Thursday, June 29, 2006

Superman Etc.

Busy, busy and back to my "normal"* schedule. Forgive me my lack of post yesterday, I was not at my normal blogging spot and was having some connectivity issues. I have no knitting pictures to show today. I've just been doing bus knitting, I'm working on my second pair of grey socks, ho hum. These are for Younger Son.

Dave purchased the first season of "Lois and Clark, The New Adventures of Superman" this weekend and he and the boys have been watching it with much enjoyment. I came upstairs to go to bed last night and they were all laying on the bed (only a full) watching it. So I squeezed in beside Younger Son and then constrictored my way in. By which I mean that every time YS shifted over at all I immediately moved into the space, so he was squeezed between his father and I. (The same method boa constrictors use to suffocate -- everytime you breath out they squeeze in more.) Fortunately the episode ended and they all trooped off downstairs and to the shower before we broke any ribs.

*My "normal" schedule is up at 6:00 AM, out of the house at 6:50 AM, work and then home and in the car at ~5:50 PM, then check on my dad and finally home for good at ~7:30 PM. Whew, I'm tired.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This Is Why You Swatch

Above is the state of my current Swatch Scarf. I have to say that I am disappointed in the lightest pink color. I tried it twice, and both times it failed. First in the brown/red section. Two problems there, too much contrast between my browns, but the light pink just disappears into the beige. So then I tried it again with the cream in the last section and it disappears again. It looked like enough contrast in the ball. Again, why you should swatch! I'll probably try it one more time with black. I am happy with the orange/yellow section. This sequence would look good flanked by a smaller blue band in a sweater, I think. I'm not 100% happy with the grey/blue section. I like the Greek key section at either end, but think the center part would look better if the background went from medium grey to light grey to white.

I like the Palette yarn, but I'm finding there's too much contrast between the mid and light tones in some of the colors. I could wish for four (or five!) steps instead of three. Also for some heathered color mixes. But it's nice you can get all the colors at once. I see the value especially when swatching like this. Wish I could do that for J&S and Jamieson's. I can see that amassing such a collection may be in my future.

I am feeling better, the antibiotic is working. I'm going to try sleeping in my bed tonight and see if I'm able to sleep laying down (I've been sleeping propped up on the couch because of the coughing.) Wish me luck.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I Don't Understand

I got this from Holly. Here are some things about this world I just don't understand:

*We can put men on the moon, but we still can't come up with diet food that has no calories, fat, or carbs but tastes just like chocolate cake.

*It costs more to make my own sweaters (or sew my own clothes) than to go and buy them at Wal-mart.

*People will believe whatever the spin-doctors tell them even in the face of evidence to the contrary and even though they know it's just political spin. Hello?


*Celebs who whine and complain (and are down-right mean and nasty) about "the price of fame". This is a surprise to them? Puh-lease! It's part of the job, why you get paid the big bucks. You should have chosen a different career.

*I'm still doing laundry and vacuuming the same way my mother did 35 years ago. Scientific progress?

So what don't YOU understand?

I'm still sick. I called the doctor today. The conversation went like this:
Appt. Secretary: The next available appointment is July 11.
Me: Well, I would like to see the doctor about some non-pressing issues, but I have this really bad chest cold right now. Today I've been having a problem with some shortness of breath.
Appt.Secretary: You could call back and try to get an emergency appointment, but you have to call early in the day, there are only so many appointments reserved for emergencies. You can try calling in again and see if you can get one for today...
Me: ?? I'm at work right now, I couldn't possibly get there in less than an hour. What about tomorrow?
Appt. Secretary: Well, there are some appointments for tomorrow, but you'll have to call in really early because there are only a few because the doctor's only here until noon.
Me: ??? I can't get down for an emergency appointment right now??
Appt. Secretary: No, you have to call in tomorrow morning, early.

So I'll be Dialing for Doctors early tomorrow morning and if that fails, on Monday morning. If I'm still not successful I'm going to ask that the doctor just call me in a prescription for an antibiotic, and I can just follow up with him in July (which I don't think the woman on the phone set up anyways.)

