Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Sunday we set off for Meadowcroft.

Like the cute picture of the boys at the Trolley Museum?

Ach-em, phone first is the lesson of the day.

Of course, I had done all my web stuff for Meadowcroft... in May... when I was freaking out thinking about what we were going to do this summer. I guess they didn't have the WE ARE GOING TO BE CLOSED sign on the website at that point. ugh.

Still it was a nice drive- Washington County is beautiful, PA50 is a winding road through farms and orchards and tiny towns. Quite charming. The Trolley Museum wasn't far from where we were, so it wasn't a total disappointment.

This was a fun project for movie night. I tried to find a link, but didn't come up with one. I picked up this kit a Bloomin Yarns (love that LYS) and it is 'hemp for knitting' Cashmere Canapa. Very nice, I like a lot!

Since I was taking a picture of the linkless kit, I thought I could take a picture of The Mardi Gras Socks (cannot express my deep love and affection for Jitterbug) and my Garden Harvest Socks that I finished last night. The Handpainted yarn is by Fernwood Woolworks, I bought mine on ebay a good while ago, but she has an etsy shop, too. Oh, heck, did you see the one called 'tickertape'??? darn links. I did the heels and toes in Paton's Kroy Sock yarn, I was worried that I would run out of yarn since I previously made a pair of gloves out of this hank. hah, you should see how much I had left! But I really like the socks like this, so, it is ok.

So Rani had asked what I thought of Vogue Knitting. I really like it. It is more inspiration than anything. I am larger than their models (size large is a 36" chest?!?!) and I am not really going to spend the time to knit high fasion garments that I have to wait for them to come back into fasion because it took so long for me to knit it. But I do love the magazine. The one that I do knit objects from is Interweave Knits and if you haven't seen Knitting Daily, go.
Heather asked what I thought of Harry Potter... Oh, so, good. I am thinking of rereading the series, myself. Eldest just finished book one and wants to talk about all the nooks and crannies. It has been years since I read that book! So, we will see.

Ok, off to the pool. The weather is supposed to be unbearable again today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Errand for today included picking up my copy of The Deathly Hallows at Costco.
When Eldest brought in the mail (makes him feel grown up :) He brought me the latest issue of VK! UH-OH! What was I supposed to do next?!

I had been looking forward to Harry... but new VK?

I read the magazine. Can you believe it?
Of course I just put the book down a couple minutes ago after 330 pages and a headache.
What a good day!

While in Indiana, my niece was admiring the Mardi Gras socks. She liked the color... well, just the blue, she said. And said she would like it to have dark blue socks.

I cannot say no to a child expressing interest in

My handwork,

Figuring out knitting,

Having socks of her own.

I needed to spice it up... dark blue socks... ugh, but you know I had some dark blue in the stash just waiting for me to find inspiration... I thought for the Mister, but a beautiful niece will do, too.

Oh, and for the record, the 10 miles was done in under 90 minutes... seriously, no one stopped pedalling until victory was secure. My bum doesn't hurt today, though. I will be much more careful next time... What have you promised them, now? is the first question before handing my bike over to the bike rack.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thanks, CQ!

Hey, look what I found the Mister doing Sunday morning. This is after Saturday afternoon when I told him that Celtic Queen asked, "When is he going to put that green on the front on the back porch?" Yeah, I know that the garage doors are not the back porch, but I think he is working his way around. Man, what a coat of paint can do! I L I K E it!!*If only I could get him to paint the foyer.*
Sunday, after the painting and a little house cleaning, we took the bikes over to the Montour Trail (19 and Valley Brook) for a "little" ride. The Mister says, "OK, 2 miles out and 2 miles back, easy."
Yep, easy. Except he has been telling the boys if they can make it all the way to Limestone and back that they can have ice cream. Limestone is 5 miles from 19. You guessed it, Eldest didn't quit pedalling until he had gone 10 miles. *wimper* It is 5 miles of a steady uphill to Limestone, even coasting all the way back, my bum hurts. I was suckered. 2 miles, my bum!
Even the Tangerine Gelati didn't make it feel better. Well, maybe a little.
Anyway, here is progress of Laurie, CQ and Yourstruely.
I told you that CQ is an over achiever. Laurie just started a new job and I am easily distracted. Laurie's yarn is really fine and CQ is using Seasilk aka *ooh-la-la*, mine is handspun merino laceweight. All the same Mystery Stole 3... all different.
I did finish clue one this morning and I have to thank CQ, again, because she turned me on to the way to keep my eyes on the chart properly. Repositionable quilter's tape. Very cool. I put it over the row above the one I am working on... I don't jump up! Magic!
Thank goodness for friends.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Going Back in Time

10 minutes ago
INBA using K'NEX to build....
"a model of a railroad."
Shocking! heh. Eldest building a racing car.
He will hook it up to the solar panel to run it around.
one is not better than the other, just noting the obsessions of one.

