Sep 30, 2008

Past, Present and the New Year

DSC_0053Happy New Year. It's ironic that I should be celebrating the Jewish New Year and the first anniversary of my father's passing on the same day. The day is both hard and hopeful.

The first months were the hardest. Every quiet moment - in my car, in my office, walking down the street - was filled with the sights and sounds and the overwhelming feelings of the night I found my dad. I could hear the home alarm ringing in my ears, see the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles, and feel the chill as reality washed over me. Thankfully those days are mostly behind me but occasionally those feelings come back and overwhelm me again and bring me to my knees. Although the worst is behind me I still think of my dad every day and I miss him terribly.

Holidays are the worst. Preparing a festive meal in my kitchen I'll often look over at the chair he used to sit in and wish that he was still there, quizzing me on the menu, the guest list and my choice of equipment. Sometimes he'd peel apples or carrots or help in some other way but he'd always be there and I still expect him to come and take his place.

DSC_0054I never would've described us as close so I never imagined how much his absence would hurt. As I thought about things I realized that what I miss most is my dad's curiosity. He found all kinds of things fascinating - politics, new roads, everything. Every day I see stuff and I know that my dad would've thought it was neat even if nobody else did.

It's the certainty that I have that I know exactly how he'd react to things that made me realize that we were closer than I ever realized. When the guys were cutting down the trees next door I knew that he'd think it was so cool. He'd want to watch and see exactly how they did it. He'd be really happy that Hillary didn't get the Democratic nomination. The recent hurricane here would've been the source of mant reports from him.

I found this picture of my dad recently. It was taken in his house when it was still under construction. Construction was yet another thing that fascinated him and watching his own home being built was like having his own personal edition of This Old House. He loved every minute of it. I'd like to remember of him just like this. Standing in his home, wearing a sweater that my grandmother made for him and fascinated with what he saw.

I took it for granted that he'd be here to share so many more things with us. I regret that now. I should've appreciated the time we had more but that's the way it always is.

Today I'll celebrate the New Year and I'll look forward to all of the good things ahead. I just wish that my dad was still here to share them.

Sep 29, 2008

2008 National Book Festival

Saturday was rainy and the National Mall was a soggy mess but that didn't stop thousands of folks from turning out to hear their favorite authors at the National Book Festival. Nothing can stop the book lovers! Despite the weather we had a great time. We heard many authors that day and they were all wonderful speakers.

Lynda Bird Johnson RobbMarc Brown appeared with Judy Sierra. They were supposed to be talking about their new collaboration, Born to Read. They did read it aloud and it was a really cute book but it wasn't the focus of the discussion. You can't put the author of the Arthur books up there and not expect that the kids would want to ask lots of questions about their favorite aardvark.

Some of the speakers really surprised us. Lynda Bird Johnson Robb spoke as part of a panel of writers who contributed to the book Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.Tiki Barber She was told about moving into the White House and expecting to find a room filled with antiques that instead contained her furniture from home. She described her quest to find out who'd slept in her room before here and regretting it (among other things, Lincoln's autopsy was done there). It was an unexpected perspective and we were all fascinated.

We were also surprised by Tiki Barber, a former NFL player who writes childrens books now. He stressed the importance of education and family and I'm sure that his presentation had a positive effect on all of us but none as much as a boy named Daniel. This boy asked Tiki to autograph his book before he spoke and got moer than he bargained for. Tiki asked him to read a chapter from the book on stage before he autographed it.

Jon ScieszkaJon Scieszka wrote The True Story of The Three Little Pigs and other books. He was made us all laugh with stories from Knuckleheads, his newest book. He grew up with 5 brothers and the tales he told made us all wonder how his mother survived them. After hearing him speak, swordfighting will never again have the same meaning for my girls. (6 brothers on a bathroom break)

Warren BrownOne of the writers that we really wanted to hear was Warren Brown. He's a cake baker and the author of a new book called Cake Love. He was fascinating and told us all about how he went from being a government lawyer to the owner of 7 successful cake shops. His description of perfecting his cake baking method was fascinating. He attacked it using his legal research skills - identifying books that he liked and then seeing who they listed as references. As a legal reasearcher I just loved that.

