Monday, January 29, 2007


(2 posts in one day, I know, wierd....)

Every year the city of St. Paul, MN hosts a huge Pagan festival the last week in January to banish winter and welcome back the summer season. The Winter Carnival has been a part of the yearly celebrations in MN since 1886, missing only one year during WW2.

The legend is that Boreas (King of the Winds) and the Queen of the Snows happened upon St. Paul and declared that the city be the location of a 10 Day celebration of Winter. Vulcanus Rex (The King of Fire) and his krewe of Vulcans plotted to stop the winter revelry and manage to depose King Boreas from his throne at the end of the 10 day celebration. Boreas, the Queen of the Snows and the 4 winds (brothers of Boreas) chose to leave the city to return the following year. It's an awesome time! The Vulcans are my favorite!!!!

They ride around on an 1932 Luverne Firetruck, made in Luverne, MN and cause general mayhem and drum up supporters to oust Boreas from the city. They mark their supporters with a black V on your cheek. I have to get my mark every year!

One of the annual activities is the snow sculpting and one of my friends has participated in the competition for the last 10 years. This year's team was once again all SCA and the theme was "Slip, Sliding away" and featured a bunch of playful otters, doing what otters do best.

There were 14 Teams of snow sculptors and all the teams were excellent!

This team won the populace vote and the artist vote. It was truly amazing!

This whimsical piece came in 3rd with the judges.

Second place was a young boy on a dock titled "Summertime Dreams". It was a lovely piece, but I didn't get a picture of it.

First place went to the 2 headed dragon.

The Vulcan pick was "Boreas in July" and showed a rather portly guy in an adorondac chair sipping a cool drink and listening to an I-pod. I thought I got a picture of that piece, but I guess I will need to go back.

We walked through the ice maze. Got "marked" by the Krewe. Visited with all the dogs that were out and about. Looked at all of the ice sculptures.

Warmed up in the "Hot Dish" tent and generally had a good time. The weather was clear and sunny, but cold, somewhere around 7 degrees F. Not too bad if you dressed for it.


I don't really care if I am spoiling the surprise, she'll have it in a week and has seen it in pieces before it was sewn together, but now it is DONE!

Detail of the hat

Detail of the collar

Yes the neckband and button band is supposed to be a contrasting color. Must be traditional to the sweater pattern is all I can think.

Detail of the wrong side (I'm pleased at how neat the back looks)

More details!

This is my first fairisle sweater and while I don't know if I'm going to start another one anytime soon, it was a great experience and I learned a lot! I can tell that my sleeves are a lot better than the body as my skill improved. The sweater is the Sirdal pattern from Dale of Norway, knitted in Dale of Norway Baby Ull in the Navy (5755) and Off White (20) colorway with dark green contrast color. I knit it for size 12 mos so DJ should get a lot of wear from it.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I WILL make the strapless dress work!

I'm a bridesmaid in a wedding October 6th of this year. The gowns are royal blue strapless. They are very pretty, but I hate my arms. They look like sausages and are just plain ugly, but I am working on that. I worked out Tuesday and Thursday, 1.5-2 hrs each day. My butt feels fantastic and my arms are a bit sore, but nothing tramatic. I just need to stay the course. I don't want to be a muscle mass, just nicely toned. I think I can easily go back to the FIRM once my free Bally's pass is over in 6 weeks.

I was completely pumped on endorphins when I showed up at SnB last night, either that or it was the berry smoothy with soy protein powder. Either way I had WAY too much energy. I didn't dare have coffee so I settled for some de-caf green tea with mint. It was lovely.

I finished sewing the buttons on DJ's sweater and received a round of applause from the girls. ::grin:: I need to get some photos of it before it goes to it's new home. I'm especially pleased with how neat the inside looks. He should be able to wear it for a long time, especially the hat, which may be WAY huge for a while.

Work is dead today so I am taking a half day and heading off to the Winter Carnival to watch my friends work on their snow sculpture. Tomorrow, another work out and then I meet with Thuri to carve molds and cast pewter badges. Sunday, more Winter Carnival.

I started the decreases for the wool stockings. I should be at the clocks by this evening.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Buns and thighs

Had my 1 hour free with a personal trainer on Friday and had my ass kicked. Dang, I'm surprised I could walk on Saturday and stairs were a bit interesting. Sandy worked me hard, but I'm glad for it since I really felt some change. Went back on Sunday and did everything over again and still managed to get out of bed and make it to work today.

If I can keep this up 3 days a week I should be able to go back to the FIRM when my 8 week pass is over and continue on. I completed 1 week sucessfully and have started week #2 on track. Fingers crossed that I don't get lazy.

I started pair #3 of the stockings with clocks and have over 3 inches on the needles. I'm doing 2 at a time so I will be finished with both at the same time. Tonight is SnB and the return of Heroes!!! The baby sweater and hat are washed and blocked and the buttons are waiting to be sewn on when it is dry! I also mailed one silk swatch to Mel on Thursday and I'm hoping she likes it. I discovered that the needles are in fact 000 and not 00 as I thought. Oh well. I should be getting my Interweave mags back on Thursday so I can restart the shawl when the stockings are complete. I also bought yarn for Sam's socks and I'm thinking about charting a couple designs from the History of Hand Knitting Book. Could be fun!

