Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, I am thankful that my lovely mother-in-law is hosting Thanksgiving. I really enjoy having it at our house, but she just does it better. I am also thankful that, for reasons I still haven’t figured out, I’m already done with all the cooking/baking that I need to do for tomorrow evening’s feast.

First up:

Baking the sweet potatoes so I can make…

Twice Baked Sweet Potato Poppers (but in casserole form – too inconvenient to make conventionally for so many people)

Next, may I present to you

A little bit of both of my homes. Cranberries courtesy of Wisconsin, orange courtesy of California.

Nearly there…

Mmmm, cranberry sauce!

My final contributions are 7-Layer Salad (the bacon for which is already cooked; I’ll assemble it in the morning) and a Cranberry Salsa that Alex has agreed to construct. I plan on eating nothing all day tomorrow in preparation for the great feast in the evening, so if any of the Cordero clan is reading this, be warned!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, especially all of our family members whom we won’t get to see in person (Sami, did I get the whom right? I struggled with this one…).We love you all!

Memory Lane

I think it’s funny that, after almost two years, people are still reading my very first post. Today is my two year “blogiversary,” and if you were to click back through the entries, you’d find a story filled with great triumphs and great failures, as well as items which were started with incredible zeal, only to never be written about again.

(hm…I didn’t realize my failures SO outweighed my triumphs…)

The sweater that I prompted me to start this blog – my February Lady Sweater – is still around. I wear it nearly every day (mostly because I only have one other sweater that I knit, and it has the frustrating habit of slipping off my shoulders), and still have a string hanging down from where I joined the sleeve on one side. I haven’t cut it off because it doesn’t really bother me, and I can’t remember/figure out if I actually wove it in. The shape of it worked well while I was pregnant with Penny, because it hangs open on the bottom (hint: this would be a great gift for a mom to be). In fact, it worked so well that I was wearing it when Penny was born. It was the only thing that I was wearing that I wouldn’t let the ER nurses cut off of me (my new pajama bottoms and favorite t-shirt, sadly, were sacrificed).

Sometimes when I look at this sweater, even now, I curse the fact that I had to re-knit it so many times. I especially curse it when I find the one row in the sleeve where I knit plain instead of doing the lace pattern. But then I think that maybe, if knitting had come easily to me – if it hadn’t been an adventure that linked me more closely to my mom and helped me meet so many great and talented people – I might have gotten bored and moved on to something else before realizing that mastering this skill might take an entire lifetime, and that I’m willing to spend that long to achieve mastery.

Thank you for joining me on my adventure.

Summer Vacation

Once school lets out for summer vacation, my schedule changes drastically. Gone are the hours I had to spend at the library while waiting for the girls to finish whatever activity they were involved in. And with this library time goes my constant access to novels (I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy quick, formula-type stories the best. It nearly guarantees that I’ll return my books on time). This, in turn, means that I have nothing to read while I take my bath.

Generally speaking this works out to my advantage, because with nothing to read my bath goes much more quickly, which leads to a marked increase in family/knitting time.

This morning, however, I wanted to take a relaxing bath. So I went on a hunt for a book on my bookshelf to read. Somehow, most of the books we now own are reference books – and a frightening percentage of these are on the topic of lawn/garden/home improvement. Not exactly what I was in the mood for. So I turned next to my collection of knitting books. There I found just what I was looking for: “Knitting Rules” by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

I don’t remember anymore whether I bought this book for myself or if someone got it for me as a gift. But I do know that besides being a great reference for determining fiber type or weight, it is also sprinkled thru with little quips and stories that I enjoy reading over and over.

Even though I can’t recall how I came to own this book, I do remember that the first time I read it I was new to the craft. I couldn’t imagine having “stash management” issues. I had only purchased wool yarn, and only if I knew what I was going to do with it, so I didn’t understand “lost ball band” problem. I’d never received yarn as a gift or souvenir. I only knit at Starbucks as a way to pass the time while I waited for someone to finish something.

As I read this morning, I could see the changes I’ve experienced in the past two years. I had to purchase a wicker chest from Ikea in order to have a place to store my growing collection of yarn and accoutrements. I have yarn that I bought because I thought the color or texture was lovely, and which is now sitting, still in hank form, waiting to be something. My daughter recently went to the East Coast on her 8th grade trip, and brought me yarn from the Plymouth Colony as a gift. I envy my mom, as she lives in Wisconsin and they have an impressive array of fiber/knitting events and festivals available throughout the year. I now knit at Starbucks, and at the bookstore, and at the pub, and at Knit Night, and… well, pretty much, I knit anywhere that I have more than five minutes to sit (I believe that one night at Red Lobster we actually got seated more quickly because I pulled out my knitting. Suddenly, the 15 minute wait vanished and we were at a table in the corner with water and biscuits to keep my hands busy and away from the yarn. Maybe knitting needles make the lobsters nervous?).

I think that the point of this particular post is to thank all of the wonderful people I’ve met via knitting for their time and patience and advice and companionship, and to say that even though I’m still relatively new to knitting, I’m totally dedicated to lining my home with wool and outfitting everyone I know in a gansey knit from yarn I spin myself.

A Little Interference

It’s amazing how much work interferes with one’s knitting. My meeting was short, so I only did two rows. Then, after work, I only had a little time before I had to pick up the girlies so I did two more rows. I’m looking forward to tonight, when all of the children are asleep, and I have 30 minutes or so before I fall asleep to knit.

Oh, and I timed myself. It does take me 20 minutes to do two rows (half of a pattern repeat). That’s almost embarrassing. Almost embarrassing because the first time I did this sweater it was taking me 20 minutes to do a single row. My purling proficiency has progressed at a pretty pleasing pace indeed (alliteration compliments of Jojo and Sami, who are sitting here editing my post as I type).

So, since my progress isn’t sufficient enough to warrant a photo (more ‘p’s) I give you this:

10 things that make me smile

(in no particular order)

  1. Max pinching my cheeks in the morning to wake me up
  2. No dishes to wash
  3. The sunflowers along the front fence
  4. That I now know someone whose name is “Bea”
  5. That Bea is as nice a person as someone named “Bea” should be
  6. Waking up, thinking it’s Monday, then realizing it’s Saturday
  7. A cool bath on a hot afternoon
  8. Fresh coffee already brewed when I wake up
  9. Lemon Meringue Pie
  10. The girlies being home (they say “Hi”… yes, they’re still here, reading over my shoulder, correcting my grammar, spelling and punctuation)