About Me

Arizona, United States
I'm a work-at-home mom who enjoys the beautiful sunsets here in the high desert.

My Designs

For the free patterns for these afghan squares I designed for My Reading Afghan, click here.

My Recently Completed Projects

On The Hook

Ravelry CAL Afghan 1 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 1

Ravelry CAL Afghan 2 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 2

Ravelry CAL Afghan 3 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 3 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 3

Ravelry CAL Afghan 4 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 4 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 4

Ravelry CAL Afghan 5 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 5 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 5

Ravelry CAL Afghan 6 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 6 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 6

Ravelry CAL Afghan 7 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 7 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan--Flower Burst 7ARavelry CAL Afghan--Flower Burst 7B
Ravelry CAL Afghan 7

Ravelry CAL Afghan 8 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 8

Ravelry CAL Afghan Blocks:
Dream Catcher
Cross My Heart
Chocolate Delight
Flower Burst

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Getting To Know Jeanie

Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 32-34

Num 33:55 ‘And if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.

Roast and Red Potatoes ( http://food.yahoo.com/recipes/taste-of-home/114754/roasted-tenderloin-and-red-potatoes ): This turned out to be pretty good, especially the potatoes, but I think it would probably be better if more beef broth was added and, especially with the lesser cut of meat we used (can't afford tenderloin!), it would be worth trying to cook it in the Crock Pot rather than uncovered in the oven.

Hooded Sweater: I did a couple more rows of the back bottom ribbing on this before I realized that if this is going to be my take-along project, it would be better to leave it alone while I was at home for the time being since there isn't that much yarn left, and I'd hate to run out of yarn (and thus be unable to knit) while I'm away from home with it. I need to get more yarn in order to complete this, but so far, my experience with Caron Simply Soft 'no dye lot' yarn is that there can be significant differences in color between skeins, so we'll see how well it matches up when I get more.

Hound Hoodie: My daughter and her puppy, Harley, came for a visit last night, so I was able to get some pictures of Harley in his recently completed Hound Hoodie. It's big on him, but we thought he looked pretty cute. In the pictures he looks a little humiliated, though, doesn't he? Anyway, this sweater should keep him nice and warm at least, and perhaps it will fit him even when he's fully grown. He's only about 4 months right now.

Jeanie: I've finished the first 8 rows of this, which includes the first cable row, and it is getting easier and easier. I'm not having to consult the charts constantly as I was during the first couple of rows. I'm getting a feel for the pattern and for what goes where. Doing the cables was harrowing because the yarn is so thin and matches the color of my cable needle too well, making the working of the stitches off of the cable needle a breath-holding experience. With such dark yarn and my bad eyes, trying to recapture a dropped stitch might be an exercise in futility, so I was desperate not to drop any stitches. And I found that kind of ironic because part of the beauty of this pattern comes from the stitches that are supposed to be dropped (haven't gotten to that part yet, though). The rest of the stitches (a lot of them twisted by working through the back loops) must be prevented from dropping at all costs lest I never recover them! And I think on the next cable row, I'm going to try one of my light-colored bamboo double-pointed needles as a cable needle, or maybe look for a different cable needle on my next shopping trip.

Duel: I think I made my distaste for this show clear in previous posts, but during last night's marathon, where Husband played at least four of these in a row from the DVR until the bitter-end finale, there were some remarkable moments. One of the standouts for me was the guy who said, "Oh no, I lost because I don't know how to count!" He had miscounted the number of months in the year which had 31 days. Another moment that caught my attention was the final winning/losing question for all the money, where the guy on the losing end of the question suddenly realized that oil floats on water, water being the only one of the multiple-choice answers that he didn't cover with a chip. The question was about which gallon of liquid was the heaviest. Three of the choices were water, crude oil and vegetable oil, and the fourth choice was that they all weighed the same. Anyway, except for the above-noted moments worth watching, this Duel marathon was a good time for me to devote my attention to learning my Jeanie pattern.

Dinner Tonight: Leftovers.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 29-31

Num 30:6 "But if she at all belongs to a husband, while bound by her vows or by a rash utterance from her lips by which she bound herself,
Num 30:7 and her husband hears it, and he has kept silent towards her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her agreements by which she bound herself do stand.
Num 30:8 "But if her husband forbids her on the day that he hears it, then he has nullified her vow which she vowed, and the rash utterance of her lips by which she bound herself, and יהוה pardons her.

