Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Love My Dentist

My face was still hurting this morning so I sat and thought, "Is this a sinus infection? Is this a tooth gone bad? Do I go see Dr. L? (My dentist) Do I go see Dr. N? (My GP) Dr. L? Dr. N?"

Finally I decided to go with the dentist. There were a couple of reasons for this. For one thing, I've never had a sinus infection that felt like this but it did feel somewhat like an abscess I had once. Also, I figured that if I saw my dentist and it wasn't an abscess, he might still be able to give me something for a sinus infection. If I saw my doctor and it turned out to be an abscess....well, she's a great doctor but she doesn't do teeth.

So I called Dr. L and they squeezed me in. Dr. L took an x-ray and he poked around a bit and he ran some electricity through my teeth to see if they were all still alive (Yikes! That wasn't fun!) and he finally decided that it definitely wasn't my teeth. And (Yay!) he gave me a script for amoxicillin and I've taken one and will take another at bedtime and....fingers crossed...will be feeling better tomorrow.

Of course, if it's neuralgia all bets are off.

But enough about me....let's talk socks! Good news! As soon as CSI is over, I'm going to be skibbling upstairs and Kitchenering the second toe on Kaethe's socks. And after a good wash, they'll be off to Kaethe, with a little present for the girls.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Huzzah! We've Reached A Toe!

I have gotten to the toe of the second Kaethe sock! I feel as though these have gone very slowly. I can't wait to finish them up and send them off.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wanna See Some Crappy Pictures?

It was a cloudy day here (rainy in the morning) but I took some pictures of the yarn I got yesterday. Let's see how it looks:

Claudia Hand-dyed Begonia --

Claudia Hand-dyed Poppy --

Perchance to Knit Blue Skies, Sunshine --

Perchance to Knit Serenity --

The Serenity is merino and tencel and so sparkly and nice. And the stitch-markers that come with the Perchance to Knit yarn are so sparkly, too.

And Rachel's knitting up a storm, apparently. I think we may regret the fact that there's a nice knitting store within walking distance of campus.

I Say, Fortescue, Old Chap, I Believe I Have A Case Of The Vapours!

So, the headache...which seemed to be fading when last I wrote, came roaring back later in the evening. But it was all on one side of my the right the cheekbone....and all along my jaw. Not pleasant. Still there Monday morning when I woke up and, as we were driving to work, with me cuddling my right cheek and wondering if several teeth had all gone rotten at the same time or something ghastly like that (because the pain was radiating along my upper and lower jaw on the right side)....anyway, as we were rolling towards work, suddenly the word "neuralgia" came floating into my head. "Huh," I thought, "that's a pleasantly old-fashioned way to describe the way I feel. Rather like saying I'm feeling liverish. Or have the vapors."

When I got into work, I looked up "neuralgia." And oddly enough...that seems to fit the bill. They even say it can be triggered by sinus congestion. And even though there it is on the 21st century web, something about it makes me feel all nineteenth century. Hand me my smelling salts, Maudie.

It's still a bit achy this morning. But I find that if I keep the right side of my face warm, it feels better. So I have a wool scarf draped over my shoulders and I periodically hug it to my right cheek. I am thinking if I feel as much better tomorrow compared to today as I did today compared to yesterday it should be pretty much gone. Here's hoping. I don't much like living in the past.

And yesterday I got a lovely box from the Loopy Ewe but I felt crappy enough, and the weather was dark and rainy enough, that I didn't get pictures taken or even feel like posting about it. Maybe this evening.

How's the knitting going, Rachel? (Ever tried to give knitting instructions over the phone? It's a challenge.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

On The Bright Side...

My headache is fading, it's a beautiful day out, I still have 8 hours or so to fritter away, and we worked in a trip to Barnes and Noble where I got myself a copy of Knit To Be Square, Vivian Hoxbro's new book on modular knitting. I was sold by some of the new shawls like this one:

and this one:

and a couple of great hats, like this one:

And just look at this afghan!

Duncan is unimpressed.

