Apr 29, 2006

Finished Pomatomi

Today I had all afternoon to sit in a lounge chair in the yard and work on my Pomatomus socks and they are finished. Hooray! I have to say that it took quite a bit of creativity and fudging to get there but I think that the finished product is one that I can be proud of.

Finished Pomatomi 3Pattern: Pomatomus by Cookie A.

Yarn: Koigu (color 216)
Dates: 4/15/06 – 4/29/06

Notes: As I turned the heel I realized that the original dye lot was running low so I started to incorporate the new one but alternating balls of yarn through the whole foot. I have to say that this worked well because the difference between the socks really isn’t so noticeable unless you know what to look for. As I started the toe I looked at the original ball and there was plenty left so I decided to finish with that ball alone. I nearly made it but I ran out one decrease (2 rows) short of the end point on the first sock. Thankfully, even though one sock is slightly shorter, both socks fit well.

Finished Pomatomi 1

I also strayed from the pattern in one other way – the needles. I have fat calves so I started the socks on size fours and switched to size 3 after the first repeat of chart A. After I finished the heel I made the final switch to size 2 needles. As you can see in the pictures, the fit is perfect. They are wide where I need it and gently taper down.

Finished Pomatomi

By the way, Aubergine did sell and I have no idea how much the winning bid was. I’m totally fine with that.

Apr 28, 2006

Auction Anxiety

AubergineDo you remember this bag? It’s Aubergine and it’s up for auction tonight at my daughter's school fundraiser. This is freaking me out a little today because I’m one of those people who gets really uncomfortable about trying to put a value on what I do. People have told me before that I ought to sell stuff I make and I consistently decline. It feels much better to give it away.

Don’t get me wrong – I love it when people appreciate what I’ve done but it makes me uncomfortable too. If this is confusing then please allow me to illustrate. I have two very distinct feelings about tonight. On one hand, I’d love it if everything was displayed on tables covered with cloths that swept the ground so that I could hide underneath and hear what people said. At the same time I feel relieved that the bag is part of the “silent” auction and the winners will be posted on a list on the wall. There will be nobody calling out “Isn’t there even one bid on the fugly bag?” Maybe next time I’ll just write a check instead. This is torture!

BTW - If you haven't seen it yet, CNN published a list of the worst songs this past Wednesday and I found it very amusing. You can check it out here.

Apr 27, 2006

Good, Better and Best!

Good - My supplemental Koigu order arrived yesterday. I think that it’ll work if I introduce it slowly (alternating between the old and the new). Its way less intense than what I already had but it shouldn’t start appearing until the foot. This brings me to better…
new yarn for P sox
Better – I did a lot of knitting last night and NO FROGGING! I am now a row or 2 away from starting the heel and that’s how I know that I won’t need to break into the new yarn until the foot.

Best – Yesterday was report card day and my girls ROCKED! After being told by her teachers all year that Lindsey was not working up to her abilities she brought home a report yesterday that was brimming with A’s and B’s (and O’s for effort). I was soooo happy! Stinkerbelle also brought home a report card that showed great improvement but it’s different for her. She has been working through educational issues which I won’t go into right now and we can see the improvement without the report card. She’s still behind but any small measure of success is cause for huge celebration. Kudos all around!

IrisHere is a picture of the iris that is currently blooming in my front yard. As I examined it, Stinkerbelle noticed my peonies nearby which look ready to pop. I can’t wait. I also planted yet more bulbs – cannas and lilies and, yes, more irises. You can never have enough irises.

Apr 26, 2006

Purple Pens

Handwriting memeI’m offering this meme today since I’ve got nothing else of value to offer. My second Pomatomus sock is limping along. I suppose that’s better than giving you a visual of it flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water. It seems that the second time around I am a dunce and for every row I knit – 3 to 5 get frogged. Seriously depressing!

The rules are that you should write a
pangram on a piece of paper, sign your first name, take a photo of it and load it onto your blog, or upload into the flickr pool.

Here is a sample of my pathetic handwriting. It really isn’t very good and never has been. You have no idea how many post-its landed in the circular file as I created this inoffensive handwriting sample.

