Mar 31, 2008

Wee Tiny Sock

DSC_0109Although this past weekend was a busy one, I did find enough time to do a significant amount of knitting. I even finished a pair of socks. Sadly I can't show them to you yet because they're for an upcoming round of Sock Madness 2 and therefore, under wraps for a little while. I can say that I like them a lot though.

Thankfully not everything I'm working on is a secret. Check out this cute little sock. It was for the Wee Tiny Sock Swap and it went in the mail yesterday, on time. Wahoo! I used some leftover KP sock yarn in a colorway called Hawaii. Isn't is perfect for the start of Spring? I'd been saving it with no clue what I'd use it for since it's not superwash. A mini sock is perfect.

There are lots of patterns out there for tiny socks but I didn't use any of them because they're all top down and I'm a toe up kind of girl. I just cast on 8 stitches, increased every round till I got to a total of 20. Knit even till it seemed like the right time to do a short row heel. Then I inprovised a little slipped stitch cuff. That's it. Not bad for an evening of tv watching.

Mar 30, 2008

Celebrating Yarn and Signs of Spring

This was such a rare weekend. I started off with a long list of things to do and I think I actually got it all done. Food shopping, a pedicure, sneakers shopping, a haircut for Stinky, Little League practice, Girl Scouts, a playdate, early holiday prep, some laundry, a little bill paying... it all got done. Not only that but I found time to fit in a few fun things too.

Early Saturday morning we went to the National Building Museum where they were holding the opening day festivities for the Cherry Blossom Festival. It was family day and there was so much to do. We tried computer graphics programs, made shrinky dink bookmarks, learned how to fold origami cranes, did cut paper art, and watched dance performances. There were so many more things to do and watch like the guy who made the giant origami giraffe. We also saw the display of artwork from schoolkids commemorating the Cherry Blossom festival. It was all free too. Ya gotta love that!
Sunday I took time out for a fun event too. I went to the Homespun Yarn Party with a friend of mine. It was held in a smallish room in a community center in Takoma Park, MD and it was PACKED! I think that they're planning on doing it again and I suspect that the space will be bigger next time. It was challenging but those of us that were patient were rewarded with some gorgeous stuff. Below is the Storm Moon Knits table. Those colors are so wonderful.
This is the Loop table. It was my very first stop because I saw that gorgeous stuff online and I knew that I needed it. Check out those batts. They are spectacular!
So what did I get? That's a post for another day.

Mar 27, 2008

My DC - Week 11

On Wednesday, during lunch, I took a walk. A very long walk. I just had to see the Cherry Blossoms. It was so worth it.
Tomorrow the festival begins. As usual, we've got a bunch of stuff to do this weekend but we're going to do our best to go down and enjoy some of the festivities. I doubt that the paddle boats are on our to do list but Stinkerbelle really wants to ride in them.
It's rare for the blossoms to peak in time for the festival so we're really lucky this year.
I wish everyone could experience the cherry blossoms in person. It may be the perfect welcome for spring.

Growing Things and a Game

DSC_0062I had something all planned for today but now I go to put the post up and I find that flickr ate a few of my pictures. Here is an abbreviated version of the post I planned along with a fun meme instead.

I’m finding that the combination of my new camera and a pair of sneakers is fairly potent. If the weather is nice and I remember to bring them both it then the walks I take during lunch can stretch far beyond what I plan. (oops!) That’s exactly what happened during lunch yesterday. I was going to show you a few growing things like the magnolias in front of the White House. There are flowering trees and shrubs all over DC. I thought that they'd make a nice accompaniement for another growing thing - the new sock that I’m working on.

DSC_1181Here’s the sock. It’s the Wishbone Socks For Knitting pattern by Nancy Bush that’s in the March/April 2008 issue of Piecework. The yarn is Elann Sock it to Me 4 ply in Claret. This yarn was so cheap that I couldn’t resist but so far it knits up really nicely. It’s wool and nylon so it ought to wear well.

Here’s a meme I’ve seen a bunch of places. I think that I like it because it’s more interactive and game-like. Have fun.

Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

  1. If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn't be a human being. You'd be a game-show host.
  2. I would sell my grandmother for a drink - and you know how I love my grandmother. - Philadelphia Story (Amy pegged it as High Society, which was a remake of Philadelphia Story. Close enough.)
  3. I will eviscerate you in fiction. Every pimple, every character flaw. I was naked for a day; you will be naked for eternity. - Knight's Tale (Meghann)
  4. You probably got it all figured out, Corey. If you start out depressed everything's kind of a pleasant surprise.
  5. Ever since I was a child, folks have thought they had me pegged, because of the way I am, the way I talk. And they're always wrong. Capote (Krista)
  6. A real loser is someone who's so afraid of not winning he doesn't even try.
  7. I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven, I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she's filing then I should be able to listen to the radio while I'm collating so I don't see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven. - Office Space (Sprite)
  8. Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. - The Shawshank Redemption (Sarah)
  9. Oh, I don't know, Charlie. Unlike you, I never expected "the thunderbolt." I always just hoped that, that I'd meet some nice friendly girl, like the look of her, hope the look of me didn't make her physically sick, then pop the question and, um, settle down and be happy. It worked for my parents. Well, apart from the divorce and all that. - Four Weddings and a Funeral (Kelly)
  10. I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing. - Pretty Woman (Sarah)

Mar 25, 2008

VA Beach... With Knitting

After Great Wolf we continued south to our friend's house in VA Beach. We've been there many times before and we always have a blast. This was no exception. We went bowling and mini-golfing. We ate way too much at all of our favorite spots and got really lazy watching movies.
We also went to the beach because, really, how can you not? Even when it's overcast and windy there's still something about the ocean air and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. it soothes the soul and brings such a feeling of calm and comfort.
I brought the sock in progress with me but I couldn't work on it much due to the cold and the sand blowing horizontally at us. Do you recognize the yarn? It's the handspun Dragonfly. It looks good on the beach. Those colors have a decidedly marine feel.
It wasn't cold enough to keep DQ out of the water though. She is so brave. So were the people we saw when we went back to the beach the following day. It was warmer then but still... you have to be crazy to go swimming when it's so cold out. See that guy out there catching a wave? Nuts I tell you!
The sock came back for day 2 also but by then it was done. While the kids played in the sand and surf I brought the sock out for a quick photo shoot. It became "attached" to some sand and will need to be washed before wearing. When I got home I found quite a bit of sand in my Go Knit bag too. Actually, it would be easier to name the places that we didn't find sand - none!

Mar 24, 2008

E is for

Education! I'm way behind in posting this and it's mostly because for me, E had to be for education but how do you illustrate that in an interesting way? Then, during one of my luchtime photo walks I happened to pass the National Education Association (NEA) and they had this sculpture in front of the building. It works!
Education is a huge deal for me. Anyone who's met me in real life knows this. It's just one of those things that I value highly. Although I've often referred to my diplomas as wallpaper and all of them (even the framed one) are tucked away in drawers and dusty corners, make no mistake, I am proud of what they represent and the work that they required.

Today, I fantasize sometimes of going back to school for just one more degree. Not that I need it - I just want it to satisfy myself and get a complete set of wallpaper to hide in a drawer.

I also obsess about my daughter's education. When we bought our house my girls were still too young for school but my three requirements were 1. good schools 2. a pool 3. a Baskin Robbins nearby - in no particular order. Thankfully we got all 3 (the pool and the B&R are in walking distance) so now my goal is to make sure that my girls take full advantage of all that the schools offer.

Mar 23, 2008

Great Wolf

DSC_1067This weekend we stayed home. I baked cookies with my girls and knit a lot but it was mostly quiet for me because I felt off. There was a dull ache in my head and I ached. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle and I was. By Sunday afternoon I had a horrendous migraine that sent me running from the light. Thankfully today it has finally passed and I feel like myself again.

