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September 2005
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November 2005

Trick or treat...


...smell my feet!  (Mmmm, smells like Lorna's Laces!)  Details tomorrow, but first...


Give me something good to eat!  (Couldn't you just gobble him up?!)  Happy Halloween!

Would you like that in checking or savings?

My blog is worth $21,452.52.
How much is your blog worth?

Thanks Ann.  (Well, it's not showing up when posted, but it says $21,452.52!  Maybe I should stick it in an IRA... or buy a car!)

I could so relate to Christina's comment yesterday about being tempted to try Fair Isle.  I never felt much love for it, either, but Tracy's have caught my eye recently, too, and my interest is piqued more and more.  I guess my interest in color is growing in general.  I'm glad y'all enjoyed the link.

Have a great weekend!  I hope to have finished socks on the other side.

Unexpected treats

While I've had a few little problems with Typepad, for the most part I love it.  One of my favorite things is the list of recently updated weblogs and photo albums on their home page.  I don't think you even need an account or have to log in to see them.  I have come across many a new blog that way and some (okay, probably most -- I'm a Bloglines subscription junkie, a blog collector) get added to my reading list.  I tweak that list frequently and am nearing 400 subscriptions, mostly knitting.  I think there are some folks -- I don't know how many -- who use my list as home base for their daily reading, so I hesitate to do anything too radical.  Anyway, this morning I stumbled across a photo album on a blog that left my jaw resting on my desk, eyes big as saucers.  Starmore after Starmore after Starmore.  It's in French, but I don't need no stinkin' language with pictures like that!  There are albums for Fair Isle and Norwegian and more -- I'll definitely be exploring in the future (with translation) and encourage you to have a little look-see, too.

Dsc05801Dsc05803I can't hope to compare today, but I am making progress -- about half-way through the foot of my Socktoberfest socks.  I am so excited to wear these!

I had about three hours of on-and-off knitting time in the out-patient surgery waiting room yesterday, waiting for DH's colonoscopy to be finished.  Poor guy was a little wild-eyed and jittery from lack of food and drink and as the clock approached 10:00, his scheduled time, and he was still fully clothed in the waiting room, he had to go inquire.  That set off a little nurse tizzy and they finally decided, I guess, that the patients should all be informed that the doc was running late -- by about an hour.  They took DH back, anyway, and got him started on the IV, even gave him a little glass of water.  In the end, he got a "clean" bill of health and took such a long nap yesterday afternoon that I really didn't have to do much nursing.

So, anyway, I was waiting with DH, sitting and knitting, and a nurse passed by and asked if I knit my shawl -- I was wearing Caryl's Kershawl.  So we talked about the pattern, the yarn, my other shawl, the sock I was knitting, the sock she was knitting (but recently frogged altogether when it came out of her bag sans needles, but don't tell her sock-knitting co-worker), and mentioned at least three LYSs by name -- all in the span of about three minutes -- and then, darn it all, she had to get back to work!  There was a fun fur scarf being knit in the waiting room, also, and I do believe I spotted a sweater in project bag, but didn't see it being worked.  What really surprised me was how many people knew other people in the waiting room -- I swear, I witnessed no fewer than a half-dozen how've-you-been quickie greets.  I didn't know a soul.

Dsc05769I know this person, but keep having to do double-takes.  While this probably isn't a huge departure from her natural color (see those eyebrows? untouched), it is quite a change from the near-platinum blonde who's been living in my house the last few months.  The grrs keep talking about doing my hair -- we've had the box for months!  I'm kind of a scaredy-cat when it comes to coloring my hair.

What am I looking forward to this weekend?  A M*c attack -- with teeth!  At 4-1/2 months, he's cut his first tooth!  He's been eating a little pureed squash recently, too, which he likes much more than rice cereal.  I can't wait to see him!

The winner is...

Car1Christine!  She left the 3000th comment to m'blog and I love it.  It just seems right because of her comment on a post featuring Kt's car way back here and because she posts the most beautiful flower pics and because I just smiled every time I thought "a pox on whoever..." yesterday and because of red hair!  Honestly, her daughter looks so much like Kt -- she can get a sneak peek at the future and I can look back in time, right here on the ol' internet.  If you'd like to send me your address, Christine, I might have a little something along the lines of a prize that I could send your way...

I just want to clarify that Kt's car IS insured, just not for this type of thing.

It's still Socktoberfest!  I turned a heel last night and will have plenty of time in a waiting room today to continue working on a foot.  These ought to be finished by the end of the month and then I can start on mittens for Sandy's Warm Hands -- you may have noticed the button added to the sidebar last week.  I haven't decided on a pattern yet, but am thinking Estonian or Latvian (though I don't recall anything chicken-y as a design element, Sandy!); leaning toward Latvian.  Wondering if I have suitable yarn in stash.

It happened to be on the way, so I stopped by the LYS on the way home last night for some Lamb's Pride Worsted with yesterday's Christmas list in mind.  Besides M*c's Weasley and Mom's shrug, I think I'll definitely do the felted clogs and Mdd's hat.  If I have time for more than that, fine.  I don't want to end up in crazy Christmas knitter mode... slap me if you see that happening, okay?

