Sunday, April 30, 2006

Confession Is Good For the Soul

Another month ends, and I drag out my UFOs for the obligatory photo shoot. You'll notice that Branching Out (salmon blob) and Diamond Patch (taupe and multi-colored blob) don't look much different than they did last time. That's because they are in pretty much the same stage of the knit process.

Mitone is a UFO, simply because it's there in the singular. The yarn balls are there, but there's nothing officially On The Needles.

Multi-colored pastel thing in the middle is the baby hat. Just need to do the decreases and it's finished.

All the rest is three pairs of Ship Support slippers. They just need seaming, so in theory, barring major mis-steps, I could finish the day (today) with 4 FOs.

Are we taking bets? Will Sheepie finish any of the current UFOs before midnight? And how many new projects will she cast on before then?

Stay tuned!

Twenty-seven years ago today, in fact, right about this time, I was in labor and anxiously awaiting the coming of the Younger Kid. He's visiting his brother this weekend, so this is a long distance Happy Birthday, sweetie.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Some Things to Ponder

What a day! It started with me giving the bathrooms a pretty serious cleaning (once a month, whether they need it or not), which led me to wonder: If everyone in the house is 6' tall or less, how does toothpaste splatter the mirror 7' above the floor?

Driving past the fire company social hall today, I couldn't help but notice the sign for tonight's "adult toys bingo." Do we really want to know what this is? Is it the markers? The prizes? It's way more than I want to think about.

So, I went to the Tree to get some "stuff" to "tart up" the newly, nearly completely refurbished bathrooms at work. (Still needs paint and wax on the tile and a shot with a hammer to the one spot where the drop ceiling is dragging.)

Look what I found!

The Tree has been selling a bunch of Bernat close-outs. So far all they've had is shades of (very pretty) purple-y goodness, of which I had purchased 13 (okay, 15) balls. (strictly to make something with, of course. Bite me!)

Today, they had red! And it was all the same dye lot.

And they had a lot.

So I bought 24.

The Other Half looked in my cart and said, "I see Lent is over."

He thinks he's so funny! He can bite me too!

(It's only 1400 yards! Barely enough to make a ripple in my stash.)

The name is Frenzy, the color is Racy Red. Sixty yards to 50 g. Nylon, ack, poly, alpaca, and hair of the mo.

(They also had some fat chenille, a sparkly worsted weight and some funky stuff with fat hangy-off parts that made me feel a little nauseous.)

The reunion chulo is finished. All blocked and pronounced good, good, good by the person who commissioned it.

I need to start (and finish) the second mitone, then after the fair (August--yes, I am entering them), they'll be bundled off to the winner (assuming that a winner has been chosen by then).

As soon as I had moved the chulo from the 16" circs to the dpns, I immediately cast on this little hat (the only thing stopping me was the need for my size 4 - 16" circ!) in cotton.

I got the kit in a round robin swap earlier this month.

It's available here. The kit has plenty of yarn for the hat and a pair of freeform booties that I'll be making (up as I go along) after I finish the hat.

Yes, I modified the pattern. Two repeats of the blue and pink patterning made it look sort of "pillboxy" and just looked wrong for a baby.

I'll be finishing it off with an i-cord knot. The pattern shows it with a pompom, but I think we all know how that would look after a couple trips through the washer. . .

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Spring, Part 2

Remember how I said that the yellow was just he first round?

I give you purple-y pink and apricot.

I don't remember exactly when all of these were planted. I was going for waves of daffodils, followed by red tulips.

Breck's and Mother Nature seem to have had other ideas.

There are some red (my favorite color of tulip), and the columbines and daisies (the next wave) are starting to peek out from under dirt and dead leaves.

And pink and white is the color to be over here.

It was a good day to be a tulip at Casa Sheepie.

And clumps of pretty little grape hyacinths thought it was a decent day to be purple, too.

I have a 'box-o-garden' out in the garage that I plan to plant in a few days. It's all shades of orange summer perennials.

