30 January 2008


My darling Kidlet turned three this morning. Wow.

I love you so much, sweet girl. Thanks for making me a Meema.

29 January 2008

Deep freeze

Cold enough for you?
Yes, and thanks for asking.

I love living in Minnesota for many reasons, winter actually being one of them. I'm one of those people that needs to see distinct seasons change in her back yard. The cold weather is not horrid; dressed appropriately, most is bearable. I once heard a winter adventurer (my memory with names is appalling, sorry) sing the praises of wearing the three "W's" - a wicking layer next to the skin, a warmth layer to hold in heat, and an outer wind layer to keep the cold air from penetrating. Believe me, it works like a charm.

My knitting self practically laughs in the face of forecasts like tonight's:

Overnight: Partly cloudy, with a low around -20F. Wind chill values between -39F and -44F. Blustery, with a west/northwest wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Have I ever mentioned my love affair with all things wool? If Minnesota had a state fiber, it would have to be wool.

Or maybe Thinsulate®...

28 January 2008

One score and two years ago

Day 20 (28) of Blog365.

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred 22 years ago today - where were you? I was home sick from school, watching my favorite soap opera, and saw it live on television. I recall it feeling slightly unreal. It was hard to make an emotional connection right away; that changed in the following days.

President Ronald Reagan's national address that evening paraphrased several lines from the poem "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., an aviator who died during WWII:

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

If you know me, you can probably guess my feelings about the Reagan years, but I feel this speech was one of his better moments.

27 January 2008

Turbo, schmurbo

Day 19 (27) of Blog365.

photo credit: Reuben Lalish

And you thought you knit fast... See the story of the exploding knitting needles here. Who knew knitting could be a blood sport? Yowza.

Happy knitting, and, hey - let's be careful out there!

26 January 2008

Church Choir and YOU

Have I mentioned that I excessively enjoy my church's parish choir? Yeah, I guess I have, but it bears repetition.

I always look forward to rehearsals on Wednesday nights. The choir has grown much under Going40's leadership, and serves as a family-away-from-family for its singers; a more supportive group of musicians I have yet to find. J'aime le St. Paul's Choir!

P.S. We don't actually wear Stetsons.
P.P.S. I don't actually speak French.
P.P.P.S. You figured that out all by yourself, didn't you?

25 January 2008

Another one bites the dust

The season of landmark life events continues. J (Kidlet's other mommy) celebrated her big Four-Oh today, and just like Going40 before her, has taken the very round number in stride. Emphasizing the year gone by, Grammy baked large numeric cakes (which narrowly managed to be rescued from the jaws of an inquisitive cocker spaniel with a sweet tooth.)

Kidlet has grown adept in her position as Gift Wrap Removal Assistant; a moonlighting stint as Musical Card Appreciator is also figuring in nicely. As luck would have it, Christmas and J's birthday immediately precede Kidlet's (next week!), so her gift-unwrapping pump is primed and ready for more...

Looky there - the finished Wavy!

24 January 2008

Bee is for Leo

Happy Birthday, Fuzz!

p.s. Note what has moved off my needles (finally). Woo-hoo!

23 January 2008

The dairy princess

Kidlet has a way of injecting past events into daily conversation, to the point that if you're not intimately familiar with her daily goings-on, it leaves you a bit stymied.

Almost each day this month she has mentioned - with visible sadness - that she spilled milk on her "beautiful sweater," and it needs to be washed and dried, and she's sorry. This happened several weeks ago, but the remorse on her face makes it seem like last night.

(BTW, the "beautiful sweater" is her name for the Malabrigo cardigan I made for Kidlet at Christmas, a.k.a. the green button sweater. The first time I heard her use that name, I hopelessly wanted to drop everything and knit a trunkful of clothes and toys for her. She is the sweetest girl.)

22 January 2008


Day 14 (22) of Blog365.

I like water. Most of the time.