"When," he thinks, "are they going to go to a bird store?"

Why we're off to the Wild Bird Store right now! No birds though, just bird seed.

I'm sure Duncan is thinking we can plant the seed and grow him some birds.

Would You Like A Crappy Weekend?

Seriously. I have one I can sell you. Only slightly used.

Oh, in the overall scheme of things -- world poverty, crashing stock markets, nuclear holocaust, no more Hydrox on the shelves -- it's relatively small potatoes. But we had a big storm roll through here this weekend and I spent all Friday feeling horribly dizzy and all Saturday with a splitting sinus headache and am still feeling the remnants of it today. Whinge, whinge, whinge.

There was also a set-back to the second sock, which did nothing to improve the humor. I was knitting along gaily Friday night, watching NCIS and The Office, which we had taped earlier in the week, and I looked down and noticed that there was A Problem. I'm still not exactly sure what The Problem was...or rather I know what it was but don't know why/how I did it. Somehow, about 6 rows back I had done a yarn-over and from then on had been knitting an extra stitch. So I dropped it out and all that extra yarn, now flopping around stitchlessly, made it look as though there was a small run in the sock. And of course, this wasn't on the sole of the foot. No...right in the middle of the top side of the foot and not down near the toe either. No....only an inch or so below the end of the ankle ribbing. Grrr....

I threw the sock down, thinking I would deal with it Saturday. But then, all I dealt with Saturday was the fact that the miner gnomes inhabiting my sinuses were dangerously close to chunking their way right out the front of my head. (Well, I did manage to fit in a trip to IKEA with my brother and his sweetie, but trips to IKEA come along rarely enough that you have to grab them, even with a pounding head.)

So this morning I sat down, ripped back and have reknit. If they were socks for me, I might have pinned my hopes on the fact that the yarn would eventually even out along the row and the "run" would be less noticeable, but these are for a friend and I want them to be as nice as possible.

I did do one clever thing...though I apparently wasn't clever enough to actually take pictures of the process. Instead of ripping back and trying to pick up little tiny escaping stitches, I wove the free end of each of the circulars through the row I wanted to rip back to and then pulled the working ends out of the row where I had stopped and ripped back with impunity. Only missed one stitch in the pick-up and caught that one before it skibbled more than a row away.

So now I can charge ahead once more.

The orange scarf is behaving beautifully and I've attached the second skein already.

Off to the grocery store now. What a thrilling life!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

So Much Pretty In My Mailbox!

I came home today to find a package from Woolgirl waiting for me on the front porch. Not really a surprise...I was, after all, the one who ordered it. But oh my, the yarn is so beautiful!

This is Madelinetosh in the Chartres colorway. These colors are so beautiful. Deep and rich.

And this is Lotus Toes Thistle. Another beauty.

Along with the yarn I got some gift tags that I ordered. But, idiot that I am, I apparently ordered the crochet tags rather than the knit tags. And I don't crochet. Dang it.

But I also got a couple of freebies. Jennifer is so good about throwing in some pretty things. I got an adorable sticky pad in the shape of a Halloween-y ghost and this gorgeous stitchmarker.

Sunne is the one who made the cute sheepy stitchmarker that came with an earlier Woolgirl order and that I adored so much I ordered a set of five so that I could make earrings out of two of them.

You can tell that it's getting cooler in the house. The cats are willing to share some space in order to warm up a little.

Here they are with Duncan looking all "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Demille" and Gizmo is doing his best imitation of a rock.

Here's another of Duncan, being a little less outgoing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So What Was It?

I had an idea today at work for something I wanted to write about here....and now it's gone. I'm hoping that perhaps if I sit here and twiddle the keys for a bit it'll come back to me.

The socks are coming along...I have passed the little bit of reverse ribbing so I'm getting close to the heel flap. The scarf is also coming along.

Eh. It's not coming to me...but here's a little book review.