Katherine PatersonThe highlight of the day was this lady. This is Katherine Paterson, the author of my favorite book ever - Bridge to Terabithia. She was also part of the panel who contributed to Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. She seemed truly surprised at all of the girls - young and old - who greeted her like a rock star. I love that her books are as well received today as they were when I was young. DQ & I both got our books sighned and we got a picture with her. It was fabulous.

It's totally cliche (especially given the weather that day) but the National Book Festival prooves that even dark clouds have silver linings. This wonderful event was created by Laura Bush so it's future is in doubt now that W is finally going home. I really hope that the Library of Congress keeps it going. I read somewhere that in it's first year only 30,000 people attended but last year the number had swelled to over 120,000. Let's hope that the festival keeps going and the numbers keep growing. We need to celebrate reading more.

Sep 26, 2008

My DC - Week 31

It''s a stormy day here in the city today but here's a picture that I took on a bright, clear spring day many months ago. The statue stands in the middle of Thomas Circle which is just a quick walk from my office. It's of George Henry Thomas.
I've been up there to take pictures often because I want to get them just right.


I've been up there to take pictures often because I want to get them just right. There are 2 churches and this is one of them.


I go up there with my camera and I walk around and around trying to get just the right angle. I'm still not satisfied with the pictures I have of the other chruch. It's a gorgeous brick building so I've really got to get that one right.


Sep 25, 2008


It's lovely having a child with big enough feet to model my finished socks but it's so hard to coordinate our schedules to fit in photo shoots. Thankfully we were finally able to fit it in last night.

These are a pair of modified Widdershins made with yarn from the Flock Bransonas. I wanted to try this pattern because I'm a toe-up kind of girl and, although short row heels are fine, I wanted to check out the alternatives. I'm happy I explored this but I suspect that I'll still be more likely to stick with a short row heel. For me it's just a no-brainer. A short row heel is one that I can do anywhere without much math or contemplation.

I knit the pattern mostly as written but I added a little mock cable up the back of the socks for fun. Sadly the cables don't show up well in these pictures but maybe I'll try it again with different, less colorful, yarn.

These socks fit pretty well and I'm happy with them but they do offer some lessons for me with respect to yarn choice. I can recall buying this yarn and I know that my consideration didn't go much beyond "ooh pretty" coupled with a glance at the price tag. I would hope that I've evolved as a yarn buyer.

The blues and greens in this yarn are very me and they looked great in the skein. It was just lovely. I'm not sure that I love them as socks. The green is way too bright. I need to remember to think about yarn more in terms of it's ultimate use. How will it look when it's knit up? Will I want to wear it?

The other aspect of this yarn that I was less than enthusiastic about was the feel. It's thinner and not sproingy. I like yarns with a more substantial feel.

Don't get me wrong, I do like these socks and the yarn was pretty. I bet they'll wear really well. They're just not me but they were a great learning experience.

Sep 24, 2008

Itty Bitty Hats

DQ saw this little collection this morning and commented in her most exasperated tone "Now you're making tiny hats?" She couldn't imagine what I'd do with these and thought I'd gone nuts.
Hat Project 2008
After I explained the purpose of these hats she changed her tune a bit. These are for the Big Knit. Innocent drinks will put the hats on bottles of smoothies and for every behatted bottle sold they'll donate money to Age Concern. I saw it on Mason Dixon (scroll down) earlier this month and it sounded like a fun way to help a good cause - keeping the elderly warm in winter. Besides, all of those scraps that are bagged up and taking up space have a purpose now.

How cute are these? The red one was made from scraps of Cotlin left over from the red baby sweater. The natural one is alpaca (I think) and it's one of the first yarns I bought to make a cabled scarf. The blue one is leftover scraps of Andean Silk from a scarf I made for a swap. I still have lots of scraps left and these are super easy to make so I'll see how many more I can crank out before I send these off to Kay.

Just in case you're wondering about the sudden burst of new projects - I earned it when I finished another pair of socks on Monday. I'll share them just as soon as I can get good pictures.

