Friday, October 13, 2006

How did it happen?

The incident is so vivid in my memory, I didn't think to explain how it happened or that it wouldn't be apparent to my readers. Rachel pointed this out, so let me clarify:

Cassidy, a 50 lb. mutt with what I think must be some terrier in her, got into the sheep pasture that is spitting distance from our home. She went into the barn, thru the screen door that is not attached to the doorway - it's propped up against the opening - and down the ramp. It had been a windy day and I had forgotten that the door wasn't attached to the doorway.

Cass chased the sheep, and the sheep ran into the pond to get away. The first row boat I hopped in quickly took on water, so I dragged out the second one, which delayed the possible rescue. The two of them swam around until the sheep very quickly became exhausted.

It's the thrill of the chase for Cass. And sheep aren't very smart. We didn't have this problem with the cattle or horses on the ranch.

My home, the sheep, the pasture, the pond, the barn, and the leaky rowboat are owned by my employer. You can imagine the pluses and minuses of those details. The Boss is away, but the under-bosses know; burying a sheep carcass is not a one person job.

Is the story clearer?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


One of my dogs drowned a sheep today.

I am still in disbelief.

Is it fast-acting karma for not knitting in almost eight (8) weeks? For not announcing my conclusions about and winners for RKT #1? For still having over 115 unread items in my blogroll? For not keeping in touch with friends - live, Knitty, and blogville - during this hellacious life transition? For a gajillion other things...


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Color purple

You Are Grape

You are bold and a true individual. You are very different and very okay with that.
People know you as a straight shooter. You're very honest, even when the truth hurts.
You are also very grounded and practical. No one is going to sneak anything by you.
People enjoy your fresh approach to life. And it's this honesty that makes you a very innovative person.
I found this over at Kim's.

RKT #1 contest is now closed

Please be patient while I do the judging. No long weekend for me. It's work, work, work.

Thanks to all who entered!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

RKT #1 contest deadline

Is Friday, 1 September. I will present my conclusions and awards on Sunday, 3 September.

Thanks to everyone who has been adventurous and contributed to RKT #1.

For those who have been too busy knitting or basking in the final days of summer or trying to stay warm in winter, there's still time!

For me, work is in full swing, and very little knitting or much else is happening. That will change soon enough. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Random Knitting Theory #1 = a contest

It's the first theory thrown out on the blog anyway. Or the first one I can recall, and in this heat, it's tough to remember my name.

UPDATE: Revised Random Knitting Theory #1: Any kind of knitter; not continental! Please enter the contest Rachel, Sarah, and Rain!
#1: Successful, continental knitters have a certain kind of hand. I don't think I am going to be able to accurately describe the hand I see. I know it's not mine: I am not a continental knitter, nor do I have nails that naturally grow just past my fingertips.

So, if you think you've got the look (thank you, Sheena Easton), take two pictures: one of your hands; and a knitting action shot. Post them to your blog, along with a response to Random Knitting Theory #1, and leave a comment letting me, and any other interested parties, know to go for a look-see.

Two prizes will be awarded: one for best match to the image of the hand I have in my head; and another for whatever strikes my fancy a.k.a. creativity. Please do keep this a family friendly contest, the menagerie will be assisting with the judging, as will Isabel.

Prizes: a super pretty skein of some super pretty yarn; I have some stash goodies, but just in case a cotton-only hand hero wins, then I'll be ordering up something delish. How's that for vague?!

When I started this post I had no intention of having a contest, so if you have questions, please ask. Just think, if you are the only person who gives it a go, you're automatically a winner!!! Wooo hoooo!

PS: This contest is in honor of Aija. I won some stunning Holz & Stein 2.5 mm ebony dpns in a contest she held. Thanks, Aija! The needles are dreamy. I thought I'd share the love. Not the needles. And I really am interested in testing my theory. (I hope Grumperina doesn't stumble upon this, it's so unscientific.)

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Miss Isabel Reed making her world debut on Thursday, 20 July 2006.

Itsy is fresh out of the oven in this picture with her beaming Auntie.


Monday, July 17, 2006


Finally. I'm posting from "home." Wooo hoooo!!!!

It's a bigillion degrees inside and out. The menagerie and I need to hydrate.

Question for my savvy readers: which do you prefer, Bloglines or NewsGator? Please discuss.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Six things on my mind...

1. I am still packed in boxes. Still not in my apartment. It's close to two (2) months of living boxed up, and its charm has nearly worn off. No, I think it has worn off entirely.

2. The charm may have left when the heat and humidity rolled in.

3. My poison ivy a.k.a. leprosy is new and improved on my right upper arm. It's itchy, weepy, and angry looking.

4. Camera is packed somewhere, hence the never-ending pictureless blog. Painful, I know. My most sincere apologies. I have knit a thing or two.

5. Unable to blog from FNJ or see some blogs properly. Flipping firewall. Note #1, so there's no surfing or blogging from home, which helps contribute to the absence of charm. (I am at my parents' = post possible = three (3) hour drive tomorrow morning beginning at 5 AM.)