Hound Hoodie: I got all the sewing and finishing work done on this last night. As usual, all the finish work always takes longer than I expect it to (and way longer than I want it to!). In the end, though, it did end up looking like a cute little hoodie for a dog, so I'm happy with how it turned out. Now it just remains to see if it fits little Harley. At least if it's on the big side, he can perhaps grow into it.

Hooded Sweater: The skein of yarn I used for the Hound Hoodie was all depleted and floppy and not really holding its original skein shape anymore, so rather than wind it into a ball to keep it from getting all tangled up, I decided to just go ahead and start the Hound Hoodie-matching Hooded Sweater for my daughter. This can then be my little easy take-along project. The Pinwheel Sweater is too big and bulky for a take-along, and the Jeanie is not mindless enough yet since I have to pay close attention to the charts. In fact, for all I know, Jeanie may never be uncomplicated enough for a grab-and-go project. The Hooded Sweater, like the Hound Hoodie, is just 1x1 ribbing and stockinette stitch with very little shaping, so very suited to 'mindless knitting' while away from home. It did take me three gauge swatches to determine needle size, though, so that was rather irritating. I always hate it when it doesn't line up on the first try, but again, it's something that has to be done, no matter how 'hatiest' it is.

The Amazing Race: It was really disappointing to see T.K. repeatedly not see the 'Vinci' sign big as can be on the landscape below because it was getting to the point where this team was the least irritating, so I wanted to like them. But how could he miss that big word down there so many times? Maybe it was because every time they showed him on camera, he had his hands, head and eyes up in the air instead of keeping his eyes on the ground, where they were supposed to be! I can't take that Ronald anymore. It almost doesn't even matter what garbage he is spewing at his daughter anymore--all it takes is the tone of his voice to grate on my ears something terrible, probably because that sound is now so completely associated with stuff I don't want to hear. And WHAT were the producers thinking when they required the Fast Forward to include a tattoo that looks like the Nazi SS insignia? First, tattooing is forbidden by the Scriptures, so why should a person have to violate their religion to get an advantage in the race? (A Fast Forward in a previous season required drinking pig's blood, also forbidden in the Scriptures.) Second, if it has to be a tattoo, then why a Nazi-looking one? Speaking of tattoos, I'm assuming that's what's on T.K.'s girlfriend's lower back, but then it also looks like it could be severe bruising and ecchymosis or maybe even tell-tale evidence that she had an 'accident' in her pants. Can you tell I'm not a fan of tattoos? I'm glad Kynt and Vyxsin didn't get eliminated. I had a feeling, since there hadn't been a nonelimination round yet, that this might be the time, so it was a relief to see them get another chance. It will be interesting to see how this new 'speed-bump' twist affects the race on the next episode.

Dinner Tonight: Roasted Tenderloin and Red Potatoes
(We're substituting top round roast for the tenderloin.)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Family Fun

Scripture Reading for Preparation Day: Tsom Asarah B'Tevet (Fast of the 10th Month)

Shemot (Exodus) 32:11-34:10
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 55:6-56:8

Zec 8:19 "Thus said יהוה of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth months, are to be joy and gladness, and pleasant appointed times for the house of Yehudah – and they shall love the truth and the peace.’

Torah Portion: Vayechi (And He Lived)

Torah: Breisheet (Genesis) 47:28-50:26
Haftarah: Melakim Alef (1 Kings) 2:1-12
Ketuvim Netzarim: Kefa Alef (1 Peter) 1:1-9

Gen 48:20a And he blessed them on that day, saying, "In you Yisra’ĕl shall bless, saying, ‘Elohim make you as Ephrayim and as Menashsheh!’ "

Today's Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 26:28-28:31

Num 26:65 For יהוה had said of them, "They shall certainly die in the wilderness." And not a man was left of them, except Kalĕb son of Yephunneh, and Yehoshua son of Nun.

Pinwheel Sweater: My Pinwheel Sweater is currently resting at round 106 because of other developments.

