Sunday, December 31, 2006


Well, my knitting resolutions are quite simple:

Learn to knit socks
Make myself a sweater

On the personal front:
(Try) going to the gym at least once a week

Happy New Year everyone.

Knitnmom's 2007 Resolutions

Well, this is the perfect task for me. Real-life resolutions are no fun! ;-) So the past couple of years I've been writing Knitting Resolutions. Here are mine for 2007:

1. Complete my Sweater
2. Start a Knitting Gallery - actually did it already - but it counts! ;)
3. Take pictures of all my projects and put in Gallery
4. Knit my first lace project
5. Knit Personalized Christmas Stockings for C1, C2, B3 and baby W. to be born in 2007 (all family members)
6. Knit at least one item for each charity that my local group sponsors.


New Years Resolutions

Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful holiday decorations and inspirational stories that went along with them. It was so much fun being able to take a peek into your homes and lives during this holiday season.
Now it's time for......New Year's Resolutions! You know, those things we make and never keep. Share yours for a chance to win a mystery prize!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Christmas full of meaning

I'm including images of our tree and most meaningful decorations...which means it is the whole tree. This Christmas has been one where my family has counted its blessings. One month ago, my dad came home after spending almost an entire month in ICU. (I'm also behind on thanking everyone for their prayers and emails...Thank you!) Most weekends had been spent traveling the 400 miles between us, which meant my high school math students had to all pitch in and help in ways they thought weren't possible. As soon as I wasn't traveling for Dad, it was time for my son's wrestling season to it was back on the road again. All during this time, I am taking college classes for my math minor and Mathematics Education Masters...all because until last year I was an 18 year veteran K-8 teacher. (I even had 6 years in a 1 room K-8 school.)

School got out at 12:30 Dec. 22, with basketball beginning at 3, going through 9, a dance starting at 9, going through 12 (my dd was thequeen of the dance too!). The next morning, we all packed up the apartment (the farm is 30 miles to the north of Chester) where my dear hubby was waiting to take the kids up into the hills to gather this gorgeous tree. This gave me much needed time to clean house...whew! The ornaments you see on the tree are from each of the kid's collection. Delaney has received the Hallmark puppy ornament per year. That makes 16 of these cuties, as I began the collection the year I found I was pregnant with her. Garrett's collection has been ended by Hallmark, but we have each of the crayon ornaments as well as other ornaments which have meaning for each of the children. The only other singular ornament is Dopey. Eleven years ago, my niece lost her battle with cancer. She loved this little dwarf, so each year, we place it near the top of our tree to keep her close to our festivies.

I know it isn't only one decoration...but it is one tree!
Blessings to you all,
Most of our Christmas decorations haven't surfaced since the move, so I picked my favorite from the ones that wound up on the tree this year.


When my mom first started doing ceramics years ago, there was a mold company that had a zillion cute little ornaments with mice on them. There was one napping in a hurricane lamp, one climbing up the side of a clock, and as a little girl I wanted all of them.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A few of my favorite things

Here's a photo of my favorite ornament. This wee little teddy bear was made in Poland from real bear fur in the "last century." My mother and I were shopping one Christmas season when I found him. Whenever I hang him on the tree I'm reminded of past Christmases, my family and my first "big purchase" with babysitting money. This year, however, he's taking a breather on the bench so I can take this photo.
On the right is part of a Dept. 56 village. There used to be a store here that had absolutely fabulous displays of all the villages, and it was one of the shops that my daughter and I used to visit every time we were in town when she was little. (Not that she's all that big now--she's only 11). With all these visits they certainly knew her by name. One time when we visited, the staff was terribly excited and couldn't wait to show her a new piece that had come in--a farm house called--"Crosby House." I'm sure it was named after Bing Crosby but he wasn't/isn't the only one with the family name of Crosby. My DD was just thrilled to learn that there was a house named after her. Needless to say I had to get it and now it is proudly displayed every Christmas.--Stephanie

A Hayden decoration

My niece and her husband and daughter were to come at Thanksgiving but decided that at 8 months pregnant, a four hour drive might not be the best thing to do. Hayden was born the following Friday, December 1. He weighed in at 10.4 pounds and it was a vaginal birth. To be honest, when I heard 10.4 pounds, I thought that she is a much better woman than I and he must be a bruiser. But, in fact, he is just a super cuddler and 10.4 pounds is still very little when you are holding him in your arms. AHHHH, it was heavenly. Mom, on the other hand, had some serious hematomas followed by hemorrhaging, had to have two relatively minor surgeries the day after his birth to stop the bleeding plus four pints of blood and they both enjoyed a five day stay in the hospital with the doctor telling her that the next one will be a C-section.

