31 December 2008

Before the ball drops...

... may I humbly offer for your consideration
Meema's Best of 2008 List
(continually updated as needed, and in no particular order)

Best road trip destination: Manhattan (More specific? The Guggenheim)

Best waste of time: Facebook

Best yarn shop: The Yarnery

Best knitting needles EVER: Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables

Best impersonation: Tina Fey as Governor Sarah Palin

Best theater seen: Souvenir, at The Jungle Theater

Best coffee shop: Blue Moon Coffee Café

Best public transportation: NYC subway

Best place to tell Father Christmas what you want: Steamworks Coffee & Tea

Best day for our nation: 4 November 2008

And the resolutions?

1. To continue greening my life, and showing Kidlet how to do the same by way of example.

2. Knit down my fingering weight (sock?!?) stash. Good grief, it has its own ZIP code.

3. Hide from entropy. Yeah, right...

A happy and safe New Year to you, readers. Come on back for another year of random blogging with me!

30 December 2008

Where the boys knit

Attention, knitterly men among us!

Registration for the 2009 Men's Spring Knitting Retreat is now open. May, upstate New York, men wielding pointy sticks - what could be grander?

(p.s. Check out the table corners - my coveted knitting machines of yore!)

The sixth day of Christmas

Here are the Top 10 Quotes of 2008, as compiled by the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations (via Associated Press release):

1. "I can see Russia from my house!" — Comedian Tina Fey, while impersonating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the TV comedy show "Saturday Night Live," broadcast Sept. 13.

2. "All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years." — Palin, responding to a request by CBS anchor Katie Couric to name the newspapers or magazines she reads, broadcast Oct. 1.

3. "We have sort of become a nation of whiners." — former Sen. Phil Gramm, an economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, quoted in The Washington Times, July 10.

4. "It's not based on any particular data point, we just wanted to choose a really large number." — a Treasury Department spokeswoman explaining how the $700 billion number was chosen for the initial bailout, quoted on Forbes.com Sept. 23.

5. "The fundamentals of America's economy are strong." — McCain, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, April 17.

6. "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." — the Treasury Department's proposed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, September 2008.

7. "Maybe 100." — McCain, discussing in a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, how many years U.S. troops could remain in Iraq, Jan. 3.

8. "I'll see you at the debates, b------." — Paris Hilton in a video responding to a McCain television campaign ad, August 2008.

9. "Barack, he's talking down to black people. ... I want to cut his ... off." — Rev. Jesse Jackson, overheard over a live microphone before a Fox News interview, July 6.

10. (tie) "Cash for trash." — Paul Krugman discussing the financial bailout, New York Times, Sept. 22.

10. (tie) "There are no atheists in foxholes and there are no libertarians in financial crises." — Krugman, in an interview with Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time," broadcast Sept. 19.

10. (tie) "Anyone who says we're in a recession, or heading into one — especially the worst one since the Great Depression — is making up his own private definition of 'recession'." — commentator Donald Luskin, the day before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, The Washington Post, Sept. 14.

29 December 2008

The fifth day of Christmas

As you all know, there was much knitting at The Meema House in preparation for Christmas. There are times I fantasize about making huge, wonderful sweaters and the like for everyone on my list; I know myself well enough, however, to know that just isn't feasible. No way, no how.

Until today!!!

A person can make as many fantastical knitted creations as they can dream up with this gem of a website.

I like the blue one. I though you should know.

28 December 2008

27 December 2008

The third day of Christmas

If you didn't get the opportunity this year (or just decided you'd rather not sweep up candy sprinkles for weeks), here's a great mess-free way to decorate gingerbread cookies. I made one just for you, in fact.

p.s. Mom is going home from the hospital today. She wants Chinese food for dinner - a very good sign. :-)

25 December 2008

Lights, please

If you're celebrating, have a merry one!

24 December 2008

Hitting the fan

So here we are. Christmas Eve.

You may ask, "Meema, are you done knitting?"

