Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Look how long!

And look how different!

Weird, huh?

And our white azalea has busted out its first bloom of the season.

That's all I have for this evening.

Fraternal Twins

Well, I've done the cuff and 16 rows on the second sock so far.

I will warn you: all those who are driven crazy by fraternal should probably eschew Diakeito Diamusee. I bought two balls of this and, while I can't say I remember doing so, I am pretty sure I checked color and lot number because I always do. (I can currently only find one label, dagnabit.)

First of all, in both instances I am pulling the yarn from the center of the ball. And yet, I think the stripes may be reversed. At least, at one point this morning I was sure they were. Now I look at it and I'm not so certain.

And that's because....

Second, although the colors of the yarn are the same, they're also different. ("Huh?" you say.) This yarn consists of two fine strands, both of them variegated. The colors vary consistently, so, for example, in the first sock, there is a stretch of lighter green and darker green together, then the lighter green gets bluer and the darker green goes brown and then into pink and the blue one fades to grey. (Description approximate.) Well, in this second skein, the colors shift differently. There seem to be places where the blue is matched up with more blue, making a very blue stripe. And there seems to be stronger areas of red.

I don't mind. It'll still be obvious that it's all the same yarn. The colors all match. It's just...odd.

Okay, back to my knitting.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sock Speed

So, the first sock is finished. Well, not completely finished. I am, unfortunately, at work without a yarn needle or any semblance of same, so the final Kitchenering will have to wait until I get home. And! Probably. (Edit: I'm not a complete idiot! I do have a darning needle! Kitchener, here I come!)

Let's see now...I started this sock a year ago, on our trip out to California. (Boy, that was a nice trip. We ought to go out there again.) What do you suppose the chances are that I will have the second sock finished by Friday, so that I could wear them to the MDS&W show? Slim to none, I think, even though I will be spending 6+ hours in the car on Friday going to fetch Rachel home from college. (The new computer arrived and, perhaps out of spite, her computer seems to have pretty much bitten the dust this morning. She seems to be happy with this new one...which, at this point, may or may not end up being mine. We'll see. I think that one way or another we may both be ending up with new laptops.)

I'll tell you though...Ruth's Stitchsaver is a life-saver! I will disclose all now...when I got this I thought, "Hmmm...cute. Handy to have around, I guess." Let me tell you, this thing is the bee's knees. I was knitting along this morning and, for some reason, looked back about 8 rows. "That's weird," I thought, "It almost looks like a hole there." Well, on closer examination I realized that I had, in one of my stitches, caught about three tiny hairs of wool...about a third of one of the two strands that this yarn consists of. I also realized that I was going to have to drop that line of stitches down and pick up that full strand. And (although I wasn't smart enough to grab a darning needle), I had thrown the Stitchsaver into the plastic bag I'm hauling this sock around in. So I worked my way around to the right spot, dropped the stitch, and grabbed the Stitchsaver.

Okay, I've picked up stitches with a crochet hook before. And for worsted weight wools, the hook I have works just fine. And I thought it was as good as it got for socks, too. But man, this tiny hook, with its easily maneuverable size, just whipped through those tiny, tiny stitches and before you can see "Pretty cool" the slipped stitches were all back in their proper places. Incredible. So go...get yourself one! ("How?" you ask. I don't know. Go ask Ruth.) If you're a sock knitter, you won't be sorry.

Spring has arrived with a bang in our yard.

The azaleas are in bloom.

The lilacs are in bloom. (And boy, do they smell wonderful!)

The bleeding hearts are in bloom, too.

And the yard is full of violets.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday, Same As Sunday

As far as the dreary weather goes, that is. Good day for sleeping. Unfortunately, I'm at work, where snoozing at one's desk is considered something less than optimal behavior.

I made another pair of earrings last night. If there's any light left when we get home, I'll try to throw a picture in here. I made them using the goldish looking beads I got at Sugarloaf on Saturday.