So, I'm coughing too much to knit alot. Just a bit on the bus. Bleah.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Still Sick

Bleah. Thunderstorms woke me up at 3:00 AM and I couldn't get back to sleep. I went to work because I was so miserable here at home I just wanted to go somewhere else. Wonder how Dave and Younger Son are getting on camping (in a tent!) in all this wild weather.

So, not much knitting going on here, in the House of Sick. Here's the scarf:

The last motif looks ok, but I think I should have shaded some. So shading from here on in unless it's a peerie.

And here's the current sock. I'm at the toe shaping on this, the first of the pair. Should have the pair done by the end of next week. Then I think I'm going to take a break from socks and knit a baby sweater. I'm in the mood for a small sweater, I think.

And on the bright side, my prodigal size 1 dpn (the fifth of the set) has returned to me after an extended vacation lurking under the passenger seat in my car. Unfortunately, Celtic Queen's needle (which I was looking for when mine turned up) was nowhere to be found. Maybe it threw mine out of the really good hiding spot?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


And the living is easy (not). But this: "Your daddy's rich, and your mama's good-looking." I told Older Son it was written about him. He says his daddy's not rich, though. Smart kid!

To quote Han Solo, "I feel terrible." I'm suffering with a nasty summer cold. My chest feels really tight and I'm all coughy and wheezy. But the poor Younger Celting is worse off than me. He's crying and complaining of an earache. I told his mom I can relate, I feel like crying too. I took some cough medicine (can't take any decongestants, I'm allergic to all the good ones, bummer) and had a hearty dinner (we're going on the feed a cold theory here), got into bed, and I do feel a little better. I'm hoping to be over the worst by the weekend.

And I did get a bit of knitting done last night, I worked on my scarf, finishing up a motif. Now I'm trying to decide on the next one. I think the colors are going to be chocolate brown and red. I saw a woman get on the bus last week wearing all dark brown and carrying a bright red purse. It's not a color combination I would have chosen, but I kinda liked it. So I want to explore some possibilities.

Happy Summer Solstice to all, and try to be safety conscious while frolicking about the bonfires.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


So I've been having these conversations with myself that go something like this:
Me: You should be cleaning.
Me: I know, I know. I'm just so tired.
Me: But Dave and Younger Son are gone for the week. Now's your chance to get rid of their stuff.
Me: Yeah, but Older Son will just narc on me when they get back.
Me: Get off your butt and start moving stuff upstairs.
Me: Well, but I'm knitting. You know, that's kind of like cleaning. If I knit up all this yarn, it won't be just laying around anymore.

You see where this is headed. So here's my current bus knitting.

If I knit up all this sock yarn I won't have to put it away ;)

And that's almost like cleaning, right?

And here's an extra bonus. When I was putting this sock up, one of my needles flew off and landed behind my nightstand. When I went in search of it I found this.

The pattern I borrowed from Celtic Queen to make my Olympic Bag. I'd had absolutely NO idea where it had gotten to. CQ asked me about it and I was kinda vague ("Oh yeah, I keep forgetting it. Heh, heh") and changed the subject quickly (So, how're those socks coming?"). Now I can return it and spare myself all the abasement and offers to buy a new pattern, etc.

Finally, another conversation I had with Older Son when we were at the movies as part of his month-long 17th birthday extravaganza.

Me:Sipping OS's gargantuan "won't' make it through a feature length film without having to go to the bathroom" Sprite.
OS:Ostentatiously wiping off the straw after I put the drink back.
Me:What? I'm your mother. You can't share with me? You came out of me!
OS: Yeah, well that was a long time ago. You've changed since then.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Other SP Package

I came home from work today to discover a package on the front porch. It was from my Other SP!

I got:
Some amazing sock yarn (hmmm, maybe Pomatomus?)
A Chibi (yeah!!!)
Some chocolate (mmmm, and tiramisu is my FAVORITE!)
And a totally cool sock bag. (The color is off in the picture, it's really violet.) But look at the applique -- it's a sock, but it also could be an "L" for Laurie! (Humor me here.) How cool is that?

For all you non-spinners out there, I'll pass this bit of info along. The current (Summer 2006) issue of Spin-Off magazine features an article on dyeing sock yarn to make self-striping patterned skeins. Combine that with the "blank" (i.e. dye-able) sock yarn you can get from Knit Picks and even a non-spinner's in business. Well worth the price of the magazine, and there are some cool knitting patterns and other articles in there as well.

