Thursday, July 31, 2008

Second Guessing

So, I picked out a paint color last night. And then this morning, I re-picked out a paint color. (Meander Blue...the one I was thinking about last night.)

And then I got to work this morning and I started thinking about it and wondered if it was going to be all too matchy-matchy. So I started thinking about the little stones in the shower...I know, this would all be a lot more meaningful if you could actually see the little stones in the shower....and thinking that perhaps a creamy browny color would be better. Or sage-green. But after a while every color starts looking sort of institutional to me.

I think I'll get my brother in here tomorrow to give me some advice. After all, I'm helping him with his kitchen. Right, bro?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Man, I'm Such A Geek!

I picked up the new Vogue Knitting and was thrilled to see Jared's mittens on the cover. How cool is that! But that's not the geeky part. I already knew about the mittens from reading BrooklynTweed. But as I'm flipping through the pages, I come upon a little article about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and there was a photo of..."Franklin!" I said, "Look, it's Franklin! Oh, and there's Stephanie!" To which Mr. Pointy Sticks said, after a short pause, "Who?" Sigh.

But really....I don't know these people...not really. I just feel as though I do. Like they're old college friends. (Yes, they are both much too young for that...thanks for reminding me.) Chums. Buddies. Ah well. It was still a thrill seeing their smiling faces in the pages of the magazine.

And then I turned the page and saw the mini-article about Rabbitch's yarn and did another little internal squeal. I didn't bother to say anything to Mr. Pointy Sticks. I knew I'd just get another "......Who?"

The bathroom is coming along but has sort of come to a halt because we need a) more white bullnose tile, b) more floor bullnose tile, and c) more grout. But that's all ordered and should be in sometime next week. And I think I've picked out the paint color for the walls. I had a few to choose from.....

But I think I've made up my mind (You can sort of drive yourself crazy with too many choices. Right, Justus?) and will be going with Raindrop. It's the one above the paperclip in this picture. Though I love the name of the shade above it...Meander Blue. I think "meander" has to be one of my favorite words. Along with "twilight." What are some of your favorite words?

Of course, I could second guess myself tomorrow. I mean, suddenly that color is looking a little...institutional.

I'm down to turning the heel in Beth's first sock. Maybe I'll put in a picture tomorrow.

Hmmm...I posted this entry and immediately got three spam comments. This has happened a few times and, assuming that my readers don't actually want to go to foreign gambling sites, I'm going to turn on comment moderation. I know it's sort of disappointing not to see one's comment immediately appear. But I can't stand the spams.

Current Reading

Well, well done, Ann Cleeves! I'll admit you had me completely flummoxed as to the identity of the murderer in Raven Black. I like that in a mystery. I look forward to the next mystery in this series, White Nights.

What's next, what's next? Maybe Divisadero...maybe another mystery. If Rachel had her way, it would be Toni Morrison's Paradise.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fingers Crossed...

This should be a quiet day. Which should mean that I will actually get a regular lunch break instead of bolting my food in ten minutes and going back to work. Which, in turn, should mean that I will have a chance to knit. I need to start the right front of Alexandra's sweater and I am finding Beth's sock very relaxing to knit. Another inch or so on the sock leg and I should be ready to do the heel flap. So there may be some competition between these two as to which I should spend my lunch time on.

Rachel and I tried making peaches and cream pie last night but alas, it sort of turned out to be peaches and cream soup. For some reason the custard-y part didn't set. I wonder if it was because I cooked it on convection? It was still tasty to eat, even though we had to use a bowl rather than a plate. (Well, I'm not sure that Rachel liked it all that much.) I shall not be defeated, however! I will have to try again. And again. And again....until I get it right. What a sacrifice. Man, the pie is so good...especially when it works.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just A Quickie

I just needed to post about a book I finished. So without further ado.

Current Reading

First of all, I haven't finished the Stuart O'Nan. In fact, I've only read the first chapter or so, so I probably shouldn't even have it on my list.

I have finished Never End, an Erik Winter mystery by Ake Edwardson. A very Nordic mystery, somehow. Cool and polite. Not bad. Just...Nordic.

But then I read What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn which I really , really liked. It's sad and bleak, but there is some hope at the end. The opening section, about a 10-year-old girl named Kate Meaney, is just wonderful. I'd highly recommend this, as long as you can take a little bleakness, a little sorrow.