Try again

That goes for you, too, Ann; good try, sweetie, but not quite.  The 3000th comment has yet to be made on this here blog!  But really, with the "reverse psychosis," "you think that I think that she thinks" stuff covered up with pansy stickers that you're dealing with at the hands of Kathleen Norma Cara your Secret Pal (not me!), you just take it easy, honey.  ; )

Gawd, this is fun!  "How to drive Ann over the deep end in six easy lessons..." or "It takes a village to torture Ann" are definitely unexpected and highly entertaining benefits to the whole Better Pal thing!

Okay, to pick up where I left off before the untimely demise of the rest of yesterday's post.  Ai's party was fine.  Those kids are growing up... a Halloween party for college freshmen has a different look and feel than a party for high school freshmen -- than even high school seniors.  Last year, it was all cross-dressing and Raggedy Ann.  This year, even one of the male party-goers made a comment about all the grrs dressing as wh*res -- naughty n*rses, French m*ids, and I didn't know Aice in Wonderland's dress was that short -- or neckline so low!

I went to a movie, instead.  Run, don't walk, and go see North Country.  (Don't forget to grab some tissues on your way out the door.)  How much do I love Frances McDormand?  Damn.  A way whole lot.  And where the hell has Sean Bean been?  I love him, too!  And I love that it was Bob Dylan's music, even though I've never been a big fan; I even liked Woody Harrelson..  Um, yeah, I liked the movie a lot.

Kt was home over the weekend, packing a lot of paperwork in regard to her semester in London.  She's really getting excited now!  And nervous about money (so we threw a few things on ebay).  She is wisely making all of her Christmas presents this year, and some will involve knitting.  I had just read Kellee's post regarding stash on Friday and the words she shared of another wise knitter about stash equalling choices were recalled fondly every time I saw yarn -- plus, I've been reading stash chapters in Stephanie's latest book -- so we chose to shop the stash!  I was able to get rid of give her some hastily purchased 50% off yarn that will be perfect for some gauntlets on her list!

While I had the winder out, I wound up my new alpaca, too.  ; )

And speaking of Christmas...  I've been thinking of it more and more, and with increasing dread, so I have to make a list and prioritize.  I may have to put 877-SOS-KNIT on speed dial...

1.  M*c's Weasley sweater.  This is a must.  It shouldn't take too long to knit... once the kit arrives.

2.  Mom's shrug.  I kind of start to swatch, but need to get back to that.  Once I figure out the pattern substitutions, it shouldn't take too long -- and there's very minimal finishing with this project.  Big Plus.

3... here's where it starts getting fuzzy as far as priorities.  Felted slippers for stepdad (or socks), hat w/ear flaps for Mdd, socks for DH, Christmas stocking for M*c (cross-stitched, like all the rest I've done, or knit?) as requested by my sis.  Christmas is two months from today!  I could make DH's socks a birthday present -- that would buy me a day.  Heheh.

THIS JUST IN -- IT'S NOT GOOD.  I can't think of a worse thing than picking up the phone and hearing your daughter crying on the other end.  She's fine, just very upset and shaken because someone smashed the rear window of her car last night as it sat, cute and innocent with flowers painted on the hood and "make peace"-ish bumper stickers, in a student parking lot at school.  Shit.  This is the very car she was going to sell in a couple of months so she'd have the extra $65 for her trip that a 1985 Saab -- the vintage where insurance coverage is the bare minimum (i.e., not covered) -- would fetch.  Damn it.  DamndamnDAMN IT.

ANOTHER UPDATE.  I set DH to the task, since he's not doing anything today except prep for his first colonoscopy tomorrow (yeah, I get to be a nurse on my day off -- should I be naughty?) and he found a source for a whole new hatch (wrong color, but with an intact window and a spoiler) for $100, installation would be another $80; versus $500 for new glass.  Ouch!

I like it, I love it

Okay, so one of the things I really, really like about the Secret Pal thing is that I get presents in the mail.  Some of the presents aren't a real big surprise, like The Purl Stitch book -- my pal and I had talked about books and I sort of knew that one was atop the list of possibilities because of my recent purchase of The Knit Stitch.  Fiber isn't a big surprise, either, of course, except for the exact nature -- the possibilites for color, content and weight are endless.  Having recently been exposed to fiber in a quantity causing overload at Rhinebeck, I've been thinking a little bit about choices and what I ultimately end up actually choosing for things -- mostly in relation to color.  When I stop to think about it, my favorite colors and the colors I'm drawn to most in yarn and the colors I choose when I'm actually making something and the colors I like when buying ready-made are sometimes vastly different.  I like it, but I wouldn't wear it...  I like it, but that color doesn't look good on me...  I like it, but...  And so, sometimes the things I make don't always go with the things I've bought.  In almost every case, I doubt I'd have purchased what a secret pal has given me.  And yet... my Shapely Shawlette from secret pal yarn in shades of green and blue is one of my faves, but I probably wouldn't have even looked at it in a shop!  From the minute I laid eyes on the new "Juniper Hills" alpaca, I knew I loved it -- and also knew that I would probably never have bought it for myself!  Is it the spirit in which it is given and received helping to "color my world"?  Maybe.  I'm head over heels!

I had more today, but I hit something and it's gone.  And it's late, so maybe tomorrow.  (Reminders:  Party, movie, Kt, stash, Christmas.)

