Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's Not Like I Haven't Been Busy....

(Chinese food for dinner tonight so I thought I ought to throw a little more exercise into the mix to counterbalance some of the Chicken with Asparagus calories.  And as long as I'm here entering exercise, I might as well try to get a post written.  Don't know that it'll get posted before tomorrow, but it'll get started.)

There have been some shawls rolling off the needles.

It was so cold in our new office space that the idea of shawls suddenly became oh, so attractive.  Here's a recent one, done in an angora and merino blend from Webs.  So soft and fluffy, so heavenly to knit, so comforting to snuggle in.  Yes, it is black slacks get a vague pale blue haze when I wear them and it at the same time.  But I'll take a little shedding for such divine softness.

And I bought a new shawl pin that you see here with it.

This pin was actually meant to go on the red shawl you'll see further on.

I'm participating in Camp Loopy for the second year.  Our first (of three) projects had to be a pattern by a designer from outside our country of residence.  I chose Stripe Study, by Veera Välimäk, a Finnish designer.  I love her patterns.  This was supposed to be in two colors, but I threw in a stripe of yellow for interest.  My dad helped me talk through where the odd color stripe should be placed, so...Thanks, Lolly!

For our second Camp Loopy project, we were to knit something in one of the colors from our country's flag (there's a lot of nationality stuff this year at camp because it's an Olympics year).  I chose red and decided to make a Skein of Geese shawl.  The picture above is at the end of the first skein of yarn.  I ended up using 2 and a half skeins...about 1000 yards.

I love this shawl with a fierce love...It's wonderful to wrap up in.

And I just sent off a shawl to a Ravelry friend in Oklahoma.  We both signed up for a shawl swap...she's crocheting me a shawl, I knit her one.  I can't wait to see mine and I am hoping she will like hers.  I'll post pictures later, after I'm sure she's gotten her package.

And finally...I've started my third and last Camp Loopy project.  It's....a shawl.  It had to use more than one color, to signify the unity of the nations coming together in sports.  I was going to do a shawl called Light in Shadows, but the instructions just weren't making sense to me at now it's just going to be a simple pink and dark brown striped shawl.  Pictures to follow.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Well, Knock Me Down And Call Me Nancy!!

I guess I can no longer say that I never win anything!  A couple of months ago I entered a contest that Knitting Fever held where, if you wrote a blog post about Noro yarns, you had a chance to win the new Noro magazine.  Well, I love Noro, so that was a labor of love.  Noro has to be in my top, make that top 3 favorite yarn brands.  Make that top 2.  Noro and Madelinetosh...yum.

Anyway, I figured my chances of winning were pretty darn small so when I saw the new Noro magazine in Wegman's I went ahead and picked it up.  Nice patterns in this magazine, by the way.

And then, a few weeks ago, I got an email from a nice lady at Knitting Fever asking for my address, because I had won!  Well, my pleasure at winning was, I will admit, somewhat lessened by the fact that I already had the magazine, but still...I was happy and figured that perhaps I could give the magazine to someone.

Today I came home to find a box on my front porch from Knitting Fever...and it wasn't just the magazine!

Ten...count them, ten!!!...skeins of Silk Garden Lite.  In an absolutely gorgeous colorway (2073).  Time to start looking at patterns.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Meet My Sun, Ray

He's very cute, I think.

And no, it's not foggy here in Baltimore.  In the short time it took me to go outside from the air conditioning to the heat and humidity here, and take a couple of pictures, my camera lens fogged all up.  I'm hoping I haven't ruined my camera.

And here's a picture of my shawl so far...

Friday, May 25, 2012

How Weathery Of Me

My current most active projects?

A sun and a rainbow.  The sun needs four more rays, the rainbow needs to suck up the rest of the ball of yarn.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

One Man's Meat...