And here they are. The rain slowed to a light enough drizzle that I could go out and decorate the tree. (Not a light enough drizzle, apparently, for me to take a picture in focus!)

Rachel's made it through one of her finals. It was one she didn't have to take until Friday, but she had the option to take it today and did so, to get it out of the way. She said it went well.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gloomy Sunday

It's a grey, low-energy sort of day here. I slept too late and I've had a niggling sort of headache all day. But I did get some laundry done and we got some groceries in for the week.

And I made these:

They were very difficult. They are stitchmarkers from Sunneshine on Etsy which I threw onto earring backs. I thought about adding a little leaf bead at the top of each dangle, but in the end I kept them simple.

Perfect wear for the MD Sheep and Wool show, which is next weekend. I've gotten my money in the bank (all year I save those silly State quarters and that's the money that bankrolls my S&W purchases....this year I saved over $200), my Franklin t-shirts are clean (I have the dancing sheep and the Venus de Milo saying "Dang!"), I think I've decided to wear my Crocs (they're not attractive but after 2 hours at Sugarloaf my feet were tired but not too painful). I've located my tote bag from last year's show. If it's cool, I'll have to search out my Franklin sweatshirt ("It itches!").

I can't wait.

Current Reading

I just finished up Jane Smiley's Ten Days in the Hills. There was some talk on Readerville of all the sex in the book. And I guess there is a lot but I found it, for the most part, more clinical than erotic. But the book was interesting. I got rather fond of the characters. I think I liked it more than most of the Amazon reviewers did, that's for sure. Oddly enough, it took me ten days to read it.

Last night I started T Is For Trepass, the latest Sue Grafton. Not all of her alphabet series are wonderful, but really they are almost all pretty satifying mysteries. I haven't read one of hers in a while, so I'm really enjoying this one.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Looks Like Springtime

Look at this pretty!

The yarn is from the Yarn Chef, who sends a recipe (and a pretty stitch marker) with her yarn. How neat is that? Look at these colors.

The earrings? Well, Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went to the Sugarloaf craft fair today and he bought these for me.

They're dichroic glass. I love glass. I bought myself a pendant, that I didn't take a picture of, and these beads.

I'll make some earrings out of the pairs and use the singleton in a necklace.

There were some amazingly beautiful things there. I had my camera and I didn't even think to take it out of my bag, it was all so enthralling.

But boy, my feet are tired.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Whew! That Was Not The Relaxing Evening I Was Expecting...

Let's see...where to start? With the rushing around or with the early, pleasant part of the evening? I'll opt for the first.

So, this pinwheel blanket is chugging along. Yes, it's taking me about 15 minutes to do a row now...or maybe that's two rows...and yes, I have four or five more skeins of blue to work on. But I got it in my head that I wanted to do the seed stitch border that the pattern calls for in a different color. And the yarn is on sale this month at The Black Sheep. And I'm going to be busy Saturday. But the shop is open until 5 on Friday so the long-suffering, ever-patient Mr. Pointy Sticks agreed to stop on the way home and let me run in and get the yarn I wanted. So in I went, warmly greeted by Tracy and Joyce...gosh, I just love this shop! And I pulled hanks of Araucania Nature Cotton out and tried several different colors...a yellow, a purple, a melon. I ended up with this:

Red. I like it.

Then Tracy was giving me a tour of the new yarns they've gotten in the last couple of weeks. They had a basket full of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport. And in my delirium of working those teensy tiny little stitches for the current sock, the idea of a sport weight sock experience was just overwhelmingly appealing. As was this colorway:

Icehouse. I like it.

So, I left the shop all happy, showing off my goods to Mr. Pointy Sticks. His comment: "Yes, it's soft. All your yarn is soft. Don't you have some an awful lot like that?" I ignored the second part of that.

We headed up to Wegman's and had a Chinese food bar dinner and did a little grocery shopping. I got some macaroni salad which I need like a hole in the head but I've had a craving for.