6. Thursday is a bionically big day: Charlie's sister is scheduled to enter this world. I will let you know whatever the news may be as soon as I can. I will be at the hospital knitting feverishly, waiting.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Friday, July 07, 2006

Days 1-3 of Fancy New Job

An Ode to Penny Karma

Day One, 5 July 2006:

7 AM: Alarm goes off playing the only radio station I could find that might broadcast NPR. It was "The Early Show". Who knew you could listen to the TV on the radio?

7.10 AM: Take Jerry and Cassidy out for the morning constitutional. On leashes.

7.45 AM: Re-enter apartment thru window. I locked myself out of my really-far-off-the-ground-first-floor-windowed apartment. Thanks to all the watchful faeries for giving me 2nd floor neighbors with a canoe rack, and a canoe that I gently stepped on in order to hoist myself over a sill with a nail that ripped my t-shirt thru the no-screened Shaker window onto my couch.

8.32 AM: Arrive in my office 2 minutes late to the horror of an unlocked door, lights on, and a lovely canvas goodie bag from THE BOSS. How cool! I hope she doesn't know I was late. I have a thing for timeliness in the work place, especially on the first day.

8.35-8.55 AM: Attempt to log onto my work computer. Let's all remember, I attended meetings, etc. at the Fancy New Place in early June; log on has happened before.

8.55 AM: Finally stumble upon system password.

8.55-9.25 AM: Try to log onto Fancy New Job Email. Finally asked colleague, coincidental owner of aforementioned canoe, and discover Not-On-Site-Tech-Guy error, fix said error, and finally get into email program.

Please note: We're not even three full hours into my First Day of FNJ.

4 PM: Go back to unlocked first floor apartment. It's a temporary stay, so nothing is unpacked. There is no phone. No Internet access. No Tour. No World Cup. No Wimbledon. One channel on the TV. No AC. A LOT of humidity, and an active four-year-old living above me. In this historic Shaker building it's as though that loud little cherub lives with me, as well as the four other members of his canoe-owning family.

5 PM: Let Jerry out to meet larger-than-Jerry upstairs neighbor dog. Cassidy met him earlier, so I kept her on leash. Neighbor dog attacks Jerry. Repeatedly. Jerry goes back into the hallway, trying to get back into the apartment, neighbor dog corners him in hallway.

9.30 PM: Make great progress on my niece-to-be's MDK Kimono during "So You Think You Can Dance". Run out of yarn four (4) rows shy of cast off.

Day Two:

Highlight: Dare to check my Bloglines.

Lowlights: FNJ has a firewall that blocks photos and posting abilities on Blogspot. The same firewall blocked me from checking the standings of Le Tour. Left ear swollen to near elephant size. Bug bite, I think. Either that, or it's poison ivy, which I have on various other parts of my body. On my right arm it looks like leprosy at this point.

Day Three: FNJ Retreat, 8.30 - 2 PM.

8.07 AM: Wake up. I forgot to turn on alarm.

8.33 AM: Arrive at THE BOSSES' HOUSE a.k.a. retreat location. Three minutes late, but three others out of six total were later. Whew.

11.30 PM: My ear is a little smaller, and I am at my parents' writing this post. Thankfully, the three (3) hour drive was uneventful. I've successfully ordered more Kimono yarn.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Volcano's Mom

J thinks I need a new knitting bag. One that doesn't smell like l'eau de puke.

A little washing, a little air, lots of time, and the knitting bag smells fresh as air a.k.a. not puke.

No need for a new knitting bag, Jules.


Can you all encourage her to trust me, please?


Friday, June 16, 2006

Chocolate Volcano

During my last post, my dear, sweet friend, Tif, had taken over the care of J's 5 year old. My single compatriot told me, when I asked if James should be eating all those M&Ms, that that's the fun of hanging out with Auntie Tif, M&Ms and soda!

I wrapped up my brief blog entry from the Business Center of a lovely Courtyard Marriott, and off we went to figure out laundry and then lunch. All with James in tow.

We left James' Mom to sleep, or look after one of her other two children, ages 8 months and 3 years, found pregnant-Kath, and went out to lunch. Three adults and one child.

After much discussion and reflection, we decided to go to a restaurant the three of us used to frequent when we were in high school (this is boarding school, folks, and frequent is a relative term). It's a quaint little place with yummy sandwiches, and Tiffy bet it all that they would have PB&J for James. He wanted grilled cheese, and that's what he got.

La, la, la, ordering happens, drinks arrive - lemonade for James, soda and water for us, some potato skins (keep in mind, Tif and I are slightly hung over, Kath is pregnant, and battling fatigue - so we battle with food), and James declares: My tummy hurts.

In Tif's infinite wisdom, she asks James to come over and sit on her lap. We ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom (Kath-mommy-of 3.25-brilliance), but no. He says: I need to go home right now, my tummy really hurts.

