Saturday, July 31, 2004

Baby the Rain Must Fall

I'm running out of "rain"-titled movies.

Yes, it's threatening rain again today. The humidity is so high that we are all dripping condensation, like a glass of cold water. Does that indicate that the ambient temperature is higher than the body? I think it does!

With the afghan-from-hell complete and out of my project basket, I moved on (or is it back?) to the bobble lace ribbed socks and completed something like 6 rows before becoming carsick. Note to self: stick to mindless knitting in the car, or at least to something where the pattern is already established. This reading-and-knitting-in-motion simple does not work.

I made nice progress on the Origami mittens, but I'm starting to wish that I had reversed the colors. A=solid + B=variegated = not nearly as nice as they could be. I'll finish this pair, and if time permits, make another in two solids, or at least reverse the yarns so that the cuffs are solid.

And on a charity-related note, please allow me a bit of a rant. I haunt the local thrift shoppe for lightly used baby things that I send to my charity-of-choice. I have gotten some truly lovely, gently worn stuff that was to die for. Baby b'Gosh, and other expensive brands that look like they've been worn once--for the pictures. You know the stuff. Last month, I filled a bag (I'm a sucker for "bag sales") with lovely sun suits and onesies for $3.

I just came from my not-quite-as-local thrift store. My throat is closing up(from mildew??) and the first thing I did when I walked in the door was wash my hands!

They were having a bag sale. I made a bee-line to the children's clothing. There was very little there, and what was there was in very poor condition. Stained, torn, just plain dirty. Smelly. Okay, I was there already. I went through the pile (It was a pile, not folded or stacked, just tossed. Maybe I was following someone who had already picked through it.) methodically, like I do at my regular place. I was able to score 1/2 grocery bag of children's things. I glanced briefly at the adult clothing, thinkingI could get a couple sweaters to send to the elders and fill the bag. Nothing. Not one blessed thing that I would send anyone.I paid my 2 bucks (even though the ladies offered it to me for one--it's for the hospital that houses the closest ER). I'm going to throw this stuff in the washer and hope for the best. I am not holding my breath!

This is EXACTLY what I mean when I say: If I wouldn't give it to my pickiest in-law, I don't donate it. 95% of those kids' clothes should have been thrown away, by the donor or by the thrift store. And no, sometimes "anything" is not better than "nothing!"

And on a personal note (like the rest of this isn't personal): effective tomorrow, I can claim the senior citizen discount at most fast food places and grocery stores. Yep, the big Five-Five!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Five Easy Pieces

Anyone notice a movie theme going?

I had a hard time finding a title tonight. The afghan-from-you-know-where is DONE! So stick a  fork in it! I finished those last endless rows of seed stitch, wove in the ends, then folded it and stuck it in a corner of my stash.

Now on to the last 5 quick and easy pieces to finish. (Or are there more than 5?) I've lost count.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Rains Came

And came, and came, and came. . .

I think my feet have begun to web.

We bailed out early at work today. "Work" sits squarely between two streams in a 100-year flood plain. In the five years I've been there, it's flooded more than a few times. Usually, it's nothing serious, but today, one of the guys left at 3 (as usual) and called mere minutes later to say that they were starting to block off access roads because the water was rising.

As soon as we could, we locked up and left. My usual route was still open, but there was a foot wide stream crossing the road already, and now, 5 hours later, it's still raining, and rain is predicted through the night. Gee, I wonder if I'll be able to get to work in the morning. The park was under water already this afternoon.

 I've spent the evening surfing and reading e-mail (I think I belong to too many lists) and knitting away on the afghan-from-Hell that I needed only 9 more rows to finish.

So I mis-read. Shoot me--please and make this misery go away.

5 1/2 rows later, I still have 8 1/2 rows to go.



Monday, July 26, 2004

Unfinished Business

Now that I've committed to entering, I find myself pushing hard to complete my various projects for the fair.

Tonight I discovered that I am a mere 9.5 rows from the end of the afghan-from-Hades. Lord, I hate working with Lion Homespun! The damned stuff squeaks! And, of course, the Addi circular that I have in the right size is one of those with the tubing in place of a thin cable, so it's a pain in the arse to work with, too. Like I said: afghan-from-Hades!