Got home to find a package from The Loopy Ewe. No, I really didn't need to order anything from The Loopy Ewe, you're right. Yes, I had gotten a package from them not long ago. Shut up.

You see, they had little Loopies in stock. I had to order one, soft touch that I am for stuffed animals. And if I was going to order a little Loopy, well, I had to order some yarn so that she would have a soft place to rest during her travels. Okay, that sounds more than a little wacko. But anyway, there was a box and here is what was in it.

Chameleon Colorworks Bambino (bamboo, merino and nylon) in the Glacial Moraine colorway. Subtle. I like it.

Dream in Color Smooshy in Deep Seaflower. I seem to be leaning more toward the semi-solids and subtler colors lately.

I think Little Loopy liked her cushions. She looks pretty happy.

So there we were. Home, nice mail, groceries unpacked, photos taken, yarn fondled.

And then got a somewhat frantic phone call from Rachel. Her laptop is dying...working for about five minutes and then cutting out. She has papers to write. She has finals next week. She was not happy. To make a long story short, we hustled out to Office Depot and bought a laptop and then hustled over to Fed Ex and shipped it to her. She'll have it Monday morning. It's really mine...she'll be home in a week for a two-week stay before summer school starts and we will, at that point, see about repairing or replacing her laptop. And I'll get this one back and not be tied to the computer room anymore. What's the fun of having wireless if you are stuck sitting in one room in the house, right? Cool, huh?

I snuck my camera to work today and took some pictures of the pretty tulips out front. I really should plant some tulips...they don't last long, but they sure are pretty.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Due to being up a large chunk of last night with a migraine, I am feeling decidedly sub-par this morning. But look, my Odd Shelf is up on Readerville today! (Don't know how long that link will work.)

So there. I've accomplished something. Can I go back to bed now?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Herewith, The Sock far as it's gotten.

It's at time like these that I wish I had tiny, tiny feet.

And I got this lovely skein from Krystal at Kindred Spirits Yarn. I bought a bunch of yarn from Krystal when she was selling on eBay and I love her colors. They are close to semi-solids, most of them, with subtle and lovely coloring. Well, I guess most people wouldn't exactly call this subtle...

But really, in this skein of pink heat there are lovely variations of light and dark pink, salmon, orange...just pretty enough to eat. And she sent some Sweet-Tarts with my skein! Yum!

Round And Round And Round We Go!

I'm working on my sock...round and round and round. I am getting closer to the toe but at 12 rows to the inch, it's taking a while. And then, of course, there's the second sock. And I really have the itch to start another pair in some of the yummy sock yarn I've gotten recently.

And I'm working on the pinwheel blanket...round and round and round. I'm at about 22 inches in diameter. At about 5 rows to an inch, it's not the row count but the number of stitches that's getting to me. I'm about about 300 stitches per row. And the pattern (I nearly typed "recipe") calls for 430 in the last row before the seed stitch border. So, about 130 rows to go...each two longer than the two before. I like it a lot, though. I'm even thinking of going up to The Black Sheep to see what other colors of this yarn they have...a contrast color border might be kind of cool, don't you think? Depending on what colors they have...

And then I also want to start a scarf using one of those stitch patterns from the Japanese book. But I know if I do that, the sock will languish again.

Had two nice calls from Rachel today, as she is avoiding work on a paper for a class she loathes. She was telling me stories about school that made me think perhaps we should have some bail money set aside for her. Just kidding! And her friend Stephanie sprained her ankle, necessitating a trip to the health unit and crutches! Get better soon, Stephanie!