There is a small, wet chirp, and then the volcano strikes! James, Tif, and our just-served-lunch are covered in chocolate vomit, along with my purse/knitting bag.

Paralyzing laughter ensues. Yes, that's how us strong, brilliant women react when faced with such trying circumstances.

The upshot: James felt much better. When Tif asked him in the bathroom if he thought he had to throw up any more, he replied: No! Did you see how much I threw up on you?! Tif drove the rental back to the Courtyard in her thong. I got to ride next to the volcano, and there was lots of laughter from all, including James.

PS: The knitting was fine. The bag smells like puke; I spent most of my time gingerly scrubbing the choco-puke off my new copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting. Thank goodness for disposable dust jackets.

Friday, June 09, 2006


We are not in our twentys anymore.

Last night, the five (5) of us began celebrating our 20th high school reunion. J, the mother of three, is "in trouble" this morning. She's napping right now.

We are not in our twentys anymore.

Knitting content: I managed to knit a little a few days ago - Mason-Dixon linen dish towel, here I come. In lovely crabapple.

Moving content: Movers delivered, stuff in NY. I'm in MA, RI tomorrow. The menagerie is surviving: all five (5) are currently with Mimi and Papa. Brave, strong parents, I have.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Houston, the Eagle has landed

and so has the menagerie.

The Grande Dame of the brood, Georgie, my first dog, and RI resident (read: she was commandeered by my Mother when I moved to Colorado four (4) years ago), who is at least thirteen (13) years old, survived surgery today: the removal of a small orange-sized oozing cyst-tumor-thingy. It's being biopsied. The vet couldn't get it all. It was like the Energizer Bunny, she reported.

Being home prior to the possible life-ending surgery was the goal, and we achieved it. All six (6) of us arrived in southern RI at 9.22 PM on Monday evening, Memorial Day.

Whew. What a ride.


Happy birthday to my dear sister.


Edited to add: My folks place is about three (3) hours from where I will live. The movers will most likely deliver my stuff on Sunday, June 4. I have new job meetings June 6, 7, 8; 20th high school reunion June 9-11.

The journey is not over yet.

Final point of reference: full-time, fancy new job begins officially on Wednesday, July 5.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Mizzou mile marker 225

a.k.a. just outside of St. Louis, and yes, I'm blogging from the passenger seat. Technology is amazing. Particularly since I had no idea you could connect to the internet via some kind of Sprint card for a flat monthly fee. Thanks for bringing the card along, Dad.

Jerry, Cassidy, and Maxy are all doing quite well with the travel. Abby is too, in the car. She did a runner out of the motel room - not sure if Dad was trying to give us more space in the car, or the wind did actually blow the door open, but thankfully, and incredibly, Abbs ran into a room several doors down. Whew.

I'd like to hit southern RI sometime tomorrow night. My father, the co-pilot, is not so optimistic.

I'll keep you posted. And more about the movers at a future date.

Oh, so far, not a stitch knit. We're a little cramped in here, so I haven't braved it just yet. I'm afraid I'll just get going and some pet something will happen, and yarn and/or needes will be everywhere. Perhaps I'll give it a go tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

15 and a half hours

I have 15.5 hours to compress my three (3) bedroom ranch into brown cartons for the movers. They are movers, not packers and movers.

It's amazing:
1. how much crap I have
2. how much clothing I have accumulated spanning sizes 6 to 12. I wish I was still a size 6.
3. how people who collect chachki move. Blessedly, I collect yarn, not knick knacks.
4. how miffed Max is about all this.
5. how I have moved well over twenty times in my life, and I still hate packing.
6. how as a result, I leave it to the last 15.5 hours.

Let's hope I find some kind of box for my TV.
Thankfully, my fiberglass sea kayak is already on the East coast.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Felicia's Cinco de Mayo

Check out my Anaheim Angel's Cinco de Mayo sockapalOOOza celebration for me!

See those three (3) hockey-puck shaped goodies wrapped in yellow? They are heaven. Ibarra chocolate from Mexico. My sock goddess, Felicia, is Hispanic, and sent them along as a representative tasty treat. They have a hint of cinnamon, and are divine.
I've been wearing my new visor on and off all day, despite the clouds. And I have new sniffs should the sun not return for days.

Look at how well these socks fit! Felicia, are you sure you're a beginner? There are perfect baby cables, and blues, such glorious blues, in the socks!

Those are my very happy, and incredibly thankful feet. Thank you, Felicia from Anaheim! You are a most talented, generous, and thoughtful sock pal! I adore my socks!

Happy Cinco de Mayo, Felicia!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Pointed Research

Did you know that some US 6 needles are 4.0 mm and some are 4.25 mm?

Yes, it's true. Clover circular identifies US 6s as 4.25 mm, while Skacel Addi and Bryspun identify US 6s as 4.0 mm.

Did you know it's safer to go with the mm size on Addi Turbos because their US sizing can be off?

Yes, it's true too.