And now I've started Raven Black by Ann Cleeves, a mystery set in the Shetlands. It's the first of a proposed four, so I hope it's good.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Well, Well. Lookie Here!

It's a sock. Taken with my webcam, which, I realized in a flash of brilliance this evening, can take pictures! Fancy that.

So here is the start of the pair of socks for Beth. Knit from Numma Numma's Brunch for Beth. And it is numma numma yarn...very soft and nice. It's striping in a strong but not (to me at least) unappealing pattern.

I hope Beth likes them.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And I Forgot To Say...

I finished the Smooshy green socks, it was. And on the trip down to Fred on Friday, I started Beth's Numma Numma Brunch for Beth socks. I'm using the Charade pattern. So, one day, there'll be pictures of them.

Hi! Miss Me?

It's not the lack of's not the busy-ness of work, it's not having only the laptop. Rather, it's a combination of those three things (plus a fat cat who likes to share the keyboard with me while I'm typing -- shove over Duncan!) that is making me from post so infrequently.

But I can't wait until I am back downstairs and can throw some pictures up here. I can show y'all bathroom shots. (Don't worry...I'll limit myself to the finished glory. I won't show you step-by-step shots.)

I've gotten some lovely yarn in recent weeks. Mostly from the Loopy Ewe, but also some snazzy red bamboo from 5elementknitter's destash that just glows. (I also ordered some Stitchsavers from her and gave one each to Tracy and Joyce.)

And Rachel's home! We had a very easy trip down and back yesterday and she had almost all her apartment/dorm all packed up and ready to go. So that's nice. Just a few weeks and we get to do it all again to take her back down for the new school year. Mr. Pointy Sticks just keeps mumbling about maybe buying a van....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thank Heavens For The Cover of Darkness

So, last night Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went over to the neighbor's to visit with their pooch for a bit and let her out before bed (the neighbors are "downy ocean, hon" so we're dog-sitting) and, while hurrying to catch up with Mr. Pointy Sticks, I was trotting up their front walk when I caught my toe on one of the steps in said walk and basically did a face plant on the concrete. One knee is a patch about the size of a quarter. The other knee is skinned in a patch about the size of Minnesota...and bruised...and looks rather like chopped liver and hurts like a sunavabitch. I also landed on the heels of my hand and they don't look too bad...a little pink...but I am wondering if I might have sprained something in my right hand, which is sore (fine to type and knit...hurts like hell to open a jar). And somehow I bruised my right boob a mighty bruise...and yeow, does that hurt! I am dosed up on aspirin and swathed in bandaids. And somewhat sore. As I think I mentioned.

I was very glad it was dark so that no one saw me. Though then, of course, I tell everyone about it here. Go figure.

The bathroom is proceeding and we now have a ceiling in the computer room. Pretty exciting. Heavens knows what sleeping amid the odors of glue and the dust of drywall is doing to us...and to the cats. But whatever.

I am still knitting away on my second Smooshy sock (only two rows before I start the toes decreases, which will take no time at all), and working on the cardigan for baby Alexandra.

I will, I think, be in prime shape to start up the Brunch for Beth socks that I will be doing next. Just in time to work on them on the way to and from Fredericksburg (we're going to pick up Miss R. -- Yay!).

If I ever get my non-laptop hooked up again, I'll actually have pictures to show you. In fact, I felt the blog was so boring without pictures....

Here's a picture of a baby sweater...not the one I'm working on! I did this one some time ago.

Sigh. One of these days there will be real pictures again.

Oh...and about ten minutes after I wrote in the last post about getting new carpet in the computer room? I walked in there to be greeting by a huge messy hairball, courtesy of Duncan. Perhaps that's why I'm not rushing right out to recarpet the house....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Snoozy Sunday

We have got to get out today and choose a light fixture for the new bathroom. But it's so hot out there, she whines.

We went out for dinner last night with our friend Don and ate for the first time at Jessie Wong's, a new Chinese restaurant up in what we fondly refer to as Death Valley. I think it's one of a chain (the restaurant, that is, not Death Valley) but it had a lot of unusual dishes and was pretty good. Sort of on the pricey end of the scale (for us...and for Chinese restaurants). The Tekka Don was $22, for example. At Yamato I think it's $14.95. I had some wonderful dumplings to start and something called Pinot Grigio shrimp. Arthur had Thai Basil Chicken, which he thought was very different but good.