Current Reading

I read the latest Robin McKinley last week. It's called Chalice and, like all McKinley, very good. It's a quiet book, no big surprises, and very romantic. In a good way...I'm not a big fan of mushy romance. I really liked the main character, Mirasol. It's set in a land that is a made up of demesnes, each ruled...or a circle of twelve with the head being the Master and the second most powerful figure being the Chalice. Mirasol is the newly found Chalice in a demesne where the previous Master and Chalice died suddenly. The new Master is called back from the priests of Fire, where he has been studying and under whose tutelage he had begun turning to Fire. The tale of how the Master and Chalice form their much-needed bond and settle the demesne is told in four parts. Robin McKinley drops you into this unknown world and, without a lot of exposition, makes it seem as homey and familiar as this world. I love the way she does that.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

That Old Rachel 9

One day, when Rachel was about two, I accidentally stepped on her foot.

"Ow," she said, "get off my foot, you idiot!"

"Rachel!" said I, "I'm sorry I stepped on your foot. But you don't say things like that!"

"Well, I'm sorry," she said, "but you are an idiot."

What's that they say about out of the mouths of babes....?

Sunday Swag

The chicken is in the oven...and man, the house smells great. I think it's going to be done a little early. I'll take it over and Maureen can keep it warm in her oven until they're ready for supper. I also threw together a lasagna for Mr. Pointy Sticks and me to have later in the week. (Rachel, if you're reading this...I'm sorry. See if you can't order a hamburger from somewhere.)

"So there," say the Faithful Blog Readers (FBR), "you were going to show us what you got at The Black Sheep yesterday, weren't you?"

Me: "Well, yes, I was."

"You see, I was really just going up there to knit and visit, though I do like to buy a little something to help support the shop. (Though I think they had a pretty good day yesterday. There were a number of women who walked out with large bags full of yarn. Nothing like a cool day to make a knitter want to start a sweater.) But really, I wasn't planning to buy much. And then I saw this sample scarf they had knit up...(excuse this lousy picture).

It's a Jojoland pattern, called Swirl Shawl. There are probably better pictures out there on the Web. But trust me, it's soooooo pretty."

FBR: "So you bought a pattern. That's pretty restrained. Good for you!"

Me (scuffing toe in the dirt): "Well....yes."

FBR: "You bought something else, didn't you?"

Me: "Well.....yes. You see, they had the yarn to make the shawl sitting right there. And it's so pretty. And it's so soft. And, did I mention, it was right there."

FBR: "So, you bought some."

Me: "Yes."

FBR: "Okay, we can sort of understand that. I mean, you wouldn't want the yarn to be discontinued. And it looks as though it was fairly reasonable. And you could always use it to make 5 socks. That's not too bad a splurge." (My Faithful Blog Readers are nothing if not understanding.)

Me: "Ummmm...."

FBR: "There's more?"

Me: "Well, I was thinking that I had never knitted anything for Mr. Pointy Sticks and he could use a new hat for running and Christmas is coming and the old one is really grotty and an ugly burnt orange and it's only acrylic so surely it's not very warm and this one would be machine washable and wool and it wouldn't take too long to make and would be a good car I bought some Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Worsted in the Tahoe colorway. Isn't it pretty?"

FBR: "Sigh."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Franklin Habit Is In The House!

Okay, not really Franklin. But his book, which is the next best thing. There are some laugh out loud cartoons here ("What about "Do not open the stash closet" was unclear, Edward?") and I am happy to support such a talented guy. The essays are good, too.

Had a lovely afternoon today up at The Black Sheep and yes, I bought a little something. But it's late and I'm tired so I'll use that as a post for tomorrow.

Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went out this evening to Daedalus (the wonderful remaindered bookstore in town) and then to dinner and then to Barnes & Noble and Trader Joe's. The usual round but a fun way to spend a Saturday night.

And tomorrow I'll be making a roast chicken dinner for my neighbor, so there'll have to be some grocery shopping earlier in the day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Aw, Look At My Boy....

Look how nice he's sleepin'.

Friday Night and All's Well

No three-day weekend ahead of us, but still, a weekend is nothing to sneeze at.