I spend time, now and again, wondering why it is that we like things.  Usually I'm thinking about books, I'll admit.  Why is one book by an author....China Mieville's Perdido Street Station, for example....a book I just dive into and swim in and love and another, even by the same author....Mieville's The City and The City, for another that I struggle with?  Or, more broadly even...I love to read...always have...but you wouldn't catch me dead reading a romance novel.  Why are those words on the page different than any others?

It's the same with yarn.  Barring allergies, why does one person prefer wool and another only enjoy knitting in cotton?  And why is there so much of a love-hate dichotomy over Noro?  There must be a discussion a month on Ravelry about Noro..."Why doesn't everyone love Noro?"  "How can anyone bear to knit in Noro?"  " the colors but the yarn is scratchy!"  "I hate Noro!"  "I love Noro!"

I come down firmly on the pro-Noro side of things.  (In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that what prompted me to write this post is the chance of winning a copy of the new Noro magazine.)

I love Noro yarn.  I mean, go here and scroll down.  Look at those colors!  Look at those gorgeous lilacs and purples and that delicate "Hello-I've-just-sprouted" spring green in the socks...the sunny yellows with the touch of peach in that bobbly pullover....the somehow serene-but-still-electric blues in the lacey cardigan.  Just beautiful.  Is the yarn scratchy?  Well, the Kureyon isn't merino, perhaps, but it's perfectly wearable...and it's about the scratchiest of the lot.  Is there vegetable matter?  An occasional piece of hay or grass perhaps...easily removed.  Are there knots?  Perhaps I've been lucky, but I've found more knots in other brands of yarn.

And you know, it wouldn't matter...load it up with knots and grass.  I'd still buy it and knit with it happily.  Eisaku Noro is a wizard with color...and color is something I love.  For whatever reason, it pushes all the right neurons.

(Picture lifted from the Noro website...look at those hues!)

Having now spent some time reading through the Knitting Fever blog, I also have to link to this post of theirs.  I love Mirasol yarns...and here's a great incentive to keep buying their yarns.  What a wonderful story.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Three Days Gone

Nice weekend, though it's almost over and that sucks.  I took Friday off, mostly for a routine doctor's appointment but it was also sooooo nice not to be at work.  I mean, I love Elizabeth but we've been working really hard and under a fair amount of pressure and it's been more tiring than I realized.  After the doctor's, Mr. Pointy Sticks and I had lunch out (at Atwater's -- yum) and then spent some time and money at Barnes and Noble.  I got both the new Garth Nix (A Confusion of Princes, which I've read already and really liked) and China Mieville's Railsea, which I may start today.

On Saturday we went to Cromwell Bridge Park and went on a bird walk.  We saw

File:Baltimore Orioles and nest.jpg

Baltimore Orioles

File:Orchard Oriole.jpg

Orchard Orioles


Indigo Bunting

File:Eastern Bluebird-27527-2.jpg


Tree Swallows

File:Blue Grosbeak by Dan Pancamo.jpg

Blue Grosbeaks (alas, only the brownish female, not this snappy blue male) and many others.  I didn't get any good pictures, having only a weensy digital, so these images come from Wikimedia Commons.  No copyright infringement here!

On the way home we stopped at Flavors and got ourselves some cupcakes.  Yum.  Their Salted Caramel cupcakes are marvelous!

And even with the cupcakes, the weight loss continues.  I'm down 18 pounds since February.  Little pat on the back for me.

And I finished my Wingspan!

Here it is on the hood of the car...the colors look pretty true here.  It's sort of disappointingly small.  More like a neckerchief than a shawl.  Someday perhaps I'll make a bigger one.

I'm going to wind my yarn one of these days for my first (of three) Camp Loopy project, which I can't start until next Sunday.  In the meantime, I'm working on a Hitchhiker in Kauni Rainbow.  I won't have it done by Sunday so it'll be a good waiting-to-start-Camp-Loopy's-project, in-between project.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wait? What Time Of The Year Is It?

 Yes!  It's that time of the year...Camp Loopy begins in eleven days.  And I'm ready!