The bathroom progresses. The walls are mostly up. The tiles were picked up Saturday and are patiently waiting in their boxes down in the computer room. Yesterday I went to a flooring store with my brother (who is in the process of redoing his kitchen) and now I am thinking that I'd like to put new carpet down in the computer room when the ceiling is in and the walls are painted.

Current Reading

I've been dipping into this book and that one, over the past week or so, none of them really grabbing me. But then yesterday I picked up the new Nicci French thriller, Losing You. And it held my attention. I finished it this morning. It was hard to read....literally. There were pages that were printed so lightly that there were just pale ghosts of letters on the page. Perhaps the copier was running out of toner?

Next up...the new Ruth Rendell Wexford book, Not In The Flesh. Hope it's good. (It only has three stars at Amazon...but no reviews. And generally, I find Amazon reviews to be...unreliable.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Every Day In Every Way...

It's rather exciting to come home everyday and see what magic Jeff and Ray have performed while we've been off at work. Today we came home to find the can lights installed in the ceiling of the computer room (which previously had a ghastly old florescent light) and walls and ceiling going up in the bath...actually, the ceiling is done, the walls are beginning. And new insulation in both rooms. I'm snapping pictures every day and will, I'm sure, bore you all with some of them at some point in the future.

Not a lot of knitting to talk about. My Smooshy green socks are preceding slowly (as in, I do two to four rows in the car driving to work every morning and maybe some in the evening) and I haven't touched Alexandra's little cardigan in weeks. This new job is fun (if sometimes scary...I'm being called upon to participate a lot more often which requires actually knowing stuff), but it sure doesn't give me much leisure time. Today I worked through my usual lunchtime, grabbed a bite to eat and then went off to do more work. The end of the afternoon slowed down but, while I would, in my old job, have felt just fine sitting and knitting all day as long as there was no work to do, in the new one (even though I am working with the same groups of people and sitting in the same desk) I just don't feel that I can do that.

And as for the "sitting in the same desk" thing...that'll be changing soon. One of our IT guys sat over near the two women I will be working with and he is moving over into our area to free up his desk for me. Which is awfully nice of him. And that means that I'll be closer to what's going on. And, for once, have a nice clean desk....but that's another story.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Plumbing The Depths...Or At Least The Bathroom

This afternoon, while we're at work, our contractor is at our house with the plumber, roughing in the new pipes and all. Or putting in the pipes...I'm not sure what the distinction is. And I got a call and our tiles are in, so we can pick them up sometime time week. Yay!

I am very impressed with how tidy our contractor is (Maryland Contracting, for anyone who's interested). The rooms looked cleaner when they were done for the day than when they started...well, dusty, but tidy. (I can hear my family saying, "Big surprise! A tornado going through would make the rooms look tidier!") Now granted, a contractor should be tidy. But I'm always impressed when they are.

Now that the work has started, I'm excited about it. I was sort of dreading it all the night before they started. Not that we could really ignore the non-functional bathroom and the gaping holes in the computer room ceiling anymore....after, what?, five or six years. (I obviously have a low tolerance for disrepair.)

And it gives the cats something to watch. We do like to fill their days with stimulating activities.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tumultuous Tuesday

Well, the contractor showed up this morning and was here for about 5 hours and now, where the bathroom was, we have a great big empty. And the computer room ceiling has vanished. I'm taking pictures but they won't be posted for sometime...unless I get Mr. Pointy Sticks to rig up some way for me to unload my pictures onto my laptop...but then I'd also have to load my camera's software and heaven knows where that I'm thinking no photos until this is all over.

After the contractor and his Destructo-buddy left, Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went off to the Pella window store and bought the window for the bathroom. It's going to be nice. We got one with little mini-blinds inside it. A casement window. Pretty spiffy. If I ever inherit a million bucks, I could see replacing all our windows. Ha! Dream on.

And this evening my brother's girlfriend and I are going to go see Wall*E. I can't wait!