Knitting? Oh, yeh! This is a knitting blog!

I'm progressing on the i-cord edge on the chulo, in fact, I may finish it before dinner.

I've finished the knitting on a second pair of slippers. Just need to sew them both up.

Diamonds and Branching Out are both whimpering in the corner. Neither has been touched in a couple of weeks. (This is why I was posting WIPs/UFOs at the beginning of each month. It keeps me on track.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It's a Hat!

I really had planned to reserve the reunion knitting to the weekends, but I was on a roll!

The major knitting of the chulo is finished and I have started on the i-cord edging. I've decided to forego the strings. Oh, my, yes. No. Strings. I hope that blocking will control the rest of the roll.

I have at least another night to go on this. I'm wishing that I had started the i-cord at the center back rather than at the bottom of one earflap (back when I was planning strings). I may wind up taking it off and redoing it if I can't get a clean-looking join.

But for the moment, onward!

This is shaping up to be the week from hell. The Younger Kid is off all week. Today he decided to mow the lawn (face it, it needs it) and the mower died. So, the neighbors will just have to live with the Great Unmowed unless we can get it started tomorrow.

He's leaving in another day or so to spend the weekend with his brother and sister-in-law. I'm sure that they will have a great time together.

Then next weekend, the Older kid (and the wife) are coming here for a visit.

That will be fun.

Is it May yet?

Allergy Season

In the past, spring has been an allergy nightmare. Sneeze, wheeze, wipe eyes, rinse, repeat.

This spring, I walk outside, sniff, and smell flowers.

I'm not complaining, but what's up with that?

Have I outgrown my allergies?


Monday, April 24, 2006

The Rest of the Weekend

Once the mess was returned to its rightful spots, I sat down to work on the chulo (earflap hat, Argentinian style). I made a nice bit of progress. In fact, in only 4 more rounds, I start the decreases.

The pattern calls for a crocheted edge (2, in fact), but I plan to substitute a nice applied i-cord and some "strings" that can be tied (oh, please, no) or not (that would be better).

Weekend movie reviews: We watched The Chronicles of Narnia and Ice Harvest.

I wonder if the crucifiction/resurrection images were planted in my brain about Narnia, or if I would have thought of that on my own. We'll never know will we? I though that the movie was well-made. The senery and special effects were good. It followed the book pretty faithfully. The actress that played Lucy should be dragged behind the White Witch's sleigh until that very inappropriate smile/smirk goes away. (Whoa! Where did that come from?) Warning: This movie is not suitable for young children. There's a fair amount of graphic violence. Just a heads up.

Ice Harvest, on the other hand is not (in my opinion) suitable for any audience. What a piece of crap. Even with Billy Bob Thornton and John Cusack. Lots of gratuitous language, nudity, violence. Don't believe the previews!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Trying to Get Organized on Sunday

Big mistake!

But the mess in my so-called studio is really starting to get to me. The room is only 11X13 or so (the "middle bedroom" of a 50s rancher) and the current floor space is reduced to about 5 square feet.

This is our "guest room" (evidence of futon under that pile (ironing, mostly).

When I get in a creative mood, I spread projects from here to there and back. I'm nothing, if not a slob.

But today, I reached the absolute end of the line. Something has to give. I can't stand the mess any longer. Clearly, it's time to take a step back and regroup!

So, my simple solution :snicker: was to pull everything off the shelves and start organizing it.

Stop laughing. You know how that works! The mess created from organizing is often (always?) worse than the situation that started the whole thing! This was no exception. And for the record, no fiber was discarded. That garbage bag holds paper trash, mostly packaging materials.

Circular needles, will need to need to be filed neatly.

Note to Janice: When I said that I have 247 needles, and you called me compulsive (among other things) that I know this, I merely meant that 247 as "a large number" in the same way that the Bible references "70 times 7" to mean a large number.

In reality, I have no idea how many needles I own. They are everywhere in every configuration.

Today I tried to count them. I stopped at about 36 because that was just the ones spread on my desk before I picked them up. I would say, "clearly, I have a problem," but I think that is obvious.

