Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

As usual, it's been an amazing year, but I wish you the best year ever in 2011!


To start off the new year with a bang, we (planet earth) will experience a solar eclipse on the 4th of January. But wait, there's more!

The Eclipse will happen at the same time as one of the best meteor showers of the year! And as if that were not enough, Jupiter and Uranus will be in conjunction at about the same time.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to see even the partial eclipse on Tuesday morning (that's the best anybody's going to get). But it will happen, and it's extra exciting with all the other stuff that's happening up there.

If you have an iPad, there's a program (I think it's called Star Walk) that will let you hold your iPad up to the sky and label each star for you. I have an Android-based phone, and there's a program I have on the phone called Google Sky Map that will let me hold my phone up to the sky, and will label things so I can find them. This came in handy within the last two weeks to help me find the totally eclipsed moon when it was almost, but not quite, invisible in the sky. Once I was able to find it, I could see it, but it was so dark and so faint that I might not have found it on my own. It will also help find the constellation that the meteor shower will be coming from.

Holly pointed out to me something I hadn't realized. That is that if you point your phone down (in the Northern hemisphere), you can see the Southern sky on it! I haven't been able to test the iPad program extensively, but the Google one is awe inspiring! Oh, and the Google one is free, if you have the hardware to run it (any Android powered phone)!

Happy sky viewing!


I've been enjoying the Doctor Who marathon on BBC in America all today. It's going to continue through tomorrow, too, so you can see the new year in with the Doctor!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Holly!

Happy Birthday, Holly!

Today is my daughter, Holly's birthday, and I wish her the best birthday ever.

That may not happen because she has to work today in spite of how hard she tried to get the day off.

I'm sure she's gotten tired of hearing what a good kid she was, but as an example, her first words were "Thank you!"

I hope today is happy in spite of having to work.

Every so often, I've been going to Facebook and puttin up another verse from the SCA Birthday Dirge. You can type "birthday dirge" into any search engine and come up with a list of various verses, and they're quite entertaining.

It's sung to the tune of the Volga Boatmen, and there's an example of it being sung above.

Happy Birthday, Holly!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's grey, overcast and looks cold outside my window. We have snow flurries forecast for today, with a total expected accumulation of about an inch expected.

Perfect Christmas weather!

Enough snow to look beautiful, but not enough to be a serious problem. No snow has fallen yet, and what we got last week is gone except for where it's been shoveled up in piles and where it fell on the frozen lake behind my apartment. Here's what it looks like now.

You can see how cold and grey it looks. The two little lights are reflections of the lights I have in my window on the glass.

Here's what it looked like out my window the other day:

It kind of looks like a Christmas card, which is why I'm putting it up on the blog today.


I'm spending the day watching sappy Christmas movies (I TiVo'd It's a Wonderful Life, which is Lister's favorite movie, for you Red Dwarf fen) and plan to watch it in a bit, while finishing up the last little bit of most of the Christmas presents I've been making. I'm almost done, with the exception of presents for Holly, which I have started, but there's a lot to do to finish.

I don't expect to get to see anyone today to give them their presents, so it's OK. I really did want to have Holly's presents done for her in time for Christmas, though, even though I won't be seeing her today, or even on her birthday, which is Tuesday.


Knitters' Joy to the World
The following is sung to Joy to the World

     Joy to the world, the sweater's done.

     The vest is also knit.

     And socks and hats and mittens

     As warm and soft as kittens

     Are underneath the tree

     Are underneath the tree

     All knit, all knit, all knit by me

Have the best Christmas ever! I hope you get all the presents you want most, and a wonderful day with family and friends!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho!


'twas the night before Christmas and all around me

Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.

The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care

'Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there

The children were nestled all snug in their beds.

But I had not finished the caps for their heads.

Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,

And the sweater for him was six inches too small,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter

I put down my needles to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.

The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow

Reminded me how much I still had to go.

Out on my lawn I heard such a noise,

I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.

And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

But what I heard then left me perplex‑ed,

For not a name I heard was what I expected,

"Move, Ashford! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!

