Sunday, January 30, 2005

We interrupt this blog to bring you a technical message:

I'm working on getting photos up. Apparently the MSN thing was not successful (thanks for the heads-up, Janet). Until the ISP techies can figure out what's wrong with my webspace, I'm trying Blogger's Hello thing. But I'm still figuring it out, so keep checking back if it's not working yet.

Scroll down to the January 24 entry and you should be able to see the photos now without the annoying request for a MSN groups account. Sorry about that! To compensate you all for your trouble, I will post a brand new photo of the recently-completed Peruvian hat tomorrow. (Remember: tomorrow=maƱana)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Better late than never, and because I'm procrastinating once again, I'll play Leslie's "what's my stuff" game. Here's my list:

Grooming Products
Shampoo--Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile
Moisturizer--Aubrey Organics Green Tea SPF10
Razor--none in winter, my husband's in summer
Toothpaste--Jason's Seafresh

Cell phone--none. Really.
Computer--Dell Dimension 4600
Television--Old 19"
Stereo--Old JVC with a newer Sony DVD player

Sheets--various. Right now L.L. Bean flannel
Coffee-maker--French press and a Braun automatic
Car--none. Hubby has a Ford Escort wagon that I drive when necessary.
Stationery--?? Probably a good idea. I'll think about getting some.

Bottled water--Tap
Coffee--a dark roast from Higher Grounds, a local fair trade importer
Vodka--almost never
Beer--occasionally at the local brewpub

Jeans--various, purchased at local thrift store
T-shirt--freebies from local orgs
Briefcase or tote--none
Sneakers--Saucony running shoes
Watch--none. I never know what time it is, but I'm rarely late.

Favorite Places
Santa Fe, North Carolina, Montreal, Paris, California, National Parks, any public library but especially my local one and Duke University's Perkins Library, and my local food co-op

Necessary Extravagance
Travel, quality chocolate, expensive olive oil, organic food in general, and maintaining a large personal library when the public library is less than half a mile from my house. (I don't consider yarn an extravagance. Well, maybe the cashmere.)

Now if I were to make the list, mine would be somewhat different from Vanity Fair's. Here's what I would like to ask (and I'll answer for myself -- feel free to chime in or do your own):

Book(s) currently reading: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Best book read in the past year: I'm only half way through, but I think the current one might be
Favorite book ever: Pride and Prejudice
Can't miss TV: The Amazing Race
Last movie rented: Spiderman (it was family night)
Best movie seen in the past year: hmmm. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.. Spring. But always, every year, the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice. I watch it frequently.
Magazine subscriptions: The Atlantic Monthly. Interweave Knits. Spin-Off. Rowan.
On the radio: NPR. The Diane Rehm Show.
Newspaper: The Traverse City Record-Eagle, sadly. The New York Times on the web.
1st five daily clicks:,,,
Partner: John, husband of 15 years
Children: two, Dylan (11) and Leah (8)
Siblings: two younger, Susan and Bill
Parents: David and Lorraine, still kicking down in North Carolina
Extended family: Semi-large. Four sets of uncles and aunts (some deceased), 10 first cousins, numerous 2nd and 3rd cousins. Regular get-togethers, although most take place in North Carolina and are infrequently attended by me.
People who are like family: Many of my neighbors and other friends in Traverse City.
House size and style: about 1800sq ft, 110-year-old Victorian
Neighborhood: downtown Traverse City
Sidewalks?: yes, of course
Relationships with neighbors: Excellent
Favorite hobbies and activities
Well, since this is a knitting blog, one will be obvious. Also spinning, reading, watching movies, walking, and traveling at every opportunity.
Secret vices (and obviously they won't be a secret once they're on the blog)
SimCity 4. Technically, it was my son's Christmas present. He's had few minutes with it, though, since I'm hogging it.
Dreaded chores
Cleaning the litter box. Laundry. Cleaning anything really.
What gets you out of bed in the morning
Technically, getting the kids to school. But in the broader sense, I suppose it's the anticipation that the day will have joy. Thankfully, it usually does.

