Tuesday, December 30, 2008


There was one other project. I made the Amazing E a cabled hat made of a skein of Malabrigo that we bought in New Orleans. It was one of his Channukah gifts.


I've been trying to figure out what I knitted this year. You know, doing some year end self evaluation. In all this hard thinking, I realized that my list is bigger than the one over there ==>

In the year 2008, I have completed a bunch of projects. I should really update my list.

1. Dad E's Manly Socks made of STR lightweight.
2. Mom E's Clapotis made of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Geisha.
3. Cabled Rangoli Hat made of the brushed alpaca yarn the Beautiful E gave me last year.
4. The Bunny made of more of that alpaca yarn.
5. Anntrelac Socks made of Zen String Bambewe.
6. The Amazing E's birthday socks made of Rock Creek Yarn's yarn.
7. Branching Out scarf made of Artyarn's Kyoto.
8. Green Tea Raglan
9. Haggis Throwing Socks made of Schafer Anne.
10. Green Sand Beach socks made of my yarn.
11. Campfire Socks made of Jitterbug.
12. Windmill Beret made of Noro Silk Garden and Cascade 220.
13. Tree Beret made of Noro Silk Garden and some other wool.
14. Secret Swap socks made of my yarn.
15. Felted Stained Glass Bag made of Noro Kureyon.
16. Imladris Socks, may they rest in peace.
17. Priiti Scarf made of Rock Creek Yarn Priiti and a suri alpaca.

Added to this list should be some projects I didn't list:
18. Hannah's hat.
19. A pair of Monkeys for a swap.
20. Baby Cables and Big Ones Too.

So that's 20. Not too shabby. 9 of them are socks. I guess pretty soon I'll have to take a look at my stash, my UFO's, and my stash to foment my plan for 2009.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Excuses, excuses

Yeah, I haven't been posting.

I'll claim illness, because I certainly have been knitting. Although the doctor says my pneumonia is gone, I have a terrible cough that's holding on. I'm currently on my third round of antibiotics for it and am also still in need of strong (read: narcotic) cough syrup sometimes to keep it from destroying me entirely. So I have very little energy. Just enough for some knitting and doing housework. Everything else is on the back burner. Yeah, it sucks.

In the last six weeks I've completed two projects. The first was a baby hat for some friends of ours at shul. They have a little 3 month old girl. She's way too cute, so I made her a winter hat out of one skein in double thickness the Cable-icious BFL yarn. I have to say that it makes for nice baby stuff. It's soft, and retains it's elasticity after washing. Best of all, it's machine washable. Unfortunately, in my excitement I forgot to get a picture before giving it. Hopefully the parents will send me one.

The other project has been Baby Cables and Big Ones Too. I actually got it done in about 5 weeks using 12 balls of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere. Hopefully E will take a picture of it on me soon and I can put it up here.

And the wrap? Not done in time for the holidays.

Friday, December 05, 2008

A wonderful life in New Orleans

If you recall, the Amazing E and I planned a trip last weekend to New Orleans to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Well, we went. It was great. I was very tired through the whole trip, but we had fun anyway. Our hotel was in the Warehouse district, and in a historical building. The French Quarter was only a short 3 block walk away, so we were there all the time.

E says he took me to do all the fun New Orleans stuff. We went to the markets and famous streets. We ate the local food; our anniversary lunch was at Commander's Palace and involved the best soup I ever tasted. He took me to the Garden District and Uptown, as well as a short tour through some of the poorer areas. It's clear that New Orleans is still rebuilding, but much of it looks great.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate our anniversary.

Tragically for me, I have to say goodbye to yet another sock. On our very first night there, I was walking in the Warehouse district in my Birkenstocks and Imladris socks. I know some people find that look dorky or otherwise inappropriate, but that's how I roll. Anyway, it was wet. And my socks got uncomfortably wet and started causing a blister. So I took off my socks to carry them. Sadly, one of them got away from me. I have the other. But one of my new and pretty socks is now living alone on the streets of New Orleans. I guess all I can do is hope it has a happy life down there.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tragedy in Mumbai

As you probably know, last week at least 188 people were murdered and hundreds more injured in Mumbai, India. The horrific attacks were carried out by as few as 10 men. I had been at a loss about how to respond or feel about it, but today I received this one minute video in an email.

I believe there is hope in the face of evil.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


My illness is unchanged. The doctor gave me a mild antibiotic to start with, saying I should come back if I don't get better. Well, that medicine seems to have kept me from getting worse, but I'm no better either. I'll go back to the doctor tomorrow for something stronger. Hopefully I'll be on the mend in time for Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, and we're supposed to have company. I'd hate to have to cancel.

Progress on the secret project continues.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Out sick

I'd love to tell you all about what I've been knitting lately (I've been doing a lot), and what I did for Knit Like a Ninja Day (I did knit in secret). But I've been knocked over by something new. Pneumonia. I just came from the doctor, and he say's I've got it. No wonder I feel so crumby. Maybe I'll reveal my knitting secrets when I'm better.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

International Knit Like a Ninja Day?

Do you know what you're going tomorrow? I know what I'll be up to, but you'll never see it coming. I'll be sneaking into unexpected places and knitting in secret.

Very sneaky. Very deadly. Very yarny.

Post your Kninja activities on your blog showing how you sneaked your awesome yarny skills into daily life and confounded the muggles.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Darn! I hate it when that happens.

It's another pair of socks. This time it's my Rock n' Weave socks made of STR Jewel of the Nile. I've had these socks and worn them regularly for a long time. A very long time. But they finally blue out in the ball of the foot, as usual.

I guess I feel a need to mark the passing of each pair of socks with as much fanfare as I made when the were cast off.

