Friday, January 30, 2009

Under Pressure

(There is woolly content in here eventually)

After reading a very amusing John Cusack v. Nic Cage analysis on Pajiba, I have that song running through my head. It's apt, considering the current economic situation, no? In recent days, I've read not just about the tens of thousands of jobs lost on a daily basis, but also about at least two murder-suicides prompted by feelings of economic helplessness. There was also a report on about 5 men who were living in the 6 by 8 foot crawl space under the porch of a home in New Jersey. People are losing jobs, homes, savings, and more. How soon until we see 21st century Skid Rows? Instead of Hooverville, we can call them Bush Gardens. A local acquaintance confessed recently that she was interviewing for part-time jobs because the economy was really affecting her family.

We are lucky, secure, for now. But there are so many who are not. And this is not because they didn't work hard enough, or get a good enough education, or do anything wrong at all. This is a daunting situation for a young new President to face, so early in his term. Many of the economists I've been reading or seeing say two things: first, in order to get us out of this, government needs to spend money; and second, straight-out rebates to taxpayers won't help.

After years of the Bush Administration spending us into the tank, it's hard to think of spending more money and continuing to increase the deficit. But if the government funds projects that will lead to employment, then that's what we need. We can fix/rebuild/modernize infrastructure, start the next space race, green the country, whatever. Get people moving. Spur innovation. Innovation + imagination leads to new development, growth, continued employment. I'm not claiming that things will be perfect, or problems will magically disappear, but if we don't do anything, we're going to keep spiralling ourselves into a depression (if we're not more than halfway there already).

What about giving money to the private sector, I hear some of you thinking? Um, because that hasn't worked so far? What happened to all that money we gave out late last year, that was supposed to be used to get banks to lend money again? Oh, yeah, it went to bonuses for the CEOs, and to buy up other banks. Lending didn't pick up. (See below, too, for discussion of tax cuts to wealthy and corporations.)

Most of the economists I've seen opine on this say we're not spending enough yet.

The saddest thing I've seen lately is a pack of dyed-in-the-wool Republicans who are continuing to argue for what is essentially that hoary old chestnut, trickle down economics. We must give tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations, they say, because those folks will go out and invest the money, thereby creating new jobs. You'd think that an honest look at the last 29 years would dispel that myth. The Bush tax cuts were based on those principles. We know they don't work.

The next debate is between those who support giving people a lump sum rebate, like last year's, or giving them a small tax cut that will increase their monthly take-home pay. Studies show that rebates actually do not stimulate the economy. People look at the lump sum of money as being separate from their net spendable income, and do smart things with it like pay down credit cards, rather then spend it. There's nothing wrong with that, but if your aim is to get people to spend more, that's not the way to do it. Studies also show that even small increases in take-home pay (which tax cuts would achieve) result in increased spending. People think of their take-home pay as spendable money. If that increases, so does their spending.

Nothing we do is going to be perfect. There will be waste, there will be efforts that fail. The risk here, economists say, is in not doing enough, rather than in doing too much. If we allow the prospect of some wasted money to paralyze us, we'll just end up in worse shape. We don't have the time or the luxury of trying to craft the perfect solution. But we need to do something.

Now all of this emphasis on spending, both government and personal, is directly related to the current economic crisis. All of this has really gotten me thinking about how much of our security is based on consumption. Our economy is almost completely dependent on how much we spend. In order to keep the economy humming, we have to keep consuming. There's a whole other blog post lurking in that concept. You've already indulged my navel-gazing enough at this point, so I won't dump my feelings about THAT on you, too.

The Woolly Current Events

Alas, not much. Between snow days, doctor's appointments and other facts of life, there hasn't been much time to do anything. I'm also kind of between projects, which make it worse. I need a certain amount of prep time to start a project, time I haven't had lately. So I've worked on my sort-of-ugly-but-comfy Anne socks at doctor's appointments.

You just never know what a yarn will look like knit up.

I've also done another Alpine Frost swatch, this one using Knitpicks merino laceweight. This swatch worked out very well. I've come to the conclusion that more rustic, wooly yarns work better for this pattern for me. Maybe more expert crocheters can make it work with other yarns, but not me. The yarn is nice, but it doesn't have as much personality as the Melosa:

Here's a picture of the two swatches together (not a very good picture, unfortunately):

I think I will do the scarf in the Melosa that I've ordered.