This is my second desk (the one that serves as a stand for my Bond when I set it up. It is the neatest part of the mess because I was using it to sort the rest of the mess.

I found stuff I had forgotten I had (nothing spectacular) like the wool oddballs I plan to felt into a kitty bed (a Christmas gift for a favorite kitty--Christmas 2004, I think) and the pastel Jiffy that I want to make into something cute.

The rest of what I found does not bear noting.

Reunion update: Last night I finished the first mitone. The ends are not woven and it needs some serious blocking to even out the ladders, but I'm pretty satisfied with the way it turned out.

Now, if any of my classmates have lost a hand some time in the last 39 years, we're good to go.


Last night, I cast on the chulo (bigger needles). When that's finished, I'll make mitone number 2.

Diamond Patch has been momentarily back-burnered. (So close and yet so far) as the temperature here in northeast Pennsylvania has dipped back into the 40s again.

Note to all those who care: I got my ServSafe grade. I passed with a 94. Onward!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Evidence of Spring

It was sunny yesterday (Friday). Today it rains.

Must be the weekend!

Mentioning that I discovered the error of my slipper ways caused me to perform the froggy dance.

I am reknitting the second slipper, actually the first one, but the second one was already frogged and re-knit, so this, the first, was frogged second and is now being re-knit second. Understand? Nevermind!

It's looking much more foot-shape!

Come on. You don't really want pictures! It's just the old Aunt Alm pattern that everyone uses. In Shetland Chunky Red Heart. Evergreen. Move along. There's nothing else to see.

Here's a little tribute to spring.

The second wave of flowers are bloomingtheir little hearts out in the back flower bed.

The yellow tulips will be followed by red, then pink.

Then the columbines, the daisies, then the annuals.

I do so love this flower bed. The previous owners had planted a couple dozen rose bushes in this space. They were all dead when we moved in. WTF?

We dug them out, extended the patio, put in raised beds. Voila!

And here're a couple of the "late" daffodils. Doubles. Really pretty.

This is one of the neighbors' dogs. Sparky the bob-tail wonder cat likes to sit under the forsythia (the fence is between them) and torment said dogs.

This game is more fun when the neighbor humans are outside because they yell at the dogs every time they bark.

You can almost see the smirk.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Is This Progress?

After I finished weaving in the ends (yes, really, there were taht many. Shut up!), I grabbed up the Reunion Mitone (I am assuming that's the singular) and worked on it for a while this evening.

This is my progress so far. I think I'll concentrate on finishing this one this weekend so that I can start the chulo, then I'll start the second Mitone.

TiVo'd Crossing Jordan gets on my very last nerve, so it was good to have something serious to concentrate on. Are there any believable characters on that show? I mean, except for Nigel and Bug--I think I went to school with their fathers!

And I was looking through last summer's IK (2005) and spotted this cute little summery sweater. I think it might be a nice pattern for the cotton/wool/silk blend I bought last spring while we were on vacation.

It might just be the next thing I cast on. After I finish at least two, or one more WIP.

Not for me! I do not have the shape for this. Never had, never will!

Less than 5 projects on the needles?


And in a "bless me, Father," moment I must confess that I gave in to the fiber urge and purchased just a couple of balls (okay, 8) of sock yarn. And another set of steel double points.

Can this count as my free fiber day? (Yes, I know I said I wasn't signing up. Shoot me now.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Pictures I Promised

And more! Much more, dudes and dudettes!

The end of my particularly crappy yesterday was mitigated somewhat by this:

A lovely leaded glass Moravian Star, symbol of a nearby city.

It was a present.

I just need to find a good sun catching window to hang it in.

And an even crappier today was mitigated when, well,

today, the mailman bringeth these, hand made beaded stitch markers from Rabbitch.

She's making and selling these lovelies. Note that lobster claw clasps suitable for marking a single stitch (as opposed to marking the beginning of a round), very useful if you do centered double decreases a lot. (I do!)

