Saturday, May 31, 2008

In Which Our Heroine Reveals The Depths Of Her Boneheadedness And Is Spoken To Reprovingly By Her Daughter

I am such an idiot. Such a complete idiot. So, I regaled you all with the tale of the Comfort and having to call Webs up and tell them that, alas, I needed two more skeins of the yarn. And, being Webs, they had it and immediately shot it off to me. And as I was taking pictures of it, a stray thought wandered through my head and that stray thought was, "My, this yarn looks sort of....thick." But I shooed that thought away until last night when I re-read the Poonam pattern. And people, it calls for Comfort DK! Why didn't you tell me!? DK!!! Argh.

So I was just talked to Rachel, who is in a stinky mood as her apartment has mice, and mouse traps, and apparently when there is a trapped mouse a fit of the girlies comes over the other three room-mates and Rachel is left to deal with the mess. Well, Stephanie gives her moral support, I think...the others absent themselves. She's also out of food, though I suggested fried mouse.

Anyway, she asked what I was doing this afternoon and I said that I needed to run up to the yarn shop whereupon she informed me that I didn't need yarn, in fact I probably needed an inoculation against yarn. And she has a point. Sigh. But still, I am really hepped up to do this little sweater.

I have finished my Umoja socks. See how pretty!

So I guess I'm not a complete idiot.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

News Flash!

Dinner won't cook if you don't turn on the heat.

Unfortunately, that's not a metaphor. I really did forget to turn on the heat under the vegetables. Sigh.

Something else I forgot? To change the "1" to a "3" when I ordered the Berocco Comfort from Webs. See, a week or so ago I saw this...Berrocco's Baby Poonam (am I the only one who thinks that sounds sort of dirty?)...and I fell in love with it. And there was Webs having a great sale on Comfort! So I ordered it. Only I neglected to order 3...I only ordered one. Sigh. I just called and they are going to send me two more if they can match the dyelot...three if they can't. I'm such an idiot. But I think I am going to make this as a second sweater for Toby. Oooh, or I know someone else it could be for....

It's nice soft yarn. And machine washable.

And I also got some blue yarns. Rachel wants a Jayne hat, like the one I made for Stephanie, but she wants hers in shades of blue. I bought some Lopi, but that stuff is scratchy! So I ordered several blues in Cascade's Pastaza, also on sale...llama and wool and much softer.

I think it'll probably be the three middle ones, but I'll let Rachel take a look before I decide for sure.

Argh...there is so much I want to knit and only a finite amount of time.

Guess What?! More Yarn!

Yes, I ordered more yarn today...and after reading about Crazy Aunt Purl's resolution to buy only essentials for the rest of the year I feel a little guilty about it. But this isn't sock yarn! And it isn't for me! Surely that makes it better.

See, at Daedalus this past weekend I found a copy of Louisa Harding's Miss Bea's Playtime, a cute little book full of basic kid's sweaters. And there is a cute little girl's cardigan - v-neck with a little picot edge - that I just really want to make. And, fortunately for me, there is a young woman in the office with a brand new baby girl! (Well, she's a couple months old but still under warranty, I believe.) Anyway, I asked the mom if she thought it exceptionally weird that I wanted to make her daughter a sweater (she's the one I made the booties for) and the mom was very enthusiastic. So I ordered some Knitpick's Shine Sport in turquoise. I'm already looking forward to picking out buttons for it.

There's a really cute jumper in this book, too....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So, Anyway... of the things that Mr. Pointy Sticks and I did on Monday for fun (oh, what wild and crazy lives we live!) was to go look at Toyotas. I wanted to sit in a Prius. (I really want a bright scarlet Prius just so I could name him Vivaldi, you know? As in Vivaldi, the Red Prius(t)? Classical music geek joke. Sorry.) Well, we did sit in one, though the salesman was madly discouraging us from even thinking of ordering one..."We're supposed to say there's a 3 to 5 month wait...and you know they start at $25,000 because they all come with a know the Camry or Corolla is much cheaper and that savings would buy a lot of gas!" And blah, blah, blah.

So we got into the Prius...and it was claustrophobic. Well, not quite, but it seemed really crowded. Okay, I'm not a little person...I'm 5'8" and umpty-umpty pounds...and I could hardly get my knees under the steering wheel. Even after moving the seat back and adjusting the steering just felt crowded. The passenger seat also felt squinchy.

Then we tried the Corolla and the Camry...both 0f them had that same squinchy feeling. I think it has something to do with the way the console is shaped but really...I hated feeling as though I could drive the car with my knees if I so desired. We also sat in the Scion. And that actually felt roomy and comfortable. The one in the showroom was a horrible French's mustard yellow but I did like the way the color of the exterior was carried into the interior in the edges of the instruments and such. Just not that particular color, thanks.

And what's with having the instrument panel in the middle of the dashboard instead of in front of the driver? So that the passengers in the back get a good look at your RPMs? Isn't it harder for the driver to glance down and to the side rather than just down in front of him? It's probably cheaper to manufacture that way...but I don't like it.

