Monday, September 29, 2008
Scout had a little contest on her blog and I was one of the winners! Harmony knitting needles, size 5. So pretty! Thank you, Scout!
Eleven little fishes went off this morning to Kristi for her tesselated fish throw for the twins. And I knit another one at lunch today. They're so quick and easy. And I don't have to face sewing them all together!
Giz was back to the vet this morning where he had a no doubt rather fraught day getting poked and x-rayed and stuck.... Final diagnosis -- yes, he does have a urinary tract infection. So now he has two weeks of antibiotics ahead of him. He seems to be happy to be home this evening and feeling better and is sleeping beside me as I type this.
Onward and upward.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
First, there's Lorna Lace's in the Loopy Ewe colorway....can't wait to see how this knts up.
And some Shibui Knits in Chinese Red.
And some Cherry Tree Hill in Very Scary. Great color combo. Ignore all the cat hair. Gizmo liked this yarn, too.
A little less red is this Perchance to Knit in Rainbow on White. Along with the accompanying stitchmarker.
And I think I never posted pictures of these yarns that I got during a trip to The Black Sheep this summer...
Claudia's in the Walk in the Woods colorway.
And a yummy Araucania Ranco.
Whew. I think I'm caught up on yummy yarn from this summer.
No one is leaping forward wanting the Kaffe Fassett book. Guess I'll offer it up on Readerville. Along with another duplicate I found.
It was a dreary weekend here. It poured most of yesterday, and more this morning. We heard that there was over three inches of rainfall here in Maryland this weekend. So yesterday we mostly stayed home and moved furniture and cleaned a bit. Today we went down to Barnes and Noble and Trader Joe's. I picked up the new Yarn Harlot book. Oh, and the new Miriam Toewes. So good stuff to read sometime soon.
And back to work tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's a shot of the silent struggle going on over the mohair throw. Oh, it looks like they're just sleeping, but gradually Gizmo is moving in on the territory and eventually Duncan will give up and move over to the throw near Mr. Pointy Stick's desk.
One day she and I were watching the show, accompanied by our own Gumby, Pokey, and Prickle, and she turned to me and said, "We have a Gumby!"
"Yup, we do," I said.
A short pause, then...
"We have a Prickle! And we have a Pokey!"
"Yup," I said.
"But we don't have a Goo," she said. Then, turning toward me and lowering her voice to a conspiratorial tone, "But we have a Goo on the television."
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The Bad: We are deep in the bowels of a rearrangement of the living room. You'd think one might just come home and set the Bose down where the old stereo equipment was but, no! Mr. Pointy Sticks has ideas! He had plans! He has rearrangements in mind. I don't really mind this. It's just that we have very different minds. I would move in, set up the furniture, and not move it again until they had to move me to a nursing home. He likes to think up new arrangements, and usually they are good. But they always involve work...and cleaning...and shovings of large piece of furniture...and emptyings of bookshelves. And have I mentioned that I'm lazy? Sigh. But right now he is upstairs cleaning some carpet that hasn't seen the light of day in fifteen years, so I have time to post this.
The Embarrassing: Not only did I find Mason-Dixon 1, I also found a number of other knitting books and now my knitting shelves (and annex) which seemed so ample and gracious when I set them up, are now popping at the seams. And (I'm blushing here) the really embarrassing? I found a third...yes, that would be number 3...copy of Kaffe Fasset & Zoe Hunt's Family Knits. The other extra has already gone off to a contest winner. So if there is anyone out there who would like a copy of this, leave me a comment. It'll be all yours. You don't even has to write a poem.
And I have some pretty yarn to show you, when I get pictures taken. It's grey and rainy here and all I'd really like to do is sleep. But The Loopy Ewe order arrived and it's soooo pretty. So I'll try to stay awake long enough to take pictures. If only it would stop raining.
Friday, September 26, 2008
And we might just be going out to night to buy one of these. Of course, we are nothing if not slow and deliberate...more likely we will go to the shop and look...and then leave without one and think about it for another year.
The fishies are going (hem hem) swimmingly. I have seven done and will go start the eighth right......NOW!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
And then there was a skein of silk (I think) in shades of silver, gold and bronze with little sparkly gold beads. Sooooo gorgeous.
Art Yarns...a many splendored thing.
