Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Filthy Lucre

I haven't mentioned it lately...but this weekend is (be still my heart) the Maryland Sheep and Wool show. All year long I wait for it...and while I wait I put all the State quarters I get over the year in Mudge here. I got Mudge at the show a couple of weeks ago. I just love her slightly whacked expression. Tonight was the night to empty Mudge out and see how much guilt-free mad money I have to play with at the show. (Not to say that this is all the money I may end up spending, but it's essentially free money. Though most years I stay under the limit.)

And the birth was successful. I've got $120 to play with at the S&W show. Yay!

I can't wait.

(Oh...and the title? Man, money is disgusting. My hands stank and were so grimy...bleah!)

Class Of One?

A few months ago I signed up for a knitting class with Tracy. She was going to teach a class on Mason-Dixon's Perfect Sweater. I decided to take it as I figured I could use a nice basic sweater and I thought that being in a class might be the impetus I need to finish it up. And the pattern is a nice basic sweater with some shaping, so it doesn't just look like a box. And it offers several different hem and neck options.

So there I am at 10:30 this morning...the one and only pupil. No-one else had signed up for the class. Ordinarily I think Tracy would have canceled the class but she decided that, since we thought I wouldn't need my hand held during the whole process, she would be willing to have me come up to the store and she'd be available for the tricky parts. Like the picot hemmed edge, and the short-row shaped shoulders. And the finishing. So I sat down and cast on...and I was still there, 4 hours later. Some of the other women there ordered lunch from the Cafe down the street so I had a BLT (yum) and kept on knitting. I would have had more done except that I had a wee problem with the picot hem. But I'm on track now.

The sweater will be blue with the red lining the hems at waist, wrists and neck. Pretty jazzy, huh?

The pink stripey sock is coming along well.

I got the heel done. This is a heel construction different from any I've done and it doesn't seem to give the same right-angle sort of bend. I haven't yet tried the sock on, but I am eager to see how it fits. I may pull it on this evening. It is, thankfully, much cooler today.

Here's a close up of the heel...which probably won't be very informative, even to a knitter.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Too Hot To Write

I hate the heat. And I refuse to turn on the air conditioning in April. So I'm hot and cranky. So here...have some cat pictures. Duncan was lying in the light of the setting sun the other evening and I took some flashless pictures.

Look at those furry paws. This is one reason we think he may have a good bit of Maine Coon in his makeup.

The various socks are coming along. The pink stripey one is about up to the heel turn...this one has a new-to-me heel construction, so that's interesting. And the Sprucey Lucy one now has four repeats of the lace pattern. So they're coming along.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Well, That Worked Out

Or should I say "I worked out." Got up this morning and did 44 minutes on the bike, which was probably more than I would have done last night. So that's good. Thanks heavens for Life...I crank up and episode and I don't want to get off the bike until it's over. Of course, at this rate, I'll be through Season 1 pretty quickly.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Glorious Friday

We went out this evening to the Smith College Book Sale. I came home with a bag full of books but only four of them were for me. Most of them were Faulkner and Robertson Davies books for Rachel. I got a couple of mysteries.

I was supposed to bike tonight but just as I was about to get started my brother and S. showed up and visited a while. Guess I'll bike tomorrow.

The weather was nice enough that I opened the window in the computer room and the cats put up with each other long enough for me to get a nice picture.

And...oh yeah...I might have started another sock.

I needed something mindless to knit when I watched The Office last night. Besides, I just love starting these toe-up socks!

I haven't abandoned Sprucey Lucy, though. I did another repeat of the lace pattern today at lunch.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This, That, And Of Course, The Other

So...I started another pair of socks. These are from a free pattern from Wendy Johnson, whose toe-up socks are so fine. She designed the Nanner socks. These are called Sprucey Lucy -- Lucy being her cat. I'm doing these in a spruce-y sort of color, too.