A bit of exciting news that I missed earlier -- the brilliant Cookie A. has a sock book coming out soon! I love all of her designs. The book has all new designs, too. Hmmmm, Cookie A. book, + Sundara sock club yarn......

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Maybe You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

(First person to make a "bitch" comment gets it through the computer screen).

Snow, ice, rain, sleet. We got it all. The kids went to school yesterday, only to have schools close early because of the weather. Sr. Jr. got home around noon, Jr. Jr. around 1:45. Yesterday was mainly snow, so there were snowball fights and sled pulls and general frolicking. Last night the sleet and freezing rain started, so all that snow is now saturated with ice. No school. No playing in the snow. We'll play Wii, I'll bake cookies, maybe I'll get to knit a little.

Or crochet.

I've mentioned before that I want to improve my crochet skills. I've seen some beautiful crochet patterns that I'd love to tackle. The Alpine Frost scarf from Interweave Crochet seemed like a good place to start. The pattern is lacy and pretty, but doesn't look too complicated -- offset shells of single and double crochet. My first attempt used some lightly twisted laceweight that was difficult to work with. The yarn wanted to untwist itself as I worked with it. Not fun.

So for my next try, I grabbed some leftover Lanas Puras Melosa Laceweight that had used for my Star of Evening shawl. This worked much better. I think I even got the pattern mostly right!

It even looks somewhat like the picture! Please, I welcome any corrections, tips, or criticisms from my crocheting friends. I think I could go up a size in crochet hooks to make this a little lacier in this yarn.

Emboldened by my close-enough-to-call success, I pulled out some gorgeous alpaca laceweight purchased earlier this year at Maryland Sheep & Wool.

It's the yarn on the left, called "Morning Mist." It took me forever to wind up. I got out the crochet hook, chained 57 and got to work. And it looked terrible. It was not fun to work, either, hard to see where I was supposed to do my stitches, no good definition of the stitches, etc. So I packed it away :( The pattern calls for laceweight yarn, though, so I'm not sure if the problem here is the yarn, or me. (Alpaca probably wasn't the best choice -- fuzzy and without much definition.)

I really like the way the Lanas Puras looked in the pattern, but it's definitely more "rustic" than the original. I'll try to dig through the stash for some Knitpicks wool lace yarn and see how that works but Imayalsohaveorderedsomemorelanaspurasjustincase.

Again, any tips from the crocheters out there would be greatly appreciated.

Finally, the discussion topic of day. Query: Rod Blagodevich -- insane, or really fucking batshit insane. Discuss.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Done, Done, Undone, Undone

I got some stuff finished up this weekend.

I have a cool picture of Madli's Shawl to show off:

Mr. T took some picture of me wearing the shawl this weekend, but none of them were great. Also, I think I accidentally deleted them from my camera, thinking I had already uploaded them. I guess that just gives us an opportunity to take some better pictures.

Also in the FO category is the Ingeborg II doily:

I used Aunt Lydia's crochet cotton 2 and size 0 needles. My thoughts on this are mixed. I like the way it turned out overall, but, boy, do I dislike knitting with cotton. On one row there was a K5tog that was particularly difficult to execute. I missed the give and bounce of wool. I think my center is a little wonky, too. I think my next one will be in wool.

As for the Twisted Tweed socks, here they are:

Yup. Ripped 'em out. I didn't like them that much. The yarn is way too nice to waste on socks I'm not really going to wear, so I'd rather rip out the socks and redo them in plain stockinette. No biggee.

Also in the "undone" category -- me after trying to figure out how to do the Alpine Frost crochet scarf from the Winter Interweave Crochet. Part of the problem, I think, was using the wrong yarn. I was using a lightly twisted lace yarn that kind of came untwisted as I was working with it. I wasn't sure if I was doing the pattern right, either. I suspect that the pattern won't be hard once I figure it out, but that's not coming too easily right now.

We had a lovely birthday weekend, with yummy dinners and an exciting basketball game (double overtime!)

And a special Happy Birthday to Kippi!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Big 8

Happy Birthday to my adorable, silly, funny, smart, smart-alecky, loving and lovable, freshly minted 8 year old!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Journey of a Thousand Pins

A teaser: Madli's Shawl is blocking. You can skip down there, or you can keep reading my non-knitting related thoughts. Your choice. Warning: I only got three hours of sleep last night, so I'm tired and cranky. I apologize in advance if I don't make any sense (well, less than normal, anyway.)

