Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday Sky - 31 March 2007

The sky wasn't much to look at this afternoon, but there were leaves! New, pretty green leaves all over our oak trees.

I almost had a lovely going-on-toward sunset sky for you. I was at the grocery buying copious amounts of spring water for my first batch of home-brewed beer when I saw the sun doing its thing behind some clouds. The backlit pinks and oranges against the dusky blue of the clouds were quite striking. "Ah, well," I thought, "the camera is at home."

When I returned home, hubby sent me directly back out for some honey. Great! I grabbed the camera and headed back to the grocery. The clouds were a little different and the sun a little lower, but it was still a nice shot. I framed it up, managed to get the electric wires out of the way, and hit the shutter. Nothing. Hmmm. I did it again. Still nothing. That's when I remembered taking out the memory card and putting it by my keyboard this afternoon as a reminder to post tonight. Oops. But, trust me, it was lovely.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Car

My car got this way in a 24-hour period. What is covering it?

a) Dust
b) Yellow tempera paint powder
c) Pine pollen

Yes, friends, the answer is c. Welcome to the south. *sniff* *sniff* ACHOO! * This stuff runs like paint when it rains; it's amazing.

* Yes, I know pine pollen is too big to be causing my reactions. All the stuff that blooms at the same time, however, is another story.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In Which I Contemplate My Toes

My travelin' socks are done. The first one (on the left) was done mostly in Ohio, and the second mostly in Alabama and Tennessee. They are now off with their new owner, who pronounced them lovely.

Can you believe that's the color AFTER a bunch of dye came out in their first wash? I must admit, it was fun knitting them just to watch the colors fly by.

That said, I need to rethink this short-row toe thing. I like the way it looks, but it doesn't seem to fit my feet correctly. Maybe I'm still making the toe too wide, or maybe I just like pointy socks. This makes no sense, because I have square duck-type feet. Not that it helps when I swim, but there ya go.

This is my second pair of actual woolen socks, and I must say that I love the sproing of wool. This yarn was quite different than my first, in both the feel and the fact that it smelled. Of vinegar. I'm thinking maybe it was part of the dyeing process? At any rate, the socks bled like a stuck purple pig when I washed them the first time. I rather feared for the yellows, but they appear to have survived.

Started:9 Mar 2007
Finished:27 Mar 2007
Pattern:Wendy's generic toe up sock + feather and fan
Yarn:100% superwash merino wool from JitterBug, in the Mardi Gras (155) colorway.
Needles:My little metal 4" needles from addi, size US 1.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday's Saturday Sky - 24 Mar 2007

We're back and slowly acclimating to life at home. Now, if I could find the energy to buy some milk for the fridge and groceries for dinner, we'd really be on our way. So, in the name of procrastination, I'm writing my Saturday Sky entry instead of doing what I should be doing.

We had a lovely time in Huntsville, though I am glad not to be living in a hotel. We spent most of our adventure time at the US Space and Rocket Center, though we did get out to Sci-Quest (a children's science museum) and a few playgrounds. On the way home, we stopped by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I love this place; it's lovely out of season as well as in. We spent Saturday at a kid-friendly B&B with lovely views. Here are some of my Saturday Sky photos from last Saturday:

The morning:

Mid-day, on the way over to Cades Cove:

Sunset, shortly before we had a nice little campfire:

I'm glad to be back! The second sock is almost done, so expect photos later in the week.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday Sky - 17 March 2007

Happy St. Paddy's Day! This was the view during our weekly Saturday Drive.

This gorgeous stuff is on my needles now. Just the thing for the winter blahs. It's Jitterbug 100% superwash wool in the Mardi Gras colorway.

Last week we were up in Ohio, and my sock came along (as always.) This week, I'll make its mate on the way to Alabama. Life lately has been a lot of laundry and packing with homeschooling stuck in between. I'm pretty bummed that I'm going to miss the Harlot's event in New York this week. But, my hotel in Huntsville is only three minutes from a yarn store. The fact that I know this before leaving home amuses my hubby.

So - we'll be hitting the space and rocket center, the local science museum, and the yarn store. Is there anything else in Huntsville that we really must see?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Sky

Sunrise from my mom's front yard. Happy Birthday, Mom!

