Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Good morning all!

I hope your holidays were as bright and wonderful as ours. My kids were thrilled with their gifts, the husband really likes his Ipod and me? My sock sisters hooked me up! LOL

Dianne, Linda, Teresa and I met for lunch right before the holiday and it, all by itself, was a Christmas celebration. Teresa made an incredible, chocolate-y variety of brownies and other goodies and passed everyone a tin. Unfortunately, they did not survive long enough to be photographed, but they were amazing.

Dianne gifted me with this beautiful scarf and a "shawl stick pin" that her husband carved (how neat is that??). Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the pin, but I will do it soon and upload it.

She also gave me two skeins of Peace Fleece. This color, Kamachatka, matches the one Marianne gave me for my birthday. My plan is to combine the three skeins and make myself a shawl. (I did make myself the red Takhi shawl, but gifted it).

There was also Republic of Tea teabags, an adorable soap sock and this little baby. I'd often admired the little teapot charm Dianne wears and now, I've got one of my own. My husband bought me a long sterling chain to go with it and I'm always wearing it now.

Linda was equally generous. I received a skein of the Fortissima Colori 1776. My plan was to make socks, but then I saw a pair of fingerless gloves in this and I'm intrigued by that too.

She also gave me this wonderful floormat that brings a smile to my face every time I see it. Also in the gift bag were Christmas pads, a Panera gift certificate and other goodies.

In all honesty, my Christmas was that day at lunch. The laughter, friendship and generosity of these amazing women just overwhelmed me. Thank you Teresa, Linda & Dianne for making my holiday and for your friendship and love most of all.

I wish all of you a wonderful, safe, happy & healthy New Year.

Friday, December 14, 2007

MOTH&H (Man of House & Hero)

We had a brief, but eventful Friday last week.

Because of icy road conditions, schools were delayed for two hours (later, they closed), so Mohamed left the house a little while before me. I had just left our neighborhood and was heading down Diamond Hill Road when I saw a pickup truck sitting, overturned, on its passenger side. A man was directing traffic and waved me on, so I pulled around the truck and saw that my husband's car was sitting on the side of the road with its emergency lights blinking.

I pulled over to the shoulder, parked and went to the pickup. There, standing inside the cab of the truck, was my husband, Mohamed. As it turned out, the lady driving the truck had slid on ice, hit a hill and rolled onto her side. In the process, she was pinned by her seatbelt and we later learned, her wrist was broken.

Mohamed was one of the first people on the scene. When he saw what had happened, he just took action. He climbed into the cab of truck, irregardless of the leaking gasoline and the fact that the car, itself, was sitting in the middle of the icy road. He talked to the accident victim, Debbie, he gave her his coat to keep her warm and just did his best to make an awful situation not quite so scary. There were over 100 accidents in the county last Friday morning and it took about 30 minutes for a rescue squad to arrive. All the while, freezing rain was pouring down on all of us and the road conditions were steadily worsening.

Help did come and I stood there, jaw hanging open in amazement. The firemen threw a blanket over Mohamed and Debbie. They then broke out the windshield of the pickup and took the "jaws of life" and cut the roof off of the truck (who knew that the "jaws" were generator-powered giant scissors? I didn't.). Mohamed was then able to simply back out of the cab and the rescue squad placed Debbie on backboard and took her to the local hospital.

Every now again, the person closest to you amazes you. I know that Mohamed is good man, an honest man and a lot of other wonderful things. He's also the man who leaves his smelly socks on the floor, dances like a headless, flailing chicken, watches CNN ad nauseum and a lot of other annoying things. He shocked me...genuinely shocked me Friday. I know that he's generous, but I didn't realize how completely selfless he can be. I know that he can be fierce, but his gentleness was so touching, as was the bravery he showed. He took my breath away...again. I am blessed in my marriage and so glad and grateful for him.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Now, to the amusing part of the story. After all was said and done, I was slowly walking back to my car, clutching the vehicles parked alongside the road. I was going slow and paying attention so naturally, I fell on my butt...hard. So hard, in fact, that I fractured my tailbone (slightly).

So here I sit, high as kite on Lortab, chuckling over what my sister said to me.

Yes, Dana, Mohamed is the hero. However, you're
the one who can say, 'I busted my ass for a stranger,'
and mean it literally."