Rabbitch knows how much I love pink! Even the tissue wrapped around them was pink!

and this cute little sheep is a magnet.

It was in the package with the markers.

Thanks so much, Janice!

He makes me smile (and think that he might be Dolores' flat brother!)

See, now you're smiling too!

As promised, the center-out blankie is finished, finito, fertig. Done.

I figure that I used about a mile and a half of yarn, one strand worsted weight odd balls, one strand (the remains of a gigantic pound ball) of sport weight.

The whole thing is machine wash and dry. Probably about 99% ack. The rounds that look navy blue are Wool Ease, so there's the tiniest bit of wool. The yellow rounds also have a bit of wool (10%, maybe less).

So my scrapghaning is over for another year.

What to cast on next?

Or what to finish?

OTN: Branching Out, Diamond Patch, Mitones, pair of slippers.

Truth time: I still have loose ends to weave on the blankie. Maybe I'll finish that first.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Wish I Had My Camera!

Just for "before" and "after" shots.

We're getting new bathrooms. No, really. This is a very big deal!

The warehouse bathrooms were really the pits. Old sinks, even older toilets. Flooring that was (besides being asbestos) coming up. A broken urinal in the mens'. Just gross.

In another day (or sooner. Please FSM, sooner rather than later!) we will have fully functioning bathrooms with a storage vanity and a faucet high enough to rinse the coffee carafe without spilling water all over the floor and a vanity and hot day-um-- working toilets.

Today, we tag-teamed to the mini-mart where there's a bathroom. We've bought enough coffee and sodas there over the years. They owe us!

I had to speak tonight (to a Lions Club). I planned to leave early to go home, shower and change. I left 30 minutes earlier than I planned and just barely made it (if you get my drift).

Dinner (Denny's, off the menu) was simply awful, but the audience (though small) was interested. That makes it worthwhile.

I had hoped to have a photo for you.

But 3 hoours working instead of knitting. . .you know.

So I leave you with:

You Are Western Boots

Your boots can sure walk a long mile - but they're still chic!

What Kind of Boots Are You?

Does that mean I need to learn to line dance?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Signs that the End Times Are Upon Us

1) First day back at work and I'm "on the desk." That would be okay, because all of our computers are networked. But the printer attached to the desk computer doesn't even know I exist. I got a lot done, but had to run upstairs every time I wanted to print something. Or email.

2) I had a serious medical appointment today. I was all set to photograph the medical equipment and post dire reminders about the need to Get.This.Test.Done. Every. Year. Got there with time to spare. Dudes, my appointment is May 17. Lots of time to spare.

3) Got home and the house smelled, oh, so, bad! The wrapper from yesterday's chicken. In the kitchen garbage. All together: ewww.

There might be pictures later. But first, the news. (On television.)

No, not of the chicken wrapper!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Days Worth Writing About

Okay, let's be honest. Some days just aren't worth the bandwidth! Then there are days that just beg to be written up. Even non-bloggers recognize a day like that!

Yesterday was one.

It started out as a typical Saturday with typical Saturday errands including a trip to the Restaurant Store (every city seems to have one) where great cookware and big containers of ingredients like 3.5 ounce canisters of basil, the family's favorite herb, abound. Take a look at the container in your own cabinet--McCormick's pack is .62 ounce.

We were on a mission to replace our recycling container, the bright yellow (faded over time) 32 gallon garbage can supplied by our hometown. They offered replacements a couple of years ago. Stinky little box-like bins designed to hold about 3 gallon-size milk jugs and a half-dozen aluminum soda cans. No, thanks!

Why is it, then, that at the checkout, every single person in line wanted to look inside my big yellow garbage can? There's nothing in there, dudes. It's new. Just purchasing it now. Haven't dropped any empty mayo jars in there yet! The thing about shopping at the Restaurant Store is that everybody gets in your business.

Okay, move along.

We went to the Restaurant Store hungry. Literally. It was lunchtime. This was deliberate. Going with a full and sated tummy can be dangerous to the wallet.