So there may not be a new Toyota in our future and our last three cars have been Toyotas and we've loved them. (Well, we loved the first one, the second one was great... but really, how excited can you get about a beige Camry? He's dependable, I'll give him that. But love may be a bit strong of a term for how I feel about him.)

I guess we'll look at Nissans. Maybe Subarus. Heck, we might even look at a Ford Focus. Not that we are in any rush to buy a new car. I figure, if we start vaguely thinking about it now we might have a new one by....oh, 2010.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I actually finished a book yesterday. None of the ones I was reading...or that is, none of the ones I mentioned earlier. Obviously, I read it. It was Wit's End by Karen Joy Fowler. (She's the author of The Jane Austen Book Club.) There were bits of this new one that made me laugh, but the book never really pulled together for me. There was too much going on, somehow. But hey! I finished it!

And today I brought The House At Riverton to work with me. I've heard it described as half Rebecca and half Upstairs, Downstairs. Might be enjoyable.

And the second Umoja sock is chugging right along.

Edited to add: And now it's come to a screeching halt as I am at the heel flap and, while I am 99 percent sure I know how I did the other one, there's just enough doubt that I really need to consult my notes. Which are on a sticky note. Which is attached to Charlene Schurch's book. Which is sitting at home.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oh, So Fine!

I got my greedy little hands on Knits So Fine today and man, is it a yummy book. I just sat down with it and gave it a preliminary look-through...and now I want to knit almost everything in it. Well, not the dress, though it would have looked great on my mom in her heyday.... But there are a number of yummy, covetable sweaters, some smashing arm-warmers, a pretty beret (Mom would have liked that, too). And did I mention all the covetable sweaters? There is a sweater vest that may start me collecting Trekking XXL. And oh, the Bohus-inspired yoked sweater is gorgeous.

Go. Check out this book. I think you won't be disappointed.

Rachel tells me that she is heading to Target today as she needs a grater and a sifter...I'm worried. That girl shouldn't be left unaccompanied in a kitchen-ware department. What a cook she is! She is planning what sounds like a sumptuous meal. Meanwhile, I can hardly scrape up the interest to spread some cheese on some crackers. Hey, it's summer! Who wants to cook?!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hang Onto Your Hat...

Big post here, with lots of pictures. (Don't we all love looking at pictures?)

Anyway, yesterday I came home to a box from the Loopy Ewe. They are both pocketbook-drainingly tempting and fast! So here's what I got:

Dream in Color Smooshy in Some Summer Sky. And that's what it's like...on my monitor, this is coming across a little too turquoise. Think of the prettiest blue sky you've seen and you're getting close.

Aracaunia Navajo - this looks a little off to me, too. It's a little less pink...more browny/purpley.

And I got two skeins from Scarlet Fleece, a dyer new to me. This one is called Lapis Woodland. Lots of yummy colors here.

And this one is called Coffiee and Raspberry Pie. And here is where buying off the internet has some disadvantages. This is what the yarn looked like in the Loopy Ewe picture. You can click to make it bigger. It looked much subtler, with more color variegation. But this should make a pair of socks that'll knock some people off their feet. It's bright!

So that was yesterday.

Today, after a trip to Daedalus, I dropped in on my friends at The Black Sheep for an hour or so. And came home with these:

On Line Supersocke Cotton Summer Color. Soft, cool, beachy colors. Pretty. But lest you think I've lost my yen for brights....I also brought home this:

Claudia Sock Yarn in Circus Dance. Isn't it happy!?

I also spent some time outside with the cats and Mr. Pointy Sticks this afternoon.

Our rhododendron is in riotous full bloom. I love the speckles.

Gizmo likes being outside, too.

And there are still two more days left in the weekend! Yay!

Friday, May 23, 2008

With A Song In My Head

Have I mentioned before that I tend to, more often than not, wake up with a song, or a fragment of song, running around in my head? Sometimes annoying, sometimes not. Yesterday it was "Old Grey Mare" (mildly annoying), the day before that it was "Simple Gifts" (you know..."It's a gift to be simple, It's a gift to be free...") (not annoying), the day before that it was just the phrase "I want to know...have you ever seen the rain....coming down on a sunny day" repeated over and over and over (exceedingly annoying...and I apologize for any ear-worms I may be inserting).

This morning though it was the theme song from "St. Elsewhere." Which is totally understandable as I was given Season One as part of my Mother's Day present and watched an episode while biking last night. And there are some things that really strike me about it.

I loved "St. Elsewhere" when it was on and may be one of the three people alive who weren't annoyed by the way the series ended. I thought the ending was fabulous. And the show seemed very new and modern (at least to me) when it was first running. Not so much anymore.

I do wonder if this is where pede-conferencing got started. The show constantly had sections where the camera would follow say, Dr. Westphal and Nurse Rosenthal as they walked down the hall discussing a case of hives (on a patient you never saw and who would never be mentioned again). The camera follows Dr. Westphal as he breaks away from that conversation and may linger for a moment so you can catch a couple of lines of a conversation going on in the hallway, then follows Westphal through a door. As Westphal starts upstairs he passes Dr. Morrison coming down and they exchange greetings and the camera switches over to Morrison who goes back out the doors Westphal entered and heads down the hall, passing another conversation at which the camera may stop, letting Morrison disappear down the hall. You get the idea. I think this was all pretty new...I may be wrong, I'm not the biggest tv watcher in the world. Now it just seems like standard procedure.