Have an enjoyable, uneventful weekend y'all. And, if I don't catch up with you before Christmas, I wish you a warm, happy, wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Week in the Life....

Here goes my first bullet post.

    1. I'm still knitting furiously on the monstrously large afghan.

      2. As a break from the afghan, I've done four (so far) calorimetries as holiday gifts. My friend (guru/mentor/teacher/inspiration), Becky, was nice enough to convert the worsted weight pattern into a bulky weight, so I've been using Paton's Shetland Chunky.

        3. Andie's been earning her Christmas money by babysitting.

        While downloading my knitting photos, I found these masterpieces.

          Andie & Connor "cleaning their noses."

          And who says you can't teach a two year old a new trick?

          Andie & Jacob (with popsicle tongues)

          Note: Jacob & Connor are Emma & Isabelle's older brothers.

          4. And last, but not least, Arabella.

          She's grown bigger and she's now a stash raider.

            Happy Knitting/Spinning Everyone!

          Wednesday, December 05, 2007

          Jayne Hat

          I'm maintaining my pre-holiday sanity by knitting Christmas gifts. While my bum grows ever larger as it's parked on the couch, I've been enjoying my new DVD collection, "Firefly." (Bless you Faren!)

          When all the blankets, the calorimetry and gifts are finished, I'm going to treat myself to one of these babies, a Jayne Hat.

          To learn more (and have a laugh), watch the video below.

          Adam Baldwin and Jayne Hats

          Tuesday, November 20, 2007

          What Happened?

          I caved. I crumbled. I gave in like a soggy noodle.

          When Andie's big, green, teary eyes looked up at me and said,
          "Pullllleaaaaaseeee," I agreed.

          Meet the newest member of the Soltani family, Arabella.

          Bella is a rat terrier/beagle mix whom we adopted from a local animal shelter.

          She now takes over this post.

          The above reads, "My name is Arabella, but you may call me 'Your Highness.'"

          "The foolish child holding me hasn't yet realized the truth...."

          "So you had better do what I say or I'll rip apart your toys, wake you up at 3:00 a.m. with a cold nose in your ear, whine, bit your toes and just when you're ready to bark at me, I'll..."

          As for the cats, Sabrina, the elder feline, swatted Bella in the nose once and Bella now leaves her alone. Domination established. Libby and Bella are still circling around each other, getting the lay of the land. Lib is definitely feeling like Jan Brady at the moment.

          We, the mere humans, are sleep deprived, short tempered and grainy-eyed.

          Me? I miss my quiet knitting time.

          It's all good though. :)

          Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

          Monday, November 19, 2007

          When I Used to Knit

          Rather than a long and incredibly dull post, I'm "bulleting" and doing photo highlights. Here goes....

          *When I used to have time to knit, I was working on my first afghan. It's a feather and fan Christmas gift for a family member. I've done eleven skeins so far and still have six more to go. Gauge is a tricky thing, huh? I was planning on a nice-sized "couch blanket" when I started this project however at the current rate, the afghan will be somewhere between a queen or king sized spread. (Note to self: Swatch, Dana, Swatch/Learn the principles of gauge too).

          *My friend, Teresa, inspired me to do this Knitty project, Calorimetry.

          *As a break from the afghan, I started this sock. It's a "vanilla" sock pattern.

          *I also finished the Yarn Harlot Poncho.

          Again, I was knitting up a storm the first couple of weeks in November and then THIS HAPPENED...

          Thursday, November 01, 2007

          Happy Halloween!

          I'm still without a camera so no knitting photos just yet.

          Better still and in place of knitting, here are the girls in their Halloween best.

          Emma & Isabelle (their first Halloween):

          Wednesday, October 17, 2007

          Fight for your Festival

          Hi Everyone,

          Having recently attended both the Country Fair and the Montpelier Fiber Festival, I'm now convinced that I'm a festival addict. With that in mind, I was very disappointed to learn that the Sedalia Center does not/not have a fiber festival planned for Spring 2008.

          My sock sister, Linda, and I were talking last night and decided that we would get in touch with the folks at Sedalia and ask them to reconsider the festival. With that in mind and if you have a few minutes to spare, please click the Sedalia link and send them a message expressing your interest too.