Comments will reach 3000 soon.  I wonder who it will be...

Juniper hills

Dsc05734I know I wasn't the only one who was disappointed in the souvenirs at Rhinebeck.  I'm a bit partial to the Tunis sheep and was excited to buy a shirt or something, but the fabric/colors/styles were horrible, in my opinion, with this design.  I loved the black sweatshirt, but wasn't about to spend $40-50 on a dumb ol' sweatshirt.  Instead, I spent $15 on a dumb ol' tote bag that isn't even canvas -- it's cotton, and I'd better not think I'm going to tote much of anything in it.  Red is a dumb color for it, too, but oh well.

Dsc05737Dsc05735Making me feel better today is this new yarn.  Call me fickle, but it's my new favorite.  It accompanied The Purl Stitch and a box of Clover pins, along with a sweet card, from my Better Pal.  Back to the yarn...  It's 412 yards of handpainted baby alpaca, in a color called "Juniper," from Sporfarm in The Dalles, OR (sorry, no online presence).  It's so soft and it smells so good and the colors are amazing.  See?  Oh, whatever shall I do with it??  Thank you, Pal, you made my day.  It's scrumptious!

Dsc05738Ai is preparing for her annual Halloween party.  I think I'll be seaming the yellow object at right and sewing on those little flower buttons.  It's due for a ride on the mail truck!  Last year, I was knitting a St. Brigid sleeve during this soiree.  I recall that one of her friends sat down at the table and asked me about my "sewing."

The hat

Dsc05691If you were in Rhinebeck last weekend, you no doubt saw this lady -- probably more than once.  Striking.  Even if you'd never be caught dead wearing this hat, you've got to admire the creativity and workmanship -- reminds me a little of stegosaurus bumps -- and the colors were just gorgeous.  Well, -I- thought so.  Maybe it's because I don't wear hats that I admire them so!  Maybe I need to try one like this.

Dsc05692We finally stopped her in her tracks and chatted for a bit.  She allowed me to take some pictures and shared her web address with us.  Her name is Kathryn Alexander and her website is here.  She has kits for vests and sweaters, she teaches, sells wheels, sponsors retreats.  I shouldn't be thinking this way, but doesn't that sound like fun?

Didn't I just return from a retreat-y like thing?  I miss you guys.  Wish I could give you a real, live hug.

Kitchener in the kitchen

Dsc05720Dsc05721"Ashes of Our Lives" is a very good, but very short show.  That's my favorite ash in the back yard a couple of days ago -- leafless.  Not a single one.  That's mostly oak as a backdrop to the bare naked branches.  I turn my attention to my other favorite tree in the neighborhood, a fiery maple that's two doors down.  It illuminates the whole block!

Dsc05729I have a finished Socktoberfest sock!  Casting on today for the second.  Can you believe Lolly has had 295 people sign up?!  Incredible.

It's the Fancy Silk Sock from Nancy Bush's "Knitting Vintage Socks" and I love it!  Without knowing a thing about it, DH, while admiring last night, said that the design and even the yarn looked kind of old-fashioned.  Too funny.  It's my first kitchenered toe!  The kitchen table seems to be where I end up doing my finishing work -- seaming, blocking, and now kitchenering.  I had one false start with the kitchener -- a momentary lapse before figuring out what was meant by "first stitch" and "second stitch" in the directions.  Duh.  It's a pretty cool trick!


Newsflash:  If a truck carrying 42,000 pounds of knitting yarn takes a turn in Utah too fast and SPILLS ON THE HIGHWAY, are there any knitters around to clean up the spoils?

I wound up all my Rhinebeck yarn last night.  I realized that the Brooks Farm yarn reminds me a lot of my own Kool-aid dyed yarn.  If it's possible, I love the Socks That Rock yarn even more than before, and the fuzz around the Haiku ball is like a halo.  The Haiku will likely be worked up first, since the rest is mostly for me.

Dsc05732_1Dsc05733Like many others, I'm still on a Rhinebeck high.  It's hard coming down.  I just don't want to -- I had such a great time!  Though plans were juggled a bit at the outset, I have no complaints.  Cara will make apologies up and down the highway -- even about the highway -- but don't let her fool you, she is a very fine hostess.  I was quite comfortable in her home -- the mark of fine hostessing, in my opinion -- and I thank her and G for taking me in.

Did you see us horsepowering out of the fairgrounds on Saturday night?  Whoooaa, yeah! That was us!!  I think Ann was ready to crawl under the seat, she was so embarrassed!  You may have shaken a fist or cursed us as Peggy maneuvered rocketed us into prime exiting position.  You all should know that it was Cara's fault, really, and I'm sure you'll understand.  She challenged Peggy and there was just no choice.  I'd drive anywhere with either of them.  (Thank you so much!)

You've seen the Rhinebeck links and pictures everywhere.  Do I really have to do it?  Mine are almost exactly the same!  Is that lazy?  My head just spins every time I think about it.  I feel like I've been to a big family reunion -- I saw all my sisters and cousins, talked to each one briefly, nodded to hoards of distant relatives I'd never laid eyes on before, rubbed shoulders with some of them, but didn't have enough time with any one of them!  I find myself in a happy little fog about it all.  So many new and great knitters!  I do want to give a special shout to "Mary in Boston" -- you made my day!  Next time, you're with us!