Another striking thing about's a very quiet show. Little music, quiet conversations...even dramatic confrontations are pretty low-key. I know things will get more dramatic as time goes on. Suicide! Rape! Murder! But in the beginning, at least, it's like watching a show set in a library.

And finally...everyone smokes. Heck, last night's episode had a patient smoking in bed! Of course, he was a bank bomber and generally nasty guy, but his mother also smoked and she seemed a decent sort. It looks sort of shocking to today's eyes.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This One's For Rachel

Why yes, we do decorate the inside of our front door with refrigerator magnets....

What It Is About Sock Yarn

So why does sock yarn hold me so tightly in its seductive little clutches? Mostly, I think, it's the color.

Not just the fact that, for the most part, sock yarn seems to sport brighter, more vivid colors. Or clearer colors. Or more colors per skein. Oh, you can find brightly colored yarn in worsted weight, too. But not as often, I think, because the sort of color-pooling that might be a little less than optimal in a small piece like a sock can be large-scale disaster in a sweater. And I would imagine for the smaller dyers it's easier to dye up a pot full of skeins of sock yarn and be assured that they'll all sell because hey, you only need one for a pair of socks! As opposed to dying up enough worsted for a couple of sweaters and then having someone order just a few skeins for a scarf and getting stuck with too little in the same dye lot to do a sweater....besides which, I am thinking (based on nothing more than speculation and bits of reading I've done on the Web) that one might very well put ten skeins of yarn into a dye pot and get out ten skeins that look significantly different one from another due to different rates of dye absorption or where they were in the dye-pot. So you might dye enough yarn for a sweater but not have it match enough to sell as a sweater's quantity...

So, here are all these sock yarns in gorgeous color combinations. Painted Desert ! Hibiscus! Moroccan! Heatwave! Charm! Exotique! Blue Flame! (Whew! I'm all worn out from drooling...I urge you to embiggen the pictures to truly appreciate the colors.)

But it isn't only the "oh, look...gorgeous turquoise and blue and orange!" as in the Madelienetosh Umoja yarn I'm using now. It's the little stitches where colors blend and mix unpredictably. The place in the darker blue where the dye fades to a deep periwinkle...the stitches between the orange and the turquoise where you get greens...always varying a bit from one appearance to the next. The places in the orange where it fades out to a peach or coral. The places between the deep blue and the orange where you get a beautiful, but unnameable, that blorange? orue? octarine? (Lovers of Discworld will get that last one.)

Anyway, I think it's those little spots of blends and mixes that has me hooked and keeps me knitting socks. You always have the chance for a surprise.

A Thursday Collection Of This And That

So...not much really to say. It's chilly here this morning and, as much as I like cooler weather and am glad to have spring linger, I have to say it could be just a touch warmer. I think it was 62 degrees (Fahrenheit) in the house this morning and that makes it sort of hard to get out from under the warm covers.

Poor ole Rachel seems to have inherited her father's sleep problems, though his didn't start until later in life. She's having a lot of trouble sleeping. No fun when you have to get up for an 8 am class every morning. Of course, as Mother, I am convinced that it is something I did or didn't do that is causing this. Sigh.

And yay! We have a three-day weekend coming up. I hope to get to the yarn shop. Mr. Pointy Sticks hopes to sleep. (See previous paragraph.)

Current Reading

Though none of them are really grabbing my attention, I thought I'd at least throw the three titles I'm working on on the list over there.

First off, there's The Name of the Wind. This is supposed to be a great fantasy...and it does seems pretty well written. But when the story is the tale of a mysterious young man's fight against terrible evil, it sort of takes some of the punch out of the story of the young man's early years to have that story narrated by that same man in later years. I mean, we know he lives long enough to tell the tale. I am assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that sometime before the book ends we will catch up to the time of the tale-telling and then move forward into uncertainty. But meanwhile...sort of lacks any great narrative tension. (Oy. I see there's a sequel out...or soon to be out (I didn't check the date) it's going to be one of those...)

Then there's Robert Wilson's The Blind Man of Seville. I like Wilson's books set in Africa a lot. This one, set (obviously) in Spain, seems to have less humor. I am slowly getting into it. I read another chapter or two last night during dinner and it's picking up a little.

Finally, Driving With Dead People, a memoir. Narrator has requisite dysfunctional childhood, a best friend who is the daughter of the town's funeral's okay so far.

But really...nothing's thrilling me. Maybe I need to start book number four.

Edited....because The Daughter reminds me that I have a collection of Flannery O'Connor stories next to my chair and I sip on those from time to time. All these years I would have sworn that I had read "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." But I read it a week or so ago and nope, I would have remembered it...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thank You, Janet!

A little while back there, my friend Janet came down from NY for a rollicking weekend in the sticks. And today, as a thank you, look what she sent!

So pretty! I love this color combination. And the bouquet is making the house smell divine.