I just got a nice package from Loopy Headquarters.

I'm going to be making the Stripe Study Shawl in cream, blue and (I think) a little touch of yellow as the thinnest stripes.

Oh and this?

I must have just jumped into the box.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

"It's The MOST WONderful TIME of the YEAR..."

Yes, it's Maryland Sheep and Wool Show weekend.

I wasn't going to buy a shirt this year because I didn't think I liked the design very much.  But on this turquoise, with the blended green-to-blue ink...I thought it looked pretty good and I couldn't resist.  (You will find that there was quite a bit I couldn't resist, alas.)

This was the traditional first stop...I always spend too much here.  I was looking for three skeins of yarn for a Color Affection shawl...I walked away with five skeins.  Ouch.  But so pretty.  Their pictures are coming along soon.


Mr. Pointy Sticks and I got there pretty early.  In fact, I was shopping at Creatively Dyed when they announced over the PA that the show was open and we could all proceed to enter the fairgrounds in an orderly fashion.  But here's the midway about 10:30 or 11:00.  (I didn't have a watch.)  The weather could have been worse (could have been better, too, I guess).  It was warm in the sun (and in the crowded buildings) but cool enough in the shade.  And there was a breeze.  It was oppressively humid though.  I don't do humidity well.

There was an amazing bead booth right across from Creatively Dyed.  I wandered in and took a cursory look...and then started looking closer.  There were some gorgeous beads...and yes, I succumbed here, too.  Twice, in fact.  Or three times, depending on whether you're talking number of visits (2) or number of beads purchased (3). 

 I loved these...but they didn't come home with me.  I think the set was $80.

The little set with the green tag here glows in the dark!  So cool.

So what came home with me?

Yes, it's another sheepie bank.  Doesn't everyone need two?

Some personal adornment.  Those three big beads?  They're the ones from the bead booth.

That blue one?  It (supposedly) glows in the dark!
 Oh, yarn?  Did I get any yarn?  I might have gotten a little.

The Fold was almost empty.  How could I not buy some Socks that Rock?  On Blueberry Hill on the left, and Flash Mobbin' on the right.

 From Creatively Dyed....I got these three skeins to make the Color Affection shawl.

And this one just because I fell in love with it.

And this one because it was called Rachel.

I mean, how could I resist?  It only comes once a year!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Look Who's Back...

I couldn't resist posting this.  This is Elefante, a Susan B. Anderson design.  Knit for the new daughter of a co-worker.  I'm not super happy with the finishing, but even with my inexpert sewing skills...pretty darn cute.  The ears, kindly crocheted by Tatiana at my LYS, seem somewhat precarious.  But I hope this will (eventually) give the baby joy.

To go with Little Nell, I chose some outfits at Target...

Do we detect a theme?

Monday, March 19, 2012

I keep trying to think of a reason to keep posting here....and I can't.

I'm knitting. I'm reading. Life goes on. I'll keep posting my exercise and perhaps someday I'll do something interesting enough to post about.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Prezzie!!?? For Me!!??

I haven't had anyone knit something for me since I was...oh, about thirteen! But today...I got a knit present! My good friend Elizabeth knit a cowl, just for me.

I tried to take some pictures of myself...not an easy trick, especially when you don't like having pictures taken of yourself.

I thought this one above wasn't too bad...and don't cowls hide double chins nicely! But I couldn't figure out why I didn't look like myself.

Oh's the eyeglasses.

Thank you, Elizabeth. I feel as though I'm wearing a tropical sunset around my neck.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A week or so ago on Book Balloon we were joking around about writing prompts, and someone came up with "Justin Bieber, Mitt Romney and a chicken walk into a bar...." My response to that was "This is going to be a long evening," said the chicken, "I need to get fried."