Knock on wood

You might think that Rhinebeck was all about the wood!  I wouldn't want to disappoint, so here's mine -- petrified, with haiku and four play.


Socks That Rock from The Fold, 100% superwash merino, two hanks, the color “Petrified Wood."  Taking a cue from Cara, I bought this with a shawl in mind, but it might very well turn into plain, old (but very nice) socks.


Next up is one hank of Alchemy's Haiku from Amazing Threads (not sure which one to link to), 40% silk, 60% mohair, in the color “Olive Branch."  It came with a free pattern for one very big scarf or two regular; I think I'll make two "regular" as Christmas gifts.


The last of my fiber purchases is one hank of Brooks Farm's, Four Play, 50% wool/50% silk, in orange and red and pink and even some gold.  I have in mind a simple, bright shawl -- something to make the days of January and February a little less dreary.  This kind of reminds me of my Kool-aid dyed yarn.


I wore my Simply Garter Shapely Shawlette (I have to post a better picture!) on Saturday and it drew many a compliment.  I'll tell you, folks, there could hardly be a more simple or better written pattern -- combine it with terrific yarn, and it's a winner.  I have loved that shawl from the moment it was finished, and was honestly (and very pleasantly) surprised at how many others seem to like it, too.  Anyway, with the Four Play, I'll either do Simply Garter again or a variation (some YOs, a few k2togs).

Sunday dawned colder and breezier.  Other than my gray cotton, garter stitch, Target clearance sweater, St. Brigid -- taking up a great deal of space in my suitcase -- was the only sweater I'd packed.  I'd wanted to bring another, but there just wasn't room, and so was happy that the sacrifice wasn't for naught.  It was fun to wear it amongst such a knowing and appreciative crowd.


At The Fold -- when there was still some Socks That Rock to be had... there's Peg, Cara, and Ann.


Ann invited us all to check out her new made-to-order bag. Elisa and Wendy also find it to their liking!  It's a testament to love that she packed only clothing that would match this fabulous bag.

It was absolutely gorgeous.
There was great food and fabulous friends.

I'm sorry I don't have much time for more than a mostly picture post today -- there's lots to catch up on in the real world!  I seem to easily shift right into overload every time I think about Rhinebeck and what I could possibly say.  I sigh and think about how wonderful it all was and I'm rendered nearly speechless even yet.  Don't you worry, there are stories to tell and I will find the words!

Those of you wanting to see pics of my haul will likely be very disappointed.  I made exactly three fiber purchases, each quite small -- loved, though, and that's the most important part.  Hopefully, pics of purchases tomorrow -- there may possibly be pics of my first kitchenered sock toe, too.


I'm home

Dsc05695rIt's not particularly late, but I'm going to curl up like this little Rhinebeck lamb just as soon as I can.  I had a fine and fabulous weekend with some fine and fabulous women!  It may not have started off quite as planned, what with rain and all, and it may not have continued quite as planned, what with rain and all, and I may even have had to listen to the Barry Manilow sing-along-hour while stuck in traffic with no escape (guess who), but we eventually made it to our destination and the rain did stop and oh, what fun.  It was my first such event and I don't regret a minute.

I'm sleepy.

The boat leaves today

Man, it's wet here. I lived on the Oregon coast for a couple of years and it's wet there, too, but it's a long, drawn-out, expected wet -- these people in the east are under an open faucet and they're kinda freakin' out. I can't really blame them. Eight days without sunshine is a lot; I think I went nearly 40 once in Oregon. Oh, that was bad.

Can you believe Cara left me a comment while I was sleeping across the hall? The pizza was great, thank you. I slept very well -- never heard you come into the room -- and pretty late!

So Ann will pull up to the dock early this afternoon and we'll be launched for Rhinebeck! I wonder if there will be cake.

Nirvana with mods

Due to the weather at the site where the knit-blogger nirvana weekend was set to commence this afternoon (Newark), my plane was delayed in Chicago. By quite a lot. This happened the last time I flew to this area (June), but all was forgiven with the moon rising over the water and through the clouds and with the night-time fly-over right over Manhattan. So cool. And that time, too, I wasn't stuck sitting on the frickin' airplane with some loud-mouth guy (named John) playing gin rummy with his wife (Helen); singing happy birthday to his grandson -- twice (once on the machine at home, once on mommy's cell), he's four; rapping his fingers every five seconds on either the window or the tray that's attached to the back of MY seat, or vigorously tapping the deck of cards on the very same tray (that's the one attached to the BACK OF MY SEAT). It was most annoying when I was dozing and then awoke with the WHAM!WHAM!WHAM! Oh, yeah, and the mother of the 4yo's sister was in labor, so there were frequent updates about water breaking and labor pains and would the cousins share a birthday? My row -- I got to share with two great women -- shared a lot of giggles, really. They were great.

So, to make a long story short... it was getting late, so rather than Ann coming in and waiting, or the Boar staying in and waiting (yeah, the Boar!), and since Cara did not go to Philly after all and is only 20 minutes from the airport and this was the original plan, anyway, I am now Cara's guest. Ann went to all that work, too! Maybe she'll bring me a pork sandwich tomorrow and a little Tupp*rw*re container of homemade applesauce. She said something about chocolate cake during one of our update phone conversations today, too. Oh yeah -- I even had a conference call with Cara & Ann today! It was pretty funny, too.