Today was a good day. I got sock number 2 started --

And I managed to get some work done on the Unfaithful scarf.

And today was a good mail day.

I got Interweave's Color Style. I am irrationally biased toward Interweave books. I think they are beautifully designed and, generally, full of a high percentage of good patterns. Well, this one is no exception. I love the cover sweater, though I keep imagining it in jewel tones. And I love the little Vogue-To-Go books. This one is the newest, I think, and it has some nice shawls and wraps in it.

And how could you have a good day without a little infusion of yarn? The Loopy Ewe came through for me.

Cherry Tree Hill in Old Rose.

The Sanguine Gryphon in Bacchic.

And Creatively Dyed in Jeans. I love the colors in this yarn...and soft?! Oh, so soft. Yum.

And look! We have a new friend in our front yard.

No, not the stupid blue truck...a pear tree. Fruiting, not Bradford. No cherry tree today...we'll have to wait till spring. And we have a cute little rhododendron that should, in the spring, be a pretty pale pink.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Well, Well...Lookie Here

What have we here? I do believe...why, yes, it is....Kaethe's first sock!

I have to admit that something sort of weird happened with this one. I carefully Kitchenered up the toe...looked nice....pushed the needle with the tail of yarn into the inside of the sock....reversed the sock and carefully wove in that end and all the other ends. Turned the sock back right side out, all proud of myself...and there was a loop of yarn, about three inches long, just hanging off the toe like it belonged there. It didn't. I ended up pulling it inside the sock and weaving it into some stitches. I think when I pulled the end of the Kitchenering yarn through I didn't pull quite all of it so I had this weird loop. No great harm done but it sure does knock the hubris out of you to have something like that happen.

And I need to wind the second skein of yarn up tonight or I won't be able to start the second sock tomorrow.

And in the mail today, I got this:

From Scout's Swag. The front one is Marina Piccola in superwash merino and tencel...very sheeny and drapey. Yum. And in the back, Morning Glories in superwash merino and nylon. Crisper and (I think) a wee bit heavier.

Both of them pretty enough to eat.

And yay, tomorrow's Friday!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Need To Carry My Camera Everywhere!

Cameras aren't allowed at work. Do you think they'd let me carry mine around with me if I told them I needed it for my blogging? No? Neither do I.

But boy, I wished I had it this afternoon. When I left work, around 3:30, the sky was so freaking beautiful. There were clouds that looked like wisps of the whitest cashmere, carefully combed into silky wisps and then laid on a clear blue background. And it was one of those skies that felt both far, far away and so close you could touch it. I tried taking some pictures with my camera phone, but (a) they probably didn't capture it and (b) I have no idea how to get the pictures off the phone and onto my blog.

It was really lovely, though. Take my word for it. I even made one of the maintenance guys who was walking past stop and admire it with me. He agreed that it was beautiful, though perhaps he was just humoring the crazy sky lady. (Though to be honest, as he walked back into the building, I heard him say something about the sky to someone who was standing and smoking.) (And yes, I have considered that perhaps what he said was, "That crazy lady just made me look at the sky!")

Monday, October 13, 2008

That Old Rachel 8

When Rachel was about 2, we started giving her some Sesame Street vitamins. She really only liked the Bert and Ernie ones. They came in four sort-of fruit flavors. One morning I gave her an orange Ernie and she chewed it up rather thoughtfully and then said, "Mom, Ernie tastes likes cherry."

"Does he?" I said, "I would have thought it tasted like orange."

"It does." said Rachel, in a surprised tone. "It does taste like orange...or maybe like yellow."

Shout Out To Julie!

Hey, said a while ago that you would be interested in the Kaffe Fassett book and I asked for your address but I think you must not have seen my comment. You can get to me through Readerville. It's yours if you still want it.

Day Three

Sigh. Back to the grind tomorrow.