Move, Reynolds! Move Starmore! Move Froelich ‑‑move over

Paton, don't circle 'round; stand in the line.

Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!

I know this is hard; it's just your first year,

I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,

Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a‑grazing.

And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door

Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.

I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,

And as I turned 'round St Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,

And his clothes were handknit from above to below.

A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,

And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.

His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace

A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.

The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,

And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.

The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.

And suddenly on one I espied a small label,

"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,

And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff?"

He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.

I learned how to knit when I was a kid."

He was chubby and plump, a quite well‑dressed old man,

And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.

I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,

And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair,

He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap

Where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.

He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,

For the first time I thought I might really get through.

He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.

While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.

So quickly like magic his needles they flew

That he was all finished by quarter to two.

He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,

And over his shoulder he looked back at me,

And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,

"Next year start your knitting sometimes around June!

Have a happy Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice!

What a magical night last night was! The moon rose on the other side of the building I live in, and I didn't see it earlier.

At about 3 am, I looked out the window and didn't see it. It turns out that it was there, but the eclipse had progressed to the point where it was so dark that I didn't notice it.

At quarter after three, I pulled on my coat, grabbed my keys, and went out in front of the apartment building I live in. After just a moment of scanning the sky, I spotted it.

I've seen total lunar eclipses before, and they're usually quite rusty red, but this one was exceptionally dark. It's possible that there was a light cloud cover. I couldn't see any stars, so that's quite possible.

It was a magical experience!

The air was crisp and frosty, and although I was standing in a parking lot, there are trees all around, and the lot is right next to a park. Totally magical!

I went inside, and since I now knew where to look, I was able to track the start of the return of the moon over the next hour or so, when I gave up and went to sleep.

I wanted to take a photo, but from experience, I knew that even a full moon needs some extra contrast to be visible from a camera, and the moon was so dark at totality that I could barely see it, so I knew it would be unphotographable. I put up some photos of previous lunar eclipses in my post yesterday, so if you want to see them, just keep reading when you finish this post.

I've read that it won't happen on the Winter Solstice again for another 400 years.

Today is the day when we have the longest night and the shortest day. But each day until the Summer Solstice will get longer! The moon coming back was a symbol of the hope and happiness of the season.

And if it's the Solstice, can Christmas be far behind? No, four days until Christmas! Keep knitting those presents!


I intend to make today a day of finishing Christmas projects. I have a bunch of them started and nearly finished. I also intend to write out Christmas cards. I intended to do it last night, but wasn't as organized with my addresses as I thought I was. And I was distracted by the eclipse.

For those knitters out there who are running out of time to finish Christmas presents, (and those that aren't) Knit Picks has a page full of all kinds of freebies! There are free Christmas patterns, gift tags and care tags to print out and, most important, a batch of IOU certificates for those presents that you just couldn't finish!

It's exactly what you need at this point!

Have a wonderful Winter Solstice!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Starts Spectacularly This Year!

The Winter Solstice is tomorrow, or more accurately, very early tomorrow morning (technically).

One thing that makes the Winter Solstice special this year is that there will be a full moon, which (I suspect) is unusual, but even more than that, there will be a total lunar eclipse!

According to the NASA page on this eclipse, the best time to watch it will be at 3:17 am if you live on the East Coast, like me. This is the time that it will be at it's height, although it will start at 1:33 am. For people on the West Coast, it will start at 10:30 pm tonight, and be at it's best at 12:17. For those of you who live in the middle of the country, the times will be in the middle of those two.

Doesn't that look like it should be on the cover of an Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars book?

I woke up today thinking that the most important thing I wanted to do was blog about this today, and found this link in my email from my sister.

In case it's overcast where you are, or you just don't want to brave the cold, you can join Up All Night with NASA to see the whole thing on your computer. Here's another link that lists other places you can watch the eclipse at the end of the article. You can find many more articles about this on any of the web search engines. Just look for "Lunar Eclipse" or "Lunar Eclipse tonight" for many more links.