With all that waiting time, though, I was able to finish the gusset decreases on my sock and I'm cruisin' on the foot. I got a good bit of the end of The Other Boleyn Girl read, too. That was the subject of last night's book club meeting. Ooops. Wow, it's really getting good now, though, and wouldn't you know that practically the first passage I read, cooped up on the plane and all, was the juiciest yet. Whew, it got a little warm on the plane.

I'm on a borrowed laptop in Cara's living room, so please forgive the absence of linkage -- I'm feeling all thumbs. Heading north (I think it's north) tomorrow afternoon. I may need to get new shoes first.


(...and, it seems, a bit of  a linkfest!)

It seems that the stars are aligning and colliding and mushrooming and the heavens have practically parted and I'm poised to experience some sort of knit-blogger utopian nirvana weekend of unbelievable proportion (for me, at least) beginning tomorrow afternoon when I arrive in Newark.  Yes, folks, knitting nirvana begins in Newark!  That is where I will be met by a certain purlingswine (aka, the hostess with the mostest -- that's how I think of it, Katy) and then whisked away to Long Island via Onslow (that's traveling in style!) to meet Poe and all his furry cohorts.  I will visit knitters' Gettysburg -- the exact site of the infamous cake plate incident about which we mostly remember the cheesecake and to which there may someday be a commemorative bronze memorial erected at the end of Ann's driveway with an on-your-honor admission box and everything (but please don't feed the animals), but about which I hope not to be setting any precedents by staging a reenactment.  Please, don't let me break anything!  I may be staying in a room there that could very well be identified with a plaque on the door that reads, "Small Hands Have Slept Here."

On Friday, we'll pick up Cara and head to a hotel in Poughkeepsie where, I'm told, lots of bloggers stay and where, I'm told, an additional room had to be booked for our ever-growing party!  I don't even know who-all is in that party!  Speaking of party, it will all begin with Norma's celebration of Nathania's Nuptials -- or something like that.  The weekend will be full of Sheep and Wool in Rhinebeck and with a little taste of The Sheep Shearer.  I don't know about anyone else, but my motto for the weekend is, "What Happens in Rhinebeck (or Poughkeepsie), Stays in Rhinebeck (or Poughkeepsie)!"  Heehee.

I am just thrilled that the featured breed is Tunis -- a redhead!  I'll definitely have to get some of that wool.  I'm really looking forward to meeting bloggers at the meet-up (see Cara's sidebar).  It ought to be a blast.  I'm bringing Sharpies, Wendy!

Vhat2jpgI may get a chance to post tomorrow morning before leaving, but I may not.  I have lots to do and decisions to make about what to pack.  I'm bringing my Socktoberfest sock, of course (hm, I'm still the only "V"), which travels in a bag with the long-neglected (but not forgotten) red Tivoli-T -- so that's a DPN project and a circ project.  On straights, I'm swatching some Mission Falls Cotton for that Shirley Paden Cabled Shrug (IK) which I want to modify, so I'll be bringing the needles, yarn, pattern and other inspiration for that.  I haven't received my Weasley stuff yet, but should I start a different sweater for M*c?  And what to wear.  I won't have a new sweater for Rhinebeck, as hoped, but I do have my new-ish Caryl's Kerchief and my favorite Shawlette, and I'll probably bring Oatmeal and St. Brigid, too.  With the wonky-legged hat or without?

Girls with sippy cups

Dsc05626_1I didn't even think to look at the back of this photo.  If the photographer is who I think it is, it would most certainly have the date on the back.  My guess is fall of '89 or spring of '90 -- that's my niece and Ai, I'm guessing 2-going-on-3, with a 4-going-on-5 Kt in the middle.  They are wearing their matching Hanna Andersson dresses -- red and purple striped knit, each worn to within an inch of its life.  Absolutely loved as was every single one of the very few pieces of HA clothing my grrs ever had -- had to save a few dimes to buy 'em, but they were great clothes!

Dsc05629_1The photo is on the fridge at my sister's where the grrs all got together for a sleep-over on Friday night.  It was my BIL's idea to recreate it.  We did our very best, right down to Ai wearing mittens!  Now, they're 18-going-on-19 and 20-going-on-oh-my-god-it-cannot-be-21.  We had a lot of fun doing this and it makes me think of other favorite old photos we could recreate -- like Mdd and my nephews, one of them with bright red lipstick.  Okay, maybe not that one.  I also recalled a book that was a project for Wisconsin's sesquicentennial, Wisconsin Then and Now.  Looks like fun.

I am wearing my only pair of hand-knit, wooly socks today -- my toes are nice and toasty!  I'm making progress on the second pair, though, having turned the heel on the first of the pair last night.  Oh, I love it -- both the sock and the process!  The new pair are a much finer gauge and I'm anxious to wear them.  It is Socktober, you know; go tell Lolly that you want to sign up!  I'm lonely there in the "V" section, won't someone join me -- how about socks, Vicki?

Socked in

I wonder if there are any planes taking off with people bound for Japan -- or anywhere -- this morning.  It's really foggy outside!  I saw "fog" on the weather map this morning, but it was all way south and wasn't supposed to be around here.