I put a couple more rows on the "bootees" tonight. I think the lace pattern on the cuff is really pretty special. I managed to pick up an extra stitch along the way which threw the lace pattern off, which caused me to swear a lot and tink (unknit) and twice, I thought I was back to the proper 51 stitches, and so, I finished the row, counted again and &*$#@ FIFTY TWO! So I finally discovered where the extra stitch was, and next row, decreased that sucker out of there! Success!

We're closing in on the posting of pictures. By the time these things are done, I'll have it down. (Right now, my ISP keeps telling me I'm "forbidden."

I hear my pillow calling my name!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Much Ado About Nothing

Well, the die is cast.

My $10 and registration form are on their way to the Fair offices. I decided that my "undecideds" would be a pair of lace cuffed bootees from Zoe Mellor's 50 Baby Bootees to Knit,  and a pair of  convertible mittens that I found here:

Of course, I will make modifications. Since they are for my younger son (who is no longer all that young) the beads will be the first to go. Then maybe the cables. But maybe not.

I have a design idea for the snow people, and one of Jean Greenhowe's toy books to inspire me on the Clauses. We don't need another Christmas stocking here right now, and we have a "family" pattern that I have used for all of us (and entered in the Fair 2 years ago, in fact). So, I'll be searching high and low for something to use that I can give away (baby present, anyone?).  The Christmas ornament will be "yet another sheep." (I have a nice collection started.) I'll probably use Debbie Bliss as a jumping off point there.

All I need to do now is to avoid distraction

Friday, July 23, 2004

Home Alone

I had the house to myself last night. It gave me some time to put The Fair into perspective and to determine if it is even possible for me to get my shit together quickly enough to enter this year.

Background: About 5 years ago, after seeing the very sparse knit offerings at The Great Allentown Fair, I decided to try my hand. Each year since, I've entered the maximum (10 pieces)  in the "needlework" department, and have branched out into the "mixed materials" (mostly Christmas decor) department.

I've been pleasantly surprised to win several ribbons and loads (sarcasm) of cash. Since the top prize (for a full-size afghan) is $6, clearly, I will not retire on my winnings. But still. . .

It's been a hellish summer for knitting (no time, little energy) and I have been throwing myself into charity knitting (Critter Knitters, Ship Support, Native American Support) so competition has been one of the last things on my mind.

I'm down to the wire, now though. It is literally "shit or get off the pot" as the deadline to enter looms. Actual finished items are not due until the end of August, so I need to assess my potential.

Completed: shawl (from one of the "Knits from Beatrix Potter"-type books in Woolease), dish/facecloth (just finished--old Leisure Arts pattern), little cotton "Beach Beanie" (from a recent Knitter's issue in Aunt Lydia's Denim), baby blankie (Bernat Breeze pastels, "log cabin" pattern), baby cardigan (Debbie Bliss Quick Baby Knits, Red Heart "Soft"-yick, way too little body for my taste), and a cotton tee shirt ("Bob" from So that's 6.

In varying stages of completion: that full size afghan (pattern from House of White Birches, yarn by Lion--Homespun--another yick, but the intended recipient will like it), a pair of socks (Bobbles and Lace from Cast On accessories special, Kroy sock yarn). That takes me to 8.

Being considered (not cast on yet): Origami mittens (from an on-line pattern), a felted potholder, a felted tote, baby booties, a toy from one of the Debbie Bliss books. Pick 2.

Also under consideration (that "other" category): Chistmas stocking, Christmas ornament, pair of snowpeople, Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Forge ahead!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Long Day's Journey Into Night

It has been a very long day that started way too early (5 a.m.) and ended way too late. It was Advisory Board meeting day and the chair had very kindly invited us to meet at his beautiful creek-side home after work (we usually meet at 7:30 in the morning), then to stay for dinner.

The setting was drop-dead gorgeous, dinner was wonderful (paella and a salad of fresh chopped garden stuff and flan for dessert), but it was still a long, long day.

So I accomplished no knitting and the fair (Great Allentown Fair) looms large.

I must commit to enter within the next couple of days and there is much to finish (and almost as much to start and finish) before the end of August. I can do this (or die trying)!


I'll be attempting (3rd try) this weekend to add photos to this blog. Then I can show some of the cool stuff that's finished--maybe.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

A Trial Run

 Why is it, that when I was no where near blogger, the thoughts flowed, but now with screen before me, I cannot compose?
This is a trial balloon and will probably be deleted, but for now, my blog is launched!

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