golden retriever, and doberman mix) and two cats.

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

I wear scarves and mittens. I don't like hats much. I might wear a poncho, but don't own any right now.

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

Sweaters for my grandchildren, children, and nieces and nephews. I like to make hats for the homeless and scarves.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Hats for the Homeless.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Some handmade gifts are okay. Usually when I get something handmade, I know I could have made it myself, but I appreciate the effort of others as well.

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

I prefer circular and double pointed needles. In order of preference: aluminum, bamboo, and plastic is last.

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


17. How old is your oldest UFO?

About 5 years old.

18. What is your favorite holiday?


19. Is there anything that you collect?

I collect all things "panda." And I like dishes of all kinds. Little animal figurines

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

No books or yarns in particular.

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

None that I can think of

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

I knitted one pair. It was fun. I would like to knit more of them. I wear a size 6.5 shoe.

23. When is your birthday?

December 31

Hats for the Homeless

Each year my daughter and I knit hats for homeless people and donate them to various shelters, soup kitchens, and sometimes just hand them out on the streets of NYC where my daughter goes to school. It started out as a way to use up leftover yarn and know we actually purchase yarn for the project. We did get a rather large donation from WEBS which is a great yarn store in Northampton, MA (

The pattern is very easy. We use size 10 or 10.5 16" circular knitting needles (double pointed needles would also work). It takes approximately 150 yards of worsted weight yarn to make one hat. Cast on 84 stiches. Place marker at the beginning of the round and you join in a circle and knit one, purl one around until the hat measures 10 ". Then begin the decrease rows. Decrease row one: * knit/purl for 5 stitches and then decrease one stitch (I like the slip as if to knit, knit one and passover method)* Continue from * to * around to the row marker. Next row: knit the knit stiches and purl the purl stitches. Decrease row two: "knit/purl for 4 stitches and then decrease one stitch*. Continue from * to * around to the row marker. Next row: knit the knit stiches and purl the purl stitches. Continue to decrease every other row with one fewer stitches between decreases and then knit/purl one row even until there are 12 stitches on the needles. (You'll probably have to switch to double pointed needles when there are about 48 stiches left.) Then cut a long tail. Thread through a tapestry needle and run it through all 12 stitches. pull tight and weave in the ends.

It's a great project and there are a lot of cold heads out there. It takes me about 5-6 hours to make one hat, so I can't do too many in one season. So, if you want to help...start knitting.

Friday, February 16, 2007

We had some snow and ice here over the past few days. Couldn't really get to the house to work on it. Tomorrow we're going to go there and try to shovel some of the snow and ice so we can get the car into the driveway. The snow plow hit our mailbox and severed the 4x4 post that was holding it up. Another chore.

We are closing in on getting the house ready for rental. Everything is painted and stained. We need to do some more cleaning of the wood floors though. That's my job tomorrow.

I'll post more pictures next time.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More on the house

Here are some pictures of the way the inside of the house used to look. The paint was partially stripped from the woodwork in the living room.

The only bathroom was so tiny that you could sit on the toilet and hit your knees on the bathtub.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The house

This was how our investment house looked when we first bought it. It was so covered in vegetation that people couldn't even see the house as they drove by. We cut away most of the plants so the house can now breathe.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

New Day

It's 7 a.m. Eastern Time. I just got out of exercise class. It's called Extreme Butts and Gutts, so it's easy to figure out what kind of class it is. I'm lucky because the class is just upstairs from my cubicle since the community center where I work is also a fitness center. So, I get to work a little before showering when it's nice and quiet. Come to think of it, this is a nice time to write here too.

My husband and I bought an investment house back in August. It was built in 1941 and no one had done any renovations. That's not to say they didn't paint and wallpaper layer after layer (there were 7 kinds of wallpaper in one of the upstairs bedrooms). Anyway, it's a 4 bedroom cape and it's adorable. We've been working on it after work and on weekends with the hope of renting it out for a couple of years and then selling it before we retire. I'm going to try to post some pictures when I figure out how. More on this later.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

NBA problem

Today the NBA changed the time of the March 11 Celtics game in Boston. Now we have to call all the people who were registered for the game to see who can go late. It's a pain because there are bound to be people who can't go at the later time and we might not have enough people registered to run the trip. If the Celtics had been playing better then the gametime would not have been changed...something about a cancelled TV contract. Just needed to vent a little

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Day 3

So, apparently I forgot to mention in my first entry that I also enjoy quilting. It's fun to take perfectly good fabric, cut it into tiny pieces and then sew it all back together in a different pattern. I actually like to do all kinds of sewing and needlework.

So back to "about me" I work as a recreation supervisor and I love it. I get to plan lots of programs, hire staff to teach them and then watch the smiles on people's faces as they get to do all kinds of things. We have the typical programs like tumbling and arts and crafts for kids and some "adult ed" classes like German and Spanish, but we also have some not so typical programs like Chinese medicine for infertility and 14th century German Longswords. It never ceases to amaze me what kinds of programs people will respond to. We offered 2 Modern Latin Dance classes this Winter and had so many people interested that we had to add 3 more classes. I guess Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance have played a role there.

I work with a bunch of great people too so it's fun to go to work every day. I have some very funny stories to tell about some of the patrons of our community center, but I'll save them for another time.

Monday, February 5, 2007

About my family, Feb. 5, 2007

A little about me. My husband and I have been happily married for 30 years. We have three kids (well, they're actually adults) and 2 grandchildren.

Our son, Ben is 29 and is currently in Border Patrol Training (long story for another time). He is married to Sarah and they have a son who is almost 2 named Billy. They'll be stationed in Texas soon.

My oldest daughter, Mandy, 27, is married to Keith and they have a daughter who will be 1 soon named Lilly. We call the grandchildren "the illys". They live in Germany where Mandy is a scientist, working for the European union on a project that is "looking for simple indicators of sustainable fisheries." Sounds pretty impressive, but I don't really get what she does from day to day.

Our youngest child, Becky, 22, is a senior at Parson's School of Design in New York. She'll be graduating in May with a degree in design and technology. She's applying to graduate schools, so we'll see what happens there.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

First Time--February 3, 2007

Here I go. I'm creating this blog as a start to joining Secret Pal 10. It's a knitting/crochet club of sorts that my daughter joined awhile back. It's a good idea to have an accounting of things, sort of like a journal of thoughts. More later.