Perhaps I'll add some pictures this evening. (Oooh, I can hear everyone out there holding their breath.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oooh, Mr. Postman!....Again

Today I came home to this:

The first two courtesy of a Barnes and Noble gift card/coupon deal. Interweave Bag Style is the usual Interweave quality book. Some great bags here. I don't know when I might make them...and some of them are crocheted, so I'd have to learn how to do that before I made any of them. (Actually, one of the bags I like best is crochet...go figure!) The Cable book is one of those cute little Vogue on the Go books....I just love them. There are some cute hats here and I like the mitts that are shown on the front. But the Interweave book has more bang for the buck.

But the real knock-out is the book underneath, that I got from an Etsy dealer.

Here's the front.

Here's the back.

And it's full of stunning stitch patterns like these.

Now I just have to learn to read charts like this:


Monday, April 21, 2008

Mistakes? What Mistakes?

La la...I am so screwing up the pattern in these silly socks. But I'm just not caring because (a) it's a pretty subtle pattern anyway and (b) the yarn has so many colors that no one is going to notice. I mean, I even know that I've made mistakes (like leaving out a row of plain knits that goes between the two iterations of the pattern) and I can't really find them. So, who cares? At least I'm knitting the darn things.

I get all hopeful and excited when I see how far I am (a few rows beyond the gusset decreases) and then I realize that I have a whole second sock to do. Sigh.

And today I saw some yarn on Etsy I couldn't resist. Yes, sock yarn. But such pretty colors!

The power went out last night again. Fortunately I was already sleeping, so it couldn't affect me that way again.

Current Reading

I've been dipping into lots of different books with none of them truly captivating me. The best one I've got going at the moment, though, is this tiny book, Go With Me. It's set in Vermont, where a young woman, an old man and a young man are headed off to deal, in some fashion, with the local bully. Along with that, I've got an Ann Granger mystery going (eh), a science-fiction novel just started (so far...a little better than eh), Lisa Tucker's latest novel (which I think I have formally given up's a lot worse than just eh) and I think something else. Oh yes, a book written by a doctor/poet about gross anatomy class and the body she worked on. Pretty good, but I keep misplacing it in the house.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Darkness At Noon

So, my brother came over today to talk paint colors. He's re-doing his kitchen and, while it's going to be gorgeous, it was sounding a little too neutral...beautiful light wood cabinets, black countertop, neutral floor. So I suggested that he make one wall a punchy color. If it were me, I think it'd be a spicey red or clear blue. But he likes greens, so he brought over mostly shades of greens to look at.

It was sort of dark in the house, so we stepped out onto the front porch. I swear, every time he opened a new booklet the sky would get a little darker. Then it started drizzling. So we moved inside and were standing in the kitchen with all the lights on when the thunder and lightning started, the rain came down like stair-rods, and the lights went out. God just didn't want us looking at paint samples.

So we all sat in the dark for a while and gradually the storm moved off. Still no electrickery, though, so we went back into the kitchen, where it was fairly light. We did a lot of narrowing down of colors. I think he has four or five greens to chose from now. I think he should get little pint pots of the paints and splash some up on the wall to see how he feels about them but he thinks that sounds like too much work.

Anyway he went off and there we were, stuck with no power. I hate that. I always think, "Maybe I'll check my email.....dang! Well, I'll watch some tv.....dang!! I'll just turn this light on and read....dang!!! Well, let me put on some music....dang!!!! Fine. I'll just get some wash done.....dang!!!!!" Makes me feel so stupid.

So I went to sleep. It was as though someone had hit me over the head with a baseball bat. Out like a light from about 2 until 5. And woke up thinking, "Well, on the bright side, looks as though we'll have to go out for dinner!" And staggered out into the living room as the lights went back on. Great timing, BGE! Thanks bunches.

Oh well, at least now I can check my email, and watch tv, and turn on lights, etc.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Oooh, Mr. Postman!

He was awfully nice to me today.

First of all, I got my little order from Loopy Ewe. Sock yarn by Yarn Nerd. In the String Theory colorway. Something about these colors...they aren't my usual colors but for some reason they really called out to me.