This is where I was last week at this time. Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg! We went with friends who we have often vacationed with before and we all had a blast. It's a hotel with it's own indoor water park. I think that the adults were a little apprehensive - worrying that there would be little to entertain us. We expected some water slides, a wave pool - kid stuff. Happily, we were wrong.

Great Wolf Bucket
This is the view that greets you as you enter the indoor water park. That bucket holds 1,000 gallons of water and it tips about every 5 minutes. The kids love it.

This is one of the attractions that the adults enjoyed most. The guys went on it over and over but this picture shows DQ. It's an incline with high powered water shooting up so that you can body surf on it. It takes a lot of skill. Most people wiped out. Hubbo did so in spectacular fashion and created a monumental wall of water. I thought that he broke the darn thing. I tried it but I suck. For me it was much more fun to watch and take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.


Another great ride is the howling Tornado. Picture yourself on a 4-person raft, going thru a brief dark tunnel before emerging into the wide end of a bright yellow and orange funnel on it's side. You bounce up and down the sides of it until exiting through the small dark tube at the bottom. It wasn't terribly scary but it was thrilling.

There were other, less wet activities at Great Wolf too - an arcade and tons of kid stuff. We all had a great time and I would absolutely recommend it to families.
I think that this alone may have been enough for our kids but this was just the start of our little getaway. That's for another post.

Mar 21, 2008

My DC - Week 10

How about a little taste of Georgetown?
I took these quite a while ago and I've been saving them. Oh, that whitewashed brick and the bay window with the arched windows and the decorative corbels.
I just love those old homes. Look at the details. Ya gotta love it!
Have a great weekend. Happy Easter to all who are celebrating.

Mar 19, 2008


DSC_1167I'm back!
We got home from our little getaway late last night and it was fabulous. We went away with close friends of ours and we had a wonderful and jam-packed vacation. I took tons of pictures and some of them are not half bad so I'll wait until they're uploaded and edited before I tell you much about the past few days. This picture wasn't one of the best but it works for today. That's Bosco and he belongs to our friends. The beach is Virginia Beach and it's where we spent part of our trip.
It's funny to think that yesterday it was still winter and we were standing on a beach, enjoying a warm, sunny day. Our biggest worry was trying to prevent the pails and shovels from blowing away in the strong wind that whipped up the sand and blew it in out eyes. The most important decision was what to have for dinner.
Today it's officially spring and we're home, bundled up against the cold. I'm back at work, trying to locate the desk beneath the pile of accumulated paperwork and catching up on email. Today it's not just a question of what to have for dinner but what food is actually left n the house since i didn't do grocery shopping last weekend in anticipation of our trip.

Mar 13, 2008

My DC - Week 9

St John's Church

This is right across the street from the White House. Don't you just love the yellow? How spring-like. This church if perfect for illustrating one of the things I love about DC - the juxtaposition of old and new. This church is surrounded by buildings of more recent vintage.
There is just something about a shiny gold dome contrasted against a beautiful blue sky.
This picture shows the juxtaposition of old and new again. Nifty. I didn't go in the church but seeing all of those stained glass windows makes me wish I had. They must be fantastic.


Last night I finished another sock that I can't show you and another will be complete this afternoon. Ugh. That is just so frustrating. I piled all of the test socks up on the table this morning to admire them. I like them so much that I'm having trouble deciding which pair to complete next.
Sock TeaseThe Madness officially starts today and the discussion on Ravelry and in the Flickr group is growing increasingly more feverish. There are poems, introductions, questions and stash flashing. I got so caught up in it last night that I forgot to upload the pictures I planned to use today. This picture is a teaser that I already posted to the Sock Madness blog. DQ actually found the sock sitting on the aforementioned pile this morning and decided that she really likes it and she'd like to claim this one too. Fat chance!

Did I tell you that she tried to bribe hubbo to leave my camera home on Monday night? She did. She offered him $10 to "forget" it at home instead of bringing it as I asked. Thankfully, his priorities are straight and he brought it.