Inauguration Bits

On Monday night, Inauguration Eve, we decided to go out to dinner. We thought, naively enough, that we'd head down to Old Town to go to our favorite Tex-Mex place. Bad idea. All those millions of people in town for the Inauguration had to go somewhere. When we got there, we saw a number of giant tour buses spitting forth hundreds of people. The tour companies, I gather, booked up a bunch of restaurants, even ones that normally don't take reservations. Our Tex-Mex place said they were expecting a party of 200, but that we could wait the hour and a half to hour and forty five minutes if we liked.

So we got back into the car, wondering what to do next. "We're near Crystal City," Mr. T said. "What's in Crystal City?" "Legal Seafoods is there, but remember that Crystal City is also hotel city, so all the restaurants are likely to be as full as they were in Old Town," I said. "Let's just check," he said. Famous last words. The restaurant was packed.

The Crystal City Legal Seafoods is right next to the Crystal City Hilton (formerly the Stouffer Hotel. Fun Fact: Mr. T and I lived in an apartment right over what is now that Legal Seafoods while we were in law school, and right afterward). Apparently, the hotel worker's union is striking against Hilton, so on one side of the street were happy inauguration visitors, and on the other were placard-wielding strikers. But the coolest part was that the strikers had somehow managed to project, bat signal-like, onto the side of the hotel under the main sign, the word "Boycott." It was dramatic and effective.

We ended up at a neighborhood joint called "Joe's Pasta and Pizza," where we had a lot of good food and ran into several friends with family. A good time was had by all in the end.

Like I said in my last post, we stayed home and watched the festivities on tv. I thought much of the day lived up to expectations, except for Chief Justice Roberts flubbing the oath of office. Tacky.

Obama looked his usual calm, cool self. Michelle looked beautiful in her yellow dress and coat. She is a woman who looks amazing in strong colors. Sasha and Malia are absolutely gorgeous little girls.

There is a part of me that regrets that we didn't make the effort to go downtown to be part of the crowd. We traded off the energy of the crowd for a good view. (I hate crowds. I don't do well in large crowds.)

But what I like best is that Obama has been acting swiftly to make his mark. I watched the swearing in ceremony held yesterday for the senior staff and was very impressed with the measures that Obama's taking to make government more open, responsive, and ethical. Plus, I loved Biden's little quip, when asked to administer the oath of office to the staff, that his memory wasn't as good as Chief Justice Roberts'. I'm very pleased that Obama's taking steps to close down Guantanamo and review the treatment of the prisoners there. It's nice to have a President who understands the Constitution and the need for the civil rights protections it affords.

Knitting Content

I finished the Twisted Tweed socks.

Unfortunately, I don't really like them. I may rip them out and reknit them into plain socks. I'll try them on again and make a decision soon.

I also started something new:

This is the "Ingeborg II" doily from Sonja Esbensen and Anna Rasmussen's Knitted Lace. That's some generic crochet cotton on size 0 needles. Not fun executing the slip 1, k 3 together, psso. Luckily there aren't too many of those. The finished doily will be square.

And the big news, finally, the blocking of Madli's Shawl. I had a little helper making sure I did it right:

First I pinned out the top and the bottom, to get the length right, and then I slowly worked my way up the sides, pinning them out to the right width. I'd work 2 inches on one side, then four on the other, then back over to the first side for four more, etc.

I used almost every pin in the house:

It's done, and I'm hungry. Here are some close up shots of the body pattern:

The nupps on the edging:

Where the edging and the body meet up:

And the Extreme Close Up of the nupps on the border:

Specs: Pattern: Madli's Shawl, from Knitted Lace of Estonia (it's too close to lunchtime for me to hunt down links for y'all). Yarn: Creme Brulee silk and wool laceweight from Yarn Chef. Color was a custom order that was originally called Parchment. It looks antiqued. My photos don't do it justice, as usual. Modifications: I added a row of eyelets in the middle of the rows of garter stitch in between the border and the main pattern, just for kicks. I added two repeats to the length. Otherwise, knit as directed. Very pleased with the result.