In elementary and high school I hated my handwriting so much that when other people went to the blackboard I would check out their handwriting for more pleasing elements to incorporate into my own. It was just as pathetic as it sounds but I really envied the girls with the big bubbly letters. It just seemed like happy handwriting. I’m ok with my handwriting now although I’m not sure it says as much about me as it does about all the people who originally belonged to the “th”, “s”, “y” etc.

One quirky thing that you may or may not have noticed is the purple ink - I almost always use purple pens. At work, at home – it doesn’t matter. I have a reason for this. Black is terribly stark, serious and severe. Ick! Blue is nice but incredibly common. I’ve seen pink and green but they’re too silly for everyday use. Purple is a compromise of the best sort. It’s a little unusual and can stand out but not so much that it seems childish. It’s also a very cool color. Yeah - I’ll admit that I’ve given this, like umbrella colors, way too much thought.


By the way, I really enjoyed all of the comments yesterday. If you weren’t all “anonymous” then I’d reply directly. Apparently the “r” in warshrag and warshington is something that has no geographical limitations. I’d still love to know what’s up with that. It reminds me of a girl I grew up with who always had the same request of new people she met from other states or countries – “Say washer and dryer”. She thought those two words would somehow display and accent well. It seemed odd then but maybe she was on to something. It’s a little ironic considering that we grew up on Lawn Guyland – home of one of the worst accents ever.

Did you see Kristi’s new home? Check her out

Apr 25, 2006

Warshrags in Warshington

Here is a picture of the first finished Pomatomus sock. (I started the second sock last night.) As I said yesterday, I gave in and ordered more yarn so there to be seemed no reason not to finish the sock. I must say that I love the pattern AND the Koigu. Ever since I first saw Koigu on blogs, I have coveted that yarn. I looked for it everywhere and sadly the LYS doesn’t carry it. When I saw it in NYC I knew I needed some and then I worried that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Never fear! It is every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be and working with it makes me so happy. Now I need more. Pomatomus Sock
One of the things I’m enjoying about Mason Dixon Knitting is the discussion of Warshrags. Warshrags are like Warshington - two words where an “r” doesn’t belong. I find it amusing though. There was a woman at my old office (in Washington DC) who always talked about Warshington and I always wanted to giggle. I’m a bit of a stickler for proper pronunciation (just ask my girls) and I am amazed that I managed to control myself. Is this additional “r” a southern thing? I can understand, and even get into y’all but the “r” thing – not so much.

Sorry, I got a little off track there. I love the idea of making washrags. Bruce is a little hesitant. I think that his hesitation is due to the perceived “preciousness” of all things handknit and the rigors of daily use in the kitchen. They talk about this in the book and how warshrags need to be used regularly – kind of as a cure for the look but don’t touch thing. As soon as I figure out where I went wrong on this first one I plan on making many, many more.

Apr 24, 2006

Felicia's Bag

Felicia's Bag
I love this time of year because you come home at the end of the day and it’s still light out. Today, the light when I came home was better than when I left for work this morning. The pictures are way better and the colors more true. It may not show up well in the picture but the ribbon is yellow with dots that match the orange edging pretty closely.

Pattern: Rick-Rack Bag by Susan Lawrence
Yarn: Cascade 220
Dates: 4/15/06 – 4/23/06

Notes: This is a really well thought out pattern. I love the way the welt is knitted in around the bottom to add stability. The way the bag is finished off is cool too. Right before the i-cord edge is done, there is a round that, when I first saw it, seemed silly. There were alternating sections of knit and purl that seemed gratuitous since it was going to get lost in the felting. I know I should’ve read the instructions beginning to end before starting the project and if I had, I’d have known that the purls left bumps behind to start the straps. Perfect! I don’t think I’d change much the next time from a construction standpoit but I may add a little pattern – perhaps intarsia. Oh yes – there will be a next time!


I was all set to show you pictures of finished objects today. Sadly, I just realized that I left the camera cord at home. The pictures are therefore being held hostage by my camera.

The weekend was nice but rainy. Not just a little rainy - but torrential downpour rainy. Never-the-less we did all of the necessary errands and I finished the first Pomatomus sock and Felicia’s bag. I also gave in and ordered more yarn for the P sox. I’m hoping that it’ll get here as I near the end of the second sock. It’s the same color but a different dye lot so I plan to alternate the old and the new to blend it in a little. It should only be the toe anyway so I think it’ll work out.