How did you learn that real knitters use the metric system? Please share.

Impetus for learning, and above link, courtesy of email exchange with Wendy B. regarding my Fad-Classic swatch.
I hope she doesn't think I'm a total neophyte.

Sunday, April 30, 2006


Ms. Worsted really, no, tragically underestimated how long it would take to knit up luscious Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock on size 1 needles for her large-footed sock pal. Ms. W is also finding it tough to do weekend power-knitting, hours at a time, on the aforementioned bamboo BBQ skewers. She's thru the gusset on sock #1, but has 6.5 more inches to go before the toe. In addition, Ms. Worst may be further damaging her eye sight. And straining her right hand - the need to knit tightly = grasp the dental floss tightly = owie hand for the thrower.

So a break is in order.

Let's hop in the way-way-back time machine to last Monday, April 24th. That's the day I could finally unfurl my brow, breathe more deeply, and truly relax. Well, that's the day I got the hint of sure-fire change: I was offered a job.

I accepted said job on Tuesday afternoon, and have been letting the realization settle in. It takes time to grasp that the three (3) month-long search is over; I will have a way to continue to feed the menagerie, me, and my yarn habit; put a roof over our heads; and an engaging promotion with kind, respectful, thoughtful colleagues: all in the great State of New York.

Now it's time to think about packing up the pets and the books and the stash. I must be at the new job in New York (TNJINY) for June 6, 7, 8; with an official full-time start-date of July 5th. There's my 20th high school reunion mixed into early June I must get prepared. I must get knitting.

As a break from my gargantuan, slow-going socks, I'm swatching for Fad-Classic in Hot Pink (3459). I'm loving every yarn pink right now, which is so not me, but it's Fad-Classic, so I thought I'd be OK.

Still no color decision made for Ali, but in my fantasy world, I finish it for my reunion.

I purchased some Euroflax Originals. That Mason-Dixon book makes me want to knit dishrags, hand towels, a night gown and matching bathrobe, bathroom rugs, and queen-sized blankets. I thought I'd start small, a linen hand towel or two.

All the yarn mentioned above was purchased as a pressie for me, for TNJINY. Yeah me!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Progress in Hyde Park

As the flowers begin to bloom, the grass greens, and young women start wearing less, usually some form of a fashion don't, I thought I'd share my tweedy green that is fit for another season.

A raglan seam

See those two holes? Those are in the armpit. I picked up five stitches, see the pattern continuity? Did I do something wrong to achieve those holes - the one on the right clearly larger than the left. Or is that "typical" and I will just sew them closed?

It's my rendition of Elizabeth Morrison's Hyde Park Pullover in Tahki Donegal Tweed from my stash. Stash usage: I'm so proud.

Tour de Georgia update: Popo pulls it out for the boys in blue in Stage 2!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spring flowers

Colors bright and bold against a burning landscape. Thirty (30) mph wind gusts + a grass fire = closed roads, evacuated businesses, and a clouded view out my front window. Fire is so powerful; I hope it's under control soon.

A comparatively frivolous question for each of you:

What colors would you choose for creating a spring & summertime Ali? I have nine (9) different colors of Knit Picks Shine Worsted.

Here are your choices for the main bag (in other words, I have three (3) skeins of each color):

Bachelor Button
Green Apple

Pocket color choices (including those not selected above; I have two (2) skeins of each color):

Reef (this is a teal greenish color)
Wisteria (this color can look remarkably like gray often)

Please share your ideas. I'm stuck.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Just as I was starting to get back into the groove, I'm off on an unexpected business trip. I'll be back Sunday. The menagerie is close to wilding: this is the fourth trip back east in six weeks.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Happy Passover, Easter, Daylight Savings Time, Spring, flea, tick and heartworm season...

Monday, April 10, 2006


Yes, I've been trapped under a very heavy object. I've managed little knitting, and absosmurfly no photography for my blog, so there's been no posting. *Sigh*

I finished the original three month Stashalong, and promptly bought some yarn, which rolled in today. As I said, no pictures, but some links.

I want a fun Spring purse, so I purchased the Queen Designer of Handknit Bags' pattern, Ali. The ensuing personal challenge of yarn substitution occurred, and finally, after much surfing and searching, settled, with little thought to gauge, on Knit Picks Shine Worsted. Since Knit Picks doesn't have sample cards for the Shine Worsted yet, and I had been stashing-a-long, I went a little crazy. Nine (9) different colors kind of crazy*.

I must admit that I am slightly color-choice handicapped. Like many of us, I gravitate to a particular color family - the blues - but am capable of branching out occasionally. But when a pattern calls for several colors in the same knitted object, I panic. Or choose what the designer has chosen, if I like it - then I know what the outcome will be.

Not this time. This time I have nine (9) colors to put together and choose from. Maybe it will be a bag for Fall.