Anyway, for 2007, this is my most favorite Christmas decoration! By the way, as soon as this pic was snapped, his outfit and my sweater both ended up in the wash . . . . and his formula is one of those wonderful ones that permanently stains everything it comes in contact with!

I disliked the sweater anyway, it never fit right and the arms are way too long and I was way to lazy to frog and redo.

Christmas Day Delivery

Thank you Karen!! Look what the postman delivered Christmas Day:

The book: "The Mammoth book of history of Whodunnits"; looks very interesting, a magnetic butterfly bookmark, a pattern for a Ballband Purse (should be very fun to make, I love the dishcloths), lots of notecards (love the knit knit knit one) small tin of candy, my very favorite smelling candle, a green dishcloth and 2 postcards, one from Door County, WI and one from the Broofield Zoo. Karen is from Chebanse IL.

I am overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness, thank you again.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My Favorite ornament

My whole tree is really special with all types of birds, nests, peacock feathers and other little critters. But there are two special bells that make my tree really special. A gold one and this one here. It doesnt't look like much, it is rather old, and really meaningful. These hung on my parents first Christmas tree when they got married (1948), and my Mom's first Christmas in this country. Every year they have a special place on my tree. (Mostly now when they both are gone.) My hubby puts up the tree and he decorates it every year. It is his thing to do and he does a great job!

Magic Tree

I do not have one favorite ornament, they are all very special to me. Some are from my childhood, some from when my husband and I were first married and some from my children and lots from other family members and friends. They all look wonderful on the tree.

To borrow a phrase from Mrs. Teagan "It's a magic Christmas Tree, no matter how full your tree may look, you can always find room for one (or two or three) more ornaments.
Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A favorite decoration

This is one of my favorite Christmas decorations. It's little snowmen hanging from garland and each snowman has one of our names painted on his hat. My sil made it for me several years ago, which is probably the main reason it's a favorite. This year, it's hanging over my kitchen window.

Favorite Decoration/Ornament

I have so many favorite ornaments! My Christmas tree gets smaller and smaller every year, and I have room for fewer and fewer ornaments. I always have room for my 'teacher' ornaments though. During the last 25 years, I have collected many of them from students, and they are all very special. Ornaments are my very favorite teacher gift, because they bring back memories each year as I decorate the tree. This year, I would have to pick the one from my favorite student of all (don't tell!). It's from Tori of course (my granddaughter).

Post your favorite holiday decoration or ornament and send me your address and you will receive this genuine Whoduknit magnetic bookmark!

My Favorite Christmas Decoration!

Hey Everyone! Here is a photo of my favorite Christmas decoration. The year before I got married (29 years ago), I was really into ceramics and made everything I could get my hands on. I met my hubby in September and we got married the next January and I spent a lot of time at his apartment during the holidays. We needed some decorations and didn't have a lot of money, like most folks. I strung popcorn and put sticks of gum and candy canes on the tree that Chuck cut down in the woods. I also made constructions paper chains to put on it. But the best was this ceramic tree that I made that year. We put it out every year as a reminder of our very first Christmas together. It has made it through three moves, grandkids and all the puppies that have come and gone over the years. It is missing some of the bulbs in a few places, so I guess I need to find a ceramic shop and get some more to fill in the blanks and find a new star for the top. This decoration has meant more to me than any other that I have held onto over the years. I even have some pieces of the original construction paper chain that was on our first tree. Hope you enjoy my memories!

Holiday Swap Package has arrived!

A great big special THANK YOU to Janet, who only lives two states away in Pinehurst, NC.

My box was sitting against the garage door last night when I came home from work. I was so excited, I ran up the driveway to get the box. I got three books that look wonderful and wish I wasn't in the middle of one now, or I would start on one of them. There is a post card showing me the beautiful state of NC, it went on the fridge with the family photos. I also got two skeins of sock yarn and a pattern for socks, which I don't know how to do, so it is the perfect time to learn. I love the varigated blues. The pattern don't look that hard, so as soon as I finish the scarf that I have to make this weekend, I might just get started on me a pair of new blue socks.

Janet, you are wonderful! Love ya!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thank you Stephanie!

I got a great Whoduknit Holiday Swap package yesterday from Stephanie. Look at the goodies!
She sent 2 great books, some lovely stitchmarkers, a cute felted ornament, and a wonderful binder full of knitting tips and info. I felt spoiled! Thanks again.

More pics on the blog.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hodge-Podge group photo

I did not make 1 big project for November and December, I made many many small ones. Here they all are:

2 Button Hole Purses (Mason Dixon)
2 Felted Boxes (Mason Dixon)
4 1-Hank hats (Plymouth Yarns)
2 dishcloths (Winterwonderland Swap)
1 1/2 mitts (for ???)
3/4 of an "It felt random" tote (mine, if I ever finish it...uuugghhh, Jane - how do you make so many of these??