With all of the projects that are calling my name, somehow a warshrag found itself on my needles last night. I have no idea how that happened. I also don’t know what I was doing while I knit it because my counting seems to be off and I think that I’ll be frogging that very same warshrag tonight.

Apr 21, 2006

Beware of Vicious Socks with Sharp Teeth

I was home yesterday attending elementary school with my daughters. Actually I was spending the one day per school year that I use to assuage my "working mommy guilt" by volunteering at their school in some way. This time is helped out in Stinkerbelle’s art class and ate lunch with Lindsey and her buddies in the school cafeteria. Notice I didn’t say I ate school lunch – I think that would be asking a bit too much from me. I am an adult and I reserve to right to bring St*rb*cks and a sandwich.

Art class was surprisingly interesting. Once upon a time I thought I might grow up to be an art teacher. I even have a degree to prove it. Sadly, I was asked for a hall pass one too many times while doing my student teaching and concluded that my (extremely) youthful appearance might not be an asset when trying to project authority. If art rooms then were as cool as the one I was in yesterday I may have thought twice. The teacher had a special camera that she did her demonstration under which projected it onto a big TV screen for the kids to see. How cool! My daughters school was redone last year and it shows. Everything is shiny and new and the supplies…oh the supplies. There was such an abundance of artsy stuff. I was in hog heaven.

You may notice that I refer to D #1 by her name and D #2 by a nickname. There’s no good reason for it except that Lindsey’s nicknames never really stuck. Daria IS the Stink. I often refer to her as Stink, Stinky, Stinkpot, Stink-o, Stinkerbelle or Monster. She answers to all of them. Yesterday I embarrassed Stink and kept doing so (unintentionally) throughout the class because I kept calling her Stinkerbelle. She kind of gave me a look the first time and I tried to stop but it’s a habit. Her friends were very amused.


P-word sox 2Pomatomus! It ought to be a curse word. I may have been a little cocky as I zipped along on this sock. NEVER DO THAT! It angers the knitting gods and they unleash bloody hell. I was approaching the toe of the sock when I realized that I had too few pattern stitches. WTF! So I found the error and frogged about 5-6 rows. Ok - lesson learned. Again I approached the toe and – I shit you not – I had too many stitches. Again WTF! Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit! Finally I got to the toe late last night and my yarn ran out! I will never be overconfident again! I promise. Just please make this stop!
The picture was taken right after the first frogging. As you can see I moved it to my beloved Addi circs during the frogging. I am in a full on panic now because I only have one more skank of the yarn (Koigu KPPM p216-73) and I’ll need another to finish the pair. I can’t find one anywhere! What do I do? Frog the whole sock and choose another yarn for the pattern? Find another color for the toes? Frog the sock and redo it with one less leg repeat on each?

Bag for F 2 At least I can report a little good news. I finished the bag on Wednesday night and I only have to do the handles now and felt it. As you can see in the picture it’s filled with yarn – Peaches and Cream. That can only mean one thing – I got my hands on the library’s copy of Mason Dixon Knitting yesterday. I put a hold on it a few weeks ago when the online record said it was in process. As far as I know, I’m the first to check it out. I love my public library!I’m gonna make a dish cloth this weekend while I ponder what to do about the vicious Pomatomus.

Apr 19, 2006


Have you seen this survey yet? It’s a survey of sock knitting preferences. I took it this morning and realized that I don’t have many real, strong, sock knitting preferences – or knitting preferences in general. I do have an aversion to double pointed needles but I’m actually using them right now for the Pomatomus socks because Margene told me that the pattern really wouldn’t translate well to 2 circs. Unsurprisingly she’s right. I really expected using the dpns to be torturous but – here’s the surprise – I’m not minding them nearly as much as I thought I would. I turned the heel on the first sock last night and I find that it’s super-hard to put this project down. I still wouldn’t choose to use dpns unless ABSOLUTELY necessary but I can deal with them better than expected.

Anyway, back to the survey. I also realized that I’m very flexible on colors, needle size, knitting direction (toe up or cuff down). I guess I really am more of a process knitter. I’m not married to any one thing and I’ll do whatever is necessary for a project that interests me. If a pattern has a neat detail, looks unusual or challenging then I’ll do whatever is necessary to achieve success.