My other yarn came zooming at me from East Bridgewater, MA, the home of kpixie. (No, we will not take the time to reflect on the relationship of these two companies. I'll leave that to spicier bloggers, you know who they are.) It is the glorious Blue Sky Alpacas: Cotton in Thistle. It's gorgeous! And it will eventually make its way into the shape of Something Red by the ever-stylish Miss Wendy B.

And just so you all don't think I'm ignoring the other brilliant TGB designer, I am almost done with the body of the Hyde Park Pullover. And I'm coincidentally in style because it's green.

Let's not forget those sockapalOOOZa socks that must get done by May 1st.

*Neither my work nor my home monitor accurately represent Knit Picks colors.

To all of you who left words of support and kindness about Charlie, or simply thought them: a most sincere and heartfelt thanks. Truly.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I am intrigued by the way the seasons influence an instant, I can be transported back to March 22, 2005, for no apparent reason. Or perhaps, right now, because it was a profoundly emotional time.

There were the highs of a love so bright, only an innocent could inspire it. And a loss, so wrenching, it leaves emotional paralysis, and a chasm filled with anxiousness, and sadness, and confusion.

I honor my nephew's short life. He teaches me about strength, love, and human relationships.

Charlie's mother, my sister, is brave. Fearlessly brave.

Charlie's sister is expected to join us, here on earth, in late July. I hope she stays longer than Charlie. But if she doesn't, she'll be with him. I can rest easy with that thought.

me & my angel

Charles Marshall

born 3 March 2005

died 23 March 2005

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Animals in cages rarely, if ever, experience silence. Unfortunately.

Finally, a somewhat quiet moment (if Cassidy barking at every-living-prairie-thing-under-the-full-moon as background noise doesn't count as noise) to share what should be a few great photographs of me in the Gibbon area of the Monkey Pavilion at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. And a shot of the one-handed adorable, tricky, smacking-unsuspecting-teenagers, monkey that I cannot locate on their website or I would link to him. And Google Images is not helping either.

I would post pictures of me cleaning kennels at the Humane Society today, and successfully leaving the building after seven (7) hours there w i t h o u t another animal.

Let's review: Maxalicious is from the Humane Society; Cassidy is a rescue from a no-kill group that leases space from PetSmart (prior to my running into Cass in a cage in the middle of an aisle of PetSmart, I had no idea PetSmart had cats and dogs you can pay for and take home. What an epiphany I revisit everyday!); Jerry was a stray, who was on my lawn one morning when I opened the door to leave for work, who then jumped in my truck, and just wouldn't leave, thankfully; and lastly, my little lovebug, Abby, came from a family who moved to Australia, and my boss volunteered me to take her - assuring me that if it didn't work out, he'd take her - and despite frequent, lengthy camping trips, either she finds her way back home, or I collect her from a nearby house that she enjoys visiting (yes, cats will hang out at your house if you feed them food, treats, milk, and run the dryer so the vent will keep her warm, but that's a fact overlooked by Abby's friends.)

But really, the point of this post is to tell you that I will post pictures tomorrow of the amazing giftys I received from my Cheapy Secret Pal today. SHE RULES!!!! THANK YOU, ERIN!!!! The package couldn't have been better timed. Truly. The chocolate helped me through some yucky law stuff I spent some time taking care of late this afternoon...the cards are perfect. The loofah mitt - ah! You knit it, right? Splendid! Yummy! Thank you!

I LOVE MY SP!!!! And so does the menagerie!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

There is life here

It's just moving along at what feels like a frantic pace. A respite is in sight: next Friday afternoon, St. Patrick's Day, I will be free of the five teenagers I am spending the next week with. I will finally be able to breathe.

Since my comment query, I have been to Boston, MA, Hartford, CT, New London, CT, South County, RI, Chicago, IL, Colorado Springs, CO, Denver CO, with lots of work, and smiling, and nodding, and selling in between. And now I've rolled right into a week-long experiential education program with five adolescents.

So there's been no knitting (OK, that's not true, there was airplane knitting which lead to ripping out six (6) Cozy inches, and several rows of Hyde Park tinking that I'm dreading - so there's been negative knitting.), clearly no blogging, and very little blog cruising and commenting.

The jury is still out on the comment feature, but for those of you that may have revisited my last posts comments, you'll see a real need for me to accurately know who is commenting.

An ex-boyfriend had a lovely dog named Wendy. I never knew how popular a name it really is. I know, if reading and spamming their blog counts as knowing, four human Wendys. One Wendy I actually worked with and never spammed. She got to talk to me every day. The joy!

Meet Jerry:

He was trying to tell me something. Most likely, get away from all electronic items, and take me for a walk.

Off to meet a zookeeper.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A secretarial question

For my dear, loyal readers:

Why are Areli and Elizabeth the only commenters (it's a close relative of slickeriness) whose comments, when automatically forwarded to my email Inbox, contain a reply-to address?

I want to be able to reply to each of you, and I know I rarely revisit comments I've left to see if the blogger has responded, so I guess others may be the same way. So then I would have to go to the commenter's profile, find their blog, and leave an unrelated comment on their blog. Seems awkward, no?