Ok, that's about it for the knitting news here. I did a little bit on my Sampler Scarf at knitting night on Friday, but not really anything noteworthy. I'm on the heel of my second pair of grey socks (this pair is for Younger Son), knitting those on the bus. Ho hum.

And as to why there's been no knitting, I've been reading. I'm auditioning books for Younger Son to spend the summer reading. I read
Magyk by Angie Sage and recommend it for the middle school + crowd (a bit long maybe for YS, though). And right now I'm looking at the Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III books (How to Train Your Dragon, How To Be a Pirate, and How to Speak Dragonese)[Phooey. Blogger won't do the pictures.] GREAT books for boys ages 6+. Younger kids will enjoy having them read aloud to them, and a great introduction to chapter books for slightly older kids. These are going off with YS to Florida.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

No Progress

Yep, nothing to report here. And I don't even feel like knitting tonight. I think I must be sick. Actually, I'm putzing (puttzing? putzzing?) around on-line looking for some inspiration and/or planning future projects. Hmmm, I have three cones of yarn in the garage that I'm thinking might maybe could be enough for a lace shawl. Hmmm. Convertible? Ella? Snowdrop? Something I come up with on my own? And I've been trying to write the pattern for The Celting and having difficulties getting started with that (read: procrastination). Also, I'm thinking I'd like to come up with a basic pattern for a shell to wear under my suits. I have four shells I wear all the time; two black, a white, and a cream. I'd kind of like to mix it up with some color, and it might be a good way to use up some stash. And I wish it were Friday already!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Progress and a Rant

Progress first, then the rant. I finished my bus knitting socks for Older Son today on the way home. I gave them to him and he was as appreciative as ever (which is not much). I will start on some tomorrow for Younger Son from the same grey patterned yarn but with a solid grey for the cuff, heel, and toe (so as to differentiate the pairs).

Here's my progress on the Fairisle scarf. I'm working on what will end up being the largest motif. Turns out that most of the larger Fairisle designs really are 24 stitch repeats (John Allen's are all 24 sts, but I thought he tweaked them to match the 24 sts that fit on the old knitting machine punch cards -- his book is a bit biased to the knitting machine). Live and learn, I'll just use the peerie and border patterns from McGregor, which are all multiples of 6, 7, 8, or 12. So, if you want to knit the "Big" motifs, just cast on 96 sts. (Got that, Heather?) Of course, had I seriously looked at motifs before casting on and knitting I would have know this, but where's the fun in that??

Progress on a different front -- I went shopping for new clothes today, seeing as how I got dressed this morning and realized I was swimming in my clothes (always a good thing) and then my skirt started disintegrating (coming apart at the seam) right before my eyes at work (not so much a good thing). So I bought a new suit -- Get this -- TWO SIZES smaller. Woo Hoo!


OK, the rant. I was forwarded an e-mail today that claimed to be a petition to be sent to Gov. Schwarzenegger and President Bush calling for a moratorium on "any social services" to "anyone not a citzen of the US". Jeez. Everytime I get one of these things I want to respond with "Gee, you seem like such a nice person, I never realized before what a bigot you were." ARRRGH, I just hate these knee-jerk "I'm an Ammurican" reactions to things. Can't anyone think these things through??? Do I think the immigration system/laws in the US need reformed? Absolutely. Do we have a problem with illegal aliens? You bet. But what is denying people social services going to do?

First off, social services usually means medicaid and welfare. Well, welfare is a drop in the US budget. Less than 1%, if I read the numbers right (I'm looking at the 2006 federal budget). Medicaid, now, is about 1/3 of the budget of the Health and Human Reasources Dept. which is about 1/3 of the Federal budget. So that's what? 1/3 of a 1/3 or 1/9? About 10%. And that's for EVERYBODY. Even if illegal aliens are half of that we're down in the single digits %-wise. (Perspective? We're spending more on the Medicare prescription drug program). Compare that with what we're spending on defense, which is about another 1/3 of the budget (slightly less). BUT, that doesn't include all those "extra" billions allocated to the war. OK now, imagine that we do deny these people health care....What does that do? Well it puts alot of people who are really sick and/or dying out in the public for you and I to deal with. Hello? Do YOU want to see people dropping over dead in the street? Do you want to deal with what they will infect you and yours with? There's a reason the gov't provides access to health care! Yes, it's humanitarian, but it's also for the public good!

