Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I have fallen for tweed hats. Well, more specifically, I'm making the same hat over and over again in various tweedy yarns. The pattern is plain, but the tweed keeps it interesting.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Turkey Day was in New Jersey this year and it was a blast. There was a yummy turducken, with various sides.I did a moderate mount of baking, as planned.The top tier has pecan and lemon bars and the bottom tier has PB&J cookies and dulce de leche bars.

We had the traditional Handknit Sock Reunion:
It came complete with our very own party crasher.Doggie saw the crowd - and the camera - and wanted in on all the fun.

While we were out of town, I finished the yellow socks:
And started some new ones, this time in Kroy.
The main color is a sort of grayish brown called "flax" and the contrast is the coal black leftover from the socks from the last post. Thrifty thrifty...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pre-Turkey Day Tidings

Since the many days since my last post, I've finished things:
And started things:
This is Cascade Heritage, in a pale yellow.

I've also decided that there will be no appearance by the Crazy Baker Lady this year. We'll be in Jersey, so I won't have my own kitchen to be my crazy baking self in. Only moderate amounts of baking allowed. Sigh.

Monday, November 02, 2009


After Rhinebeck, there was some family time, including a field trip to Mr. Edison's old thinktank in West Orange, NJ. This happy fellow was in the factory library, looking extremely pleased with life. After all, he did have wings, a bit of clothing, and a working lightbulb. Who wouldn't be happy?

This is Room12, where Edison did his own puttering about with dangerous chemicals and whatnot.
This is the second of the dreaded irregularly patterned pink socks, so dreaded and irregular that I have yet to finish them.

Jersey Baby wants red gloves, which led to some tinkering of my own:
This is the left glove in red and white Wool-Ease. The colorwork is based on this free firetruck pattern. I sort of made up the rest as sort of generic gloves. Now I just have to make the right hand glove.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Rhinebeck was wonderful! The weather was nowhere near as bad as they predicted. It was cold, but it didn't rain at all. Mom, Kim, Jersey Boy and I got to enjoy all the fibery critters without any of the mud.
And there were all the crafts too. Sausage is a craft, right? Well, I think it's crafty!

The Ravelry meetup was well attended.
I particularly enjoyed the button scrum.
Like they always say: so many buttons, so few Sharpies!

Kim and I knit on the Big Sock.
It takes a lot of circulars to knit something this big. There was a lady there to wrangle the knitters so they knew how to get started working on a section, and also how to stop. I wonder how the heel turn will work, whenever they get to it?

As for acquisitions, I was quite reserved. I bought a couple of small llama batts (3.8 oz total), a half pound of the infamous "Party in a Bag" blend, and some hand-dyed longwool roving (approx. 8oz). I also signed up for a subscription to Wild Fiber. I also brought home a cold. They were giving that out for free!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ma vie en chaussette rose

My current plain stocking sock is a very pink affair. The yarn, S.R. Kertzer On Your Toes 4, is giving me fits. It's probably just me, but I don't think I'm crazy to insist on having actual patterns in my self-patterning socks. Despite my growing distaste for this yarn, I've continued to work on the sock while commuting. I got a lot of work done on it at the latest Smithsonian hosted Alton Brown event.

The slide in the back has a human brain in a jar of bright green liquid and the text says "the most important tool in the kitchen." His talk was great, with the usual good humor and lots of audience participation. This may be an observation only a Washingtonian would care about, but I do find his broad appeal curious; politically speaking, he's seemed well right of the majority of the audience, but he had no problems holding an open forum on family, modern life, and of course, food, with a left-ish audience. Anyway, most of the foot was finished during the talk and subsequent wait to get an autographed book.

I only had about a 30 min wait. There were way more people behind me (I'm telling you, he's got some serious groupies). Come to think of it, I guess the line must wound its way back into the auditorium.

The next day, I finished the first sock at the Caps/Sharks game. Here it is with the future owner:
She seems kinda attached to it, so I'd better finish the second one!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Secret Pal Revealed!

I got my final Secret Pal 14 package from the wonderfull Bette! It's quite a collection of treats any knitter would love. She even sent some of her own handdyed yarn. Thank you so much, Bette, for being such an awesome pal!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Crafty Goodness

Last weekend was all about craftiness. I was spoiled by my own Secret Pal spoilee, the lovely Judith, who very craftily turn the Secret Pal tables on me by sending this:What a lovely box of goodness! Judith even designed personalized notecards for me. Isn't the turtle adorable? And its colors match the rest of the package too :-) Thank you, Judith!

Last Saturday was the annual Crafty Bastards fair in Adams Morgan. As in past years, it was really crowded.
Traffic issues aside, it was, as promised, all sorts of awesome, all day long. Handmade plush monsters were all the rage. There were lots of booths selling them.

I thought the sleeping ones are extra cute, thought I didn't bring any monsters home with me. I did buy some fiber though.
The green roving is wool/silk and the orange batt is some sort of kitchen sink blend. Hmm, maybe I should go spin something...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vacation - Part the Second

After traipsing around New York and Vermont, my parents and I continued north for a whirlwind tour of Montreal. The weather did not cooperate, and the rain really cut into our sightseeing plans. We did a bit of walking and saw some churches (they have lots of those).
There was a wedding in this one, so we couldn't go in. We then went to La Ronde (it's a Six Flags really, but with a nicer name) to watch one of the fireworks show.