Sep 23, 2008


Letting go of any plan that I may have had to knit a scarf from the Uros didn't let me off the gift knitting hook so yesterday I trolled through Ravelry a bit and suddenly I found the perfect pattern. Even better - I had the yarn for it in my stash already.

This scarf will be for a guy who beats to a different drummer in more ways than one so I wanted to make something unusual. Thankfully, he's not hung up on guy colors etc so I have quite a bit of latittude. With all this in mind, the Entrelac Scarf by Allison LoCicero jumped out at me and it was all I could do to wait until I got home to dive into my stash and pull out a bit of Noro Kureyon.
Sitting in the library last night while Stinkette worked with her new tutor, I got to the end of the second tier before wripping all the way back because I made a dumb error (cast on one too many stitches). I restarted immediately and this is where I was when I was finally able to put it down.

Blankets and scarves would probably be my two least favorite things to knit because they are repetitive and take so long to knit but I think that this will be fun and go super fast. The constant picking up of stitches and changes in direction coupled with the way the yarn shifts from one color to the next provide constant interest.

By the way, this officially starts my gift knitting for this year. I'll come up with a list of goals soon and we'll see how it goes. Right now I just want to do 2 scarves but i'm sure that I'll add a few more things.

Sep 22, 2008

Facing Facts

DSC_0815It was yet another in a long schedule of super-busy weekends. We attended homecoming at DQ's school for the first time. Stinky played some games, DQ got to see a bunch of her friends and we all enjoyed being a part of a school that is so spirited. Everyone was wearing the school colors and many got really into it. There were faces, hair and bodies painted blue and gold.

Stinkette had an early morning softball game on Saturday. Hubbo is coaching her team this season and I'm not sure who's having a better time. He has been hoping since they were born that one of them would be into sports of any kind. He's really supportive of all of their endeavours but he is purely a spectator when it comes to DQ's dancing. I'm sure that we're all thankful for that because the idea of him tapping across the stage is enough to make me fall out of my chair. Anyway, softball is totally his thing so coaching Stinky's team is natural for him. They're both having a blast although my girl would really like it if her team won a game or two.

DNA ScarfI did a bit of knitting this weekend. Still focusing on all of the cast aside UFO's I fished out a really old one from the bottom of my yarn cabinet. It was a scarf that was started pre-blog. Yeah - that old. Anyway, I entered it on Ravelry and started to get reaquainted with it and then I did something totally out of character. Even though it was about 2.5 feet in length and I could've finished it in no time I faced reality and frogged the whole thing.

It was the DNA Scarf and I really liked the idea of it but not this version of it. The sides rolled in which could've been fixed by blocking but it just didn't feel substantial and scarf-like to me. The bottom line was that it just wasn't making me happy so in the space of a minute or 2 I rolled all of the yarn back into a ball and felt so relieved. Whew!

DSC_0826I decided to try Shifting Sands with the yarn instead. What a lovely texture this patten creates! It's such a simple pattern and I'm sure that it would make great tv knitting but.... not with this yarn. This too is heading to the frog pond because I've belated figured out the culprit. It's the yarn. I do not like hairy yarn and this Elann Peruvian Collection Uros is supa-hairy. It's a blend of llama and wool but it's a single ply and the wool component must be Romney or some similar wool. I just flat out don't like this stuff and life's too short to knit with icky yarn. Now I have to figure out what to do with 5-7 skeains of this stuff because there is just no reason for it to sit in the stash any longer. Want some?

Sep 19, 2008

My DC - Week 30

DSC_0628Today I present The Franklin School, a building that's currently involved in a bit of controversy. For the past few years this historic landmark building has been used as a homeless shelter and now the city is making a major effort to move these men to other locations so that they can close the building until another use can be found for it. according to reports the interior of this building is in a horrible state of disrepair and neglect. It's a really sad state of affairs for such a gorgeous building. At least the exterior has been restored so that we can appreciate all of the fabulous detail.

High atop a dormer centered above the entry is a bust of Ben Franklin himself. Behind him you can see the ironwork that adorns the top of the mansard roof.