So...these fish. By noon today I had two fish knit. And that's in addition to reviewing half of a 537 page bill (dull) and attending a meeting on the agency's strategic plan (absurd and pointlessly irritating). These little fishies knit up quite quickly and are rather addictive -- like potato chips. Especially in color-shifting yarns. The yarn I'm using is Wisdom Poems. The skein I'm using this morning is color 550. (You'd think with a name like Poems, you could come up with more exciting names...this one could be "I must go down to the sea again...") Anyway, they are cute little fishies and I am looking forward to cranking out some more.
In fact, here they are, fwimmin' in they little poo'.
Oh, and the Hovis bread ad here? Hovis Bread
Actually had me tearing up.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Did I buy anything, you ask? Ha! Stupid question.
This is Lorna Lace's Sport in the...um....the Irving Park colorway. I'm going to have Kaethe take a look at this picture and tell me if she thinks these would be nice socks. Yoo hoo, Kaethe...you there?
I also got two skeins of a pretty variegated yarn...Wisdom something or other? I'm going to do some fishies for Red Dog Knits. Those boys need their birthday blankie. They look like fun little car knits.
The evening ended with a little bit of a bummer as there was an awful looking accident I had to work my way past on the way home.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Written long before we got Duncan the Large Cat...the paper is very yellowed.
I have no idea what that was all about.
I just started the second (and last...the child's not an octopus, thankfully) sleeve for Baby Alexandra's sweater. Then comes the blocking and the seaming and the lengthy, picot-edged button band...and then the fun of buying buttons. I love buying buttons. It's such a pretty color...perhaps I'll get a picture taken this evening.
I missed the Hanne Falkenberg Trunk Show up at The Black Sheep. Again. I was going to go up there on Saturday but then the Mason-Dixon 2 book arrived and got me in a sort of bad mood for some reason (Let-down...I used to have the same problem with Christmas. You'd think at 53 I'd have a better handle on it.) and then I got a stinky headache and just didn't feel like going. Besides, there's no way I'll be dropping $200 on a sweater kit anytime soon, I'm afraid. But I do want to see the samples. I'll just have to hope that they do this trunk show thing again.
I am sure I had something else to say...I'll just have to hope that it'll come back to me.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I am hoping that the color of these shades...I think it was called Buttermilk...blends with the walls. It is a cool shade. Cordless. Just glides up and down and stops where you put it. That's the theory, anyway. Let's see how well it works in progress.
Now reporting from Blind Central...this is your host, Jim Slats, ably assisted by Fiona Venetian...we join the event in progress. We are checking the final leveling of the brackets. So far, so good, Fiona. The left-hand bracket seems to be putting up some fuss, perhaps because it's at that awkward age...I mean, angle...and thus hard to address with the screw-driver. The right-hand bracket seems to be nicely seated, however.
Oooh, Jim, yes, we can see that the right-hand bracket is pretty much right where it should be. We can also see that the lie here is somewhat problematic, what with the bulkhead right there. Do you know, Jim, has anyone smashed his or her head yet?
Why yes, Fiona, we did have a minor head-thump earlier in the proceedings but the participants now seem to have a firm grasp of the layout here and further head-thumping seems to have been skillfully avoided.
Ooooh, Jim, I think we're coming to the moment of truth here! Why, yes....yes.....
We have blinds!! We have achieved blindness!!!!!
(Resounding cheering from the assembled crowds. That is, me and Duncan.)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Anyway, my verdict? There are some things I love...the Daily Sweater, the sheer mohair cardigan cover, the mohair shawl, the sweater with the writing on it, and Flapotis. There are some things that I can appreciate the design of but would probably never make - the kid's stuff, for instance. (Actually, Flapotis (at least as it is shown in the book) is another...7 skeins of Touch Me! That's $100 or more for a scarf!) There are some things I definitely wouldn't make...the rubber glove cuffs, the mop cover, the covers for the paper lanterns, the cover for the canvas bag.
But the book is charming, and beautifully designed. I don't know that I'll find it as inspiring as the first one, but I'm glad to have it in my library.
Friday, September 19, 2008
So here I go:
I gotta say, Kaethe's poem was number one in my book...but Kaethe's not a knitter, so she'll get some non-knitting present...or maybe she'd like some socks? Or a scarf? Let me know.
So, first choice for the knitters goes to Marsha! I've emailed her and as soon as I hear from her, I contact the next person...and so on.
Second choice for knitters goes to Brooke M. I'm hoping Brooke reads this blog regularly as she didn't leave an email address.
Third choice - Turtle!
