Sunday, August 27, 2006

Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf ...

... or how I learned about short rows!

At my LYS, I fell in love with this yarn - Wool in the Woods Southern Rose, Color: Poppy Patch, content: 55% Merino/45% Wool. I asked the knitters there that day what I could make with such yarn and they handed me the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf pattern. The picture is what has been done to date. What it doesn't show is the start, stop, start again as I went through my first short row learning experience!

I had done three triangular sections and was halfway through the fourth when I realized I was making a pentagon. Lesson Learned: If you add an extra row of straight knitting at the end of each segment, you will have a pentagon shape at the end of the fifth section!

I did the only logical thing, I frogged* the entire thing and set the yarn aside, really determined to forget it and find another pattern for this great color. (* generally used by crocheters, 'frog' is a term associated with taking apart all progress on a yarn item ~~ "Rip It Rip It Rip It")

Lesson Learned: Yarn and patterns will not be forgotten nor discarded that easily! I am obviously a glutton for punishment because I heard the siren song calling me back to the pattern and the yarn and a new try.

Pictured is the progress. The scarf will be finished in ample time to be given as a Christmas Gift and I have learned the short row technique - which will be very useful when I try my first hedgehog sometime soon!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Such progress for a Saturday!!

Well -- a minivan full of debris and recyclables was taken to the 'dump' (compactor site) and were dumped or recycled, as appropriate. About 20 cardboard boxes were broken down for recycling in the mixed paper bin. Four "Tall Kitchen" bags of bottles and cans were sent to the glass/plastic recycling bin (I managed to survive the emptying of said bags without getting stung by the many, many, many - did I say MANY? - bees that swarm there in the summer heat!).

All the "Have they out grown this? I think this might need washing before I donate it"-type clothes have been washed and folded. Now, we need boys around to say "That's mine" or "I don't want that" or "That hasn't fit me since first grade!" The sorting to donate, therefore, must wait for another day because no boys were/are around for the sorting process today!

In between cleaning up boxes and washing/folding (mom did a LOT of this for me!), I was knitting to cool off ~~ though I don't know why I thought I could cool off while knitting Wool in the Woods "Southern Rose" (55% Merino/45% Wool) (pictures another day) or Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky (100% merino).

With the DB Merino, I am making a Black/Brown/Left/Right pair of mittens using the "Plaid Mitten" pattern I found at the blue blog.

I didn't have Rowan Plaid yarn in my stash. But, I did have Debbie Bliss Chunky Merino and the required US#10.5 dpns to attempt the pattern.

This has been a learning day. Before today

> I had never encountered M1R or M1L.
> I had never used dpns for anything except the end of a hat done on a circular needle.
> I had never put stitches on waste yarn to be picked up later (for the thumb!) (I still haven't picked it up.... but I will!)

I made some mistakes. I went in the front, not the back, of the M1L, so the tight stitch I was supposed to have is a lovely air hole for those hot hand days! :) (I decided I was not tinking it as I didn't discover it until I had knit almost two more inches. I chalked it up to a learning experience!)

Not bad for a day's work! :)

I call them Black/Brown/Left/Right because I plan to add an L and an R to the appropriate sides of the mittens in honor of my 'learning to drive' son that can't seem to remember his left from his right.

The mittens are ambidexterous and I plan to put the letters so that they are correct regardless of which mitten is placed on which hand. If I can find the right suede-type material, I plan to use it to embroider the letters - to add grip to the mittens, which would allow a person to wear them to drive and not slip-slide all over the steering wheel. The goal is to finish them and submit them to the "Bitchin' Mittens" contest being sponsored by Dave of Cabin Cove Mercantile!

I hadn't planned to enter the contest. Dave added my name after I made a few comments (even though I said I wasn't doing it when I made the comments!!). I told him I had never done mittens. He added me to the list anyway! I feel compelled inspired to submit something!

More pictures later - as progress is made.

No Saturday Sky today

The sky was the same cloudless blue it had been for weeks. (though it appears to be solid white right now. I hadn't looked since I started cleaning this morning... hmmmm... maybe we might get that 30% chance of rain.)

I am not traveling today, so the vista is the same as most of my previous posts on Saturday Skies. Perhaps next weekend I will take a road trip.

Today is cleaning day. There are a few places in my home that have accumulated way too many boxes and baskets of broken bits of toys, computers, curtain rods and such; outgrown books (kiddie-lit and such); outgrown clothes (younger son is now almost-16 and about 6'4" - there is a lot of outgrown clothing in our house!); computer parts, monitors, a couple of free printers (worth what you pay, btw!) and other computer related things that need to be free-cycled or tossed in the proper recycling way - whichever is appropriate.

