Thursday, June 29, 2006

On Our Way

Mom and I left after I got out of work today for Toronto. There would be a picture, but due to security reasons, pictures were not allowed. Luckily, he didn't need his own passport or any other paperwork.

Here's the sock at our hotel at Toronto airport; the blue car is mine. He's quite excited to be on vacation and is looking forward to the rest of the trip.

We're driving to TO the night before we fly to New Brunswick because we would have to leave home at an excessively early hour to get to the airport in time. If you're wondering, yes, it is indeed less expensive to drive to TO and park the car at the airport than it is to fly out of my hometown. Odd, but that's just the way it is.

Successful (?) Packing

Last night, I spent quite some time getting my bags packed for vacation. Actually, packing clothes and toiletries only took about 5 minutes or so (especially since I just threw stuff in there). Deciding how many, which projects, what yarn, needles and books were going with me took a bit longer. I didn't even have to use space bags to make more room. This is a good thing, as then I'll be able to use them for any souvenir yarn that might happen to leap into my hands. I repacked it tonight at our hotel in Toronto and have found that I have quite a lot of room left. I wonder what will fill that space?

Stephanie has written in the past that security sometimes appears a bit bewildered at the amount of knitting-related items in her luggage, so I figured if I keep it to less than Stephanie, I may be in good shape. If nothing else, TO security should be used to seeing such stashes. Here's what is going into the backpack; that should be enough for a 3-hour flight, right?

Mom likes to read. A lot. I'm quite surprised at how restrained she was in the quantity of books she brought with her. I will admit, though, that I have hefted her suitcase and it rivals mine (and mine contains the remote blogging system).


This cartoon was in our local paper yesterday:

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Vacation To Do's

My Mom and I are going on vacation, so I thought I'd share some of my To Do list with you.
1. Decide what knitting projects are going on vacation. Do you think that a shawl, Mason-Dixon nightie and 2 pair of socks are enough?
2. Confirm reservations
3. Decide what back-up projects are going on vacation (in case the above list isn't enough).
4. Call airlines, see what knitting needles are allowed on planes.
5. Go to store to get more knitting needles and t-pins.
6. Get toothpaste.
7. Decide what clothes to pack.
8. Find suitcase; discover there are space bags stored in suitcase.
9. Remember that space bags are really good when packing yarn to go and for souvenir yarn.
10. Decide, regretfully, that the Hitchhiker wheel, even though it does fit in the suitcase, will have to stay home.
11. Pack drop spindle (just in case some souvenir fiber appears).
12. Figure out just what is actually going to fit in suitcase.
13. Remember to leave enough room for souvenirs (space bags can only do so much).
14. Discard the clothes that there isn't enough room for. After all, there are laundry facilities in Canada.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Barely a Yankee?

I followed a link to a "Are you a Yankee or a Rebel" quiz from Claudia's blog (Knitting Without Dog Hair is Not an Option). It seems that I'm 49% Dixie. Barely in Yankeedom. Interesting, considering how far north of the Mason-Dixon line that I am.

As far as knitting and spinning are concerned, there are no FOs lately. Now that I have two wheels, I can have twice as many unfinished spinning projects. Progress continues on the Summer in Kansas shawl. I will need to take a break shortly as I need to plan what knitting to take on vacation and pack it.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Many other bloggers have shown pictures of where they spin or knit. This is one of my favorite places to settle in the summer. I put my feet up and just enjoy the nice weather. Even when it's quite hot, there's almost always a breeze. This summer, Bubba hangs out with me since the bird won't attack him when he's near a person.

I'm just so tickled this morning. Last night, I finally finished the small pattern section of "Summer in Kansas". The pattern said that I should have 257 stitches and I do! Tonight, I get to start the thistle lace pattern, so the little voice that was starting to say "Aren't you done with this yet?" and "Don't you want to knit on something else?" has temporarily shut up. That fickle knitter inside me just never seems to want to settle on something for long! Oh well, when I'm done, I'll plan on a bunch of smaller projects to make her happy.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Random Wednesday

This is my daughter. -->
Yes, she's smart, beautiful, gutsy, and, thankfully, selective.

<--And her truck, with a hood ornament (Bubba)

And a funky flower (shown for no other reason besides that it matches the reins on the horse she's barrel racing)-->

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Critter Update

In May, we noticed that we had a frog on our pool cover. Since then, we've opened the pool and I was a little concerned that the pool was not the most hospitable location for him. I was happy to hear him again last night. He has taken up residence in our "pond" on the patio. This is a much nicer place for him.

Gypsy is quite happy; she's gotten her "summer do" from her intrepid groomer, Cherry. Gypsy dances the entire time that Cherry is grooming her. I think it's a testiment to just how good she is at her job that Gypsy looks so good.

Trouble is not happy. Gypsy wants to play and she, obviously, does not.