Monday, January 24, 2005

I'm so tickled to have two readers (thanks Dianne and Salt) that I've spent most of the morning trying to figure out how to get those darn photos on this blog. Unfortunately, I can't seem to access my ISP webspace on this new computer, so I'm temporarily trying out MSN.

I've also been busy lately trying to save my daughter's elementary school from closing. We have a lovely school at the end of our street and we enjoy walking to school every day. Sadly, demographic changes and bad GOP-sponsored funding policies have damaged the district's budget to the point that the board has opted to close an elementary school. Ours is on the short list and obviously I disagree with that. So I've spent most of the past two weeks since this outrageous proposal was announced writing letters to the superintendent. I can't believe they would even consider closing a walkable school! I'm running out of words on this topic.

So on to photos. Here is the gorgeous Donegal, which my husband is enjoying:

Donegal Posted by Hello

and the afghan from the Tierra Wools yarn:

afghan Posted by Hello

and the kitty sweater from Norsk Strikkedesign:

The kitten sweater from Norsk Strikkedesign Posted by Hello

and the gansey:

gansey Posted by Hello

and the socks:

socks Posted by Hello

So that is the end of the 2004 knitting.

I already have a completed 2005 project -- a Peruvian-style hat in supersoft alpaca -- but I haven't photographed it yet. Several other things are on the needles. I'm actually knitting a dress for a doll. Silly, yes. I won't describe the doll because I do have the words "voluntary simplicity" in this blog title and this doll is definitely not consistent with that philosophy. In my defense, I will say that I'm at least making clothes for the doll and not buying them from the catalog (where they cost more than the clothes worn by the doll's owner).

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Return from blogging hiatus

I was never a very regular blogger, but I admit that a 5-month lapse is extreme even by my standards. This is what happened: the kids went back to school, and while that technically should have freed up more time for blogging, it also freed up time for other things that were more compelling than blogging, at the time. Then the computer crashed and I had to get a new one and I still haven't gotten around to re-installing the ftp, so consequently, I have no photos to include. I always felt like I had to post a picture with my blog entry or else no one would want to read it. Obviously, I'm overcoming that mental handicap because here I am posting without photos.

If I did have the ftp installed, I could post some great photos. I will have to do that, maybe tomorrow (that means probably sometime next month -- I'm spiritually on Mexican time, although a quick glance out my window confirms that I'm physically nowhere near Mexico, unless Mexico has suddenly relocated to the Arctic).

The photos I would show you -- if anyone is actually reading this; I really don't know why anyone would -- would be of spectacular finished knitting projects. Since August, I have completed three sweaters, two pairs of socks and an afghan. The "Donegal" celtic-swirl fair isle-type thing went to my hubby as an anniversary present. It is gorgeous and I'm sad to say that there are few men of our acquaintance who own such a beautiful sweater. Most of the men I see are in dreadfully ugly sweaters but they unfortunately do not have me to knit for them. Sigh.

Both of my children received sweaters for Christmas. My daughter's was the cat sweater that some of you (I don't know who since I'm certain no one is reading this) may have seen in Norsk Strikkedesign. My son's sweater was a simple gansey. I finished it at 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 25.

I finished the afghan just after midnight on New Year's Eve (so technically it was finished in 2005, but I'm counting it as a completed 2004 project), which would imply that festivities were somewhat limited at my house. That would be correct. I believe I rang in the New Year upstairs in bed with crochet hook in hand and a movie in the VCR while my hubby was downstairs reading sports stories on the Internet. That's 15 years of marriage for ya!

The afghan is gorgeous, of course. Recall that it was the crochet project using the Tierra Wools yarn (I still write like I think someone might be reading). I will post a photo eventually, maybe.

And the afghan is an interesting tie-in to my sudden inspiration to blog again. Tierra Wools, as you will recall, is in northern New Mexico and I purchased the yarn there during spring break two years ago. Just minutes ago I read this blog from a carfree dad in Santa Fe. I may have mentioned this before, but Santa Fe is the place I would most like to live. It is the setting of many of my favorite fantasies, some involving Val Kilmer, who reportedly has a ranch in the neighborhood.

So that's the connection. Now if anyone reads this blog, I may be tempted to post again! With photos!