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Utah Grrls Rock

Another great way to chase away the winter blues and blahs is to hang out with grrlfriends and PARTAH!  Tuesday we held the 9th Anniversary celebration of the SLC SnB! For nine years we've been chatting, arguing discussing, laughing, knitting, and celebrating together, and we plan on at least 9 (or 49) more!

While going through the pictures it became very apparent that I am not great at taking candid shots as I'm in too much of a hurry. However, the beautiful hand knits deserve a showing, so I'm posting what I have.

To keep the gifts a secret they are hidden inside of paper bags and our founder, Laurie, does a great job of tossing the bags around the room until everyone has a gift. (heads up!)

Eileensmitten 198eileen
Click for bigger -Props to Cheryl for the photos of me and of Eileen.

I was the fortunate recipient of Eileen's warm and cozy Shepherd's Wool mittens! They fit as if made for my hands! As coincidence would have it, Eileen received the gift I knit, 198 Yards of Heaven, made with Berroco Vintage. It was a fun, quick knit.

Susanscowloncheryl Elizashatonsusan
received Susan's linen stitch cowl and Susan received Eliza's gorgeous hat. Gwen, who is sitting next to Susan, is wearing a scarf knit by Larisa.

Annascowloneliza Annaandherslipper
Eliza is wearing a cowl knit by Anna and Anna received slippers knit by Gwen. (They fit!)

Lauriesshawlforlarisa Betterpictureoflarisa
Larisa received Laurie's shawl and Laurie received a beautiful hat knit by Cheryl. Sadly my picture of Laurie wearing the hat did not turn out. Larisa may kill me for the picture of her with the shawl but, hopefully, this picture of her with Cheryl makes up for it.


Since this is my blog I'm going to share a bigger picture of the mittens, as I am very, very happy with my gift and my hands are nice and warm!

Thank you SnB Grrls for a wonderful night. Here's to many more!

Dead of Winter

We are in the thick of it, winter, that is, and this year "mom nature" has thrown everything she has up her sleeve at us. Thursday we had the very rare occurrence of freezing rain. We had fog, inversion, snow in all it's forms and bitter cold to boot. There has been bitter cold (pipes freezing, breaking, and winter ills of all sort.)  Monday morning, the commute was a horror (thankfully my commute is short), but early in the day the skies cleared and we enjoyed the beauty that is a January day, sun and pure white snow. More snow is expected this week and the inversion will start to make its return when the storms are over.  Oh joy, tis dead of winter.

There is no way to get around the season that is winter (nor the month that is January), that is unless you move to the equator (and I'm not about to do that), so here are a few of the things I do to get over myself and fend off the winter blahs.

Unless it isn't safe, get out of your house and walk around the block. If you read this blog it's likely you make wooly things, so wrap up in some of them and get moving. If nothing else, you'll be super happy when you come back into your warm home. If you absolutely refuse to get out in the cold and enjoy what you can of nature, then get to the gym. That's what I'm doing. The whole "Just do it?" that's what you do. New shoes help.

Do what you love to do, such as knit something new and WARM!  Make a new hat, make a quick pair of mitts, or slippers. (Quick and warm being the operative words.)

Give of your talents to others, such as, bake the neighbor a cake or a batch of cookies. Give time to a favorite charity. Give a smile, or let another car into your lane on the freeway. Buy lunch or cup of coffee for the person behind you in line.

Watch the birds. I saw a bird fluttering its wings just to stay still long enough to drink from a dripping ice-cycle. It was one of the coolest things ever.

Make a delicious warm meal, like veggie soup, or chili (I made this recipe over the weekend, but modified it by leaving out the beans and the brown sugar. They were not missed and it was delish!). I'm going to try this recipe very soon.

Buy seeds and layout plans for your garden. When the seeds begin to arrive (as ours have) you'll have tangible proof spring isn't far away. By the end of February you'll be able to plant seeds starts to get a jump on the growing season.

Go out and make a snowman or snow angels. Laugh, play, throw snowballs, and then come in and get warm with a big bowl of chili and your knitting!

This is my attempt to do Ten on Tuesday with Carole and the gang.

Ah, The Weekend

This is the best 20 minutes of sky from the weekend. Otherwise we had dense fog and inversion, icy rain, sleet, rain, hail and then actual snow.
The weekend started with a very fun night out for our anniversary (sushi!) and an evening of toasting and drinking. How we've made it 33 years is a wonder to us.
Every day this week I've been to the gym. The freedom to go when I wanted is a the treat of a long weekend. I am going to figure out my mornings, as soon as possible, and try to make a.m. trips, as my after work schedule is full this week. That's the hazard of putting it of.
Another treat of the weekend was the lifting of the inversion and January thaw from the bitter cold.
The bad event of the weekend is the water pouring into our basement. I found it when I picked up my knitting bag and it was soaked through (no knitting was harmed) and I realized the floor was too.
Nothing has been determined, but there is likely a broken pipe out in the front garden. In the meantime the 10 gallon bucket Smith rigged up to capture water during the night is 3/4s full.  We will be dry walling at least one wall once the source of the water is found.