Blueberries 2I really have no good knitting pictures today so here’s one of the blueberry bushes instead. See all of the flowers. How cool is that? I took it the other evening (the same time as the first shot of Felicia’s bag) and the flash was sadly unavoidable. This is only one of three bushes so I suspect that there will be plenty of blueberries for all of my big plans.(anyone tried to dye yarn with blueberries?) I also think that I need to get myself to H*me D*pot soon to get a net for berry protection.

Apr 18, 2006

Knittin' Right Along

Bag for F - 1Here is the bag that I started on Saturday. See it hiding in the dogwood? I took the photo last night as the sun went down so it’s a little dark but the colors are pretty close to reality. The interesting thing about this bag is the welt around the base. It’s supposed to help the bag sit flat and it’ll be very interesting to see how it works out. I’m really cruising along on this project and I expect that I’ll be ready to felt it next week. Woo hoo!

J's leavesIn other news, the Embossed Leaves socks that I made recently have reached their new home and my sister, Jess, is putting them to good use. I promised that if she sent me a picture I’d post it. She did and I am. She also said that she was a little worried initially that her sensitive feet would be bothered by the feel of the knit on the sole of the foot but she has worn these sock with no problem. Yay!

I'm still resisting the urge to start Lindsey's sweater by my resolve is fading fast. The girls and Bruce were looking at me with pity last night because they know how hard I'm trying not to start that sweater. How sad is that? I'll start it soon though because I'm finishing the P-word socks and the bag surprisingly quickly. I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

Apr 17, 2006

Yellow Umbrella Theory

yellow umbrellaAfter a gorgeous, sunny weekend I awoke this morning to start the new work week and found a seriously gray and ugly day. Monday’s are bad enough but rain and gloom don’t do much for one’s frame of mind. Walking to the Metro though, I saw a woman walking ahead of me with a yellow umbrella and I was reminded of my yellow umbrella theory. I think that most umbrellas ought to be in cheerful colors like yellow for counteract the grayness that goes hand in hand with rainy days. Think about it. Most umbrellas are black. How does it make you feel when you see a sea of black or dark colored umbrellas? A little down maybe? But what if they were all yellow and pink and lavender and turquoise?

As I was saying, this weekend was warm and sunny and generally pleasant. It was also uneventful. I can count the number of stores I had to visit on one hand which is rare and wonderful. All of that free time allowed me to start TWO new projects. Startitis anyone? I wanted to start TWO more but I resisted and instead made some real progress on both of the projects that occupied my time.

The first thing I started was a pair of
P-word socks for me. I’m using some orange Koigu that I bought on my trip to NYC. At the time I took this picture it was Sunday morning and I’d only completed one pattern repeat. I’m cruising along on these despite having to use dpn’s and I’m close to turning the heel. Let me say that I love almost everything about these socks. The only thing marring the joy is the dpn’s but I’m actually not hating them as much as I usually do.P-word sock in the wild

The second project that I started over the weekend is a
Rick-rack bag for my friend Felicia. I may have mentioned that she deposited a copy of the pattern and a bag of yarn in my living room last month. The elves haven’t come in to knit it up so I am. No pictures yet but I’m making crazy-fast progress on this too. I should mention that it’s not a project that I’m enjoying much right now because my hands keep tensing up as I knit. I suspect that it has something to do with working such a thick fabric.

A while ago
I talked about wanting to make a sweater from the Spring/Summer 06 issue of VK. I knew right away the colors that I wanted but I couldn’t find them. Actually I thought that I was finding them online but I really wanted to see them in person – especially the greens – to make sure that they related to each other correctly. I went to my LYS and some King Tut jumped out at me. It was in 2 shades of green that were perfect together. I didn’t see the right purpley color though. I went online again and I crossed my fingers and ordered up some purple-ish yarn. (I also ordered a ball of each of the greens that I originally considered just to see if they would've worked. I was right, they were way off!) It arrived on Saturday and I out it all together and I think it works perfectly. What do you think? Now that I have the yarn I really can’t wait to start the sweater but I’m trying to hold off. I did wind it into yarn cakes last night though and I pulled out the needles. I must stay strong and resist.
yarn for VK Spring 06 sweater