Is this problem solved by using HaloScan? Or another way to phrase it, is this why many folks use HaloScan? Or, why do some bloggers use HaloScan?

I want to be a good, responsive blogger, what to do, my readers, lurkers, fans?

Please leave a comment. I will respond.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Glittering Gold

My Olympic Project,
shining in the warm Colorado sun

Gently moving with the cool breeze

(notice the famous Clap curled edge, despite blocking)

Nestled in the birches

It was a close race, I saved much of it for Saturday and Sunday, but victory was mine.
Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: No No Kitty Yarns Monty Wool, colourway "Snow Day"
Needles: Size 7 US Addi turbos
Pattern modifications: I added two (2) extra repeats in the straight section, and it's just long enough.
Thoughts & Reflections on the pattern and the Olympic process: I prefer long wraps, so if I had it to do over, I'd make it longer and wider. I would also use a worsted weight, silk blend, as the designer suggests, for weight, drape and slickeriness (yes, that's a real word.).
The pattern was much easier than I thought it would be. A blessing. I don't like knitting to deadlines.
I'm pleased and proud to be a medalist.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I've hit the wall

Ok, I hit the wall on several days ago. No Olympic knitting so far this week. And it's Thursday night - blogging rather than knitting. Yes, you read it right. No Olympic knitting this week. Not that much knitting at all this week. And what knitting I did manage, I just ripped out. Or the sweet way of saying it: I frogged it.

What's it? It is this: (yes, I nicked the pic from zib's blog. Thank you, zib.)

Elizabeth's Hyde Park Pullover

It's the ultimate Stashalong project for me - a pattern that I can use the Donegal Tweed I have had for y e a r s. About six (6) months ago, it was a 75% completed to-be-felted bag from Knitter's Stash. I decided I would never use it and could someday use the yarn for something else. Elizabeth brought me that something. The to-be-comfy Hyde Park Pullover.

So I immediately abandoned my Olympic knitting to make a gauge - OK, I made several, that's another post - and cast on. Yeah, well, I botched the broken rib (not mistake rib, as previously posted, and very ironic. Is it ironic? Is that the word I want?) pattern by over-thinking it while increasing, just on one row, and further botched it by trying to drop stitches to the row that needed fixing. So rip.

And that's been my CRANKY knitting week. Oh, I was sick with a stomach bug on Monday, which was a work day for me. Instead, I languished uncomfortably near the bathroom. Perhaps that's what has set the delightful tone.

I'm feeling better, just cranky.

If you're in the final days of your Olympic quest, keep the faith. For those that have bowed out of the competition, you are a true hero for even trying.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Obligatory Olympic update

Clapotis in progress

There she is in all her glory...

According to Miss Tangerine on the right, it's 10F outside, hence the office window picture. Here in the Banana Belt, we're used to warmer weather and snow that lasts about 2 hours. We're well into the 36-hour time frame and its charm has worn off.

Looks like I'll be busy this weekend, only five (5) stitches dropped so far.

My color commentary for the event thus far: Last night, I was watching boardercross (please, just call it that, not snowboard cross, how cumbersome), turned to purl a row, purled three (3) stitches and I saw it. Crap! I dropped a stitch! So I tinked back to the knit side, started picking up the stitch, and then remembered what the *F* I was knitting - a drop stitch wrap. I laughed at myself, then grew concerned about early-onset Alzheimer's.

No, really. It's a true story.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This and that...

A few mid-week details to share:

As you may know, I have chosen to knit the ever-popular Clapotis by Kate Gilbert for the Olympics. My fiber choice is Monty Wool dyed by Danielle, the former No No Kitty Yarn guru, in the colourway "Snow Day." The colors actually make me think of spring, so I'm enjoying it in this dreary February.

I have not done any Olympic knitting in two days. Not sure what that's about, but I'll be knitting tonight. Yes. Tonight.

Thus far, however, I have learned a little more about swatching. I mentioned earlier that I swatched four (4) times. Torture? No. Learning? But, of course. Mostly, don't be a novice swatcher and watch a CSI episode while swatching. You may not read the yarn label, even though you know it's not worsted weight and that's what the pattern calls for; you may forget which way to go with the size of your needles; you may not write down your measurements, thereby forcing you to re-knit a swatch with size 7 US needles, your final choice for the project; and you may stay up way too late. But I swatched. :: pat, pat, pat on my back ::

I have dropped three (3) stitches so far, and barring the fighting I'm doing with the 100% wool - let go of one another! - it's going along well.

In Stashalong news, yesterday was a free day. I took advantage of it to prepare for my March knitalong. Please notice the new button to the right - the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket Knitalong. It's another Kate Gilbert pattern from Interweave Knits Winter 2005, and will by my first sweater that I will finish, meaning sew together myself. Whoa. I chose to purchase 12 skeins of Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK. It is cheaper than the Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK the pattern calls for, and machine washable, a fine quality for someone like me and my hairy, dirty family. Since ordering yarn online without sample cards has always proven an adventure for me, I'm looking forward to its arrival. I chose the colourway buddleia, and, yes, I purchased an extra skein or two, just in case.