Depending on my mood at the moment of asking, the response could be any number of things:

a) hearty laugh
b) "Hrumph!" (or something)
c) "Yeah, right."
or d) the Evil Eye of Doom

There are things completed, things on needles, and things which must be started YESTERDAY. I'm storing up pictures to post after the gifting.

Oh, yes, another holiday mix-in: my mom has been in the hospital since Sunday, and could be spending Christmas (and then some) there as well. Send healing thoughts Rita's way, would you?

Back to bloggerizing. I stumbled on these sites last year, and have been waiting to share until this holiest of days. Enjoy!

p.s. At 9:00 this morning, I'll be listening to the live broadcast

of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College, Cambridge (England) on National Public Radio. It's an very traditional Anglican service, steeped in beautiful music. There's no better way to eat your breakfast on Christmas Eve morn...

21 December 2008

A long day's night


All hail the lengthening of days that comes with the winter solstice!

Woo hoo - more daylight for shoveling...

17 December 2008

It was good for me

I found it. Holiday frenzy bliss, that is:

Imagine leaning your head back into a shampoo bowl and receiving a loooong scalp massage while James Taylor is singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" on the Muzak.

Hoo boy. ;-)

16 December 2008

A child's Christmas wish

Franklin Habit is a funny man, and seasonally à propos as well. Check out the sketch he posted today.

Can I hear you say, "Amen, Brother Franklin"?

15 December 2008

Preparation, pageantry, and L&C on ice

TGIM. Strange, isn't it? It was a wonderful but crazy weekend, and I'm actually relieved to be back in the weekday routine.

Saturday started with a rehearsal for Lessons & Carols, which morphed into a long lunch with the AnderClan. Boy howdy, but the girls were squirrely! Oh well. It's amazing to watch B and Kidlet together - two peas in a pod. After lunch, Kidlet and I baked four dozen cookies, then made homemade pizza for dinner... bath, bedtime stories and songs, and one tired Meema.

Sunday morning was the children's Christmas pageant at St. Paul's 10:00 service. B and Kidlet were both cast as Mary. That's right - our Jesus had two mommies this year. Woo hoo! B struggles a bit with stage fright, but lasted much longer than previous years; Kidlet presented the baby at the end of the story while B looked on from the safety of Caytie and Mark's laps.

I've spoken many times on the love I have for my church choir. A feistier bunch of singers there isn't. Hearty, too, as yesterday would prove; Minneapolis was treated to a delightful winter rain which promptly froze as the temperatures dipped in the afternoon, just in time for our service.

Our annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols was not as well attended as hoped, but those who braved the elements were enthusiastic and received a heckuva musical experience, IMHO. The choir sang so. freakin'. well. We performed Benjamin Britten's "Hymn to the Virgin", for which the four section leaders sang antiphonally from across the nave. I was blown away with how solid and sensitively the choir sang (YAY ALTOS!!!). Several other transcendent moments took my breath away.

The wonderful thing about singing in an Episcopal church is that we know how to put on a spread. Note the lovely traditional English Tea reception:

Following the festive gathering in the undercroft, Richard and Brian annually host a gathering even more festive in their Arts & Crafts bungalow. How festive, you may ask? Feast your peepers...

B and Kidlet learned the magic behind the Christmas decorations.
Maestro Scott finally gets a chance to kick back and relax.

Our genteel hosts, Richard and Brian, a.k.a. Mr. and Mr. Christmas.

And now we return you to your holiday knitting, already in progress...

13 December 2008

Busy, busy, busy

2.5 hours of rehearsal for Lessons and Carols service? Check.

Four dozen Christmas cookies baked? Check.

Kidlet fed, bathed, and bedded? Check. (Sometimes it feels like a major event.)

Panic-driven Meema knitting down her gift list while George Bailey sticks it to Old Man Potter? Checkity check check check.

Please join us for A Festival of Lessons and Carols at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Minneapolis, tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.