Fourth choice - Amy!
And fifth choice, if she wants what's left, goes to Teabird!
It's so nice when you have as many prizes as you do entrants. (Sorry, brother, you get nothing...)
Oh, and the reason I now have five books to give away?
Uh...I found some more books.
Two record cases full of them...
Here's the top section:
And here's the bottom section:
We'll do a That Old Rachel post tomorrow. Don't all hold your breath.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I ordered this from England a while back, after spending an afternoon at The Black Sheep and admiring one belonging to another woman there. How could I resist? (It's called Irresistible, after all.) Look at this adorable elephant.
And this sleepy, ready-for-bed hedgehog, complete with little bathrobe and hot water bottle.
All Alan Dart designs. There is also a Noah's Ark, a pirate, a mermaid, a farmyard, a wonderful jack o'lantern, Alan's famous gnomes...and lots of other things, all delightful.
I finished Robert McCammon's The Queen of Bedlam and enjoyed it immensely. Yes, it's completely unbelievable...a fledgling detective agency being set up on early 1700's New York...but you could tell McCammon had great fun writing it. From the comments on the less desirable prostitutes coming into the city from New Jersey, to the bull in the china shop, to the line about the hero's pocketwatch which had "taken a licking but...was still working." Fun to read.
And today I finished up Tethered, a great sort-of-mystery-but-really-novel. The narrator is flawed but likeable...the ending is sad but satisfying. Good read.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This is another Christmas story. I've mentioned, I think, that Mr. Pointy Sticks and I are doing a massive clean-up and declutter of the house. Bags and bags of stuff to AmVets and National Children's Center and almost 300 books to the local library. Anyway, today Mr. Pointy Sticks came into the computer room carrying this:
This tiny book was one of my favorites when I was a little girl. It was published in 1956 when I was two and I'd bet my mom bought it for me that very year. At any rate, I remember always having it.
There are so many things I loved about it. Like the dedication:
I loved that it explained why it said for Ursula...and wished I could have been that Ursula.
I was going to say that this was one of my favorite pages...but really, they're all my favorites. But I did love the picture of just the snow falling.
I loved Hilary Cat's little "Ohhhhh" as he helps to trim the tree. (They all got dressed in their Sunday best for the occasion.)
Alas, they finish the decorating and realize that they have no star for the top. I loved the wordless picture of Elizabeth, setting off to find a star.
After various encounters -- with a woman who gives her a cookie, a blue jay that helps when Elizabeth gets lost, a caveful of sleepy owls -- Elizabeth meets up with the "Santa Claus for Rabbits and Other Small Animals" who gives her a star. And she returns triumphantly.
(I mentioned a week or so ago that Rachel was playing doctor because she liked the book Come to the Doctor, Harry. Same author -- Mary Chalmers. She did some adorable books.)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
After standing in line I finally got up to the counter, only to discover that I didn't have the right zip code. And instead of pulling out a zip code directory the woman behind the counter said, "You can get the right zip code from the Automatic Package Center (APC) in the lobby." So, out I go to stand in another line. There were two women in line, one right before me and one right behind, both of whom had three or four year old daughters with them. Well, the first little girl looked up at me and then turned to her mom and said, "Is she a stranger?" The mom glanced at me and said, "Well, do you know her?" "No," said her daughter. "Then she's a stranger." The little girl looked at the older man waiting in front of them and said, "Is he a stranger?" And the mom said, "Yes. Anyone you don't know is a stranger." And, as this little girl is sort of dancing around in this small area, the mom kept saying, "Sarah, get over here!" "Sarah, stand next to me." We weren't near the doors...this was a little bay in the post office box area. There was ample room for the little girl to dance around without getting out of sight.
Then the little girl behind me caught sight of my shirt and said to her mom, "She has a bird on her shirt." And the mom said, "She sure does. That's a pretty bird." And I talked to the little girl about the bird and the fact that the bird was sitting on a teacup and how silly that was...stuff like that. And I thought, "What a difference in attitude." It was certainly a pleasanter way to pass the time.
Anyway...I'll save you my rant about how stupid the APC is. Instead, I'll leave you with a picture of some pretty yarn....
The last of the skeins I ordered from Etsy shops. This is Chestnut Ridge in the Crown Jewels colorway. So soft and so pretty.
Friday, September 12, 2008
"What other turtleneck?" I asked.