I'll miss these socks. They wore like iron. I'll miss them. I guess it's a good thing that I have 3 skeins of the stuff secreted away in my stash.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dream Trip

The Amazing E is away for business this week. He's at the Kennedy Space Center hanging out with the NASA types. It all has to do with a project at his work where he's trying to get NASA and the NIH to work together to put medical research on the International Space Station. His trip will culminate with VIP viewing of the shuttle launch later this week.

Well, E has a long standing dream of being an astronaut. So he's in heaven right now. Here's a picture of him with the thing that is supposed to replace the shuttle in a few years.
His caption for this picture is "And finally, I prove to you that I could fit inside the Orion capsule. Yes, you heard me NASA - I could be in that capsule, serving the Public Health of the United States, while at the same time exploring distant planetoids. Call me!?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


That's how many repeats of the chart I've finished on the Starmore wrap. Twelve is the magic number. I guess it could still be possible to finish it before my anniversary if I worked my little fingers to the bone. But I won't.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

New Orleans (not knitting related)

The Amazing E and I will be going to New Orleans to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I got a pretty good package deal yesterday, so we're all set. I guess we thought going to New Orleans for our first anniversary was appropriate because of several Louisiana coincidences contributing to our marriage and families:

1. We were introduced through a mutual friend who attended Tulane University with E.
2. My sister (the Beautiful E) and the Amazing E both hold masters degrees in biomedical engineering from Tulane university. Apparently they had classes together. (more parenthesis... the Beautiful E did go on for a Ph.D.)
3. E's best man is a native Louisianan.
4. Some of E's ancestors settled in New Orleans.
5. Our wedding coordinator was a Katrina refugee who had been the catering manager at the New Orleans Sheraton.

For all these reasons, we're celebrating the first anniversary of our wedding there. Also, I understand that all foods there are "special chicken" and therefore okay for me to eat without guilt. My sister who told me this is one of the smartest people I know and lived in New Orleans for something like seven years, so she must be right.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

If your name is Mike...

and your surfing the internet waiting to hear if you got your new job, the Amazing E and I say good luck.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Half time


I've been waiting for a sunny day to take a picture of my latest knitting triumph. There hasn't been one in a few days, so I can't show you a well lit and artistic photograph. But here it is. The first half of my Rheingold wrap. I restarted knitting it about three weeks ago and finished about four pattern repeats to complete the half.I'm really pleased with it. It's almost 28 inches long. And yes, it's a tube. It will be steeked after the other half is finished and the two parts grafted together.

I am not, however, sure when I'll be able to finish the second half. I'd love to have it done by my anniversary, or the winter holidays at the latest. But as tends to happen when I work on large projects, my shoulder injury has been aggravated by the knitting. It will get done though! I can't wait. This half is so nice.

And I already have plans for my next shoulder killing, blindness inducing fair isle project.

Happy knitting times!


In 100% non knitting related news, I took the Amazing E on a date Saturday night to see Matisyahu in Baltimore. For those of you not familiar, Matishayu is an Chassidic Jew who does a sort of rap/reggae/jam band type of music with (what I consider) very spiritual lyrics.

The show was very cool. They played most of the more well known songs and did a lot of jamming with members of the opening act and some other people. I haven't been to a concert in a very long time, and had never seen him in person. He seems like a very intense guy. I was shocked when he stopped and looked directly into the crowd as if he were at once trying to soak everything in and connect with the people in the crowd.

We had a lot of fun.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shenandoah Fiber Festival

As you know, last weekend was Rock Creek Yarn's third show, the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. It was both Saturday and Sunday in Berryville, VA.

I have to say, the show was a great success and worth all the hard work. We had good sales despite the crumby weather, enjoyed seeing the fall colors in the mountains, introduced some new products and colorways, and even saw some friends.

Here's E holding down the fort in our booth.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


While going through and organizing the yarn left from the festival this weekend, I broke into the Halloween candy. And you know what? Halloween Kit Kats are not covered in chocolate, but some weird orange stuff. Boo!

I'll try to get pictures from the show and the new products posted tomorrow, plus some other knitting fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yarn and leaf peeping opportunity.

This weekend I'm exhibiting at the largest fiber festival I've done yet. It's the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, and it's in Berryville, VA. It's only about an hour and a half drive from the DC area, or eleven hours from Chicago. It should be a good opportunity to see fancy yarns and nice leaves in the upper Shenandoah Valley.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not too shabby

I can't believe almost a week has passed. I've been dyeing yarn like crazy. More about that later. And then there was the disastrous dental work. (Went to the dentist for the first time in five years and had no cavities or anything. So the guy decided that a couple of my old fillings needed to be replaced, which lead to chipmunk face all weekend.)

But to the news at hand. They accepted my paper at school and issued a grade. B+.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This week Jews are celebrating one of our lesser known holidays, Sukkot. It's the feast of booths, and it lasts a week. On Sukkot, we're commanded to do three things:

1. Build a Sukkah. This is a little hut with a leaky roof. You're supposed to build one and dwell in it. Mostly that means eating in the Sukkah. I gave a lot of thought to building one on our balcony. After all, this is the first year in many years that I have an outdoor space that's mine. My old condo didn't have a balcony. But alas, I haven't built a Sukkah. It didn't seem practical, and I know putting such a thing on the balcony is technically a violation of the apartment rules. So I haven't fulfilled that commandment.

2. Wave the four species. During this holiday, Jews are commanded to have four plants and to wave them. Why? Because we're commanded to. The plants are willow branches, palm fronds, myrtle, and a funny citrus called an etrog. We don't have our four species, so we can't wave them and we can't fulfil that commandment.