There was some talk amongst the commenters to the last post expressing amazement at the concept of grafting purlwise (which was how I grafted the top border to the body of the shawl). When you do kitchener stitch, you're essentially hand-sewing in a row of knit stitches uniting your two pieces. You do this by grafting with the right sides of the pieces out. But what is a purl stitch? A knit stitch made on the wrong side of the fabric, right? So I held my pieces with the wrong sides facing out. Now my grafting was knit on the wrong side, purl on the right side. Easy peasy. Well, not easy peasy, but conceptually simple.

OK -- time to have lunch!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pre-Inaugural Round-Up Rodeo -- with Wollmeise!

On Saturday Mr. T took the kids off to the mall for some hanging out and movie watching, so I finally got to graft the edging to the main body of my Madli's Shawl. No tv, no music, no interruptions, I just sat there and grafted until I was done. 206 stitches later, my hands were cramped and I had a headache, but it was done, and done right. I put stitch markers in every ten stitches along both edges, so that I would know right away if I messed something up. The markers were very helpful, even though I didn't mess anything up. They provided a a nice visual confirmation that all was well, and that I was progressing -- if ever so slowly -- toward the end. Because this is a long weekend with everyone home, friends running about, football games on the telly, etc., I haven't had a chance to block the shawl, but I can show you a picture of the portion I grafted. I actually grafted this purlwise, because of the modifications I made to the edging:

I promise that I will provide more detailed pictures when I've blocked it.

There's been too much going on for me to start something complicated, so I've been working on the Twisted Tweed socks. I hope to have these done by tomorrow afternoon at the latest. I only have a few more repeats to go before the ribbing:

I've also started those Anne socks I mentioned a couple of days ago. Sr. Jr. had a dentist appointment this morning, so I sat and knit away. I've decided that these will be plain vanilla socks, so I can work on them without thinking, and perhaps even bring them with me to work on during the waiting periods when I get my first crown put on in a couple of weeks (ouch -- I need reassurance. This won't hurt too bad, will it? It's in an accessible place. Please?) I got the toe done and about an inch of foot:

And now, what I know some of you have been waiting for --

The Wollmeise

During the last Loopy Ewe update, I managed to snag two skeins of laceweight Wollmeise, one in Dornroschen (pinks and reds) and one in Single Malt:

The Single Malt just glows. I love it. I really didn't need two skeins of laceweight, though. (I know, some people out there are snorting and laughing right now.) I mentioned on the Loopy Groopy group on Ravelry that I was dying for a skein of Wollmeise in Poison No. 5 sock yarn, and fellow Raveler Faith offered to trade me two skeins of sock yarn for the laceweight Dornroschen. She offered me Poison No. 5 (yay!) and Versuchkanichen II, so off went my Dornroschen, and in return, my precious Poison No. 5:

It's just as beautiful in person as in all the photos I've seen. This is going to have to wait for the perfect pattern! I'd seen pictures of the Versuchkanichen II on The Loopy Ewe and on the Wollmeise site, but in real life, it's even more beautiful. I know my pictures don't do it justice, but here's a full shot:

And here are some close-ups of the colors at each end:

Wollmeise yarn is just gorgeous. The problem is that it's like crack. You'd think that I'd be satisfied now that I have a couple of skeins, but I'm not. MUST HAVE MORE. More pretty colors. MORE! I completely understand why people stay up until 3 am to try to catch the updates from Germany.

This was my first swap on Ravelry and it went really well. Faith was a great swap partner!

After all the inaugural brouhaha is over and the kids are back at school, I'll block out Madli's shawl and get some good pictures for you. Then, I need to think about what to knit next. Or crochet, perhaps? I really want to improve my skills (ok, get some skills).

Tomorrow, I will be watching the Inauguration in my warm family room, with a cup of tea, my knitting, and some commemorative chocolate. I think I hear the world breathing a collective sigh of relief that the Bush era is over.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Cute, huh?

Go to to make some of your own.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We bottomed out at 10 degrees this morning. Brrr! Yesterday was cold, too, in the 20s all day. I had a lot of running around to do, involving walks and parking meters, so my hands were nice and frozen for most of the day. But today will be worse. It's no fun standing at the bus stop in weather like this. Poor Sr. Jr. has to walk to school in this weather. It's a good thing he has a mom who knits him hats on demand. Oh, wait. Hmmm. He's lost it already.

Lord Love A Duckie

When I was a kid/teenager, my father had this horribly embarrassing tendency to break out into way off-key song at the mention of certain words or names. I had a friend named Lydia, for example. Every time I mentioned her name, he'd break out singing "Lydia, oh Lydia, the tattoo'd lady!" Drove me nuts.