Yesterday was Laurie's Birthday. She and CQ were over at the Bookstore-that-shall-not-be-named waiting for Harry Potter, so I took over her gifts and had a breather after a long day.
Earlier, we met up with The Mister's Sister, kids and Mother at Kennywood. I don't like amusement parks. But I do like fast old wooden rollercoasters. Oh, that Jackrabbit is some kind of fun!

Here's the Cousins.

The day before we were in Indiana.
Here's the other cousins.
Hopefully next time I will show you my knitting. Laurie, CQ and I are having an adventure this afternoon and there is talk of MS3 progress pictures. Let's just say now that CQ is an over achiever.
I did finish the Mardi Gras socks and I have finally started the garden harvest socks. My niece thinks that dark blue socks would be good for her. So does my sister. I thought it was a man thing to want "whatever, as long as it is blue," or "plain, regular blue." Maybe I can find a mostly-solid-blue that would work for them and for me.
heh, maybe :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What the Hail?

Friday afternoon gave us sparkles on the back patio and everywhere else.
I guess I was kind of surprised by the hail, it was so warm out and then the hail was so clear and big!
Otherwise, Knit night moved to Borders. It was a little scary. They were really nice to us. They gave us all a coupon for the coffee bar. They had a sign for us and chairs! Chairs! Rocking chairs, leather chairs, wooden chairs. Chairs! Amazing. We really liked it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Whew, it is so nice to have a little relief from the humidity.
So, yeah, Laurie sucked me into the Mystery Stole 3. Honest, she twisted my pinkie finger until I said, "ok, I admit it! I have beautiful lace weight and even some beads to match right there in my den of craftiness! Ok! Ok! I will knit the MS3, even though it means neglecting the Mister's sweater and staying up too late fiddling with 1mm crochet hooks and charts!" This is 50 rows of clue one. Hush, I know that clue 2 was released last Friday and that clue 3 is available tomorrow. Hush.
Yea! 50 rows! Thank you.
This is my first lace project with lace weight yarn.
And I am not fast and I am easily distracted.
For some reason, I start out on the right row in the chart, but before I make it to the center I have jumped 2 to 3 rows up in the chart. This involves too much tinking. I am trying to catch myself now before I go more than 2 or 3 stitches awry. Otherwise... well this may be my last lace project.
I am optomistic! I can do this. I can wrap my worn out brain around dots and dashes on grid paper.
I can! I will! I hope.

My Letter to Barnes and Noble

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in reference to the poor treatment that the knitting group at the South Hills Village store in Pittsburgh, PA. We have been meeting at the store since it opened over 2 years ago. We were always greeted kindly and the staff went out of its way to make sure that we had a space reserved and all the chairs we needed. And then something changed, the management, I think. Suddenly we didn't have a space reserved. Then, we were moved across the store to a smaller space, interestingly, away from the knitting and craft book. (We were moved back after talking to a manager that was unwilling to allow us back to the larger space until I pointed out that it saved me plenty of money to not be tempted to browse during my time in the store- we were in the gay erotica section, just happens to not be my type of thing.) At this point there began to be more mobile display shelves in the area when we met and the 4 comfortable chairs became 2 and then nonexistant as we were admonished to not move even the wooden chairs into the space and were begrudgingly given very uncomfortable folding chairs. And when asked about the increasing inconvenience, we were treated with hostility. We were accused of leaving trash (we did not) of purposefully blocking customers from the shelves (never, we often helped people find things) and of "stealing" chairs from other areas (chairs had been brought from near by when we had more people joining us than they had allowed chairs, never was anyone booted from their chairs and never was anything removed unlawfully from the premises.)
On numerous occasions the originators of our group tried to communicate with all levels of management. Always, they were rebuffed and never were they treated as an asset to the store. I began to dread walking into the store, afraid that I would be the first one to arrive and have to ask where they would allow us to sit and endure the attitude of the employee so inconvenienced with our presence.
For some reason the management refuses to see a group of friendly, welcoming, happy, laughing people as a valuable customer base. They seem to ignore that we encourage people to join us, to come into the store and to spend money.
Unfortunately, we have been removed from the store calendar, without even the courtesy of forewarning or offer of day or date change.
What are we left to do?
Vote with our feet, I suppose. Some members of the group think that we should wave our Member card in front of you and let you tabulate what even our small group spends in your store on an annual basis. I am more of the mindset that it shouldn't matter how much we spend. We had an agreement, we are customers, we deserve basic respect and to be treated with dignity. It doesn't matter how much money I will no longer spend at Barnes and Noble. I does matter, however, that I will be sure to tell everyone who will listen about the treatment we have received and where we received it and that we have moved to another venue. It should matter that the competition will supply my book, magazine, video and musical needs.
And it should be astonishing that this is simply a matter of being rude to a group of knitters, poor management and, ultimately, an astounding amount of bad word of mouth.