Anyway, back to the socks. I frogged the handspun sock because it just wasn't right and I'm going to restart it today. I'm also going to start the mate to one of the other test socks. Can you tell I've got a bit of startitis?

Mar 11, 2008


Look what we did tonight. Stinkerbelle had her first softball practice. Right here she looks focused and engaged but, during lulls in activity she was busy chatting and assigning nicknames to the other girls.


She had a great time and, although she didn't catch this particular ball, she caught others. She did a good job catching and throwing and, most importantly on this first night of practice, she took direction well. I was grinning like the proud mom that I am.

Best of all, out there on the field, she couldn't hide from my camera like her sister did the night before during her band concert. I'm not saying that DQ did it on purpose but there was a music stand directly in front of her and she rarely peeked out from behind it. She sounded really good though.

In fiber news, I noticed yesterday that the schedule of classes for this year's Maryland Sheep & Wool is posted. I shouldn' t even be telling you because I want to take at least one of these classes and I don't want to get shut out. I'm all about the sharing though so here's the link to the schedule. I've also posted a countdown ticker to the big weekend (just for you Felicia!).

Mar 10, 2008

Red Sock, Blue Sock

I'm feeling better than I did yesterday. I know I sounded like a mess but Sunday wasn't all bad, it was a lot like this picture - both positive and negative. I think the reason that I felt so drained and lousy is mostly a function of ending my day with a task that made me feel depressed rather than on a positive note.

Good & BadIn this picture, you see the start of a new, blue sock. That's the Dragonfly yarn I just made last month. It is so nice to be knitting with my handspun. I'm just doing a simple toe up sock because I'm not sure how the handspun will knit up. I figure that by the time I turn the heel I'll have a good feel for it and if I want to use a pattern on the leg, I can add it at that point. I do have something in mind so I've got a target number of stitches but beyond that I'm just enjoying the experience right now.

Sunday morning was a lot like the blue sock. I started by having breakfast with good friends before attending a preparation class for an upcoming event that I'm really excited about. It's so exciting to be planning and preparing a celebration. Afterthe meeting, I hung out and chatted with friends, before leaving to take DQ to see a movie. We saw Step Up 2: The Streets. It was the perfect movie for my fabulous, dancing daughter and she he loved it! I loved hanging out with her.

After the movie, we got to the red sock portion of the day. The red sock in the picture is from the very first pair of socks that I made - Jaywalkers in STR in a color I think was called Ruby Slippers. Do you see the hole that has formed in the sole? I have no idea where that came from but it makes me sad. I don't think I have any of that yarn left over so I need to find something else to fix it with.

The red sock portion of Sunday was spent talking to realtors and showing them my dad's house which I need to sell. Obviously, it was really hard to be in his house, where he lived and died, talking about selling it. It was even harder because the real estate market is not good. Due the economy and the crack down on illegal immigrants, there are many foreclosures in the county where the house is located. One of the realtors was very pessimistic about the sale and that was so hard to hear. The other one was more positive about it - we signed with her. She also knew my dad so there was an added element of reminicsence. It was a long and difficult afternoon but the house goes on the market soon.

Wish us luck!


I feel like the story is the same every Monday. I wake up and feel drained from all of the craziness of the previous weekend. It's no different today bu next week is spring break and I took a few days off so, if I make it through this week, then I can look forward to a little R&R.

DSC_0636This picture has nothing at all to do with today's post. I can't seem to upload any new pictures so I'm using this one, taken last week, to pretty things up a little. Gotta have some pretty.

Saturday it was pouring out. Torrential rain! DQ and her friend R were volunteering at Girl Scout Day at the Air and Space Museum. We drove out there and got to the special gate that volunteers were supposed to use and found one of those super secure security gates shut tight. I had to get out and go press the little button for a few minutes in the rain. Press once... static, static, static. Press twice... more static. Press three times... more of the same. I was nearly ready to give up when a guard appeared to let us in.

The event was great. I'd never been to the Air & Space annex out in Dulles. It's huge! They said there were thousands of people there but because the place is so big, you'd never know it unless you went to get food. That's where they had ridiculous lines.