Look at how ornate the windows and doors are. Everywhere you look on this building there are beautiful little details. Of course the deep red of the brick is a huge plus in my book. Have I mentioned how warm and inviting I find red brick to be? Maybe a time or ten. Well there it is again. I just love the stuff.

The Franklin School, DC

At either end of the mansard roof, next to each of the twin cupolas, are weather vanes with 1992 and 1868 carved out of them. As far as I can tell those mark the year that the building was constructed and the year that a major restoration was done.


Lets just hope that this building finds a suitable use soon because it would be a shame for it to stand dormant.

Sep 18, 2008

Cash Would Be Better

This has been a week of nonstop appointments, meetings and demands on my time in general. Is it any surprise that I'm feeling a little random?

Most of the activities are school related, like the back to school nights that I attended last night and will attend tonight. Yesterday was my first back to school night at the secondary school that DQ attends now, the one many refer to as "the aircraft carrier" because it's just that big. I met the odd english teacher, the energetic social studies teacher, the serious math teacher and the science teacher who is just as funny (and cute) as DQ said he was. I opened my wallet for the massive marketing machine that makes the school run and marveled at it all.

DSC_0809Yesterday I also received a little surprise in the mail. CNN sent me a nifty lunch bag as a thank you for my iReport. Admittedly cash would be better but, considering that I submitted the report with no expectations at all, any show of appreciation is nice.

Today I'll attend Stinkerbelle's back to school night and hear from "the nicest 4th grade teacher in the school." With an endorsement like that how could it not be a great night?

What are you up to?

Sep 17, 2008

Just In Time

This morning I'm wearing a long sleeved sweater to work for the first time since spring. There was a chill in the air that is unmistakable - fall is here. I'm ok with that because I have a whole bunch of newly knit wool socks in my drawer that are just begging to be worn and last night I added yet another pair.


DSC_0803These are just simple socks with a picot edge that I made from a skein of Fiesta Boomerang in a color called Alaska. This yarn has a wonderful hand. It's soft and sproingy and just invites you to pick it up and play with it. I think it owes a lot to the way the yarn is made. When I untwist a bit of it for examination it looks like there are three strands and each consists of a 2-ply - one thin and one thick. The result is a very interesting texture that feels super soft and thick. It's really hard to describe.

DSC_0804The cool colors you see in these pictures are fairly accurate. They're kind of soft and bright at he same time. I really love these socks and I'm sure that they'll wear well and provide comfort and warmth.

Now that these are done I can concentrate on the other 3 pairs of socks that are OTN right now. Yes, there are 3 and as I did a little stash diving the other night I found the start of 2 more that never got much beyond the toe. Ugh. I'll address them at some later date. For now there isn't enough of either of them to count.

Sep 15, 2008

Itchy Fingers

Another pair of socks is nearing completion and Sahara is progressing but I'm feeling the pull of new projects and it is so strong. I want to make a sweater for DQ - should it be Green Gable, a Central Park Hoodie, or maybe something else entirely. I'm feeling the urge to cable and show some wool who's boss.

Then again my fingers are itching to knit more lace. Despite my negative feelings towards lace weight yarn you just can't argue with the results. There is nothing quite as satisfiying as a lovely, filmy lace stole. The thing is that the perfect pattern eludes me. I'm not crazy about the triangle shape which lets a lot of stuff out. I also want something with a graceful blend of motifs that will challenge me and make me give thanks for lifelines. I have fingering weight yarn too that will work in a pinch but the patterns got to be fab.

I suppose that the longer I remain indecisive, the more UFO's I'll complete and that's not a bad thing either.

Meanwhile, since I have no pretty pictures to share I took a little quiz. Many of these are funny but way off base. This time, not so much.

You Should Drive a Red Car

You're the type of driver who isn't afraid to be the fastest on the road.

You have a lot of energy built up, and you tend to get your adrenaline fix from driving.

Moving at hyper speed, you tend to be annoyed with slow drivers and slow people.

Life's too short to be slowed down by someone else!

Go, Go, Go

DSC_0724We were in New York again last weekend and now I am so tired. It was yet another weekend filled with family events that packed our schedule in so tight that we never wore anything but our dressy clothes. We just went from one event to the next and in between we visited with my grandparents and hubbo's step mother.