The Loopy Ewe always send some little samples and such. This time I got samples of Apple Laine's Apple Pie and Seacoast Panda. And what's that other little thing? A Loopy Ewe stitch marker!

I love their little sheep...she's wearing little red socks!

But oh, the best part of the mail was nothing I ordered. Remember that alphabet challenge? Well, Ruth chose me for a consolation prize and wow! What a lot of goodies! Thank you so much, Ruth. So, what was my consolation?

Some yarn from Aussi Sock, a company I've never heard of before now. Colorway is Atlantic Weaves, yummy blues, purples and greens. And some Zen Yarn Garden, a company I've certainly heard of but never seen in person. This yarn has such luster and shine and is so squeezably soft. And gorgeous colors...this colorway is called James Danger. And I got some little goodies from Simply Socks, including another little stitch marker. (I'm getting quite the collection!) But the best thing?

Ruth sent me one of her Stitchsavers. These got written up in Knitter's Review. It's a little key-chain with a tiny crochet hook fastened on it so that you always have a tool handy for picking up escaping stitches. Isn't that clever? This is going...well, I'm not sure where yet, but somewhere that it'll always be close to hand.

Consider me consoled to the utmost, Ruth!

And, for more pretty...some more daffodils.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yay! It's Friday Evening

I lurve Friday evenings. The weekend stretches ahead of you, all full of possibility. Even though you know you'll probably just squander it away doing laundry and running errands...

So, Roland, an old friend of Rachel's, helped me model Toby's sweater, though he complained a bit about it being too warm for a sweater, really. I told him to suck it up.

He prefers the following shot, as he felt it captured a certain insouciant BMOC quality. Plus, he says, the greenery brings out his tawny coloring nicely. Whatever, Roland.

And look, we have another daffodil blooming, this one a pale yellow/pale pink sort of combo.

And finally, the maple has progressed from flowers to seeds to fuzzy little leaves. So cute. You know, for what's basically a weed tree.

Can I Be A Sister and An Assister, Too?

Today my brother, J., is picking me up after work and I am going to give him any words of advice I might have on his new kitchen cabinets and countertops and such. He's been re-doing his kitchen for, oh, about 3 years now but it's getting closer to finished. (I should talk. Our master bathroom has been out of commission for at least as long and we haven't even started the process of getting it redone. I do, at least, have a recommendation for someone to do it. Step one, people!)

Anyway, why is it so much easier to give advice to other people about stuff like this than it is to decide about your own house? J. has chosen pale wood cabinets, will probably chose black countertops, will probably chose a neutral flooring of some sort. I assert that the kitchen needs some color and I think one wall (it's a big kitchen with an eat-in area and then laundry area/powder room at one end) should be a sock-o sort of color. Cayenne, or Pellegrino bottle blue, or broccoli green (Heh. Like those foodie colors I made up there?)

I meant, darn it, to smuggle my camera into work today to have it with me this evening. Drat.

Our friend Don brought us dinner last night from Yamato (one of our favorite local restaurants) as...well, I'm not sure exactly why. He said as a thank you for having him to dinner often, but really, there was no necessity. Sure was nice though. Yum....Crispy Golden Roll.....

Today there will be seaming. Sigh.

Post-Lunch Edit: The sweater is done! I had a marathon of seaming at lunch and it's finished. Pictures tonight if there is still light when I get home from kitchen-consulting!

Current Reading

I am reading Lisa Tucker's The Cure for Modern Life. (Pretty cover by the way.) And there is something about it that is bothering me. I always hear that writers should show, not tell. And while I'm not sure I know exactly what that means, I think that may be one of the problems here. There is lots of "this is how she felt...this is how he's how he felt." Pages where there is actual conversation feel like a cool drink of water in the desert. But I'm still reading...

Yesterday afternoon, in about an hour or less, I read David Llewellyn's Eleven. Set in a financial firm of some sort in Cardiff, Wales, the novel is made up entirely of e-mails sent among a group of friends and co-workers on September 11, 2001. Starts out funny and gets very bleak at the end. It's an attention grabber.