Next, what about people who are not citizens but who are here legally? They should be denied social services? My family and I spent time living in a foreign country (legally) where we were not citizens. By this definition we wouldn't have had access to any social services. And what about those people working towards citizenship? It takes years, sometimes decades. So these people get no services for that time? While they're paying taxes?

Come on, people give it a rest! The system/process for becoming an US citizen has become so convoluted and prolonged it's a joke. Unless you are Native American your people were "illegal aliens" too (they certainly didn't have the permission of the current government to come here). Really, we should be grateful this group hasn't decided to act like the last group and decimate us then round the survivors up onto reservations.

Honestly, I don't know what the solution to the immigration problem is. I think illegal immigration, like any illegal activity is wrong. I think stiff fines to businesses who employ illegals should be part of the solution (they're the ones who reap the benefits, here.) As an aside, Dave thinks (half-seriously) we should just annex Mexico. (They all want to be in America? Let's just make where they are America.)

OK, I've said way more than I should about this. I guess in a nutshell what gets me is this response without knowing/caring about all sides of the issue. It's the whole mob mentality and people reacting to what they've been told, not what the facts really are. Gets me every time! Don't even get me started on the whole cup of coffee/frivolous lawsuit thing....

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

And the Winner Is...

Yes! The Fairisle Sampler Scarf. Details: 84 sts (a multiple of 7, 14, 6, & 12) on size US3 16" circular needle. Yarn is KnitPicks Palette. Patterns are being chosen at random from the book Traditional Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila McGregor (so far) and may include some from Fabulous Fairisle by John Allen. And maybe some from some other sources if I see any. My goal is to mix colors in both conventional and unconventional ways while knitting a great variety of Fairisle patterns. I have 5' to 6' of knitting to do it in, too! I also plan to make a "matching" (i.e. multi colored) tam and mittens.

In other news, I'm planning my summer vacation. I will be gone the week of August 5th through the 12th. I'm going to Florida to visit my sister. Younger Son will be going as well.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I went to WWKIP day and knitted away. Celtic Queen stood me up, but it was her loss. (She and the Celtings went to the zoo. It was the perfect day for it, so I can't fault her. I'm just glad she wasn't mad because I was teasing her.)

Keana did a great job organizing, I saw the red balloons and knew right where to go. There were lots of local knitters. Krista and Lea were there when I showed up, but left before I could get pics, and I met Anita and her mom and sister who got there just before I left so I didn't get pics of them either.
But, here's (l-r)Heather and Donna (who was my PGH Secret Pal. Great to finally meet you, Donna!), and Patty (along with Donna's son and daughter, who were pretty patient with the knitting stuff). Donna had some amazing socks -- her Pomatomus socks made me want to knit some myself!

Steven was there with his wife Carol who was crocheting and his black bag.

Also, (l-r) Stephie's mom (another crocheter), Stephie, our lovely, talented and very gracious hostess Keana and her daughter, another knitter.
And two other knitters, who I believe are blogless. I know the young lady on the left from the bus, I sit and knit with her and her mom every once in awhile. Her mom's the one who clued me in to the magazine with the article on knitting in Paris before I went there. (I had a picture, but apparently Blogger feels I've exceeded my picture limit for the day. Hmmph.)

So you would think from all the pictures that I fit right in and had a good time, right? Well I did have a good time, but I think I was kind of a...dork. Sorry! I'm kinda shy! "Slow to warm" is the PC way of saying it (I do really poorly at job interviews too). But anyways, if anyone's reading this, it was great meeting everyone, and I hope to meet you all again. Hopefully I'll "warm up" a bit! You're all welcome Knitting Nights at the Barnes & Noble at South Hills Village.