Later --

Back from Wall*E. It's pretty darn adorable. I loved the first half or so...just flat out loved it. The second half is good, too, but the first half is wonderfully imagined and drawn. Funny and touching. Wall*E is a real charmer. It's amazing the character that the animators create with just the gestures and looks of a little machine. I already know that I'll want a copy for us. For one thing, Rachel should definitely see this one and seeing movies in the theater tends to give her migraines.

Work tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008


By eleven a.m. this morning we still had no contractor and when Mr. Pointy Sticks called to see where he was, he said, "Well, I didn't say the 14th was definite. I said I'd call the night before and ldet you know if I was coming." Sigh. I don't remember him saying that, but then, the way my memory has been...he might very well have done so. Fortunately, Mr. Pointy Sticks and I both have understanding bosses and we will be taking tomorrow off as well. After that...well, it's anybody's guess what our schedules will be.

Tomorrow, I will be going over to the Pella window store and talking to a nice man there about getting a Pella casement with the blinds inside the window for the bathroom. I think for a tiny, humid bathroom (I am hoping that the exhaust fan going in will make it less humid. There ain't nothin' gonna make it larger.), having the blinds where we won't be bumping into them and where they can't get mildewy will be smart.

I am so ready to have a new bathroom.

I am so unready for the chaos of the next two weeks.


As in demolition. Mr. Pointy Sticks and I are home today, waiting for the crew to come and knock out (and then rebuild) our master bath and replace the ceiling in the office. They were supposed to be here at 8 a.m. It's now 9 a.m. I could have slept a little later.

Posting may be light over the next couple of weeks. (Light but undoubtedly cranky.) And will probably be pictureless, as it's my desktop that has my camera software on it. And that's a pity, because I really wanted to take a picture last night.

I figured since the office was going to be torn up, I'd better divide the Numma Numma Brunch for Beth yarn into two equal balls last night. (The office is where I set up my swift and, when necessary, my electronic scale.) And I love this yarn. Even more wound than in the skein, I think. It's wonderfully soft. And the balls remind me of the planet Earth floating in space...okay, more brown and less blue, but still...that same feeling. I'll take a picture to post sometime.

I liked it so much, I went to the Loopy Ewe late last night and ordered another skein of it. (All the Numma Numma yarns that were posted a couple of weeks ago sold out almost immediately...except for the Brunch for Beth. So I figured it was fate that I order another skein of it.)

And I think I know which pattern I'm going to use for Beth's Brunchy socks.

Oh and the new phone is up and running. I had a little trouble the first time we tried to program it. I was told to wait a few hours until it connected....and it never did. So I called them back the next day and they walked me through the process again and this time, after waiting a few hours, I tried again and it was all set up and good to go. I may have screwed it up the first time because I was entering phone numbers and such, not just letting it sit quietly.

I'm impressed by the friendliness of the Credo tech people. They apparently have a big Credo center in Nova Scotia. And you know how nice Canadians are!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Old Dependable

Well, it seems that I can't let a week go by without placing an order at the Loopy Ewe. Hey, at least I'm consistent! And loyal. Actually, when the new stuff was posted this week, I looked at it in a sort of hurried fashion and thought, "Eh...nothing I really like." Then, later in the week, when I had a chance to really look at the stuff again (i.e., when things calmed down a bit at work), I looked again and threw a couple of skeins into my cart. And then thought, "No, you really don't need to order anything." Then, later still, I thought, "Oh deserve it."

Which explains why today the following showed up in my mailbox: (The pictures aren't great...they were taken indoors because it looked as though it was going to pour any second. Of course, once I finished taking the pictures I looked outside and it had lightened up considerably and I think now it's actually bright and sunny.)

So, the first is Cherry Tree Hill in a color way called something like Frosty Garden or Frosty Flowers or such. Nice and soft.

And this one is Chewy Spaghetti (love that name) in the colorway Fresh....pewter, pale blue, pale green and cream...yummy.

Oh...and the phone? That's my new Credo phone. Isn't he cute? Haven't named him yet...but he's cute enough that I think I'll have to. Rachel, any name suggestions?

Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went out to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch and it was pretty yummy. Then I went into the Coldwater Creek store there and actually found some pants that fit! And fit well! And feel good!! And have pockets!!! I bought a pair in black and a pair in beige. They come in navy as well but I decided to hold off on them for now...they weren't on sale and I just did a major shopping at Chico's last week since I have to dress a little more formally in the new job. I can still wear slacks, I just feel like I shouldn't be wearing jeans.

