Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Looking At The World Through Rose-Colored Yarn

I think knitters must all be incurable optimists.

I spent several hours up at the Black Sheep last night, formulating this hypothesis. Well, actually, it came to me in the shower this morning, but it was based on observations made last night.

· We will buy a complicated pattern as rank beginner knitters…hoping that someday we will have the skills necessary to knit it.

· We will cast on for an intricately cabled, highly structured jacket…and buy the pattern and yarn for another intricately cabled sweater…even though we’ve never actually done a cable before.

· We will buy 550 yards of gorgeous, thin, sparkly yarn for a feather and fan scarf…even though we can’t quite figure out how to cast on or knit.

· We will buy an armful of yummy alpaca yarn because it’s on sale…hoping that we’ve bought enough for some as-yet-unchosen sweater…and that our daughter will love both the yarn and the pattern.

· We will leave ourselves only 10 days in which to complete a knit elephant…all the time knowing that the birth date of the future elephant owner could hit any day now.

· We will buy sock yarn as though someone has threatened to cut off the world’s supply of sock yarn…and figure that we will use it all up before we die.

· We will bring our knitting problems to our yarn shop…hoping that, even if the owners are too busy to help, someone there will be able to solve our problem.


(Three of these bullet points apply to me…those who know me will know which three.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just For Pat...And Uncle Arthur

Two more old pictures:

I know all these people! From left to right: My Uncle Arthur, a tiny baby Enny, my Aunt Lois and my mom. Look at 'em all. This picture reminds me of the know, the old Eleanor Estes books...something about them.

And I think this is my Uncle Arthur as a tiny boy. I could be wrong. Pat, maybe your dad will recognize this. Look at the little toy on the ground next to him. Looks like a little zoo toy.

I love these little glimpses into the past.

Oh, and in other news...I seem to have punched a little hole into the tip of my finger with my knitting needles...makes knitting sort of agonizing when the tip slips into that little hole.

Let There Be Light!

Got home from an errand about 7:30 this evening and the electricity was on! Hurrah. Of course, we had left the windows open and the air conditioner was chugging away. With no power, there is no way to turn the system off when the power goes out. I'm going to tell myself that it wasn't on long before we came home. And we had cleaned out most of the stuff in the fridge...the websites I read advised throwing things out of the fridge after four hours without power. The stuff in the freezer, save for the ice cream, still seemed pretty frozen, so that was saved.

And boy, when we turned the corner and I saw a glimpse of the light we had left on in the living room...that was one happy moment.

I'll Just Sit Here In The Dark...

We had one of the most powerful thunderstorms I think I’ve ever been in yesterday afternoon. The weather had been oppressive all day and my sinuses were killing me, so I figured we had a storm heading our way. About 4 p.m. Mr. Pointy Sticks and Don, his running buddy, headed out and about 10 or 15 minutes later the storm hit. I think the center of it must have gone right over our neighborhood. At one point, Rachel and I were standing at the front door looking out and could not see the houses across the street, the rain was so heavy! It was a complete white-out. Or wet-out. We had hail and there was lightning hitting all around. In fact, the tree in Maureen’s back yard (my friend across the street) was hit and caught on fire. They had lines down in their back yard, too. I was worried about Mr. Pointy Sticks but he and Don showed up safe and sound…though wringing wet.

Rachel and I had just started cooking dinner when the power went, so Don headed home and called and told us the power was on at his house and to come on up. We headed up there and cooked our pasta and made our dinner and shared it with Don.

Electricity is still out as of 10:30 this morning. And of course, I did grocery shopping yesterday and the fridge and freezer are full up with stuff that will probably end up getting thrown out. Le sigh.

But we're safe and lost no trees...not even any large limbs, though there were plenty down all around us. So I shouldn't complain.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I Love Noro

I know a lot of people who complain about Noro yarn. "It's full of vegetable matter!" they say. "It breaks!" "It's scratchy!" "It's full of knots!"

But those people can just send me their share of Noro, thank you kindly. Yes, it's a little more rustic than a lot of yarn but I've never had the veggie matter be anything but easy to detach from the yarn as I am knitting it up. I've never had it break while I was knitting it, even though it is a single-ply yarn. Yes, it's not divinely soft...though a good washing and a soak in some hair conditioner does wonder to make it less scratchy. And yes, there are the knots and it is somewhat irritating to have a knot break a color blend....but the yarn spit splices well.