We celebrated hubbo's birthday, the Bat Mitzvah of his niece and the 95th birthday of his grandmother. All good things! Even the rain that fell off and on all through the weekend couldn't slow us down.

The pictures here are of Central Synagogue which is where we spent a good part of the weekend. I really wish that I could show you the inside of this place. It is absolutely gorgeous. There are the most vivid and intricate stained glass windows. The whole place is alive with color and texture on such a grand scale. If you want to see more of this building then you can check out this link which has information on this historic building.

DSC_0722Our trip to and from the city was pretty uneventful - the best kind of road trip. Predictably we hit traffic right around NYC and again as we approached DC last night but it wasn't awful and it did offer plenty of knitting/crocheting time. I completed kippah 37 on the way home last night and I completed a baby gift on the way up. It's a good thing too because my cousin had a baby on Friday so I need to move on to the next gift.

I'll get right on it - after I recover from the weekend. I need a nap in the worst way!

Sep 12, 2008

My DC - Week 29

Between the White House and my office is one of the many greenspaces in DC - Lafayette Park. On any given day people eat lunch there, children run around there and protesters congregate there.

As with most of the greenspaces in DC, this one includes quite a bit of statuary. This monument is dedicated to Lafayette. Big surprise. Right?

Here is the monument from a distance and a close-up of the man himself who stands on top.


Here are the groupings that stand on either side.

And those adrning the front and back. The side with the cherubs reads "By the Congress in commemoration of the services rendered by General Lafayette and his compatriots during the struggle for the independence of the United States of America." The front merely reads "To General Lafayette and his compatriots."

Have a great weekend!

Sep 11, 2008

Sahara Revisited

DSC_0673In an uncharacteristic display of focus, as soon as I finished the Watermelon Baby Sweater I reached for another UFO and set to work on it. It must've been late last year or early this year when I last set Sahara aside so I was amazed to find out how close I was to finishing the body. In no time at all I had finished the hip increases and now I'm nearly finished with the shaping at the bottom edge too. Having somewhat fuller hips I have decided to omit the accent at the bottom of the sweater. I really don't need to draw attention to that part of me.

Not only have I refocused on Sahara - I even had the presence of mind to check the fit. Will wonders never cease? I put all of the stitches on dental floss the other night and, with no shortage of apprehension, I tried Sahara on and I was amazed to find that it's perfect. There's not much ease but I suspect that the Cotton Fleece will stretch a little due to the cotton so I expect that this will fit me to a T.

Now Sleeve Island calls but I'm so excited about getting to good part(where I add the decorative parts) that I don't mind at all. In fact, I feel so good about this knit that I'm setting a goal for finishing it even though that' usually the kiss of death. The High Holidays are just about a month away and I aim to be wearing Sahara during them. One way or another I'll make it happen.

Sep 10, 2008

Thank Carole

I really had nothing for today but a pile of randomness and a bit of a political rant. Lucky for you that I read Carole's blog before posting. Instead of whining about the election and related issues, I've got a little sock meme. I think it's way better - don't you?


This mosaic only shows a few socks that seemed notable to me - my first, my most recent, my first from my handspun, a favorite. If you want to see all of the socks I've made you can click this link(View slideshow) for a slideshow. I hope that you do click on it because I wasted a lot of time putting it together.

When did you first learn to knit socks?
I started in January 2006 – the same time I started my blog.

What’s the first sock you ever knit?
It was the Jaywalker in Socks That Rock. It’s pretty clear where the inspiration for my first foray into socks came from.

Favorite Sock Pattern?
There are so many patterns out there and I’ve really enjoyed a lot of them but if I had to pick a favorite it would be Here There Be Dragons. That’s one of the few that I’ve knit more than once.

Favorite needle method?
I started with dpns and quickly graduated to 2 circs but my favorite method by far is Magic Loop. It’s much easier to manage and I don’t worry about losing needles which is important for a travel project.

Favorite sock needles?
KP 1’s or 2’s in a 24in circ.