On the way home I ran into The Black Sheep to say thank you to Tracy and Joyce for being so nice and creating such a wonderful shop, where you can go in and feel welcome and get help and hang out and fondle yarn...all the good stuff you're supposed to be able to do in a yarn shop. I went in and Joyce was there (Tracy's on vacation) and I said, "Joyce! I just wanted to come in for a quick visit..." And she said, "Oh, I'm so glad you're here. Tracy and I want to thank you."

"I want to thank you..." I started, and then said, "Wait....What? I wanted to thank you for being so nice. What are you thanking me for?" And she said, "We wanted to thank you for giving our shop such a nice plug! We read your post about that other yarn shop."

So we had a nice ole time chatting about mean people and knitting and such....and I walked out with this:

It's cashmere! And it was on sale! C-aaaaahhhh-shmere. So yummy. If I'm good, it'll turn into a scarf or a cowl and be a Christmas present for someone. If I'm bad, I'll end up making something for myself.

And look at that little rascal phone. He seems to think the red sets off his shiny blue nicely.

The second green Smooshy sock is coming along nicely. I've started the gusset, see?

I'm using the Day of the Dead stitch marker that Amy sent me...isn't it cute? And a little sheepy marker on the other side. And what's that inside the sock?! It's the new phone. Pushing into the picture again! Oh okay...I'll give you your own moment in the spotlight....

Are you happy now?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So, I Promised You Pictures

A week or so ago I entered a contest at Romancing the Yarn. (It was a really challenging had to send an e-mail with the word TWO in the subject line. favorite kind of contest. If only winning the Mega-Millions was that easy.)

Anyway, here's my haul.

The yarn is so pretty...very autumnal colors. And I got a book. Now, I think this would qualify as a romance novel...and that's a genre I usually don't do. But on a quick glance through the pages it looks well-written. Her next book, Casting Spells, is about a knitter, though...and knit shop owner...who also, judging from the chapter put in this book as a teaser, has supernatural powers and lives in a town of mostly supernatural creatures. That sounds like fun.

We stopped at Borders this evening to pick up a card and a wee giftie for Barry and I bought myself a present, too.

With all the just-engaged, newly wed and new parents in my office now, I felt I could justify the purchase of this book...besides, I love the Otto the Owl pattern. I may just have to make one of those for me.

And just for fun...another pretty day lily.

Rachel called and she's sick...she's muddling along, quaffing water and snarfling aspirin, but she feels crummy. And I know she's all grown up, but I hate to think of her sick and alone. My baby! (Ahem...sorry, toots.)

Is It Saturday Yet?

I woke up this morning and could hardly drag myself out of bed. It has been very busy at work for me for the past two weeks or so, with late hours and a trip to DC yesterday, and I was fine while the work was all going on. But the event we had been working on was over yesterday (and went very well, thank goodness) and now I just want to collapse.

I am so tired that I didn't even post last night that I had won a blog contest and the prize had arrived. Tonight I will try to get pictures taken and posted. As an appetite whetter for all you knitters, let me just say "Trekking XXL."

Reading A Day Late and A Dollar Short today made me realize that perhaps I have given the mistaken impression that I am shilling for Working Assets. Not because this blog was mentioned at all (I doubt that Evan's Mom even knows about this blog), but because she mentioned those sorts of posts and it made me think. So here's a flat 0ut statement. I received no remuneration from Working Assets in relation to my earlier posts. Unless you count the pretty blue cell phone, but that's available to anyone who signs up with them.

Current Reading

While we were in Fredericksburg over July 4th, I finished Michael Connelly's The Last Coyote. Good ole Harry Bosch. So depressed, so angry. I love Connelly's mysteries. In fact, while we were down in Fred we went to Borders and I picked up another Bosch mystery to read - City of Bones. Haven't started that one. But if you haven't tried Connelly yet, and you like your mysteries noir, he's worth a look.