You might want to check and see if you get NASA TV from your cable provider, too. If they're doing that on the internet, they'll probably be doing something on TV, too. I don't seem to have NASA on my line-up anymore, but I used to have it at one time, so I know there is such a thing. It's worth checking out.


They had a Christmas party last week at the apartment place where I live. I missed it, but they caught up with me on Friday and gave me my Christmas present.

There was one leaf from a book of Christmas postage stamps, a coupon for a free sandwich from Chick-Fill-A, and a $25 gift card to Giant supermarket. I went to Giant today with my gift card and cleaned up! I bought a six pack of Woodchuck Granny Smith Cider so that I'll have something sparkling to drink to celebrate on New Year's Eve, a copy of the new Knit Simple Magazine, and some Christmas cards to send out with the stamps I was given. I thought I wasn't going to be able to afford Christmas cards this year, but it looks like I'll be getting at least a few of them out.

The Knit Simple Magazine has some really nice knits in it. As usual, although I like them, I immediately want to change them all around. If you follow that link and scroll down, they're giving away a kit to knit the cowl on the cover, so you may want to enter that.

I want to knit this long vest, but I want to knit it in lighter weight yarn (or maybe the same yarn, but using just a single strand) either in that length or maybe shorter. This would look good knit from Plymouth Yarns Encore Tweed, too. The composition of the yarn is about the same as, and the weight is the same as the yarn used for this, but the yardage per ball may be different, so you might have to do some math.

There are some other nice things to knit in the issue, too, and the first link has photos of all the projects if you click on "fashion preview."

One of the neat things they show in the beginning of the magazine is this set of markers to help you keep track of where you are in your knitting. I like the idea, especially since stars are my favorite shape. If you're into do-it-yourself, you could make these out of shrink plastic, too. And, if you wanted to, you could use lobster claw clasps (made to fasten jewelry) instead of safety pins.

I can't seem to leave anything alone, I just think of five ways to improve anything I see, and then make it myself. I make stitch markers using the loop part of of loop-and-bar jewelry clasps and charms that have a design on one side and are plain on the other to use when I have to do something every other round. I put the design facing me when I start a round where I have to increase, decrease, or a pattern row, and slip as to knit each time I come to it so that the plain side gets a row that's knit plain.  You would think you could remember which row you're on until the phone rings or somebody knocks on the door and you put your knitting down. Then you pick it up later and I, for one, haven't got a clue.

These make fabulous, make it at the last minute presents for other knitters, by the way, especially if you happen to have the ingredients on hand from other projects.


There are two Castle reruns on tonight, along with a new Hawaii Five-O. In other words, science fiction is a casualty of the Christmas season tonight, so if you really need your SF fix, you'd better break out the DVDs!


I'll finish up today with something that my sister sent me in an email today:

A Little Christmas Story

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more. 

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where. 
Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered. 
Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom. 
Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree. 
The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?' 
And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree. 
Not a lot of people know this. 
Happy Holidays!

I wish you the best possible week leading up to Christmas (today's Monday and Christmas is Saturday, in case you're as oblivious as I've been at times).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

One Week from Today, It Will Be Christmas!

One of the things that prompted me to interrupt my schedule and post today is that Lion Brand Yarn sent me one of their newsletters with Lola doing a Christmas thing in it. Check it out here. You can get a weekly newsletter from them here.


This post may have a lot of links in it. My sister sent me a virtual Christmas card, and I loved it, so I'm sending it to you, too.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Only Nine Days 'till Christmas!

To get me in the Christmas spirit, Mother Nature dropped about an inch or two of snow on the Northern Virginia area (or NoVA, as the natives call it). It looks like this:

I took this photo out my window, and I think it looks like a Christmas card, so I thought I'd let you enjoy it, too.


I'm trying to get back to posting more often. Hopefully, every day, or nearly. I've been so busy knitting Christmas stockings to sell. I put almost all my free money into them, and none has sold yet. It sounded like such a good deal! It should take three days from ordering until you get one in the US, so there's still time to order!

That's the base of a small lavender Christmas tree in the upper left hand corner of the photo.


