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June 2005
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August 2005

Thank you, Alison

Yes, thanks to the Queen of Calmer, our sock-pal coordinator of the blue blog, I am inches away from completing the crochet trim on my Rowan Elspeth sweater. See, I bought the required four skeins at Knit Happens in February. Started the sweater around Memorial Day, once my pattern book finally arrived, returning to the stash whenever I needed more yarn. Then came the POD. I swear I rooted around in every bin before hauling them to storage. I wanted to be sure I had what I needed to complete the three WIPs I had going at midsummer. When I couldn't locate any more Laurel Calmer, I figured I'd just broken into the last ball. Wrong 'em, boy-o, I realized when I cast off the last piece. No way would the leavings make two crochet trips around the assembled whole ~ plus picot! Having already grabbed Calmer for a NBaT from one LYS a month back, I knew they didn't stock this color. Last weekend I found none at The Yarn Lounge either, alas, so I shot a desparation email to the one knitter most likely to have a little bit of every shade. And she did! And she parted with it willingly, her boys throwing in some stickers for Wee C to boot!How much do I love blogland right now? I've been weilding the hook for hours, and the end is in sight, but I'll have to wait for daylight ~ and a shooter ~ to get a modeling shot. Hooray for another July FO, and hooray for you fabulous "imaginary" friends! Oh, I finished my pal-sox, too (but I think you've seen enough of them ~ )

Birthday Sillies


My friend Brewster turns 50 today, so I had a little Photoshop fun on his behalf. She hasn't seen it yet, but if he asks, I'll say I did it at his wife's urging. This great guy taught my child the most audacious scowl and gave me a chunk of legal consult at no charge (don't tell his partners). His fun family includes a twin daughter who hung with Wee C on our recent beach trip and a spouse who turned me on to Crocs. I'll not go so far as to provide his email address, but if you want to wish him well, feel free to do so in the comments and I'll direct him here (with trepidation, given the image above)!

The Mature Knitter

Oh, hi. There went a week. Whoops. While I've been knitting in addition to packing, perhaps my focus has been a bit off. When I was well into the foot of the second Sockapal2za sock, I noticed something amiss with the pattern way back in the leg. You may not be able to see it, but the dominant wave should be continuous; there's no actual cable happening.


But something happened. And here's where I saw myself having matured. Even if I was keeping this pair for myself, I couldn't accept the error. And I sure didn't want to give them to my sock pal like this. So I ripped.


And already I'm back on the heel flap, proudly reknitting ~

One's Enough

No offers awaited me when we got home Sunday, but a full-price bid came in on Monday afternoon,  so I signed that sucker! Still have appraisal and inspection hurdles to pass, but I seem to have sold my sweet house in a matter of days. Yea!

015602943x01 So I've taken a few nights off from the packing, and just finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife, which Greta had urged upon me by placing the copy in my hands. What a great book! I know it's been making the rounds of blogs and book clubs, but I can't say why I'd not grabbed it sooner. Fascinating tale, good characters, bittersweet love story. Now my book list is all non-fiction, while I wait for someone to lend me the new HP. I'd been trying to get into Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex before this novel came along, but I set it aside, and now it's packed in the POD (as are two of the other books listed below). I pulled the Lamott off an as-yet-unpacked shelf last night. She's coming to Richmond in the winter, so this will whet my appetite for her appearance.

Speaking of things packed already, the stash is completely inaccessible now that the cousins reworked my start on the POD. So I think I'll pay Stewart a visit at the Yarn Lounge to pick something special for my square for the memorial afghan. Thanks to Annie for organizing a tribute to Kerstin's late brother-in-law. Details here.


[Wo]man, does it take a lot of work to put your house on the market! I've moved before, certainly, but I've never done this. Thanks to the necessity of acting quickly, I haven't slept six hours running since maybe last Thursday. Whew. But now the POD's two-thirds stuffed, the basement's empty, and every room but my bedroom and study is uncluttered to the point of being entirely devoid of personality. Which is, from what I understand, exactly how it should be, so the buyers can come in and imagine their stuff in my spaces. The Wee C's been a trouper, letting her things hide away for awhile, although I've not been suprised to find her crawling into my bed in the night, her psyche no doubt subconsciously rocked by all this action. And of course I'd never have made it this far without Brotherman's help ~ the fella was a power-washin' fool last weekend! Now the house is in the MLS, the sign is in the yard, and the open house is set for Sunday afternoon. So we're off to hang with Mom, kitties in tow, and crossing fingers to return to dueling offers.

So, not too much knitting this week. A shawl row or two while C splashed in the tub at best, a sock round before bed if I had the stamina. But I finished the first Sockapal2za sock last Friday, before the madness began in earnest:

Click here to see it modeled.