Isn't Bubba just the cutest thing? Who would want to pick on him? Well, that d**m bird, is who. I don't know what kind of bird it is, but not only does it terrorize poor Bubba, but it's taken to dive-bombing Trouble also. The bird also has a few other really annoying habits. It kind of chirps (a cross between a chirp and a squwak) every. few. seconds. all. day. long.

Bird lovers: Don't read the next bit.

We have loaded super-soakers and we're actively discouraging this hooligan.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Stash Enhancement

There's not much better than your friend having a sale at her shop. Joan is the proprietor of Cloverleaf Farms and does some of the most amazing dying. Pictures just do not always do it justice! One of her displays is an old baby crib just full of yarn. I'm sure it starts out organized, but by the time a few wool-crazed customers go through it, well..., let's just say it's like digging through a treasure chest!

My haul consisted of some Wensleydale roving (it's on my Hitchhiker), 1 large skein of 100% wool, and 4 skeins of 55% merino/45% mohair blend. I'm not showing a picture of the 100% wool, as it will be part of the Knit Sock Kit Swap.

Sock Kit Swap Questionaire

Oops! I thought I had already posted this.

I have to admit, I'm not that particular and am looking forward to whatever my pal surprises me with. I'll probably answer most of these and if I don't have a real preference, I'll just put "Surprise Me".
  • What are your favorite colors? Usually I pick blues/greens, but enjoy working with something you can "Surprise Me" on this one.
  • Are you a new sock knitter? No, I've been knitting socks for years.
  • Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? Depends on what I'm up to. I like solids for textures/cables, but really enjoy how different multi's work up, so "Surprise Me"
  • What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn? Usually wool, but "Surprise Me"
  • Where do you usually knit socks? Everywhere, I carry a sock with me in case I need distraction or a quick knit fix.
  • How do you usually carry/store small projects? Often just tossed in the purse or tote.
  • What are your favorite sock knitting patterns? My friend's basic sock: cuff down, flap heel, wedge toe is my default sock pattern. However, I do like to play with other patterns, so "Surprise Me"
  • What are your favorite sock knitting techniques? I often use short circs (10-11"), but also use DPs, two circs, magic loop with one really long circ, so "Surprise Me"
  • What new techniques would you like to try? "Surprise Me"
  • Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting? Circs, but "Surprise Me"
  • What are some of your favorite yarns? Trekking XXL, self-striping, "Surprise Me"
  • What yarn do you totally covet? "Surprise Me"
  • Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? Definitely "Surprise Me"
  • Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? This is more what I don't like...I'm not crazy about casein(?) or most plastic as the tips are pretty dull.
  • If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Here's another one more what I don't like...anything that feels like plastic.
  • Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? Chocolate!
  • What’s your favorite animal? Right now, my Airedale, Gypsy.
  • Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? We have many pets, Gypsy (4 1/2 yo Airedale Terrier), Bubba & Trouble (2 yo old gray cats), Gwen (5 yo Giant Angora bunny), Dusty (an elderly Jersey Wooly bunny), Little Guy & Little Bit (2 more Jersey Wooly bunnies).
  • If you were a color what color would you be? It's summer, so maybe yellow or green???
  • Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s).. Must be comfy.
  • What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? Tough one, there's just so much out there.
  • Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read. "There are no knitting police" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  • Do you have a wishlist? Sure, but usually involves winning the lottery.
  • Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? Nope.

By the way, Sock Pal, I've already got the yarn, hope you like it!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Hitchhiker's Here!

Yippee! My new Hitchhiker wheel came on Friday. Dave at The Merlin Tree went above and beyond to hook me up with one as he was sold out. Being sold out is a good thing. Judy, at Liberty Fibers had one that she sent right out to me. By the way, she's having a big moving sale shortly, so there's a good opportunity for stash enhancement.

Back to my Hitchhiker, isn't it just so cute? It went on it's first road trip on Saturday to see my friend Joan at Cloverleaf Farms (who was also having a dandy sale; more on that later). I picked up some lovely dyed Wensleydale to get used to my wheel. That fiber is the most effortless stuff to spin with so I could just think about how the wheel ran. The Hitchhiker feels completely different than my Saxony wheel, so is taking me a bit to get used to. So far, I've found that I really need to be in a real chair (rather than the couch) for comfort and to treadle easier.

I'm just thrilled with this little guy. It fits anywhere in my PT Cruiser: front seat, back seat, cargo area. Is is odd that one of the criteria when I got the car was that my regular spinning wheel fit in it? At home, it sits anywhere without taking up any space to speak of.

When you go Dave's web site, he has a page of pictures of how people have decorated their Hitchhikers. I haven't quite decided what to do with mine, but do have some ideas that I'm kicking around (will keep y'all posted).

Monday, June 12, 2006


In the continuing saga of me against the weeds, I think I've won the battle over two areas in front of my house.