Who do you knit socks for?
Anyone who will properly appreciate them. Most often I make them for my girls but a few close relatives have scored some too. Even Bruce has scored 2 pairs which is saying a lot since his feet are gi-normous. Making socks for him requires a huge time commitment.

How many pairs have you knitted to date?
The total so far is 28 but the breakdown is kind of funny. I got off to a fast start in 2006 and made 15 pairs but in 2007 I only completed 2 pairs. I’m back to socks in a big way this year with 11 pairs so far. There are 2 second socks and one first sock on the needles riht now so I suspect that, at the very least, I’ll match my total for 2006 this year. I may even surpass it.

What is on your sock knitting to-do list?
There are several patterns rom the Socken Creativ list that I really want to do and Bruce is waiting impatiently for another pair but I the only thing I can guarantee right now is that I’ll start testing the SM3 patterns that are sitting in my inbox. Yes, it’s that time again.

What kind of socks to you like to knit-
Striped? Not so much. I’m just not big on stripey socks.
Colorwork? Eh, on occasion. My stranding sucks so I usually stay away from this.
Plain Stockinette? Ahhhh, the comfort sock. I’ve just made one for the first time and it’s so nice. I’ll definitely do t again, and again, and again.
Cabled? I love cables!
Lace? Yes please!
Anklets? Not so much. I like my socks low but not quite anklets.
Knee Socks? That’s a huge commitment and I’m just not up for it at all.
Solid colors? Yes, but semi-solids are even better. I love a sock with jus a little depth to the color. Bright and crazy? Maybe. For me I like quieter socks but I just can’t resist the pull of a wild skein. Such a dilemma.
Faux Fair Isle (the yarn doing all of the work)? Nope.

Tag a few sock knitters here: No tags here – just an open invite to anyone who wants to share.

Sep 9, 2008

Here's Francie

DSC_0669As I mentioned yesterday, last weekend when I wasn't taking pictures of the deluge, I was knitting and it was very productive. I finished one project but I can't show on the blog yet because it's a gift. I can give you the Rav link though (here) because the giftee isn't on Ravelry. By the time it appears on the blog there will be matching accessories - a hat and booties I hope.

Speaking of Ravelry and stuff I did last weekend - Francie finally has a picture. I started this pair of socks way back in June but for some inexplicable reason I never even got through the cuff ribbing. Since then I've moved the pathetic excuse for a sock from one basket or bag to another without knitting a single stitch. In the spirit of clearing out WIPs I picked this up again and now I hope to finish this pair of socks before the weather really gets cold. Or something like that.

Believe it or not, this isn't the only progress I've made lately. There is another WIP that's getting a bit of love lately and may even hit a milestone later this week that warrants a post. I think that being at a place in my life where there is just way too much going on and a lot of it is out of my control, it feels really good to knit because I can totally control that and the progress feels really good.

Sep 8, 2008

Hanna Was Here - Seen on CNN

DSC_0643Sorry about the lameness of the title... it just stuck in my head. It's appropriate though because Hurricane Hanna spent most of Saturday drenching my area. They say that many places weren't hit as badly as expected but that the storm was especially strong over a swath of Prince William and Fairfax counties in Virginia. We were a part of that swath.

It wasn't bad. The wind was not so strong that it caused any real worry and my girls and I kind of liked listening to the rain. It was so strong at points that it sounded like the whole of the storm was directly over our house. It came down non-stop most of the day and we gave thanks for the new gutters that were installed earlier this year. The edges of our flower beds turned into moats and the lawn became a swamp but we didn't worrk at all.

DSC_0648We took full advantage of the rainy day and spent most of it inside watching shows on Tivo, playing cards and, of course - knitting. DQ was thrilled to finally watch Northanger Abbey and Stinky was happy to play games which is her favorite kind of family time. Compared to our usual hectic Saturdays, this was a dream.

The rain finally let up in the late afternoon and we ventured out on an errand but were turned back at one road near our house by police due to a dam that was threatening to break and flood the street. It was the dam that holds back the lake in a our neighborhood park so we went to take a look. Naturally I brought my camera.

We found the playground that my girls used to play on was totally under water. Judging by the basketball hoop which is about 9.5 feet high, the water had to be at least 7 feet deep. Check out the top of the swing set barely visible above the water.