The yarn is Black Bunny's 50 percent merino, 50 percent bamboo. It's a beautiful color and feels good to knit but is a little split-y. I've started the socks in the car this morning, did the first repeat of lace at lunch and the second repeat in the car coming home this afternoon. Chugging along.

And here are the yarns I've gotten recently.

Woolgirl had a sale this last weekend and I scored some Madelinetosh. I love me some Madelinetosh.

This one is called Sweetpea.

This one is called Home. And look, some helpful feet have shown up!

This one is called Cobbler. Yum.

I also got some Malabrigo sock in a gorgeous blackberry sort of purple. I've not tried the Malabrigo yet, though I keep hearing good things about I thought I owed it to myself to try it.

Then The Loopy Ewe had a sneak-up on Monday (a sneak-up is when they post all the new stuff for the week...and the good things go fast) and I managed to grab two skeins of Numma Numma Toasty sock yarn.

The colors are Blue Cheese (in the back, of course) and Strawberry Jam. I made Beth's socks out of Numma Numma Toasty in the Brunch with Beth colorway and it is wonderful yarn to work with.

Look at the helpful cat!

I'm beat and am so glad tomorrow's Friday. It's been a long week. The hearing (the second one we've had in the past two months) is next Tuesday and I think we are just about done with the prep work. Whew. At least this one hasn't involved any late nights....well, one. Soon over though. And the next hearing is being handled by another branch so thank heavens for that!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paging Martha G! Martha G, There's A Prize For You!

Martha, if you click on my profile, there's an email link...let me know your address and I'll get this pattern out to you just as fast as I can!

And hey! Look! Socks!!!

Well, one of them is not quiiiiiite done. I still have to weave in an end. But I wanted to get a picture before it got dark. (And colder. It is really chilly out there this evening!) But yay for a new pair of socks.

I also got a little box of yarn today...some nice Madelinetosh that was on sale at Woolgirl this weekend. I tried to take pictures of it, too, but it was too cold to spend lots of time and the pictures I got were I'll try again some day soon.

And Martha! Drop me a line!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh Yeah...This Is A Knitting Blog...

I know I've sort of been forcing you all to sit through my family pictures but I swear, I get to sifting through that great big box of pictures and all of a sudden an hour has passed. One last's my grandfather as a little, little boy. What a cutie.

Okay, that's it. Unless I find this one picture I've been looking for.

And I have been knitting. Yesterday evening I sat down when it was quiet and did the heel flap on the second Stormy Days sock. And I am now about an inch up the cuff. This part should go fairly quickly. No counting, no figuring. So in a day or two (aren't I optimistic?) I should have a pair of socks to show you. And even to wear!

The Internets...She's A Small Place!

So I got an email yesterday from someone saying that he is working on a genealogy for a good friend, who is also a descendant of Quinn and Dora Lauer. Long lost relative? No, not really. He's doing this for my cousin Debbie.

My grandparents had four kids...Lois, in the background here, laughing...Arthur Jr. standing and looking down at Mike the Scottie...Jane, my mom, next to Lois...and Elinor, perched on the arm of Mom's chair. (I love this picture, by the way. They all look so happy and it's just such a pretty picture.) My Uncle Arthur, Debbie's dad, joined the Air Force as a young man and fought in WWII and (I think) Korea and was stationed in Oklahoma and then moved to California. I think I have seen him about 5 times in my whole life. He had six (I think) kids...I've met several of the kids, but not as an adult. It's odd because the sisters and their kids were all pretty close. And then there were the Western cousins, who were always something to wonder about.

Here's another shot of Lois, Mom and Elly. Seemingly taken about the same least, Elly looks about the same age.

I asked Mom once if there had been some sort of disagreement between Uncle Arthur and Mom and Pop and she said no, that Arthur had just gone off and lived his life. He's a nice man...he and my mom corresponded a good bit and she sent him books to read.

Here's another picture of Pop with (I think) Aunt Lois...novel ideas of child care he had...