Apr 14, 2006

Yellow and orange finally make their debut

I started putting together the pictures for my Project Spectrum montage at the very beginning of the month but I wasn’t really happy with the first batch so I tried again – and again. These are still somewhat lame but I think they may be as good as it gets.
Orange * Yellow - take 2
Row by row from the top left: range Chibi & gold stork scissors; a few books and the clown guy from the circus; FP schoolbus (who doesn’t have one) and a block; my big carryall bag – it’s usually filled to overflowing with knitting and reading material; the Sit ‘n Spin – it’s so wrong to add electronic do-dads to classic toys; orange Tic-tacs; light plate that I found years ago at a fair; forsythia – it used to grow in the yard of the house I grew up in and now it’s in the yard of the home I own, hmmmm; dandelions – I don’t eat ‘em but I don’t mind ‘em either; the steering wheel to nowhere in the playhouse we built for my girls; an orange box contributed to the survey by Stinkerbelle; the plastic pumpkin that holds our candy every Halloween.


I’ve seen this Meme a here and here and here and I decided to play along for a change. Wikipedia is such a cool thing and as I put this together I learned a few things. I also found more than 3 items for a few categories.

Do a Wikipedia search of your
birthdate, minus the year; list three interesting events, three people who were born, and three people who died on that day.

1. 1492 - Christopher Columbus lands in Cuba.
2. 1868 - Thomas Edison applied for his first patent, the electric vote recorder.
3. 1886 - In New York Harbor, Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty.
4. 1919 - Prohibition begins: The U.S. Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson's veto.
5. 2005 - Plame affair: Lewis Libby, vice president Dick Cheney's chief of staff, is indicted in the Valerie Plame case. Libby resigns later that day.

1. 1914 - Jonas Salk, American medical scientist (d. 1995)
2. 1949 - Bruce Jenner, American athlete
3. 1955 - Bill Gates, American software pioneer
4. 1967 - Julia Roberts, American actress

1. 1818 - Abigail Adams, First Lady of the United States (b. 1744)
2. 1998 - Ted Hughes, English poet (b. 1930)
3. 2002 - Erling Persson, Swedish entrepreneur (b. 1917)

Have a great weekend! Happy Easter/Passover! I hope to have more actual knitting content on Monday.

Apr 13, 2006

Guess who's coming to dinner

Thanks to one and all for your holiday wishes. They are really, truly appreciated.
pesach rolls Here you see a lovely bowl of Passover rolls with a stray yarn cake (naturally in the April PS colors). Sadly that is the only picture I have of last night’s festivities. A few people expressed interest in seeing pictures of the spread and I had devised a really clever and ambitious plan to artfully display it for all the world to see. Sadly, in the heat of the moment I developed a tragic case of camnesia. Even the presence on the camera on the counter couldn’t snap me out of it.

Really though, I’m sure that any of you who have prepared a sit-down dinner for 15-20 of your nearest and dearest friends, family and supermarket cashiers can relate… What? Did you just say that you don’t normally invite the cashier as you do your last minute shopping? Damn! I knew it sounded off. Maybe I was supposed to give her my credit card rather than an invitation.

Seriously, as Lindsey & I checked out the last batch of forgotten groceries (you just knew I’d forget something) at the stupidmarket we found out that the cashier was without a place to celebrate so we invited her to join us. It was the right thing to do and it felt awesome. Lindsey commented that we were doing exactly what her religious school teacher was discussing the previous week. I loved that more than words can say.

I made a ton of food and have very few leftovers which I take as a good sign. My last minute invite and my friend Lisa wound up exchanging phone numbers to discuss writing which is also nice. The kids had fun, the house isn’t too wrecked and my feet are beginning to recover from a day spent standing at the stove – all good things. Best of all is the fact that someone else is doing the cooking tonight (hello Felicia!) and that the only thing on my plan for the weekend is knitting and catching up with Jon Stewart and all of the other shows I’ve been neglecting lately. Ahhhh!

Apr 11, 2006

Jet Socks

I slept horribly last night. Stinkerbelle had her Very First Sleep Over and I missed her terribly. She didn’t even call to say good night! I spoke to her this morning and she was so nonchalant about the whole thing. “Yeah, mom I missed you but I got over it.” This is the child who wakes up every night in the wee hours and climbs into bed with me. She “needs” her snuggles every night. Maybe I need them more than she does.