3. Rejoice. During Sukkot Jews are commanded to rejoice. And why not? What could be wrong with that. So I'm making sure I rejoice every time I can.

Happy Sukkot. And if you see a strange hut spring up in your neighbor's yard this week, rejoice and wish him a happy Sukkot too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Small Vacation

Sunday night E and I went on a one night camping trip to Assateague Island National Seashore. This is a barrier island off the coast of Maryland, and is about a two and a half hour drive away. The island is really neat because a heard of wild horses lives there. We camped there overnight, finally using the camping equipment we got last year.

Assateague is beautiful. It's a little skinny island over 30 miles long and perhaps only a few hundred yards wide. There's a campground near the ocean side where you can hear the surf all night. The camping area is covered with goldenrod that attracts monarch butterflies and bayberry bushes that smell wonderfully. It was great fun and very relaxing. I'm sure we'll be going again.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hand Dyed Sock Swap

I've organized two rounds of a hand dyed sock swap on Ravelry this year. This time my swap buddy was Joe82 from Ravelry, a very nice young lady from Ontario, Canada who shares my birthday. I got a package from her yesterday.

Aaaand. It's way too cool. She sent me some Canada souveniers which I just now realized I haven't photographed. I was too excited about the socks.

These socks have an allover spiral pattern and are made from SweetPaprika's 100% Merino sock yarn. They're very soft and squishy. I love the shaded dye job. (Sorry, I had to take the photo of my own feet myself this time. Of course, the ubiquitous cat face lurks at the top.)
The other knitting item is some hand dyed yarn. She sent a whole kit also from Sweet Paprika, and it's the cutest thing ever. I may have to cast these on tomorrow because, dude, there are fishies on the toes. I'm totally going to wear them with my Birkenstocks so everyone can see.Thanks Joe, and thanks everyone who participated in the swap.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Non yarn related cheering!

Yay! YaaaaaaY! HorraaaaaaY!


I turned in that crappy paper only minutes ago. I'm done! Done done done with my thesis/master's project/crappy paper! So I'm sort of done. I'm still finishing up the end of my coursework, but my project is done and my classes are done.

E knew I was turning it in tonight, so he got me these flowers and is preparing a celebratory meal as we speak. (And behind the vase is our extremely sophisticated havdalah spice box that's still out on the table.)

Hooray! Yay!

Monday, October 06, 2008

FO: Imladris Socks

Yay! Hooray! They're finally done.
To review, the pattern is Rivendell Socks. They were knitted out of Great Adirondack Yarn Co Soxie in Wild Birch. I did them magic loop style on size 1 needles with no alterations to the pattern. They fit me very nicely, but sizing might be tricky for people with thicker ankles. The wrapped stitches in the cuff can make things kind of tight.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Alright. Alright. So I am doing some things that are productive. That crappy paper is nearly done, and it's a good thing. It's due this week. I wish I didn't have senior-itis. I just don't care how well I do on the paper, and that frustrates me. Not to brag, but I'm normally a very good and conscientious student. At the end of my graduate studies, I have a 3.8 GPA. I've worked hard and now at the end I know that the only way I can really screw up is to not turn the darn thing in. If I turn it in completed and and meets the basic requirements they'll pass me and I'll graduate. So it's hard to feel like I should make this thing a masterpiece. Even if I feel like I should turn in a masterpiece.

Between plodding through that paper, I've been preparing for the Shenandoah Fiber Festival. It's in three weeks, and will be the biggest show I've done. A pile of yarn dyeing has lifted my spirits a bit.
I also knitted up a sample made from my Priiti yarn.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Yarn nightmares

Last night I had a nightmare about yarn. For real. Ya think I might knit too much?

In the dream I was going to knit up this mill bag of Debbie Bliss Cashmere Cotton that has been marinating in the stash for about a year. I reality, I often think of this yarn and what I will knit with it. It's DK weight, red, and has about 1030 yards. Sometimes I take it out and pet it seeking inspiration. Well, last night I had a dream about that yarn.

In the dream I go into the stash to get the bag and start knitting some perfect sweater. When I take it out, I think "What in hell was I thinking?" I pull out a ball, and find that it is pink and really made out of a combination the material those plastic bath puffs come from along with iridescent Easter basket grass.

In the dream I take it out and think to myself that I don't remember the yarn looking this way, but I do remember loving the yarn. With this rationalization firm in my mind, I decide that it's perfect for my sweater and start knitting.

How many knitting projects have we done that turn out that way? You know the ones, where we delude ourselves for days, weeks, or months that the project will turn out despite it looking like complete shite.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

FO: Not tellin ya

I've resorted to a classic maritime morale enhancer lately: flogging. Basically I've been torturing myself to get things done that I should do. That I should have done. And that I normally would have no problem doing. My techniques are not violent, but they've been cruel. I've been denying myself the right to knit things I like and doing fun things like blogging. It's probably not the best way of dealing with this, but I don't feel like I'd do anything productive if I didn't stick to a regimen every day.

Looking around, I have been doing quite a bit. I've make quite a bit of progress on that lousy hateful paper. I've started the dying yarn for the festival that's in a month. I'm keeping the house clean and the husband fed. I even knit an entire pair of socks in the last week. Can't show you those yet, they're a gift.

But I've been in a funk and am not really enjoying what I'm doing. It's a sort of bored restless funk. Ugh.

Friday, September 19, 2008

International Knit Like a Ninja Day

Will be November 16.

I've had enough of these scurvy pirates and their silly talk! On 16 November, all the Knitting Ninjas will unite and send our enemies to Davy Jones's locker!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why is it so hard this time around?

I was just over at the Yarn Harlot's blog reading about receiving the copy of her new book and about how scary and weird a job being a writer is. Her post made me think about my current situation and writing.

