Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Has Been Nice

There's been a whole string of nice days, starting with Turkey Day. My cousin B, had us over, along with her parents and sister, my Dad and step-mom and our cousin ML up from Charlottesville. We had a lot of good food and a nice time. I took over a box of old photos and we had fun going through them. Managed with my aunt's and Dad's help to get a bunch of people identified. Of course, this raises the question: Do I really need to keep photographs of friends of my grandparents who I never met? But oh, I would hate to just dump them.

Friday I went to work but there were so few people there it might as well have been annual leave. At one point a friend emailed me and said, "It was a waste of time coming in today. I am sitting here and seeing how long I can balance an eraser on my nose while typing."

But after work Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went to the Daedalus in Columbia - I only bought a few books for me but got some that I think Rachel will be interested in. And then we went to the Thai restaurant for dinner. And then stopped at Borders so that Mr. Pointy Sticks could pick up a book for a friend. I bought some more books for the book drive. And a Louise Penny mystery for myself...finished that up this morning. She's good, if a little on the cozy side, and I'll be looking for more of her books.

Yesterday I went up and spent a couple of hours at the Black Sheep while Mr. Pointy Sticks went shopping. Had a nice time and got a few more inches knit on the front of Rachel's sweater. I helped wind yarn for a customer and helped one young woman choose yarn for a scarf. Tracy and Joyce were away and the shop was very busy. (Which I always like to see.) Had a nice long evening doing not a whole lot...IMing with Rachel, playing games and knitting.

And we still have a chunk of this afternoon. I was going to go paint a new food bowl for the cats...but I just don't much feel like doing it all by myself. Perhaps I can talk Rachel into going over with me when she's home.

And back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Does It Seem That Time Keeps Getting Faster? No? Just Me?

I got my flu shot last week and the nurse asked me brightly, "So! You all ready for Thanksgiving?"

I replied that, if she gave me a couple more days, I would be just about ready for Halloween.

I mean really...I could get excited about carving jack-o-lanterns this weekend!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why So Rude?

Mr. Pointy Sticks, our friend Don and I went out to dinner last night. We went to a newish restaurant near us and the food was good. But the people next to us were obnoxious. We sat down next to a group of seven older man, two younger men, two women and two kids. As we sat down we couldn't help overhearing...because they were talking very loudly. And we heard them say something like, "Well, Roosevelt destroyed America." "You know there were two Roosevelts." "Yeah, they spelled their names the same." And then they went on, in the same loud voices about Reagan and Bush and how wonderful they were. At one point a couple at a nearby table turned to them and said, "Oh, it's so nice to hear this talk. We feel as though we are surrounded by liberals here in Maryland, you know!" It was unpleasant.

Eventually they quieted down and started talking about other least, the little bits I heard were about other things. Their little boy was making an annoying squeaky noise, over and over and over and over...but that's another issue.

As they left, one of the men went over to the table where the young couple who had applauded them was sitting and we heard him say something like "We like going places and talking like that...sometimes we can make the liberals actually leave!"

How obnoxious.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I got out in the (chilly) sunshine today and got pictures of all my sock yarn goodies.

First up, the Creatively Dyed November shipment.

The yarn for the month, a pretty pattern from Wendy Johnson, and a pattern tamer, which is a ribbon-trimmed set of magnets designed to help you keep track of your knitting rows. Not something I would have bought for myself, but it'll probably come in handy.

But look at the richness of these colors....


From Wool Girl, I got all this:

The theme, as if you couldn't guess, was Georgia O'Keeffe's poppies. There's a pattern at the bottom of the stack there and then, clockwise from 6 o'clock, a skein of yarn, some O'Keeffe postcards, a sock project bag, some little satin and organza poppies to use for decoration somewhere, a small tin, painted and decorated with a poppiy and filled with jelly beans in orange and red, and a tiny sample of Soak in the floral scent. In the center is a card with two adorable, poppy-themed stitch markers.

Here's a closer look at the yarn and the stitch markers.

Wow! What color!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Succumbed...

Unfortunately, I can't show you quite yet.

You see, there are (for those of you who aren't big knitters) these things called "Sock Clubs." You sign up for a month or three months or six months or a year...and each month you've signed up for you get a special skein of yarn...a pattern...and usually some goodies of some kind. And this year, I broke down and subscribed to two. Actually, I only bought a month's worth of the Club that Wool Girl was was Georgia O'Keeffe themed and man, wait till you see the gorgeous yarn I got. And the goodies.

The other one I signed up for was Creatively Dyed's Sock Yarn Club. I just love Diane's yarns. I got the first shipment yesterday and will get another one in December and the third in January.

The bad part...the weather here is crappy and rainy and gray and, of course, I am at work all day. So I will be taking pictures this weekend! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Okay, I said I'd be back yesterday...and it's today. Oh well. I do have pictures for you, though.

