Friday, May 30, 2008

Quidditch, Round 1, Take 5

I am involved in the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap #5. It's Quidditch time, which means we answer a bunch of questions about the book that matches the swap # we are in (5), and post some pictures. Sometime tomorrow, we will also be looking for the snitch. Means nothing to you, you say? You must not be an HP fan!

Here's my go at it:

1. Which of Arabella Figg's cats ran out from under the car?

a. Tibbles

2. Which of the following is NOT one of Albus Dumbledore's middle names?

a. Ignatius

3. Which educational decree introduced a High Inquisitor to Hogwarts?

a. 22

4. Apart from Harry, Ron and Hermione, who was the first person to enter the Hog's Head that showed an interest in Harry's Defence Against the Dark Arts classes?

  1. Neville Longbottom

5. In the first Quidditch match of the year which player attempted to score first?

a. Angelina Johnson

6. What kind of bush does Harry hide behind to listen to the news?

b. A hydrangea bush

7. Why is Mundungus Fletcher disguised as a woman when he witnesses the DA (Dumbledore's Army) meeting in the Hog's Head pub?

b. He was banned from the Hog’s Head pub 20 years ago.

8. When Harry and Cho go on their first date to Madam Puddifoot's in Hogsmeade, what is it decorated with for Valentine's Day?

c. Golden cherubs and pink confetti

9. How old is Sturgis Podmore and where does he live?

a. 38 and number 2 Laburnum Gardens Clapham

10. What did Fred and George Weasley do to Montague?

a. Forced him head-first into a Vanishing Cabinet on the first floor.

Picture Scavenger Hunt

Fred and George Weasley (Together)

Hog’s Head Pub

Sirius Black

Mr. Weasley & Harry (Together)

Draco Malfoy

And that's pretty much it. I did discover some pretty juicy news while doing my picture search - I'll share that later on this weekend. I also figured out where the (first) Lizard Ridge Afghan is going to go. I've got so many yarn dreams dancing in my head, just waiting for next week to be FINISHED, it's a shame. C'mon June 9th!!!


Monday, May 26, 2008

Cute Trick

I go this idea from Fleur Dolohov from HSKS5 - thanks Fleur!

First, you go here, keep refreshing until you find 5 quotations that resonate with you, then post them to your blog for a little glimpse into the way you work. Blog-stalking at it's best, yes?

Here are mine:

After all it is those who have a deep and real inner life who are best able to deal with the irritating details of outer life. – Evelyn Underhill

The only gift is a portion of thyself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must accept that this creative pulse within us is God’s creative pulse itself. – Joseph Chilton Pearce

I always wanted a happy ending... Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.

Gilda Radner

No one else can speak the words on your lips Drench yourself in words unspoken Live your life with arms wide open Today is where your book begins The rest is still unwritten

Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten

I particularly like the one by Gilda Radner. That was a hard lesson for me to learn back in the day.

What about you?


Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Thought It Would Explode!

My heart, that is!

The Boy performed today at his first violin recital. Thanks to the wonders of livin' wit' my momma and such, I have the luxury of being able to put him through a Suzuki violin program. They have a partnership with his school, so they come right to school, take him out of class for one half hour a week, and work their miracles. He practices occasionally at home (much more in the last month, since his teacher said the word "recital" to me), and was able to play a basic rhythm - Mississipi Hot Dog. His teacher calls it "BREAD." Basically, someone reminds him of when to switch his fingers to get the different notes, and then he plays the same rhythm on each note. It all leads up to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, which you would think was a basic enough song. But the way the Suzuki people do it, that's a goal, not a starting point, and they all get it! Great. I was a very proud mamma, I'll tell you.

The place was packed. I had a very poor seat, but moved so I could have him in view when he was "on", which I think was good, because he could see me at the back of the room. I was wearing bright red, so I kinda stood out! He did great! Even claimed he wasn't nervous! Awww. My bAE-by!

Here he is before we left the house. He just can't be serious.

Unless he's playing the violin in front of 100 parents and family members:

Here's The Crew - the two buddies beside him are favorite runnin' buddies. All spoiled, all cute as hell.

In other news:

Can you keep a secret?

The headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix is at No. 12 Grimmauld Place.

That was for my HSKS5 peeps. Just keepin' it real. A sista wants some yarn, ya know?!

And, this:

is what has me insanely distracted right now. The beginnings of my Lizard Ridge Afghan. I know my short rows suck, but who cares with all those lumpy lizard ridges popping up all over the place? I think I finally "get" Noro now!!


Sunday, May 18, 2008

We Interrupt This Bleak Silence. . .

. . to give a BIG, BIG THANK YOU! to Helen, aka "Perry" who I'm spoiling this time around in the HSKS5. Yes, I'm supposed to be spoiling her, but she sent me a happy birthday song that SHE SANG HERSELF!!!! WOW - no one has ever given me a song before! She totally rocks, and now I'm thinking I'd best get to finding a rockin' bag to spoil her with, 'cause she CLEARLY knows something about spoiling people! Wow!

In other news, Robin started a new group in Ravelry - the Classic Elite Knitters. Come on by and join us - the reward is knitting up some great tops and garments to add to your wardrobe. Punish me!


Monday, May 12, 2008


This was the Saturday evening project that got completed. FINALLY, the Clapotis for my son's teacher is done. I'm thinking of the best time to gift it to her now. I might wait until his graduation, June 12th. Not sure, though. Still thinking. Any ideas?