Must finish these last 2 items, need to learn how to make socks and a sweater. Oh, plus 2 new purse patterns I found and some felted me please!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Pony (Express) staggers in!

My Whoduknit Secret pal was worried that my package hadn't arrived yet. She sent it via the USPS (or, as she called it, Pony Express). Well, it came today, and no wonder it took a while. Not only did it come all the way across the country, but it was chock full of wonderful stuff. Poor pony! He was all weighed down! Take a look at this bounty!

2 books, both of which sound great, a cookie cookbook and a cookbook from what I am guessing is her school. There's also some yummy chocolate raspberry sticks, which Dave will steal, as Harry Potter would say "Faster than blinking".

My pal wanted me to guess who she is, so I did some sleuthing. As you can see in the photo, there's a bookmark with our logo on it. I guessed that this meant my pal is one of the main organizers of our merry band. There's also another adorable bookmark, which says "Teaching is a work of heart". Now, either she's a teacher herself or she knows I teach at at American River College here in Sacramento (go Beavers!!). So that was another clue. The card told me she is from Maine. In the cookbook, one recipe contributor's name popped out at me: it was Jane, of course! I love everything in the package, Jane. Thanks so much!! (Notice how confident I am that it really was Jane. Hope I'm not completely wrong!)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Entrelac Scarf

Here is the entrelac scarf finally on the blocking boards. I washed it in woolite and it is now so soft. I am working on the hat to match and if it ever gets cold here is GA, I'll wear them.

Entrelac is really an easy technique to learn. It is no where near as hard as I thought it would be. It took me about a week to do the scarf which is a lot longer than I usually spend on one. But, with having to do each triangle and rectangle individually, it does take some time, but not hard to do.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Three Cheers and a Thank you

As we get close to winding down this year, I just want to take an opportunity to thank all of you. You have been encouraging, funny and enjoyable friends.

I would like to especially take time to thank Jane for keeping this whole thing going. We met as One Skein Secret Pals and, as they say, the rest is history. Thanks for inviting me to join this group. Thanks to for making this group fun with your added mysteries and activities.

May you all enjoy a wonderful and joyous holiday season.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Thank You Patty

I received the most awesome package from my Whoduknit Holiday Swap Pal Patty.
I was Patty's upstream SP on a KTC book swap awhile back and we have been friends ever since, e-mailing often. Patty really put one over on me in true Whoduknit fashion - Little did I know that the e-cards and e-mails I was receiving from my SP were actually from Patty - pretty sneaky! Please come on over to my blog and see the details of all the wonderful things that Patty sent.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

January/February Book Nomination Reviews

Here are some reviews of the books nominated for January/February. The poll is here and will close on December 16. The book with the most votes will be our January read, and the one that comes in second will be our February read. They are all good!!!!

Murder Uncorked by Michele Scott

When Nikki Sands accidentally spills a drink on a nasty bimbo she was serving at her waitress job, she has no idea how it is going to change her life. The bimbo starts making a scene so Nikki quits. While getting a drink across the street, in walks the bimbo's date, the hunk. He buys her dinner. He was so impressed with her wine knowledge at the restaurant, so he has her order the wine for their dinner.

After dinner he offers her a job at Maleveaux Estates, a Napa Valley winery. He is Derek Maleveaux. Having nothing to lose, she flies with him to his winery to look into this job.

As Nikki is settling in at the guest cottage, she notices something strange outside. When she goes outside to check it out, she finds the murdered corpse of Gabriel Asant, Derek's winemaker and friend.

Nikki, a wannabe actress, once played a detective on TV, so she decides to do some investigating. The police are interested in Derek. She doesn't believe he did it.

Between the rival winery, Derek's strange family, and Gabriel's women, Nikki has plenty of people to investigate. But can she do that without becoming a victim herself?

Motor Mouth Janet Evanovich

At the start of this cool comedy thriller from bestseller Evanovich, her second novel to star Alexandra "Barney" Barnaby (after 2004's Metro Girl), Barney and her unfaithful NASCAR racing honey, Sam Hooker, find themselves in trouble after discovering the shrink-wrapped body of ruthless businessman Oscar Huevo in a rival racer's car hauler. The pair must pull together to protect a high-tech gizmo that can revolutionize racing-and save their lives. Evanovich burns some rubber and only hits the brakes a few times, thanks to her bright dialogue, race-track savvy and expert depiction of romantic mayhem. Though sometimes it seems as if she's still taking a test drive with this new cast of eccentrics, the pages fly by as the racy tension between Hooker and Barney adds heat to the fun. Action on the menu includes destruction of valuable race cars, a dognapping and a kidnapping. While Barney isn't likely to beat Stephanie Plum in a popularity contest, she's still a hoot.