And I came home from Borders last night with a bag full of books I want to get to. Quite a haul. I love having reading to look forward to.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Come On, Weekend!

We're one day closer.

No seaming done today. Eight rows of sock. Not a terribly productive day, you might say.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Think I've Discovered The Trick To Sock Knitting!

To wit: Make sure that the only other project you have with you involves seaming. So, no progress made on Toby's sweater today but I am chugging along on the sock. Not at any great rate of speed, mind you. But chugging is taking place. I pick it up, knit two rows, put it down to do something else, pick it up, knit two rows. (Always two rows, as I am doing the decreases from leg to instep...and you have to do a row with decreases and then a plain row. By always doing two rows, I know that, whenever I pick it up, the first row is always a decrease row.)

Current Reading

Right now I am reading a book I picked up at Daedalus by Malcolm Pryce called Aberystywth, Mon Amour. (If the book accomplishes nothing else, with all the mentions I've made of it around and about, I am getting very good at spelling Aberystywth. Now, if I just knew how to pronounce it.) Anyway, the book is a sort of awkward blend of detective noir and comedy. Comedy that would probably be funnier if I were more familiar with Wales. As it is, the book just sort of comes off as not being half as cute as it thinks it is. I don't know that I'll be able to link this one, as it doesn't seem to be available at Amazon. Perhaps Amazon UK has it. (Edit: It was at Amazon. I must have been badly mangling Aberystwyth last time I looked.)

Yesterday I read Tim Cahill's Lost In My Own Backyard, a slim book about Yellowstone. I like Cahill's writing and this book, while only a small sample of that, is no exception. It makes me sort of sad that, even if I were to get to Yellowstone (before it explodes, that is), I don't know that I am capable of hiking to the places he decribes, which sound breath-taking.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's Magic!

I don't know why I don't knit socks more often. I love turning heels! It's so spiffy... There you are, knitting along in one plane and then, hey presto!, suddenly your knitting has turned a right angle and you're off perpendicular to where you were before!

Yes, I've picked up the poor neglected sock that I started...oh, last year sometime. And I've turned the heel on it. Now I have to decide if I want to keep using the subtle pattern that's on the cuff all the way down the front of the sock, something that will require a moderate Use of Brain, or whether I'll take the lazy way out and just make the whole foot portion stockinette.

I really should have been seaming up Toby's sweater, but I pulled it out today at lunch to work on it and realized that I had promised a picture a couple of days ago and I hadn't yet taken it and I needed to do so before seaming. Not to worry...this will all become clear when I get home, take, and post the picture.

See, there I was in the office, wanting to start seaming but I had no safety pins! No seam holders thingies! Man is, however, a tool-maker, right? So yes...those are binder clips holding my knitting together.

And now, just for some pretty - here's the geranium I bought this weekend for my front porch. Isn't he purty?

Monday, April 14, 2008

You Know It's Coolish In Our House...

...when you see this going on.

A rare moment of amicability.

The Offical Scallop Recipe

Here you are, for all those people who don't like to wing it...

Spicy Scallops with Capellini

1 lb. sea scallops (halved or quartered if large)
6 T. olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 T. coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
sea salt
1 T. minced garlic
1 small chipotle with seeds, stemmed and chopped
1/2 lb. capellini (I always use a pound but then we're pigs...and it's good left-over)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large, shallow baking dish, toss scallops, oil, wine and chipotle. Season with salt and bake about 15 minutes or until oil is sizzling and scallops are firm. (Scallops may be done without the oil sizzling.) Meanwhile, cook capellini, drain and transfer to serving bowl. Add scallops and juices. Toss well and serve immediately. Serves three or so.

