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August 2004
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October 2004

I'm here

~ but nothing's at a photo-worthy stage, so I haven't blogged. I'm dying to get a shot of the kitties in their new bed; maybe tonight, but I suspect it gets its highest usage when they are alone all day. Perhaps I should schedule a stealth visit at lunchtime, but I have newly committed that time on MWF to Power Lunch Hour at the JCC. Trainer Tina is kicking my ass, and it's about time! Other than an occasional weekend power walk, I hadn't figured out how to fit regular exercise back into my schedule since I went back to work two years ago. I haven't gained weight, but I've definitely lost cardio capacity and some muscle tone. But now that my office has relocated to within three miles of the JCC (on the same street!), and the place is familiar since Wee C goes there daily, I'm set to make the additional three trips per week.

In knitting news, I passed the halfway point on Klaralund with one of each piece knitted, and have begun the second sleeve. I've found it such a pleasant knit! Even though the design might lend itself to machine knitting, I'm betting the Silk Garden doesn't, with its loose and varying ply. In that vein, I am also a bit reluctant to try it with the Cotton Twist I mentioned in the previous post, because that is some splitty stuff, but we'll see.

Anyone remember the baby hat I started a while back? Despite some protestations from mothers of boys, I finished the mildly lacy item and decided it needed a scarf to accompany it (particularly since I still had some yarn to use up). So I consulted my Knitting Stitch Bible and chose a simple chevron that seems to go with the hat. Blocked, it probably won't be quite three inches wide, but this guy was only born in June. I'd welcome suggestions for how long it should be, though. Not that I have any idea if one adorns an infant with a scarf, anyway ~ choking hazard?

Luckily, the previously mentioned mother, commenter par excellence MaryB (whom I met on Rachael's blog map!), will have the chance to remark in person when we travel together to the Fall Fiber Festival of Virginia ~ but I may have finished the wee accessory by then!


Pie Are Square

Well, this one, anyhoo, ain't exactly round. We're working on it though, blocking over my towel-wrapped little laundry basket:

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I shot it in the same position before it got into hot water:

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LabelAs I mentioned before, it's Wendy's pattern, knit in a skein of good old Cascade 220 (#7818), held double and alternating with some "found" yarn, this Bernat Tapestria from my friend Stewart's basement. I think it was his grandma's; I think the lighter shade was called salmon. I just tied the ends together as the small skeins ran out when I wound some center-pull balls (before my recent spit-splicing revelation), the spliced the ends together when one ball was a bit longer than the other ~ thus assuring that mothproofing didn't interfere with feltability! It's looking pretty large for the kitties, so I think I'll start out by placing the bed they came with (great fosterer!) inside this one, once it dries.

Off to a baby shower tomorrow, where I'll once again present a picture of the intended gift. I'm going to make another Cutie Patootie, because I've got the Cotton Twist in the stash; I'm taking a skein each of two variegated colorways so the mom-to-be can choose. And, inspired by Bonne Marie, I may even try knitting parts of pieces on the Bond USM!


Fuzzy

Fuzzy One:
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Fuzzy Two:
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Details on one: Theresa's Skinny Angel Scarf in Lorna's Laces Angel, Daffodil colorway, three skeins. This has been my office knitting since the point when the poncho became too cumbersome for meetings. Finished it last night with the fuzzy two nipping at the end of the US9 Bernat Aero! I love this little item, and the yarn, but I fear I may be a bit allergic to angora. (Sorry, Anne.) I never sensed any problems with the Must-Have Cardigan sleeve, which is a 70% alpaca/30% angora blend, but in Angel the proportions are reversed (with merino replacing the alpaca). I just got a little funny feeling in my head when I was knitting it, but that's not gonna keep me from wearing it!