I am typing this while taking a cool-me-down break... found this flower quiz and thought I'd take it. Not sure I agree, but the flower was my sorority flower, so it might be right! :)

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Edited to add their commentary: "You have a shy personality. You tend to hesitate before trying new things or meeting new people. But once people get to know you, you open up and show the world what you are really all about."

Back to the sort, sort, toss, wash, donate, toss... when is our next dump run??

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Always knew I was a little off!

Your Brain is 47% Female, 53% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Regrets. I've had a few.

But then again, too few to mention!

I've seen this on a few blogs and decided to give it a try. Some of these things I'd never want to do, so they will probably never get done and I won't regret it either!


Life's to do list - Completed items are bolded

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (on the Chesapeake Bay)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse

29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen an eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 10 provinces or all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country (In The Bahamas)

44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland (and I wanna go back!)
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds (well, actually, it was my LPs :))
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day

60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch

78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Dead River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert" (just 'closed circuit' at work)
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas

86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship

94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in aisles at Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour

98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
(Sort of)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistols
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse -- and fell off
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school

131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach (only with my show - squish!!)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read their books.
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair

147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

And you?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Our photo heavy road trip

Two Saturdays ago, my older son and I took a little road trip to this cute little yarn shop ("Crazy for Ewe")

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in a cute little old town, Leonardtown.

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Flags in the Town Square

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A painted blue heron!

We then moved on to Solomon's Island, the pier, the river and a view of the Thomas Johnson Bridge from below rather than above (see previous posts).

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Over the bounding main (well, over the Patuxent River really)


Besides a small boardwalk along the river, Solomon's boasts restaurants and quaint antique shops and such... one restaurant is actually ON the boardwalk:
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or rather, it is on the Pier!

It was bright and sunny and we wanted to see the Otters before the Calvert Marine Museum closed. So we took a look at the Solomon's Island Clock:

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And decided we'd better skedaddle to make it through the Museum before its 5 PM closing time.

We did see the otters and I've already posted the best otter picture. They are fast, fast and sleek and fun to watch, but there are many other things to see and do around the Museum.

Like walk up into the restored lighthouse:

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and take a ride on a boat which leaves hourly for a 45 minute ride guided tour around the inlet and the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The colorful assortment in the lower right of the Lighthouse picture is the line of the passengers boarding for the last ride of the day. Guess we missed that! :)

I've been working on a little knitting - but nothing post-worthy. I did get some Cascade 220, when I visited to the little yarn shop. I plan to try a hedgehog and perhaps a hat... more later when work progresses.

School starts tomorrow and, hopefully, we'll return to a regular routine around here.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday (Un)Sky...

I never did get out of the kitchen today to do the Saturday Sky thing...

We started with part(l)y cloudy skies and then just to the party.

Our annual Open House and (crab feast) Pool Party was held today. Slim (we all wish we ACTUALLY were slim) attendance but fun for all.

I put crab feast in parens because, well, I wasn't going to do the crabs today... but I put out an "if you want crabs, let me know AND contribute to the cost" kind of invitation... so we had the crabs, too.

I tried out new Pampered Chef recipes and new Pampered Chef tools and had a great ol' time in the kitchen.

No fiber work. Just house work and fun with friends... I'll leave you with a different LAST Saturday Sky picture.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What I've been up to....

Gave a gift today:

Watched the otters swim at the Calvert Marine Museum over the weekend:

Saw the Rays and Skates at the Calvert Marine Museum over the weekend:

Went shopping with both my boys (on different days) to get ready for SCHOOL!! on August 22! Older son (good Lord willing) will graduate in May. Younger will graduate the next year.

That's what I've been doin' - and some knitting too. Only the Kimono was 'picture worthy.'

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saturday Skies

My son and I took a drive today. The first photo is the Saturday Sky at our house. The second is from the banks of the Patuxent River near Solomon's Island. The third is from our car as I am driving up over the Harry J Truman Thomas Johnson Bridge (I always get that wrong!) - spanning the Patuxent River and linking Calvert and St. Mary's Counties. Added a fourth one of the bridge too... it's pretty tall and many folks do not want to drive over it!

I have more -- from Solomon's Island, the Patuxent and the Calvert Marine Museum... But those will have to wait!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It is Wednesday

Not much to say. Not much going on.

We do have significantly cooler temperatures this week! YAY!!! Though I still don't have the Oomph to do much. Boo. :(

I have that almost-finshed object to finish.

Carpet cleaners come tomorrow - which means I get the lovely task of rounding up the people that live in my house (mostly my two boys) and getting their help to eliminate all unnecessary clutter, bric-a-brac, etc. in the two rooms being cleaned AND to vacuum - deeply, completely - the entire area. I am so not looking forward to this evening!