After that, I read Beth Gutcheon's Five Fortunes. I read the whole thing, sort of hating it the whole time. It's about a group of women, with various problems, who meet during a week at a fancy spa. It follows them through the year up to the next spa get-away. They are all relatively privileged, they all have great successes during the year. It was painless and a quick read -- just sort of stupid. Gutcheon has done better.

Now I'm having great fun with Philip Reeves' Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space. A delightful romp for kids. Set in an alternate universe, during Victorian times, when Newton's discoveries led to space exploration in the 1700's. I loved Reeves' Mortal Engines series, which was for older readers, a tiny bit better than this, I think, but it's still fun. I'll be getting the sequel, which is called Starcross: A Stirring Adventure of Spies, Time Travel and Curious Hats. (I love the subtitles.)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hey, AT&T! Want To Hear About Good Customer Service?

Y'all may have noticed that my little rant got a comment from Mark Hollis, of Working Assets/Credo Mobile. (Which had my jaw dropping to my knees. I asked if he got to work every morning and entered "AT&T + unhappiness" into Google and checked out all the hits.) Mr. Pointy Sticks and I have been Working Assets customers for 13 years for our long distance...though now, with not many relatives left living out of state, we don't give them much each month. And they've occasionally sent me offers to buy out my contract if I sign up with their cell phone service, but I've always thought that we wouldn't qualify because Rachel and I are both on the same account but have different contract dates and such.

Well, I got a nice call from Scott this evening. (He was calling from Nova of my favorite places...and with his charming "oot" and "aboot," he probably could have sold me the Brooklyn Bridge.) And I am now a Working Assets cellular customer and my daughter will be following soon and, I'd be willing to bet, Mr. Pointy Sticks might not be far behind. (One of the things Scott said, "You've been a Working Assets customer for thirteen years. And that means something to us." Okay, some of that is salesmanship...but he sold me.) I'll pay off AT&T's contract, fax Working Assets the bill and they'll credit my account with the amount I paid, up to $200.

I have what seems like a pretty similar (pretty basic...we're not real high tech types) plan for less money per month. I'm getting a pretty blue phone (a Katana...with a camera!)(and you know it's all about the pretty colors with me). They seem much more flexible. I will have a two year contract but if I want to change some aspect of that contract, I can call or go on the website at any time and make the change.

And a portion of what I pay goes to some pretty darned good charitable organizations.

And this time I got equipment insurance.

The only question in my mind now is if the coverage will be good enough, but since we live in a fairly major metropolitan area, I'm thinking we'll be fine.

So, woot! And thank you, Working Assets!

Go...check them out!

The Yarn

I promised you pictures of of yarn you shall have!

Here's what I got at the Knitter's Cottage.

Some Opal:

The rather gruff Knitter's Cottage owner/worker was knitting up a pair of socks in this and the colors were just so pretty...I couldn't resist. Actually, there was also a really pretty skein with various blues that I think Rachel would have liked. But this one seemed more unusual. Sorry, toots. Besides you want a sweater more than you want a pair of socks, right?

The other yarn I bought was this:

Noro Matsuri. I have some of this already (in fact, I bought it full price the first time I visited the Knitter's Cottage) in a mostly greeny-bluey blend, and I am thinking it might be fun to do a big Noro striped scarf out of it. It was on sale this time, but not a huge sale....about $2 off. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as my mother would have said.

And, I think I'll be writing more about this, but let me just say that I am very impressed with Working Assets/Credo.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hold Your Hats, This Is Going To Be A Long One...

First off, I found out this weekend that my across-the-street friend's husband went into the hospital for a minor surgical procedure and they found cancer. Lymphoma... I don't know much, but if you can spare a good thought for Maureen and Barry, I'd appreciate it.

I think I've mentioned that when I work on my laptop upstairs in the kitchen I am usually joined by Duncan, sitting on the corner of my desk.

He sits and has even started purring when I pat or skritch him. (He's never purred much for me.) He's a sweetie and this end poses no problems what-so-ever.

This end, however is a little more problematic.


I mentioned that we went to Fredericksburg this weekend. I visited the Knitter's Cottage there and, yes, I came home with some stuff.

I came home with this Alan Dart book.

Not because I love bunny weddings, but I do like Alan Dart's patterns and they are hard to find, I understand. And....


I fell in love with this guy.

The Lucky Chimneysweep. Isn't he adorable? There is also a wedding photographer, complete with knitted camera and knitted bird on stick.