I hope the cats don't eat them.

Oh, and look! I remembered to take a picture of the sock!

They May Be Loopy, But They Sure Are Quick!

So, I had a credit from The Loopy Ewe that was sort of burning a virtual hole in my virtual pocket...and then I went there this morning and saw that they had some new stuff in stock. And, one thing leading to another the way they so often do, I placed an order at lunchtime. (Yes, I used a good bit more than the amount of my credit...but at least now I'm actually knitting socks, so there's some excuse for the purchasing of sock yarn.)

And just now I checked my email and the package has already been shipped! Whoo and likewise hoo! This means that in a couple of days I'll have some yummy yarn to show those of you who care about such things. And the rest of you can just scroll or something.

I've ordered the trees for our yard. We are having a dead pine tree removed from the front yard and a pear tree put in its place. And in the back yard, we are getting a fruiting cherry tree and a pale pink rhododendron. (Yeah, I'm sure Mr. Pointy Sticks and I could plant a rhododendron ourselves (or rhododendrum, as the tree guy's wife kept calling it) but this way it's done.)

Bloody Wednesday

Some major and minor upheavals at work yesterday and today. Nothing I'll talk about here except to say that I'm glad I'm not in management and I can't wait until November when, with any luck, there will be the usual sort of exodus that occurs when the Administration changes.

The sock is coming along nicely. Maybe I'll get a picture tonight. Then again, maybe not. You obviously can't count on anything I say. But I'm on the gusset decreases and zipping right along. I am only doing the pattern stitch on the leg this time, so the plain stockinette is a breeze.

Rachel seems to be settling in well. There was an unfortunate incident with a plastic scorpion...involving her room-mate, dim lighting, the fetching of a resident advisor and the discovery, while carefully carrying the scorpion outside, that it had "Made in China" stamped on its plastic tummy. But her room-mate seems to have forgiven her. That Stephanie, she's okay. And it wasn't intentional on Rachel's part. Of course, she should probably stop laughing about it now.

And would someone please start up my reading ability again? I don't think I've read more than a page or two in the past month. I have three different books going, hoping that one will grab me and so far....nothing. And the year started out with such a bang! A long stretch of great reads. I think my brain is broken.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Umoja Sock

Well, I did rip the sock out...the one I showed a couple of posts back. It would have been very loose. But I immediately started again (using a different stitch pattern in the leg, since I had a smaller number of stitches) and am, today, up to working on the heel flap. (I didn't get quite as much worked on the trip to and from Fred as I thought I might -- I never do.)

I so loved the garter-stitch-edged heel flap on the last pair that I decided to do the same one on this pair, even though the Goddess Schurch's recipe didn't call for it on this pattern. I was a little concerned, as I started, because this heel flap has an odd number of stitches (33) while the other sock had an even number (36). But you know what? I think it works better with an odd number of stitches! You end up with a little column of knit stitches on both sides next to the garter stitch, rather than one side having a column of knit stitches and the other side having a column of larger, fatter, slipped stitches. I think I like this even better.

Picture tonight, perhaps.

I'm loving this Madelienetosh yarn. Very sproingy and soft.

Monday, May 19, 2008


That's how late I'll be at work today. Argh. Usually I get in at 7 a.m. and leave at 3:30. Today we had to return the van we rented to take Rachel back to Fredericksburg for the summer session she's taking, so we got in at 8:30. It's been a long time since I've had to work this isn't going to be easy.

The trip to and from Fred was pretty uneventful. Actually the worst part was the B'more Beltway on the way down. There was an accident and a section of the Beltway that usually takes about 20 minutes took 55. Smooth sailing after that. And Rachel's all settled in and eager to get going with her classes. She's taking African Americam Literature and Southern Literature in this first session. May stay for second session and take a Milton seminar. Better her than me.

And Mr. Pointy Sticks and I are back to empty nesthood. Well, except for the fact that we'll have some worker bees at the house, fixing up our bathroom. But I won't have to feed them.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Contest Results!

We have a weiner!

Little slips with names were placed in the Happy Monkey Bag of Balloting (You may think this bears an uncanny resemblance to the Happy Monkey Bag of Socks. You would be correct.) and the bag was shaken heartily.

Said Bag was transported in a highly secure manner (i.e., by me) to the Room of the Daughter, where slips were chosen.

Said daughter didn't want any more of a picture of her included as she had just awoken from a nap. More than one name was chosen so that I have back-up in the event of a winner not getting back to me with an address.

So, without further ado - Turtle, you are the winner. I'll be emailing you for your address. email apparent. I've left a comment n Turtle's blog. If I don't hear from her in a few days, I'll move on to number 2.

Everyone else, stay tuned. This was fun. I may just have to do it again sometime.

Out On The Tiles

I ran into KG Tiles this morning and waited for a few minutes until Leah was free. I felt bad bothering her, as they seemed sort of busy but as it turned out things cleared out and she was able to haul out the tiles we've chosen for the bathroom. And here they are:

The river pebbles will be the floor of the shower...the white tiles on the left will be the walls of the shower, with a couple of rows of the yummy frosted glass tiles as an accent. And the grey-green-blue tile on the right will be the floor of the bathroom. Pretty? I think so. I think it looks beachy and relaxing.

