Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!

It's that time of year again. Usually New Year's Day comes without my seeing it "in" but this year we have been invited to some friends for dinner and I know from past experience that this means that I will be out past midnight. The Italians love to sit and eat and talk and drink and eat and talk and talk ... well I am sure that you can see where this is headed. So tonight for the first time since the year 2000 rolled in I will be up to see it. Then, in a week or so, the village where I live will burn a witch to determine how the weather will play out over the next few months. Yep ... that's right ... they burn a witch. Not a weatherman which I could almost see because they are as bad here as anywhere else that I have ever lived. Nope, they burn a witch.
Christmas here was dismal and rainy. The Son came home for a week and that was the bright spot for me. He made a host of friends downtown and we are already planning his next trip back this summer. He was a huge hit with our friends here and they cannot wait for him to come back.
Prior to Christmas we had snow which is a fairly rare occurrence here:
Not much as you can see but as they do not plow and there is not much sanding either so it was a risky thing to go out driving. This was followed by fog and then a few days of sun melted it off. Pretty while it lasted and JennietheDog had a great time sliding down the drive on the ice ... her favorite part of winter.
An interesting, and tasty, thing about living here is that I can go to a local farm and by raw milk (latte crudo) from a vending machine. It is the best milk I have ever had and it is all we drink now. I wish we had this kind of freedom in our food choices in the US. I just take my own bottles and fill them up:

This year I am going to ramp up the cooking that goes on here and really explore Italian food. Any and all success will be posted here so everyone else can try them too. Sort of a Julie/Julia type thing only with a variety of food styles. I figure cooking and knitting should keep me busy and off the streets and out of jail.
And speaking of knitting, I have several patterns coming out in the new book being released by CraftLit called "What Would Madame Defarge Knit?" It comes out in the first week in February and has some wonderful patterns and essay along with brilliant illustrations. I am having to phase out of my yarn business as I am not allowed to run a business from here and so am hoping to do more pattern design to keep my morale up and my mind busy. Here's hoping ... LOL
This year JennietheDog turned 2 years old and so I will leave you with pictures of her ... mostly 'cause she is just so darned cute! Have a great New Year!
See ... isn't she a beauty?

Hailstones on the roof
The sound of horses running
In far away fields.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It Always Seems Like A Good Idea

Stay in bed and rest. Two weeks for sure.
I always think that this will work out ok. I will get some books read, some DVD's watched and a lot of knitting done. And about 24 hours later housework is sounding like it might be fun.
As mentioned, I finished my Faroe Shawl that I started with Myrna Stahman at a workshop she gave here in Italy at the end of August. I love it and it is perfect for the weather here.
Not the best picture but it looked even worse on JennietheDog. And besides, there was sun!
There is a shortage of Christmas knitting this year as I have been working on patterns for the new book from CraftLit "What Would Madame Defarge Knit?" that will be released on 7 February 2011. Yep, just a few short months to go. It has been an amazing amount of fun to be involved in this project for the last year and I hope that everyone enjoys the patterns as Heather has assembled a varied and wonderful bunch of designers. I am hoping this will help me to move into doing more design work. And so along those lines:

I did spend a day on the couch. And I have been working at my kitchen table ever since with yarn and books and graph paper piled up all around me scribbling away. At least it keeps me off the streets...
Tonight's light rainfall
Wraps me in soft silence
On my short walk home