More joking went on, with PCashwell saying that the form of the product hadn't been specified. Whereupon TPC said "A sestina!" Well, for some reason I couldn't get the idea of a sestina out of my mind - though I did manage to mis-remember it as a chicken, Romney and Gingrich. But here, for your amusement...

A Sestina

I was tending my bar, counting my money
When in walked a chicken, Newt, and Romney.
“Here’s a joke,” I thought, as I wiped the bar.
“What can I get you?” I asked of the three.
“Give me a whiskey,” the hen said as she sat.
"This’ll be a long evening, I need to get fried.”

My breakfast that morning, eggs scrambled not fried,
Began to heave as Mitt spoke of his money
The chicken and Newt, well they just sat
Not saying anything that might stifle Romney
I wished there was a response from one of the three,
Because Mitt’s chatter about cash didn’t fit in this bar.

Why, the usual customer in my middle-class bar
Is happy to be able to afford nice eggs, fried.
But most of them only have two, not three,
Because of cholesterol, yes, but also money
A concern I think that never bothered Mitt Romney
And still, chatting of cash, there the three sat.

The chicken rustled a bit on the stool where she sat
And looking around said, “This is a nice little bar.”
“How much does it profit you?” asked Mr. Romney.
(He’d had a few whiskies but wasn’t yet fried.)
“Why,” he said, “I bet it earns a little money!
Say, two hundred thousand bucks or maybe even three!!”

Newt put down his glass and looked around at us three
Romney, the chicken, and I, where I sat
“You can’t buy happiness, not with all your money.
You need to take a good wife to the matrimonial bar!”
The chicken, she cackled,” You really are fried!”
“You’ve tried that three times.” muttered Romney.

“How happy are you, Newt?” asked Mr. Romney,
Trotting around with wife number Three?”
Newt looked glumly away, the chicken looked fried.
But Romney rushed out of the bar while they sat
“Left my dog on the roof,” he said coming back to the bar
“He doesn’t look happy, but I’ll give him some money.”

The chicken was fried and so was Mitt Romney.
I tallied my money and gave their tabs to the three.
After they left I just sat, in the quiet of my bar.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas Wrap (Up)

I was going to write something all clever and funny about Christmas but if I wait until that percolates, it's likely to be Easter before anything gets written. Seems that the more writing I do at work, the less I feel like writing when I get home in the evening. And lately, with a hearing coming up, work is busy.

But was lovely. Mr. Pointy Sticks took a number of pictures as we were celebrating (in a quiet way) at my dad's. I'd post one or two except that somehow we all end up looking as though we've escaped from the Home for the Feeble and Homely...I swear, a dopier looking group of people you could not hope to find.

But presents...they stand still and look presentable. So herewith, my favorite presents of the season.

My brother's sweetie gave me this adorable spoon rest...well, I suppose you could also use it as a candy dish or coaster...but I am enjoying having it close by as I cook.

What a perfectly snooty cat.

And my daughter gave me this:

We've all been waiting years for this to come out. In fact, years ago my brother ordered me a copy. But then he heard that Rachel had gotten this for me so he decided to give the copy that would have been mine to Rachel. He said he was feeling a little bad about giving it up but it all worked out because Rachel also gave a copy to him! It was the Year of the Pogo! I'm having great fun reading it.

But the best present? Probably the best present I've ever gotten? Mr. Pointy Sticks gave me this:

The Nook Tablet! I love this thing! I never thought I would be an e-book sort of person. But I kept looking at it when we went into Barnes and Noble and every time I played with it I liked it a little more. And then, on Christmas morning, there it was! Eeeek! And having had it now for almost a month, I can say I am a convert. I've read a couple of books on's fast, light, responsive. And I love the apps...the games, Pandora. I am thinking of trying out Netflix.

Here's it is in its little jacket.

And the last wonderful present? Mr. Pointy Sticks also gave me a gift certificate to The Black Sheep.

And this past Saturday I went up there. I spent the afternoon and I also spent the gift certificate.

And I had fun doing both.