There sure are some pretty tiles out there.

And, speaking of pretty, our rhododendron is beginning to bloom.

In bad news...I think the sock I started yesterday will turn out too big. I think I might be ripping it out and starting over.

You don't have this problem with scarves....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hang On, Loopy! Loopy, Hang On!

Man, I had heard that The Loopy Ewe enclosed some sort of little reward with your sixth order...I even thought I remembered reading somewhere that they sent a tote bag. Well...oh my. They send quite a goodie package!

First of all, let me show you what I ordered...

From top to bottom, we have:

1) Chameleon Colorworks Bambino in Rose - I love this soft pink and think it'll be swell for some lacy socks.

2) Two skeins of Yarn Love's Elizabeth Bennet sock yarn, in the Cottage Garden colorway. More girly must be spring.

3) From Beyond Basic Knits superwash wool and nylon (man, is this stuff soft!) in the Funkadelic colorway. More springlike colors.

And the little goodie I got?

The Loppy Ewe tote bag, which zips closed. A Loopy Ewe key ring that you can barely see on the strap of the bag, up there in the upper right corner. A free sock pattern...a really pretty one. And two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Apple Hill colorway. So pretty. Now I am wondering if the Loopy elves actually look at what you have bought in the past to decide what yarn to send. These colors are perfect for me.

Though I guess I'd be hard pressed to come up with a Lorna's Laces colorway that I disliked.

Oh no! What if the Lorna's Laces was a mistake? Would they really send such a nice freebie? Eeek. Maybe I'd better check.

But that'a not all the goodies that were in the mail! I got my little sock knitting bag (hey, I figured if I was going to keep knitting socks, I deserved something nicer than a Ziploc bag to carry the work in progress around) that I had ordered from Stuck in Illinois on Etsy. Look how cute!

The lining is a pattern of knitting needles and yarn but it's the outside fabric I adore...sock monkeys, pogo-sticking around. I especially love the rear views. This little bag makes me smile every time I see it.

Now, I really ought to go slip on the sock in progress and make sure it isn't too gigantic. It looks larger than the last sock but I think that may be because the pattern isn't very ribby.

Oh...what else did we do today? Well, we got to leave work early to take Rachel to a doctor's appointment. (I took all these pictures on the hood of the car while waiting for her.) Then went and did a little shopping for some jeans for her. Not at the store with the $200 jeans. ("Mom," says Rachel, "I need to make you honest. They were only $190." This is the same store that had a cute striped tee...very light and flimsy fabric...$78!) We went into the shop on the other side of the mall, where the prices are reasonable and the help is fantastic. And somehow Rachel ended up with a cool necklace, too. Her mother must be going soft or something.

And we went out to dinner at Green Leaf. The service was slow and women at the tables to either side of us had doused themselves a leetle too liberally in perfume for true dining pleasure. But the food was sure good.

And tomorrow will be busy...picking up the van with which we haul Rachel back to Fredericksburg...running into the tile place to take a quick picture or two of the tile I chose....lunch at my dad's...with luck a trip to Borders or the yarn shop or both...

And then Sunday spent moving the daughter into her dorm. I should be able to get a good bit of knitting done, though.

New Day, New Socks

Yes, I have started a new pair of socks. Though I'm not one hundred percent sure what pattern I'll be doing. That is, it's another Schurch sock, top down (I really want to do a toe up one of these days...but not today), 72 stitch cast on, which I am just crossing my fingers and hoping is the right number for this yarn. (That sounds a little more devil-may-care than I actually am...I am pretty sure it's the right number for this yarn, but I don't always trust myself when it comes to gauge and such.)

The yarn? Yummy. It's Madelienetosh, in the Umoja colorway. It's the eighth one down on this page...that gorgeous combination of deep purpley blue, turquoise and orange. And so soft. Very nice.

Does this mean the sock bug has truly bitten me? Will I never go back to scarves?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Charlene Schurch Is A Goddess!

So, I had a niggly headache yesterday, which got worse last night, which I still had this I stayed home from work today and slept in. Odd, I still seem to be sleepy, but at least the headache is pretty much gone.

And the socks are finished!

Here photographed on one of Rachel's covers, for maximum color overload.

The last two pairs of socks I've done have come from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Socks book which is wonderful. She's done a marvelous job of coming up with a book full of sock patterns that are clear and simple but that look terrific. I highly recommend this book.

The cats were not overly impressed with the socks.

Speaking of the cats, though, we wrangled them to the vet last night and the results were, for the most part, good. Duncan ("My, he's a big guy!" said the vet, "I bet when he wants something, he gets it.") is fine and in good shape. Giz's kidney problems actually seem to have improved due to his twice-a-week IV fluid treatment. But he has some bad, bad teeth (and he just had them cleaned a year ago!) and will have to go in for cleaning and probably removal of some. Poor baby. Poor me. I get pretty tense when he's under the anesthesia.

Quick post as I am taking Rachel off to Target to pick up some stuff to cart to school for summer session.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hush Now!