Now I've even made it past the ribbing and through the first pattern repeat on Number Two ~

Alpaca End

Babysurprise OK, it's mostly cotton, and I'm not talking about the rear of the beloved beast. Just to say that, for all intents and purposes*, I am done with my Debbie Bliss of many colors. See? (I've been playing around with Photoshop at the office, too.) When dear Ann whipped one up lately, she inspired me to give EZ's fun Baby Surprise Jacket a go, too. As the designated recipient remains in utero and unrevealed, I took some care not to knit too much pink into the thing, and I went ahead and made just one set of buttonholes, although EZ advises making them on both sides and closing some up with the buttons once the sex is known. I thought I'd better go ahead and ship this off to Indiana rather than risk its getting misplaced in the move  ~

*I do have a ball plus a bit of the pink that I'll hold on to perhaps until a known baby girl is on the way and in need of, say, a Miss Dashwood ~

Last Tuesday

A week ago a few friends stopped by for the penultimate S&B at my current house. Turnout was probably slim because it was the day after the Fourth, but we had the usual delightful time sitting and knitting (or, in Cathy's case, crocheting). I forgot, however, to grab the camera, so the night goes undocumented, except for this:


Wool from the Wensleydale Sheep Shop, courtesy of MaryB (whose adventures had a brief display over at Mason-Dixon Knitting). Looks like I may need another spindle ~ but not until after the move!

Little Pink Houses

No, actually neither of my houses is pink, and even though I am soliciting quotes to paint the two-tone Dutch Colonial, I will not choose a rosy shade. But I do hope for a purple door! Was I house-hunting? Another no. This unexpected purchase came about because my friend Frances, who's selling it, encouraged me to save her the effort and expense of putting it on the market. After many consultations with a variety of folks, I decided to go for it. While I may like the kind of shopping MS&W or Anthropologie offers, when it comes to the big-ticket items, I prefer to limit my choices. And this is a swell house, certainly, still from the first half of the 20th century (if a couple decades newer than my current abode), and built of brick and slate and wood.

In specs it sounds a lot like our current home, but each room is just a bit bigger, and that's a good thing.  Well, the master bedroom and the living room are each considerably bigger ~ and you should see my new closet! Plus there is an additional little first-floor room, probably a screened porch that was converted.  As long as someone comes around and offers to mow the grass, I'm set. We could play croquet in the yard, or kickball ~ as opposed to Wee C barely having room for her tiny trampoline in our current garden. And even though I have quite enjoyed the evolution of my kitchen and the hand I've had it it, I'm really looking forward to those granite countertops and stainless steel appliances and abundant cabinets in the new one.

Home_pic3 Last night I spent hours clearing the kitchen and dining room so a painter could do some corrective finishing before my house goes on the market. (And another hour this morning on Wee C's room.) Today a PODS unit arrived, so tonight and every night for a week I expect to be filling it with the excesses that make my house look and feel so full.  On the weekend we'll trim the shrubs, fix the fence, and let some of the books go live at Chop Suey.

B0006nuosy16 Greta asked if I was going to put the stash close to the front of the POD, so it could be "last in, first out." What with it comprising four (or are there five? Is it a 5th or 6th I'm about to buy?) 70-qt. bins, I think we'll just fit it wherever it ends up. I do have some yarn ideas for the new place, but I think as long as I have my three current WIPs with me, I can let the rest of it go for these two months. I just hope I get to finish Elspeth and wear her a few times before fall comes ~

Hello July

Coming into the month on the late side here at maggistitches, but from what I've read of weekend posts, Typepad wasn't all that friendly over the holiday period. Where've we been? Oh, buying a house. I know moves are not uncommon here in our corner of blogland, but it does keep one busy! Details to come, but the gist is that the new house is just a little bit bigger, with a backyard that's lots bigger, and it's zoned for one of the best elementary schools in the City. (In Virginia cities and counties do not overlap; what you may think of as Richmond encompasses four separate municipalities ~ I think this hinders all sorts of progress, but change comes slowly in the Commonwealth.)

74blog0001 But of course we celebrated the Fourth, once again participating in the block party around the corner, the 33rd annual. The Wee C was nearly self-propelled this year, in a vehicle she found by the curb, rather than her decorated tricycle. (For a nostalgic comparison, here we are at the same block-long kids/pets parade in 2002, 2003 and 2004.)

74blog0003 I had an I'm blogging this moment on the second day of the festivities, when I pulled out my Baby Surprise Jacket. My friend Richard noted casually, Ah, I see you've got your Turbos there. Looks like a 24-inch, oh, size 7 or 8. OK, he is an exceptional man, a producer, pilot, parent and spouse. But I'd never heard him use the lingo of our land, and I was floored. What does he know of Addis? He kept me in the dark all day, but before we headed home confessed that he'd just spent a week installing a point-of-sale system in an Irvington LYS. And he didn't mind it a bit. Wish I'd known about the new Knitty then!