Friday, June 09, 2006


It's Friday! Hooray! I got to leave work early, too. I was supposed to go to Physical Therapy with my Pap, but there was a scheduling snafu and they cancelled on me. So he's going to go on Tuesday with Celtic Queen (And is it a coincidence that I post about what a hottie the therapist is and now CQ is all, "I can take him, I'm working out at the gym anyways..."?? You decide.) Anyways, I got home earlier than expected, and so Dave and I ended up going for a walk (a FOUR MILE walk -- I know because I used to walk it EVERY morning). So now I'm all stiff and sore and my knee really hurts. I think I need some physical therapy....

I'm too tired to do anything, and I still haven't made a decision about my project. BUT, I'm going to WWKIP tomorrow (and CQ and the celtings too) then to wander the Arts Festival. So hopefully I'll see some of you there (I'll be limping and undecided.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006


What's up with Blogger? It's in and out -- can't connect (Our engineers are working on the problem") then you can...So I'm going to post in quick little installments while I can.

While the initial response seems to be for the Fair Isle sampler scarf, I thought of some other projects.


All the yarn (you may recognize it, it's the same yarn I used for my Olympic Entrelac Bag) to make a Lopi-style yoke sweater.

And this:

Self-striping (at least it says so) sock yarn (but it's acrylic). I don't think anyone would wear socks from this (and the rose color? SO not the guys' thing). But I got it because it was drastically marked down at the yarn store going out of business (it was like $1.50 a skein!!) I thought I could use it for a baby sweater or something. Maybe some gloves.


Enough ribbon tape yarn to make a little summery sweater for me. I knit most of it last summer, then got distracted...But it won't fit me this summer (because I'm SMALLER) so I'll have to rip and restart.

And (not pictured) enough of a beautiful dark red wool yarn I envision as a cabled/textured sweater for me.

You see? This is no easy decision. I'm still debating. (But yeah, the scarf is out there in front.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

I'm trying to decide on my next big "at home" project (it's usually socks for the commute). I'd put up a survey, but you know, I wouldn't listen to all of you anyways, and I'm kinda lazy to boot. But, I'll list out all the possible contenders (so far) and you can comment or send out mental vibes to try to influence my decision, if you're into that kind of thing.

1) Fair Isle scarf, made with the Palette sampler yarn pack I got from Knit Picks. I want to see how the colors will mix and match.

2) SideWays, the silk and ribbon tee I'm knitting with Tess' yarn. As I mentioned, I'm kind a scared of screwing this up, but I gotta do something with it, right?

3) Vest for Older Son from the kit I got featuring his doppleganger.

4) A big old poinsettia sweater kit I bought many years ago. It's acrylic. And intarsia. I don't know if I'll ever get it done. No picture because I can't find one online and I don't know where I stuffed the instructions for this one. But it's BIG and INTARSIA.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Socks and Physical Therapy

Here's a picture of the current sock knitting. Ho hum, grey. What a surprise! (Actually, this pic is from yesterday, for whatever reason Blogger would not allow it in yesterday's post.) I've done a bit more on it, I've turned the heel and am working down the foot. I should finish this one tomorrow. Knitting on size 1s instead of 0s sure does make the knitting go faster! I've got several skeins of this and a blue version to make socks for "The Guys". What excitement.

I got lots of knitting done because today was Physical Therapy day! Yippee! I prepared by dropping my car off at Pap's yesterday so I just took the trolley out to his place (45 minutes) then I sat and knitted during his therapy session (~ an hour). And the therapist? Totally HOT! (I just knew he would be.) I was thinking about all these sports injuries Pap keeps getting. And really, the next one has got to be the groin. But you know, a Totally HOT guy working my groin when I'm 85? I should be so lucky. (Hmm, but Pap may not think so...If he's lucky he'll get the cute blonde girl.) Seriously, though -- If you're in need of PT I can't speak highly enough of this place --- Mercy Rehabilitation Services in Bethel Park (in the HealthTrax center behind Wal-Mart on 88). Very good people (and they're all so good looking! It was like a WB show!) and they have the therapy pool and everything.

But with all of that it was a looong day again. Out the door at 6:45 AM, not home until 8:15 PM. So here I am having mixed nuts (who ate all the eggs?) and diet coke for dinner again...