Today we spent the day taking Rachel back to school. She had gotten some new clothes and new shoes and would have had to leave a lot of it home if she had taken the train. (She hates taking the train...and I love it. I'd love to have the excuse to ride a train for a couple of hours. Guess I could always take the train to Fredericksburg and visit Rachel, huh?)

Got some knitting done on the trip. Here is Kaethe's sock...completed through the gusset.

"But, Sarah," you say, "you were in the car for four hours! Do you mean to say that that's all the knitting you got done?"

Well, no. I was, I will admit it, unfaithful.

I started this:

This is that orange, part cashmere, yarn I got the other day and man, is it nice! Like butter.

I am using the Knitpicks Harmony needles that I won from Scout's Swag last month and boy, are they nice! Good sharp points and a little grippy-ness. And, unlike the metal circulars I'm using for the sock, the sun doesn't shine off these with a mighty shine, giving one little dancing sun-spots in one's vision.

Off to empty trashcans and clean cat boxes. Life is sometimes just so exciting.

Edited to add:

What a numskull. I meant to tell you where the scarf pattern came from and it took Martha's comment to remind me. It's from the first Little Box of Scarves. It's called the Fern Lace Wrap.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day One

The first day of a three day weekend is always so wonderful. Tuesday seems so far away. You know you can fritter the day away and still have a weekend ahead of you.

So fritter we did.

In the morning, the tree guy came by and we chose the spots for the pear and cherry trees and for the pale pink rhododendron we are having put in. They'll go in on Friday.

And then we listened to the Saturday morning radio shows.

We were all hungry so we had lunch at Bluestone. Yum.

And then headed out to Barnes and Noble. I spent a good bit of money but all for Rachel. I just didn't see anything I craved. I did see a new knitting book. Nicki Epstein's Knitting on Top of the World. I pointed it out to Mr. Pointy Sticks and told him not to get it for me...I glanced through it pretty quickly, and really...not for me. There seemed to be some really....odd...things there.

Went to Trader Joe's and then home. I got some knitting done on Kaethe's sock...and should be doing more.

I did get something nice in the mail. Little Knits was having a sale and I couldn't resist this:

Some Schaefer Anne in shades of blue.

Some Mondial La Perle Gold in tangerine. This has 20 percent cashmere, so you can just imagine the soft.

And this Ella Rae book.

So, a nice day, all in all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hurrah For Trains!

Rachel will be home sometime this evening. She'll be taking the train up and it'll sure be nicer to drive down to the train station than to drive to Fredericksburg. The only problem? The train was supposed to leave F'burg at 3:41 p.m. and at 4:00 p.m. when we called her, she was still sitting in the train station in F'burg. Train travel isn't as good as it used to be.

But look at the cute sock bag I got in the mail this afternoon!

Another bag from Stuckinillinois on Etsy. She made the red sock monkey bag I have and now that I have two pairs of socks on the needles, I figured I needed a second bag to tote the second pair around in. And look at the cute lining!

Fwimmin' monkeys!

What's that there beside it?

Kaethe's sock. And here's what the leg looks like when it's a little stretched out.

Just a little jog as a little surprise. Not terribly exciting but...well, just a little something. I am almost down to the heel flap. Yay! I love this yarn. So soft and nice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boredom Can Get You In Trouble

As any parent knows, you don't want your kids to get too bored. A little boredom is fine...too much can lead to trouble. So I am knitting along on Kaethe's 2x2 ribbing and I think to myself, "Myself, this is kind of dull. What can you do to make it a little more interesting?"

Well, I briefly considered doing a little cabling detail but I was afraid that might pull the sock in too much and make it a little constricting. What I finally decided to do was to reverse the ribbing. So we have 4 1/2" of k2, p2 and now I've stitched to p2, k2. And after an inch or an inch and a half, I'll switch back again. Just to give the leg a little interest.

Then again, I may decide that it looks awful and rip it back. Who knows?

Rachel's roommate has moved out. She was supposed to wait a week after the mediation, to try to work things out, but she had her father call the college and push them to let her move out right away. (This got Mr. Pointy Sticks rather annoyed...he was all ready to call the college himself, but Rachel talked him out of it.)