It’s actually a good thing that she did so well on this sleep over because she is signed up for a week of Girl Scout resident camp this summer. I was worried about how she’d do but now I can see that she’ll be just fine. She is so much stronger than I am.

So, how did I get through the night without bawling like a baby? I worked on the Jet Socks like a woman possessed and I finished them! That is the second finished object in as many days. Please excuse the crappy photo. I took it this morning and the flash did horrible things to the pattern and color. Earlier pictures showed it better and I’ll give it another shot when I get home later.
Jet Socks
Pattern: Sensational Knitted Socks - 5 Stitch Lacey Rib
Needles: #2 Addi circs
Yarn: Sundara Sock – Black Lagoon
Dates: 3/27/06 – 4/10/06

Notes: This is my very first pair of toe up socks. I have to say that I enjoyed them. It will be quite a while before I claim any actual skill but for now my results weren’t too embarrassing. I think that the second heel is better than the first – less noticeable holes. Tightening up the stitches is definitely important. They are actually a little big on Bruce. He says that they feel good but I can see the extra room and it bothers me. I followed the instructions which say to start the heel when the sock hits the ankle bone. Perhaps I ought to have measured this stretching out the sock rather than just sliding it on. Live and learn.

The yarn was a dream and I can’t wait to work with it again.

Now that I’ve cleared a few things from the needles I can start more. I have a pile of yellow and orange yarn that needs to be turned into yarn cakes so that I can start 2 more bags and another pair of socks. Get out the swift & ball winder! I’m thinking about doing my first pair of socks for the Six Sox KAL in the yellow & orange Koigu I bought at Purl Soho last month. Satisfy the KAL and Project Spectrum at the same time! I’m all about combo projects.


I’m not sure if I’ll be posting tomorrow because I’ll be home preparing for the Passover holiday. For those of you not familiar with it – the first 2 nights of the holiday are all-out feasts like Thanksgiving. Of course there’s a twist in that I don’t get to use any of the familiar tools or ingredients. My Cuisinart and stand mixer have been banished to the basement along with the rest of my kitchen gadgets.

It’s strictly “B-team”. Since I only have to use the stuff for one week a year, my Passover stuff is mostly the stuff that didn’t make the cut in my day-to-day kitchen. Dishes I hate. A smaller Cuisenart that I outgrew. Dare I say it – a hand held mixer. I’ll spend the day trying to prepare a gourmet meal to the accompaniment of a steady stream of expletives. “Damn, I hate this can opener!” “Shit! I can’t find the blades to the chop-chop.” “Fuck!!!” Of course I will also be required to run to the store a dozen times for stuff I forgot. Dumbass!

This year I decided to really make things difficult for myself. I invited friends with food allergies! Ha! No bread, no corn products and nothing containing wheat or gluten of any kind. No artificial flavors or colors. No fruit. No flavor.

Oh how I love a challenge!

Apr 10, 2006

Aubergine and the Promise of Spring

I had planned to finish Aubergine AND the Jet socks this weekend but one out of 2 isn’t so bad. The goal was really do-able since I was pretty close to finishing both projects. What this says about this weekend – actually, my life – is that I spend way too much time running around. I took kids to play-dates, did grocery shopping, clothes shopping etc. It’s all good and very necessary but it doesn’t leave one feeling terribly fulfilled.
Pattern: None
Needles: #8 circ’s
Yarn: Patons – purple wool and white eyelash Whisper something I think
Dates: 3/8/06 – 4/9/06

Notes: I did a garter bottom 36 stitches wide and 18 rows deep and I think it’s a good size. Not too deep but not completely without shape either. I’ll keep playing with it. I experimented with the top and some is good – some is less good. Good – the 3 holes in the tapered end of the strap where it meets the bag. It’s not much but the detail is a fun one and I may embellish it a little before I call it a day. Even if I leave it as is it’s still nice to know that It worked as I had hoped so that I can take it further next time. Less good – the eyelash band. The eyelash itself is a good effect but it caused the section to felt less so it looks stretched out. I’ll have to come up with a clever closure to counter it.

I did get to stop at the yarn store on Sarurday so my self-imposed yarn fast is over. I’ll tell you all about it – just not now. I’d rather share something that makes me happy today and it’ll keep making me smile all spring/summer – blueberries!