          Linda and I are volunteering our services to organize, assist in organizing or simply to do whatever needs to be done to get the festival back on Sedalia's calendar. Will you help us? Please click the "Contact Us" link at Sedalia and let them know that the fiber festival is important to you too. Thank you so much!


          I spoke this morning with Sedalia and this could happen for us. In the meantime, I've created a mailing (vendor) list of every yarn store, fiberist & alpaca farm I could find in a three hour radius. If you know of someone who might be interested in being a vendor, please e-mail me at and if I don't already have them, I'll add them to the list.

          (And yes, Nana Sadie Rose is on the list; I would love to see her bags in person and they are fiber-related)!

          Friday, October 12, 2007

          Montpelier - Part Four

          Our combined purchases.

          The Road Trippers
          The piece de resistance, "Sheep Happens."

          When I visited Linda and Jim at their home, I saw this sign

          there and adored it. I went to the store where Linda had purchased hers and they

          had long since sold out and were, in fact, going out of business.

          Lo and behold, I saw it at the festival and was going to buy it, but

          Dianne and Linda beat me to the punch. They bought it for me!


          At the fair, I bought the Carodan emerald green wool, two skeins of Galway

          tweed (love the tweed),

          and a spinning wheel charm.

          Montpelier 2007 was my first fiber festival and it was incredible!

          Thank you Linda, Dianne & Nikki for joining me. XOXOXO

          Montpelier - Part Three

          There's Dianne with the Mangham Mohair.


          Leicesters (I believe).


          And last, but never least, Linda with her bag of baby alpaca roving.

          "I got it! I got it!"

          Note: The "Energizer Bunny" photographed above tried to kill me. Linda went up and down the dusty Montpelier trail at least thirty times and on one of her last trips up the lane, I decided I had to sit down or fall down. I couldn't keep up with her. :D

          Montpelier - Part Two

          Dianne, Nikki, Linda & I saw some gorgeous animals...

          ...and some equally beautiful fiber from Carodan Farm.

          (Marianne: I bought the emerald green, of course).

          How neat is this?!?! Knitting goodness everywhere you look. I felt like a kid in a candy store.

          Montpelier Fiber Festival- Part One

          Sorry everyone, but this is going to be several photo-heavy postings.

          Below are pictures of our arrival (through the windshield & while driving no less). For those of you who couldn't make it this year, the shots will give you an idea of perspective.

          See the warshrag that Nikki gave me on the dashboard (it's under the program)?

          It's adorable!

          This little guy was too cute.

          Friday, October 05, 2007

          Montpelier...Here we come!

          Tomorrow's the big day!
          Linda, Nikki, Dianne and I are road trippin' to the Montpelier Fiber Festival.
          I have only two questions....

          Are we there yet?

          Got wool?

          Tuesday, September 25, 2007

          Country Fair & Cameras

          My daughter, Andie, and I had a great Saturday morning this past weekend. We went to the Sedalia Country Fair in Big Island, Virginia. While there, we met up with Lara and Linda, spinners extraordinaire, who kindly gave more spinning lessons and tips.

          We saw sheep, alpaca, draft horses, and a variety of large and small farm animals. I had no clue that there exists such a variety of chickens (not just Tyson, Perdue et al). We both laughed at our ignorance - - you can take the girls out of the city, but it takes a while to get the city out of the girls.

          I had a ton of terrific pictures of homemade soaps and honey, baby rabbits and dogs working sheep. Then, this happened....

          No, that's not my camera, but when it broke, it looked a lot like the above camera. I'm going to be pictureless for a bit. The Fair photos were taken by Jim, Linda's husband, who was nice enough to let me borrow them for the blog. Thanks Jim!

          Wednesday, September 19, 2007

          Baby Bootie

          How's this for a "round robin?" I was Marianne's blog the other day and she had written of her friend, Eric, who is both a knitter and blogger. Curious, I went over Eric's blog and looked around. He and Tony have done some beautiful knitting and one of things I saw was the most adorable baby bootie ever. I followed Eric's link and downloaded the pattern.

          One Down, One to Go....

          (My camera doesn't do it justice. My husband, who is completely oblivious to my knitting, even said, "That's really cute.")

          This is Saartje's Bootee and hopefully, you'll be able to follow the pattern link from me into what I think is Ravelry (not yet having gotten my invitation - -6700 to go!). If you can't get it here, visit Eric's blog. It's a very fun read and his orchids are breathtaking.