Cable guy is coming again (third time's the charm?) today. If the problem isn't cured, I may switch to Verizon DSL for a year and see how that goes. I believe it now reaches me out in the boonies and they are running a special in my area would which would save me about $240 a year over the cost of cable!

I am working on one object - a 'Seed Stitch Rib Hat for Children' from Knitting on the Net. I have a beautiful Peacock blue Patons Classic Wool merino (instead of the 220 Quattro Cascade listed in the pattern) on US8 circulars. It is working up fast and easy (of course, I haven't gotten to the decreases yet!). Here is a not-so-great picture (using my camera phone) of my progress so far.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Aggravation(s) and New Tires, and an almost-FO

Aggravation No. 1: Comcast Hi-Speed Internet has been intermittent for more than three weeks. Tech personnel visit NUMBER THREE!!!!!!!! is scheduled for Wednesday - between 1 and 5 PM. I took off work for visit No. 1. My Mother was home for visit No. 2. My son (thank the Lord!) is 18, summer school ends Tuesday, so he can be here for visit No. 3 -- alternatives to Comcast are close to nil, unless I want to go back to AOL dial-up at 26k or less (that is what is available "down in the boondocks".)

Aggravation No. 2: After work on Thursday, I discovered my right front tire was flat. Had to cancel an appointment (not a big deal). Called AAA - they came in less than 1/2 hour. Added some air and suggested that I go across the way to Mr. Tire and get new tires (I needed them anyway, again, no big deal). THREE hours (slightly aggravating) and $755 later I have four brand, spanking new tires. YAY... now for the aggravation part... Saturday, shopping with mom, come out to the car ready to head on home - left rear tire, flat as a pancake at 4:20 PM on a Saturday. 40 minutes from the Mr. Tire store which closes at 6 PM. However, AAA says they will arrive "within 2 hours!"

Aggravated Customer (aka AC aka Me) calling the tire store after calling AAA: Hello, Assistant Manager that waited on me on Thursday,* one of my brand new tires is flat. How late are you open? (*name omitted to shield the guilty! :))

AM: Until 5 PM (n.b. really 6 pm but last appt is 5 PM).

AC: You are open Sunday, aren't you?

AM: Yes, we open at 9 AM.

AC: Great. I'll be there!

AC arrives at Mr. Tire on Sunday to find the Manager manning the front desk with no other help and 7 people in front of me. AM did not note that I would be arriving on Sunday, so I had no appointment. Manager says, "I can guarantee it today, but it may be six hours or more (emphasis mine).

AC: Six hours to fix/replace a tire that I bought from you on Thursday.

Manager: It'll be free, but I fired someone yesterday and someone else quit .... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah... and you don't have an appointment.

AC: Okay, can I make an appointmnet for tomorrow? 8:30 AM?

Manager: Oh, Yes. Thank you.

Monday morning arrives. AC arrives at the store at 8:30... still fourth in line. Two hours later another new tire is on the car and I am free to go. Seems the first new tire had a hole in the side wall "unrepairable, so I put a new tire on" -- you better had put a new tire on!!!! I certainly didn't want a 'repaired' new tire on day three!

AFO (Almost-finished object!):

MDK Kimono:

Needs some finishing touches, so it won't make it to the shower tomorrow. Hopefully, it will make it to the Mom before the Baby arrives! (Due Date: August 31)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

August 5 - Saturday with Skies

Straight out, mostly straight up, shot of the Saturday morning sky from my deck. This is a mostly Northern view. Slight wispy clouds. Much lower humidity. High today was 92, but it only felt that in the sun. Shady areas were sooooo much cooler than this past week! I pray it stays so!

I am in the process of knitting the Kimono in Mason Dixon Knitting. I am using Lion Brand Kitchen Cotton in White. I want to say I am about 2/3 the way through ~ with the actual knitting part anyway. Then there is the steaming (wet and block) and seaming (need to learn the mattress stitch!) and the tying of bows at the appropriate place on front. It is looking good and, if my life would just cooperate, I'll have it done in time for the Baby Shower on Tuesday!

P.S. the kimono is really white... I tried a 'flashless' photo and the room light was not so bright!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I'm meeeellttiiiiiiingggggggggg........

And the heat goes on, and the heat goes on...

I created this screenshot from my weatherbug before noon. It is now 12:20 PM and we are at 97.4 degrees F with a Heat Index of 113 degrees. Here I sit ~ shiverin' in my office ~ afraid to go out and warm up for fear I won't be able to breathe in the HEAT and HUMIDITY!

Some relief! Please! Off to get a sandwich or a salad or something from the Deli, in the building, with no need to leave the premises!