I'm sure it says something about my personality...and thank you, but I really don't want to know what it says about my, really, I don't...that those missed purl stitches in the edge of my garter-edged heel flap bothered me to such an extent that...

No, I didn't rip out the rows of gusset decreases that I had done, the heel turn and more than half the heel flap...

I carefully wove in a piece of waste yarn and faked some sort of purl-ish looking stitches. Any real knitter looking closely will realize that they are, in fact, screwed up somehow. But the expanse of three knit rows now looks more like three knit, purled, knit rows.

Good enough for me! La, la, la!


I hate looking back...way, way back...and noticing that I made a mistake in the garter stitch edge of the heel flap. There's a row of three stitches in the garter stitch edge that are knits and should be purls. Am I going to rip back? No. But still...sigh.

There's so little perfection in life.

Last night's dinner, though, was pretty close to perfect. (How's that for a segue?) We got yummy sea scallops from Wegmans and had those, pan seared, and snow peas (also from Weggies) just barely cooked to crisp/tender with a little seasoned butter on them and yellow rice. Yum. Tasty and pretty.

Tonight we have to wrangle the cats to the vets for their over-due shots. (They're both indoor cats, so the shots have somewhat less urgency to me.) That's always fun, but it'll be nice to have Rachel along to help.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Raise the Flag

Flapland is conquered and the heel is turned. Perhaps this evening I will get the gusset stitches picked up. Though with a trip to Wegman's and biking scheduled for this evening, the gusset may just have to wait until tomorrow.

I am thinking though that these will be done by the weekend, at the latest, which means I'll need something else to take in the car with me when we drive Rachel down for summer session.


After what seems like days and days of rain and cold, the sun is out. Last night I mentioned to Mr. Pointy Sticks that this was the first year in quite a while that we haven't had the air conditioning on for at least a day or two by now.

And yay! Chris, of Stumbling Over Chaos, mentioned my contest. Not that I don't love the people who have already commented, but it might be nice to have a larger pool from which to choose. Though I've already gotten some good sock ideas. And a cake recipe! Yum, cake.

We are in the process of getting ready to do some fairly major renovation on the house. Our master bathroom has been out of commission for years. (Yes, years...I will admit that I am a procrastinator and that had something to do with the delay. But it also was caused by trying to decide what to do, thinking about pushing the back out of the house out and adding a room downstairs and enlarging our bed and bathroom, waiting a year for an architect to come up with some plans [she never did], deciding that that was too expensive, dealing with cleaning out and selling my mother's house, finding a contractor... Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it.)

So Saturday I went and started looking for tiles...and that was easy! We went first to Lowe's and got (a) rather overwhelmed and (b) no help what-so-ever. Then we went to KG Tile, close to us, and found a very helpful woman who set up our bathroom in a flash. We are going to have the shower stall floored in bluey-greeny-beigey river pebbles...the floor of the bathroom will be sort of weathered looking greeny-blue tiles. The shower walls will be white with a row or two of glass accent tiles in a frosted, striated blue-green-clear...I think it'll be quite yummy. I wish I had taken my camera with me on Saturday, so I could have taken a picture. Maybe when I go to pay for the order I can set it all up again and take a picture. Blog fodder!

And I think we'll be putting in a pedestal sink. I had thought about putting in a small vanity, useful for hiding cleaning supplies and such, but the bathroom is tiny (say, four feet by four and a half feet [not counting the shower stall]) and I think the pedestal sink will make it look more spacious. As spacious as such a tiny room can look.

We were in one bath store this weekend and I saw a great looking medicine cabinet. Really modern looking, very attractive...and when I got the price list I saw it was about $1,000! That's a leetle high for a medicine cabinet, I think.

And of course, I have to look for faucets and a showerhead and towel bars and chose paint for the walls and...and...and....

I think I need to go lie down now.

The second sock is coming right along. I think I need to do about three or four more rows in the leg and then it's on to Heel Flap Land.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

If you have a mom, give her a hug. I am really missing my mom today, which is rather ironic, as she hated Mother's Day and thought it was an overly commercialized day, designed to fatten the coffers of Hallmark. Still...I wish she were here so that I could hear her say that one more time.

And look!

I have been knitting my brains out, including sitting in The Bead yesterday while Rachel shopped for clothes. I got lots of comments about how clever I was...little do they know!

Look at this neat garter stitch edged heel.

So pretty.

So...with all this knitting, are both socks finished?!

Well, no.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I just got my (unsigned) copy of Shear Spirit in the mail today and it's up for grabs! If you'd like a chance to win this book (and it's a nice book, let me tell you) for yourself or a friend, just leave me a comment....with, let's see....if you're a knitter, point me to a good sock pattern...not too, too challenging, as I am just a beginner. If you're not a knitter, but want the book, leave me a tasty recipe! And, let's let this run for a week. So next Saturday, I'll have Rachel pull the name of the winner out of a hat. Or I'll do it myself if she thinks that it's too dorky for words.

Cool! My first contest!

