Friday, December 31, 2010


Another year that Santa came to visit. Always seems such a whirlwind and then before I know it, he's waving 'bye for another year.

I love this little candle and have had him for years. (My old friend, Betty would have said "donkey's years" I miss Betty.)

Do you have some ornament or decoration from childhood that is special to you? Tell me about it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Now that most of the hustle and bustle of the holidays is behind me, I found the time to pull out the Lacy Leaves stole and study the errata. There is only one change in one row, but with all the thoughts and to-do lists floating around in my head pre-Christmas, I was unable to work out just what was to be done and how it all fit.

A cup of coffee and a few minutes of solitude is all it took and I am now back on track.

I am not doing as well with the mammoth crossword published in the paper, but I haven't really spent all that much time at it. The solution isn't published until Jan. 1 so I may put it aside and work on it all along and see how much I can get done. Sadly the main obstacle to it is the tiny type. Type size that didn't seem tiny a few years ago. sigh

I received a couple of knitting book treasures for Christmas. More on them in weeks to come. In the front of one of them is a section on dealing with problems and mistakes and the first issue addressed is poor quality circular needles. The knitting above is on a Clover bamboo circular. I wouldn't necessarily describe them as poor quality, but they are not ideal for this project for sure. There are many, many yarnovers in this pattern and each and every one has to be coaxed over the join between cable and needle. None of the knitting flows. This is a DRAG in every sense of the word. But with no other size 7 circular in the house, I am just dragging along.

I once overheard a yarn shop employee who was showing a pricey addi Turbo needle to a shopper explain that there are so few tools to knitting and they are so important to the task that it is really worth the knitter's time to have the correct tools. Amen.

Hope your post-holiday knitting or puzzle-solving proves relaxing.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Z is for

Zion Baptist Church

from the Church website:
"Prior to 1866, Blacks, most of whom were former slaves, were members of the First Baptist Church of Marietta. From the early 1860's several attempts were made to provide for separate worship services such as a separate conference and a separate place of worship. However, in each case, a white representative was to be present.

In 1866, letters of dismissal were granted to eighty-eight black members for the purpose of constituting a separate Baptist Church; thus, Zion Baptist Church was organized April 8, 1866 with Reverend Ephraim B. Rucker as Pastor.

Two weeks later, the first Sunday school was organized.

Zion Baptist Church traces its history back to Dicey, the first slave who was allowed to attend services at First Baptist Church of Marietta in 1836. The group saved and collected $70 to buy the 40-by-60-foot property at the corner of Lemon and Haynes streets in downtown Marietta.
The first wooden structure was destroyed in a fire. The brick sanctuary was completed in 1888.

Here's a picture of the congregation outside that building in 1935.

The original structure is one of the oldest buildings in Marietta. In 1990 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was restored in 1997 and in 2003 it opened as the Old Zion Heritage Museum.

Earlier this year on Sunday, October 31, an historical marker was placed outside the original structure.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


A quiet day around the cul-de-sac. After my walk, I took a twig and scratched a 35 into the snow on the stump of storm-damaged tree we had to have removed earlier this month. Today's our anniversary.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


All is calm,
all is bright,
some is white!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Secret of Christmas

It's not the glow you feel, when snow appears
It's not the Christmas card, you've sent for years
Not the joyful sound, when sleigh bells ring
Or the merry songs, children sing

The little gift you send, on Christmas day
Will not bring back the friend, you turned away

So may I suggest, the secret of Christmas
It's not the things you do, at Christmas time
But the Christmas things you do all year through

"The Secret of Christmas" was written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen for Bing Crosby, and first performed by Crosby in the 1959 film "Say One for Me". Crosby recorded the song again in 1964, for the album 12 Songs of Christmas.

If you have 3+ minutes on this busy day, click that link above to view and hear Bing sing it himself and be overcome with nostalgia - but in a good way.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Buttons and bows...and glue...and scissors....

Saturday was the lace club's Christmas party. Did I let the fact that I had missed several whole years of regular meetings keep me away from the fun and food? Do you even need to ask?

As has been the case for many, many years, Kay (to-busy-to-blog Kay) was Party Guru and in charge of coming up with and overseeing the group's craft activity, always a highlight of the holiday party.

As soon as we finished eating all the goodies we all got right down to play. This year we decorated journals and the tables were groaning under the supplies of lace, trims, sequins, buttons, bells, and all. We had old wallpaper sample books to use as covers that were the blank canvases for our choice of further decoration.

What fun! After pawing through all the materials and dithering a bit over just what to use, we settled in and before too long they were done. Here you can see several of them.

Time surely does fly when you are having this much fun. For a true stringplayer it is better than a trip to a spa.

In that first picture above you may have spotted some pompoms. The morning of the party as I surfed around blogs during breakfast (isn't that what you do??), I spotted some easy directions for making some. So as soon as I finished eating, I washed my fork, pulled out the cheap acrylic I had thrown into my bag before leaving for the party and got a stack made. I didn't intend to use any for the journal cover, but I have been having fun using them on packages and this Red Heart Sport works a treat for them. I might have a hard time chopping up really good yarn.

speaking of lace, see some lovely examples here used in a church in Budapest.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Flower bowl

Things are topsy-turvy in Stringplay land this year. Usually I have a hard and fast rule to stop all gift needlework by Thanksgiving, but it almost seems like this year I waited until then to get started.

I did complete a couple of gifts way back in the spring. Summer came and I think the hot weather got to me.

Home yesterday, a rarity, I decided to use some extra yarn from my mini mittens project to try out this free felted flower bowl pattern.