Hound Hoodie: As I was preparing for my weekly shopping and errands trip, I decided that I needed a smaller project than the Pinwheel Sweater to take along with me. The Pinwheel Sweater is now so big that it's easier to leave it at home, so I got out the Hound Hoodie, which is easier to pack up in a little take-along bag. By last night I had finished all the knitting on it, and now all I have to do is sew the center seam, the two hood seams and then weave in all the yarn ends (as my kids would say, this is the 'hatiest' part of completing a knitting or crocheting project for me). Then, it will be all ready for Harley (my daughter's puppy) to wear. I will hopefully have a chance to take a picture of him wearing it once it's all finished.

While I was working on it, this daughter (my 18 year old) and her little Harley were with us while we were visiting with extended family. Thus, I was able to check sweater and sleeve length on Harley in person instead of just guessing from memory, but he didn't like holding still for such measuring, so it remains to be seen how the sweater will actually fit. My daughter decided she wants me to make her a hoodie to match Harley's. Lion Brand has a free pattern on their website that is a pretty good match to the Hound Hoodie for the human form, so I put it (Hooded Sweater) in the Queue.

Jeanie: I suppose it was inevitable that I would be casting this on ASAP. I first saw this pattern (the Jeanie shawl/stole/wrap) as soon as the Winter Knitty was up, and my fingers have been itching to make it ever since. (For those who don't know, Knitty is an online knitting magazine. Here is a link to the Winter issue-- http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter07/index.html ) I found what seemed to be suitable yarn for Jeanie on eBay, bid on it and then got sniped. I then found the same yarn in a different colorway (Royal Purple) that I also liked, bid on it and won. Then I had to wait for the yarn to arrive, which was not easy, but when I went to the post office this last shopping and errands day (Preparation Day), there it was! So, of course, as soon as I got home, I had to get started.

The yarn I got is a handpainted fingering weight wool from Over The Rainbow Yarns, and it comes in hanks. This means each hank has to be wound into a ball by hand, as I don't have a yarn swift and a ball winder. These pieces of equipment are expensive. If I recall from the last time I checked, it would cost over $100 to get both of these. Except for the extra time involved, I rather enjoy hand-winding yarn into balls because I just love the feel of yarn. Anyway, I got my first ball wound, and then I did my gauge swatch, which was right on gauge with size 6 needles on the first go--Yay! This meant I was finally ready to cast on.

The Jeanie pattern begins with a provisional cast-on. This time I decided to try the crochet method for this, as I wasn't happy with the figure-of-eight type of wrap method I used for the sleeves on my Pinwheel Sweater. I am much happier with this crochet method, as it seems much more secure and sturdy. It doesn't look or feel as tenuous and vulnerable as the other way. I found a great demo of this crochet method on YouTube here-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3J-sUx_whE .

I had enough leftover lavender yarn to use as the provisional yarn for this cast-on, so it's a nice coordinating color to the Royal Purple of the shawl, which just makes for a pretty beginning for me to enjoy as I'm knitting this until the pattern of the cables is established and easy to see. Knitting is a real visual and tactile experience for me, so these little things add to my enjoyment. Even the coordinating colored markers help with this. So far, I've managed to get through the first three sections of Row 1, which is the set-up row for the charts. This is a charted pattern, so I really have to pay attention at first to be sure I don't goof it up. Those on Ravelry who have been working on their Jeanie for a while say that they found the pattern fairly easy to memorize after a while, so that's encouraging.

Clash Of The Choirs: The down-side of DVRs is that if a show runs overtime, we miss the end. That's what happened this time. We were in the middle of watching Michael Bolton sing 'When A Man Loves A Woman' when the recording ended, and we didn't get to find out which choir won. My husband later looked it up on the internet and found out that Team Lachey won, which I was happy to hear. I thought that they overall did the best and were the most like a choir. With the other choirs there was too much soloist-with-background-singers stuff going on, and none of them matched Lachey's a cappella version of Flight of the Bumble Bee. That is the kind of thing a choir is supposed to be (at least for me)--doing what a soloist can't do, all the harmonies and interplay of parts.

The Next Great American Band: The Clark Brothers won!!! I wouldn't have been disappointed if Sixwire or Denver & The Mile-High Orchestra had won because I love them, too, but I was so happy that The Clark Brothers made it to the number one slot. They seemed so shocked and happy when they were announced as the winners. Congratulations to them, and I'm sure that Sixwire and Denver & The Mile-High Orchestra will do well even without winning because now that people have enjoyed seeing and hearing them, they will want more.