My current situation is procrastination. I am here at this computer reading and writing blogs when I should be at the other computer writing the final project of my master's degree. It's a 25 page paper on a topic having to do with Jewish communal services. In truth, I've been trying to get going on it since July. But I can't. I just can't get going on it. It's not that I have none of it done. I just can't sit down and do any significant part of it at one time. It makes me disappointed in myself.

I was a writer of one kind or another for years. I've written several books; one was almost 400 pages long. You won't find any of then at Amazon because they were the sort of book companies use for internal work. But I've written lots and can sympathize with writing being a scary and weird job. (Sometime I'll tell you about video taping a machine at 3am that threw ice cream bars at people .)

Once upon a time, I'd get a 20 page assignment and have it out in three days. I'd put away my fear for three days and research and write 20 pages in less than a work week. Not now. No. Now I sit here trembling before the words on the screen not able to finish it because I'm afraid to turn it in.

I don't get it. But I'm going back in for another fight.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Semi Finished Object

There are so many things I've meant to put on here lately. The travel induced summer lull in blogging has left a backlog of stuff.

First of all, you'll be glad to know that Hanna was a wimp. She put down about 6" of rain and we had some strong winds, but nothing bad happened. I heard that a few roads were impassible for a short while during the storm, but everything was back to normal today. Even the Rock Creek was not too high this morning when I went for a run over on the trail.

Remember Ravelymipcs? I did my Stained Glass bag for that and felted it the other day. I'm pretty happy with it. I wish I'd had one more skein of yarn, because I rain out of some colors near the end. Some of the small panels on the bottom of the back have color repeats nearby. But they're on the bottom.
It's kinda fuzzy. I'll need to shave it. And it needs some leather straps. But it's done.

In non-knitting news, I've gotten into some more technological things lately. With my new found freedom from school, I've taken up playing on the computer more. I joined facebook while my sisters were in town. They asked me to, and now I can more easily keep in touch with them and some of my friends, too. I even found some people from my cohort at Spertus. Also, E bought the new Spore game today and I started playing it. It's pretty cool, and sure to take away knitting time for the next few days.

Friday, September 05, 2008


It's nice here now. Sunny, even. But as you can see from this map by the National Weather Service it looks like tropical storm Hanna's gonna blow through here tomorrow afternoon. Maryland is apparently on two types of warnings. The eastern part of the state is on a tropical storm warning. More inland areas are on a flash flood warning. We're right on the border between the two areas. So we're going to get hit with a grand storm (and based on my experience here in Maryland, that means that the power will go out for days). Oh, the excitement.

You'll be proud to hear this. With Gustav recently gone, Hanna about to hit, and Ike and Josephine close behind, our government has swung into action. The entire PHS has been put on alert to be ready to go to any disaster. They don't want a repeat of what happened in New Orleans with the slow response. So the Amazing E may have to fly off at any time to help save the day. I doubt he'll be wearing this when he goes, but you should see him in the whole gettup. He looks amazing.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I realize it as well as anyone who has been reading here this summer. I've been writing re-in-donkulous posts about serious things. Blame it on the travel and finishing graduate studies. I've been flying back and forth between DC and Chicago all summer, and think I spend about a third of my summer in transit. Actually, I spent the majority of August in Chicago. Some people even saw me there. And now I'm done. My classes are done. All I have left is my master's project, and that is partially done. Say it with me. HOORAY!

Now that I can stop, look around, think, and kvetch, I want to write seriously about some re-in-donkulous things.

For one, my knitting. I've been knitting a lot this summer. A real lot. I mean, flying-twice-a-week-all-summer amounts of knitting. Do you know what I got done? Almost nothing. I have two pairs of socks and two berets. But I also have at least four single socks and a completely-knitted-but-not-felted felted stained glass bag. Summer of socks is nearly finished, and I only have two comeplete pairs. Re-in-donkulous!

You know what else? Flying is re-in-donkulous now. The planes are full, the airfares are sky high, and you have to pay for your bags to be checked. Oy. Plus you gotta be there an hour and a half before the flight. Oy. At least it gives time for knitting.

Re-in-donkulously cool alert! I got an iPhone. Actually, E made me get it. The first coolest part is that the purchase of the iPhone represented the first sizable payment to myself from Rock Creek Yarn. Secondly, it's just cool. It's a good phone and I can do all sorts of interesting things like make my grocery list on it. I even found a free knitting application.

Latly, hurricanes are re-in-donkulous. For real. Gustav went through the Gulf Coast, and the PHS got called up. E was not one of those called up this time. (That's a major thing his branch of the service does, going to hurricanes.) However, this weekend we'll get another chance. Hanna is on her way up here. So, woo hoo! My first hurricane.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here

This weekend was an impromptu family reunion of the Gentlemens. Some certain family member who does not wish to be named has been rather ill, so everybody flew into Chicago for a visit. This involved sisters from the left coast, the right coast, the United Kingdom, and even me and E flying on Thursday and Friday all to the center of the country. So we've all been here. It's very nice. We hardly get together like this.

And the ill person seems to be doing a bit better.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Flame out

After much futzing, I have produced my Tree Beret for Ravelympics.
I had to take the picture with my camera because I'm at my grandpa's in Chicago. It's really very pretty. But it's too big for me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Prisoner updates

Remember Ole' Crap-o-tee? The evil knit languishes in knitting jail. Seeing as how I know of no convention on the treatment of prisoner knits, today the punishment of this knit was made (notice the use of passive voice here) more severe. It's needles where taken away, and sent to another part of the country. There is no hope. Doomed.