Scallops - Baked, Not Knitted

Kaethe asked for the scallop recipe. The actual official recipe, as given to me by my brother will have to wait until I am at home, as it is there and I am not. But this recipe seems infinitely adaptable and adjustable (my favorite kind of recipe) and here's what I do:

Oven-Roasted Scallops With Capellini - The Unofficial Version

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a baking dish (I use a 9x13 baking pan), combine:
  • 6 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine (though I'm wondering now if red wouldn't work just as well)
  • 1 lb. of scallops (if they're huge, I cut 'em in half)
Now here's where I get creative. I throw any combination of the following in:
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp (peeled and deveined - the recipe just calls for scallops but I think the shrimp improved it a lot, and even though Mr. Pointy Sticks isn't wild about shrimp, I am, so I think I'll keep doing this)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced up (the recipe calls for a chipotle pepper and the first time I made this I couldn't find any so used a jalapeno - and only one because we're not so much about the spicy - I abstained from the spicy totally on Saturday)
  • 2 peppers (green, red or yellow - one red and one yellow is pretty) cut into thin strips
  • garlic, onion or shallots - Saturday I used about 3 decent sized shallots and Janet and I agreed it needed more)
  • mushrooms (Wegman's sells trays that are mixed portabello, shitake and something else - I've thrown in one or two of these - didn't on Saturday because Janet isn't crazy about them)
  • snow peas - washed and trimmed and cut into strips (say, four strips from each pod - a good big handful of these)
Mix this all up with some salt and pepper and throw it in the oven for fifteen minutes or so. Start the water boiling for the capellini when you throw this in the oven and it should be done about the time the scallops are. If the scallops have to sit for a few minutes, it won't kill them. Serve the capellini with a good slather of the scallop mixture thrown on top. Yum.

I think I will add some butter next time. The sauce is rather thin...I think (and Janet agreed) that some added butter might give the sauce a little more substance.

And, if possible, use dry scallops. I'd never heard of dry scallops until my brother explained to me that most scallops are injected or soaked in some sort of solution that keeps them fresher a bit longer and keeps them moister. Dry scallops don't undergo that process so they don't leak out lots of yucky liquid when they cooked. If you've ever tried to fry up scallops but just had them cook in a puddle of liquid and never get brown...those were not dry scallops. Fortunately, all the scallops Wegman's sells are dry.

Current Reading

I read Last Night at the Lobster today...such a slim little book. I really, really liked it. I've never worked in a restaurant so I don't know for sure, but man, all the details sure felt right. And I just really loved Manny, paying such attention to all the details, even as his job and restaurant disappear. It's one of those books where some might say nothing really happens but it just contains a little world.

Last night I finished The Geographer's Library, which I liked up until the last quarter or so. Maybe it was because I was looking forward to The Lobster, but it just sort of lost its momentum and fizzled out.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What A Weekend

Whoo. I'm tired. We had a great weekend friend Janet came down from NY Saturday morning, braving the heat of the South and the disaster that is my house. Not the best housekeeper at the best of times (I'm sorry...that noise you hear in the background is my family rolling about on the floor, kicking their heels and laughing hysterically), being sick since mid-January severely limited the amount of general picking up and such that had taken place. Put simply...the house looked as though a bomb had gone off. No, it might have looked better if a bomb had gone off!

Anyhoo...we picked Janet up at the train station about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

I love the fact the the first sight to hit visitors who train into Baltimore is a 60-foot (estimate) tranvestite.

Seriously. Ugliest statue ever. And that light in the middle of his/her chest, under the mono-boob? It cycles from pink to purple to blue. I'm all for public art but really...this is awful. Janet allowed as how the only worse statue she could readily think of was the tremendous fiber glass statue of some Confederate general/founder of the KKK outside Nashville.

Parts of the station are pretty, though.

I previously posted pictures of the pretty skylight inside.