I swore I wouldn't do this to my children. Believe me, I'm well aware that there will be, and probably already are, a million little ways in which I will embarrass my kids. But that won't be one of them.

But Sr. Jr. has a new friend. I haven't met him yet, but I've heard a lot about him. His name is Blaine. And wouldn't you know it, every time I hear his name, some compulsion overtakes me and I'm forced to blurt out "Blaine! That isn't a name! That's a major appliance!" (Hey, at least I'm not singing.)

Yes, this does drive Sr. Jr. nuts. I've explained to him that it's a line from a favorite movie from the olden days of the 1980's, but he doesn't care. I've explained to him that a good number of people from my general age group will have that same reaction, but he scoffs. He thinks I'm the only weird one.

So when Mr. T got home last night, the kids ran down to greet him. As they were all walking upstairs, I said, "Hey, J, tell Daddy about your friend Blaine!"

And echoing in the stairwell from behind the boys, I heard, "Blaine! That's not a name! That's a major appliance!" followed by a loud groan from Sr. Jr.

(Though I must say -- young, thin James Spader? Yum!)

Knitting Content, Allegedly

I still haven't finished up Madli's Shawl. The second border is re-knitted and ready to go. I need a good chunk of time when I will be completely undisturbed in order to do the grafting. I was hoping to have that today. We'll see. There are a couple of errands I need to run, and I don't know how long they'll take.

I've turned the heel on the second Twisted Tweed sock. I'm looking forward to having these finished. I like them a lot, but I'm getting sick of working on them. So...

When it's really cold outside, like it is now, the socks I routinely reach for are the ones I knit using Schaefer's Anne. The mohair makes these socks exceptionally soft and warm, cozy on a day like today. It's been a long time since I knit socks using Anne, so I went to my sizeable Anne stash to pick out a skein. I found a gorgeous one in blacks, reds, and oranges, very dramatic:

As usual, my pathetic camera skills don't do it justice. I can't remember when or where I got this skein. I'm debating now between knitting a plain vanilla stockinette sock, one I can carry with me to Sr. Jr.'s dentist appointment on Monday without fear of complicated patterning, or finding some pattern for it. Thoughts? These will be toe-up. I've divided the yarn so that I can just keep knitting until I run out of yarn.


In between dentist appointments, trips to the supermarket and the post office yesterday, I found time to stop at my favorite local chocolatier, Artisan Confections. I picked up a little box for myself, including their new flavors commemorating the inauguration of President-elect Obama -- a pineapple passionfruit, to honor his Hawaiian heritage, and a Kenyan coffee hazelnut one to celebrate his, yes, Kenyan heritage. One is labeled "Hope," the other, "Change."

Here's a closer look at the "Hope" chocolate:

At Long Last, Buh-Bye!

The Bush Administration is limping to a close. Despite all that's happening around him -- economic crisis, crisis in the Middle East, etc. -- Bush seems to be more concerned with his "legacy" (I'm so sick of that word) than with actual governing. One pundit, I can't remember who, said, "When President-elect Obama keeps insisting that there's only one President at a time, he's vastly overestimating the number of Presidents we have." Bush is spending his time on press conferences and speeches designed to offer one last stream of excuses and rationalizations for the ignorant, idiotic, and downright tragic decisions and omissions of his presidency.

I was outraged watching his last press conference. I couldn't decide if he was drunk or insane. He was "disappointed" at Abu Ghraib? The policies that allowed Abu Ghraib came from the highest levels of his administration. Those soldiers did not act in a vacuum.

He was "disappointed" that they didn't find any weapons of mass destruction? Why? All the intelligence and the inspectors on the ground said there weren't any. And hundreds of thousands have died, a country is destroyed, an entire region in peril -- and he's disappointed? As John Stewart said, "Disappointed is when they leave the lettuce off your sandwich. Disappointed is when you look at your Diet Coke cap and all you've won is another Diet Coke."

He said no one should say the government didn't do enough after Katrina. He didn't know what he could have done differently, save for landing Air Force One in New Orleans or Baton Rouge??? This was a disappointment??

These were not disappointments, these were tragedies. Moreover, these were tragedies brought about by the hubris and ignorance of his administration. His responsibility.