And then there is the case of a certain Jeremy Clark-Erskine. According to the Indiana database of prisoners, he's supposed to be released from the custody of the state today. I believe that he has been convicted of another crime in Marion County, and am hoping that upon his release from state prison he was delivered to the care of that county to serve his sentence. A lot of people are hitting this blog today looking for information about him. If you know if he was really released, please contact me by commenting anonymously, and tell me if you want me to actually make your comment public. I have the option of keeping it for my eyes only.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A quick note

I'm still not done with that darn hat! There's been lots of picking out two or three rows and reknitting. Ugh. Frustration.

I'm in Chicago now, and I have a final tonight. Things have been pretty busy here since I arrived with school and family stuff. My flight back to Maryland is tomorrow morning.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Day 1: Disappointment of Olympic Proportions


I cast on at precisely 8 am eastern.It was going so well. I got to row 19 of the Tree Beret and found an error. This is a Brioche Beret that is a cousin to the Windmill. I'd been knitting with only a few cases of picking back small portions steadily all day. And then I realized that I'd missed an increase in one section about, oh, seven rows back. I thought it was two rows back, but I tinked all those and then discovered the true horror of the situation.

Gasp. I'm pulling it all out now

Thursday, August 07, 2008

On your marks,

Dude, I'm totally ready. My yarns are here. My needles are sharpened. I'm ready to take my team to victory. The mass cast on begins tomorrow morning at 8 am eastern time.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ravelympics 2008

I have taken on the challenge, and it's not socks.

Don't get me wrong. I love the socks, and I love summer. But also love knitting, competing in amateur sports, and international camaraderie. So I've thrown my needles in the ring for the Bag-n-Tote Backstroke event in Ravelympics 2008. For 17 days during the games in Beijing, I'll take a break from my sock knitting to knit the Felted Stained Glass Fan Bag.

The new gear bag has taken its place next to my Summer of Socks bag our living room.

Stay tuned. Scott TC will be reporting on location.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Favorite Shabbat Dinner

Every Friday night I cook an especially good dinner. Sometimes it's a nice fish or roast chicken, but my favorite are stuffed onions. They take a little work, but are absolutely super.


3 or 4 very large sweet onions
3/4 lb ground lamb
2 fresh tomatoes diced
1/2 cup long grain rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 small can tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tbs chopped parsley
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Place unpeeled onions in a large pot and cover with water. Put the pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the onions for 30 minutes. Remove onions from water and set aside to cool until they can be handled.

Drain the rice.

In a large mixing bowl, combine lamb, tomatoes, cinnamon, allspice, rice, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well with your hands.

Cut the root and stem ends off the unpeeled onions. Cut a slit the radius of each onion. That is, cut the onion from the outside to the center. Remove the peel and as many layers you need to to get to a layer that is edible and discard. Take off each layer of the onion as you can; you should get four or five good petals per onion. They will curl up on themselves. Set aside and repeat for each onion. Save the onion core for another dish.

Now stuff the onions. Handling the onion petals carefully so as not to tear them, place a few tablespoons to a half cup of the meat mixture into each petal and roll it up so it looks like a fat sausage. The amount used will depend on the size of the petal, but the onion should roll up somewhat on itself. Repeat until all stuffing is used.

Heat olive oil in a large lidded pan until it shimmers over medium heat. Place the onions seam side down into the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.

Serve four people with a green salad and chewy bread for dipping in the sauce.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

There was no mashed potatoes.

In which I multi-task

Ever tried to juggle? I'm terrible at it really.

I'm currently working on two classes for the end of my degree while thinking about what my final project will be, running the yarn business, and knitting for Summer of Socks (which is related to the yarn business). Somehow I am doing a lot but it doesn't occur to me that much of it would be interested to my dear readers.

But there is progress on all of these tasks. For one, I have written one short paper this week and am working on a second now. Yes, even now. I'm taking a break from it so my brain can stop smoking. This is of course part of the process because we don't want anything to catch fire.

I've finished yet another single sock. Here it is being modeled on my knifty new sock blockers.
The sock is made of Panda Cotton in Painted Lilac. Unfortunately I can't cast the other on because immediately upon finishing this I cast to my one set of size 1.5 needles a sock for E. Therefore I have three single socks and three other socks in progress that count for SoS. Hopefully I'll knuckle down and finish at least one pair by the weekend. And hopefully it will be the second Durin sock. I have to get that pattern test knitted and published ASAP.

Also in news is a new colorway for Rock Creek Yarn. Behold Cherokee. It's a Smoky Mountains inspired colorway with dusty violet, blue, and orange. It'll be up and available soon enough on the website.

And now back to that paper.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two socks

And they don't even match.

I finished one socks from each of two patterns today. The first is the Rivendell sock. It's a fairly easy pattern. Really. The only hard part is the wrapped stitches in the cuff.The second sock is Durin. I'm writing it up now. It's my own and will be available on Ravelry and my store in a couple of weeks. This is done in my Cable-icious BFL yarn.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Love the swappin

I got a package today. It came at a very good time. Today isn't a happy day. I seem to have strained my neck on the drive home, and it's got me laid up today. That and E left for a business trip today. But this package from the Sock Yarn From Your Stash swap came today. All the way from Canada.

The package includes a skein of Yarn Pirate's yarn, the pattern for Cookie A's Mingus socks, a really cool small project bag, some rose scented bath goodies from The Body Shop, coffee, chocolates, and some other small gifts.
I love presents.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Windmill Beret

Back on the day the Yarn Harlot came to Nana's Knitting Shop in Oak Lawn, some sort of knitting epidemic spread through the store. I'm not sure how it got started, but it hit me hard. Before it passed, I'd purchased a skein of Noro Silk Garden and a skein of Cascade 220 to knit the "Windmill Beret." Not that I had any idea of what it was. But you know how it is. Sometimes the yarn fumes can cause a disease.