Isn't this just silly? I really think that they just don't like that we were having fun and they are not. They have to deal with parentless teenagers necking in Sci-fi and the other unsupervised kids tossing books in the biographies, the gaggles of tweeners blocking the entrance doors while waiting for a ride home after a movie and cruising the mall. Yeah, a group of grown-ups happy to be out of the house and having a cup of coffee and a cookie while comparing books and crafty experiences is a whole lot more aggravating. Anyway, here are a couple more letters to BN.
And we will be at Borders in the Norman Center II on Washington Rd at 7:30 on Friday.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Magic Loop vs. 2 Circulars and Why I Love My DPNS

So, lately, I have been branching out. I have been knitting socks in all sorts of wild and crazy ways. Well, not as crazy and sideways and inside each other as some people. I have been trying different techniques. First I did the Grashoppers on 2 circulars and now I am doing the Mardi Gras on Magic Loop. Here is my humble opinion; Magic Loop is way better than 2 circulars.

  1. Only one needle to buy.
  2. While knitting, there is no dangling interference. This is huge, probably should be #1, but I am cheap.
  3. No confusion about which needle to knit with next.
  4. Nice to carry around, not so many pokey points.

Now, why I love and will never give up my DPNs. It is simple, really.

  1. I carry around a sock-in-progress with me almost everywhere I go.
  2. I have 2 little kids that interrupt my knitting bliss regularly.
  3. Picking up my knitting is like, for some, lighting a cigarette, waits are almost immediately cut short.

Huh? You don't follow? How about this. Say I knit a 60 or 64 stitch sock. With 5 dpns that is 15 or 16 stitches on 4 needles, on a Magic Loop or 2 Circulars that is 30 or 32 stitches on each of 2 needle tips. Socks (all projects, really) are completed one stitch at a time and most of the time I only get to do 15 or 16 stitches. Somehow, I don't pick up the socks as often when I am not sure that I can get through all 30. Can you believe this? But, it is true. I guess, it is all about setting myself up to feel like I can accomplish something, as if rearing two brilliant and talented and beautiful children isn't enough?! Apparently not. I need socks, lots and lots of socks.

To sum up, I need to be able to do bits and pieces and my DPNs are the most efficient for the way I knit. If I do use a circular technique, it will be the Magic Loop. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Week in Pictures

...and a couple of words.

Check out these goldfinches. They were sitting on the side of the house and pecking at something. Our bird book says that they eat seeds. I don't think that there were any seeds for them on the side of the house. Very curious. And I was working on my Jitterbug "Mardi Gras" socks. Oh, I love the Jitterbug. This sock is complete and a good bit of the second cuff is worked now, too.
And this is the progress on the Mister's Sweater. It has looked like this for 2 weeks. If I start, I can't stop. I have a problem. The bigger problem will be if I don't get it done.
And then we went camping in the Laurel Highlands at Ohiopyle State Park.
So, so nice. I highly recommend this campground.
I guess the circus socks needed a relaxing vacation in order to relent.
I forgot my notions bag, again, and really, probably didn't think that these socks would ever allow themselves to be complete. They are now all kitchenered and ends woven in.
Maybe it was the pretty flowers that were the real inspiration.

The falls in Ohiopyle.
And the boys.
The Mister and me.
Cucumber Falls.
And so much more. Whew.