Dsc05621Dsc01806M*c says, "Hi."  He's so smart... see?  He knows how to wave.  ; )  He also answers the question, "What is the baby with the world's cutest chin wearing this fall?"  Opptuna, of course, knit by his most wonderful aunt.  He wore it to the farmer's market, where we also saw a Madison S&B chapter knitting on the lawn of the capitol.  But back to M*c... isn't he adorable?  Very snuggly, too.  Four months old tomorrow.  I can't believe it.  And in two weeks, they'll be trying to make one (we hope) or more (yikes!) sister and/or brother for him!  I'm starting the good baby-making karma now... you can, too. I was able to wrest him away from his nana for a little while on Saturday and I got lots of smiles (but none on "film"), we cooed and gurgled at each other a lot, and he spit up on me numerous times.  You'll have that.

Oh, it was such a busy weekend.  The kimono show on Friday night in Madison went fine -- DH the model was much more comfortable.  On Saturday, they took a round-about way through Kohler to another gallery event.  Our guest, being an architect, is quite familiar with the Kohler company, but he never put Kohler the city in Wisconsin and Kohler the design center and Kohler the company together, so it was a real treat for him that it turned to be all the same thing!

On Sunday morning, they went down to Milwaukee and saw the art museum -- witnessed the opening and closing of the "wings" -- and the war memorial.  They came back in time for Hiroo to cook for us!  Woo.  More on that tomorrow, I think.  I will say that it was delicious!  Then, the farewell get-together last night -- where someone flashed me their handknit socks and talked about some they made from homespun, too!  DH has been talking... and I might have a new friend.  She lives on a farm.  She has sheep.

Socktoberfest_1Last for today, but certainly not least, I've signed up for Lolly's Socktoberfest.  Since we're talking socks, I've begun working the slip-stitch heel on mine.  Precious little knitting time all weekend, but I'll be making up for that soon.  Like tonight!

Then I've got to start packing...

Socks and smiles

Dsc05603I don't know how I missed it 'til now, but I did and the deadline draws near.  Here is my photo for Jane's sock contest.  That's my only pair of finished socks, nice woolies that may well adorn my feet as soon as I hit "save" because it's darn chilly tonight, and the start of my second pair of which I wrote this morning.  I was even able to get a few rows knit at lunch today.

Copy_of_dsc05593Mdd walked out the front door with the dog the other day and saw this arrangement of leaves and twig; she was so struck by the naturally occurring "smile" that greeted her on the sidewalk and had to run back in for the camera to take a picture.  It is kind of cute in a macaroni & cheese way.

And since I'm here blogging, I'd like to share something I found when I was visiting Lynne down under this afternoon.  She had a link for "Knitting With Mum," a radio knit-along at Melbourne's vega 91.5.  A certain set of instructions for a mystery project is given during the show every morning, while knitting with mum (I don't know what kind of music mum likes), and in the end you'll have... something... that you've knit yourself.  I just love this idea!!  It appears that the directions are posted each day, as well, so anyone can knit along!

And did I tell you that I'm finally getting the cure for my M*c Attack?  I'm going on a quick day trip to Madison tomorrow.  I'll have to fight off my mom, who trumps me with her grandma status, but I'll get me some snuggles somehow -- and smiles!  Have a great weekend.

More kimono

There was so much movement in the kimono show that it was difficult to photograph.


I rather like the way most of the pictures turned out, though, but maybe because I was there.


This absolutely gorgeous kimono was the final piece.  Absolutely stunning.  The model was accompanied by a man who held a red parasol above her head at all times.  She wore traditional shoes -- I don't know what they're called -- the hard, platform sandals.


All those flowers -- those waves and waves of flowers swooping all over that kimono?  Embroidered.  By hand.  Margene said that she used to do work like that.  (And she lives to tell the tale!)  Absolutely incredible.  Margene also told me that the price of a kimono can reach six figures.  Well, I guess it isn't hard to see why.  Can you imagine the hours and hours and hours -- and not just embroidery, the fabric has all been chosen, dyed, cut, sewn.  Moving.  I think this could all be quite consuming -- emotional and moving -- both the making and the wearing; I think it puts you in an entirely different place.  In fact, at the beginning of this presentation, Ellen Kort, Wisconsin's first Poet Laureate, read a poem about how moved she was when, as a gift while visiting Japan, she was dressed in a traditional kimono by three women.  To tears.


About 20 minutes after I posted about sunshine and a nice fall day, it clouded up yesterday and pretty much stayed that way.  DH tells me that the boat ride was nice (it was a paddleboat!) and the foliage was pretty and and pot-luck socializing was fun and, man, they're getting tired.  A brief respite this morning and then they're heading to Madison for this evening's festivities (maybe time enough to visit Monona Terrace?), back home late tonight and then off to Kohler and various other places tomorrow. A last-minute trip to Milwaukee has been added on Sunday -- before the farewell barbeque.  Yeah, I know.  It would be a dirty rotten shame, though, for an architect not to see the Milwaukee Art Museum if he has even half of an opportunity.

Knitting:  My sock is growing and so are my feelings for it.

Silk pants

With apologies to dial-up customers...