Water - so elemental, so pure - has the power to unlock enormous potential. Note the humble Chia; when given its fill of the fluid, it grows like a weed (I'm sure it's a weed in someone's yard, somewhere). I am a much happier person when I, too, am fully hydrated like the Chia of Kidlet.

My kitchen walls, ceiling, and floor, however, are NOT aficionados of water in quantity. They are saturated to the point of dripping, thanks to the power of gravity and the ancient pipes connected to my upstairs neighbor's kitchen sink.

Meema is not amused.
Meema is not fond of water out of place.
[sniff, sniff]
Meema smells mold.

Oh, sing with me the lament of soggy lathe and plaster!

Of course, like all stories of this nature, the tragedy began on the Friday of a three-day holiday weekend. A weekend when the landlord was out of state with his family. He has since returned, made repair to the offending pipe, and is out of town again. My neighbor still has a barely functional kitchen sink, poor girl. Now we wait for one (?) or two (?!?) weeks for it all to dry out, then needs will be assessed and repairs begin.

The bright spot? Hey, at least I don't own the place. But Nana and Papa may have visitors this weekend...

Eight beautiful poets stand before me...

... but only one will be chosen as America's Next Blog Contest Winner.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist - "borrowed" that from Franklin à la Ms. Banks.)

The entries have been swept off to our judges (details to come), and results will be posted as soon as I am able. Thank you all for your participation, and good luck!

21 January 2008

MLK, Jr.

Day 13 (21) of Blog365.

Some people will only see today as a vacation day from school, or as an inconvenience because the bank/post office/stock market isn't open. I encourage you to take a moment to listen to Dr. King's speech from the March on Washington.

And for bite-sized insight, visit this site to read ten of the many famous quotes of the late Martin Luther King, Jr.

20 January 2008

Has anyone see my flock?

Here's my contribution to your day of rest. Visit their site to have a little fun!

19 January 2008

Knitting bling

If you haven't explored Etsy, you are missing a great corner of the Internet; it is a wonderland of handcrafted everything. Yarn, paintings, notecards, jewelry - if someone can make it, there's someone selling it. Etsy is a great place to shop and support the small-scale independent artisan.

One designer that has me hooked (no pun intended) is Nancy Smythe Thompson of Sassafras Creations, a woman with aluminum knitting needles and a Dremel who makes some great accessories and jewelry. Have a look, and enjoy handcrafted shopping!

18 January 2008

It's all relative

Day 10 (or 18) of Blog365.

Yesterday marked two weeks since Caytie and mWAK added Baby D to their family. Wednesday evening Cate and both kids visited our church choir rehearsal, staying for almost an hout. D even endured being passed through the alto section while we were making noise rehearsing. Perspective is an amazing thing: hearing D's stats right after he was born, I thought, "What a good-sized-almost-big baby!" But after living with and tossing around a 3-year-old, 8lbs 14oz is teeny, tiny, and downright pocket-sized. B impressed many by folding herself up into the baby seat - possibly a foreshadowing of vocation? Factoid: New Baby Smell has to be the most optimistic(?) smell around(to clarify, that's the smell on top of the head). Mmm.

Ch-ch-ch-Chia update: I'm almost afraid to sleep with my eyes closed, this plant is sprouting so quickly! As soon as it starts asking for blood sacrifice à la Audrey II, it's outta here.

17 January 2008

Less and local

Thought for the day:

“We need to move away from more and global to less and local; from accumulation of unnecessary clutter to enjoyment of good things in life like art, music, friendship and free time. We need to shift from waste to frugality, from consuming to making, from illusion to imagination, from desire to delight and from consumption of natural resources to an appreciation of the natural.”

-Satish Kumar

16 January 2008

Yarn Pr0n

Day 8 (or 16) into Blog365.

