Sunday, October 28, 2007

You'd think that as I have been falling asleep all day, I would be sound asleep by now since it is after midnight. Not so. Here I am wide awake. I hate that. We had a kind of strange day here. It rained and rained and rained all last night and this morning. Then, all of a sudden, the sun was out and it was clear. No real complaints. We have had a rather dry fall so far.
Kate and Emily and I checked out the yarn store owned by the woman who urged Borders to bring the yarn harlot here. It is a tiny shop but stocked with some nice yarn. I bought the IK holiday knits and some pretty blue sock yarn. Plain, for once. I also got some black, neon blue and grey yarn for Em to make herself some socks with. Kate bought some pretty sock yarn and some other yarn for which she has no real purpose. It was "just pretty".

And there has been some knitting. I finished the lacy mock cable sock made from the Picasso yarn from the yarn club. The photos are pretty true to the colors of the yarn. It's really pretty because the colors are subtle and not too bright. They let the pattern show and neither overwhelms the other. I love this pattern. I think it is my favorite. It is so quick, the socks seem to fly along. This yarn is part wool and part seacell. It has a slippery texture and is not spun too tightly so it is a little splitty and you have to be careful with it. But boy, it's worth it. I have not been working on the snowflake socks. For some reason, I am having more trouble with the second sock than I had with the first. I guess I was cocky about how easy it was to do the stranded color and now the knitting goddess is having fun at my expense. I have to keep ripping out rows because I seem to be having a terrible time following the pattern.
Tomorrow (today) I have to do the cleaning that we blew off today and finish washing/ironing the winter clothes that we got out. I also have to go to the grocery store. Sounds like there will not be too much knitting here. Unless I can find some elves to clean while I shop.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I have been spending some time thinking about Julie's book meme and here is what I have come up with.

Hard cover or paperback?
Both, depending on whether it is a favorite author and I will keep the book forever or if I am buying it and releasing it into the wild.

If you owned a bookshop, what would you call it?
Book. Simple and to the point. Although, I might be too possessive to sell anything and would have to make sure the books were going to good homes.

Favorite quote from a book?
"Anything is possible in this most impossible of all possible worlds" Candide by Voltaire

Author, dead or alive, to have lunch with?
No contest. Isaac Asimov. The man wrote over 800 books, many of them text books. He gave us our images of robots and the future and wrote some terrific sci-fi.

If you were on a deserted island and could take only one book, what would you take?
This was harder but I really liked Amy's idea of an Anthology and Norton's is the only one I have ever heard or or owned. I also would like a blank book to write in.

The smell of books reminds me of....
Old books remind me of my high school library and new books make me excited (or is that too much information?)

If you were a lead character, who would you be?
One of my all time favorite books is And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmeyer. It is a novel about 2 women and their friends in a small town in Ohio. It starts shortly after the civil war and goes for 60 years through their friendships and families . I would be Anne. She is the steadfast, calm, sensible wife who just gets things done. She just quietly goes about her life and does what needs doing without fanfare. She is loving and kind and all those good things. I think I am probably a lot like her already. Me and my quiet anonymous life and I like it like that.

What do you think is the most overrated book of all time?
Ulyssees by James Joyce. I hated it. 'nuff said.

I hate it when a book....
ends too quickly. Not like in a short book but in a book where it sounds like the author said, "hmm, I have 25 pages to wrap this story up and tie in all the details".

So, there are my answers. If you asked me tomorrow, I might have different ones. It was hard to choose favorites because I have been a reader all my life. I read the cereal boxes at the table and my grandmother laughed at that and used to buy me Bobbsey Twins books every time she went out. I have an almost complete set of the originals. I tried to read them to my kids but they don't translate well into the modern world. I am a sucker for Hans Christian Anderson tales because he doesn't have happy endings all the time. Ever read the original Little Mermaid? If not, give it a try. Much more satisfying ending. I read predominately fiction at this point because I figure life is tough all day at work and when I come home, I want to be entertained. The last non-fiction book I read, and I highly recommend it, was Letters to Sam by Dan Gottlieb. Dan is a psychologist who became quadraplegic at age 25 from a car accident. Sam is his grandson who has autism. Dan was afraid Sam would not know him as a person so he wrote a series of letters that are wonderful glimpses into what the world looks like when you are different.

