Saturday, December 26, 2009

Not Just Another Weather Story

When I first met my husband, Chris, I was working as a journalist at a daily newspaper in Pennsylvania. Hired as the paper's "Cops Reporter" (a job I adored), I also spent many long, crime-less nights writing obits, police briefs, and weather stories.

Now, the obits I didn't mind. I saw each one as an opportunity to honor the life of a person who had died and, in most cases, wouldn't appear in the paper again. Yes, that sounds Pollyanna-ish, but honestly, if you don't find a way to care about the obits, you'll go crazy typing them up -- name, date, cause of death, job, survived by...etc. -- every single night.

The police briefs? Well, those were always amusing, particularly when the guys in city hall got to know me and began saving me the good ones (don't ask). And, needless to say, I was ecstatic when I got to sink my teeth into the meat and potatoes of my job -- murder and mayhem and such.

But those weather stories...Ugh! They were endless and painful. I mean, really. How many damn "Blizzard of 200#" stories can you write??? And each occasion was the MOST, the WORST...Get the idea? Never just a plain old 8-inch snowfall; never just a four-inch story about one of the region's myriad stormettes.

Well, in honor of what feels like, in retrospect, a gazillion weather stories, I am NOT going to talk about the weather. Per se.

What I will say is this: Chris still works at a newspaper (in Washington, DC) and was kind enough to go into the office with plans to stay overnight as needed so his staff wouldn't have to brave the roads. And stay he did -- two nights in a downtown hotel.

Did I miss him? Of course! The nights WERE silent around here...and I was snowed in, to boot. But I was glad that he and his colleagues/friends had each other for company. Sounds like they managed to squeeze in some fun, too.

Sunday night, 12/20, Metro finally started running again, and I was able to drive to an outlying stop and bring him home for some R&R. Better yet, we didn't have any more snow (or ice, or rain...), so we could spend Christmas together (a peaceful, quiet one).

One of my all-time favorite quotations comes from Julian of Norwich: All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.

Stay safe and enjoy the holidays.

I'll be back soon.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tea, anyone?

Cheery Cherry Tea Cozy on 8-cup teapot

Oh, teapot cozies, how I love them! Quick to knit as a hat, but with ample opportunities for delightful camp- and quirkiness.

This is my favorite yet: The Cheery Cherry Tea Cozy (Ravelry link). Plump little cherries burst forth against their background of robin's egg blue, edged with chocolate brown. And the grassy green of the leaves is echoed by the vine-like, I-cord, drawstring closure. What fun!

I was inspired to design this little cozy almost two years ago, when we moved into our current home -- a little cottage in Western Maryland. The three big windows in the kitchen let in the afternoon sun, and provide excellent squirrel watching opportunities for the kitties (see top photo).

The pale aqua on the walls just cried out for bright red (my favorite kitchen color). And I've always loved cherry motifs. It was only a matter of time before these ideas took physical form -- and a matter of, well, more time before I charted and test knit the pattern.

The Cheery Cherry Tea Cozy is a quick knit -- you don't have to work the chart on the back. In fact, you could skip the intarsia altogether, and embroider the cherries, stems, and leaves in duplicate stitch. How you approach the colorwork is up to you. Remember, knitting is fun, right?

Cheery Cherry Tea Cozy on 4-cup teapot

I'll be finalizing this pattern over the weekend, and will post it for sale on Ravelry in the next few days. You can purchase it directly from me (

Just in time for that piping-hot, freshly brewed cup of relaxation we often crave during the holiday season. Or perhaps for gift-giving, for a very special person -- the kind you'd drink tea with while chatting about this and that.

Meanwhile, happy knitting and baking and shopping and merry-making and, well, you know...