Squeeee! I wanted to blog about this yesterday when I received it, but waited until I had a picture to accompany the text (the actual crayon masterpiece is more vivid in person than this scan would have you believe):

My darling Kidlet approached me yesterday (before going to work at The Yarnery) with this in her hands, saying, "Meema, I made you yarn!"

"You can sell this yarn, too," said Kidlet.

"Oh, no!" said Meema, "This is far too precious to sell. No one will ever buy this from me, ever!"

Kidlet beamed with pride and satisfaction. "No one at The Yarnery can buy this yarn?"

"Nope, because it's mine!"

Is this not the most exquisite handspun you have ever seen? Eat your hearts out, fellow knitters - my stash officially rocks the kasbah.

15 January 2008

Mind the Tuesday

Day 7 (or 15) of Blog365.

Ch-ch-ch-Chia update: It's alive!! Apparently the mighty Chia is up to the challenge of residing with me; my record with houseplants has been abysmal in recent years (just ask J). Sprouts have been spotted and confirmed - see the little comma-like squiggles? Double-click on the photo, and you'll see them much closer than you ever thought necessary. Not nearly the entertainment factor of Sea Monkeys, but almost. Kidlet is still enamored with the project. Just like the Hokey Pokey, that's what it's all about.

I continue to be amazed that I'm getting paid to hang out work at the LYSTTS (Local Yarn Shop to the Stars). I've really been enjoying the people I work with, and the atmosphere is much more - comfortable? relaxed? grounded in reality? - than my last retail gig. And congratulate me, 'cuz I haven't been buying more than I'm taking home. It's actually profitable... for now...

P.S. One ball to go on the Wavy. Woo hoo!

14 January 2008

A is for Alpaca

Welcome to the
A Is For Alpaca Alpaca Destash Contest!!

It's a bit daunting to follow Going40's hyper-creative limerick-o-rama, but hey, someone had to do it... Since this is my first contest, starting with "A" just makes sense. And since The Meema Files has mainly centered around the topics of knitting and my daughter, the contest premise combines the two with a creative twist.

If I wrote a children's alphabet book related to knitting, alpaca would be on the first page (because it rocks and je detest angora fluff fibers that end up everywhere). Your job is to create other letter entries in a knit-centric alphabet. "A is for apple, all crunchy and red/ B is for bear, who honeys his bread" but with knitting terms - you get the idea.

Here are the guidelines:
- Please use the English alphabet.
- Specify if your entry is to be considered appropriate for a children's alphabet (G-rated), or one for adults (with saucy senses of humor, of course).
- Relevance to knitting/knitters/yarny things, as well as overall rhyme scheme of multiple sequential letters will be considered in the final evaluation.
- Submissions should be made as comments to THIS blog post.
- Deadline for submissions will be 11:59pm Central time (GMT -6:00) on Monday, January 21, 2008.

And, you might ask, what about the prizes (aside from the deep respect of your fellow blog commenters)? Why, alpaca yarny goodness! Worsted hand-painted, fluffy sport weight, delicate lace weight... yum. The first place entry will have first dibs, then second, and so on. Meema endorses the concept of multiple winners.

Put on your felted thinking caps, and see you at the finish line!

ADDENDUM: A question was raised this evening about the number of letters per submission. The answer - you can enter as few or as many of the 26 as you'd like. A pair of letters (a+b, c+d, ..., w+x, y+z) would serve best for working your rhyming muscles. Want to do the whole series? Be our guest!

13 January 2008

The green button

Things currently moving on my needles (hibernating UFO's are for another day):

- Still the Wavy scarf for J, although length is visibly accumulating now - there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

- Cast on the Braids & Bobbles Hat AC-60 by Fiber Trends in Cascade 220 (the same green as my Wavy scarf).

- Kidlet's Christmas sweater now has the perfect buttons plus one. I found these cute yellow buttons at - where else? - The Yarnery. As I was stitching them on, she wanted to thread buttons, too. I let her play with some larger ones in my jar, and she grew quite fond of some big green 4-holes. She wanted them for her sweater, but I had to explain they were too big for the buttonholes, and there were only five buttons for the six holes. A compromise was reached, and now there is a lone green button on the left chest. Who am I to deny Kidlet's self-expression, just because she can't sew on her own buttons yet?