The good side? Rachel may end up with a single for the rest of the semester at the least.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thems The Berries!

So I am chugging along on Kaethe's socks. Here's a picture so far, though really the colors are deeper, darker, and more blended than they look here.

I am wishing that I had done something a little fancier than just 2x2 ribbing. I may play around with some ideas.

Hope you're not disappointed, Kaethe.

Poor old Rachel is having roommate problems and it looks as though her roommate may be moving out. Roommate says she can't put into words what's wrong...she says Rachel gives out "negative vibes." And left Rachel a note saying she was moving out...but if Rachel would rather she, Rachel, could move out. I told her to stay put. That if her roommate had problems, then she should be the one to move out. (Turns out, that's what the college rules are. The one with the grievance has to be the one to move.)

I know I shouldn't talk...I'm her mom. But I not only love this kid, I like her an awful lot. Yes, she's acerbic and she doesn't suffer fools gladly. And yes, her mood this semester probably has been rough since she's in pretty much constant pain from a pinched nerve and is unhappy with her classes. But she's smart and funny and a true and loyal friend. I think her roommate is an idiot.

So there.

Current Reading

Well, I already mentioned Nation and Toy Dance Party. The good reading continues with Miriam Toews' The Flying Troutmans. It's a good'un.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nose To Grindstone, Shoulder To Wheel

Back to work. I stayed up much too late last night finishing Terry Pratchett's latest, Nation. Well, not much too late. But late enough that I am feeling it this morning. I have more than the usual Monday sleepies. But man, the book is so good. I am afraid it is being marketed as a YA book but really, everyone should read it. A look at gods and the role they play; what makes a man a man; science and faith. Anyway, it was just fantastic.

I also read, this weekend, Toy Dance Party, the follow-up to Toys Go Out. What can I say? I love Lumphy, the toughy little buffalo, and Stingray and Plastic. And Frank, the washer, is back in this second book. And the illustrations, as before, are adorable.

Rachel and I had a wonderful time with S. at Sugarloaf. Rachel got some presents for friends...I bought her some new earrings and I think she bought herself some. And I bought some for me. (Quelle suprise!) I love looking at all the pretties, even if I can't afford them. It seemed somewhat smaller this October than it usually is.

I started Kaethe's socks Sunday, on the way to Fredericksburg to take Rachel back. Got just about half an inch done and then found a spot in the yarn (Lorna's Laces! I'm ashamed of you!!) where one of the plies had broken. And I had no scissors with me with which to cut out the bad spot. But they are started. I decided not to do toe-up. Apparently doing them that way is really good for letting the recipient try them on during the knitting for the perfect fit but since Kaethe is a couple of states away, that's not going to work. So I decided I'd rather do them the way I'm used to. I think they'll go faster.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

That Old Rachel 7

We always had trouble getting Rachel to bed...she was a night owl in her early years. Still would be, I guess, except that she has self-discipline and an 8:00 class. But we used to hear her talking to herself long after she should have been asleep. One night, when she was 2 and a couple of months, we lay in bed and listened to her as she said, "If I lie down, I fall asleep and if I sit up I don't. And if I look this way I see....a door! And if I look this way I see....a wall!"

She hated going to sleep at night and she hated getting up in the morning.

And she's home with us for the weekend, this weekend. She's having some room-mate issues and thought it good to be out of the way or a couple of days. We're going to go to Sugarloaf for a little while today but she has a lot of work to do, too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Halfway Through The Week

I think Gizmo is feeling better. He ate his dinner tonight and was very demanding about having his tum rubbed for a while this evening, before settling down for his evening nap.

I'm thinking that the eleven fishes I sent to Kris will probably be it. I knit these two and had a little idea. So I sewed them together this evening, leaving the tails open, and I'm going to felt them and stuff them with catnip and make a little present for Giz and Duncan.

I apologize for the blurriness of the picture. I am sleepy and too tired to take it over again.