Monday, January 31, 2011

I never knit anything just once

We've had a fair bit of downtime at work lately - which means I'm likely to rejoin the ranks of the unemployed again in the near future.  But despite the associated anxiety, this downtime has afforded me lots of quality knitting time.  

I'm working on this most adorable dress for my niece.  Did I mention that I became an Aunt over the weekend?  I'm pretty psyched about it - both the baby and the dress, but mostly the baby. 

So after a week of knitting, the dress is almost finished and I am oh so tempted to frog the whole thing and start over.  It's just that I think that I gauged the gauge wrong and I wish I had made the smaller size, and I sort of goofed early on and never fixed it because I thought it might be a happy accident, and now I'm not so sure.  I am reminded of how much I dislike knitting sweaters - you knit and you knit, row upon row and you're almost done before any real shaping takes place and it's not til you're done that you know what you're getting.  Alas, I never knit anything just once, why should this be any exception.  

My co-worker asked about what I was making the other day, and after watching me knit for a few hours said, "I think that I'd just buy something." To which I replied, "Yeah." 

I don't expect him to understand my brand of crazy, I hardly understand it myself.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A year or so ago, I bought 2 skeins of this:


I just couldn't help myself - I mean, it's GORGEOUS! And I was sure that I could find something to do with it.  Well, sometimes love just isn't enough.  And gorgeous yarn without a pattern is just a lovely skein in my stash. 

Thankfully, through the wonders of Ravelry, I found this pattern.  And turned one of these lovely skeins into a beautiful scarf for my Mom.  (Yes, this is in fact another story about unfinished Christmas gifts.)

I lament that scarfs are so difficult to photograph, because try as I might, my pictures just don't give it justice. 

I put this in the mail this week, along with Abbey's mittens.  And with that I officially succeeded in accomplishing one of my New Year's resolutions before the end of January.

Monday, January 17, 2011

hibernation mode

Even though January here in Virginia is almost laughably mild, it's still rather drear.   And the past week I have found myself not wanting to do anything but snuggle up with a blanket.  I have at times come dangerously close to going into full snuggie mode.  My roommates have a couple of snuggies in the tv room and while I have used them as a blanket, I REFUSE to put my arms in the sleeves.  

But I've so much to look forward to, that I'm embracing hibernation mode. 

A month from now, I'm taking a trip home to snuggle with my new niece who is expected shortly.  My sister Ashley is expecting a baby at the end of this month and the whole family is so excited to meet this little one.

And another month from then, my parents are coming to visit me here in DC.  I'm so excited for visitors, I've already started planning all the awesome stuff we'll do and all the fabulous places we'll eat.

So, if you find yourself in hibernation mode, might a suggest a FABULOUS new miniseries on MasterpieceDownton Abbey.  You can watch it online here.  And if you're lucky you can catch it on your local PBS station

I'm hooked.  And if you love period dramas, like I love period dramas, I think you'll really like it too.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

superglue to the rescue

Yesterday my glasses broke.  Well, actually, they just came unscrewed but try as I might I fiddled and turned and twisted that screw and that screw just wouldn't hold.  My co-worker assured me that I could tape them together with masking tape, but just to be clear, I'd look like a moron.  Not wanting to look like a moron, I decided against taping them and today, I made due with my broken glasses, carefully balancing them on my nose by positioning my head just so or holding them onto my face.  While I may not have looked moronic, it was certainly ridiculous.  

So tonight, armed with an eyeglass repair kit and superglue, I glued that silly little screw in place.   Ahhh, sweet relief to my aching eyes, my glasses are back in working order.

And so I add another item to the list of things I've fixed with superglue:

broken fingernail
cut finger
computer (that was actually quite recently and may have something to do with why my computer won't work worth beans these days)
and glasses

Isn't superglue the best?