And oh, those colors.

Yes, I started another pair of socks this afternoon. I took them, along with the rest of the stuff I'll mention in this post, out onto the front porch this afternoon for their photo session. After taking all the pictures, I decided to sit out front for a bit. By the time I went inside the sock looked like so:

I started these Noro socks because I finished these:

Creatively Dyed yummy. And yes, they are from the same skein but one end of the skein had rather different colors than the other. the bottom sock here has more yellowy-green and less white. But I love them. They remind me of a forest glade.

And some new yarn joined the Mammoth Stash. Chestnut Bay Fibers was having a sale so I bought some stuff. Two pretty skeins of sock yarn....

And a yummy skein of sportweight. I was hoping to get a pair of quick, quick, quick socks out of it but at 230 yards, I'm a-feared the socks would be sort of short. So I'll have to think of something else to use this up in...

Any suggestions?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Well, Rachel's facing back surgery. Her back isn't getting any better and, in fact, is deteriorating somewhat. So she'll be having her disc repaired or sucked out or glued down or whatever it is they do for ruptured discs on August 3rd. Any and all good thoughts for my babe appreciated.

(And just in case someone wanders upon the blog and worries about this three-year-old having back surgery, let me assure you that this picture is about 18 years old.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Costume Party

My grandparents were, I think, pretty happy people. (Of course, who really knows? They seemed happy. And I hope they were. They sure made me happy.) My grandfather was sort of a prankster. I remember once he got my grandmom pretty good. She hated mice...and any signs of mice. One day she found what she thought were mouse droppings in a kitchen drawer. She called my grandfather and he came into the kitchen. "Hmmm," he said, "they look sort of large for mouse droppings." He picked one up, which my grandmother wasn't happy about, sniffed it and, then....oh horrors!...tasted it. "No," he said, "I think that might be rat." Well, my grandmother was fit to be tied until Pop started laughing. Turns out the "droppings" were burned match heads that Pop had planted in the drawer.

And here, though they don't look particularly happy, they are ready to go to a costume party.

Wonder whose clothes those were originally?

They look a little happier here, ready to hit the road in Pop's motorcycle.

And, just to prove that some of the people in the family still like costumes...little Rachel in her much beloved "Mickey Mousch" ears.

Do I Have A Point?

Why, yes! I do.

Baktus has turned the corner. I got a lot done on it this morning listening to NPR. It's an addictive knit and I find I am already thinking about the next one.

But really, I'm here to show off my prize! Look at all these goodies that Danielle from Pigmints Yarn sent me!

What a lovely and generous gift! She substituted a book for the Handpainted Sock book. I had told her that since I already had the book that she should just keep it for another give-away. So she said she was going to substitute a book. Now those that know me well know that I buy books at the drop of a hat, so I was thinking that I might end up with a duplicate anyway. But look! It's a book that I've looked at but not purchased. It's called Boutique Knits and it has some cute knits, including some adorable hats like this one:

There was also the dotty project bag and the needle holder and a 40" size 1 circular needle. And some stitchmarkers....

very spring-y.

And oh, I wish you could feel this yarn. It's merino and alpaca and oh, so soft. I think it is destined to be a knit thing rather than socks. It's too nice to waste on my feet!

And finally, here's the Wollmeise I ordered:

These colors are so-o-o-o-o intense!

I had heard that Wollmeise had a different sort of hand from other sock yarns and it's true. It's very smooth and sort of cotton-y feeling. I'm looking forward to knitting with it.

Hmmmm....another Baktus?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Is This My Pony?

Jessa-Lu is having a contest! I've entered! Perhaps my streak will continue. And if any of you want to enter or just visit her blog and leave her a comment on the giveaway post and mention me....well, that ups my chances!

No pressure...after all, I already won once this week.

Whoop! Guess I Can't Say I Never Win Anything!

Well, this'll improve your mood on a random Wednesday morning! It was already shaping up to be a nice morning as I had taken the day off and slept in until 9 a.m. But then I checked my email and discovered that I've won a prize! A wonderful prize from Pigmint Yarns. (You have to scroll down a few entries to get to the Grand Opening Giveaway.) Look at the colors in that yarn! Are those my colors, or what? Look at that spotty-dotty bag....I love it! And there are stitch markers and needles and other stuff, oh my!