Good bye, and good riddance.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Warning: cranky blog post

It was a bad week. And a worse weekend. Sick kid, missing Wollmeise sock updates, even though I was really on top of things, little knitting time, bad knitting karma, feeling generally unappreciated, bleah. I suppose it could have been worse, but that would have involved things like car accidents, heart attacks, or tornados.

I did finish Madli's Shawl. Kind of. Almost. And then I unfinished it. I had the lower border and the main part all done, including two extra repeats for a bit of extra length. I had the upper border finished, too. I even got about 9/10ths of the way through grafting the two together. And it wasn't pleasant, either. The stupid yarn kept tangling up on me. Then I discovered that I had more stitches on one needle than on the other. That'll teach me not to attempt such a complicated operation when everyone's home.

I tried to unpick the graft, stitch by stitch, but again, everyone was home. So I sacrificed the border and managed to save all the main body stitches. Now I need to re-knit the border and somehow find enough alone time to graft the two together. This time I'm also going to place markers every ten stitches on both needles, so that if I go wrong, I can catch it earlier.

Here are some pictures of where the shawl stands:

As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to cast on for the border. Again. Hopefully for the last time.

I also fell off the yarn diet a little bit :) Etsy seller Squoosh has some gorgeous yarns! I got one skein of sock yarn and one skein of silk lace yarn. Check her out. Go. I'll wait.

Here are some predictably bad photos of her yarn, one with flash, one without:

Thanks for indulging my crankiness. Hopefully, I'll get the shawl finished without incident and get it blocked sometime this week, and the blog can go back to its normal state of being.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Slightly Late Year-End Wrap-Up

I've finished repeat #23 of 31 on Madli's Shawl. At the rate I'm going, it'll be June before this thing is finished. I won't foist another identical in-progress photo on you.

Instead, I present to you the First Annual SLWY Year-End Round-Up (TM). Between the blog and Ravelry, I have a convenient and handy compilation of what I've done.

I started off the year with a blocked Flower Basket shawl and a newly started Miss Lambert's Shawl. (Those projects seem like they were knitted forever ago!) I'm ending it with Madli's Shawl. I think I've knitted more lace this year than ever before.

Favorite Sweater FO of 2008: Gathered Pullover, without a doubt:


This is my new go-to sweater. It fits perfectly and goes with just about everything.

Favorite Vest FO of 2008: the Back to School Vest:


This just happens to be the only vest I've ever knitted, but I'm very happy with it.

Favorite Socks of 2008: The Deco Socks:


Favorite Lace of 2008: This one's tough. I really enjoyed knitting Star of Evening, by Anne Hanson. But the ones I wear most are my little Flower Basket scarf and Miss Lambert's shawl:

(Star of Evening)

(Miss Lambert's)

(Flower Basket)

Biggest Disappointment of 2008: Socks the Rock Sock Club. Out of all the patterns and yarns that were part of the club this year, I only liked two, and one I haven't even knit up yet. I think I've worn one pair, one time. I'm not a huge fan of STR to begin with, which should have been a clue, but I liked some of the previous offerings. Not rejoining.

Biggest Waste of Time of 2008: Spring Sweaters. I knit two this year, the Dayflower Lace Camisole and the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan. (I also finished up a tank from the year before.) I've never worn either one. I just don't have use for light sweaters.

Biggest Treat of 2008: My Mommy Vacation. No question about that. It was rejuvenating and productive. Heavenly. Amazing. Second Runner Up: Chocolates from Artisan Confections.

Favorite Book of 2008: This is a hard one to narrow down. I think I can narrow it down to an author, though: Maggie O'Farrell. She was a new discovery this year, one I look forward to hearing more from in the future.

Looking ahead to what I hope to accomplish for 2009 is more difficult. The reality of the new school schedule is that I have less time to do things than I did before, a reality to which I've been having a hard time adjusting. I'd like to get back into my exercise routine, which will inevitably cut down on my knitting time. I'd like to spin some more. I'd like to improve my crochet skills. I'd like to do more of my own designing. Problem is, there's little likelihood of me accomplishing all of that, or accomplishing all of that on a sustainable basis. So I'll probably muddle through, much like I've done so far, without as much of a sense of accomplishment as I'd like. But I will have some pretty finished objects; I will have read some great books; we'll have taken a wonderful and memorable vacation; the kids will grow, change, make me laugh, and make me pull out my hair; and another year will pass. That's not too bad, after all :)

Next: Hippo poo!