Quick and easy: Bainbridge Scarf

Visiting Knitter’s Block blog the other day, I saw that Niina had recently posted her completed Bainbridge Scarf; I was instantly smitten with the project. I mean, it’s small, practical and different. What’s not to like about that? So I followed Niina’s link to pepperknit blog and found the free pattern. I used a super soft, luscious ball of Chameleon (70% Extrafine Merino Wool, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere) by Karabella Yarns bought during a recent visit to Village Yarn & Tea. I think the Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton yarn the pattern designer used is perhaps better suited for the project, since the scarf made with Chameleon keeps coming undone when I wear it. Maybe it needs the firmness that cotton provides, along with the stickiness of wool to hold it in place; the softness of Chameleon is just a bit too sloppy for the way the scarf works. However, the project is very easy, probably took 6 hours to make, and is great for some last minute gifts.

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a nice one, and that the turkey wasn’t too dry. Ours turned out great, if I must say so, but we’ve used a really great recipe for three years now, and the turkey comes out to perfection and draws rave reviews from our guests every time. I decided to do something different this year and added some Korean side dishes to suit the tastes of my in-laws, so I ran out to a local Korean market and loaded-up on a variety.

I actually enjoyed the strange concoction of the kimchee as it socialized in my mouth with sweet potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce; all washed down with a nice South African Cabernet Sauvignon.

We almost forgot to get a picture of the turkey, so we caught the side that hadn’t been carved yet.

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Bountiful mail!

Okay, so I gave in and started subscribing to Simply Knitting magazine from the UK. I know, I said it’s pricey (and it is) and that was why I was hesitant to subscribe. But then I realized that we had a sheer bevy of Amazon.com VISA Rewards Certificates stashed away, and well, it was a matter of time before my husband had them earmarked for some geeky gizmo that would make any techy go wild with envy, so I thought it best to put them to use for something more enjoyable to me, like a year’s subscription to Simply Knitting. Don’t worry, I gave him ample opportunity to kiss them good-bye before I cashed them in on the magazine subscription through Amazon.com. After I subscribed, I found that Barnes & Noble carries them in many of its stores (I think just the bigger ones), and well, when you take into account B&N’s membership discount and gas mileage to go to the store to buy one issue, the cost of subscribing still came out cheaper. The subscription through Amazon.com would take about 12 weeks for the first issue to arrive, so I cooled my heels, and bought issues at B&N in the meantime. Much to my delight, a recent walk to the mailbox produced two issues of my new subscription, each with its accompanying free gift. (I’m such a sucker, since I know I’m paying for the “free” gift that comes with each issue, but it’s still fun getting them…. It’s like: “Oooh, there’s my free gift!” as I open the package like it’s freaking Christmas or something.)

Here’s November’s issue:

The freebies are a purse-sized diary (calendar), a disc with a preview of a new book of patterns from Simply Knitting, and a Debbie Bliss pattern.

And here’s the December issue:

December freebies are a pattern for Alan Dart’s Shaun the Sheep mobile, a wall calendar of knitting patterns from various yarn companies/designers, and stitch holders. I really like the Shaun the Sheep pattern; it’s so cute.

Thoughts on health.

I’ve had laryngitis the past few days. Luckily my husband, son and I know sufficient elementary sign language to communicate some of the daily basics. I’d never suffered this ailment before and find it very interesting, since when you can’t talk, especially above a soft whisper, people don’t know what to do with you. We’re all in such a hurry to feel comfortable in a situation, that we jump to the next subject before someone with speech issues can comment or be heard. I don’t know how many times people who I’ve been around lately didn’t look at me to notice that I was trying to respond to their last comment. Sometimes I felt like I was drowning; waving my hands in a sea of air to catch people’s attention. We all need to know that someone is listening, but when we don’t get the audible feedback, we hurry to fill the silence with another comment, or worse still, turn and walk away. Funny. Then there was the young woman at a drive-thru espresso stand the other day who, when I alerted her that I had laryngitis (so that she would know to listen closely), after I asked for chamomile tea, had the kindness to offer to put soothing honey in it (a double-dose, thank you!), as well as a few ice cubes to cool it faster so that I could drink it sooner. Bless you! Hey, who ever is out there spreading germs towards me and my family, over and over again, would you please stay home and get well?

Today marks the 10-year anniversary that my thyroid was removed due to cancer. I kind of miss that silly little old gland. You know, the way it had that special way of regulating my body temperature (even if it was a bit off), and back when I didn’t have to take the thyroid hormone replacement pills that seem to rob me of feeling hydrated, and back when I was on a normal life cycle and treatments for my cancer didn’t push me into early menopause. Well, I’m just glad I didn’t have to go through chemotherapy. Whew! If I’d known that little gland was going to cause such a problem back then, I would have taken better care of it. You know, keep it happy so it wouldn’t cause trouble and make a scene. Knit it a thyroid cozy. Hmmm…. But then who knew that the handsome, sensitive guy I had recently started seeing would actually come visit me in the hospital and eventually marry me? Things do have a way of working out! Lucky me!

Morning calm.

I’m enjoying the quiet mornings in our new home, and there’s always something to take a picture of, like the fog as it moves through the trees and the mist on the spider webs….

We get a lot of fog at this house, incredibly thick fog up from the valley of farmlands that are giving way to wineries, golf courses, commercial business complexes and mega-housing developments.

Speaking of spiders, here’s the latest catch in our basement family room:

My husband thinks these two are the biggest we’ve caught yet, but I know differently. I know that lurking somewhere in the our basement family room is my nemesis, the mother of all spiders, the Great White shark of spiders. It made a fleeting appearance late one night two months ago while we were watching TV and the lights were dim, and I’m the only one who’s seen it. It was so big, the body alone must’ve been 1.5″ long; with the legs it was 3″. I’m not kidding! He doesn’t believe me. Meanwhile, we occasionally find spiders that are a mere shadow of Great White. Whenever I go to the basement, I hear the theme song for the movie Jaws. Well, it’s not that bad, but I do get the creeps sometimes as I sit at my computer feeling like something is lurking behind me. By the way, the Katcha Bug bug catcher we use is just the best, especially when you really don’t want to hear or feel that sickening squish as you kill a bug; catch and release. We have three of them, one for each floor. Personally, I just wish our 8-legged or winged friends would just stay outside.

Also in the basement are some of my boxes of knitting stuff I still need to sort through. Recently re-discovered:

Pattern: Knitted Triangular Lace Shawl with Undulating Edgings, Design 106, by Robert B. Powell (Powell’s Design 106 is only available as a kit from Catherine Knits)

Yarn: Jamieson & Smith, 2-Ply, Jumper Yarn

Needles: US 5/3.75 mm

I started KTLS in January 2005, and it was slow going and intense. I put it down two months later when we flew to South Korea to meet our then almost 6-month old son and bring him home, well, after that knitting had to take a back seat and then I forgot about KTLS. Poor KTLS! Who knows when I’ll pick it up again, but now that it’s up on my Ravelry project list, it’ll be hard to lose track of. I’ll try to post a better picture of it soon.