And I got this.

I would love, at some point, to have all her books. I love her designs. The one that really struck me in this book was this one.

They call this shirt Marya.

And I bought this book.

Not because I want to learn how to knit socks two-at-a-time, though you never know when that desire might hit, but because I've read that the patterns in the book are nice and are useable no matter what method of sock-knitting you use. And indeed they are.

This one is called Belle Epoque.

My socks, you ask? Those green ones? you go.

"Wait," you say. (Or I like to imagine you do.) "Weren't you farther along than that? Did you (gasp) have to rip back?!"

No sillies....that's the second sock!

It fits pretty nicely, I think.

It has an interesting, new-to-me toe that is worked in the round.

No Kitchenering! (Which seems a little like cheating to me. But it's handy to know this method if I am ever somewhere without Kitchener instructions.)

During this visit to the Knitter's Cottage, I got to talking to the two women there. I don't know if one is the owner...if they are both or neither one the owner... We were chatting about books and yarns and I showed them my socks. One of the women was knitting a sock in the same yarn that I bought...(oh yes, I bought a little yarn. I'll show you that tomorrow. Or later tonight if I get all energetic.) We were having a perfectly friendly ole time.

Then this young woman came in to ask for some help with her knitting. She was very apologetic starting off...."sorry to bother you....maybe you remember helped me start this and I seem to have made a mess...can I pay you to give me some help?" And the owner/worker who started talking to her was exceptionally gruff and short with her. "Let me see what you've done've probably used the wrong cast on! How did you do the cast on? (She grabbed it out of the young woman's hands and examined it.) No, your cast on is okay but this is much too tight. You knit much too need to loosen up. Knitting is supposed to be relaxing!! You aren't relaxed enough!" (She actually went on longer than this...I'm condensing.)

And the young woman said, "But this gap keeps getting wider..."

"There's nothing wrong with this. Nothing wrong! Show me how you knit!"

The young woman took the project and started knitting.

"Well, no wonder you knit too tightly! You're knitting right at the tips of the needles. Don't do that!! Move the material back. Knit all the way through. Push those needles all the way through!! You knit all wrong!"

Okay. She didn't actually say the words "You knit all wrong." But man, that was sure the message she was sending. I almost (and now I wish I had) waited on the front porch until the young woman came out to tell her how rude and abrasive I thought the woman in the store was and not to let them get to her. It makes me very grateful for Tracy and Joyce up at The Black Sheep. They would never talk to a customer that way.

It really sort of soured me on the Knitter's Cottage.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Me - 1/2, AT&T - 1/2

I had a little fracas with AT&T to day and I can't say I won, exactly. But I didn't feel like I lost, either.

Rachel's phone has been acting up. It now longer vibrates when a call comes in and it seems to drop calls a lot. The sound quality is also really stinky but that's nothing new. I have the same model and I think the sound is crappy on mine too.

So we were down in Fredricksburg this weekend and decided to try to get an upgrade for her phone. I knew I might have to pay a little more but so be it. So we go in and I explain the situation to the young woman there and she says, "Well, you'll have to pay because the contract isn't up yet. But look around and see what you like." So we looked at a bunch and I saw one that looked as though it was going to be about $70. We go back to the desk and the young woman says, "Oh, no, that's the price for new subscribers. For you that phone is $250." (in fact, the phone -- for new subscribers -- was $70 but was also "buy one, get one free.") I allowed as how there was no way that I was going to pay $250 for a phone and she said, "Well, you can do a warranty exchange on the old phone...just call this 800 number and talk to them and they can arrange to have a new phone sent to your'll be the same model, and probably refurbished but it'll work."

We walked out and as I walked to the car I got more and more steamed. I mean, we've been loyal customers of AT&T, Cingular, AT&T for more than two years...and yet some schmo can walk in off the street and sign up and get a phone for less than a third of the price they're going to give to us! I mean, I know it's the standard business practice nowadays but it sucks. And I wanted to let someone know I thought it sucked.