In the following weeks I sat here and cast it on. And ripped it out. And cast it back on. And frogged it. And. Cast. It. On. And. Frogged. That. MF.

ad nauseam

Until I came to Chicago and got some help. Some of the ladies who had caught the disease that day had found ways to deal with it, assuring all of us in the throws of the illness that it's not so bad. And that it gets easier to deal with once you're used to it.

Taking their advice, I cast the hat back on to my needles. Four days later I had this:It's lovely with the shades of green and blue. And all my hair fits inside. I feel a knitting jag coming on.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I just realized. Sweaters hate me.

Before I get on topic, I'd like to say something. I got to Chicago safely. The trip took about 13 hours, including stops. The details of my cross country yarn crawl will be disclosed shortly. Perhaps next week after I finish it. 'Twas a bit stunted, you see. But never fear, I am at Tzurriz's house safe and sound. Without as much delightfully diverse yarn and stories as I'd hope.

(At this time I'd like to address one question I was recently asked. Tzurriz is Yiddish for "trouble," and the apt nickname of a dear friend of mine in the Chicago area. ((Perhaps the name comes from some of her more memorable exploits: spending well over a year trying to introduce me to the Amazing E.))

Perhaps because of the amount of knitterly literature I've absorbed in the last few days, I've been contemplating a serious subject. And oh, by the way, my signed copy of Things I Learned from Knitting was at Tzurriz's after all. Anyway, the subject was my pitiful relationship with the sweater. By this I mean no sweater in particular, but rather all sweaters that I knit much like an ornithologist who has a close relationship with flightless Antarctic birds refers to them collectively as "the penguin."

In my 3.667 years of knitting, I have cast on a total of five sweaters. The first was frogged long ago and very early in my knitting career. No harm, no foul. The second was the Fair Isle Sleeve Top which I still own. It slumbers in a bag. I've worn it once. It is a beautiful work of art and completely unwearable. To this day I haven't to foggiest what the designer was thinking, and I'd like to write her a letter. Third is the Green Tea Raglan. We'll come back to this in a moment. The fourth sweater is a Sahara. Knitting that lovely whizzed by in only six weeks. However, I used some silk for the lace that I'd dyed with Kool-Aid. It wasn't colorfast and faded to a horrid shade of blue-gray. I'm pretty sure it can be saved if I rip off the lace and reknit with something I like better. And then there is the Oriel Lace Blouse. I still have hopes for this blouse. I have only to do the back. It will be done this year. Then I can find out how disappointed I am with it. For now it remains an unrequited love.

The Green Tea Raglan. Sigh. Feel this with me. Sigh....

I finished it in late May. I think I even posted about it with no picture. To review the case history, I purchased the yarn for it in a fire sale at a yarn store. In short order it was cast on for an unsuccessful project and frogged. The Green Tea Raglan was cast on, and according to the pattern I should have just made it with the yardage. Yes, I know I was tempting fate, but let's not dwell on that. In short order I got nearly done but realized that I would run out of yarn sometime during the last sleeve. The knit was cast into prison for months whilst we searched for the one or two balls of what turned out to be a rare yarn. When two perfectly matching balls of another colorway were by an act of yarny heroism in another state by my LYS, the project was restarted and shortly thereafter finished.

Then I spent hours properly seaming and blocking. Then I wore the perfect knit with glee. Three times.

Then some fiendish cat decided it was his mommy and kneaded it with his claws while it sat in its place waiting to be lovingly hand washed. All those little bamboo threads that make up the yarn got frayed on one part near the bottom. It's unwearable. It's only on one section near the bottom hem of the back, but it's several square inches of very frayed fabric.

And I don't know if I can get anymore of that yarn. Boo hoo hoo. Perhaps sweaters are never to be, and I am destined to knit socks forever. And perhaps this is deductive reasoning at work.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Knitting and driving

At 7 am sharp (ish) tomorrow morning, I'll be leaving to drive to Chicago. More accurately, I'll be driving to Flossmoor, IL and visiting Chicago on almost every one of the nine days I'll be in the area.

As anyone who has done cross country driving knows, particularly if you've made the trip before and seen all the sights along the way, it's hour after hour of trance-like boredom. According to Google Maps my trip tomorrow will take 11 hours and 17 minutes. At the posted speed limits. Not that I will admit that I intend to break the law on my trip, but I will take note that Ohio seems to enforce speed limits and Indiana does not. And as we know, I am a woman and therefore will have to stop to pee. So let's say that my trip will take 12 hours door to door.

12 hours is a lot of time to sit in a small metal box, even if it is moving and dangerous speeds. So I've been trying to figure out how to make it more enjoyable. My immediate reflex is the think that I should combine knitting with this trip. Of course. However, my vice-like grasp of the obvious tells me that I should certainly not actually knit while driving 90 65 miles per hour down a highway shared with triple trailers. Especially since I'm working on socks on very pointy size 1.5 metal needles. And most especially since my husband is clearly a Jewish mother in his heart.

So I've looked for other ways to incorporate knitting with the drive. My success has been mixed. I found At Knit's End by the Yarn Harlot on iTunes audiobooks. And it's read by herself! A real treat. My big failure, or more accurately the failure of muggle web designers, it that none of the driving direction pages allow you to search for yarn stores along your route. I'm going to keep looking for a site that will. Or I'll make my million by designing such a thing. Damn it.

