Needle Tart

If I'm not knitting or sewing something, I must be cooking something!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bring Out Yer Dead

It's official. Franklin and The Harlot have both posted sad, depressed, and/or frustrated posts. There's a virus out there and its target is blogland. CYS (Cover your Stash)!!

In thinking (probably over-thinking) this thing, for me personally, I used to do amazing stuff (stencil over the fireplace with computer printouts and contact paper, sweaters for the boys, quilts for the walls, intricate embroidery). Now I look at it and wonder who that woman was. The hands hurt even while knitting, the lungs can't catch enough air and I am lazy, lazy, LAZY!!! Maybe it's that The Boys are old enough to be on their own, maybe because The Husband isn't here and doesn't need upkeep (hmmm... there's a thought, feel un-needed do we? Or worse, there's no audience. How shallow.) So, how are you?

On The Husband front, I went to visit a week or so ago and this is where he is staying:
It's an amazing place and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way. Nothing in the immediate area is more than 10 years old. And this in what could arguably be called the cradle of the country. You know, our 200+-year-old country? I think this is what most Americans aspire to. Everything is clean and new and lovely and looks great. The service staff is mostly Hispanic (and what does it say about this place that when I say, "Good Morning!" with a big smile they back away slowly......) and very efficient.
See that lovely pool? Every morning I do 40 laps and I am the only person in the pool (well sometimes there's a six-year-old). The other adults dip to get wet and lay on the deck chairs to tan. See the pool, don't use the pool. I checked throughout the day and for a week I was the only person I saw swimming in the swimming pool. Amazing.

So, you ask, what was there to do besides swim? The Husband had the car (after all the whole point is that he has well-paid work to do) and the only thing within walking distance (and don't get me started on how America has become the land of the car. Walk? Why would you do that?)is a mall. A mall with no yarn store!! Good thing I packed a little yarn.

This is the Summer Lace Shawlette from Interweave Knits Summer 2006.
Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss in Dusk. I used a little more than one skein.
Needles: KnitPick Options size 8.
Changes: None.
There is one mistake (well, one I'll claim) in the lace but it's only noticeable when you are right up close to it. I also bound off too tightly so I ripped out the last three rows and did it right, after I took this picture. The faroese shaping was easy and makes it drape very nicely. Would I do it again? Probably not. As I've mentioned before, I have pretty wide shoulders (Upon meeting me for the first time, a cousin exclaimed, "Good Lord! An Amazon!!" I think he meant it kindly, but WTF?) and this little number emphasizes the whole shoulder area.
I also finished the Madder Ribbed socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. Sorry, can't find the picture assuming I took one. I would like to work my way through the "instructional" part of the patterns so I can try out different heels and toes.
I had plenty of time on my hands so I started the Embossed Leaf socks from Favorite Socks. I've almost finished the first one and will post pictures later.
Soon I'll be leaving to spend two weeks with The Husband (Now that The Baby has passed his driving test and can get himself to work). It's our last chance to get a little "vacation" time before school starts. If I stay for two weeks, we can do some sight-seeing (Ohh! Museums! Yarn Stores!) on his "week-end". So what will I be knitting you ask? I was going to try a Sthalman shawl, but in writing about the shawlette I've realized that while it may be lovely knitting, it's a bad fashion choice for me. So maybe I'll try out one of the lace scarves in Victorian Lace Today. I'll just have to save one of those faroese shawls for a normal shouldered friend. The big question is, "Should I order a little more yarn in a different weight so I can give the hands a rest?" Why, yes. Yes, I think that would be an important thing to do.........

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Doldrums

Thanks to Samurai for saying this better than I would, has become duty,

Quilting - at least one hand-quilted king size quilt and 3 queen/king size quilts behind.

Knitting - not behind really, but no challenge in sight. Everything has that "been there, knit that" feeling (and before you suggest it, I have never knit a full lace shawl, or entrelac)

Embroidery - Meh. working from a chart someone else made feels too much like cheating (if I'm so smart, why don't I design my own? Huh? Huh??)

Gardening - There are so many wonderful projects on the back burner, but it's hot and the rest of the gardens need to be kept up (and Elder Son watered while I was away. Should dianthus leaves be black?)

House Cleaning - Stop laughing! You there, get off of the floor! Do you know how long it's been since I washed it? (Although I did clean the freezer yesterday)

Re-Decorating - Elder Son can't find a place to move that he can afford until he does move and can work as a tutor full time. As for the rest of the house, first I would have to get rid of The Husband so I can reduce the piles. I'll keep the piles. Beside most of the summer money I saved is gone due to one emergency or another.

Baking - Sigh. I did bake up a storm yesterday, but all from tried and true recipes. The boys are convinced they will starve if I go south the The Husband for two weeks. I made four kinds of cookies yesterday. Now if I would only clean the basement freezer, I would have some place to put them.

Reading - I know. New Harry Potter!! See re-decorating. No money. Otherwise, I have read almost every cozy murder mystery in the library. Amy, write faster. I'll hock a kid.

Blogging - I read you guys every day. Really I do. Sometimes three times. And every day I think I should post more often. But 2 comments? Who's reading? Amy and The Coach. Hi, guys!