I called the 800 number for the warranty return and was told we needed to talk to customer service and that we'd be transferred. There was a very long wait during the transfer so the first person was probably warning the second person that they were about to get an earful. Anyway, this guy comes on and listens to me and says he "understands my unhappiness" but that they have to use the term of the contract to recover the cost of the phone (which is crap...I think I've read that the initial cost of cell phones is pretty cheap) I offered to re-up my contract for an additional two years. No, that wasn't possible because I had just re-upped 6 months ago. I told the guy that perhaps there was nothing I could do now but that I would certainly be thinking very hard about whether I wanted to re-up with AT&T when the time came. Then he told us that, by the way, Rachel's phone wasn't eligible for the warranty exchange because it was more than a year old.

"Let me get this straight," I said, "we have a crappy, semi-broken cell phone, we can't get a straight-forward replacement, and we can only buy a new phone from you at full price?"

Yes, that was right. Whereupon I went off on the guy a little, though Mr. Pointy Sticks said I remained polite.

Finally, this guy said there was one option...I could pay $40 and they would send Rachel a basic replacement phone overnight. Which is not perfect...but at least they did something. Though I sort of think that this guy just went off to see what old phones they had sitting around that they could get rid off.

And as soon as I have time, I'm calling Working Assets to see about having them buy out my contract.


But I do have stuff to photograph and get up on the blog tomorrow.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Yay! It's Friday! Well, A Thursday-Friday...

I love three day weekends. This one is weird to me because usually Federal holidays are on Monday. And the Fourth of July is on whatever day of the week the fourth falls on. (Except if it falls on the weekend in which case we get the Friday or the Monday......anyway......) But this year the 4th is on Friday so that's what we get. (I hate it when the 4th is in the middle of the week and we just have the one lame day off in the middle of a week of work.) Anyway, I'm ready for a three-day weekend, boy howdy!

And I got a nice (weekly) package from Loopy. I actually tried photographing this in the sunshine, because it just seems that the colors of these yarns, that are so intense and beautiful in person, seeming to glow sometimes, just don't look that special on the monitor. So, look at this!

This is Claudia Hand Painted Yarn in Poppies. It looks almost radioactive here, but it gives you some idea of the warmth and glow it has.

And this is Claudia Hand Painted in a colorway called Terracotta Dusk. I love this one.

Oddly enough, the two skeins that are dyed in cooler colors look better, I think, on the porch in the shade. Here they are:

At the top, Spirit Trails Scottish Thistle and on the bottom Sugar Bunny Boulevard's Kelly. (The pictures of these in the sun looked washed out....go figure.)

And one more day lily...

Off to start the weekend. I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Lilies!



More orange!

I love my lilies.

(Sorry...boring boring post. Another long day at work, though not as long as previous days this week. The cumulative effect is starting to show up, though.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Well, I'm Racking Up The Comp Time

Another late day. If you had told me that I'd be working until quarter to six...and not minding it!...I would have said you were crazy. Mind you, I wouldn't want it to be like this constantly...but right now we are preparing for a hearing, so things are crazy. As it is, I was shooed out by my boss and co-worker because they knew Mr. Pointy Sticks was waiting for me, so I felt a bit guilty about leaving.

So we got home late, to a couple of cranky, hungry cats, but I did have time this evening to take some pictures.

Here's some yarn I got from Supercrafty's sale.

The colors are a little more garish in this picture than they are in real life. The front two, in particular, are greyer in tone.

And it's day lily season finally! I love our day lilies. Here are some:

There will be some gorgeous yellow ones coming along soon. I really want to buy some others...I'd love some white ones.

Blue Sheep

My brother came through with the lyrics...he offered to sing it to me this weekend, but I'd rather wait until it can have some guitar accompaniment...

Went for a ride in the country, just havin' a ball
Went for a ride in the country, just havin' a ball
Saw some sheeps out there, didn't have no hair at all

My sister's a knitter, always knittin' up socks
Yeah, my sister's a knitter, knittin' up them socks
She can't buy wool by the bag, always has to buy it by the box

Sheeps in the country, well they ain't got no hair
Yeah, sheeps in the country, they ain't got no hair
When Winter comes in, sheeps sure don't wanta be there

My sister beat a scarf out, yeah, in a minute or two
Oh, my sister knock a scarf out in just a minute or two
That's why the sheeps, oh yeah, they just so blue.

I think I need to start calling my brother Blind Lemon or Deaf Kiwi or something bluesy like that.