"The turtleneck...[much waving of hands and fidgeting of fingers]...the turtleneck with the little doggies all over it!" she sobbed.
I thought and thought and couldn't think of any turtleneck with little doggies on it. I told her I didn't think she had a turtleneck with doggies on it.
And she looked at me and snapped back, "Well, buy one right now!"
Poor ole present day Rachel has pinched a nerve in her lower back and is in a fair amount of discomfort. But she went to Health Services and they've loaded her up with meds (after some pharmacy confusion) so with luck and some rest this weekend, I am hoping she'll be better.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
A couple of these I think I might have photographed on the laptop, but they'll look prettier here.
First, the pretty mug from the Loopy Ewe...I love that color...stuffed with some Line & Violet yarn in the Intention: Clarity colorway.
And this is Tempted Yarns Good Grrl color.
And today in the mail I got this yarn, Yarnbabies Fawkes II, from Etsy. Such a warm rich color. Just looking at that would keep someone's feet warm in the dead of winter.
Finally...yesterday I went up to Tuesday Morning as their flyer said they were going to have yarn. Well, they did have a little and it was mostly crap. But I did find this which I thought was a pretty color.
If you can read the label, you'll see it says Cashmere Luxury Chunky and underneath, the motto "Live the Fantasy." The fantasy being, of course, that this is cashmere. It's 45 % merino wool, 49% microfiber and 6% cashmere. But it is very soft and it's a nice color and I figure at $2.99 a skein it'll make someone a very nice neckwarmer.
I am so pleased with the entries to the contest so far. And hey, if we don't get any more entries...well, heck, I'll just make sure you all win something.
Monday, September 8, 2008
But it's also this blog's first birthday. If it were Rachel it would be talking up a storm and making us all laugh but not yet walking. I hope it occasionally makes you laugh.
So...a contest. I have some knitting books to give away.
- Two nice Harmony stitch dictionaries, which will travel as one prize (one is 250 creative knitting stitches, the other is 220 Aran stitches).
- A hardback copy of Sasha Kagan's Country Inspiration.
- A paperback copy of Kristin Nicholas' Knitting the New Classics.
(No, the Alice Starmore books are not being given away.)
And all you have to do to enter is write me a little poem. Or a haiku. Or limerick. The only catch? You have to use at least one of the following words. Bonus points for each additional word. Extra bonus points if you make the verse somehow about knitting.
The other option would be to write a verse incorporating as many yarn names as you can cram in.
Heh. Let's give this one a week. I'm not sure how the judging will go. It may be names in a hat. There may be three verses that knock my socks off, that are head and shoulders above the rest. And first prize will get first choice of books, second prize second choice, third prize the left-over.
Does that sound fiendish enough?
Hazel Knits in Fireberry
Perchance to Knit in Vintage
Perchance to Knit in some colorway I don't remember now...maybe I'll be able to read the tag. But it sure looks as though it should be called Caribbean. Nope...I read the tag. It's called Columbia. Go figure.
Spritely Goods in Blueberry. This one has such a nice sheen.
Numma Numma in Sprinkles for Stella
Numma Numma in Tabbouleh. Which looks to me as though it should be called Rose Garden.
And finally, the yarn that was part of the Loopy Ewe's second anniversary package. This is so soft. I may just keep it to nuzzle.
Tomorrow I'll be announcing a little contest...stay tuned.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
How exciting for all of you.
But let me start off slow. I said that I had sent Beth's Numma Numma Charade socks off to her. Here's a picture...don't worry, Beth! I washed them after I tried them on!
Look how nicely they matched our new bathroom walls!
And I managed to make some socks for me, too. These are from Sensational Knitted Socks and are in Dream in Color Smooshy Go Go Grassy. (Have I already shown you these?)
I have lots of new yarn to show you (No, really?!) but that'll be for another day, though I may try to get some pictures taken today.
One thing that makes me very happy is that I now have, right next to my computer, a bookshelf dedicated to my knitting books. They've been pulled from all over the house. Look how pretty.
And, if you are like me, you want to see all the titles. So here you go, from top shelf to bottom...
Gizmo is rather disappointed with this setup since, for a few days, the bottom shelf looked like this:
Sorry Giz....maybe I should knit you a cat bed.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Perhaps we're lucky she's not pre-med.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
There was nothing that thrilled me in the Loopy Ewe's new stuff this week. Well, I take that back. There was stuff that I liked a lot but I found the will power to not order anything...really, I just had to look around at the bags of yarn I already have. So I took some of that money and donated to Obama's campaign. I so want this man in the White House.