While uploading the book's picture, I found this:

Gizmo and Duncan, courtesy of Rachel.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Marcel and Me

Proust may have had his madeleines (yum, madeleines), but for me it isn't taste so much as sounds that can rip me right out of the present and land me with an almost visceral thump right back in my childhood.

It's raining this morning and I walked into work in my sneakers and, as I walked down the hall, they were squeaking loudly. And it took me back to grade school and the sound one's red rubber boots made on the hall floors. I usually spent rainy days resenting the fact that I was a girl. See now, my brother, who is about 6 years older, had the coolest rain gear. He had a yellow slicker, with a matching yellow hood-like hat that snapped under his chin and had a visor. The slicker, and his black boots, had the coolest closures. They were side of the slicker had metal buttonholes and the other side had these little metal tongues that you slid through the hole and snapped closed. (I've looked through 20 pages of Google image and can't find a single picture of this kind of slicker.) The lining of the coat (which was just the backside of the slicker material) had red and green safety admonishments and pictures of things like traffic lights and policemen.

I don't remember what my raincoat was like, but my boots were stupid red boots with two little rubber buttons and elastic closing them at the top. Dumb girlie boots.

In fifth grade, I think it was, my mom let me wear my brother's raincoat and hat to school. Boy, was I proud. Still had to wear the red boots, though.

The next year I had a blue slicker. I think it snapped up the front and the hat was a tie on bonnet that always seemed to dribble water down my neck. It just wasn't the same.

And man, you could sure work up a clammy sweat in those slickers.


Another sound I love that can transport me to childhood? That sort of whickering sound that robins make as they hop through the yard. Something about that takes me back to summer evenings at the house where we grew up, sitting under the front porch, listening to the grown-ups talk above me. Crawling out from under the porch finally, as the dark deepened, and curling up in my dad's lap until my mom shooed me in to bath and bed.


So what sight, sound or scent throws you back to childhood?


The sock is coming along. Last night, what with my exercise biking, My Name Is Earl, CSI, and The Office, was not a big knitting night.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'm Sure You've All Been Pacing Nervously...

I just had a little rendezvous with my electronic scale (I call her Grammy) and she tells me that I have 40 grams left in the ball of yarn. It started at 60 grams, so I would say that I will be just fine. Whew. And yay! And a little bit drats, because I could have maybe made this sock a leetle bit higher.

Chugging Right Along

So, as of the time I am typing this up, I am about a third of the way through the heel flap. I'm thinking that, if I make it through the heel turn and then weigh the yarn I have left and compare it to the full ball, and if I have about half of the yarn left, then I will make it to the toe. Does that sound right? Is that about the half-way point for a sock? (I am fighting a battle between my worry about having enough yarn to reach the toe versus my dislike of too-short socks.)

I am spending some time trying to come up with a good idea for a blog contest. I will, someday soon, have an extra copy of Shear Spirit to give away. And I'd like to have a contest. But I'd also like to come up with something cleverish...or fun...or a little different.

I thought about having people send me skeins of sock yarn and whichever yarn I liked best...that person would get the book! But I don't think I'd get many takers, do you?

Or you know...I could always donate the book to someone who is raising money for a good cause. Like Claudia and her ride for MS. This year, since her husband broke his ankle, they won't be riding, but she is still raising money and this could be a prize. That would be a good thing to do. But really...I think I want to have a contest of my own. Is that selfish?

Any ideas out there?

Am I asking too many questions?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sock, In All Its Incomplete Glory

I told you everything was blurry!

Actually, that blur is caused by an errant breeze while I was snapping...I didn't realize how much movement there had been... That's one thing to be said for the Front Porch of Photography. It may be cold at times, it may be dull gray cement, it may have scars from past Fourth of July snake festivities...but it doesn't sway in the breeze.

Here's a shot in focus...

Look at those colors. Yum. The yarn is very nice, too. I think there may be more Family Pendragon purchases in my future.

Edited to add: This picture is now my desktop at work. Daniel, maybe you'd like it, too!


My glasses broke on the drive into work this morning. Fortunately, Mr. Pointy Sticks does the driving, as I am blind as a bat without my glasses. And I mean a baseball bat, not one of those sonar-assisted flying bats. So I am typing this with my nose about three inches from the keyboard and I'm sure I'll be fixing typos for hours before I hit the "post" button.

Speaking of three inches...the reborn sock is about that, again. After consulting with Charlene Schurch (in the guise of her book), I decided to start with 72 stitches. With 80 stitches, the colors on this yarn blurred and mingled and were all random and impressionistic. At 72 stitches, I am getting spiralling of hot oranges and yellows and the other of greens, blues, purples and pinks. Still pretty...but I prefer the patterning at 80 stitches. On the other hand (or foot), I really prefer to be able to wear the socks I knit. So I'm sticking to 72. Sigh. Picture this evening perhaps...stay tuned.

Current Reading going nowhere. I have four or more books started...Robert Wilson's The Blind Man of Seville, Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, a book of mystery short stories and a kid's book that I got the other day. And none of them are grabbing me. (So none of them are going on the list to the right...until one really grabs me.) I guess it's all knitting, all the time. Except for the crosswords. I'm working on some cryptic crosswords.