Monday, June 05, 2006


You know what you do when you want to lay your claim to something? Well, here's this:

It's my Booga J Bag in my bright, bright Noro Kureyon. Love the yarn, love the bag. I figured out the Kureyon, and think I could sooo copy it, just have to dye me up some colors. Anyways, back to our story. So what's a girl to do when she finds herself at the end of a skein there in the parking lot at the Post Office waiting for her husband who is taking forever in there with a yarn that's perfect for spit-joining and so expensive she doesn't want to waste a single inch of it? Yeah, I spit on it. (It's MINE, I licked it! Twice!) And it worked great, too. I figure I'm going to be washing it when I felt it anyways. But the yarn? The color repeat is longer than a skein length! Look at this. Here's a close up of the beginning. See that light pink and the purple after it? That's where Skein 1 started. Now, look at the whole bag again, above. Skein 1 ends and Skein 2 begins just after the dark blue stripe (the orange stripe). Skein 2 ends just after the next dark blue stripe. Notice there's no light pink in sight? It doesn't show up until almost the end of Skein 3 (I used most of Skein 3 for my I-cord -- it's there in the last few inches of it). And the yellow stripe you see in Skeins 1 and 2? Doesn't show up at all in Skein 3. See what I mean?
This could drive some OCD people nuts. But not me, I figured it was long enough (longer than a skein length!) to look random, so I just joined it together any old way.

Since I finished this yesterday, I cast-on some generic socks. Guy colors (ho, hum) grey and white, but at least self-patterning. I got the yarn awhile back on Elann. The color repeats seem a little wonky, but at least it's guy colors...

And Lisa? I think you missed Dave, as he was lamenting missing the Google team. He really wants to work there. (He sent his resume off via e-mail). But darn! If I had known there would be a knitter there..But then again, someone had to herd boys into the showers, since they'd never go willingly...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My Day

It started off as usual, shower, dress, get ready for work. I got to knit on the bus (still making those socks for Younger Son). Work was more or less the usual -- my computer was acting up so I had to use the "spare" one. (It's not really "spare" -- it's the one hooked up to the scanner where we image all our documents, and I share it with a co-worker. But not today!)

Excitement!! I went to the Yarn Store at lunch, but I got SP stuff so I can't show it. Home, more bus knitting.

Walked in the front door of my house, picked up Younger Son, walked out the back door and went to Wal-Mart (sorry Heather) because I had to get some Niacin for my dad, and I looked for some snaps for my baby thingie I knitted over the weekend. Years ago I bought some tape that had the snaps all sewed in already; that was what I wanted. But they didn't have any. Maybe if I had gone to a real fabric store I could have got me some, but I was pressed for time and I had a Wal-Mart gift card so I had to get what I could get. Which was some velcro stuff. Not as good, the yarn is just a bit fuzzy and I think it will get all fuzzed up. But what the heck, this is for a newborn for crying out loud, he's not going to fit in it long enough for the velcro to get fuzzed up. I also got some fabric glue stuff because even though the velcro stuff says its self-sticking I want to make sure it's not going anywhere.

Then to my dad's and I had to fill out a million pieces of paper for him to go to Physical Therapy tomorrow. We were at the doctor's yesterday, and the doctor looked at his shoulder that he fell on last weekend and announced that he has a torn rotator cuff (you know, like the baseball pitchers). So he has to go to physical therapy again. Last year it was for a torn hamstring. I'm seeing an eerie correlation between sports injuries and geriatric injuries. But we're happy to go to the PT, Pap did great with it last year. It's just the million pieces of paper to get started. And Dave's taking off to take Pap to the appointment, so I had to get everything ready, all paperclipped together and placed prominently on the console in my car. (I just hope Dave remembers to take my car tomorrow. Not just for the papers, but because Pap won't fit in his car.)

Then YS and I stopped and got some dinner at the McD's up the road (it was about 8:00 by then) and came home to eat. (BTW, I love the new Asian salad.) I passed Dave on our street as I was pulling up. We rolled down our windows and said "Hello". He's going to Geek Night with his friend and cohort Mark Stroup. So I ate dinner, herded boys into the shower, read some blogs, and here I am.

So how was your day? I'm ready for bed.