Almost 9 years ago my little family moved from NY to VA. In NY, on Long Island, we had lived in a nondescript, brick, apartment building which had very little to recommend it besides hardwood floors. No washer, no dryer, no dishwasher, no porch… nada. In Virginia, for the same amount we were able to rent a bigger apartment with all of the little conveniences. It was all very exciting, especially the porch.

For some reason the presence of the porch inspired a desire for blueberry bushes. I can’t explain it so you’re just going to have to take the leap with me. Somewhere in the deep dark recesses of my mind a connection was made and I spent the next few years longing for blueberry bushes. Would they grow in Virginia? Could I plant them in a huge planter? Would the management company object if I planted them outside my porch? On and on it went.

My fixation continued after we bought our house and, even as I bought and planted many other trees, shrubs and bulbs, I still pondered blueberry bushes. I even bought 2 seedlings once but I couldn’t decide where to plant them and they died. So sad!

(Aren’t you amazed at my ability to fixate on things other than yarn?)

blueberry buds
Last July, at the grocery store of all places, I found these 3 beauties in desperate need of a home. We prepared the beds and gave them all the love we could and after the long cold winter I went to check on them the other day and look at how happy and healthy they are. I am ecstatic! Lindsey and I (nobody else in the house likes blueberries) will eat blueberries this summer until we can’t eat any more. I will make pies and muffins and anything else I can think of.

I am one happy girl!

Apr 7, 2006

Irises in Bloom!

The landscaper who does our spring cleanup came to do an estimate last night and as I was giving him the tour of the grounds and telling him what to touch and what not to touch I found this.
My irises are about to bloom. I really love irises and lilies. A friend gave the irises to me a few years ago and I planted them on the corner of our house. They are desperately in need of dividing but they bloom profusely anyway. My only regret is that they don’t last longer. Every year I plant a little more stuff (with varying degrees of success) but these remain my favorites.

I also saw other amazing signs of spring along the side of my house but that can wait for better photography. Here’s a hint – I see pie-making in my summer plans.

I would like it noted, by the way, that it has now been 2 weeks since I bought yarn. It doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment unless you are a fellow fiber addict. I had a few close calls (like when I saw
this) but I stayed strong. Tomorrow I’ll go to the LYS to check out the yarn possibilities for the VK top I want to make so all bets are off.

Apr 6, 2006


The Caps lost – again. Maybe it’s just me – or the fact that Stinkerbelle was waaaay into the game - but there was too much excitement for me to get much knitting done. I had grand visions of leaving the game with a finished pair of socks and it just didn’t happen. It’s going quickly though and I still expect to finish the Jet socks and Aubergine by the weekend. Then I can start my first socks for the Six Sox KAL and one of the 2 felted bags I promised to make for people this weekend. Someday I’ll knit for me again.

Inspired CableSpeaking of knitting for me… I picked up a copy of this book at my public library on the way to see the cherry blossoms the other day. In all of my blossom excitement I nearly forgot to mention it. I saw the Harlot’s review of it the other day and, since I love cables and she loved the book, I decided to check it out. I confess that my intent was to check it out and probably copy the one pattern of interest. Not so much! The designs are very cool and hip. By the time we got home, Lindsey, Bruce and I had each identified a few things that we covet. Surprise, surprise! The biggest surprise is that we may all get what we want. For those of you who don’t know us personally, Lindsey is a tween who, due to broad shoulders, fits a small/medium woman’s size well, while Bruce and I are adults of the larger variety. Not only are the sweaters in this book great – they’re presented in a range of sizes to accommodate us all. I’ll definitely put this book on my wish list.

This is totally unrelated to knitting in any way but… I’m feeling extremely guilty over something that happened on Tuesday. I was on my way home on the Metro, standing as usual, as the train approached the last stop. It’s always kind of an uneven ride and people get thrown around a lot so you hold on to something to keep from falling over. Our approach to the station on Tuesday was even more hurky-jerky than normal and I totally lost my footing. Normally I wear harmless flats but Tuesday I was wearing my favorite high heeled boots and the heel landed HARD on the foot of the guy behind me. Ouch! At least the heels weren’t spikes. I apologized but I still felt awful watching him limp out of the station.