I already an the happy owner of Carol's book, so I told Danielle to keep it and use it in another give-away. If she sends it anyway, I'll have a give-away here. It's a wonderful book.

Gee, Wollmeise one day and a prize the next. Maybe tomorrow someone will give me a pony!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm As Human As The Next Knitter

So, I think I've mentioned Wollmeise yarn on this blog before...the fanaticism of its fans, the rush to buy it up, the absurd prices it goes for on eBay.

Well, I succumbed.

I was getting ready to leave work today and was in the process of shutting down my computer when, for some reason, I thought, "Let's check out the Loopy Ewe." Went to the website and clicked on "What's New"...and it took me a minute to realize what was there. "Hunh," I thought, "these color names are all in German. That's odd.....Wollmeise!!!" I threw two skeins into my cart and hit the order button as quickly as I could. And of course, my computer toyed with me by running just as slowly as it could. But I seem to have bought them before they were snatched out of my shopping cart. I got a bright, bright green and a red/fuschia mix. Or I think those are the colors I got. The green one may be bright blue. I'm pretty sure about the red. Their names tell me nothing: one is Raupe Nimmersatt and the other is Roter Himbeermund. Descriptive, huh? Babelfish translates them to "Crawler-type vehicle Nimmersatt" and "Red Himbeermund." Thanks, Babelfish!

I am anxious to see these in person and feel the yarn and work them up.

And hey! If I don't like them, there's always eBay.

(No, if I don't like them, I'll offer them up on Ravelry for what I paid for them, I think.)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Soothing My Soul

After running around this, vet, grocery store, book store...I spent the afternoon at the Black Sheep. Ahh...yarny bliss. I spent some time chatting with Tracy and Renee and then there was a steady stream of customers. Met a nice young woman named Sarah, who was in with her mom. Sarah is new to Baltimore and may be coming to the Tuesday evening knit-alongs. She and her mom were nice. Nice afternoon.

And I've been bitten by the Baktus bug. Baktus is a neat triangular scarf that's taking over the knit world. It's done in sock yarn and we all know I have plenty of that. So I started one last night.

This is just some inexpensive yarn from Michaels...not wonderfully soft but I like the colors. If it isn't too, too tedious to knit, I could see knitting some of these for Christmas presents.

But I am still working on the tiny Elijah.

One tiny, blind, deaf amputee elephant!

We also stopped by a Kia dealer and looked at a Soul. Pretty cute little car though not as inexpensive as I would have thought a Kia was. Didn't take it for a test drive...that's in the future.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Free Books: On Hold

I was going to start offering up some books here, but since I last talked about doing so, I was named the CFC coordinator for my office. (CFC is like the United Way for Federal workers.) And one of the fundraisers that makes a good bit of money is a booksale. So I think I'll be putting a lot of my freebies towards that...but I'll probably have more to offer at some point. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What A Treat

I am treating myself to a five-day weekend this Fourth. I had put in for the Wednesday as part of the Perfect-Sweater-Nonclass, and we have Friday it was a no-brainer to take Thursday off as well.

Yesterday Mr. Pointy Sticks was off as well and we got Miss Volvo's emission's tested. (She passed.) Doesn't sound too exciting, but it meant a trip to Columbia and, thus, a short trip to Daedalus and lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant.

Today I took Rachel off to the doctor to get her tetanus shot. And we had lunch at Yamato (yum).

Then the fun part of the day started. I took her up to the pottery studio, where she stayed until sometime after 6 p.m.

She made a really nice bowl today and I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of her turning it. And hey, she wanted to get behind the wheel this summer!

While she was at the wheel, I spent a delightful afternoon at the Black Sheep. I took someone along to introduce him to all my buddies. May I present....


While I was there I got to help unload a carton of yarn...among which was a skein I could not resist.

Fannie's Fingering Weight in Old Roses. ('s a little blurry.)

And there were some bags on sale. I may have bought one....

Elijah approves!

This is a handmade bag, designed and made by one of the Black Sheep customers (who also happens to be a great knitwear designer...gorgeous stuff).

And the other day I got a box from the Loopy Ewe with some Dashing Dachs yarn (a new dyer to me)...

The one on the left is called Platypus (don't ask me why!) and the one on the right is Dandelion Chain. Purty.

More purty...

Our daylilies are blooming nicely.