Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year in Knitting

2012 is almost over, and other than the birth of our first granddaughter, it was a relatively uneventful year. 

So in lieu of a sentimental journey through the year, I thought I'd share some of my favorite completed knitting projects from the year.

I had fun making this blanket for Carey for her birthday in March.  Despite the fact that it was stockinette stitch, which is usually boring, the multiple color changes kept it interesting because I was always excited to see what the next color was going to look like with what I had done so far.

My oldest niece Madelyn had her first communion this year, and I made her veil.  This was my first real attempt at some sort of design, although in this case "design" meant pulling pieces from other patterns and stitch books and working out the stitch count.  Still, I was pleased with the result, and more importantly, so was my sister-in-law.

I've made sweaters before, but never for someone else.  This year I made a sweater for my college roommate, based on measurements that I took when I saw her in the spring.  She came to visit a month or so ago and I finally gave it to her, and it fit!

I made a bunch of shawls this year.  I blogged about one of my favorites earlier this year here.  I won't go into details on all of them, but here they are in all their glory.

 With a new granddaughter, of course a couple of baby items had to be knit!  Newborns grow out of clothes so fast I decided to wait until she's a little older to make sweaters, etc. so I made a couple of blankets for her.

I had a little fun with my yarn this year as well.  Dr. Who fans may recognize these next two.  I crocheted an Ood mask for a coworker of Rob's for Halloween, and knit a Dalek for Rob for Christmas.

So that's a summary of 2012 in knitting.  I'm declaring 2013 the Year of Knitting Socks, so stay tuned!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Holidays Begin

It's the 21st of December and so far the world hasn't ended yet.

We've made it to our daughter's house and tomorrow morning, way too early, we fly out to Texas to visit our son and meet our granddaughter for the first time.

Probably no more posts until after the holidays. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012


When people ask where Sanford is, I always say I live in the middle of the state.  Apparently, that's a completely accurate statement.  The exact center of NC is located in Lee County.  Who knew?

We spent some time Saturday at the Alston House, also known as The House in the Horseshoe, for their Christmas open house event.  It wasn't a large event, but we enjoy visiting historical sites and this one is close to home.  You hear so much about Civil War sites in North Carolina, I often forget that there were Revolutionary War battles fought here as well.  

We wandered around for a while and talked to some of the re-enacters and demonstrators.  Met Webb the Weaver, who is extremely passionate about weaving, and boy what a talker!  He did however give me the name of a man who makes looms should I decide I want to purchase one.  (Yes, I'm considering learning yet another fiber craft, as if I don't already have enough yarn.)

It was a gorgeous day to be outside in December.  There wasn't an actual battle re-enactment this weekend, but they did have a 1 pound cannon.  We spent some time talking to the man who owns it, well, Rob spent some time talking to him, I just took pictures and listened.  As you can see, it apparently takes quite a few people to shoot off a cannon.

On the way home, we stopped at the site of an abandoned building by the river that I've always wondered about.  There's a picnic area there, so we knew it was o.k. to stop, we just never had.  It's the former site of the Carbonton Dam and the location of the exact geographic center of NC mentioned above.  It also was an operational hydroelectric power plant until 2004.  It's hard to imagine that this building that looks like it has been abandoned forever was still producing power just 8  years ago.  

Other than our historical outing on Saturday, the rest of the weekend was a combination of relaxing and getting things done in preparation for Christmas.  I've done enough of my Christmas knitting that I'm confident I can finish the couple of small things left to do.  All the gifts have been bought except for picking up a couple of gift certificates.  I just need to pack up what needs to go to TX and get it shipped this week so it will get there on time.

Not doing a lot of the usual things for Christmas since we'll be traveling, but I did make some cheese biscuits today.  No live tree this year, but I bought a small fake one, and while it's a little pitiful looking sitting on the floor and only 4 feet tall, it makes me happy, and that's what it's all about.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nosin' Around

I've recently joined a local chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC).  The Triangle Chapter (TriSinC) is relatively new, but I'm enjoying it so far.  We meet once a month in North Raleigh, and usually have a program of some kind.

Today Sheila Boneham introduced us to her dog Lily and gave us a demonstration of dog tracking.

As you can see, Lily is an adorable yellow lab.  She was so excited to track the scent that one of our members had laid down earlier.  She was even more excited when she found the same member in his hiding spot, as that meant she was then able to get all the love and attention that the entire group was waiting to give her.

After the demonstration, Sheila talked to us about how tracking dogs are trained and some of the differences in training between law enforcement tracking dogs and Lily, who is trained primarily for tracking competitions.  It was interesting to find out that any dog can be trained to track, as it's an innate ability that all dogs use.  It's just a matter of training them to follow the one scent you want them to find.

Another bit of trivia I didn't know (not that I know anything about dogs and tracking to begin with) is that dogs cannot pant while they're tracking.  Panting is how dogs cool themselves off, so it's more risky to the dog to track in hotter weather.  This also makes it riskier for dogs that have the more compressed nasal passages, such as pugs, to do tracking.

All in all an educational way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and I got my doggie fix as well!