Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cocoa Swap Topic #3

I've been very busy and tired this week. It's the first week of my marathon training, so I've actually had to start running again. Running again after a 3 month hiatus was actually a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. So, the running itself has not made me tired, it was more the 10pm soccer game last night.
And perhaps the fact that I am skiing once a week, trying to run 5 times and week, and playing soccer. I've been trying to get to yoga at least once a week too, but my motivation is very low when it's dark by five and the temps are in the 10s.
I have also been knitting, slightly and slowly, a toy for my cocoa buddy so I can't show pictures, but it's very cute.

What is the most 'random' memory you have from your childhood? I know it's not knitting content, but I love learning about the little quirks and interesting things about people!

It would probably have to do with colors. When I was young, I believed that somewhere in the history of English speakers, somehow the names for the colors of black and brown had been switched. I believed that if I started using their "correct" names, I could start the process of reverting the names to their "original" uses.

I have a distinct memory of sitting at a table at my preschool, coloring with my colleagues, my mother sitting nearby. The scene was a barnyard scene with, of course, the requisite pony. I preferred ponies, even at the tender age of three. I asked my mother for the "brown" crayon. She handed me a brown crayon. And I remember throwing a child-like tantrum because she gave me the wrong brown crayon, and how dare she when she knows and must have excepted my color philosophies.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cocoa Swap Week #2 Topic

Now that we're in the thick of 'Winter'... has your knitting changed to match the season? Are you moving on from dishcloths, and tank tops to afghans, hats and mittens? Has your yarn changed from silk or cotton to wool, superwash or heavier cottons?

Kind of. In the fall I was knitting my bridesmaids facecloths in cotton, and before that was mostly dishcloths and the baby blanket. I'm so slow at finishing projects that I'm kind of surprised I'm not still working on the baby blanket :)

But lately I've been doing more winter wear: hats, scarves, and mittens. When it gets hot, I have no desire to be knitting wool, or any yarn that's too warm, so I do think I switch over and just don't notice, but then again, one project used to take me 6 months. Baby steps :)

Maybe this summer I'll finally get on learning socks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Martha's Marshmallows

Let's talk about feminism for a bit, shall we?

I was raised in what I consider to be a typical middle class American family. I was a girl scout, took dance classes, went to church every Sunday. It was never even a question of "if" I was to go to college, a college education was just the next step after graduating from high school.

While in college, I was chatting with a new acquaintance in the typical college way (where do you live? what's your major? etc.) She told me her major and that she was just getting a college education until she found someone to marry and raise a family with. This stunned me. What year was it? 1952? Who went for an education without planning to use it? This young woman's big plan for her life involved making and raising a family?

Now that I am working a real, dead-end job (because a B.S. in the sciences is usually a dead end...unless you get a masters or a PhD), and I get excited about things like Martha Stewart's marshmallow recipe, I realize that perhaps feminism blinded me. I wish I had the extra 40 hours a week to make a good dinner every night and to clean the light fixtures and iron my husbands clothes. Was not the point of feminism to give women the choice to stay at home or to go out into the workforce and pursue a career if they chose to? Because if that was the point, then I worry that it has failed. Our society has been driven to the point where it is definitely not comfortable nor easy to raise a family on one income. Daycare and television are raising people's children. And that's fine, if that's what you want...but when it comes to the future, that's not what I want.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cocoa Swap Scavenger Hunt

1. Who's favorite animal is an Otter?
Anne K
2. Name someone who prefers whipped cream with their hot cocoa
Ashley C

3. Find 3 people who live outside of the United States
Alex E, Geraldine P, Jinxsa

4. Name a fan of Harry Potter

5. Name someone who crochets

6. Name someone who DOES NOT have a healthy supply of notions

7. Name someone who has NOT put up their questionnaire yet (just put a date with your answer in case they put it up after seeing their name listed somewhere ;-) )
Nancy C. (1/9)

8. Who likes to have Kahlua, Baileys, or Peppermint Schnapps in their cocoa? (What an excellent idea....)
Paula B-E

9. Name someone who knits fingerless gloves as a 'quick knit'
Ashley R

10.Name someone who's looking forward to gardening this spring.
Michelle J

11.Who's favorite way to drink cocoa is with a gorgeous Frenchman, while overlooking the eiffel tower from a French Cafe?
Kris L

12.Name someone who's favorite animal is NOT a dog or house cat
Amanda D

13. Name someone who's favorite treat is NOT chocolate.
Bea R.

14. Who plays Candyland?

15. Name someone who DOESN'T get the winter blahs
Kristy B

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My so-called scarf

I'm knitting this because big needle knitting goes fast (even for me) and I haven't had the patience to do any of the knitting projects in my queue that I would really like to start. The provisional cast on for Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts has been keeping me away from that project; despite having yarn, needles, and pattern all collected and ready to go.