Details on two: Sunday we welcomed Hondo and Frances into our home, after debating all week whether we'd take the momma or her two babies. You can imagine the forensic expertise of the arguments exchanged between a three-year-old and her mother . . . By week's end I gave in to the recollection that I had gotten Rosacoke (1988-2003) a year after Ethan (1987-2004) because he needed a playmate ~ while Wee C is quite the companion, we are still both gone all day, and with only two in the young mother's litter (or that's as many as made it to the fostering situation), I couldn't bear to separate the siblings. They're nine weeks old, cute as cute can be, and already wreaking havoc on the stash. Clearly that Cotton-Ease is going to need to live someplace else for awhile ~

0805063528101thumbzzzHow did we name them? I admit to making the suggestions, but I used Wee C's favorite books to do so. Actually, when we first started thinking about a new cat (following our great experience hosting Orlando this summer), we were looking for one to name after a favorite character, Fabian. While Frances has the look of our Fabian, her sex doesn't, so we named the black cat for the badger Frances, beloved since dear Rachael sent a set of the Hoban books, and named the gray one for Fabian's friend Hondo (even though he's a big yellow lab). This last book is especially lovely, a 2003 Caldecott Honor book, and one that I had collected before Wee C came home.

What's new on the needles now? A Kitty Pi a la Wendy ~


Another One

Here's my poncho, which I finished Tuesday night:

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Excuse the weird expression; I think I may have been talking to my latest coworker-turned-photographer. I'm quite pleased with this creation, just in time to catch the wave of trendiness and the right season for its wear. The yarn was a tad pricy for an item such as this, bit I did manage to keep it to six skeins (I'd originally bought four to make a shawl, but that was before I acquired my somewhat similarly hued Charlotte's Web combo). I started with this free pattern, but made a few adjustments, especially at the end. Its neckline eyelets are for a big pom-pom tie; I decided to go with a satin ribbon, even though it feels a bit Red Riding Hoodish. And I repeated the eyelet at the bottom edge, using it to thread fringe through. Here's a closeup, where you may be able to tell how I pulled the loops through. They are tied for stability on the inside. Additional details:
Yarn: Tartelette from Knit One Crochet Too,
in 618 Midnight
Needles: US13 circular
Started 8/6/04
Finished 9/14/04

Perfect for my gaduate school reunion tomorrow!


I'm Free!

I'm just back from returning the converter box to Comcast and paying 10 bucks for the portion -- maybe four days -- of this billing cycle's usage. I had to wait until after Sunday's Six Feet Under season finale before I let 'em pull the plug, but we're cable-less now and, for the time being, I'm relieved.

Just think of all the yarn I could buy with the monthly fees I'm saving! But that's not the point so much as the simple fact that we weren't watching anywhere near $80 worth of TV per month. An HBO Sunday series, 23 minutes of Saturday Wiggles on Disney, the occasional Monk. But since I signed up for Netflix, I don't need to surf for film offerings, and last season I found even cable didn't give me access to all the basketball games I wanted to see. I never even subscribed until the Wee C came home and her bedtime precluded my evenings of viewing HBO and ESPN at Brotherman's house. It's a racket they're working, because you have to subscribe to a pretty high tier in order to get a premium channel ~

Now, I only watched The Sopranos these last two seasons, so I can wait for its finale (this is the last season, right?) to come out on DVD; I could even catch up on the ones I missed, via Netflix. And the return of 6FU is a long ways off. I found out how to use Yahoo Sports to listen to some Blue Devil hoops on the computer last season. I'll miss Stanley and his Great Big Book of Everything, but I'm happy to be taking this break. Caroline has plenty of recorded video; she'll hardly know the difference, although she was pretty concerned this morning when I was disconnecting everything. I'm not saying I'll never go back; cable could return with computer service added, for example. And if I can't get the ABC station across the river when Alias resumes, well . . .


Room with a View

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Imagine sitting and knitting with this vista before you. I experienced it live this past weekend. Friday and Saturday I took part in a board of directors retreat to which four of our staff were invited. My room (a suite, actually, that I shared with the co-worker who organized the whole deal, hence the upgrade) on Virginia's Northern Neck overlooked Carters Creek and the Rappahannock River. The trade-off of work vs. weekend was a good one in this case, a beautiful resort and a dinner cruise on their Miss Anne (at the end of the dock in the photo), and the usual small-group brainstorming planning ~ while the loyal uncle took on his first 24-hour shift of Wee C-care.

And, of course, I had knitting time. During travel both ways, and during the three-hour board meeting Friday before the retreat part began, I steadily stitched the uniform rows of Klaralund, the Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Noro pullover. Froggy and Wendy's knitalong enticed me to join in, especially when I discovered sufficient Silk Garden in my stash. Here's most of a sleeve, in color #34:

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By our last small-group session, I was sneaking in a row or two between the notes I had to take. I was pleased that a few of the dozen (male architect) directors present even inquired about my project, one of them savvy enough to use the term yoke when I was explaining this sleeve extended over the shoulder. Yup, his mother was a knitter.

