Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From An Aunt To An Uncle

I visited with my aunt and uncle this weekend and my aunt gave me a bunch of pictures to put up here on the blog so that my cousin can copy them down for her dad. So herewith...some pictures.

My uncle Arthur

He was, I think, a nice looking young man.

Here he is holding my aunt as a baby.

I think she liked being with him.

Not a good picture, but here's the whole family. My mom is the girl in the wide-brim hat. And the Scottie is Mike.

And here, for my cousin, are some pictures of her when she was little and visiting back East.

She's outstanding in her field....or outsitting, at least!

And here, with her little sister.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just A Peek

One of these circles is getting smaller....one of these circles is getting larger.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Keeping My Promise

I told you I'd show you what I brought home from the Black Sheep with me on Saturday.

First of all, I got the thing I went up for....

There were only two copies left, I think. I love the hat on the cover...that's the main reason I bought this one. And yes, I know Jared is going to have the patterns available singly on his website at some point. But I've been reading his blog for years...I am very happy to support him. Besides, there are some other nice projects in here. Like these:

I went up to the shop in part to pick Tracy's brain about this sweater I want to make for Rachel. Tracy pointed me in the direction of this book,

telling me to check it out and see if it would be helpful. Well, I sat and looked at it and I don't know that it will be helpful....but there sure are some pretty patterns in it. Like this one:

I like this jacket a lot.

So, I was sitting there, knitting away on Rachel's scarf and getting annoyed at some of the conversation, when I saw this yarn.

The more I looked at it, the more I thought one of my cousins would really like these colors. (No, not you, ML. Sorry.) But a scarf would take 4 skeins...almost $50. And I love my cousins, I really do. But $50 for a scarf just seems a little much. But then I had the idea of mixing it with a skein of another yarn...this is Ella Rae.

And I might have started it the other day. You know, just to see how it looks.

And yes, Rachel, I'm still working on your scarf. I'm about 2/3 of the way through it. And I'll be starting your sweater...maybe even tonight! Well, maybe not. But soon, I promise!

Disagreeing With The Yarn Harlot

I love Stephanie Pearl-McPhee but I have to say...today I think she's wrong.

I have her day-at-a-time calendar and today's entry says:

"Gandhi, that great man of nonviolence, maintained that every person should spin thread for 30 minutes a day. He had taken a vow to do so, and kept this vow even while in prison. Gandhi believed that the practice of quiet, structured, peaceful work would promote those same qualities in the people who did it, and I think he was right. I have trouble imagining war in the world if all soldiers and their commanders had to take 30 minutes out of their day for peaceful, productive, comtemplative work. I believe knitting would serve this purpose perfectly."

I dunno...there are plenty of times that my knitting has made me want to kill something.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Can't Tomorrow Be Saturday Again?

I spent some of Saturday, after Mr. Pointy Sticks and I ran around and got some chores done, at my favorite place. Guess where?

Yeah. The Black Sheep. That's no surprise, I guess. I spent some time knitting there, although it was a tiny bit spoiled because one of the women who works there occasionally was there and she just sort of rubs me the wrong way. Part of it is not her fault....something about her attitude remains me too much of my late step-mother-in-law. She is a wizard knitter, but I think that, other than knitting, we would have very little in common. She was saying some disparaging things about people who live in the US and don't learn to speak English...in a snotty sort of fashion. Now, do I think immigrants to the US should try to learn English? Yes, because it will make their life easier and help them, perhaps, feel more comfortable here. Do I hold it against them when they do not? No...it's hard for adults to learn a second language, ESL courses are not free and are not all that plentiful, and perhaps someone understands English but isn't comfortable speaking it to a snooty American. Anyway, the conversation sort of left a bad taste in my mouth.

So I wandered around and cheered myself up with the pretties. I am inordinately attracted to these yarns...

Ooooh, sparkly! Fortunately, my favorite one, a blend of reds and pinks and oranges, has apparently been sold. I say fortunately because I really don't know what I would make out of the silly stuff. (Though I rather like the purple-pink one in the foreground there...) But again....ooooh, sparkly!

They had gotten a big ole box of yarn, which included some fun gigantor balls of yarn.

Just how big are they?

Here's one with a mug for comparison.

The box also had some Mark and Kattens sock yarn that was Noro-esque but much softer.

They had this colorway and a blue-purple one, which you can just see in the first shot of the box. Nice stuff.

I didn't come home empty-handed...I got some stuff that I'll tell you about tomorrow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


...is kicking my butt this week. We are so busy with the health care reform legislation which (and I hope it isn't against Federal employment policy for me to comment on this) may be giving my employer just a leettle more work than we really need. Work completely unrelated to what we should be doing.

Anyway, I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday.

Kat, I got the Andrew Taylor and I thank you very much. Have you read the latest Ann Cleves, Red Bones? I was going to send it your way, if you'd like it. Also (if I can remember where I put it) Matthew Dick's Something Missing, which I liked a lot. And Black and White and Dead All Over, too, if you like. Let me know.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

So, This Weekend...

...was okay, I guess. Saturday started out gray and rainy and gloomy, but eventually Mr. Pointy Sticks and I braved the moisture and did a little shopping. One of the places we stopped was Barnes and Noble, where I picked up the latest from Lorrie Moore, A Gate at the Stairs. We heard an interview by her that made me want it. Besides, I loved her Anagrams and Birds of America. And we dashed into Trader Joe's and such. My brother and his sweetie came over in the evening and visited and took a bag of stuff for Rachel, as they will be heading off for a vacation to Connecticut and Massachusetts and will be spending some time near Hampshire.

