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.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


My socks for the hand dyed sock swap are done. Yay. I'll be sending out this package tomorrow.
With the exception of the brightly colored socks, I tried for a chocolate theme. I 'm sending some raspberry chocolate truffle bath stuff from Ulta 3, some super duper chocolates from Moonstruck, and my toffee colored Thai Iced Tea yarn. I hope my Canadian buddy likes what she's getting.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

This time from Panera and without the cats

This could get to be like "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego." I'm at Panera drinking hot coffee and checking my emails to see if there are any orders I can't send out for the yarn shop. For better or worse, there aren't any.

The power is out at our place. It's been out since the storm yesterday, and the local utility says that it might be days to get it on again. Or it could be on when I get home. Who can know? That's the fun of it. The power outage brings with it good news and bad news. First the bad news:

1. I can't show pictures of my new Haggis Throwing socks. I'd been wanting to.
2. I also can't show pictures of the socks I'm sending to my buddy in the hand dyed sock swap. I finished those yesterday, and it required a hammer.
3. I went to the commissary the other day and bought a lot of meat. Fortunately, it's still frozen. I'll be packing the freezer with ice to try to save it.

And the good news:
1. Our electric bills in Maryland are outrageous. At least this month they'll be a little lower.
2. I can't possibly work on my paper, not that I want to. And this is a good excuse.
3. I have a fine excuse today to hang out at the mall, the yarn store, and the coffee shop.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

In which I blog remotely

Scott, Duncan, and I are coming to you just now from the hallway. We dashed out here with the computer and without my spectacles when a message that a tornado touched down nearby came over the television.

Ugh. I'd intended to go to knitting tonight, but the weather is downright crumby. A line of storms passed through here just now, and another is due later. I'm used to that, being from the Midwest. The thing I'm not used to is that there is no siren system to warn me. Is it just a Chicago thing that sirens go off if there's a tornado? There's no such thing here. Apparently there's another storm front due later this evening that is pretty bad. So I'm staying in with my home activities.

I guess while I'm home I should work on my paper. I have a paper due this week on American Jewish denominations. It's interesting, but I don't want to write a paper today. (Talk about a fine Jewish whine. WAAAHHH!)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Haggis throwing, here I come

Good news. E and I are coming into Chicago June 19 - 22. This means that we'll be in town for the Harlot and Haggis throwing.

It's a good thing I started my new Haggis Throwing Socks last week.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Yummy yummy

So this weekend was pretty busy. We got our wedding album from my sister Peggy and our Ketubah from the framer. We went to a strawberry field and picked some. I finished the socks for my Hand Dyed Sock Swap on Ravelry. E got a new video game. And I dyed some brand new yarn.

The album is very nice. Peg has a masters of fine arts in photography and took the photos at our wedding. After some snafus with the printer (not her fault at all), we've received the book. She got some very nice candid shots, and the posed photos are very nice. Looking at was was a great way to spend the half anniversary of our wedding today.

A ketubah is a Jewish wedding contract. This document has developed into a unique art form with calligraphy and illumination. Ours was the one designed by the Reform cantors organization. Also a nice thing to have up on our wall today.

Have you ever been to pick your own fruit at one of those orchards? They have lots in Michigan. I think it's a great business plan. Plan the fruits with labor you pay, but get your customers to pay you to harvest the crop. Genius. Anyway, we picked a couple of pounds of strawberries this afternoon.Wow. Holy cow. These berries made me realize what modern engineering does to food. You know those gigantic, partially hollow, fibrous strawberries we get in the store for the last umpteen years? Yeah. These aren't them. I'd forgotten how good strawberries can be. These were all less than an inch across, sweet, juicy, and melted in our mouths. We ate strawberry shortcake for dinner tonight. And nothing else.

Also taking a great deal of time this weekend was E's new video game. It must have had something to do with Conan the barbarian, because E spent the weekend flexing his muscles at me and speaking in what he thinks is an Austrian accent.

In the mean time, I dyed a whole lotta yarn today. This is my newest creation. It's 100% superwash Blue Face Leicester. (That's pronounced "Lester") sock yarn. BFL is super-premium sock yarn. Seriously. It's very shiny and round and has a hand like silk. I did small batches of five colorways today to start things out. I'm truly in love with this yarn and may have to buy some out of my stock for Summer of Socks. Yummy pictures will come up on the store when it stops thunderstorming for 20 minutes or so.