And if anyone is interested, Em's friend got his car unstuck using a backhoe. Luckily for him, he knows someone who works with a backhoe and didn't have to pay for it. Will this stop him from trying to drive through standing water in the future? Nope. Em calls it 'testosterone poisoning' and he has it bad.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Well, it did rain yesterday and was as humid as it can be so naturally we were all looking our lovely best when we went to see The Yarn Harlot.
This is Kate and Emily at 5 pm sitting in the chairs that Borders provided. They are very close together without a lot of room to move your arms (you know, like, to knit?). That didn't stop our intrepid group as more and more people showed up until the place looked like this. At 7 pm all the chairs were filled with knitters. There were more knitters in that one room than I have ever seen, all knitting. It was so cool to see what they were knitting and to meet Donna (knittgal) and her friend who came up from Salem County for the day. Stephanie arrived a little late, (you have to read her blog to hear her reasons), and looked great. She was even wearing her Kauni sweater which she had finished. She was working on her sock and her hands move so fast, they are almost a blur. Wow. The sweater is seriously beautiful and now I want one. This photo here on the right is Stephanie knitting. She was funny and thoughtful and so enjoyable that the hour went by so quickly. We bought books and were not really interested in getting them autographed so we thought we'd wait around until she was done and take a photo with her. We sat and chatted with the other women and were generally having a good time until Atilla the Borders Mkting Mgr came along. She was clearly displeased that we were "just sitting there" (we overheard her tell a staff person that "there are people just standing and sitting and talking, do something about it"). We ignored her for about half an hour but her sighs and looking at watch frequently really got to be too much. So, much as we didn't want to, we left around 9:30. I guess Atilla didn't understand how wonderful it was to be with people who "get" you and with whom you don't have to apologize to for your "hobby". We couldn't figure out if they were in a hurry to get us out or just didn't want us to sit in the chairs or what it was. THEY SOLD A LOT OF BOOKS!! I don't think they were prepared for the turnout and how everyone would want to talk to Stephanie. They really seemed to rush the line along. All that being said, it was a great evening. We laughed and laughed and had a great time. I was so glad we went 2 hrs early and were able to sit in the second row so we were able to see and hear her without any problems. And she really is as nice as she seems....

So, what was I working on while we sat there? I chose not to bring my snowflake sock, too much concentration involved. I finished up my monkey socks in my skein of Starry Night and I really love them. The colors are so pretty and really reminiscent of the painting. We had dinner at the diner and while we were sitting there, Em'sboyfriend called to tell her that his friend had gotten stuck in a mud puddle in the woods. She offered to bring my car (a 4 wheel drive rodeo which we take in the woods often) and see if they could pull the car out of the mud. She and Peter Kevin started out at 10:30.Around about 11:30 we lost power for 2 hours due to an accident taking out a transformer. I sat in the dark with my book light attached to my nightgown and knit away waiting to hear that everything was ok. The cell phone reception is really terrible there so I was not surprised we didn't hear anything for a long time. They got home at 3, exhausted and without the car. It was still stuck. The men are going to try again tonight. Em, very thoughtfully, took my car and had it cleaned and detailed. I didn't see all the mud but she said it was bad.
Today, we have done almost nothing. We did go to the beer store for some brewing supplies so Peter Kevin can try again (he killed the yeast last time) to brew some beer. Tomorrow, we have to do the cleaning and laundry and I guess get the winter clothes out. This warm weather won't last forever. I hope eveyone is having a good weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm sitting here at work waiting for our chart room to open up so I can get some charts and do some fairly mindless paperwork. Gotta love Fridays.