Family Visit: Yesterday, we were blessed to be able to spend some time with family members who were visiting from several hours away. We were all at my in-laws, who live a couple hours away from us, so it was a shorter trip for us than for the others coming from farther away in the other direction. Part of the fun was having the annual plumbing disaster, which seems to happen at this time nearly every year. Thankfully a 24-hour plumber was available and he got the sewer line opened up before anyone's bladder burst. My sister-in-law's husband was everyone's hero, as he did all the nasty mopping up, treading where the rest of us feared to go. Overcoming the plumbing woes was part of the fun we all had together, and as usual, the food was delicious. We had the much-loved 'Taco Dinner', followed later on by a variety of yummy desserts, 'Chocolate Delight' being my personal favorite.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My New Row Counters

Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 23:1-26:27

Num 23:19 "Ěl is not a man, to lie; nor a son of man, to repent! Has He said, and would He not do it; or spoken, and would not confirm it?

So-Tender Swiss Steak: I had work hours to make up and had to recruit my 12-year-old son (14-year-old daughter was feeling sick) to help get dinner in the oven with me giving him directions while I was working. This did not work out well, and the less said, the better.

Pinwheel Sweater: I'm on round 101 now, so I took a picture to show what 100 rounds of knitting on this sweater looks like. The new row counter marks the center back at the neck and the end/beginning of each new round. The sleeve holes are at each side of the picture, and the bulkiest part between the sleeve holes is the bottom of the back. The part I'm knitting now is the part in front of the sleeves, i.e. both sides of the front, as well as the upper part of the back and neck/shoulder area. It helps to picture a turtle shell that wraps around to the front.

The new row counter is green and has a little thin white ring attached so that it can go onto the knitting needle and also serve as a stitch marker, in this case marking the place between the last stitch of the previous round and the first stitch of the next round. I don't know if this row counter will be any more or less tempting to my children than my red row counters, but at least I've been able to safely put away the little red row counter that was sitting by itself, all vulnerable, on my console. It's much more convenient having the row counter on the knitting itself. It helps me to better remember to turn to the next number when I'm also using it as the end/beginning round marker.

In my Frugal Knitting Haus order, I also got one of these. It's called a Peg-It, and it keeps count of multiple things, not only rows, but increases and decreases and pattern repeats and other things a knitter or crocheter may need to keep track of. I haven't opened it or read the instructions yet, but apparently the little red pegs go into the appropriate holes on the board. When it becomes necessary to use this, I wonder what the chances are that it, too, will prove too tempting to the kids for me to leave it out in the open.

Duel: Need to add to the list of irritants that this show has--The way overused, supposedly suspenseful build-up to the revelation of an answer only to be switched to a cut to a commercial. The show has commercials seemingly constantly anyway, which is bad enough, so it would be nice if they would--instead of this tired, worn-out bait and switch thing--just do something refreshing and less insulting, like just plainly announcing that it's time for a commercial.

Clash Of The Choirs: Sorry to have to tell Team LaBelle this, but Team Lachey totally outdid them last night with their Flight of the Bumble Bee. Finally, something that sounded like what a great choir is supposed to sound like with all the different parts all weaving in and out of each other and with the added bonus of being a cappella, too! Just fantastic. Loved it. Team Shelton also did a more choir-like rendition with the various parts and harmonies weaving around each other, but I can't remember which song it was. To me, that's what a choir is, and not a soloist with background singers, like a lot of the songs that have been performed so far have been like.

JourneyMan: I will be so disappointed if last night's episode is the last one. I really like this show, and this episode, while providing some answers, also presented more questions. It's kind of nice to know at least one cause-and-effect, like apparently Evan's death is what caused the 'calling' to pass on to Dan, but if the rare celestial comet thing only happened twice in the past century--on Dan's and Livia's birthdates--then why was Evan also a traveler? He couldn't have been born on Dan's birthdate because Dan's only 35, and Evan said that he had been married to his wife for 20 years after they met in college, so he had to have been several years older than Dan. Maybe there was a different rare celestial occurrence when Evan was born? There's so much more to be explored, like more of Livia's life back in the 1940s and getting to know her husband-to-be, Henry. And why do Dan and Livia usually end up in the same place, but Evan seemed to have been on his own?