The rain held off just until the show was about to start and then it proceeded to pour and pour. Thanks, rain! The show was pretty, though, even through the wet. You'll have to take my word for that, because photography was not allowed. It's just as well because my camera would have been totally soaked. There was, of course, the obligatory eating-of-the-poutine.
It's pretty darned tasty. You have to admire a culture whose first impulse, when faced with something already pretty rich (i.e. french fries), is to cover it in cheese curds and smother it with gravy.

Then we headed home. Luckily, there was very clear signage.
We even brought the rain clouds with us.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Swap Goodness

I got a wonderful package from my Ravelry Hockey Swap spoiler, the super-talented Lisa. She made a beautiful cross stitch Capitals logo. This picture does it no justice whatsoever! It's gotten lots of ooohs and aaahs from everyone who's seen it. I also got a pretty red and blue print bag, a skein of cushy hand dyed sock yarn, two bags (now down to one bag lol!) of Haribo peach gummies, Michigan dried cherries, berry mints, a notepad, a fuzzy turtle and a Petosky stone, the state stone of Michigan. Thank you so much for being a great pal, Lisa!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Opera and Spinning

A group of us went to Opera in the Outfield, a live simulcast of Washington National Opera's season opener, Barber of Seville, at Nationals Park. There was a possibility of rain so we opted for seats on the third base line. I worked on a sock.
Kim (ravelry login required) worked on a scarf. Kim's classmate Tracy worked on her homework, probably in a desperate attempt to escape from all the knitting weirdness.

I did a bit of spinning yesterday.
This was done on my poor Louet, which has been a very effective dust-gatherer in the past few months. It's 1.3 oz of 100% superwash merino. I wound the single into a ball and made a two ply from the two ends.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Spoiled Again!

My secret pal sent me another great package, which I am very late in blogging about. Sorry SP! As you can see, the theme is green, which always makes me happy. And so much goodness stuffed into a pretty green bag too! The wee sock "seed packet" is so cute and the cushy owl potholder is double knit, for twice the cushiness. Thank you so much Secret Pal!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vacation - Part the First

At long last, here are the promised pictures from the Multi Family Summer Vacation of Doom mu-hahahaha! We went with Jersey family up to Lake George, NY for a week. On the way up, we had some time to kill, so we stopped by the Schyler (pronounced "skyler") Mansion. He was one of Washington's generals. He was also very fond of the kick-ass wall treatment (sorry for the blurry pic):
This particularly impressive one wrapped all the way around the second floor central common area:
It was a sort of "oriental" scene with lush foliage and birds and lots and lots and lots of mosques. We learned that the origin of the phrase "sleep tight" referred to the ropes that mattresses rested on (no box springs back then I guess).
Slack ropes meant a sagging, uncomfy bed. Not sure what was going on with the wooden cross on this kid's bed. Vampire revolutionaries, maybe?

We visited a couple of New York's French and Indian War forts (cue the fiddle music from Last of the Mohicans.) Fort William Henry, or the recreation built on its ruins, is right on the shores of Lake George and therefore, not surprisingly, smack in the middle of a tourist swarm. I played with the landscape button on my camera.
The tour groups had dispersed to different parts of the fort by then, hence the emptiness, but I swear there were crowds of people there, really! Jersey Boy got himself recruited.
The recruiter made it easy. See the X? No literacy necessary. And he got a coin too! Woot!

Fort Ticonderoga was farther off the beaten path, though still on the lake of course, for reasons of strategery:
It was built by the French as Fort Carillon, facing south onto Lac du Saint Sacrement (now Lake George) since south was where all the Brits were. When the British captured the fort and the lake, they renamed both, and moved the guns to the back of the fort to face north, since that's where all the French were.

I played with the landscape setting some more, this time with less success.
The two Union Jacks on the left are really the same flag. I didn't align photo 1 (left side) with photo 2 (middle) properly, making the fort a few yards wider and twice as British than in real life. Oh well. I will blame it on the difficulty of seeing the camera's LCD display clearly on a bright sunny day.

Surprisingly, Ticonderoga had a nice collection of textile tools.
I guess there must have been womenfolk living here too. I've heard that sailors in the old days knitted, but it's hard to believe that redcoats spun yarn when they weren't marching around.

Adjacent to the fort was the King's Garden, which we all enjoyed. There were the requisite formal geometric bits, which you can see if you peek into the walled portion:
But they also had a veggie garden, a children's garden, a greenhouse, not to mention a dramatic walkway lined with tall tall trees. Que romantico!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Where-owa? Iowa!

My Secret Pal is on the move!

Seriously, next time, vacation shots (for real, I promise).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Starry Postcard

A pretty cloth postcard from my Secret Pal was waiting for me when I got back home last week. Thanks SP!

Next up...some long-delayed vacation pictures.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sock Summit

I was in Portland for the Sock Summit last week. I had a blast! I saw a bit of the town, thanks to their cool (and mostly free) light rain system. There seemed to be so little traffic in Portland, though that's probably because I'm used to so much traffic in DC. I did see some wildlife:
and not so wild life:
I took classes to learn about double knitting, bavarian stockings and knee socks. Here's me making my peace with twisted knitting while making the bavarian sampler:
Alright, twisted knitting, I'm ok with you now. I can appreciate the crisp cables you produce and promise not to complaining too much about all that knitting through the back loop you like so much.

There was a bit of swag:
and a little yarn shopping. OK, an obscene amount of yarn shopping. The marketplace on its own would have been worth the trip.

For all the sock hoopla, I got very little honest to goodness sock knitting done. Between the traveling and summit events and sightseeing, I only managed about half a socks worth of work, or from just below the heel to halfway up the leg of this toe up sock.
Now I know: next Sock Summit, bring simpler socks!