There was a lot of Burn Notice on USA today because they're building up to the two hour season finale tonight. It starts an hour early, so don't miss it! They've been saying that it's totally amazing on Twitter.

BBC in America seems to be rerunning all the Doctor Who Christmas specials this week. The Runaway Bride is on right now and will be repeated tomorrow morning. I caught a rerun of a Christmas episode of The Vicar of Dibley yesterday, and someone told a joke that I had missed the first time I saw it.

It goes:
Knock, knock.
Who's there.
Doctor Who.
OK, it's what you might expect from a joke I got from The Vicar of Dibley.

Buck up, I did see a trailer for the Christmas Special for Doctor Who on BBC in America, and they said that Christmas will not come late in the US, because they'll be showing the Doctor Who Christmas special (A Christmas Carol) on Christmas day! I wanted to get up and cheer!

It looks like there's a new The Big Bang Theory on tonight! Almost everything else except Burn Notice is a rerun, though.

Have a really wonderful evening, and best wishes on getting all your Christmas shopping done in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eleven Days Until Christmas!

Time is moving way too fast for me, as it usually does at this time of year! It seems like there should be more time until Christmas!

I'll bet you're all feeling the same way.

If you still have Christmas presents to make, there is my Santa Hat,  which is a quick knit, but there's also my Dicky Pattern, which is another quick knit.

There's also my Watch Cap pattern and a version of Crazy Aunt Purl's beret translated to a worsted weight yarn. You can read Crazy Aunt Purl and get her original beret pattern for heavier yarn by clicking here.


I'd like to write more today, but Comcast is at a point where it's internet connection almost isn't working at all, it's so bad. So there won't be much more to this post.

The CW will be running two hours of Vampire Diaries reruns every night all this week. There will be a new Human Target tomorrow night. And if you're looking for some good, offbeat Christmas programs,  Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Leverage have had great Christmas episodes on in the past week which will be repeated to death between now and Christmas. Keep an eye out for them!

Have fun until I can get Comcast to actually provide internet service again!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thirteen Days Until Christmas!

There can't possibly be only thirteen days until Christmas!

There's so much to do!

Bet you said that to yourself a dozen times today!

I finally got the stockings I've made up on the internet on both Art Fire and Etsy. This is a great way to package a present to give, and the stocking will hold more than you probably think it will. I'll have the pattern ready to sell real soon now. They don't take long to knit.


USA has made this a very Indiana Jones weekend, and you might have time to catch Kingdom of the Crystal Skull if you read this right after it goes up on the internet.

I have to go. I still have a few more stockings to knit.

I hope you've been having a fabulous weekend!

Monday, December 6, 2010

19 Days Until Christmas

Yes, I know that the title of this post is totally annoying, but it just doesn't seem real to me. We just finished Thanksgiving, and there should be a whole month left, at least.

I can't believe how much I haven't done.

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot that I have done. I'm the eternal optimist, though, and I always think I can get done lots more than it's humanly possible to do!

I'm usually disappointed.

I'm determined to get the Christmas stockings up on Angel Fire and Etsy tomorrow. I also intend to go to Joann Fabrics and WalMart, and write out the pattern for the stocking and get that up on both stores, too. That's physically impossible to do all that (given that I don't have a car, and the bus/waiting at the bus stop/walking time for that trip alone is about three hours, not counting the time actually in the stores) so it's pretty apparent that it's not going to get done.

Here's the photo of one of the almost finished stockings (again). I have to do some good photography of a finished stocking tomorrow, too, to get it listed and for the pattern.

This is a great way to package many different Christmas presents, folks, so if you're interested, check back tomorrow in case I manage to get it all up on the internet with a good photo! The one here doesn't really show off the beads and sparkle, not to mention that it's not blocked.


No Chuck tonight! I'm going through withdrawal! And there's no The Event, either!

There's a new Hawaii Five-O, and I think Castle is new tonight, too, although I'm not certain.

Tomorrow, Syfy is having a Warehouse 13 marathon during the day, and two Christmas specials in the evening. The specials are Eureka and Warehouse 13, and you can bet that they'll be repeating the heck out of both of them between now and Christmas, so don't worry if you miss them.