Dinner Tonight: Beanless Turkey Chili (from the SavingDinner.com email newsletter)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Feeling Better

Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 21-22

Num 22:35 And the Messenger of יהוה said to Bil'am, "Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you speak." Bil'am then went with the heads of Balaq.

Pinwheel Sweater: I think I made it to round 99 last night, so little by little, it's progressing.

Frugal Knitting Haus ( http://www.frugalhaus.com/Scripts/default.asp): I got my order from Frugal Knitting Haus today. Well, actually I'm not sure exactly when it got here because I got a pick-up slip for the package in my P.O. box, so it might have arrived even earlier than today. Anyway, for free shipping, they are faster than others to whom I have paid for shipping!! Plus they give you free patterns with every order. One of the pattern books I got has a crochet coat I like that I may try if the Pinwheel Sweater doesn't turn out well. Or I may try to make it even if the Pinwheel Sweater does turn out well. Because I like it. In fact, I like two other coats/sweaters from this same book, so who knows what I'll end up doing.

Duel: Two suggestions for this new game show--Make the graphics showing the questions BIGGER on the screen. I was not able to read them in their teeny, tiny box on the screen even with my glasses on and squinting. Secondly, PLEASE give the host a button to elevate and lower the screen between the two players. It took no time at all to get sick of hearing him say, "Screen up, please" and "Screen down, please".

Clash Of The Choirs: I don't think it was quite the runaway for Team LaBelle last night as it was the night before, but they definitely did fantastic again. I have to give credit to Team Lachey for utilizing the different choir parts better, but it really would have been great if his bass singers had been better bass singers. I wish Michael Bolton would try a different soloist and basically let the rest of his choir sing more rather than all the focus being on his pet Ryan, or are the rest of them so bad that he has to put Ryan front and center on every song? Can't even remember Team Shelton's song, so it must not have impressed me much.

The Biggest Loser: Very inspiring weight loss with the four finalists, and a small number of the eliminated players as well. Pretty awesome that the twin brothers both won their respective competitions. They both looked like totally different people. I've never seen anyone's face look so completely different just from losing weight. Even though Neil had basically as dramatic of a weight loss, his face still looked like his previous face, just thinner. Same with the others with big losses, but Jim's and Bill's faces looked very different from before, not just thinner.

Dinner Tonight: So-Tender Swiss Steak

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Plodding Along

Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 18:14-20:29

Num 19:2 "This is a law of the Torah which יהוה has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, that they bring you a red heifer, a perfect one, in which there is no blemish and on which a yoke has never come.

Pinwheel Sweater: I'm up to round 96 now and starting the third skein of yarn. Now I've reached what is probably going to be the hardest part to get through--just round and round and round until it gets to the crochet border. Before, I was able to look forward to getting to the sleeve openings, but now it's just going to be going round and round a bigger and bigger circle with nothing different to do until the border. This will take some stick-to-it-tive-ness, which will be difficult for me, especially once the yarn I ordered for Jeanie ( http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter07/PATTjeanie.html ) arrives. I am so anxious to start that! Not to mention I have other things I need to go back to and finish. Speaking of Jeanie, there are 36 people on Ravelry with this already on the needles, and it is in over 1200 queues, so a very popular pattern, and I'll have plenty of company when I do get started on it.

JourneyMan: I heard that this series may not return after the episode that is supposed to air tomorrow night, and I'm so disappointed. We've really enjoyed it--even the kids look forward to it. Maybe it didn't get enough viewers because they waited too many episodes to divulge clues as to the hows and whys of what is happening to Dan and Livia. Last night's episode was great and made a very good point--each of our children (and each of us!) could only have come into existence at the exact moment that they/we did. Even a slight change in timing or circumstance, and another sperm could have gotten to the egg first, thus resulting in a completely different person. When we really think about this, it underscores how unique and special every human being is.

Clash Of The Choirs: Patty LaBelle's choir outdid the others by leaps and bounds, so it doesn't look like there's going to be much suspense each week unless the other choirs quickly rise up to that level. I wish they would pick more choir-like songs--songs with multiple parts--to take advantage of all the voices and ranges. That's the whole thrill of listening to a choir, I think. There were parts during Patty LaBelle's choir's performance where I was reminded of some of Acappella's songs, so that is great praise indeed!