Next stop: Arby's! It's still too soon for me to fast-food. Lessons learned in ServSafe are still too raw.

Girl at the register is cute and sweet. And has a cold. :coff: :sneeze: But I saw her wash her hands after blowing her nose. That was good.

No one at Arby's is wearing gloves. :hmm: That is bad.

Then, the family from hell waltzes in. Parents. Grandparents.

And two out-of-control little girls who proceed to wander the dining room touching every damned thing! The drink dispenser, the condiments dispenser, all those little paper cups that catsup is dispensed into. They sit at every table (Goldilocks Syndrome?) and shake the huge ficus (yeh, there's a live tree in the middle of Arby's) until there are leaves and stuff floating in the air.

We're pretty sure that they arrived in that big honkin' gas guzzlin SUV parked in the handicap spot right by the door. We didn't stick around long enough t o find out.

Next stop: The Dollar Tree. Never Go To The Tree On The Day Before a Holiday. Never!

And so, Dear Readers (still with me?) we hop in the car, look in the mirror and discover that that woman who followed me all over the Tree touching every damned thing I was going to touch (and smelling really strong--do all women of a certain age bathe in their perfume?) was attempting to get into the family mini-van. She was about 4'8". There was no step. It was not pretty. And it took her at least 5 minutes. All the while the mini-van was blocking us in to our spot. And no one in the mini-van was offering her a hand up.

That was when I realized that they were filming an episode for an upcoming What Not To Wear. Day-um! Everywhere in the parking lot, folks dressed in their finest bling. And spiky high shoes without stockings. But with hairy legs (in lieu of?) with pushed up bright green sweat pants.

Did I miss the memo?

Made me want to plan an early morning drive by to see the Easter finery. Not!

I came home and worked on my Grace squares . Much more relaxing than people watching.

I chose cotton in pink and purple variegated colorways and patterns that are "girly girl"

like lace and hearts and butterflies and flowers.

Very girly girl.

I didn't even gag working with the pink!

The squares are a quick knit. 5"

Isn't the bunny just the sweetest little thing? Someone hand-made it. 50ยข!

Now, I need to locate a postcard with a local scene(s). I'll be dropping them in the mail on Monday or so--after I find a postcard.

Bunny w/Dubble Bubble for perspective

And speaking of girly girls, at bedtime I came upstairs and noticed that our cul de sac was lit up like a freakin' runway. The folks across the street have installed a basketball court (!) in their driveway, complete with enough lights to make Midnight Basketball possible! Did I mention that they have two daughters? Little daughters (okay, middle school age if I'm any judge).

I was treated to :thump: :thump: :thump: of dribbling ball at 7 this Easter Sunday morning when people might actually still be sleeping. I do hope this wears off fast! (Note: within a half hour it had either worn off or wakened the Parental Units who shut it down.)

Movie review: This weekend we rented Memoirs of a Geisha and Brokeback Mountain.

Both are worth watching, though I would caution against trying to follow the story in Memoirs without first reading the book.

The scenery (both) the story (both) the emotion (both).

Good shit.

To those who celebrate: Happy Easter or Passover or whatever it is you are celebrating.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Did We Ever Doubt It?

Spring has arrived in Northeast Pennsylvania, just like we knew it would. And yet, it's always a surprise to drive around the corner and see the pear trees (planted because they leave little in the way of debris) lining Main Street with a cloud of white flowers.

And our own yard (which will be dry and brown in August) even looks pretty this time of the year. I take no credit for the magnolia or the forsythia, they were here when we arrived.

We take real joy in the blooming of this tree, though. It's a fickle thing, budding and promising glory and then wilting under heat or frost right before the buds unfurl.

We've lived here for over 15 years. A bloom like this is a rarity.

I'll take credit for the display of flowering bulbs, though. Over the years, I've planted and transplanted several hundred of them.