I sometimes think of the oh, 1930's to the 1970's as sort of the Golden Age of my family. I wish Rachel could have known the same sort of closeness that I felt as a kid. Ah well, you play the cards you're dealt.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Argh, Mateys! Contest Results! Finally!!!

Would you believe that my blog was hijacked by pirates? No? Invaded by Martians? Hmm...

I'm just a bad blogger. I said I would be back Thursday with contest results and here it is, Saturday afternoon. But I do have contest results! I put the names in my Magic Hat and the winner of the scarf pattern is....Martha G!

Congratulations! Send me your address (my email's in my profile) and I'll get it out to you as soon as possible.

More later. Gotta go do some delving in the family room.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ceci C'Est-Ne-Pas Un Frere

Ah, my brother. Always the sophisticate, always so intelligent. Though I think his French intellectual phase here was a little hard on my parents. Constantly babbling about Sartre and the Existentialists in his baby French. Delineating the points of his baby manifesto on his chubby little baby fingers.

Fortunately, sometime after this picture was taken someone showed him a sports car and French existentialism went out the window.

Don't forget to check out my giveaway in my first April 13th post! (That is, not the Quinn and Dora one.)

Tigers! Tigers! Rah! Rah! Rah!

I mentioned, earlier in the month when I posted the picture of my grandmother and her friends, that I had a picture of her on her basketball team. And here it is, all the way from 1910! Mom is the round-faced young woman all the way on the left. The X is over someone who she said, on the back of the photo, was her "great chum." No name given however. Mom also said that she was the shortest girl on the team but not the youngest. Imagine playing basketball in those costumes!

Click to embiggen if so desired.

Oooh. This morning The Dizzy Sheep has Lush...that's hard to resist.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Quinn and Dora

(This is sort of like the new version of being forced to sit through someone's vacation slides, isn't it? Here...look at these pictures of my family!)

Anyway, you may remember the picture, a few posts back of Quinn Lauer and his wife, Dora. That would be my maternal grandmother's mother and father. Well, here they are in later years. Obviously having a good time. (So many of the pictures I have of my family they are laughing and smiling and just generally having a good time. Maybe that's par for the don't bring the camera out when folks are being ugly. ) I love the obvious affection between them, and I love the reaction of the woman in the background. Don't know when or where this one was taken, but it's sweet.

Well, That's Over...And A Giveaway!

So, I've been poked and prodded and weighed and measured and squished and squoozed. (And frozen a little, was cold in American Radiology!) Everything seems to be okay...well, the blood pressure medicine has to go up a bit, which isn't good. But I've lost weight since seeing my OB/GYN last month and perhaps, if I keep losing weight, the blood pressure will improve.

Mr. Pointy Sticks and I did treat ourselves to a nice lunch out at Bluestone. Yum. Tuna wrap and asparagus as a side. (What was that I said about losing weight? Hey! At least I didn't have the french fries as a side.)

And we went to Barnes and Noble and they had Wendy Johnson's book...

and now I have it! There are some great patterns in here. Can't wait to get to some of these.

And I got some nice mail that will help me do just that.

I got these from The Loopy Ewe. I must have been feeling blue the day I ordered them. Oh, who am I kidding. I love blues.

The deep blue on the right is a new dyer to me: Monkeypal Hand-Dyed yarns in Nautilus. Gorgeous blues. The middle one is Dream in Color Smooshy in Beach Fog. And the third is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Wisteria. So pretty.

I also got this with my credit from Loopy:

The cutest little project bag. Those are little sheepies in a meadow. (The yarn and needles are just there to show scale. The bag arrived empty.) And look at the little zipper pull!


These are from The Dizzy Sheep. I try to check out The Dizzy Sheep every morning and usually I have no problem (well, okay, not too much of a problem) passing up the deals...but the other day they had Jojoland Melody...I love that yarn. So here are three colorways for some pretty socks.

Because I bought six skeins, I got a copy of this pattern for free.

