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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Knittah, please!

My friend, S.A., and her feller spent the better part of the day driving from Alabama toward Chicago. (I say "toward" because weather has stopped them in Indiana for the night.) Somewhere in Tennessee, I think, based on where I surmise they were when the text message came in, they spotted a woman knitting AND driving, doing about 80 mph. Not only was she weaving in and out of traffic, she was doing COLORWORK!!! I say, "Knittah, please! Put down those needles before you hit someone. Better yet, next time, take the bus." Seriously, Christmas deadline knitting should not become a road hazard.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Six Random Things

I was tagged by Jocele for Six Random Things, so here goes:

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. (I tagged four 'cause I'm pretty sure some of the other people I would have tagged have done this before.)
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Random Things about me:

1. I love being surrounded by "real" art. The pieces we have around the house may not ever be worth more than we paid for them (and, in most cases, probably less!), but it really makes me happy to have art in my home.

2. I was a cheerleader in jr. high and high school. Hard to believe, I know...

3. I hate to be forced to listen to half a conversation while someone loudly babbles on the cell phone at the grocery/Target/on the street/in a restaurant. Seriously, I don't want to know that much about you and your significant other/medical condition/legal woes. And don't get me started on driving and cell phones...

4. I would eat raw oysters every day of my life if I could, preferably with a peppery mignonette. Or with spicy horseradish and lemon and a dash of Tabasco. Ummmmmmm.

5. We used to have a fab espresso machine. Every weekend, my husband would make my frothy beverage of choice and he would draw pictures in the foam using a toothpick and paste food coloring. It was so silly and very fun. Starbucks moved into our neighborhood, the machine broke, and I don't drink coffee very often anymore (it makes my stomach very, very sad), so coffee drawings have fallen by the wayside. I miss them.

6. If I had the means, I would have homes in New Orleans, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC. They are cities I return to again and again. (Plus, oysters are readily available in each!)

Next up...I'd like to tag:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Have Yourself a Merry Bleeping Christmas* from a Friend in Chicago

*I've been known to drop a few F-bombs, but seriously, Rod and Patty have set a new bar.

While we are here digging out from snowbanks and political scandals, I thought I'd provide a few pictures of my favorite Chicago holiday event, the Christkindlmarket. Vendors from Germany come to Chicago from just after Thanksgiving to December 24 and offer traditional German wares in (unheated) wooden huts, just as they do in Germany and Austria. There are gluwein booths and sausage stands, hot cinnamon roasted nuts, and other delectable treats. In an effort to be multi-cultural, they also include importers of items from South America (warm, woolly hats come in handy this time of year), Ireland, and a few other countries and regions. These folks are at the mercy of whatever Chicago throws at them. On our annual Christmas date last year, it was brutally, viciously windy and cold. This year it was windy and snowing. (Windy can be a theme here.)
The tree at Daley Plaza is an odd one. It is actually constructed of hundreds of smaller trees wired together to form a big tree. Interesting...
Caroling out in the snow.

After the market, we walk a block over to Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's) to see the holiday windows. After that, it's up to the 7th floor to see the Grand Tree in The Walnut Room, then out for dinner. It's one of my favorite nights of the year.

Now that I've completed all of my holiday deadline knitting and shipped out all of the gifts going east, I'm focusing on decorating the house and setting the menu for Christmas Eve. We've decided to skip the real tree this year. I'm doing the wrought iron tree with the fiber-themed ornaments again. I haven't decided what else is coming out, but I think simple is the game plan.

Speaking of Christmas knitting, here's what was on the needles:

Blu for my cousin's baby, Cora Jane

Hats for Stitches from the Heart

Spring Forward Socks (dyed and knit by me) for my Aunt to gift to someone at work

Cat Hat for my cousin

Plus a Brangelina Hat (forgot to photograph that one) made for a giving tree that my friend, Barb, was doing for charity. (If you decide to make one, my experience is that it comes out rather large--even large enough to fit over our disgraced governor's hair--so you may want to cast on fewer stitches.) It certainly wasn't the metric ton of knitting that some people do for the holidays, but those little jeans were a challenge to my patience. The knitting was easy and the finishing wasn't difficult in terms of skill required, but I took them apart three times until the stitching looked good enough to me. I even re-did the little label twice. I must have stitched one of the pockets four times. (I was obsessed.) In the end, I think they're pretty cute. Hope she can wear them more than once or twice.