Sickies: There's some kind of stomach bug going around the family, so we're all kind of out of it and not too enthusiastic about cooking or eating. I sure hope this bug leaves us alone soon!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Great Finale

Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 16:1-18:13

Num 16:47 And Aharon took it as Mosheh commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly, and saw that the plague had begun among the people. And he laid on the incense and made atonement for the people,
Num 16:48 and stood between the dead and the living. And the plague was stopped.

Pinwheel Sweater: I'm three rounds past the break for the sleeves and the provisional cast-on, and those provisional cast-on stitches are getting a little more comfortable to work with. At first, they seemed very loose and vulnerable like the whole construct might fall apart, but it's starting to blend in better with the knitting on either side of those sections. Plus it feels more solid when I'm knitting those sections now.

Sewing: I didn't get much knitting done last night because my husband finally shamed me into doing some sewing for him. (I was originally going to mend my 12-year-old son's pants, but that's a whole 'nother story that will require my taking a picture of said pants for the story to be believed, so I'll get into that later.) In the meantime, I'll tell the story of my husband's requested sewing job. I had managed to get some nice T-shirt type tallitot katan for him on eBay at a good price a while back. But he hasn't liked them, saying they're too long, and he wanted them shortened. I had been procrastinating doing this because I am not proficient at sewing stretchy things, especially by hand, and especially trying to hem stretchy things by hand. I started on the first one by tacking the front and the back at each side, but then there was sagging in the middle, so I tacked the middles. It looks pretty lame. Then I had to make four new buttonholes for the tzitziyot at the newly created 'corners'. Thank goodness it's an undergarment, and the lame look of my alterations won't show when he wears it. I thought my buttonholes came out pretty good, though, considering how bad my eyesight is. (But then again, maybe it's my bad eyesight that is helping them to look good to me?) I'm thinking for the next one that I'll try tucking under the excess (instead of folding it under like a hem), by which means I can preserve the original tzitzit holes at the bottom, though that will mean sewing through three thicknesses on each side instead of two. Maybe this will help with the middle sagging, too. At least it's worth a try in order to avoid making new tzitzit holes.

Survivor: A perfect example of Who Cares Who Wins? Back-stabbers, liars, snobs. Even Denise, who was looked down upon by the last 3 standing, was too whiney about her situation, apparently feeling like she deserved something because of her circumstances, which was apparently correct since the the producer Mark Burnett ended up giving her $50,000 because of her sob story. It is interesting to note, however, that according to a press release by her employer ( http://www.douglas.k12.ma.us/ ), she was NOT demoted to janitor upon her return from participating in Survivor as she stated on the finale show last night. According to the Douglas Public School District, she in fact requested and was granted a promotion to full-time custodian BEFORE her participation in the Survivor show and was returned to the SAME position when she returned from the show. Who's the liar now, Denise?

Dexter: EXCELLENT finale! A great big thank-you to the powers-that-be at Dexter for giving us such a satisfying season finale instead of jerking us around with cliffhangers and leaving a bunch of loose ends. Everything was tied up in a nice neat bow. The only possible thing that can come back to bite Dexter would be someone tying Dexter's trip to Paris to the disappearance of the bane of his existence, but maybe she had already hid herself well enough for her disappearance to not be noticed, at least not for a long time. Definitely looking forward to the new season without her.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Breaking For Sleeves

Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 14-15

Num 15:38 "Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them to make tzitziyot on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners.
Num 15:39 "And it shall be to you for a tzitzit, and you shall see it, and shall remember all the commands of יהוה and shall do them, and not search after your own heart and your own eyes after which you went whoring,
Num 15:40 so that you remember, and shall do all My commands, and be set-apart unto your Elohim.
Num 15:41 "I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, to be your Elohim. I am יהוה your Elohim."

Tzitziyot (plural): These are tassels that we put on the four corners of our garments for the reasons YHWH explains above. It was a tzitzit (singular) on Yeshua's garment that the woman with the issue of blood was reaching for and touched--

Luk 8:43 And a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who, having spent all her livelihood on physicians, was unable to be healed by any,
Luk 8:44 came from behind and touched the tzitzit of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

She surely knew the prophecy--

Mal 4:2 "But to you who fear My Name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings. And you shall go out and leap for joy like calves from the stall.

The Hebrew word for the corners of garments is the same as the word for 'wings'. She knew there was healing in the tzitzit of the Messiah, and she reached out and grabbed it!