The Golden Compass seems to be up for grabs this Christmas season, and a couple of the networks have run it so far (the tail end is on Syfy right now), so it'll probably be on again a few times between now and Christmas. If you've read the books, you'll see that they did an excellent job of putting it on the big screen. The problem is that it's really the first third of a story (like Fellowship of the Ring is the first third of a story), and they haven't made the other two thirds. Considering that the girl who plays Lyra is growing up, the other two movies seem unlikely. But if you liked the books, you'll like the movie, and there are some interesting knitwear in if for you knitters.

There's lots of Christmas programming on, and I'm a sucker for those kinds of movies. Eloise at Christmas was on this past weekend, and will probably be repeated sometime before Christmas. The main networks that seem to be showing this kind of stuff seem to be: Lifetime Movie Network, ABC Family and Hallmark. If you have a kid, both of the Eloise movies are a good option if you're going to watch a movie with them.

Have a terrific evening!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

An Exhausting, Really Neat Day!

Yesterday started really early for me. It might not be early for most people, but it was for me.

I was out at the bus stop at 8:30, after making a purchase and getting cash back at CVS so that I would have money for the bus and Metro.

The bus took me up to the Pentagon, where I got on the Metro and went to where I could get a bus to the audiology lab.

I had some time to wander around and get lunch and do some window shopping.

I had a long conversation with the audiologist, and she adjusted the hearing aids I have now, and they are so much better!

Although it sounds loud enough that I can hear it when somebody talks to me (with or without the aids), usually it sounds like a lot of random sounds with only an occasional word or phrase that I can identify. After the adjustments, I can understand almost everything that's said to me with only an occasional word that I can't get. And there's not much extraneous, distracting sound like there used to be!

The aids I have now are completely inadequate, though, and I'll be getting behind the ear aids because my hearing has gotten worse, and that's the only type that will correct the problem.

In addition to just the aids, they will have Bluetooth capability (as they said on The Big Bang Theory, "Everything's better with Bluetooth!"), and I'll be getting something called a "loop" which will convert my aids into the equivalent of earbuds!

I'll be able to hear music again!

And, as if all that wasn't enough, they asked me what color I want! Wow! I'll be getting Navy blue aids!

I'm so excited, I can't tell you!

And then I had to wait for the bus for an hour at the Pentagon, but I got to watch the planes taking off from National. I love to watch planes! It's not as much fun as flying them, but I take what I can get.

It was a long and exhausting day, but a lot of fun!


Update on my previous discussion of ebook readers/tablet PCs: I may not have mentioned the Galaxy Tablet, which is available for the major cell phone companies. It's an ereader and a lot more. It has Bluetooth, and can be used as a phone, it has two cameras, one forward facing and one backward facing, so it can be used to take photos and email them or send them to another cell phone, or for teleconferencing! It's Android powered, like many of the phones and tablets out there, and there are already lots of apps for it! It costs a bit more, but has a lot more capability.


While I'm on the subject of cool stuff that's available to give (or get) for Christmas, I got an email from some people who have been sending me info for a little while now. They have an amazing range of stuff, some of it relatively inexpensive, that would make fabulous Christmas gifts. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see how to enter for their iPad giveaway. This is the 32 gig model with wifi, which is a step up from most of the iPad giveaways out there. Entry to the giveaway is free, so give it a shot!


Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's the First of December, and There Are Only 24 Days Until Christmas!

Happy December!

I can't believe it's December already!

There are still Christmas presents to make!


I have an appointment at the VA Hospital in DC on Friday, and I thought I could find some helpful person or agency that would give me a ride over there. I've been trying, but it hasn't worked out. So, it looks like I'm going to have to be out at the bus stop early, and probably won't be home until the last bus arrives here. There's going to be a lot of walking, and I'm not only going to be exhausted when I get home, but in lots of pain from so much walking.

I'll be talking to someone about getting new hearing aids, and probably getting an ear mold so that they can make the hearing aid just for me. The aids I have now can't be adjusted adequately so that I can actually hear right anymore.