I haven't been writing much about what I've been reading because...well, I'm not sure why. I've read some good stuff. I heartily recommend The Likeness. The whole situation is highly improbable, but once you decide to accept it, the book is so well written it's really enjoyable.
I tried a Karin Slaughter mystery. Dear God, it was awful. The woman is a terrible writer. I didn't bother adding that to my list, as it was so bad I only read a few chapters.
In the last 24 hours, I gobbled down this book called Inside Out Girl. Here's a brief synopsis...spoilers ahead....
This is the story of Rachel, over-protective (she is still cutting her children's grapes in half) single mom to Dusty (her 12 year old son who is a skateboarder) and Janie (her 14 year old daughter, who is struggling with her realization that she's gay and with her crush on the girl next door). In the opening chapters, Rachel meets Len, a widower with a 10 year old daughter, Olivia, who suffers from Nonverbal Learning Disorder. Len and Rachel begin dating, causing Rachel's kids great embarrassment as they both attend the same school as Olivia, the social outcast. Rachel struggles in her relationship with Olivia because she reminds her of the Down Syndrome daughter she gave up for adoption at age 18.
And now?! Len has a brain tumor...and 1 to 2 years to live! And then, Olivia saves the girl next door by screaming as she's being abducted!
And yet...it's compulsively readable.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Socks are not scary. I think I have now sort of internalized how to knit a simple sock. (Especially if I can remember to cast on the right number of stitches.) Do your leg, work the heel flap on half (or thereabouts) of the stitches. Figure the turning of the heel by knitting a few more stitches than half, then turning and going back to the point where you have the same number of stitches on both sides. Pick up the stitches for the gusset and decrease until you have the same number of stitches as you cast on (or thereabouts). Work the foot and, when it’s long enough start decreasing for the toe, every other row until about half the stitches are gone and then every row until you’re down to about half of that number. I will, however, still need to consult my book for Kitchenering.
Stockinette socks knit up fast. The last socks I did…the Charades for my friend Beth…had a row of plain knitting followed by a row with lots of stitch manipulation. I was lucky if I could get four rows knit in the car on the way to work. With stockinette…8 to 9 rows on the same commute.
So, it’s not the prettiest sock in the world. And it’s not the most perfect sock in the world. But it’s been a nice little teaching sock.
In other news…except for the shower doors, our bathroom is now complete. And it looks gorgeous. We aren’t really using it yet. I think if we are telling Jeff to take the wrong door and use it somewhere else if he can then we shouldn’t be using it. That way he can say that the door was installed but never used. So we aren’t showering in there. But I do go in every so often and play with my window and look around happily.
Monday, September 1, 2008
- Cleaned my oven.
- Took three boxes of books up to the library and packed up a couple more to go up when the library is open.
- Got as far as the gusset decreases on my clown sock. (Didn't do much on this...but hey, as much as I was giving myself a hard time about the mistake the other day, I knit this far on my own, pretty much!)
- Worked some more on a log-cabin throw that's been festering away in a bag for far too long.
- Moved books and yarn around in the living room so that it looks much less cluttered.
- Had lunch at Yamato.
- Played a new game, Bananagrams, with my brother and S. Pretty fun little game.
- Met my brother's latest guitar, which is very purty.
- Spent some time at The Black Sheep, which I loved doing.
- Bought new towels for the new bathroom. Man, once we have a functioning shower, we'll be all ready!
- Read some.
- Spent 45 minutes with Verizon, trying to figure out why I cannot get to Scout's Swag. For some reason, that one request won't even get past our router. They were completely flummoxed but we are getting a new router to try.
- Found a box full of my mother's jewelry...I knew it was somewhere in the house. It's just costume, but I couldn't, for the life of my, remember where I put it.
- Napped. Sometimes involuntarily.
Doesn't look like much, but it was a nice weekend and felt productive. Back to work tomorrow.
We were rewarded by discovering, on the end cap of one of the Superfresh shelves....
Hydrox cookies! Cookies of my youth! Cookies oh so superior to Oreos! Yummy Hydrox!!
Okay, they aren't quite as good as the ones I had as a child. But, unlike the last Oreo's I had, they don't leave you feeling as though you've eaten a mouthful of sugar-flavored Crisco.
Excuse me while I go stuff my face with Hydrox.