In unrelated news, this sock is no more:

I could have gotten away with the 60% cotton / 40% acrylic black yarn. What I didn't count on was stepping on mercerized cotton all down the bottom of the sock foot. With my newfound ability to knit machine washable wool, there was just no need to torture myself. Bye bye, sock. I shall meet you again with more suitable materials.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Its amazing how having my boys opened up my world. I'm the sort of person that goes through a store with a smile, but doesn't really talk with anyone. I'm not anti-social; just terribly introverted. Backwards, as my kindergarten teacher used to say.

Some of my shyness has fallen by the wayside as I've gotten older; even more has fallen away since having the boys. Tweedledee, in particular, will chat up anyone he meets. And, not surprisingly, they chat right back - he can be rather engaging.

So, it's no surprise that I'm on a first name basis with many of the pharmacists that we see at our neighborhood Target. What's a little more surprising is that one of them - we'll call her Em - calls out to the boys whenever she sees us pass down an aisle, or stops by the cafe if she sees us there having a snack. If the boys spend their allowance on something, they want to go by the pharmacy to show Em. She's one of those natural kid-people. Happily, Em just gave birth to her first little one. He showed up a bit ahead of schedule, but everyone is doing fine.

For Em, I jumped in and made my first Baby Surprise sweater. I love that this:

folds up and turns into this:

Too cool. I love me some Fun with Geometry. Tweedled'oh and I picked out these buttons:

The little guy has an Irish name, so it works out well.

As for the pattern, I had a smidge of trouble. I'm great with mindless knitting, and difficult knitting. It turns out that mostly-mindless knitting trips me up. It's not hard enough to keep my attention, so my mind wanders off and the next thing I know, I see that I very visibly messed up an increase six rows down. *sigh* Rip. Do over. Pay attention for a few rows. Repeat ad nauseam.

Details, details:

Started:31 January 2007
Finished:Knitting - 26 Mar 2007
Finishing - 2 Mar 2007
Pattern:Baby Surprise, from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Workshop
Yarn:Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby DK. 50% acrylic microfiber, 50% nylon. Lovely and soft; I'd use it again.
I picked up the buttons at Jo Ann's. I can't find the button card to tell you the brand.
Needles:Circular aluminums, size US 5 (I think.)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Saturday Sky - 3 March

If I take the photo on Friday, and post it on Sunday, is it still a Saturday Sky?

Friday's sunset from my front yard.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Feather and Fan

Seven years ago, I was in a hospital bed living my own personal movie of the week. About this time every year, my thoughts turn to how lucky and unlucky we as a family have been. All of you who have been through your own movie of the week (and, really, who hasn't?) know what I'm talking about.

So, it amused me to no end when I realized what I was knitting. A little less than seven years ago, I sat in a NICU and knit this:

Don't look too close - it's pretty horrendous. One seam is still undone, and the ends were never woven in. No button at the top. It kept me sane whilst I sat in the NICU with the boys for a few months. That, and a bunch of preemie baby booties for my boys and some other little guys in the NICU. By the time it was done, I knew the boys were probably going to make it. I also knew that there was no way I'd have time to knit a second one. And, it was WAY too big for either one of them. After spending spring and summer at the hospital, we finally came home. Through the next three years when we struggled through our days, and then the four years of "normal" life that followed, this baby sweater sat around. It popped up from time to time, during a move or when I was reorganizing the craft closet. I thought about finishing it several times, but it never felt right. It was therapy for me, and I think it's finished just as it is. Time to pack it away.

This week, I finished a little something for myself.

Feather and fan strikes again. It's the first time I've knit it since that baby sweater. This is nylon/merino sock yarn from Cabin Cove - 'boquet'. I am happy to report that I can knit with (and wear) this wool. It's a teensy bit itchy on my feet, but I'm really sensitive. Knitting it didn't cause any breakouts on my hands; I'm surprised and amazed. If you have trouble knitting wool, try wool that's been treated to be machine washable. It's lovely.

This was my first toe up sock, and my first sock with a short-row heel.

Comfy cozy!

Started:Around 10 Feb 2007
Finished:28 Feb 2007
Pattern:Wendy's generic toe up sock + feather and fan, modified for my feet. 60 stitches around (could stand to be smaller), 72 on the leg for the feather and fan (note: switch to smaller needles next time.) I knit 7.25 inches before the heel, and that should be a little less, as well.
Yarn:Merino nylon sock yarn (80% washable wool, 20% nylon) from Cabin Cove Mercentile in the 'boquet' colorway.
Needles:My little metal 4" needles from addi, size 1.