We headed off to Zen West for lunch, only to discover that it was closed for the afternoon for a private party. We were bummed, but went over to the Market in Belvedere Square and had a pretty good lunch at Atwaters. Their soups are wonderful but the day was very warm (and I had over-dressed) so warm soup didn't seem the most appealing. Salads and sandwiches were our choices.

After lunch we had a nice visit to Daedalus where I found an armful of books, including the Itty-Bitty Hats book and a bunch of Stuart O'Nan books, including Last Night at the Lobster, which I've been wanting to read.

Made it home to recuperate for a while then staggered up to Wegman's where I bought the fixin's for the oven-roasted scallops dish that I like so much...this time I got half a pound of shrimp to throw in too and let me say, that didn't harm the dish at all. Stayed up late drinking wine and talking.

Janet took us out for breakfast this morning and then she and I went to Target (no Targets in Manhattan yet, so it holds a certain fascination for Janet). Then this afternoon we went down to the Walter's Art Museum to see the maps exhibit they have going. It was fascinating...and very crowded. It's there until June, so perhaps we can get back to it.

Got Janet on the train about 5 and headed home where Mr. Pointy Sticks and I cuddled up and watched some old Law and Order and tried not to think about work tomorrow. Bleah.

And those maple flowers I showed y'all last week? We have seeds!

I love them.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Yesterday was a tedious day in the extreme. At one point in the morning, after it had seemed as though I had been there for what seemed like three weeks, I looked up at the clock and it was barely 8:30 a.m. (I get to work at 7.) I completed the one assignment I had...just waiting for clearance. And spent most of the rest of my day twiddling my fingers.

I am annoyed with myself because I (a) completely forgot about Laura Lippman's book signing last Thursday at the Border's near us and (b) didn't get to bed as early as I should have. Feh. Though Laura might actually appreciate the fact that I didn't take my miserable, hacking, germy self to see her. And I didn't get to see the Yarn Harlot in Annapolis on Monday. And Franklin will be in Kennett Square PA this weekend but there's no way I could get there. So near and yet so far. (Edited to add: Oh wait! Franklin's in PA on the 19th! There's still hope!)

This weekend should be nice, though. For one thing, it started early since I took today off. And I have a friend visiting from NY and another out-of-state friend and her husband will be stopping by Saturday for dinner. Never rains but it pours. Now, if I can just stay awake for the fun!

First though I have to get through my annual check-up and the requisite blood-letting and fun. And I haven't had anything to eat since last night at 7:30 so I'm a little peckish.

But the pinwheel blanket is coming along. And I've gotten one arm attached on Toby's sweater. It's going slowly but then, the baby's not due until June. Hmmm...suddenly that sounds a lot closer than it used to.

Pretty soon I'll have to start thinking about future projects. What fun.

I'm taking my camera with me today as I am out and about so maybe there will be pictures later. Actually, there is one I want to take and put up here though it has nothing to do with being out and about...

So more later.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I've Got The Blues

Blue yarns, that is...

Here is the start of Larissa Brown's Pinwheel Blanket from her Knitalong book. I got the itch to make it as soon as I saw it and then The Black Sheep put this yarn on sale. It's Aracaunia Nature Cotton, a yummy soft thick-and-thin cotton. I bought this thinking, "I'll make this blanket for the new office baby at work..." But that was just an excuse. I think this might end up just being mine. Or saved for another baby.

The color is a little bright real life it's a little darker, I think.

This is what I'm making for the latest office baby.

All the pieces are knit, though there is only one arm shown here. Sewing up is not my favorite part of knitting things. This yarn, while cute and soft, is a bitch to weave in because of the little nubbies on the wrapping thread. So for the seaming up I am carefully untwisting the thread from the yarn. You can see (perhaps) a little heap of yarn waiting there for me to seam up the first arm. Anyone out there love seaming? Sigh.

I'm thinking that I'll try to find either just little jeans or baby blue cords and a little white shirt to go with this.

And just to prove that spring really is here...another clump of daffodils has bloomed in the back yard.