After reading the Yarn Harlot's blog yesterday, I feel bad. She is sick with a cold. She sounded miserable. There were over 170 comments on how she could treat her congestion and survive a plane flight. It occurred to me that she could say, postpone this trip and take care of herself. I, and I am sure a lot of local knitters, would be disappointed but we would live. I suggested such in the comments. I would rather have her come when she feels well and is at her best than have her run herself into the ground to make a public appearance. I checked this morning and so far, it looks like she is still coming. We are going over early. It is 80 degrees here and supposed to rain all afternoon and evening. If there is some kind of line, it will be miserable. I have a mostly finished pair of monkey socks to work on and a new pair of mock cable socks to cast on so I am good. Kate and Emily have their knitting so I guess everyone is ready.

Now, to get this pesky work out of the way.....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I was at work today and showed my web site to some coworkers. I wanted to show them my snowflake socks. They were duly impressed and read some of the rest of the entries. I have no idea what they said when I left the room. But when I came back, they said "You should bring those socks in here". I said I did. Every day. On the train. They said "no, to sell". After I finished laughing, I pointed to the skein of sock yarn pictured on the blog. "How much do you think I paid for that hand dyed sock yarn?". They had no idea but guessed about 10 dollars. I said,"no, I paid 30 dollars for that. Now, who is going to pay me at least 30 dollars for socks? And that's just for the yarn." They insisted someone would. Somehow, I doubt it. And besides, I like knowing that the people to whom I give my hand knitted gifts cherish them and know that they have a little of my love around them everytime they wear them.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is coming to our local Borders book store on Friday. I rsvp'd two weeks ago and the woman at the store made sure I understood that this did not guarantee me a seat, they just needed an approximate count. Well, if they know how many people are coming, why don't they get enough chairs? Duh?! Kate and Emily and I are going and are planning to get there early, knitting in hand so we can get a seat. I heard that there were over 250 people coming. The store is not that big.....I have a feeling they are going to be overwhelmed. Photos will be forthcoming.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I am nerdier than 40% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

I am not nearly as nerdy as I thought I might be. Hmm, can I hang out with the cool kids now?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I finished the first sock in my strikke-along pair. It fits well, almost a little big but it's wool and may shrink a little when it's washed. I didn't do all the pattern repeats because the foot was getting really long and I hadn't gotten to the toe. I slipped it on and halfway through the last repeat, the sock already came to the base of my toes. I stopped the pattern and started the toe. Now, this was not a particularly difficult pattern and I didn't have to rip out too many stitches along the way. I even enjoyed knitting it most of the time. However, the toe, the plain stockinette, single color toe had to be ripped out and restarted 4 times. For some reason, I had a terrible time with the decreases. I am not sure I like them as they are written and may rip it out for a 5th time and do them differently. Overall, I am proud and pleased with the sock. It is thick and warm and since I always have cold feet in the winter, it will come in handy. It stretches enough but not too much and fits well.

Last night was the first time I took knitting out on a date with my husband where we were going to meet some friends. I had never met the girlfriend and was not sure what she would think of me sitting there knitting while I talked. She is 20 yrs younger and I wondered if she would think I was an old lady. I decided to chance it and was calmly working on a monkey sock when she came into the bar. She asked about it and admitted she had tried to learn to knit but hadn't had much success. I offered to help her the next time we get together but I don't think she'll take me up on it. I also discovered I can't converse easily while knitting. I talk with my hands and found that I was often putting the knitting down so I could contribute to the conversation. Needless to say, not much knitting progress was made but a good time was had by all.