Or perhaps I don't. Blogger doesn't seem to want to load them.

Let me try again later.


That's better. I didn't, as I said, buy much. I got two skeins of this gorgeous mohair and some sock yarn.

I love the blend of green and purple in the mohair. The sock yarn looks lighter here than in person. It's richer looking in person.

And I bought some angora blend to mix in with some alpaca I had been trying to do up a scarf in. It really didn't look good on its own...or at least I couldn't find a stitch pattern that worked with it. So now I'm striping it with the so:

I think I like it.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home Again

Didja miss me?

We went up to MA this week to visit with Rachel. She won't be coming home for Thanksgiving, so we flew up on Thursday and flew home today after feeding her, and buying her some essentials (boots, saucepan, some food), and buying her some goodies (earrings and neat pencils and a pretty box), and meeting a friend (Hi, Morgan!). Morgan is pretty cool, as Rachel's friends tend to be, and we liked her a lot. And it was so good to see our girl. The weather was crappy...chilly (though not as cold as I thought it might be) and rainy, rainy, rainy. Better than snow, I guess.

And yes, I got to Webs, though most of what I bought went to Rachel, who seems to have been re-bitten by the knitting bug. I'll show you what I got tomorrow, when the sun is up.

And I'm up to the armpits on Rachel's sweater, though I had to rip a lot out the other night because I seem to have forgotten a bind off row or something. It's rather confusing.

Unfortunately, while we were up in MA we went into a Barnes and Noble and I succumbed to Stephen King's Under the Dome and I am finding it rather compulsively readable. Another 600 pages or so and I'll be back to knitting!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chugging Along

Rachel's sweater back is about 11 inches and a bit. It's not fast knitting but it's nice and soft and mindlessly entertaining. I am glad we're seeing her this week, as I'll be able to hold the piece up to her and figure out just how long I should be making it. She wants a longer sweater...

Not much else going on here...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why Is It....

...that you can feel crappy on a Friday and Saturday and then be miraculously all better by Sunday evening? So off to work I go tomorrow. Which is just as well, since our boss is off tomorrow and Tuesday and I wouldn't want to leave Elizabeth there all by herself. Not that she couldn't handle it, wonder woman that she is. I mean, she really is incredible. I'd like to be as smart as Elizabeth when I grow up.

But I did (ta da!) start Rachel's black sweater.

Knit, knit, purl, purl...knit, knit, purl, purl...knit, knit, purl, purl...this could take a while. Though it actually is going faster than I expected.

What else did I do this weekend besides snooze? I did start the new Karen Maitland, The Owl Killers. She wrote A Company of Liars, which I loved. So far, so good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This May Sound Sort Of Mean...

...but cruising People of Walmart the evening before one's fifty-fifth birthday may not make you feel younger, but it sure makes you feel smarter and more attractive than some people!

Monday, November 2, 2009


We had a yummy dinner tonight. Broiled tuna and some delicious butternut squash.

You cut the squash into 1 inch-ish cubes and chop up two or three onions into...hmmm, I think I did sixths or so. Then you toss them with Wegman's basting oil (olive oil with various herbs mixed in), salt and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet in a single-ish layer. Bake them at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

Oh man, are they tasty!

Of course, it helps that Wegman's also sells cut up and peeled butternut squash.

I should have taken a picture, but by the time I thought of it...they were pretty much gone.

We'll be having them again.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Feel So Competent!

So...a few weeks ago, my cousin Becca gave me an old sweater that she really, really liked. But it had some problems.

This sleeve had a little problem. And there were two holes down near the hem, where the anchors for the pockets had torn the yarn.

I knew I hadn't a chance to find this same yarn. I spent quite a while at The Black Sheep, trying to figure out what I could use. And finally decided on a Aracaunia wool, a blend of creams, blues, browns and greens.

I'd never done a repair like this, but knowing that the sweater was unwearable as it was...that I couldn't ruin it...was very liberating. So I cut the seam open.

I wove a fine needle along one row of stitches...and cut!

I picked the stitches out until I had the partial sleeve on the needle and a swatch of knit that I unraveled and skeined.

I washed this curly little mess and left it to dry over night.

The next day...I started knitting. To try to make this look somewhat planned, I mixed the new and old yarn in stripes.

Here is it, knit but unseamed.

And here it is, seamed.

The cuffs were hemmed and may have been a tubular cast on. I couldn't reproduce it exactly...didn't know how, so I just did a purled turn row and hemmed it up when I was finished.

As for the holes....

the darns are both in this picture. One's in the upper left corner, one in the bottom right. They aren't perfect...the backs in particular are dreadful...but really? I'm pretty pleased.

I'm thinking of doing a little row of chain stitch in the Aracaunia along the top of each pocket just to try to tie the sleeve in a little more. We'll see.