So right now I'm packing and manually making a list of yarn stores easily access able to my route and thinking about how I will be away from this guy way too long. We're newlyweds, after all.
Does anyone know how long it takes to play the entire Rock Band Aerosmith game? He got it yesterday to ease his suffering while I'm gone. I'm just wondering when I can start expecting phone calls about missing me and asking where the clean underwear are.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Keep on sockin'

Despite the stoopidness of my tummy, I have been taking advantage of this summer to have fun and get a lot done. But you know that. It's why I'm not blogging much.

Summer of Socks is coming along. Fifteen days in, I have something like 2.25 pairs of socks knit. The latest finished was the Campfire socks. They seemed to have been well received by Ravelers, so I think I'll write up the pattern soon. It's an easy columnar lace pattern, and with the thickness and elasticity of Jitterbug, they were only 54 stitches around. Oh, and yes. My legs and feet are that pasty white. Modest dress is not conducive to the tan. Not that a fair lass like me ever really tanned in the sun.

So I've cast on new socks. When I brought this Great Adirondack Soxie yarn in the Birch colorway home, the Amazing E immediately declared it "Sindarin." I knew then I had to use it for Rivendell socks, which I'd been eying and spying since the Harlot knit them. This is the first sock. I'm calling them "Imladris" because that's the name for Rivendell in Sindarin, the language of the Wood Elves. (and I know I'm a nerd.)The only part that's really hard are figuring out the wrapped stitches at the top.

E's got a four day weekend this weekend. Very important government employees, you know. Anyway, we've been chilling out and resting. Even so, I've also done a lot. Today we went blueberry picking at a local "you pick'em" orchard. Man, that's a smart business plan. They do the labor to plant the crops, but people pay to come and pick them and take them away. At any rate, we got two pounds of the biggest blueberries I've ever seen. I made a batch of awesome muffins for us. E's gorging himself on the now.

I've also been working on yet another paper for school. Whew. After two years, I'm finally in the home stretch. Just a couple more classes and the seminar next week. Oh, did you know? I will be coming to Chicago on Wednesday and staying for nine days to go to that seminar.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I got that paper in. And my final for another class. I have another final due next week before I leave for Chicago. But I didn't work on it today. Or yesterday.

Today I had, ehem, medical procedures. I'll not use the "c" word here, but the procedures involved looking into my guts from both directions. Insidious has been back of late, so my new Navy docs wanted to look inside. It seems there's nothing horrible to report. No giant holes or bad diseases. Just a lot of irritation. And a strange anatomical thing involving my large intestine. Very interesting, but not dangerous.

So I've been home feeling crumby and knitting. For a little change, right now I'm feeling crumby and stoned while knitting. The sedatives have not quite worn off.

All this crumbiness and knitting has produced even more Summer of Socks progress. I'm nearly done with my second pair. There are another of my own creations made from Jitterbug sock yarn. I'm calling it Campfire Socks because I think they look like burning sticks.

I can report other good news. E loves me and is bringing me raspberry sorbet for a cool treat.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Little Diversion

I was supposed to be writing this brilliant short paper on Mordecai Kaplan, but I got board and started reading knitting blogs instead. It happens a lot when I'm writing those brilliant papers. It seems like you can still get senior-itis when in graduate school. Anyway, I was looking at the knitting blogs of my friends who have these Flickr mosaics on their pages and decided to do one for little old me.
And then I finished the paper.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Summer of Working My Butt Off

One might think that since my vocation is currently "homemaker," that I'd be enjoying a leisurely summer. Not so. This past week has been a case in point.

Last Monday, E went to work to learn that a friend of his at work had passed away over the weekend. She'd been fighting cancer for some time, and had become very ill in the past few weeks. So Monday was entirely dedicated to attending the funeral and making condolence calls. E and his coworkers are certainly still grieving and adjusting to her passing.

Tuesday and Wednesday were dedicated to writing the final paper for my Knowledge Management class and dyeing Green Sand Beach yarn. The class was easy for me, but time consuming. Travel to Chicago early Thursday morning to attend class that evening, plus a visit with Tzurriz's clan occupied that day. Friday was about traveling home, having a much needed nap, and cleaning up the pigsty preparing the house for Shabbat. Saturday was actually had a nice quiet Sabbath for the first time in two months. Today I've been working on my final for another class and knitting.


Yes, I've been doing quite a bit. I've been knitting while waiting in line for things. And knitting on airplanes. And knitting with Tzurriz. And knitting when I get a chance to sit down and rest. All of this knitting has produced my first complete pair of socks for Summer of Socks 2008.

This is a plain stockinette sock done magic loop style on size 1 needles. The yarn is Green Sand Beach from Rock Creek Yarn.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Extreme Knitting Kung Fu

Knitting is at its best when it becomes a sport.

Whew. I didn't know if I'd make it. The haggis hurl was at 4pm. At 3pm, toe decreases weren't even started yet. That's how the Highland Games became a sports double header.

First was the knitting timed trial. La Petite Tricoteuse worked on the toe of one sock while I grafted the other shut. Then she gave it back to me for more speed knitting and grafting. The tag team effort resulted in the second edition of haggis throwing socks. Just. In. Time. Thanks, Jen.

After the triumphant sock finishing dance, we marched over to the athletics field for the big event. From atop that barrel I threw the haggis 35 feet, 2 inches. Yes, I had to touch it. No, I did not taste it. This was not the winning throw, but it was respectable. Yay! Coming back to Chicago is always so much fun.

Everyone pretend I'm wearing a hat in these pictures. I couldn't get my scarf to stay on.

Crazy Yarn Friday

The Amazing E and I were in Chicago for the weekend. Thursday was the typical yucky thing where I flew in at the crack arse of dawn, hung out during the day trying not to fall asleep, and then went to class in downtown Chicago at night. Saturday was haggis throwing. We'll talk more about that later. But Friday. Friday was crazy yarn day.