They include everything from the snowdrops that I "liberated" from my childhood home (one of very few happy memories) that bloom right through the slush crust to these little blue things whose name escapes me (and of course, the bulb catalog that arrived yesterday is nowhere to be found).

They include Jonquils like these, though I have no memory of planting them (at least not in this particular spot).

I confess that I never wanted these perky little suckers in front of the house, but they are slowly growing on me (bad, bad pun!) .

I'm working hard to make the front flower beds look sort of charmingly "unplanned" (which takes a lot of planning).

My personal favorites (an the flowers I would love everywhere) are the big, solid yellow daffodils like these.

I have planted literally hundreds. The squirrels don't dig them up, and they come back year after year with little attention, unlike the tulips which are both touchy and a squirrel-magnet.

They'll be blooming in profusion in another week or so, unless the squirrels snap the heads off (what's up with that?) like they did last spring.

Note to self: water and peanuts!

Then there are the little surprises, like this volunteer Johnny-Jump-Up. It's the only brave soul remaining from several dozen that were planted. And, of course, it's coming up between the cracks in the patio blocks.

If there were more than just this one, I'd be tempted to move it to a better spot. But since it's only one, I'll let it stay and go to seed.

Pansies (and these little cousins) are among my favorite non-bulb spring flowers.

We have lilies of the valley (in sorry 20-year old state) an violets (which I understand are weeds, but are still kind of sweet).

Everything else is still pretty much dormant. Not unlike the homeowner.

And speaking of things-that-need-transplanting, there's a cat wrapped in plastic in my living room.

Anyone with a high maintenance pet wll understand.

It's a good thing she's loveable!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Who could resist?

Those eyes?

Yeh, I'm in!

It's all about the little kids, isn't it?

The Envelope, Please

While we were away, the mail piled up. Last night I went through it, shredding credit card offers, tossing bills into the "to be paid" pile, perusing the magazines and catalogs (and tossing the one fron The Overpriced Supplies Store--the one that screwed over a bunch of us with its close-out wooly board scheme).

What's this? Thick, fat, creamy white hand-addressed envelope looking for all the world like an invitation to a society wedding (except for the metered postage).

Generally, I throw these things away, but the Other Half was curious.

So he opened it.

And asked: Who the F is XXXX and YYY?

Well, dudes, this was not a personal invitation to a wedding or a fancy do. Oh, no. It was a cattle call invite to the "scholarship dinner" for the local branch of the State Uni.

Now you may wonder (as OH did) about how we got on such a prestigious list. I mean, we are alumni and all, but, dudes, so is the Basement Dweller (aka Younger Son) and he didn't get invited!

So, what's the deal?

It would seem that we are on all sorts of lists these days because of a fluke.

Said campus of the State-related Multiversity (are my 60s roots showing yet?) hosts the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. We have subscribed (in the past) to the Summer of Entertainment.

It's a not-for-profit venture with (sometimes) real big stars (like Patrick Stewart as Julius Caesar) and can be lots of fun. (The winter offerings have been known to be dreadful, so let's not go there.)

Tickets are relatively cheap (for big-name actors, yadda, yadda) and so, I "rounded up" the subscription price, three years ago, as a donation (deductible).

Someone goofed!

My $12 "round up" got me listed in the "high rollers" section of the program. Yeh, right up there with AA and BB and one level below XXXX and YYY. :coff: As if!

I don't know if you can read the giving levels (suggested) that came with the invite over there on the left, but they start at $15,000.



Um hmm.

For that, I can have my corporate banner displayed.

I believe we'll be sending our regrets.

Last night, I put Diamonds aside briefly and gave the old Center-Out its chance. I'm approaching 30" square and have started the garter stitch rounds (it'll take about 10 ridges to stop the dreaded edge roll) in navy-ish then yellow.

I think it'll finish up at about 3' square, a nice wrap size for a baby or laprobe size for someone sitting still.

I don't think that there's so much pink that it looks "girl." More like "neuter."

I'd like to get this puppy finished so that I can box it up and mail it before the end of the month. That other scrapghan (the yellow one) is waiting to be mailed, too.