It's a beautiful scarf/stole. But you know what? I already have this pattern...bought it at The Black Sheep. So here we go. If you'd like this pattern, leave a comment. I'll put the names in the hat (if I get more than one) and send the pattern off to the lucky winner. No hoops to jump through...just leave a comment! It's Monday so let's say....I'll pull the winner's name on Thursday afternoon.

And now I'm off to empty trash cans and clean cat boxes. It's a glamorous life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Publicity Helps

Well, posting my exercise on the blog does seem, so far, to keep me at it. Whatever works.

Tomorrow will be a nonwork day as I have my annual check up scheduled for the morning and a visit with the tortilla press (mammogram) in the afternoon. Might as well get it all over in one day. I feel a little guilty because we have yet another hearing to prepare for at work and my boss will also be off tomorrow, too, so it's just J. and E. But I'll be back there on Tuesday.

As for the Stormy Days socks, I am about up to the start of the gusset on the second sock. Yesterday, with the trip to D.C. and then a three-hour visit to my brother's sweetie's house in the evening so that Mr. Pointy Sticks could work on my brother's ailing computer, I got a heck of a lot of knitting done. Not much knitting today though...I was a little burned out.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Behold! A Sock!!

What ho! Lookie here. The Stormy Days sock is finished. And it isn't all that short, either. And how much yarn did I have left?

Not a whole lot.

And our pear tree is in full bloom.

Tomorrow we'll be heading to DC to see Mr. Pointy Stick's brother, who is there for a conference. Other than that, who knows what the weekend will hold?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Life...As We Know It

I just finished re-watching (on-line tonight, on tv last night) the season finale of Life. Unfortunately, it may also be the series finale. This show, on NBC, is so good. I hope it'll be back. It's quirky without being cute, it's both dark and funny, it's wonderfully acted and beautifully photographed. Damian Lewis, who plays Charlie Crews, the main character, is an incredible actor...and it doesn't hurt that he's also fairly...hem It also has Adam Arkin, of whom I am also fond.

I have to say I was a late-comer to the show...started watching it in the middle of the first season, but man, I love it. Charlie is a police detective. Twelve years ago he was sentenced to prison for the murder of his best friend and his best friend's entire family. But then he is exonerated and released from prison with a $50 million dollar settlement from the state. One of the things that helped him survive in prison was Zen, so the show has these lovely little zen-like moments. And in the first two seasons, he is trying to figure out the conspiracy that got him put behind bars. This season that conspiracy was pretty much wrapped up but there are a few loose ends to keep us wanting more. I know, I know. It probably sounds stupid. But trust's a great show. I am thinking of writing an actual pen-and-ink letter to NBC to plead for its continued existence. I mean, pen-and-ink...that's gotta carry more weight that an email.

It's not high art...but it's better than most of the drek on tv. Rent or buy the first season...then the second, when it's out. See if you don't like it, too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I did get the heel flap done correctly at lunch and I did go up to The Black Sheep this evening and I did sit and knit. And I now have about 2 inches of cuff knit. And a ball of yarn about the size of a golf ball. I think these may be short little socks. I don't much like short little socks. But they will do for around the house. I'll have to think about all these other two-skeins-worth of Claudia's I have. Perhaps I need to find someone with smaller feet.

Am I Straying?

I’ve done the heel turn on the little Stormy Days sock and yesterday at lunch I settled down with my copy of the Nanner pattern to try to make the heel flap. I have to play with the numbers, as mine don’t match up with Nanner’s exactly, and I didn’t think it was going to be shouldn't be hard...but something went very wrong and I wound up with stitches disappearing far too rapidly on one side of the heel flap. I’ll have to try again today at lunch. I don’t see why it shouldn’t work…I think I must have done something stupid. Onward and upward….

Or maybe…sideways. I actually brought another pair of size 1 Addis and some Black Bunny Fibers yarn to work with me this morning and I spent a little time cruising through sock patterns on Ravelry while things were slow. Could this mean I am about to be unfaithful?

Time will tell. (Though I am afraid my Puritan forefathers will keep me from doing anything so self-indulgent.)