I used sport weight yarn (KnitPicks Telemark in Poppy) and size 9 needles to make a slightly smaller bowl and I just felted it by hand since it seemed awfully wasteful to get the washer going for such a small item. FUN to make, but I hope my wrists don't rebel tomorrow. Once again I neglected to read the pattern through before beginning. There are several K3togs in there. Maybe all that hot water during the hand felting helped.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Y is for

YWCA - celebrating 93 years of serving our community.

There was no date given for this archival photo but judging from the autos I'd say it was taken in the 40s. I don't remember when it was located directly on the square.

The current facility on Henderson Street was built in 1965 and once housed an indoor swimming pool and offered childcare services.

The summer I turned sixteen I drove myself down to this Y to take a beginner swimming class. I planned on going to the lake a lot that summer and mother wanted to be sure I could swim. The indoor pool was just behind those glass blocks.

The class was composed of about eleven 4-year-olds and myself! I was only the student who drove to class on their own! The first class was to get to feeling comfortable in the pool and we had to spend it lowering our faces into the water. I had to get on my knees to get my face close enough!

The building was closed in 2007 and is being renovated to create a free domestic violence and sexual assault shelter, which is the only shelter of its type in Cobb County.

Monday, December 13, 2010


It may be almost Christmas but for some reason I'm humming an old Peaches and & Herb
... Reunited!

Even though I had looked all in my car and under the seats - not once, but twice - somehow today while stopped at a traffic light, I just leaned down, reached under, and there it was! So happy.

Came home and, of course, then couldn't immediately find the un-missing one. The drama.

It was so cold here this morning that I needed a FULL mitten with fingertips anyway. It was snowing as I drove to work! I don't usually get that many chances to wear my Selbu mittens.

Speaking of snowflakes, here's a pattern with helpful photos for knitting one.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Life is just a bowl of sweaters

I tell you, those little bitty sweaters are So Much Fun. I wish I could lay my hands on the leftovers from these socks and I'd try to make some even smaller! I know I had a good bit left over. So WHERE is it? I don't have time to toss the SDC* around looking for it. I'll just have to wait. Maybe it will magically appear.

*SDC = Sensory Deprivation Chamber a/k/a the stringplay den

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lo, a FO no mo

This is a rather sad story - at least for ME. Got your tissues handy?

I finished my Cabled Mitts a couple of days before Thanksgiving and they came out just right, fitting perfectly and very warm these past cold days. Never even managed to get a good FO photo.

These are the ones I adapted from a glove pattern in Veronik Avery's "Knitting 24/7" using her St. Denis Nordique yarn.

Somehow - and it is still a complete mystery to me - I managed to lose one Friday afternoon. I'm almost certain both made it to the car with me after work. I saw them and my sunglasses case slide off the center console onto the floor of the car. I made a couple of stops on the way home and when I went to collect things before coming into the house I had only one.

Well, this was SAD news. My new wonderful and warm mitts. And no yarn to make a mate.

But I can't leave you with this unhappy ending. See the tin under the lone mitt? That is my vintage Hallmark tin (c. 1987). In our house that means only one thing: 7-Layer Cookie Bar!
Nothing helps you get over the loss of a handknit like a thousand-calorie treat.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Quickie Hat

There are a couple of office grandbabies coming in January. I know one is expected to be a boy, but I think (I think) one is expected to be a girl.

I had seen the Lion Brand Baby Wool at Joann's so the other day I used my coupon and bought a ball.

It is superwash and felt pretty good in the ball.
I chose the Alpine Meadow colorway which is mostly yellow with a bit of green and blue.

I am not really getting home before dark now and my photos are suffering, but this gives you an idea.

It did not feel overly soft once I got it knitted, and after a soak, it was fairly lifeless. While still damp I tossed it into the dryer for a bit and that seemed to work out just fine.

Once again I went to the Children's Cotton Hats pattern from "Last-Minute Knitted Gifts". I find that pattern to work up super quickly without a lot of fuss. The top decreases do create a bit of a point, but I'm going with the idea that it just makes it more elfin and adorable.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

X is for

X-mas. It is Christmastime on the Square. Here's the tree in Glover Park. I love when the lights and decorations go up. All the shops have their special window displays.

I'm not a big fan of abbreviations in general, but there aren't any other Xs around and the timing was perfect!.

The abbreviation XMAS for Christmas dates back to the sixteenth century. X is the Greek letter for Chi, the initial in the word Christos or Christ.

As knitters we are familiar with Xs, too, in lovely textured cables.

XOXO! And Merry Christmas.

Brrrr! It was so chilly when I went out to take this picture I completely forgot to turn around and get a shot of the wreath and garland-draped gazebo!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

W is for

Welcome Center.
e've hung a wreath on the door for you.
We'd love to have you visit.
Won't you come in and sit a spell?

The Marietta Welcome Center is housed in the 1898 train depot, is staffed by volunteers, and is open seven days a week.

It isn't a large place, but it is friendly and if you come to visit it would be a good place to start. (Well maybe the second place.....the coffee shop is just across the courtyard!)

Inside are brochures for self-guided walking/driving tours of the city, menus from nearby restaurants, leaflets from local merchants, and just a few souvenirs.

This time of year, they are selling tickets to The Marietta Pilgrimage; the Christmas tour of homes happening this weekend. [Photos here of the homes on this year's tour. None of the older, larger homes on Church Street are included in the tour this year.]

It was cold and windy when I walked across to take the above photo and a few others. Here's a shot, taken back in the summer, showing the courtyard and a bit more of the surrounding pedestrian area.