"Crocodile on the Sandbank," by Elizabeth Peters.
This is the first title in the Amelia Peabocy series, and was first
published in 1975. Peters started out writing gothics in the late 60s
and early 70s, and many of her early books still stand out as great
reads--her Vicki Bliss books are not quite as amusing as the Amelia
Peabody tales set in Egypt, but are lots of fun also. Peters also
writes as Barbara Michaels and is an Egyptologist in real life.

Crewel World" by Monica Ferris. It is a combination knitting and stitchery story set in Minnesota. It is a murder mystery. It has some interesting twists and turns. To be honest, I just finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is the first in a series and I am very much looking forward to reading the next one!
Margot Berglund owns a needlework and wool store called Crewel World. She's fifty-three, a widow and an expert in her field. Her store does very well for a small town, and she is able to support two part time staff as well as other casual workers. Her husband Aaron had been a wealthy man but despite this she lives a simple life, causing speculation among the town's people. Margot's older sister, Betsy, comes to live with her. When Betsy was young she ran off to join the navy and married a sailor and now her second husband is divorcing her. Betsy seems to be planning to sponge off Margot, she sees living off Margot an easy solution to her problems, at least for the short term. In the idyllic world of Margot there are some problems. Her landlord wants her building so he can build something new and charge more, but Margot has a cheap lease that is good for another four years. So Joe sues Margot regularly and threatens her too, but she has a good lawyer to protect her. She also has a "Wanta be" successor who wants to run her own needlework store in a town that cannot support two. Irene is a little nuts and readily admits that she wants something to happen to Margot so that she can take over. Unfortunately for Irene she has no people skills and is not very successful with the customers. A few nights after her arrival, Betsy comes home and finds Crewel World trashed and Margot murdered. The mystery begins and Betsy takes it into her own hands when she thinks the police aren't doing enough.

Embroidered Truths by Monica Ferris...
After her friend Godwin is arrested for the murder of his boyfriend, Betsy sets out to prove him innocent. She finds that the victim had some dishonest dealings that made him a lot of money-and a lot of enemies. Now, Betsy has to untangle a cat's-cradle of lies if she's going to save Godwin before the murderer decides to cut off the loose ends for good.

Northern Lights by Nora Roberts.
It is set in an Alaskian town with a murder, some love and a laughter thrown in too.
Roberts shines again with a nuanced tale of the Alaskan wilderness and the appealing eccentrics who cluster there. Former Baltimore cop Nate Burke accepts the unlikely post of police chief of Lunacy, Alaska (pop. 506), to stave off the depression caused by divorce and the traumatic death of his partner, for which he holds himself partly responsible. His early days in the close-knit town are quiet except for minor disturbances and a dalliance with a feisty bush pilot, Meg Galloway. Then Meg's father, who disappeared 16 years before, is found frozen in a remote mountain cave, an ice ax in his chest. The discovery that Pat Galloway was murdered—most likely by a local—shakes up the town and drives his murderer to commit a second, cover-up killing. Though state authorities dismiss that death as suicide, Nate pursues it as a crime—a decision that puts him at odds with many outspoken Lunatics, as the townspeople call themselves. With quiet inexorability he fields the flak, uncovers long-forgotten events and finds a tough but loving balance with the fiercely independent Meg. Though billed as romantic suspense, the novel forsakes artificial genre conventions in favor of a wry, affectionate look at community bonds, generational wounds and soul-testing landscapes. The result is a richly textured novel that captures the intimacy of smalltown police work, the prickliness of the pioneer spirit and the paradox of a setting at once intimate and expansive, welcoming and hostile, indisputably American and yet profoundly exotic to those in the Lower 48.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Case of the Purloined Stash

Ms.Duknit is back with a new mystery! While browsing through her stash one day, she realized that there were some skeins of yarn missing. She is once again putting out a call of help to the Whoduknit Sleuths to help her solve this mystery. If you accept the challenge, send your application to Ms.dunknit c/o with your name and mailing address. Please put "The Case of the Purloined Stash" in the subject line. That's it! No SPs to contact, nothing to knit, and ideally, nothing to buy. However, one day, when you least expect it, the missing stash will appear at your door (or in your mailbox). Inside will be your instructions. (Basically, it will involve swapping some of your stash (of equal or greater value) for some of what is in the package). The instructions will tell you what to do with the package next (it will involve postage - but we'll try to keep that as low as possible). Applications from sleuths who think they can help solve this mystery will be accepted until January 1st.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I just joined the email list and received the invitation to join the blog! I love the idea of combining knitting and my love of mysteries! Is there a book for December? I noticed chatter about a book choice for January - love the idea of the one that ties in with the Red Scarf project!

I look forward to visiting your blogs and getting to know you all! My regular blog is at