I realize you were promised contest details this weekend, my faithful readers; I know the prizes, I just haven't fleshed out the details of how to determine the recipients. Can you feel the electric charge in the air? Stash enhancement is on the horizon. I leave you with one tantalizing word:

alpaca. alpaca. alpaca.

12 January 2008

A Norsk by any other name

[Due to technical difficulties, yesterday's blog was created in a Word doc, then saved for transmission when an Internet connection could be secured. Really, I can document it.]

[Never mind. Thanks, Scott!]

Kidlet has a very Norwegian name - a Norwegian goddess, actually - followed by my uber-Norse surname. Not a drop of the blood in her, but you'd never know to hear her. Today [Saturday] she was playing with her pogo-ball-whatever and, out of the blue, said, "Uff da, this ball sure is heavy!" (No hyphen, eWAC.)

In other maternal news, Kidlet and I planted her Chia Turtle. No, I didn't buy it for her; this was my sister's doing. I can't knock it or Sis, though. Whatever Sis chooses for Kidlet turns to pure gold - the Chia, the Ten Tiny Tadpoles book which must be read every night she spends in St. Paul, the Sit-n-Spin... If you need gift suggestions for the preschool set, I'll hook ya up with my sister. Anyway, the Chia was exciting even while soaking overnight in a bowl of water, let alone smearing slimy seeds on its shell. I love this age! Watch for Chia updates to come.

Side comment on all things Chia: doesn't it seem like the logical animal to bear a growing fluffy coat would be a sheep? I'm just sayin'.

11 January 2008

Burnout already?

Dang, it's only Day 3/11. Are you getting the idea that this post will not go down in history as a masterpiece of prosaic wonderment? I am sensing the need to think of blog topics from the time I rise and rub my sleepy eyes. Maybe a weekly or monthly theme would help. I'll work on that...Stay tuned for contest info this weekend!!

10 January 2008

The un-contest (not mine)

Cheryl, blogger at a simple yarn, is having a simple contest: the 1500th commenter on her blog receives 200 grams of lovely Irish Kilcarra wool. Midwestern knitters, represent!

09 January 2008

365 Days

All right, fellow bloggers, it's time to step up the game. I just spotted this banner on a regular blogread of mine, and it moved me to action. There are posts for every day of 2008 but yesterday on The Meema Files, but I think the official count starts on registration day (9 Jan, for Yours Truly). If you are feeling bold, adventurous, or just plain stupid, come join me.

I had a "Come-to-Jesus" moment with my yarn stash yesterday as I dug around in my closet. Looking for some DK wool for a project, I came to the sad and frightening realization that, despite the 100+ photos of fiber on my Ravelry page, I still have undocumented yarn. Yikes - I think a contest is in order here. Have a suggestion for one? Leave a comment and help build a better blogosphere.

Here's to typing regularly and knitting frequently!

07 January 2008

Tetris, anyone?

My younger sister was the video game champ of the house on our old Atari system - still is, for that matter; she kicks my posterior on her wii whenever we play. As I have a nostalgic penchant for those and some of the simpler next gen games, this video cracked me up. Enjoy!

got felt?

I typed the title of this post and started giggling (hello, inner 12-year-old child!), but throwing caution to the wind, I'm leaving it. On that note, any stray Googlers who landed here because of the title are going to be sorely disappointed - it's about the fabric.

A look back at my holiday knitting reveals quite a few - nay, many - felted objects. I'm prepared to call it a subconscious theme; you should do the same.