All day long we ran around helping out where it was needed. Actually, the girls helped and I knit. I had my new, purple, Go Knit pouch with me and it was great. I knit on my sock as I walked around.

One thing I noticed was all of the cool patches the girls had on their vests. Some were so pretty and colorful. I started feeling guilty. Really, really guilty. Stinky has been a Brownie for 2 years and I've never sewn a single one of her badges on her vest. I put on the troop number and the service unit info and called it a day. It was actually kind of a joke that one of the other moms and I laughed about - "Haha she got more badges that I'll never sew on. Hahaha." I know that you can iron some of them on but I saw some vests on Saturday with shiny spots where badges once were. Nope, no good. I felt so bad that I sat down with her vest that night and sewed on about 16 badges. she was really happy wearing her vest to her meeting on Sunday. No, I did not sew any badges on DQ's vest. The moment passed (and fingers became sore) before I ever even looked at that nasty pile. Her troop has been way too busy.

Sunday was tiring too. Tiring and mentally draining. I need another day to process it before I talk about it.

Mar 7, 2008

My DC - Week 8

I survived! I participated in Career Day yesterday and didn't embarrass myself or my daughter. I consider that a huge success. Actually, even though we got off to a rocky start which rendered my Powerpoint unusable, it all went smoothly and the kids had quite a few questions. I even had a few answers. Woot! My daughter said that the kids had positive comments afterward and she seemed happy that I was there. Really - that's all that matters.

On to this week's installment of My DC. Most of the pictures I take in DC are of older, ornate, buildings with a surplus of charachter but occasionally, other, newer structures call my name.
It may not be super impressive but it fits it's purpose very well. This little elephant sits right in front of it and offers a great hint at what this building houses. Give up? It's the American Chemical Society. Fitting, eh? By the way, the elephant (which would've been a great E - darn) is really cute if you look at the bigger version.
I had so much fun taking these pictures. I walked and walked and walked. Sadly I wasn't wearing good walking shoes and at the end of my walk I had blisters on my feet. Yuck! I think that it I was influenced heavily by a certain aroma in the air heralding spring. Mulch! At this time of year all the planters along the streets are being tended to and the smell of mulch is everywhere.

Mar 6, 2008


Picture 003This is certainly my week for bonehead moves. Tuesday night, before camera class, I felt the sudden urge to turn the yarn for my next pair of socks into a yarn cake. For no other reason than I was too lazy to get out my swift & ball winder, I decided to wind it by hand. Bad idea! I started out fine but soon became a tangled mess.

Picture 005It was handspun yarn.

If it had been anything else there is a strong possibility that I would've tossed it in a corner as punishment for misbehaving and forgotten about it for a while. It's happened before and this was a pretty snarled mess.

I was really distressed about this so last night I came home and got to work. I sat and wound and untangled through Jeopardy, American Idol, Project Runway (yay for the finale), the late news, Letterman ( a re-run- damn!), and Craig Ferguson. By the time I went to bed it was 2 am but at least the yarn was untangled.

Picture 002Any other night this would be inconvenient. Last night it was really distressing because today I have to go speak to a bunch of 6th graders for career day. I am really not a public speaker. I am the kind of person who's most comfortable sitting quietly in the back of the room observing everything. I don't know what posessed me to agree to this.

On my best days I can be expected to make a complete moron of myself when speaking to a group but when I'm running at a severe sleep deficit. OMG! What was I thinking? And this audience - I'm going to be telling a bunch of my daughter's peers about being a law librarian. Ugh! I'm sure they think this is as exciting as cleaning their room. I just hope I don't embarrass her. Please let me not trip over my own two feet in front of them.

Wake me when it's over.