Apr 5, 2006

Short row toe comparison

I finished the toe of the second sock last night. I tried to knit tighter on this one and I thought that the toe was better than the first until I took it out in the bright light of day and saw this.

Short row toe 2Short row toe  1
I was trying to compare the toe on sock one to that on sock two and I’m not sure if it really improved at all. I think that it looks nicer and yet more pronounced. That doesn’t seem right. I was hoping that the join would be less visible. What do you think?

No other real news to report except that I’m going to the hockey game tonight and I expect to make a lot of progress on the second Jet sock there. Let’s go Caps!

I came very close to buying more yarn yesterday but I managed to get a grip at the last minute and resist the impulse. I want to do the VK sweater but I’m really concerned about finding the right yarn in the right colors. I decided that I really need to go to the LYS and see it in person. The ‘net would be cheaper but the color representation on the monitor is unreliable.

BTW, did you see
this yet? It’s too cute for words.

Apr 4, 2006

The Worst Job Since Keymaster *

It has to be Cookie Mom. It’s not so much the job itself as it is the fact that if you do it once then you’re stuck with it forever. I think that I’d have to do something really horrible to get out of it - like running off with the troop proceeds. That’s actually not a bad idea. I could go to Cancun and drink many margaritas with the money I’ve collected. I’d be free of cookie obligations for life AND get a vacation. The downside, of course, would be the involuntary, state-sponsored vacation that would await me upon my return. Damn! Anyway, I just made the last deposit for this year’s Girl Scout cookie sale and I’ll drop the last paperwork off tonight after work. By this time tomorrow I’ll be a very happy girl.

This is the first Jet sock. I finished it Saturday night as we watched George Mason play Florida in the Final Four. Bruce put it on immediately – perhaps the green might give Mason a little luck. Sadly the Patriots lost but the sock fits perfectly and it’s exactly what Bruce wanted. I could’ve gone longer on the leg but he said that this was the perfect length for him. Who am I to argue?
First finished Jet sock
In the same picture you see the very beginning of the second sock. No Second Sock Syndrome here! I was thinking about SSS on the way in this morning because I really have a lousy track record when it comes to finishing crafty stuff – or anything for that matter. (It would take a considerable effort to flash all of the crafty stuff that sits, unfinished, in my basement) It would be logical to expect that I would be the same with knitting and, as such, be a victim of SSS. Not so! I say that emphatically because I realized this morning that this will be the 5th pair of socks I finish this year. Not bad!

I am also nearing completion on Aubergine. It’s really not so fancy as bags go but it’ll do the job. I’m always amazed at the difference in the appearance of a bag before and after felting. Pre-felting they are blah and kind of shapeless. After felting they have more defined form and they can look really great. I’m never sure what the end result will be.
Aubergine - pre-felting
* Recognize this? It’s from Say Anything. I absolutely admit to being an 80’s throwback.

Apr 3, 2006

Glorious blossoms

Today is a grey and ugly day here but it’s really quite alright because the weekend was glorious! We went to see the cherry blossoms on Saturday with thousands of other folks and it was a treat. I love being so close to the district that you can just hop in the car and be downtown in no time. We got to the basin and found a PRIME PARKING SPOT FOR FREE! The odds were crazily against us and yet there it was. It was certainly a sign of good things to come.

The day was really windy but the blossoms were out in full force. There were people everywhere. We’d stop every few minutes to take pictures ourselves or to avoid being in someone else’s. Words truly don’t do it justice so here are just a few of the pictures I took.
Cherry Blossom '06 mosaic

As I mentioned, it was super windy. At one point, as we gazed across the tidal basin, a cloud of dirt from the path surrounding it blew across the water. It doesn’t sound picturesque but it was interesting at the time. It also illustrated just how windy it was. The other thing that fascinated us for no good reason was the large number of petals that were floating in the water. In a way, they make you sad because they demonstrate how fleeting it all is. Today the rain will remove many more of the petals from the trees and by the weekend most of the beautiful blossoms will be washed away.

I offer a shot of my GOLD toe ring dangling above the petals floating in the tidal basin as a nod to the start of Project Spectrum’s yellow and orange month.
toe ring petals
There was also knitting this weekend – I finished the first Jet sock and I’m nearly done with Aubergine. More about them later or tomorrow.