I finally took down the tree this past weekend and threw away some things, generally straightened the house, did laundry, swept, started a sponge for bread, vacumed everything and enjoyed the quiet. P got back from Lincoln just fine last night and he had a good time with the Yeti's at War Manuvers.

I need to finish mixing the bread and form the loaves and clean the bathroom when I get home tonight. Maybe pictures of the completed baby ensemble tomorrow.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The 'Artist' formerly known as...

I think 25 people in all ended up at Mosaic on a Stick. Mostly SCA folks but my cousins came as well as one of P's former work mates. I think everyone had a good time and enjoyed looking around the space. It is a lovely place! Cudos to Lori and Maria for convincing P to take them up on their offer to host the gathering. It was a grand time and they are fabulous!

Here is the finished piece in all of her glory! It measures 2' x 2' and the tiles are less than a 1/4" square. P estimates that there are 5,000 hand cut tiles in this piece. The Griffin is taken from a group of beasts depicted in a 13th c. mosaic in Italy. The compass roses in the border are a Northshield touch.

Other photos from the evening and some work in progress shots of the Griffin can be seen in my photobucket account.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Timmy is having an exhibit this evening and I think 40 people are going to show up. I'm really excited and I think he is too. We started working on the food for the event last night. I wish there had been better communication with M so we could have gotten the mosaic table from Calontir, but we have the fish.

I'm leaving work early to go home and help him finish up the food and get ready for tonight.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Holy Fairisle Batman

The sweater is done!!! It still needs to be blocked and the buttons added but all of the knitting is complete.

I'm still debating if I should upload a picture before it is received. That and I need to finish the hat that goes with it.

Worked out again last night and I have an appointment with a personal trainer on Friday.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Fitness year

I signed up for the Discovery Channel's National Body Challenge. I received my 8 week coupon for Bally's Fitness and went yesterday for my first appointment. I warmed up on the tread mill for 10 minutes, stretched out and did a few minutes of pilates and then spent 20 minutes on the elliptical (plus 5 more for the cool down) and finished out with a cool down on the treadmill for 10 minutes. Finished everything off with some stretching. I feel like I worked out today, but I'm not in pain or completely worn out. I feel like I slept really well last night. I was pleased with my heart rate, it stayed in the proper range for a good cardio workout.

I'm still trying to figure out which nights will be workout nights. So far I have Sunday and Tuesday for sure and possibly Thursday before knitting. If I'm not going to an event I can easily add in Friday or Saturday, but I want to set up some type of consistant schedule. I would be happy if I lost 10 pounds, but I'm more interested in toning my body and I would rather replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of muscle. I really want to trim down my waist.

Bally's has a promotion for coupon holders to get us to sign up for a membership. I'm not sure how long I have to make a decision before the sweet offer goes away. I've done the gym membership in the past and it's never worked out. I get busy one week and can't go and my whole routine goes out the window. Inevitably it is a waste of money for me. It would probably be cheaper for me to by a used elliptical at 2nd Wind and make monthly payments on that. A monthly payment with free financing charge would be cheaper than a gym membership and both P and I could use it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Truly appalled

Read Yarn Harlot and was completely unprepared for her post this morning. Please make sure you are sitting down, and you may want to pour yourself a little something before clicking the link.

I truly hope that Blue Moon's former banking institution is revealed so that I can NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THAT BANK AGAIN!!!!!

I will be SO amused to see this story come across the main news wire. The Knitting Olympics got a nod in TIME for crying out loud!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bridal weekend

Met up with my friend A and 3 of the 4 other bridesmaids at David's Bridal on Sunday for dress decisions. It went pretty well as we were all fairly easy to please. We tried on a number of styles (I think 6 or 8) alltogether and came back to the first dress style as being the winner. I think the Royal blue will look fine on me and I think I may be the only bridesmaid who will not require alterations as the hem is the perfect length. I had to get a size 14. F'in dress industry. Hello, I lost 40 pounds so I would no longer be a size 14 and the last formal dress I bought was a 12. If they had to face the women in the dressing rooms having a conniption because their wedding dress is 2 sizes bigger than they normally wear I believe they would re-think the whole size deffinitions.

The flower girls looked adorable and Miss K did numerous piroettes to test drive her gown. Too cute.

Saturday I spent in bed. My head felt like it was stuffed with cotton and I slept most of the day. I guess I needed that cause Sunday I felt just fine. I really could have used the time on Saturday to work on stuff for 12th Night, but I will have to find time this week. I have Yeti tabbards to finish, springerle to make, caramels to make, finishing items for the shade fly to hand off, and various and sundry presents to complete before the 13th.