Garden Goddess are freaked out because their new snowy frocks are so cold!
While we were chatting away at SnB the snow started to fall and within a short time our cars were covered with 3" of snow. The decision was made to cut our day short and head home. My usual trip is about 10 minutes on a Sunday, as there is no traffic. But, my trip home in the snow took 50 minutes and was, perhaps, one of the more frightening drives of my life. Thankfully, my tires are new and felt steady on the road, but my windows would cover with snow, fog, and packed ice, more quickly than I could clear them.
Who knows what the week will bring, but at the end of this week it will be February and January will fade from memory. Hasta la vista, baby.

So Sue Me

Even though I had yet another experience of messing up, tinking back, and reknit 2 rows, Quill grows still. However, I'm still living with the realization she could take considerable time to complete (we're talking months and months), as I am no longer a fast knitter.  What does a knitter do when the two projects in her knitting bag have no foreseeable end point?  You know very well what happens, and even though this isn't how I usually operate (unless it is a small, short diversion), I did it anyway.


I could give you my excuses, such as, my current projects are both on size 5 needles, which seems to be causing pain in my wrist after a time. And, add that to the fact that both projects are fingering weight yarn (which means months before completion) AND (oh dear dog, dare I say it) there is the project-boredom-factor (it IS the process, but still...), and then, well, I just couldn't help myself. (I am a grown up and I take responsibility for myself, at least most of the time.)

The idea popped into my head and that was all she wrote. I couldn't shake it, the desire, the absolute awareness, a strong feeling of THIS IS OKAY!, I knew it was the right thing to do and, therefore, I cast on for another sweater. There I said it.

Didn't see that one coming did you?


Several days later, she's coming along nicely.

Goodie Two Shoes


The air is so full of unhealthy particulate matter it’s unsafe for anyone to exercise outdoors and, to add insult to injury, this January is on track to be the 3rd coldest January ever.  As I was encouraged by several friends to get my ass to the gym, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

The one item of exercise wear I didn't currently own was a pair of good sneakers. Carole suggested I not scrimp on shoes. "It's so important that we take good care of our feet!' So...

Several times I week I drive by a store I knew could help me find the perfect shoe in the perfect fit. Saturday, instead of driving by, I went in. While I walked on a treadmill a specialist recorded my feet (and part of the leg), then played it back while explaining what was good (or problematic) with the way I walk. This information helps her recommend the right style/type/brand of shoe. It was up to me to try on shoe after shoe, comparing and contrasting them to each other, until I found a shoe that put a big grin on my face. It was then she knew we'd found the right fit.


There was a little more to it, along with finding the right insert and socks, but I won't bore you with all the details. My goal was to find the right shoe, not pick one in a color range I liked (I tried on bright white--yikes--and screaming GREEN!), but the right shoe was made for me in every way!

I tried them out at the gym right after my purchase and I can sincerely say, Carole was right!


Every year my company finds a service project for us to participate in as a way of honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.. This year the project turned out to be super fun. As a way to help the teachers of a local preschool for autistic children, we colored, cut and glued together folders of games and teaching aids.

The teachers had been taking home pages (and pages) to color on their own time. We saved them hundreds of hours of extra work. Our pages were color copied and laminated, so the pages could be used over and over again. It was wonderful day of service to our community and we all felt like we'd made a difference.

Not Ready For A Close Up

The trouble with Quill is she is not photogenic. She has me a ibt worried about her long term prospects. The poor thing was stuck in one spot for a long time, as I took a side trip for some secret knitting. Hopefully she did not feel abandon or feel as if she were an ugly duckling (even though she is).


Because I made an error several rows back, I had to tink 2 and a half rows. It took considerable effort and, possibly more time to tink them together. However, it did make me feel more productive. When finished I had a private little celebration (i.e. rye) and continued on.

To help the poor Quill feel better about herself, and to assure myself she is worth all this fuss, I must push on with her fancy dress up lacy border...and then there is the edging. Slowly, I have made my way to the half way point of the Old Shale border, which means she could remain non-photogenic for some time.

The book on my iPod (sorry no picture) is Stoner and I'm not quite sure how it ended on my "to read" list. I'm about half way through and, while the writing is excellent , and the book worth reading, I'm not sure I want to read another book about the life of a troubled/sad/unfulfilled man (The Lighthouse and Sense of an Ending come to mind).It last not for awhile. All three books were full of wonderful imagery, but the men, not all that likeable. I'll be looking for something light and fun for my next book.

Once again I'm joining Ginny in two of my favorite pursuits.

Who Me?

Carole's ToT for today is 10 Tips for Sticking With Your Fitness Routine and I really need to hear what everyone has to say.

My main fitness is being outdoors, but I'm a fair weather "doer". Winter takes away my desire, as I'm just not a fan of cold (or bad air). Yes, I can get warm by walking, but not when it's below, say, 20 degrees. I can dress warmly enough to get my walk on if it's not bitter cold.(It was 0 here yesterday morning and the inversion is back.)


I don't have a treadmill and, while I have a gym membership, I seem to be a gymaphobe. When it comes right down to it there are no excuses, but I still find many.  Can you see....I'm the one in need of help to get my move on. That or warmer weather.

As soon as the temperature is bearable to be outdoors. I'm going snow shoeing, walking, and perhaps hiking.

My #1 fitness thing, my only fitness thing, is to go out in nature, even for a walk around your neighborhood. It's amazing at what you'll see, who you'll run into, and how good you'll feel. You'll be doing something. It's the doing of something. Walking, even if it's just stroll, is better than doing nothing. 

Do you have one simple thing that motivates you? Are you fitness slug like me?