The laundry is finally all folded and put away and the ironing is all done. I did the grocery shopping earlier and now it is time for some "me" time in which I will tackle the second snowflake sock. Otherwise my feet will have to fight over the one sock all winter!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Twenty six years ago today, two young kids set out on an adventure, to find their fame and fortune. Several moves, three kids and one old house later, they have realized that their fortune lies in each other and the love they share. They are not rich in material things nor are they famous (thank goodness!) but in the things that count, they are wealthy beyond compare. Happy Anniversary, my love.

And how did we spend our day, you may ask? Taking these

and adding one of these

and ending up with one of these: Voila! Here is my home made swift.

Those of you who have children may recognize K-nex. They were an absolute favorite of my children when they were little. Peter Kevin found a photo online of someone who built a swift and today he built one for me. This is just until he can make a wooden one. This is the yarn that is being spun around on my swift. It is the October Art Walk sock yarn. The painting is Three Dancers by Picasso and the yarn is wool and seacell. The photo managed to capture the beauty of the colors and the sublte sheen of the yarn. I am not sure what it will be yet as it has not told me.

To celebrate our anniversary, we are getting tickets to see the Renoir landscapes at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and have dinner somewhere nice. We love the museum and Renoir is a favorite. I am lucky to be married to my best friend.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

This was a lovely weekend weather wise. Too bad I can't remember much of it. By Friday night I had turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches and started the foot of my sock. It looks really nice and I am proud of it. I am especially proud that the gusset turned out like the photo said it should. The bottom of the foot is striping up nicely and all seems well. Saturday morning I woke up with the nasty, sore throat, mucus-filled chest that is a sure sign that I am developing bronchitis. I know this because bronchitis and I are old friends. Maybe friends is too strong a word, say, cough syrup drinking-buddies. Along with the mucus, etc. comes a lethargy that is so hard to kick. I managed to do the laundry but that is about it. I sat out front with the intention of enjoying the warm weather and knitting but I think I slept on and off most of the day. I don't quite remember. We watched a terrible disaster movie and I went to bed and slept 11 hours. I got up, ate breakfast and you guessed it, went back to sleep for a few hours. I am trying to stay awake because I want to sleep tonight so I can go to work tomorrow and be coherent. I wish we had off like the federal government and the schools. It is Columbus Day and all, but we are a HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATION (cue dramatic music)! Someone might NEED us!!!! I think I would like to go back to sleep again. My eyelids are slowly sinking, sinking, sinking...I hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Kate calls this my "obligatory picture post". I call it sharing my excitement with the world. Ok, with a small part of the world. Here is a photo of my Snowflake sock in progress. I upsized the needles because I have wide feet and I also have an ankle that was dislocated once and now is larger than the other one and has a tendency to swell to the size of a grapefruit. I am also not using the Lorna's Laces Shepherd's sock yarn that the pattern suggested. I am using Telemark from Knitpicks. It was cheap, $1.99 a skein and I wasn't sure I was going to like stranded color work and didn't want to invest a lot of money into something that would gather dust. The yarn is not real soft. It is 100 percent wool and will need handwashing. It does knit up nice and spongey. The sock fits on my ankle well and is not tight. It is stretchier than I anticipated. Every pattern for stranded color I read said it does not stretch. And I LIKE IT! The pattern is difficult enough for me to not be bored as I learn and easy enough that I can follow it now that Kate has made it bigger for me. I am halfway through the last pattern repeat on the cuff and will then do the solid color heel and the striped bottom-of-the-foot. It is so cool to see the pattern develop as I knit. I am in awe that it works. Yay for new skills! Now I will have to find a pattern for some pretty mittens to go with my bright red coat for winter.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Quick thought. I found this button on a blog that I was reading at work (I know, shame, shame, shame) and I followed it to the site. It was thought provoking and I liked it so much that I linked to it myself. Blogging without obligation sounds like a no-brainer to me but maybe it is something to think about. If writing your blog becomes a chore and an obligation, why are you doing it?

Happy Sunday!  I am sitting here working on my sweater made with the cashmere yarn my husband gave me for my birthday last year. I’m further...