Monday, January 10, 2011

2010 in review

2010 wasn't really a year of milestones but I certainly covered a lot of miles.  I visited 22 states and 1 district, in order: 

California  (New Year's with the Fam)
Nevada (passing through)
Arizona (passing through)
Utah (January, August and December)
Alaska (January - August)
Hawaii (birthday trip)
Colorado (On my way to DC, stopped in Fruita and Denver, visited friends Gina and Mike and their respective families)
Kansas (visited Cousin Kristie and her family)
Missouri (visited friend Sara in St. Louis)
Illinois (passing through)
Kentucky (passing through, stopped in Padukah) 
Tennessee (visited friend Chantel in Nashville and drove through the Smokey Mountains)
North Carolina (passing through) 
Virginia (my new home) 
DC (where I work and play) 
Maryland (now and then) 
Delaware (Punkin Chunkin) 
Massachusetts (passing through) 
New Hampshire (Thanksgiving with the Westwoods) 
Connecticut (passing through) 
New york (passing through) 
New Jersey (passing through) 
Pennsylvania (passing through)

I think that it was a pretty good year, if I do say so myself.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

warm woollen mittens

Abbey Dearest, your mittens are ready.
I did something really tacky this last Christmas.  I gave my Mom and my sister unfinished gifts.  (Apparently, this is something my Grandma was famous for, so maybe it's genetic or at the very least, it's comforting to know that I am in such good company.) 

 These lovely mittens were placed in a box and wrapped with the knitting needles still in them and nary a thumb on Christmas Eve.  And I took them right back as soon as they were opened for finishing. 

I think that I was a little over ambitious to think that I could possibly finish them for Christmas, with all their lovely little cables.  I bought the yarn (wish I remembered the name of it, I love it so) on sale a week before Christmas with no idea of what I'd do with it.  I loved the pinky-red color and fell even deeper in love with it when I started to knit it - it's fabulous! And the pattern was really fun, though I altered it a bit (I just can't leave anything alone).  The pattern can be found here and here. 

Two of my new years resolutions this year were to finish my Christmas presents and take more pictures, and it looks as though I'm off to a good start.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

on the twelfth day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ... er, a new episode of Grey's Anatomy? I'll take it, even if that does imply that my tv is my true love.  And given the choice between trashy tv and 12 leaping lords, I'd probably choose McDreamy and McSteamy.  And don't even get me started on Dr. Hunt - yes please!

So it's the last day of Christmas and all our decorations are put away - which is always a little sad.  (I prefer to wait until Groundhogs day to take down the tree - I read on Wikipedia that it is bad luck to leave your tree up past February 2nd and though I'm not usually superstitious, it feels right.  This year, my roommates put up the tree so really wasn't my call.)  And here I sit listening to Christmas music, reflecting on the season. 

I had a lovely Christmas this year.  I flew home a few day before Christmas with minimal incident.  And my lovely Mum had so much planned for us, it was really quite magical.  She orchestrated a continual array of cozy parties, fun outings, succulent feasts and scrumptious treats.  While I was only home for a few days, I was able to do everything I wanted and received lovely gifts.  Ahh Christmas, you're the best! 

In the meanwhile, it's good to back working and playing in DC. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

8 years ago today

While pondering in church today, I realized that 8 years ago to the day, I entered the MTC and began my mission.  And oh, what a mission it was - the most intense 19 months of my life.  It's so hard to sum up in a single blog post but I can certainly say that I'm glad I did it and I'm glad that it's over.

Someone once said, "missions are for missionaries" and it took me more than a year, on my mission, to realize what that meant.  I thought that I was going to teach, to serve, that I was going for my Heavenly Father.  But I learned that at the end of the day, despite all of my selfless service, it was all about me.  It was about learning who I was and what I could give.  It was as a missionary that I learned about God's love for me.  It's like my companion Gina said, "your mission is God's gift to you".  Which when she said it made little sense, and haunted me for months.  It took me a LONG time to see my mission as a gift because it felt a lot like a burden.  An unbearable burden that threatened to take everything from me and be my undoing.  There were times when I didn't think that I'd live to see the end of it - but I did.  And I made friends and memories that I'll cherish forever. 
So today, I remember the girl that I was 8 years ago.  Who worked past her fear and put on that name tag.  I remember the french toast sticks that nearly made up for the rest of the pitiful fare we endured.  I remember that doing laundry was possibly the funnest thing we did all week.  I remember learning to pray in Finnish and singing hymns in Finnish.  I remember ultra-anti-ergonomic chairs and make shift foot stools.  I remember the walks and the meeting and the celebration of obscure holidays.  I remember how scared I was to leave.  And I remember our trip to Finland.