Monday, May 5, 2008


The sock, which had grown to about 3 inches, is now back to just a cast-on. I was afraid it was too big, and yup. My leg was swimming in it. Well, at least, it was too loose feeling for me. So, here we go again...down from 80 stitches to 76. I hope that'll do it.

Summer Dinner

One thing that's nice about summer is the tomatoes...not that there are any available around here in the gardens yet. But Wegman's had some this afternoon, so we bought an assortment. Look how pretty.

And we sliced some up for dinner tonight. And now they're gone.


I caught Gizmo the other afternoon, having a snooze in the sun. My sweetie.

And yes, I started another pair of socks. Yay, socks! I did a couple of rows on the pinwheel blanket, too, but that's hard on my hands, I find. So then I started the sock. In this yarn:

I think they're going to look like a party on my feet.

365 Days

Get ready, vendors! I'm saving my quarters!

I'm thinking of starting another pair of socks. Is this how the addiction starts? I figure I can take almost a year doing the first one, whip the second one out in four days and have a new pair of socks for next year's Sheep and Wool. It's a plan, right?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Some Other Fair Moments

So we are standing in the judging barn, watching a group of senior lambs (I love that term - senior lambs) being judged and a couple of teen-age girls walk by. After they passed my brother laughed out loud. Turns out they were saying, "Gee, it's like some sort of, like, sheep show!" Huh. Do ya think? (Edit to say that I had this wrong. It was my cousin who heard this, not the brother.)

I didn't get to the Ravelry gathering before it apparently shut down and scurried away. At least I think I was in the building they were supposed to be in but there was just one lady knitting something and a lot of empty tables and chairs. It was a pity. There were lots of people at the fair wearing Ravelry name tags and I tried to read them all. The only one I recognized was Invisible Insanity. I said something dorky to her, I think. I'll blame the heat.

Here's an "I'm so regal" llama. But what's that? Pull back the camera a little and....

Hee. They had been sheared for their comfort,which was humane. But they reminded me of Persian cats in those lion cuts. Fluffy legs, fluffy head and neck...naked bodies. But they looked so soft. Like plush animals.

I had a nice exchange with a woman at the Brooks Farm stand about Franklin Habit and how much we liked him. (I was wearing my Franklin t-shirt with the chorus line of sheep on it.)

Maybe there will be a few more pictures later.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


That's what I feel on MD Sheep and Wool Show day. It's like Christmas when I was little. Christmas now is more of chore. I don't procrastinate when it comes to Christmas...I can work up a good post-Christmas let-down weeks before Christmas.

But the Sheep and Wool show? That's pure anticipation and fun.

We did get there until about noon...maybe a little later. The crowds astound me every year. I told my brother, at one point, that it was almost crowded enough to make it not a lot of fun. And although the skies were grey for a good portion of the day, it was warm. And in the was hot.

Many of the booths were so crowded it was impossible to get in them. The lines were incredible.

But...we got to watch the sheep being judged and I saw the alpacas and llamas. (I didn't see any rabbits this year.) Here are some high points.

This patient guy was waiting in the ring to be judged.

I liked these natty guys and their red bucket.

Nice fleece.

These ladies were fat and happy.

We've been watching lots of the early seasons of Law & Order. This sheep just reminded me so much of Paul Robinette.

I think my best encounter, though, came with the ladies in the booth selling copies of Shear Spirit. Gale Zucker, whose blog, She Shoots Sheep Shots, I love, was in the booth of Nanney Kennedy, of Seacolors yarns. The yarns are gorgeous, and so soft...especially after washing. The finished garments she had were to die for. And the colors!

Soft and rich, at the same time.

Really. I need some of this yarn. Why, oh why, didn't I buy any while I was there? I dunno...I was overwhelmed. Plus, I bought this:

And Gayle and Nanney both signed it. And gave me a tattoo. Now, it was perhaps silly of me to buy this book...I have a copy on its way to me from Amazon. But I figured maybe I should have a blog contest and give it (that is, the unsigned copy) away....I just have to come up with an idea for a contest. I mentioned this to Gayle and she asked what my blog was. When I told her, she said, "I've read your blog!" I thought she was just being nice, but I have commented on her blog, I think, so I guess it's within the realm of possibility. Cool! Hi, Gale!

What else did I come home with? Well, as I saved money all year I knew I wanted to get some yarn from Brooks Farm. I love their yarns. And I came home with these:

Tierra Blend in a lovely, soft, barely variegated light blue.

Primero in a gorgeous rich scarlet.

And I really wanted to gift myself with a pair of those incredibly expensive (well, for knitting needles) Signature needles.

I got the 10" in a size 6 with middy points and the teardrop top. What's that you say? There seems to be yarn there, too? Yeah, well, Tess Designer yarns reached out and grabbed me and wouldn't let me go until I bought this sock yarn. The red and the blue for me, the brown for a pair of socks for Mr. Pointy Sticks.

And those other little things hiding there?

I thought these little beads would make a cool pair of earrings.

So, everything I bought fit in the tote bag I took, so I wasn't too extravagant.

Home again, with tired but happy feet.