That means that I'm going to have to do this all again when the aids are ready for me to get them.

I'm not looking forward to the trip on Friday or the other one, although I'm hoping that they'll be able to do something that will actually help me hear.

I have in-ear aids, and they just can't provide enough amplification for my right ear, so I'm probably going to have to go to a whole different kind of aid.

I guess I'll find out on Friday.


Signature Needle Arts is having a sweepstakes! The prize is a Signature gift card, so if you're a knitter or want to buy for a knitter, check this out! It looks, if you just read the headline, like you need to buy something to enter, but if you skip down to the fine print at the bottom, there is a way to enter without purchasing anything. When I click on the official rules link, nothing happens, but there is an email address to send for the rules.

Good luck!


Knit Picks currently has many of their books available with a fairly large discount. If you're looking for knitting books for someone, it might be a good idea to check it out.


The major good thing on tonight is Human Target. Wednesdays are pretty disappointing, but I believe there's a new episode of Psych, too, and they've really been promoting it. It's worth checking out.

Have a fabulous evening!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm Back

Comcast internet was down for a while around here. My internet service with them has been bad for a long time, but this is the first time my internet service has been completely gone!

Since my landline phone connects to the world through the internet, it wasn't working, either. My cell phone insisted that wifi wasn't working and quit, too. It came back when I turned off wifi, when it switched to being an actual phone.

So, I called Comcast on my cell, and got an out-of-order notice. Their phone service was gone. Their website was down, too.

I got an email from them this morning that said they were experiencing "widespread involuntary maintenance." I got the impression that nature played a nasty trick on them.

I wouldn't be upset with them if this was the only time there had been a problem, but my TV service has been an ongoing problem for 4 years, and internet doesn't work too good, either.

If it was possible to get service from anyone else, I would.


Holly went to Michigan and (among other things) gave Malaia and Johnny their Christmas presents.

Here they are with their presents:

Johnny got a hat, mitts, and a hood. Malaia is wearing the hood in this photo. Malaia got socks, which she is wearing on her hands for the photo.

Johnny's presents are made with Classic Worsted Tapestry in Loden, which I showed a photo of a few posts back, while they were still balls of yarn. He wore the hat and mitts over the weekend when he went skeet shooting. I hadn't thought about it, but this yarn is not only handsome (Holly described it as "very manly"), but is an effective outdoor camouflage for this time of year.

The hood is from my wimple and hood pattern, and the mitts are from my long, short and easy mitts pattern. The hat is from the Watch Cap pattern available free by clicking on the link in the sidebar.

Malaia's socks are made from Red Heart Heart & Sole sock yarn in toasted almond. She wanted socks last year, and this year she's gotten them. I made three pair of them for me and liked them so much I wanted three more pair, but when I started knitting the second set of three, the more I looked at them, the more I kept thinking they looked like they should belong to Malaia. So, she got three pair of socks.

I'm working on a new line of patterns, and the pattern for the comfy socks will be one of the new ones. I designed these socks to be similar to some socks that were created for an made for diabetics. Holly doesn't have diabetes, but someone recommended them to her and she said they were the most comfortable socks she's ever worn, so I made similar socks with modifications for hand knitting.

Well, that's two presents down, and it means that I can show a lot of what I'm making for Christmas on my blog because Malaia was the one who was reading my blog and was certain that anything I made was for her.

While we're on the subject of knitting patterns, the free Santa Hat pattern is still up on my blog.

This is a quick and easy knit that will keep your head warm and look festive for the holidays. You can make it in more traditional colors (like red), too. I made one last year for Robin in his favorite color, all black. I like mine in navy blue, though. It blends with my coat and other clothes, and still manages to look Christmassy.


If you're interested in buying a tablet computer, either for yourself or as a Christmas present, I put together a page where you can find many of the current contenders. These are not always the best deals, but they not only have the specs for each computer, but also reviews from customers who have bought and used them. Hope this helps.


There's a new Chuck on tonight, along with a new The Event and Hawaii Five-O! Chuck and The Event are really dynamite!