Friday I headed over to Nana's Knitting Shop in Oak Lawn for their Thursday afternoon sit and knit with E in tow. Don't worry. He was rescued by another man after he met the Harlot. (What, the Yarn Harlot?) Yep. Stephanie and Franklin both showed up at Nana's in the afternoon for knitting. Here's the picture E took of me memorized by the speed knitting. Yeah. I'll be damned if I can figure that out.
I felt like such a starstruck dork all day. If politicians count as people, I've met other famous people while working at the Very Important Government Job and also at political rallies without losing my cool. Yeah, but not with Stephanie. Perhaps the difference is that I respect her work and think she's a nice person.

Later in the evening I went to the talk and book signing. I got stupid again. When Stephanie signed my book, I could barely spell my own name for her. I did manage to rather inarticulately give her a present of yarn at the table. I thank Jason for immortalizing the moment.
Man, I saw a lot of old friends there. A couple of the girls from SNBWB showed up. The lady who altered my wedding dress also grabbed me in the book buying line to say hi. And then there was the reunion with all the Tinley Park gang. Jason took this picture too.
Don't tell E, but to top off the crazy yarn day, I bought yarn or other knitting paraphernalia no less than three separate times. Including yarn for the Windmill Beret insanity that swept through the store. Shh.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Grumble, rumble

A storm should be coming through any minute. Given the track record of the utility providers here, we should lose power pretty soon. This on top of the three day long water boiling order Mongomery County is under now.


I admit it. I knitted on WWKIP day. I also sold yarn at an event.

Despite my guilt, it was great fun. In attendance where some local knitting bloggers such as AmyO, Hooker 2 Cats, and Bdegar, as well as my Ravelry friend MalteseMama and Creative Crocheter (who gave me a pretty little hat for a future baby).

I'm kinda tired today. Insidious has returned in the last couple of weeks, leaving me wiped out much of the time. Not inspired to write, I'll let the pictures do the talking for this post. Let's thank E for the artistic yarn and knitting photos.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A get well soon wish

I send out a getwell soon wish to my grandpa. I know he reads this blog.

Grandpa had a stint put in an artery in his heart the other day, and is at home recovering now. I spoke to him this morning and he is doing well.

My grandpa and grandma, may her memory be a blessing, took care of my four sisters and I after grandpa retired from the machine shop where he worked as a foreman. In his job he helped the US Navy during WWII when his shop was directed to make gun mounts and other ship armaments. Later he worked on the machines to make some of the first silent propellers for submarines during the Cold War. Grandma dedicated her life to her family, and passed away three and a half years ago.

Grandpa is now almost 93 (and reads my blog on the internet). He's a great guy and I love him. His reflections on history and my family that span nearly a century are a treasure. I've learned so much from him. I can still remember the day he taught me to read a clock when I was little.

I'm glad you're feeling better, Grandpa.

Rock Creek Yarn is steppin out

Yay. We'll be at the Takoma Park knitting fair on WWKIP day this weekend. If you're a DC area knitter come out and join us. Also, take a peek around on the new Knitty that came out today. We're advertising there as well.

An update on the Haggis Throwing socks. Observe here, all ye pink sayers. No pink can be seen aside from the pasty hue of my flesh. I've made up these socks for myself. There's a diamond motif on the sides and a different diamond running down the front and back of the leg.

Monday, June 09, 2008

My heinous knits and their crimes

You'd think that with all the dyeing posting going on around here that I'd given up knitting. Not so!

But I've run into a problem. I am at the point at which I hate all my knits. Do not tsk! tsk! at me. We all know it happens. All the knits on all my needles have committed crimes, been jailed, and have not served their sentences. Observe:

Knit #1
Pattern: Cobweb
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace
Case History: The yarn for this pattern was purchased back in April on a trip to Chicago. The project was only about 1000 yards. Certainly it could be done in only a few weeks and be used in the springtime.
Crime: Being written in such a way that the knitter must knit a section under one interpretation of the text, measure and examine the product of her labor, and likely rip it back to try the other possible way of reading the pattern. More time has been spend reknitting than making actual progress.

Knit #2
Pattern: Hadera
Yarn: Bearfoot Mountain Colors
Case History: This pair of socks was started in a state of distraction on the day before my wedding, and has never been finished. On sock is entirely done. They other is barely started.
Crime: Un-memorizability of the pattern repeat. Yes, it's only four rows, but I can't memorize it. It's like it has some Harry Potterish spell on it that keeps me having to read the pattern for every stitch.

Knit #3
Pattern: Mine own
Yarn: Schaefer Yarn Anne
Case History: These are to be this year's Haggis Throwing Socks.
Crime: No being sexy anymore. I've been working on these socks and nothing else. I'm not done, and I have less than two weeks to go until they're to be worn.

Knit #4
Pattern: Bayerische socks
Yarn: Sock Pixie merino sock yarn
Case History: These socks have been on the needles for nearly a year.
Crime: Being almost 100 stitches around and heavily cabled. They're beautiful. They're charming. They're 96 stitches around on size 0 needles. I guess I knew from the start that they'd be the red headed stepchild of the bunch. We can show them some leniency.

Knit #5
Pattern: Oriel Lace Blouse
Yarn: Pink Alpaca Horde
Case History: This is another year long knit. But all I have left is the back to do.
Crime: Being slow going. So much so that it gets left in the dust.

Knit #6
Pattern: Clapotis
Yarn: Crazy Kool Ade Silk
Case History: Shall not be uttered in polite company.
Crime: Being a Crap-o-tee.

Please note the Rheingold Wrap is not listed here. It is a fine knit that has been on a long deserved holiday.

Must. Work. On. Knits.

Must. Resist. Casting. On.