Here are a couple of sets of tzitziyot I have made for my family:

Pinwheel Sweater: Last night, I knitted to the point of having to make the breaks for the sleeves, or I guess it might be more appropriate to say the holes from where the sleeves will eventually grow. In this picture, the holes for the sleeves kind of look like capital D's facing away from each other (one facing the top of the picture and the other one facing the bottom of the picture). The rounded parts are the stitches on the cable stitch holders--you can see the buttons on each end of them. The flatter-looking side of the 'D' shape are the newly cast-on stitches to replace those that were put on the holders. The easy part was putting the correct sections of stitches on the stitch holders. But then these stitches needed to be replaced in the main body of knitting with what is called a 'provisional cast-on'.

In this type of casting on, the stitches are cast on in kind of a figure-of-eight fashion, where one loop of the '8' is on the knitting needle and the other loop of the '8' is on a piece of scrap yarn. This is best done by looping that top loop of the '8' onto two knitting needles held together so that the resulting stitches won't be too tight. The reason for the loops (stitches) on the scrap yarn is that those will be picked up on the needles later along with the stitches on the stitch holders to start knitting the sleeves in the round. In the closest-up picture you can make out the blue cable of the circular needle and the white scrap yarn and get a sense of this provisional cast-on.

What I'm really happy about is that I've gotten to this point and still haven't used up my second skein of yarn, so I'm hoping that bodes well for me having enough yarn to complete this sweater. Also, at this point in the knitting, I added a third cable to the circular needles, so now I'm knitting on the three longest cables from my Denise set connected together. Off the top of my head, I can't remember the measurements of those cables, but put together, they make a pretty big circle. The next change in the pattern is a few rows away, when the increases change from yarn-overs to knitting in the front and back of the final stitch of each section of the pinwheel instead. That would mean no more eyelets left by the yarn-overs, and I'm not sure I want to make this change because I like the eyelets, so I may just keep doing the yarn-over increases throughout the entire circle of the sweater.

The Transformers: We watched the movie, The Transformers, last night. My daughter and I had already seen it on our plane trip to Houston last month, but the rest of the family hadn't seen it. Everyone really enjoyed it. It was more fun watching it all together. For some reason, the funny parts were even funnier to me the second time around!

Dinner Tonight: Tacos.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Row Counter

Yesterday's Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 11-13

Today's Scripture Reading: Vayigash (And He Drew Near)

Torah: Breisheet (Genesis) 44:18-47:27
Haftarah: Yehezqel (Ezekiel) 37:15-28
Ketuvim Netzarim: Luke 6:12-16; Ephesians 2:1-10

Crockpot Beef Stew: We had this Thursday night. Husband and kids loved it, but me not so much. I thought it was too thyme-y tasting. I had doubled the recipe and substituted potatoes for the carrots and celery, so maybe that ended up making the proportions off, but for me, the thyme taste was too strong.

Pinwheel Sweater: I would not even try to hazard a guess as to how many toys there are in this house, but however many there are, it must not be enough. I came home from errands and shopping yesterday, more than ready to finally sit down, relax and do some knitting, only to discover that my little less-than-one-inch row counter had proved to be too much of a temptation for at least one of my apparently entertainment-challenged children. When I began this sweater, I made a point of alerting everyone to how important this little tool was to me and how I was not able to put it on the needles because this item is knitted in the round, so I was having to place the little row counter on the console of the sectional where I generally sit to knit. I placed it right next to my snips and made it clear that, like the snips, the row counter was off limits and not to be touched, moved or lost.
When I discovered that my row counter was on '75', I knew someone just hadn't been able to resist moving the dials and changing the numbers because I knew for sure I had blogged about being on round 76 on Thursday, and that was BEFORE Thursday night's knitting/TV time. I was pretty sure I had made it to round 80, but I rely on my row counter, not my memory, to keep track of that for me. Well, it was a little difficult to determine who the culprit was, but when it comes to things like this, I always know it's one of my three invisible children--'Not me', 'I don't know' and 'I didn't do it'--and sure enough, those were the names on the lips of my three visible children.