Last night, as part of the "Two Cultures One Spirit" Japan/Wisconsin Arts Exchange (aka "Japan On The Road," like it says on my new t-shirt), my mom and I attended an art exhibit and reception with demonstrations, and a presentation of silk Kinukoromo (kimonos) by Fumiko Nozaki, at the Neville Public Museum in Green Bay.


Textiles in the exhibit included the quilted silk hanging above, and Minoru Ishihara's "Spirit Garden," the hand-dyed/marbled piece below.


The fabric marbling demo was fascinating.


Here, Minoru is using a straw to blow the dye around on a surface of water.  He also employed various sticks, brushes and combs.  At one point, nearly finished, he didn't like what was happening, so he pulled the dye off with newsprint and started over.  (And, you know, it looked just fine to the peanut gallery.)


The first large photo above was taken at the end of the presentation, and the second was a group shot taken in the gallery.  Let me just say that there are many visual artists in this group who could moonlight quite successfully as performance artists!  Not my DH, thanks, but some of the others.

You may recall that DH was to model in the kimono presentation.  I can't even describe how beautiful and luxurious his garment was.  The richness of the silks and colors and patterns were breathtaking.  I can't imagine the cost of one of these -- I heard $10,000 in passing.  It was all just spectacular and I guess the pictures do the talking...


I will have more pictures tomorrow.  The kimono show goes on the road for a repeat performance tomorrow evening in Madison (Memorial Union, 5:00).  If you're in that area, catch it if you can; you won't be disappointed.


This afternoon -- this very chilly afternoon -- they're all headed to Waupaca for a fall color boat tour on the Chain O' Lakes and then a pot-luck supper.  I think they'll be raiding the closet and layering up in flannel rather than silk today!  Our temperature did indeed fall quite far, but it is quite sunny -- it's a nice fall day.

Good morning!

Dsc05526It is going to be 83 degrees today; tomorrow, 53.  Thunderstorms are due to roll through this evening -- some, they say, may be severe.  Ya think?

In this picture of morning's rising sun, there is a branch closer to you than all the rest with lighter colored leaves.  That's an ash and it's leaves are quickly turning and falling -- it's the very first to do so every year and, of course, it is my favorite.  I love the range of yellows, greens and, especially, purples.  I'm not a purple freak, but this sings to me every year.  I wonder how the sudden and dramatic temperature change will affect our foliage -- if there's any foliage still clinging to the vine after the severe weather.  I know you're all watching "As The Pin Oak Turns" over at Norma's and I could never hope to beat her in the ratings, but perhaps some of you will be interested in the "Ashes of Our Lives."

There has been more than one real, network soap opera set in Wisconsin.  I'm not sure what that means, but I'm doing my part.

Dsc05529Okay, enough silliness.  Here's my sock (on bed of creeping thyme and leaves) which I was not liking so much on Monday night, but better on Tuesday night.  This is with two completed repeats and it's my third try with this yarn -- Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (the yarn specified for two of the three tries).  First, I tried the Rib & Cable Socks.  Then Waving Lace Socks (Sandy of The Skies, click on that link because the sky pretty much steals the show, here's another -- it's been a great summer).  Shown is Nancy Bush's Fancy Silk Sock from her new book, Knitting Vintage Socks.  I added a repeat and, really, the yarn is doing okay except for a small, solid green area on one side.  I didn't not have a problem with pooling or splashing or anything weird with any of the previous tries done over 60 stitches (I have to say, Waving Lace is my favorite incarnation so far) and I'll just have to see if I can live with what happens over 72.

Dsc05530An artsy-fartsy close-up.  DH and Hiroo both slept very, very well last night.  No surprise there.  They have the morning to "relax" and will head toward Green Bay later this morning.  Hiroo is interested in looking at some condominium communities, multi-family developments along the way.  I wasn't able to attend his lecture yesterday, but hope I have an opportunity to have a private viewing of his PowerPoint presentation, at least -- all about Japanese architecture (the good, the bad and the ugly!).  It looks like Sunday will be a time to relax, also, before the big departure (and he'll be cooking for our mid-day meal that day!), so maybe then.  Today, Hiroo will be joining another group and touring historic Green Bay while DH prepares for the kimono presentation.  He will not only have make-up applied, but will also learn "the moves."  I'm looking forward to this evening.

Finally, Wednesday is my WW weigh-in day:  minus 1 lb. this week, for a total of 4 lbs. lost in two weeks.  That's not bad, not bad at all, considering that I've been horrible about both water and exercise, but I have been pretty good about tracking -- and that makes me think about and consider every single thing that passes between my lips.

You've got questions

I've got answers.  My darling PurlingSwine wishes to know about the pigs in yesterday's photo.  I'd be lying if I said that I didn't wonder whether she would notice them.  ; )  They are plastic piggy banks from the Tillamook County (Oregon) Fairgrounds Skating Rink and must be 20 years old or so; I don't recall their significance.  DH has written something about "Saving for That Buick" on the opposite side of one -- I think that has something to do with his childhood.