In sockapalOOOza news, yup, a sock exchange, I have purchased and received the yarn for my sock pal. It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. It is SOOOOOOoooooooo soft. I'm excited to knit with it. Nervous to make socks since I haven't made any in years, and back then it was only one (1) pair, I believe. A nice pair for Dad, but it was so long ago, it's like I never made them. I was smart enough to put myself in the beginner group, so I have that going for me - lower expectations. I hope.

Lastly, I'd like to thank Elizabeth for her fair isle color choice guidance as I dream about a future project (see fuzzy-picture-I-could-not-defuzz below). I love the shape and design of this sweater, particularly the neck shaping. LOVE IT. But I look almost-dead/viciously hungover in gray, so I put the query out to the Knittyheads about changing colors. Miss Elizabeth responded promptly and brilliantly...and most importantly, she said, don't make a sweater in a color that "doesn't suit" me. I won't.

That's what's knews around here. Keep on keepin' on, Olympians!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My sweet Angel Valentine

Charles Marshall, swaddled in handknit auntie lovin'
Sweetness and light he is.
My love.
My angel-nephew.
My Charlie.
He'll always be my true Valentine.
I miss him.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Yes, there are horses in Ireland

Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf designed by Adrian of Hello Yarn
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Indigo; 98 yds per skein, 2.75 skeins used
Needles: Size 8 US Lantern Moon in Ebony
Finished measurements: 48" long by 5" wide

This one's for the Big D. He does not wrap scarves around his neck, so I did not need to make it very long. Dad chose the color over the phone - a man after my own heart with his love for dark blues.

Due to scheduling conflicts with my model, and my promise of back to back posts, I apologize for the absence of action shots.

Perhaps you can notice in the close-up photograph some light colored fiber that contributes to a subtle halo. Can you see it? They are very fine. They are delicate fibers from the stunning and rare Cassidy-beast, as well as Maxalicious, Abbini, and the precious tail fiber of Jerry.

What a truly special treat for my dear, pet-loving Dad.

Olympic update: No knitting last night. I'm tapering before tomorrow's big opener. I will be going to bed early and carbo-loading tomorrow morning.

Best of luck to all the athletes!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Notice those satellite dishes

My little mink has parked those ears of hers on my mother's Bobblicious every night for at least four weeks now.

"Who, me?" She says.

You'll notice Miss Abby is also sleeping in traffic: knitting traffic. The orange binder contains printed copies of assorted Knitty patterns I'm working on, or hope to be working on some time soon (soon = before 2008).

Laptop to cruise Knitty and my favorite blogs and job search sites. (Dear Cassidy & Laptop Fairy, please stop taking the keys away - I don't have the keyboard memorized, so missing letters makes cruising, commenting, and posting hard. Thank you.)

Red plaid pouch is an attempt to corral knitting tools, but the scissors, stitch markers, ruler, and pencil are all under my precious petite feline.

Plastic bag filled with yarn purchased by Ms. D from Sakonnet Purls for a scarf she's commissioned me to do. They will match her green snake-skin cowboy boots.

And the light blue, peach, and brown lump is my Manos afghan that I completed for my Master Work in 2002. Yup, a knitted afghan for my Masters degree. Great program. Great afghan. Manos not so great for extended blankie use. But that doesn't bother Abby.


Stay tuned. I will seam Abby's Wool-Ease Thick and Quick dream. And tomorrow I'll unveil Dad's Irish Hiking Scarf. That's back to back posts, folks. Hang on to your hats.

In Olympic training news...I knit FOUR different gauges last night. That should say it all. I didn't get gauge, but I'm persevering. That's what Olympic athletes do. And I'm going to do it performance enhancers-free. Wish me luck with my Clapotis.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Because I'm so cutting edge...

...and have been far too busy this week to form fresh sentences or find a few moments to knit.

word cloud

Make your own word cloud.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Tagged, huh.

I thought to tag was this, but I guess it's this, and I've been tagged. So I'll do my best, but just thinking about my favorite anything causes me paralysis and shortness of breath, so if I don't get thru it, it's cause I've hit the deck. No, not this kind of deck. This kind.

Four jobs you've had:
Professional sea kayak instructor
English teacher
School Counselor

Four movies you can (and have) watched over and over:
Tommy Boy
Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (if that's part IIs title)
Star Wars
Any Steven Seagal flick

Four TV shows you love to watch:
CSI: New York
Prison Break, but since that's not on right now, I'll say NCIS (I went to high school with Tony DiNozo a.k.a. Michael Weatherly. Gotta support my peeps. OK, who am I kidding with that sentence?)