I have done a great deal with DJ's sweater. I steeked the front and sleeve openings with G2's excellent direction. Both sleeves are sewn in and the cuffs are finished. The bottom hem is sewn and the body simply requires the neck and front button bands (and buttons) to be finished. The hat is almost ready to start decreasing and then I can add the ear flaps and stich the front band in place. The end is in sight and I am loving how it looks so far. This is the most complex sweater that I have made and I think it really turned out well.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Winter arrives

Just in case you were confused.

Lefse was made tonight. Two whole batches. DJ held the lefse turner and it has been declared that he will be a baker.

We discovered that a warm plate of lefse will calm a fussy baby. Lefse is magic. Was there really any doubt?

New Year and Holiday re-cap

I am very re-miss in writing about my holiday exploits; my only excuse is I was having too much fun enjoying my holidays with family and friends to spend time writing about it on my computer. Now that I am back at work the procrastinating can commence.

Christmas was spent at the Goodoien's in Lonsdale MN on 12-23. The rain and snow that we received on the 21st turned the trees that lined the freeway into white crystal and our breath was taken away more than a few times as we traveled south.

The gathering was wonderful as it is every year. Lots of catching up, lots of laughter, lots of music (there are a number of professional and amature musicians in my family) and lots of food naturally. My uncles, cousins and I planted ourselves around the herring plate and ate until we were sick. I had planned to make carmels, but ended up making toffee as I neglected to pay close attention and my candy thermometer shot past 146 to 150 degrees. The toffee was delicious (tasted just like Wherthers)and I may screw up again in the future. My cousin's oldest was home from OR with his girlfriend and announced that they are engaged! I'm very happy as she is a wonderful person and they seem to really compliment each other. She also knits and has taught her future sister's in law this skill, which I am all for!

I picked up 5 balls of cotton on Thursday and whipped up 8 dishcloths by Saturday and handed them all out at the gathering to my aunts and cousins. My sister got a gift card for Home Depot so she can get some color on her walls. She purchased a bird feeder for dad from the two of us and I purchased new pot holders for Mom from the two of us (I also threw in a couple of cotton dishcloths for mom). This year I was pretty light on gifts (broke) and I did not send out holiday cards again. Maybe I can get my act together by 12th night, but I doubt it. I just wish I had something interesting to share with people, but my life is pretty boring right now. Kate got me travel books for Australia (I really want to go and visit Jen and Bruce) and she brought me back a necklace from her trip in October. She also got me a gift card for Target. Mom and Dad got me gift cards for Borders and Best Buy. I think I will be purchasing Doctor Who Season 1 (new season) from Borders.

My friends in Madison announced that they got engaged on the 16th and will be getting married sometime in the Fall. P and I met them for breakfast Christmas Eve day and I was asked to be a bridesmaid. I am very excited (it's been a while) and I'm looking forward to perusing various dress styles on the 7th. Currently a strapless number at David's Bridal is in the running and I like it just fine. The entire bridal section will average 5'5", with me towering over them at 6' in heels. I predict that the photographer will be using stairs and making me take a step down in every shot. LOL!

December 27th P and I got to meet our un-god son. We are the un-god parents as DJ is anything but un-godly. He is an angel.

This is my "sister" Aurelia who was visiting from Boston and is holding DJ. Please notice the cute self striping socks that he is wearing. The sweater is still on hold as I have been too nervous to attempt steeking, but I did finish the second sleeve. I started a hat to go with the ensemble and he should be able to wear everything by next winter (it's a size 1 yr+).

The whole un-god thing is very confusing for many, so here is a quick clarification. P and I are not the official God parents for DJ, but his parents do want us to have some role and as niether of us are members of any church they came up with the term "un-god parents" and thought that worked. I thought it worked nicely as well.

Christmas Day was spent in MN with P and I exchanging gifts for each other and ocassionally rearranging a cat who had laid across our laps, feet or head. I got him a gift card for Best Buy and he got me the Muppets Season 1, which we promptly watched most of on Monday.

We had been invited to a number of New Year gatherings but because of the icy roads topped with snow (finally!!!) we decided to stay home and watched DVD's with our neighbors. We barely made it to midnight (too old) and toasted the dropping of the ball with Oscars (yum).

I slept in past 10 am each day this last weekend and felt decadent.

New Years day we joined T and L for breakfast at Key's cafe and I ate way too much. When we got home I took advantage of the beautiful day and fresh snow and took a luxurious walk through Battle Creek park. I ran across fresh deer tracks, but no deer. There were many walkers (with and without dogs) and cross country skiers on the trail enjoying the fresh snow and bright sun. I will post my pictures later. The scenery was truly breathtaking. What a wonderful way to bring in the New year!

Tonight Liz is bringing DJ over for a visit and we are making lefse. I may post my pictures from the trail before she shows up, but we will see. Tonight I'm making an effort to fit in a pilates work out. One of my resolutions is to work out. I don't care if I lose weight, I just want to be more toned, especially if I'm wearing a strapless number in the Fall.

A very happy 2007 to all and your's. May it be better than 2006.