Ethan Cap: Since I didn't have the energy or mindset at that point to try to figure out what row I was on, I figured it was a good time to take a break from the sweater and crochet the Ethan Cap for my youngest son's class gift exchange. The pattern is from Quick Caps by Leisure Arts, and it did work up quickly--got it done while watching The Next Great American Band and Spiderman 3

The Next Great American Band: I think this is the first time ever on one of these types of shows that our favorites from the very beginning have made it all the way to the end. The Clark Brothers, Sixwire and Denver & The Mile-High Orchestra have been our favorites from the first time we saw them audition, so we're kind of amazed and puzzled about being so in synch with the rest of America, but it's also kind of comforting to know we're in agreement with so many. At this point, though, how do you choose between these three? They're all equally great for different reasons. I think for me, though, The Clark Brothers slightly edge out the others just based on my emotional reactions to their music. I have emotional reactions to the others, too, but I think with The Clark Brothers it's just slightly stronger.

Dinner Tonight: Crockpot Beef Stew leftovers.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Getting Colder

Scripture Reading: Bemidbar (Numbers) 7:78-10:36

Num 10:35 And it came to be, whenever the ark set out, that Mosheh said, "Rise up, O יהוה! And let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You."
Num 10:36 And when it rested, he said, "Return, O יהוה, to the countless thousands of Yisra’ĕl."

Pinwheel Sweater: I've made it to round 76, so I took another picture. This is the view from the top looking down at the inside of the 'bag' hanging from the circular needles. The outside of the 'bag' is the right side, which you can see around the edges since the circle of the sweater body has a bigger circumference than the circular needles. When positioned flat like this, it looks like a gigantic upside down beret. I've used up a little more than 10% of my yarn in this color, so I hope that means I've completed at least 10% of the sweater. It's getting down into the 20s at night now, so I want to get this done soon, and I sure hope it ends up fitting well.

Kid Nation: It was nice to see Sophia and Morgan both get another gold star. With this show, I always wondered about all the kids who weren't featured, though. Throughout the season, the powers that be seemed to pick certain kids to focus on over and over again, and it felt like there were many others we never heard anything from and knew nothing about. I would have liked to know more about the 'invisible' kids.

Kitchen Nightmares: The 'formula' for this show is getting to be very obvious--Gordon shows up and eats restaurant's food, which sucks and Gordon tells them so, owner/chef who requested Gordon's help gets offended at Gordon's criticism but reluctantly agrees to try Gordon's suggestions, restaurant gets busy, everyone goes crazy, owner/chef gets even angrier at Gordon, Gordon yells back, everyone calms down and things get back under control, restaurant does well, owner/chef sees Gordon was right and is grateful, Gordon gives a final pep talk and everyone lives happily ever after.

Chanukah Reading Tonight:

Bemidbar (Numbers) 7:54-8:4
Melakim Alef (1 Kings) 7:40-50
Yochanan (John) 9:1-7; 10:22-39

Dinner Tonight: Crockpot Beef Stew
(from SavingDinner.com newsletter)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rosh Chodesh Sameach!

Scripture Reading: Rosh Chodesh 10 (Head of the 10th Month)

Bemidbar (Numbers) 28:1-15
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 66:1-24
Kefa Alef (1 Peter) 2:4-10

Pinwheel Sweater: I've made it to round 68--yay! Considering that every other round increases the total stitch count by 8, it's like each round is a bigger accomplishment than the rounds before it. There are now 35 stitches in each section of the pinwheel, so a total of 280 stitches on the needles. Round 1 started with 8 stitches on the needles, so the circle has grown a lot. I've also used up 1 skein of yarn and have started using the 2nd skein now. I only have 10 skeins of this color, so I hope it will be enough. As long as I can get all the knitting done with this color, though, I could try using a matching solid color for the crochet edges.

The Biggest Loser: It was kind of a foregone conclusion that Neil would be gone if he went below the yellow line, so no big surprise there. It certainly is a nice irony that the last 4 standing were among those who were rejected on the first show when teams were chosen schoolyard style. They must feel like kings and queens of the hill now that all those who rejected them are gone and they're still in the running. It seems pretty obvious that Bill should win. He's been very strong and consistent throughout. Why is it that in this competition the men always seem to lose quicker and in bigger amounts than the women?

Chanukah Reading Tonight:

Bemidbar (Numbers) 7:48-59
Zekaryah (Zechariah) 2:14-4:7
Yochanan (John) 9:1-7; 10:22-39


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