Previous posts o' mine mentioned that Going40 up and Went40 last Friday. To mark the occasion, his partner eWAC and I concocted a crafty display, inspired by this (ironically from a website featured on Going40's own Best of 2007 blog post). After felting many a thrift store sweater, I cut out letters and fashioned loops of Malabrigo yarn (40's fave - see the list again) to a rope of Misti Alpaca Super Chunky yarn and made this garland:

eWAC hung it in their home for Scooter to see on his natal morn, then transported it to the party that evening, where it hung above pictures from 40's childhood.

I really love how it turned out - squishy soft wool at every turn, and a recycled project to boot. What a wonderful world.

06 January 2008

I [heart] yarn retail

Working in your favorite LYS feels a little weird. You have permission - and are paid - to enable other people's yarn addictions:

"Not sure which pattern you should use? Let's look in the book - oh, here! Now let's get you some yarn... and needles... ooh, and a bag to keep it all in!"

Lord knows I'm constantly making a mental list for myself:

"Oh, wouldn't this yarn make a fabulous [insert object] for [insert name]," or, "I could see a reason why I might need [insert pattern] on hand someday."

Hmmm. OK, so maybe it's not a bring-home-a-paycheck situation so much as a keep-a-scary-habit-self-supporting situation. I can live with that.

05 January 2008

The twelfth day of Christmas

tppp-tpp-tpp-tppppppp! (it's a trumpet) Welcome, one and all, to the last day of the season! Tomorrow is the day Christians observe the arrival of the gift-bearing Magi - Epiphany.

[rant alert for Christmas observers] Have you noticed that, all these past eleven days, you didn't hear one note of holiday music on your radio? It maddens me that our hyper-commercial culture inundates the airwaves with holiday tunes starting the day after Thanksgiving, then shuts them off at 11:59 pm on 25 December. Many people are actually convinced that the twelve days end with Christmas Day, not begin. The weeks leading up to the 25th are meant to be full of anticipation and wonder, yet as we arrive at Christmas, we're often "all Christmas-ed out." I'm just sayin'.

04 January 2008

The eleventh day of Christmas

I love celebrating a holiday for almost two weeks!

Newsy news: Caytie and Mark with a K have a new son! He was delivered last night at 5:38 (I missed the pool on the gender card). Everyone is well and happy.

Happy Birthday today to Going40! He wears the quatrogenarian mantle well, don't you think?

In all things knitting, I have two more Woolly Nest Ornaments to make for family members. J's Wavy scarf seems not to grow, despite continual knitting - have you ever had a project like that? Frustrating and slightly unmotivating, but I refuse to let a half-knitted item become the boss of me.

Happy knitting!

03 January 2008

The tenth day of Christmas

I almost forgot to mention the little present given us by the USPS - the Holiday Knits stamps! I don't think I've ever squeed out loud in the post office before, but golly, these are cute:
I will be using them just as long as I can.

Happy knitting to all, and to all a good morning!

Addendum: They were out of these at the counter, but I found them in one of the vending machines in the lobby at my P.O. Good luck in your quest!

02 January 2008

The ninth day of Christmas

We are entering an eventful 48 hours, my readership. Two of my blogmates (and good friends) are to be experiencing milestone life moments on Days Ten and Eleven of this season. By reading their blogs you may live vicariously through them, as I will.

Good luck and an official Mr. McFeely wish in song to Caytie and her husband as the Pitocin starts dripping early tomorrow morning.

If there's anything you want,
If there's anything you need,
McFeely's Delivery brings it to you here with speed!
Yes, our Speedy Delivery is a speedy delivery...
Speedy Delivery to you!

(My votes are a Solveig on the 3rd after 5pm. You can vote on her blog's sidebar.)

Birthday greetings and festive rejoicing to Going40 as he GoesThere on Friday. Item of note: his GPA for first semester matches his landmark birthday digits. So smart, so talented, so witty.

Have a great end to your week - knit something for yourself!

01 January 2008

The eighth day of Christmas

Happy New Year!!!
(and Happy Birthday, JBA!)