Yes, those weeds are indeed a bit over 5 feet tall. Why is it that weeds always grow better than most anything else?

And After:
Much better. There will be more chapters of these on-going battles as I work my way around the yard. The idea is to make outside maintenance much easier on myself. I figure if I get these areas settled, I will have much more time in the summer to enjoy other, more fun things.

Like this:
I started the Summer in Kansas shawl and am actually having some success. In the past, lace has been quite a battle involving much frogging and swearing that I'll never knit lace again. This time, I'm really quite content and enjoying it. Note to self: Must get an assistant to hold shawls in progress; they don't look like much just hanging there.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Summer Afternoon

I just love early summer days. So does Bubba. Bubba is a pretty good mouser, but he's really, really bad at stalking birds. He starts stalking them, but then starts meowing and scares them off. Update on the bird, it has now decided that Bubba is a threat and divebombs the poor little guy. 6/9/06 Update: That d*** bird is still terrorizing Bubba; it trapped him on the pool deck last night. DD had to go rescue him.

It may be kind of silly, but I'm excited about this picture. See the bee? I've tried a couple of times to get pictures of bumblebees in various flowers and they seem to be camera-shy. In this case, it was dumb luck; the sun was too bright to see the preview so I just pointed the camera and pushed the button.

I finished a washcloth. It's out of an unknown brand of cotton using a pattern from Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The pattern is imitation lattice. I've been using it in my shower and I think I like these as much as the standard terry ones. Next one is probably going to be knitted on smaller needles (this one was on US7) to make it a bit denser. I'm also going to try different cotton yarns to see which I like best.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Working Sock at Lunch

One of the projects that I've worked on in the past had a luncheon yesterday. It was held on an outside deck overlooking High Falls (Rochester, NY). Of course, I took the sock. The sock and I enjoyed the view very much; so did I; the weather was delightful; the food was good; the service was very, very slow.

That being said, I actually got a fair bit done on the sock while in good company. Here, he's letting you know where he was and how much we did at lunch.

I was trying out a different (to me) camera and got this nifty shot at the top of the falls. I think it's sumac. Around here, sumac is regarded as a weed-like substance. I really like it, it has nice leaves, dark red seed clusters in the fall and the branches grow into interesting groups.

I might talk more about the camera on a different post. I would like to "play" with it some more to make sure it wasn't just dumb luck!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Can Tuesdays be random?

Sunday was just lovely around here. It was supposed to be showery, but this was much better! This is a sky picture for Sandy. I don't think there are many things that smell better than line-dried sheets, do you?

The tomatoes and summer squash got planted. This year, I'm trying something new by laying down weedblock fabric, cutting holes in it for the plants and mulching heavily (with grass clippings) over it. Here's hoping that will cut down on some maintenance.

There are also some "do-overs" for some previously done outside projects. The idea of putting down large, flat rocks and growing a ground cover between them is great. However, the only ground cover I seem to be able to grow is weeds. So, I spent part of of a day moving rocks and removing said weeds. Tonight, I plan on putting down heavy-duty landscaper's weedblock fabric and putting the rocks back. There are two areas like this, so after the second is done, then we'll get some pea gravel to put between the rocks and will be done with that.

How is this fiber-related? If there's less weeding, there's more time to spin and knit, right?

Kat with a K had this quiz on her blog. I took it and am

Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?
this quiz was made by Lori Fury

This makes me happy, as I get all the perks and keep my head!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Baseball Jacket

There aren't really any little people in our family right now. This is OK with me as DD has plenty of time before starting one of her own! However, I find knitted things for little people absolutely charming. They're almost as good as socks...small, portable, a good place to try stitch patterns and, in addition, darned cute.

I do, however, have neighbors with two little ones...a 2 yr. old girl and a 6 mo. old boy. They don't mind at all being the recipients of random acts of cuteness!

I fell (hard) for Toddlers to Tots (and Babies to Toddlers), by Melissa. These patterns are among the cutest on the planet. I decided to knit up the Baseball Jacket for the little guy. This is approximately 12 mos. size. I swatched and adapted the stitch counts accordingly. The yarn is a superwash aran-weight, called Real McCoy, and is mighty stretchy stuff. I like this yarn so much, that I may get some more to make the poncho for his big sister.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Not a Bear

Like Mamacate and Rabbitch, I also have critters in my yard. Thankfully, not as large, but definitely noisy. This little guy was found on the edge of our pool and makes a racket; he keeps it up all evening and all night. You would think he would get laryngitis.

We also have one of these: A wild-eyed, woolly Airedale who loves to play "bite-water". This is one of her favorite games, particularly when it gets as warm as it has been the last few days.

Yes, I'm still trying to distract everyone from no new finished projects. I'm almost done with one of them (maybe tomorrow?).