Planning for the fall classes - I don't even have the syllabus for the third grade yet. All I know for sure is that it's time we learned the Hebrew calendar. Other than that, I'm a sub, no planning needed.

Exercise - All right. I do swim three days a week (that's all the pool is open) and I have started swimming 3/4 of a mile, but it's too hard (she whines) to do anything else.

Man, where did the joie de vivre go? Where ever it is could you point it back here? Thanks.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Where the heck is Stalag 16?

For those of you who haven't seen The Great Escape, just bear with me. Before it got so awfully hot here I was going great guns on the garden. For many years I have looked at the mess in from of the garage and thought I should do something with it. Just as in knitting, there are no easy patterns. You can always make things more complicated. This was the start:
Lots of weeds, no flowers. Whenever The Husband is in a lawn mood he just weed-whacks everything off at soil level. Now, a normal person would pull the weeds and plant something pretty. Ha! I decided that if I was going to all the work of putting something in, I should do it "right". That meant pulling up all the weeds, digging down 8-10", sifting all the soil (you would not believe how much broken glass I got, not to mention the hypodermic needles I found, and yes, I was wearing heavy leather gloves), amending the soil, returning the soil to the trench and then planting pretties. Here is the trench:

It's 16.5 feet (just about 5 meters) long and about two feet (or 50 centimeters) deep. The longer I dug the deeper it got. After I got it all sifted (which took about three days or 20 hours of digging) I added two big bales of peat moss and filled everything back in.

The Husband made lots of jokes about whether I had gotten the tunnel finished, or if I had any room for a yellow fever victim. He didn't do any of the digging for his usual reason, "You seemed to know what you were doing and I didn't want to bother you." At any rate he added some decorations of his own. The Baby had asked if his girlfriend could come and visit for a couple of weeks and as a hostess gift, she brought me a beautiful white rose. Now we have a rose garden.

With any luck next spring I will have something better than weeds to look at when I look out of the kitchen window.

Knitting Content:
After a day at the dig (and I thought anthropology sounded fun) I went in and knit a few little things. For Baby's girlfriend (and do I need to say I love this girl?) Fetching mitts. I put a few rows of ribbing at the finger end rather than the picot bind-off because that seems more practical.


Yarn: Some inexpensive cashmere from AC Moore's

Needles: Size 5 DPNs
Pattern: Fetching from Knitty
Changes: 3 rows K1P1 ribbing instead of picot bind-off

It took me two evenings to knit (after ditch digging) and The Girlfriend was suitably impressed. She is spending her Junior year abroad and I hope she will remember us fondly.
I also knit a pair of Red Hat socks for myself. I kind of liked the spiral of color on the first sock, but it wasn't as attractive on the second (and Amy, I found Sensational Socks on the library table buried under The Husband's mail). At any rate they are colorful and comfy to wear.
Tomorrow I am going off with The Husband to keep him company while he travels for work. The boys will be on their own (19 and 22, will the house survive? Stay tuned). I was getting my list made for packing and of course the knitting came first. A pair of Madder Ribbed socks for The Husband, Embossed leaf socks for me (from the same yarn, I didn't realize I had ordered 4 skeins for socks for him) and a shawlette (scroll down it's the first one) for while he is at work and I can really concentrate. Just in case there is a pair of grey tweed basic socks in the car so I will always have something at hand. There's even a pool at the apartment where his company is putting him up. I can sleep late (well, later than he. He gets up a 3am!!), breakfast, go for a swim, and be ready to go sight-seeing or shopping when he gets home. The company he works for even gives him money for food every day! Vacation time ahead!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


It's so hot here in PA that the computer is whining about being on. So, rather than show you what I've been up to (pictures are taking forever), I'm going to borrow a meme from Amy.
It's like Scattegories, but I have to use the first letter of my name. Here goes:

~Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following.
~They MUST be real places, people, etc. Nothing made up.
~If you can't think of anything, skip it.
~Try to think of different answers if the person before you had the same first initial.
~You can't use your name for the boy/girl question.

Your name: Bonnie
1. Famous singer: Barbara
2. 4-letter word: Bull (gotta keep that "G" rating)
3. Street: Beech Street
4. Color: Blue
5. Gifts: Baubles, bangles, bright shiny beads!
6. Vehicle: Balloon
7. Things in a souvenir shop: See #5
8. Boy's name: Benjamin
9. Girl's name: Betty
10.Movie title: Bringing up Baby
11. Drink: Bacardi and Coke (Blecch)
12. Occupation: Bartender
13. Celebrity: Barbara
14. Magazine: Bon Appetit
15. US City: Buffalo, NY
16. Pro sports team: Are you kidding" All right then: The Brooklyn Dodgers
17. Reason for being late for work: Baby kept me up all night.
18. Something you throw away: Broken plate (this morning)
19. Thing you shout: Beware!!
20. Cartoon Character: Bucky (the cat in Get Fuzzy!)

There! It only took one or two trips to Google to finish this. Next ? How about Reesie?
If it ever cools down and I have access to the computer with pictures, I'll tell you about my search for Steve McQueen.