Mar 5, 2008

When to Go Nose First

DSC_0690I'm feeling like a bit of a dunce today and I still have nothing fabulous of the knitty or hand spun variety to share. Bummer.
I lieu of real knit content I've decorated this post with some of the new yarn that has recently entered my collection. The light blue is Elann's Bamboo (Wool/Bamboo blend) which just arrived yesterday. This stuff feels soft and it has such a lovely sheen. I got 9 balls of it and I'm hoping to make a shell or a tee. I know that I shouldn't be buying yarn right now because I have so much already including a few sweaters worth that is actually attached to a pattern. No business buying any yarn at all. But it's really pretty isn't it?

DSC_0689This blue Plymouth Tweed will be the very next sweater I start (once Sahara is done). When I was in NY for Thanksgiving I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. They never ask for anything. In fact, my grandfather often calls before a birthday or other event to remind me that he doesn't need anything at all and to make sure that I know not to send anything but a card.

Sitting with my grandmother one afternoon, she asked if I make anything other than shawls. I was actually working on a sock at the time and I said that I make all kinds of things. She said that she can't find any cardigans that she likes. Nothing is ever quite right and the ones she has are old. Could I help her? Absolutely! I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her.

I got the yarn at my LYS in January with the intent of making the Tangled Yoke Cardigan for my grandmother. The gauge for this yarn is a little different from the suggested yarn so I was really happy to have the assistance from Aylin, the shop owner, to work it out for me. She told me the necessary adjustments using knitty math that is way beyond my abilities. I can't wait to start this.

DSC_0684I went to camera class last night and it was great. I learn so much from each class. Last night was all about composition. I came home really late last night talking a blue streak about compression and expansion to a very tired hubbo who could barely focus on what I was saying. I didn't even get a chance to tell him the next camera gadget that I simply must have. The picture at left was taken using an extension tube with my regular lens. One of the other students had one and showed me how it works. It's a much cheaper way to get macro shots with the lenses you already have. I need one right now.

Oh, and about the title of this post. That's another thing I learned yesterday. If your car inspection sticker is expired and you park in a commuter lot - park nose in. Don't back in so that any passing officer can easily see what a bonehead you are. I got to my car last night and found a totally waterlogged ticket stuck to my windshield right above the inspection sticker that expired 5 days ago. Both are right in front on my nose when I drive. I totally deserve the ticket for being such a dumbass. My car is with hubbo today - hiding in a private garage 'till I get it inspected.

Mar 4, 2008

Cabbage Thing

I'm telling you - spring really is coming. Frankie, our turtle, has been really active lately which is a sure sign that winter is coming to an end. There seem to be more really lovely days too although the cold hasn't completely left us yet.

Yesterday was gorgeous. Warm and sunny. In anticipation, I brought my camera with me and spent my lunch wandering about taking pictures. There is just so much that I want to capture but at the very least I have fresh material for this Friday. Yay!


It wasn't all architecture. I just love these decorative cabbagey things. They have nothing to do with anything at all but I just thought it was pretty so here it is to dress things up a little.

I really wish I could show you what I was working on last night because I solved a problem with a sock I was working on. It was a small thing but I feel so accomplished. I'm just trying to be patient because soon I'll be finished with SM2 prep and I can move on to other stuff that's not so secret. I think that the first thing will be a pair of socks made from that Dragonfly yarn I made last month. I'm not sure if I want to do a pattern or just a simple sock so I'll go toe-up and wing it.

Mar 3, 2008

Finally Monday

Hubbo returned late last night. Whew! I am so relieved. I'm not sure that anyone has ever been as pleased to start another week at work as I am. Don't worry, I haven't taken leave of my senses and by this afternoon I'm sure that I'll be counting the minutes 'till Friday.

Notice that lack of photos today? That's because no spinning and a minimal amount of knitting was done this weekend. I learned that it is super hard to get anything done when there is a child curled up in your lap 24/7. Of course, as soon as daddy returned I became chopped liver and I was lucky even to get a buh-bye from her this morning.

I did complete one large task this weekend. I finished posting all 226 of this year's Sock Madness players. So tedious! Not bad for an event that, just a few short months ago, looked like it might not happen. Now we have a very lively group of knitters representing countries around the world getting stoked. You can tell that the excitement is building by the discussion in the SM2 group on Ravelry.