Believe it or not, this is my first experience with Noro yarns, and I am loving the striping effect as well as the hand of Silk Garden. I bought Kureyon when Julie first offered her Booga Bag pattern, but I've yet to knit it up. My stash now includes the Noro Cooler (thanks to Wendy's storage hints), where that and more Kureyon, plus some Shinano, await their turn. I did have to handle a knot in my first skein ~ where you see the radical contrast between light purple and dark brown ~ but I didn't worry about it. A trickier point came where the ply dwindled down to, I dunno, maybe the silk binder, with a slub just before it, but I managed my first spit-splice to fix that. All kinds of newness with this stuff!



Overdue

Dang if it wasn't another one of those weeks! This is the busy season for me, workwise ~ although it's quite likely to be that way for the next 12 months. Yikes. I can't say this was a week from H, though, when it began with this:

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The first thing she said to me when I collected her from preschool (and its concomitant childcare) was I ate my hard-boiled egg!* While it's only been four days, I'm pretty excited that the transition to this new scenario seems to be going smoothly. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Sbsept0002The appearance at S&B that very evening of her beloved caregiver, Pammy, did not rock the boat. I give much credit to Pam for easing the way, and did what I could Tuesday night to ease her way to untangling two balls of yummy-soft baby yarn in the process of becoming a hat. Before I forget, I want to note that Kim missed being photographed, even as she arrived early to discuss and promote this year's ART180 fundraising venture; while the focus has turned to jewelry rather than scarves, we're still gonna get a little knit into the mix.

Sbsept0003Lisa started a sweet and tiny baby hat for someone new, while Michelle knit what I consider the darned small stitches ~ in black ~ of a Rowan sweater for her teenaged daughter.

Sbsept0001The other Michelle was beginning a sweater for her stepdad, and Frances was in the midst of a green poncho of the two-rectangle variety. I worked on my Tartelette poncho that night myself.

Sbsept0004We were glad for the return of Beth, who worked on a cozy and beautiful throw for her son who's newly at college.

*The second day she said I forgot to eat my nuts, and the third, I didn't eat my banana. When I remarked on this to a more experienced parent, she said that these comments could be prompted by the fact that I had prepared the lunch, thereby making it Wee C's connection to me during our time apart. Or maybe she just likes her food, even when she doesn't consume it!


Charlotte Update

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I ran out of Tartelette on the drive to NC for our 27-hour visit with my parents, so guess what I turned to, languishing at the bottom of the knitting bag ~ Charlotte's Web! I knit 14 rows, so I thought we were due for a photo update. I've finished with the colors 3-4 section and have moved into the all-4 rows, my favorite KPPPM of the five. It's #450, for the record, and the one that exemplifies the Sand & Sea appelation the Boys gave it. I get all anxious when I start thinking about the finishing of this project, but I still have quite a ways to go. I'll have to be surfing the archives looking for guidance on the crochet edging. I know y'all are there for me. Thanks.

Over the Rainbow

model0003While the colleague I asked to photograph me yesterday is highly educated and skilled, photography's perhaps not her strong suit. But I thought I'd start with the long shot so you could first admire the entrance to my workplace, a c.1918 Tudor Revival mansion (that's not been a single-family dwelling for half a century). When we're ready to open an architecture museum here in the spring, you'll hear all about it. (Here's one a little closer, so you can admire the gargoyle!)

And now, may I present my own version of Bad Penny, knit in Schachenmayr Rainbow, with White Rainbow for the body and Vegas Lights for the trim. I began this on July 29 and finished on August 31, which may be a personal best for (adult, non-accessory) garment completion thus far. I wore it all day yesterday and found it comfortable and appealing. My only disappointment is that the eyelets knit into the bottom band do not show due to the nature of the yarn I selected. Perhaps if I had known, I may not have bothered to knit them, but it's no biggie. While I might prefer this particular cotton blend knit more tightly, the US8s I used gave me the gauge the pattern required ~ Yea, Knitty! Yea, Stefanie! Yea, Rainbow Penny!

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