12 December 2008


This morning J and Kidlet were to meet me at Steamworks Coffee for our annual visit with Father Christmas; I arrived about 15 minutes before them. As soon as I saw The Man, my eyes went misty. Good Lord, I am such. a. girl.

It was an amazing time - everything we could hope for, and then some. Seriously, Father Christmas is Kidlet's first boyfriend. She is big-time crushin'.

11 December 2008


Tomorrow we are visiting Father Christmas. I hope the resulting photos are in no way similar to these:

04 December 2008

T minus 45

Is this thing on?

Actual content coming soon to a blog near you.

27 November 2008

Giving thanks

Be it traditional or modern, with family, friends or in solitude, I wish you a warm and satisfying Thanksgiving.

Let the holiday season begin!

26 November 2008

Holiday greening

Check out 911earth.com's page for earth-friendly ideas to green your holiday, from recycling trees to letting the USPS print and mail your holiday cards for you.

My own personal mission: NO PLASTIC BAGS this season!!! Try IKEA's big blue shopping totes; yes, they're a bit crinkly and don't collapse into a hackey-sized pouch, but they are amazingly strong, totally cheap (59 cents!), and serve every need from gift/grocery shopping to transporting gifts on The Day. Or hauling firewood. Or stocking your snow fort with an arsenal of snowballs.

Heck, I'll bet you could even drag your dead Christmas tree to the curb on recycling day with it...

25 November 2008

Socks gone wild

Knitting socks (sleeves, mittens, whatnot) stepped beyond DPNs with the advent of Magic Loop knitting. Then came the toe-up sock. Then two-at-once on the Loop. This all feels like a natural Darwinian progression to an apex of knitterly knowledge.

Or so you'd think.

Take a look at this article. Kory Stamper knits her socks on DPNs.

At the same time.

Inside. Each. Other.

This blows my mind. I love seeing people thinking outside the box, taking an established technique like double knitting and turning it on its ear. Next thing you know, we'll all be doing it next year...

Knitting is a vital and evolving beast. So cool.

A window on my world

I have two aquariums in the living room which house 13 small fishies. Our routine is to feed the fish after we eat breakfast and dinner.

Kidlet settled down in front of the tanks after the morning slop, watching the new tetras (no photos yet) gobble their flaky breakfast and said, "You know, watching the fish is kind of like watching TV, isn't it?" I. Love. This. Kid.

What I said out loud: "Yes, sweetie, but so much nicer."

What I let stay in my head: "... and completely lacking in commercials for plastic toys you'll tire of in a matter of days." Ah, the holiday season.

20 November 2008


So I'm knitting Jared Flood's lacy-slouchy beret, Porom.

For myself.

Scandalous, I know. If logic had anything to say here, the only things on my needles would be thoughtful gifts for others. Oh well. It's not even Thanksgiving yet. [insert silent panic-infused scream here]

My one complaint? The needles.

I happen to be quite partial to a certain wooden interchangeable set I was gifted last Christmas. Actually, quite partial doesn't really begin to describe my feelings; ragingly loyal is more like it. Trouble is, they start at 24 inches, and I needed a 16" circular for the hat, so I defaulted to Addi Turbos.

I know I will offend someone (or two) with what I'm about to say, but I. Don't. Like. Them. I don't like using Addis. It's the points - rather, the lack thereof. You try using DK yarn, size 8 needles, and executing k3tog tbl. Grrr.

Meema needs to get her drink on.

18 November 2008

Pointy stick blingfest

Announcement: The Stitch Marker Exchange has just posted information about the winter swap. Registration for partners is Nov 25-Dec 25. More details are available on the blog's sidebar (follow the link above).

And fear not, my knitterly friends - the exchange itself doesn't happen until January, so it won't get in the way of your holiday gift knitting...

Enter early, enter often!

17 November 2008

Facebook or bust

Dang, but The Yarnery is cool...

If you and your knitterly friends are on Facebook, check out our LYS's new FB group page. It's only just been created by our blogging impresario G40, so click to join, then watch for updates and events!