By the time I finish, there will be close to a mile and a half (2600 yards) of ack used up. Sadly, none of it (not one stinkin' inch) is on my spreadsheet!

But it will be gone. From my house. From my life. And warming someone who needs to be warm.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

As Promised

There was knitting on the trip, though not much to show for it, sadly. We did a lot of walking and all of my projects are 1) too bulky or 2) too complicated to qualify as walk-knitting.

I finished my April (to mail in May) obligatory hat for Ship Support. The booties I am working on are, um, strange. I will probably seam the finished one, try it on, then frog or duplicate. Probably frog.

Ellen, I'll be sending this hat for sure, and a check for postage.

Maybe a pair of booties as well.

Besides, it's "cool tie season."

The yarn is Red Heart Shetland Chunky (wool blend) .

The Diamond patch is coming along nicely. I finished the third tier of diamonds on the trip down (yes, Rita, that white-knuckler), then put it aside for the trip home.

This is the sort of mindless knitting that makes it possible for me to be a passenger on long trips, any time we are on the Turnpike or the Blue Route. It keeps my hands occupied so that I am not trying to snatch the wheel from the driver's death grip.

The pattern company is aptly named: "Just One More Row." Every time I feel like I should be damn near finished, I realie, yep, Just.One.More.Row! (or diamond, or whatever. . .)

I got a little more done on the Reunion Mittens From Hell and Back.

The thumb gusset is complete.

I like the colors (surprise, surprise) and the Peruvian Highland wool is really quite nice to knit with. We're talking a very firm fabric (size 1 steel dpns) and (so far) no pilling or splitting (knock wood).

At the rate I'm going, they'll be finished right on time for the reunion--June 2007. But wait! There's a chullo to go with. . .

And so, a photo of my only knit-related purchases while on vacation: the size 4 Inox circ needed to complete said chullo and a new sheep for the collection.

(This one's a tape measure; pull my tail.)

I had a choice of several types of needles and chose the Inox for its nice pointy points. As much as I love my Addis, they really are dull by comparison.

I didn't want bamboo, and they didn't have Bryspun (though they had the straights and the dpns of that line). Bryspun would have been my first choice.

Someday, I'll do a needle review, but not today.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Some of the animals bite. Others sting.

No need to thank us for being self-preservers!

Pelicans seem to flock a lot.

and fly in loose formation.

Unlike gulls, which are the "garbage birds" of the beach., and are solitary unless someone has food, and they are nasty.

Remember "Nemo?" "Mine. Mine. Mine."

Dolphins (there were at least 6 in this "pod") are absolutely amazing to watch! The best part of the shore, in my opinion.

Look very closely at the very center of the darker blue. See that black speck? That was one of many.

We followed them down the beach, but they were much faster in the water than we who were confined to land!

There was no shark touching. There was, however, the taking of pictures of the shark.

Nurse shark.

Shark feeding: Saturday. Shark petting: Sunday.

There is no shark petting on Friday, I hope.

Big boat.

The USS Wisconsin.

Veteran of WWII, Korea, Persian Gulf (Bush 1)

Pictures of knitting tomorrow.

Home Again, Home Again

In about 2 hours, we will head north to home.

Must pack, eat breakfast, load the car.

"See" all of you in about 12 hours with pictures and such:

This entry was brought to you by the letters "P" (for pelican), "D" (for dolphin) and the number "0" (how many balls of yarn I bought this trip).


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Keepin' Y'all up to Speed

This'll be the last post from the beach unless something totally awesome happens today. We've reached the relaxing part of the vacation.

Yesterday, it was warm enough to take a long walk on the beach, then to drive a bit to the boardwalk and take another long walk. It's still the spring season here, so very few tourists and ot much open yet.

We started the yarn crawl yesterday at the hook and i. It is way, way "out of town," or at least a good distance from the beach. You can read my review in last April's archives if you're really interested. I bought an Inox needle (sixe 4-1") and a sheep tape measure (Lantern Moon). I drooled over the Lantern Moon needles, but dudes, $20 for a set of dpns? I don't think so. They didn't have any of the new circs, so I passed.