Dsc05525rDsc05521rI don't know what any of this stuff is, other than chopsticks on the left, noodles in the middle, bottles of something (an ingredient, a beverage?) on the right, and I'm not sure when I'll find out!  Fascinating, though, and so pretty, and those packages of noodles are just neat to hold.  Do you think that some of the writing on the bottle is nutrition information?  DH and Hiroo return home briefly today before heading up to Green Bay for events and demos; Hiroo is giving at lecture at UW this afternoon.

I knit only a few rows last night on a sock I'm not sure I like.  I looked at some other socks, considered starting a hat or two or three, wondered about a shrug.  I think I'll be making something along the lines of Shirley Paden's shrug/shawl in the Fall IK for my mom for Christmas.  Truth be told, I'd like one for myself.  If I buy yarn at Rhinebeck, some of it better be for the shrug (I'm not buying Kashmir!).  I ordered yarn for M*c's Weasley the other day (I can't wait), but it won't be here for a while.  I made some 2-point (WW) chocolate muffins, ate some not-2-point chocolate chip cookies.  Mostly, I was trying not to knit, trying to heed the pain in my wrist -- a result of all that cleaning and rearranging of furniture which I tend to do single-handedly because I don't have time to wait for help.  Anyway, it's hard.  I tried to tell myself that maybe Brett and the boys would win if I paid more attention to the game than to my knitting, but it didn't seem to make a difference.  Almost, but not quite.  I forgot to wear my colors.  That's it, I'm sure.

Lifted from AnnWhat obsolete skill are you?

You are 'programming in QBASIC.' This programming language (the acronym stands for 'Quick Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code') was current more than a decade ago and is so primitive that it cannot easily be used for any purpose involving the Internet or even sound. You are independent -- in a good way. When something which you need cannot be found, you make it yourself. In writing and in talking with people, you value clarity* and precision; your friends may not realize how important that is. When necessary, you are prepared to be a mediator in conflicts between your friends. You are very rational, and you think of things in terms of logic and common sense. Unfortunately, your emotionally unstable friends may be put off by your devotion to logic; they may even accuse you of pedantry and insensitivity. Your problem is that programming in QBASIC has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
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*And clarity I was not feeling in the second sentence (and maybe the third), so I had to fix it.

Visitor and his luggage

Dsc05516That's Scamp. He was not stressed out in the least this weekend over the impending arrival of a visitor from far away.  Our visiting artist from Japan arrived yesterday afternoon complete with luggage.  He's been in the states on other business for the 10 days, so "established."  The rest of the visiting artist entourage arrived in Green Bay sans luggage, as it was held up by Customs at the point of entry -- wherever that was.  I imagine there were some last-minute trips to Target for toothbrushes and underwear to tide 'em all over until their luggage is delivered.  I hope it's soon because, dang, it's only a week-long visit!

On Saturday, I took delivery of an Express package addressed to our new friend, Hiroo, from Tokyo.  I can't wait to photograph the wonders within...  food!  All the way from Japan!  Pretty little packages of very thin noodles and bottles of liquid and ginger -- I think it's ginger.  It's in a package, kind of moist, not all dried and shriveled like we have here.  Anyway, it's all to become a meal for us one night this week.  Woo.  Thankfully, Hiroo (sounds like hero) speaks English well enough.  He's an architect in Japan -- his wife builds the models (wouldn't that be fun?) -- and the father of three sons.  He'll see how the other half lives at our house -- I'm sure he's seen more curling irons and make-up in the last 12 hours than he's ever seen before in his life!

Dsc05518Dsc05519I worked like a dog all weekend, but so did DH.  Will you hate me if I tell you that he does not only windows, but floors, too?  I love this old-fashioned window shelf thing -- metal supports that hang from the sash and two glass shelves.  And they're dust-free for a change!  There you see the figural planters that I collect -- only yellow chickens, you see, and I've only ever found two!  That's one way to curb a collection -- choose something that's not real common.  Next to them is an old Coke bottle that Mdd dug out of the little dump area up by my dad's -- it's an oldie and has the mark of a local bottler in that area -- along with the two clear bottles on the shelf below (one of them is a Log Cabin syrup bottle).

When the work was done (or when DH left for the airport), Mdd and I went shopping.  She needs clothes.  She keeps borrowing Ai's and Ai isn't a happy lender.  I can't even say out loud the price we paid for one pair of pants she wanted; she offered to pay for half and I accepted, and even half is a bit more than I'd have normally spent.  We found some other bargains (even some for me!), so with cost-averaging and whatnot, in the end, it wasn't too bad.

DH and our guest are off on an overnight gathering/welcome thing today, and it's going to be a whirlwind around here, but I'll try to keep up and share what I can.  Wednesday will be a load of fun as DH has volunteered to walk the runway in a presentation of silk kimono and he'll be undergoing a few hours of make-up, as well.  Should be interesting and I will most certainly try to get pictures.  There will be a repeat performance in Madison on Friday night.

I did manage to find time to cast on and knit the scalloped beginning of a new sock.  I screwed up and pulled out the needles, providing an opportunity to try it on.  Even though I went up a needle size already, it was still a bit too snug.  I adjusted the pattern by adding another repeat (72 sts rather than 60) and have completed the scalloped beginning once again, and made a few rows' progress on the leg.  I'm using the green & white Lorna's from NYC and I have to say that, so far, I like how it knits up over 60 stitches better than 72.  We'll see.  I'm trying to figure out what works with all this sock business.