Another picture I took at the park was looking out on the baseball fields and over the lake. You can see the backstop peeking out from the water. The lake usually stops just beyond the shrubs you see adjacent to the ball field and on the far shore, the green grassy area usually rises about 20 feet above the water's edge. In the distance you can just see the heavy equipment hard at work trying to shore up the dam. As far as I know, it held so I guess their hard work paid off.


Returning home from the park I fired up my laptop and submitted the pictures as an iReport to CNN. I just thought that they told the story well and might be worth sharing. Here's where the story got weird. Within 5 minutes our phone rang. It was CNN! They were getting lots of reports about flooding near me and wanted to verify information to use the pictures on CNN. They asked about the situation in our area and made sure that the photos were mine. If you look at the iReport it's labeled "On CNN". Sadly we didn't see the report on TV but it's such a kick to know that they used my little contribution.

I suppose that used up a few seconds out of my fifteen minutes.

Sep 5, 2008

My DC - Week 28

Today I offer two buildings that I became familiar with when I started working in downtown DC. They stand at opposite ends of the intersection of New York Avenue, 13th Street and H Street so these buildings share a somewhat odd shape - more like a pie wedge than a rectangle.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has the distinction of being across the street from the first place I worked in DC. At the time I loved the idea of being so close to a museum dedicated to art by women although I don't think I ever toured the collection because this is one of the museums in DC that charges for admission. Bummer. I could've had so much fun.

I did spend a bit of money in the museum over the years. They have a lovely gift shop and I'm sure that many family members received presents from there over the years. They also had a little cafe which my friends and I visited on occasion. I don't think that it's there any more and that's a shame because it was cool to have lunch on the mezzanine in the great hall where we could appreciate the art and the beauty of the building itself. As nifty as it is on the outside it's fantastic inside.

The exterior of this 1908 building has a series of emblems around the top that surely relate to the structure's original purpose as a Masonic temple. My grandfather is a Mason and I recognize the masonic Square and Compasses that is part of one of them from a ring that he wears.


The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church stands directly across the intersection from the National Museum of Women in the Arts. It's even older, dating back to 1860. It has a long history and counts President Lincoln among former attendees.


These buildings are in an area that is newer so most of the surrounding structures are newer. It's always interesting to see the very old against a backdrop of the very new.

Sep 4, 2008

Back to Socks

Thanks for all of the lovely comments about my shawl. I'm still blushing.


DSC_0619Look it's a sock. It's a super-simple-but-none-the-less-lovely sock.

This is the first time that I've used Fiesta Boomerang and I love it. This stuff has such a lovely hand. It's soft and sproingy. DQ commented on how great it felt when she modeled the sock for me last night. This is a sock that will feel fantastic on cold winter days. Warn and soothing on my feet.

It's also much more substantial fabric since it's a worsted weight yarn. Going back and forth between this sock and a sock I'm working on in Flock Bransonas, which I consider a light fingering, has been weird because the feel of the yarn is so drastically different. One sock is thin and a little rough and the other is thick and soft and totally begs to be worn.

It's not just the feel of the yarn that makes it fabulous. The color is lovely too. This sock has been sitting atop a basket of yarn next to my couch for a while and everyone comments on it and how pretty it is. They all think that it would make great socks for them. Hah! As if!

DSC_0621The look of this sock is best indication of how great this yarn is. It's just a plain, simple sock. No wild patterning. No crazy construction. I just did a plain toe-up sock because it just seemed right for the yarn.

Even with a sock as simple as this one I've had a glitch or 2. There was even a bit of frogging but it was totally my fault. When I got to the heel I had a momentary lapse and decided to go with a Widdershins treatment. I started increasing for the gussets and it was fine but not fine. You know what I mean? It was just off and I couldn't wrap my head around doing the heel math. Suddenly I realized what the problem was. Simple sock = simple heel. I ripped back, did my standard short row heel and now it's all good... except for the peplum. It was supposed to be a picot edge but it came out more like a sock peplum. Oh well. If I call it a design innovation then nobody will know it's a screw up. Yeah. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.