Four Places you've lived...variety is the spice of life:
Beloit, WI
Wolfeboro, NH
Albuquerque, NM
New York, New York

Four Places you've been on vacation:
Baja, Mexico
Sarasota, FL
Prince William Sound, AK
Santa Fe, NM

Four websites you visit daily...are you noticing the job hunt?:
Zibibbo Is Good -- A shout out to Monkee. I don't want you think I'm slacking on my fanhood!

Four of your favorite foods...bring on the comfort foods right now!:
French fries
Homemade lemon poppyseed bread
Macaroni & cheese

Four places I'd rather be right now...than at work, you mean?:
Tucked into bed in freshly clean sheets after a long, hot shower
in WEBS, so I can see what all the hype is about
with my pets and friends Nick & Elsa in Santa Fe


There's a whole lotta pressure with tagging someone else, so can I skip that and not get naughty blogger points? Hope so.

And cause every post should have a something to look at, here's The Wingnut. Why the crap blurry photo you ask, and are frankly a little annoyed about? Because she does not stop moving, EVER. OK, that's not entirely true. 20% of the time she's in a light, teeth-grinding coma, but 80% of her day is spent being very, very busy. Very busy throwing her stuffed lobster around (how else am I gonna teach her she's a displaced New Englander?). Then chasing Max. Or Abby. Or both of them. Flytackling Jerry. Using her talons to get my attention. Back to the lobster. Or the elf. More barking, protecting us from coyotes. Bark. Drink lots of water. Nibble. Sit for a cookie. Try to eat it before Jerry the Alpha comes over. Eventually pass out next to the human who's on the stinkin' computer or using those tasty ebony sticks...ah, the life of Cassidy. (And before you start assuming I'm some big Dead Head, she came with that name.)

In Stashalong news: I'm still staying strong, and I will finish the damn seam on Bobblicious this weekend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Edgar at the base of Mt. Princeton

Edgar designed by Silke Hupka
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, I don't know which color; 1 skein used - it's 2 repeats longer than the cravat in the pattern, if I recall correctly. I wanted to use as much of the skein as possible. And I did.
Needles: Size 8 US addi turbos
Finished measurements prior to blocking: 4 inches wide by 39 inches long

Edgar is a handsome scarf, and a fun knit. I learned how to do a cable cast on, which is exciting! And I really enjoyed watching the Silk Garden color progression. This was my first project with Silk Garden, and I really like it. I will have to block the scarf and see if I still like it afterwards, particularly since I didn't do a gauge swatch.

Edgar was originally slated for my Dad, but it's a bit too flashy for him, so I have started an Irish Hiking Scarf for him instead.

I had a lot of fun trying to take quality pictures of Edgar in between sessions with day I will not take pictures under duress. Edgar is pictured here just outside of Buena Vista, Colorado, at the base of Mt. Princeton's chalk cliffs, at about 9000 feet, on a typical crystal clear day.

Below, two other pics I just couldn't leave out. Thanks to Jen for tolerating her first model shoot.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Elegant Ella...

Modeled by the lovely Miss Diane is...
Ella designed by Wendy Wonnacott
Yarn: Four Play by Brooks Farm Yarns in Golden Splendor 2; 270 yds per skein, 3 skeins used
Needles: Size 10 US Clover bamboo circular
Finished measurements taken after a full day of wear: Panel width: 16 inches wide
Outer tip to center bottom: 50 inches

The measurements are a bit larger than Wendy's Ella. There may be several reasons for this:
1. My gauge may have been slightly off - totally possible given my well known gauge handicap.
2. I took the measurements after a full day of wear. The yarn certainly looks more stretched out than it did this morning.
3. I may have blocked it a little too zealously. As I look at the close up picture, I notice white between the stitches. I am a complete rookie blocker.
And it could be a combination of all 3.
Please feel free to share your thoughts with me. I'd appreciate it.

I really enjoyed knitting with the Four Play - it's soft, with a subtle sheen. I think it's the first silk blend I have worked with, and I will definitely work with it again. Another Ella even. The pattern requires concentration, but it's such a cool looking pattern that it was worth it. And really not too difficult.

And this, I believe, I will keep. For me.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Glorious Gioia!

I am thrilled to present:

Gioia designed by Wendy Wonnacott for The Garter Belt
modeled by the ever-lovely Miss Paula, whose matching shirt was a delightful coincidence

Yarn: 100% Merino wool, handpainted by Malabrigo in Lime blue; 215 yds per skein, less than 1 skein used
Needles: Size 11 bamboo
Finished measurements: 22 inches wide by 30 inches long

I churned this little beauty out over the weekend. The pattern showcases the handpainted yarn quite well...Miss Paula was hesitant to return her after the quick photo shoot.

My one reflection on this project is that if you're a tightish knitter like me, don't use crap round tipped bamboo needles - it made for challenging stitch work at times...otherwise, the pattern is a gem, and the Malabrigo unspeakably soft...just dreamy...

I will most likely send this to Gramma - to help stave off the raging AC in Florida. Doesn't every almost-93-year-old deserve soft, hand-knitted fabric around their neck?