Today I did knitting and washing. And washed all my hand-knit socks, since it's starting to get closer to wool sock weather. Twelve pairs! I have twelve pairs of hand knit socks! With two more pairs on the needles. Woot. That's a lot of knitting.

And tomorrow....work. Bleah.

Oh, Hello!

It's been a busy week. It's difficult to settle back into work after being off for so long and we've been busy with a major (and confidential) project that isn't a lot of fun.

I've been busy in the evening starting and re-starting the September Mystery Socks that we are knitting in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry. I don't know why it's been so hard to get these started! Last night I realized that the second sock (I am doing both at once for some reason...I guess mostly to see if I like doing it that way...) had the wrong number of stitches so I had to rip that out and cast on for the sixth time! This is not rocket science, people! I shouldn't be having this much trouble!

But here they are so far:

Two lace repeats done on one sock...the other just through the cuff.

I do like this pattern. Someone on Ravelry said that they thought it looked like chicken feet and now that's what I see when I look at it.

The yarn is nice. Shibui Knits in Finch. Very smooshy and nice.

I've also been working on a scarf for Rachel, though I'd be happer with it if I hadn't noticed yesterday that I made a mistake wa-a-a-a-ay back there at the beginning. (I'm about a third of the way through it.)

And I've been getting some reading done.

Current Reading

Ferris Beach by Jill McCorkle. A coming-of-age novel, set in the 70s. Funny and sad and wonderfully written.

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon. The stories of three seemingly unconnected people echo and reverberate and ultimately collide. While I didn't love this one the way I loved You Remind Me of Me, the shifting identities and sense of uncertainty and danger that pervades the book are pretty compelling.

Something Missing by Matthew Dicks. An unusual housebreaker gets caught up, first in the lives of the people whose houses he burgles and, finally, in his own life, which he's been avoiding. I enjoyed this a lot. There are some fine turns of phrase that made me laugh.

And there were a couple of others finished up this week, that I'll throw over on the list.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Webs, September '09

I may have gone a little wild.

There is a strong predominance of blues here...for a two-fold reason. I like blues...and the daughter had asked for a blue scarf...so I wanted to get some choices for her.

So we have...

Noro Silk Garden

Noro Kureyon

Claudia Worsted

Araucania Worsted in blues/purples/grays.

Araucania Worsted (again) in blues/turquoises/purples.

Misti Alpaca in a pretty periwinkle-ish sort of blue.

Valley Yarns Rainbow. Looks like an oil slick.

And the yarn she selected Aslan Trends Bariloche...a blue like a clear Massachusetts fall sky.

I also got some sock yarn.

An On Line and a Regia Hand-Dye Effect, something new.

And some buttons. I have a kit for a Buttony hat and I thought these might look nice on it.

So there you have it...my latest trip on Webs.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

These two little piggies are home again. It was a seven-and-a-bit hour drive from Boston. It always surprises me how exhausting just sitting in a car can be.

The kid is settled in her dorm...

on a pleasant quad....

that is reached, when one moves in, by the most loathed steps I've ever met.

These puppies are steep and everything had to be carried up them and around to the front of the building...and then up another flight of stairs.

Amidst the settling in and the shopping for last minute stuff and food, we did manage to pay a visit to the Eric Carle Museum again.

This cake was to celebrate the birthday of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We saw a nice exhibit of Tomi Depaolo's artwork. Gorgeous stuff.

And we got to Webs...I'll do a separate post with pictures of my goodies.

Saturday morning, Mr. Pointy Sticks and I left South Hadley and headed to Boston to visit with my sister-in-law. We went to Lexington and Concord. Saw the Old North Bridge.

Pretty place on a beautiful day.

But this is what moved me the most.

In Boston we stayed at a Marriot and I had to laugh. I know times are tight and we're all trying to save money...but really! Here are our shampoo and conditioner bottles.

They look about normal, right?

No....here's the side view.

These are not squozen down...they really were this narrow. Almost two-dimensional!

And the beds were disgustingly soft.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Solid, Liquid Or Gaseous?

Here I am, posting from a whole 'nother state. We are up in Massachusetts, settling Rachel into her new life at Hampshire. It's been a fraught sort of time...none of us are particularly good at transitions or change...but I think things are going to be okay. Rachel has a single. Yes, it's tiny, but it's a single. She may be able to have two of her science requirements filled by classes she took at Mary Washington, which would make her happy. Her advisor is actually a member of the faculty in the writing department, so that's good.

So, fingers crossed that things will keep improving and she'll fall in love with the place. I have to say, it's a lovely campus, in a gorgeous part of the country. The people we've run across, on campus and off, have been delightful- friendly and helpful. I got to see an old friend from college and meet her partner and kid, after years of just knowing them through their Christmas cards. I got to Webs and bought oh, so much yarn. And we got to the Eric Carle Museum again and saw a lovely exhibit of Tomi Depaolo's work.

Tomorrow we head over to Boston to see Mr. Pointy Sticks' sister. One night there and then home!

How long do you think it'll take before the cats stop ignoring us?