Didn't see anything outstanding yarnwise (though, I'm sure if I looked a little harder. . .). The washable stuff I want for my elephant I can get cheaper on-line. Yep, they had some of the same brands as Smiley's, for 3 times the price.

We might make it to Ewe Knit, home of the Koigu wall today.

I'm catching incoming email now (or at least some of it), but outgoing seems to be floating in the ether. Rabbitch, there's a couple to you sitting in the outbox!

Home Thursday!

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Change of Heart

Okay, so we went to Nautica (the Maritime museum) yesterday.

We saw displays of excess, of military might (the USS Wisconsin, now on display, Big Boat!), historical shit, er, stuff, er, uniforms and such, and the sharks.

They feed the sharks on Saturday. If you are at least this tall (holds hand at below shoulder), you may touch the sharks at 1:30 on Sunday.

At 1:30 on Sunday, we were meandering with a group of veterans and their kids and spouses toward the Victory Rover for a tour (onna boat) of the Naval Yard.

So, no shark touching. Horeshoe crab touching instead.

But I got to see the big boats. How big? Big enough to hold the entire population of my hometown. That big!

Some of the ships supported by Ship Support were in port. The Bataan, the TR (Theodore Roosevelt). We are talking boats that make the Wisconsin look like a little cruiser!

It certainly puts the Ships Project into perspective. If there are 5,000 men and women aboard one of those ships, and there are 1000 (give or take) knitters, crocheters, and people sewing (not sewers, thanks), how many items must each make?

Don't tell me you don't do word problems. Do the math, and get knitting (or whatever it is you do), or send money for postage!

Restaurant review: AAA was wrong. It wasn't worth 3 diamonds! 'nuff said.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Yeh, We're Here

While the Other Half is in the shower, I thought I'd take a minute, or several, to get some housekeeping out of the way. Bloggery, not actual cleaning.

The seven-hour drive south took a little longer, 'cause of the ver' awful weather. We saw lightning bolts to make you weep, and the drive over the Bay Bridge/Tunnel was a nightmare (hey, we don't like it when the weather's nice)! Things to ponder: If the weather's too foul to see, should you drive slower, or faster so as to be off the bridge parts sooner?

I just close my eyes and trust in FSM.

We have a room with an awesome view of the Atlantic Ocean. (Pictures will come, I promise.) Seventh Floor, ocean side. If the gods are with us, the weather will turn (as it's predicted to) and the clouds will lift. Tomorrow's supposed to be in the 60s and sunny. Cross fingers, toes, and eyes, please.

If I were in charge of the world, however, hotel room decorators would be required to actually sleep and bathe in the rooms. Beds would be different. Showers would be different. Tables designed to hold the ol' laptop would be lower or the chairs to use at them would be higher. Just sayin'.

Movie review: Saving Private Ryan was on last night. Seen it once? Yeh, me too. I don't care how manyAcademy Awards (5) it won. Once was enough for the blood and gore. Thanks.

I am fulfilling my vacation dream: eat lots of fresh (from approved waters, cooked to proper temperatures) seafood (local catch flounder last night), read (Scarlett, sequel to Gone with the Wind, um huh), knit (5 more diamonds completed).

Today, we'll be exploring a maritime museum (just 'cause the weather's still pissy).

I don't particularly enjoy most things military (though this museum promised sharks--I like sharks), having grown up in a military town (Montgomery, Alabama, home to 2 Air Force bases), I got more than my fill of big planes and guns. Then, having two sons, I got my fill of airplanes again as an adult (can you say, "but, Mom, the Air and Space Museum is right here?" I was pretty sure you could.)

Gritting my teeth and looking for sharks, thankyewverymuch.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Are We There Yet?

I really need this vacation!

I'm even all packed! See?


What clothes?

I don't know if blogging will be possible, so I'll plan to "see" you all on Thursday.

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