In other knitting news, I finished the orange scarf yesterday on the way home from work. Remember that orange scarf? The lacy one I’ve been working on forevvvvvver? I still have to weave in the ends and give it a good wash and a blocking (oooh, and I have new blocking wires to play with!) and then, perhaps, I’ll get some pictures of it. It’s a pretty thing but I think I may be giving it to a coworker whose mother loves orange. Because it is very, very orange.

Other than that…not much going on here. Today is Tuesday (no duh) and I may go up to The Black Sheep this evening. And I may drag Maureen along with me, if I can. I need to take some Hampshire materials to Tracy and see how serious she was about Rachel being able to work there this summer.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Wooly

It was, for the most part, a nice weekend. Rachel came home on Friday for the weekend...she just needed to get away from Mary Washington for a bit...the semester is almost up and she is just so anxious to get to Hampshire.

Saturday we went up to The Black Sheep as she wanted to get some yarn to make a cushy scarf. I actually didn't buy anything there. Something that was easier to do as I had gotten some yarn in the mail. Saturday evening we went to Daedalus and had dinner at Zen West. And then, about an hour or so later, I was hit with what must have been food poisoning. Bleah. I will spare you the gory details...just let me say that I don't think I'll be going back to Zen West any time soon. I think my brother has had the same thing happen to him after eating there. It was not a pleasant night and I still feel sort of queasy today.

But it was a lovely day on Saturday. The pear tree is covered with buds getting ready to pop.

The maple tree is all abloom.

And here's the yarn I got.

A small order from Webs' sale...all sock yarn.

And some yarn from Kindred Spirits, a dealer on Etsy. I began buying yarn from Krystal when she sold on eBay. Love her colors.

And the cats got a little outside time...though not as much as they might like.

I'd Like To Thank The Little People...

Just kidding. Though I ought to thank Mr. Pointy Sticks for being so indulgent of my many hobbies. The reason for the thanks? Look! I've been nominated for a Kreativ Blogger award by Becky of Knitasha! My first award...I'm so touched.

Now I'm supposed to nominate some people...let me think.

1) Erica of Ackery
2) Kaethe of ae and sometimes a
3) Cyn of the Half-Assed Knit Blog
4) Antonia of Whoopee
5) Jane at Jane Brocket

The first four because they make me laugh and the fifth because her photos give me such joy.

I'm not sure I'm going to get it together enough to actually notify all these people, mind you...I sometimes lack follow-through. But I'm really very chuffed to be chosen.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Wish My Sock Would Be More Decisive

The stupid thing...I am knitting along still. Not quite halfway through it. I have 26 grams of yarn left, so a little more than half a skein. So maybe I'll make it. But I am uncertain enough that there is the vague feeling that this knitting is going to be a waste. Not really a lot of fun and there's this little niggly voice saying, "Ah, just rip it out and start something that you know you have enough yarn for."

And even if I do get the sock finished, since I never weighed that skein at the beginning, I won't know if the 48 gram skein will work. Well, I guess I could weight the finished sock, couldn't I?

Argh. So much angst.

Turn About Is Fair Play

Some time back I posted a picture of my grandfather in Pecos, TX. Well, here's a picture of my grandmother...Mildred Pearl Lauer with some of her homies. Mom (all of us grandchildren called her Mom) is the happy one, fourth from the left and fifth from the right. She looks like she'd be fun...she was a fun grandmother. (And very stylish...she wore slacks long before most women did.) I love her coat. But look at those hats! This picture was taken in Clovis, New Mexico in 1912. Mildred was obviously a popular name in the late 1800's....the young woman who is second from the left is also named Mildred.

On of these days I ought to scan in the photo of Mom as a teenager with other members of her basketball team.

And here's a picture of Mildred's (Mom's) parents. John Quinn Lauer was a doctor. Dora looks sort of sad here.

I was actually looking for a picture of me, my brother and my Dad. It wasn't in the box I found these in but it'll turn up sometime.