Look at these colors!

I have plans for all of these. I sat at The Black Sheep and looked at patterns on Ravelry (on my Nook because they have wi-fi!) and figured out what I wanted to make. The Noro will be a couple of pairs of mitts. The two Jawolls will be shawlettes. At least, that's the plan at the moment.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Random Thorts

So, I woke up Thursday night (well, Friday morning, actually) and couldn’t really get back to sleep (I think some dozing occurred on and off) what with the hot flashes and the Duncan-wanting-attention and the mouth-like-the-Gobi-Desert (thank you, sinuses, for making me a mouth-breather). So I was thinking about this and that, the way one does, and began thinking about the things I like/do now that I’ve enjoyed/done pretty much all my life. And as it stands now, think I will probably continue to enjoy/do right up until the end.

Number 1 on the list would have to be enjoying that tart, artificial, orange taste that one finds in baby aspirin. I’ve always loved that flavor. When I was little, my brother and I had to take these daily vitamins…they were liquid and came in little brown glass bottle with glass eyedroppers. And every day we had to have an eye-dropper full. I loved those things! (In fact, typing this up and thinking about them is making my salivary glands go into overdrive.) I used to sneak extra dropperfuls whenever I could. My mom knew that I was sneaking extra because she would buy a bottle for me and a bottle for my brother (who I think hated them but will undoubtedly remember their name) and my bottle would empty out in half the time it took his to empty. I also used to sneak baby aspirin, something my mother didn’t know and which rather horrified her when I told her (when I was in my 30’s). I was very careful, though. I knew aspirin was dangerous so I only ever stole the number of tablets that the label assured me was safe. I remember staring at the label and wishing I were old enough to take 4 tablets instead of just 2. I am thrilled now to take my daily baby aspirin!

Number 2? Like my father, I’ve always loved having my hair messed with. Some gentle hair-combing and I am in heaven. When I was little, my Dad would come home from work and sit down with the paper or a book (I remember this most clearly in the second house I lived in) and I would climb up behind him and sit on the back of the sofa with my legs over his shoulders and I would play with his hair. Now, we’re talking a professional 40-ish year old man in the very early ‘60’s. His hair was probably half an inch long. But I would comb it and brush it (I used to love putting his hair brush (which I loved because it was clear, see-through plastic), bristles down, on the top of his head, twirling it and pulling it straight up…I called it making birds’ nests) and no doubt chatter his ears off. I always looked forward to having my own “beauty parlor” sessions when I had a kid. Alas, Rachel had no interest in playing any such games. Guess she didn’t inherit the “please fool with my hair” gene.

For Number 3…for as long as I can remember I’ve used an alphabet game to put myself to sleep at night (yes, I tried it last night…no, it doesn’t always work). I go through the alphabet as follows:

A, my name is Annabelle (or Amelia or Avery or whatever name pops into my mind)
My husband’s name is Adam
We live in Annapolis
And we sell antiques.

B, my name is Bethany
My husband’s name is Bert
We live in Baltimore
And we sell books.

And so on, until:

Z, my name is Zelda
My husband’s name is Zeus
We live in Zanesville
And we sell zebras.

If it’s an exceptionally tough night (like Thursday night), it’ll go like this:

A, my name is Amber
My husband’s name is Alexis
We live in Anaheim
My favorite food is avocado
My favorite color is amethyst
My favorite animal is an anaconda
My favorite flower is the anemone
And we sell ammonia!

I’ve had a couple of nervous habits (biting my nails and twiddling my hair) probably since I’ve had teeth and hair. I can’t say I enjoy them, but I bet I’ll still be twiddling what remains of my hair when I’m drooling in a nursing home.

And I twiddle my feet. When I'm not feeling well, I'll lie down on my side and rub my feet, round and round, against each other. It's soothing. Mr. Pointy Sticks knows that when I'm doing that, I'm really not feeling well.

There's probably more...but I think it's time for bed.