16 November 2008

Holiday knitting gift idea #1

As we approach the season of power knitting, I thought I'd provide a dash of inspiration to fill out your gift list.

For the camel jockey who has everything...

A muzzle to match the polo team's silks. I'm sure it could be easily adapted to crochet as well. (Thanks, Barb!)

14 November 2008

Très cute

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

What a charmer!
(If the video doesn't load for you, click the "Once upon a time" link above)

11 November 2008

Keith Olbermann speaks on Prop 8

This is compassion.

I cried while listening to this response to California's (narrow) passage of Proposition 8. Thank you, Keith, for giving such salient voice to the GLBT community's struggle for human rights. And thank you to my friend eWAC for bringing this clip to my attention. I think everyone needs to hear this. Please distribute its URL to your family and friends.

A heavy day. Welcome the morn...


Canada has Remembrance Day.

The United States has Veterans Day.

No matter your national allegiance or political leanings, you (yes, you) have benefited from the sacrifice of time and lives by the men and women in armed service. Please find a moment today to ponder their effect on your life; the liberties that shape our national identity are an enormous gift.

09 November 2008

Synchronize your watches

OK, knitters. It's go time.

And by "go time", I mean that we're about to go double digits into November. Can you say HOLIDAY KNITTING IS GOING TO KICK MY ASS ONCE AGAIN?!? Dammit.

eWAC and I had a casual conversation this afternoon about said enterprise. As I left his and G40's stylishly remodelled loft, panic started to rise: 46 days to go. Man, I think I started holiday stuff earlier last year. (Just looked back in the archives, and the first mention of holiday knitting was 11/29/07. Slight whew.)

Next step, just completed: I waded through the mess that is my Favorites and PDF patterns to see what could fit the timeline. Luckily, last year I started bookmarking smaller projects for just this purpose...

And here are a few pre-holiday offerings to you, o crafty readers: Tools To Give By.

A handy-dandy reference for knitted thing dimensions (babies, hats, blankets, foot sizes).

This chart from REI is a great reference for socks, slippers, and the like when the feet in question aren't with you.

Also handy is this guide to fabric/yarn care symbols (previously posted, but helpful nonetheless).

Knit on!

08 November 2008

Stitch marker exchange

I took part in an online exchange this fall, making these stitch markers for knitters across the country:

Stitch markers = jewelry for your knitting. What's not to love?

And these are the markers I received in return:

If you'd like to participate in the next swap, start stalking the blog for details. A winter exchange will happen, but they're trying to decide whether a pre- or post-holiday timeline works for participants.

07 November 2008

Norm is sweating

... and showing his hypocritical colors.

His lead over Al Franken in Minnesota's hotly contested US Senate race has been steadily slipping as the election results' canvassing progresses. As of this moment, his lead has been cut from 762 on Tuesday night to only 221.

Ever the quintessential opportunist, he wasted no time in delivering an acceptance speech and lambasting Franken for thinking of pursuing a recount and wasting taxpayer money. Now that his lead is shrinking, he's throwing around accusations to cast doubt on the canvassing process (and no doubt readying his crack legal team to sue the state, Al, or whomever else they can to worm his way back into the Big Show).

Feel that, Norm? It's the wind of change, and it's going to rip the smug, self-righteous umbrella right outta your slick little hands.

P, A, and DQ

J, Kidlet and I had a night on the town with Cate, mWAK and the clan in SLP last night, consisting of dinner at DQ and shopping at OUAC.

D had one taste of the soft serve, and his bottle was history!

On the walk to Once Upon a Child we pass an upscale lighting store. I swear this fixture looks knitted...

But for $1449, I'll work on making my own, thankyouverymuch.

05 November 2008

Retro petrol

I literally can't remember when I last tanked up at a price like this.

Not quite sure where this cheap gas is coming from (I know, we just had an election, and I suspect the Grand Old Party wanted us to think good thoughts about them as we headed to the polls), but I certainly won't wave off a full tank for less than $20.