But isn't this scarf pretty? I haven't been able to get behind paying up for Malabrigio, but I love Artful Yarns Shakespeare. This is one of my recent WEBS end of the year sale aquisitions. It's less a yarn and more a yarn thin variegated roving, but it's just perfect for the pattern.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Cocoa Swap Questionaire

1. What is your favorite way to drink cocoa? Prepared with milk? Water? from home made recipe or store bought?, In a tea cup, or big mug?
The best hot cocoa I've ever had was hot chocolate in Spain, served with a churro. It's a project to melt the chocolate and milk to make yourself, so at home I usually have instant made with mostly hot water and a bit of milk. When I'm lucky, I have flavored specialty cocoa.

2. Marshmallows or whipped cream?
Either. I prefer whipped cream, but I usually settle for a spoon marshmallow fluff.

1. What is your favorite type of yarn? In what colors?
I really love alpaca and cashmere blends. I don't have a brand preference, but I love deep cool colors, especially purples and earthy mixes.

2. Do you knit or crochet (or both)?
I knit. I'd love to learn to crochet someday, but I'm still in the process of learning different knitting techniques.

3. What are your favorite type of needles, would you like to try something new?
I really like wooden needles. Birch, cherry, bamboo, they're alot more comfortable to knit with in the winter when my home is cold :) I would love to try bamboo in small dpn sock knitting sizes.

4. Do you have a healthy supply of notions?
I've had enough for beginning knitting so far, but I'm sure I could use more :)

5. What one thing do you keep thinking you need to buy for your knitting habit (outside of yarn)?
I could use a row counter.

6. What is your favorite 'quick knit/crochet' pattern (quick gratification)
Dishcloths. Useful, quick (even for a slow knitter like me), and a great way to learn new stitch patterns.

1. What is your favorite thing to do in the Winter?
Snuggle on the couch with a cup of something hot, a blanket, and some knitting or a good book.

2. What is your favorite animal?
I love ponies. I have distinct memories of being obsessed with horses in preschool. My parents didn't let me ride horses until I was in high school, so the obsession has become firmly ingrained.

3. Do you get the 'winter blahs'?
Definitely. Winter tends to be a bit sunshine deficient, so by the time February rolls around, I am more than looking forward to spring.

4. What is your favorite way to beat the blahs?
Spending time outside despite the frigid temperatures, and making soups and and comfort foods.

5. What is the thing you are most looking forward to this spring?
My bulbs coming up! Spring flowers coming up through the snow are one of the most hopeful images I can think of.

6. What are your favorite treat?
I love sweets. I run so I can burn energy to not feel as guilty eating sweets...

7. What is your favorite board game?
Probably Scrabble, but Settlers of Cattan is a close second.

8. Do you have any children (furry or human)?
I have needy, fluffy, white ball of named Myha who loves to meow when she feels lonely and a black geriatric attack Netherland dwarf rabbit named Ishmael. I didn't even know rabbits could growl before Ishmael :)

9. Do you have any allergies or special considerations you partner should know about?
Nope, I can eat and knit with anything.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The live action pinball game is over

For ten days starting before Christmas until New Year's, my husband and I have played the role of pinballs in a central New England pinball game. We drove over 1000 miles over the course of those days through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. We attended 1 bachelorette party (Matt was not allowed), 3 family Christmas parties, one wedding, and had dinner with three different sets of friends all over Massachusetts. We got back home to Vermont to one frantically unloved kitty (Myha does not believe that people who come to feed her count as quality kitty love time) and one grouchy rabbit. Whew!

I had brought a rather ambitious collection of things to knit with us and I picked up my needles only a few times and only made progess on Matt's scarf, which he finally inferred that he was not impressed with the pattern. So now I am on the lookout for Celtic knots scarf patterns.

And despite already having a more than modest list of things to knit, WEBS was having an excellent sale and I acquired more yarn, most of which I have only vague plans for.

Though I never usually enjoy going back to work after a break, I am enjoying the return to a regular schedule. Matt must be rubbing off on me. I must do something about sign up for the Vermont Ciity Marathon...