So, today I took my first sick day of the year. I have been feeling worse, not better, this weekend. Could have something to do with The Boy getting strep throat, could have something to do with the fact that some YAHOO over on yahoo hot jobs (yes, I'm slammin' 'em) charged almost $2000.00 to my checking account, causing a huge negative balance, and overdraw fees out the wazoo. I itched my way through that phone call to the fraud department (I do not have a yahoo account AT ALL), and really, really needed a pain pill when it was all over!!

Sooooooo, needless to say - I didn't get as much relaxing done this weekend as I'd planned. Yesterday at the urgent care center with The Boy, I thought I was going to pass out standing there with him, and had to "steal" the seat his dad was occupying (there's a reason why I'm no longer married to this man) so that I wouldn't become a patient as well!

The only other thing I managed to do yesterday was swatch for the Shawl With Cables, start and restart the pattern several times with the Silky Tweed, decide it was just too soft to use in this pattern, count up the skeins of Kersti that I had on hand, and happily decide that the shawl would just HAVE to be knit it that instead. Darn the bad luck.

Here's the beginning of the shawl as of bedtime last night.

It's not that I knit that slow, but I did have some issues to deal with before sitting down to serious knitting, ya know!

I plan to plug away at it a bit more today. It's a really quick pattern (at least for now!) and great for someone just learning cables, if you're interested! There's just one cable row, followed by four patterned rows without. Quick and easy, and so pleasant in the Kersti. I love that stuff. It's color 522X if you are looking around for it. I am ADDICTED to the speckled colorways (remember my Clapotis?). Usually, when I see Koigu in a store or spot a deal online, I see what they have in the speckled colorways and only get some of that. I could do a whole collection of just speckled Koigu and be happy, happy, happy!


Friday, May 09, 2008


Apparently, when you make a big deal out of your birthday, the birthday fates bite you in the ass. I've been really loving my birthday this year, thinking about how much fun it is, and how many great things happen right around the time of my birthday, and saying that they are actually celebrations for MY birthday, and not the stuff they're meant for.

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival = my birthday party.

Teacher Appreciation week = I get more gifts for MY BIRTHDAY.

The Color Purple was playing at the Hippodrome in Baltimore? Just another BIRTHDAY celebration.

Well, not to the fates. The fates said - HEY, DON'T FORGET YOU'RE GETTING A YEAR OLDER, TOO.

I chose to ignore such blatant tries to rain on my parade.

The fates rained harder. They gave me shingles. Yup. Shingles.

Damn. Am I really old enough to have shingles? Isn't that supposed to be an old lady affliction? I mean, really. I'm NOT that old!

This is not amusing AT ALL.

Let's talk about some knitting and forget about the nasty illness taking over my nerves!

In a dream the other night, my next project came to me. I clearly saw some yarn I now have in my stash (thanks to a run to Yarn Garden for a swap package!) actually knit up in this pattern. It looked gorgeous. It's been on my mind since then, so I think I HAVE to knit it, yes?

As soon as I am finished with the Clapotis I'm knitting for my son's teacher (clearly I missed the deadline for Teacher Appreciation week. I suck.), I will cast on for this.

What am I using, you ask? How about some Elisabeth Lavold Silky Tweed? And, just because I'm not entirely sure I have enough to make the whole thing, I'll probably do a panel (maybe two) in some lovely Koigu Kersti from my stash. The colors blend really nicely and will fit in nicely with how I see myself wearing this stole - at work when the AC is turned up so cold that you need a sweater or jacket, or anytime at the movies. I'm always cold at those times, and I think the construction of this shawl will help it to stay on and not have me tugging on it like with fancier shawls (hello, MS3!).

Hope everyone is having a happy, healthy (ha!) knitting weekend. I'm off to finish that clap!


Sunday, May 04, 2008

My Annual Birthday Party

Those silly celebrities ain't got nothin' on me. When I throw a birthday party, thousands of people come, traffic is backed up for miles, there are animals, and people sell one of my favorite things - yarn/fibers of all types (and lots and lots of the hand-dyed stuff, which I really go for!).

Okay, okay, so it's more often known as the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, but they'll get it right eventually, yes???

I had a really nice time this year - as usual. I was very controlled in my spending/shopping, and in fact, didn't do most of my buying until after 5:00!! That may be due to the fact that The Boy was with me until 3:00, but still - WOW!

Here's the haul:

And here's the specs:

Goats Milk Soaps in Lavendar and Patchouli - one sheep and one plain bar each. I also got some eucalyptus scented Euclan from the same shop, but it was already put into use cleaning my Clapotis by the time I took this picture, so it's MIA.

Down front, you see a bag of natural bamboo top purchased from Brush Creek Wool Works (awesome little shop that I stop at year after year for their herbs and other natural products. One year I bought some really awesome curry there - YUM-O!). The bamboo top is 4 ounces that I got to spin, then dye this summer. I plan to have a big dyeing day where I experiment and see how I like dyeing my own stuff. Since I haven't done any dyeing since about 2002 when I used Kool-aid to make a scarf for The Boy (while he was just a baby!), it should be quite a learning experience!

Also from Brush Creek, I got essential oils - one patchouli and one lavendar. I love essential oils for perfume, and occasionally for making my closet smell good. I haven't bought any in years. I think I was due.

The fiber rinse you see pictured is some Unicorn Fiber Wash that I actually won at the Ravelry meetup (more on that later). So now, I'm stocked and ready to go with the fiber wash! I should have a wash/block party!!

The blue in the middle is some yummy Brooks Farm "Willow", a new yarn from one of my favorite yarn producers/dyers. It's 70% wool, 30% bamboo. I am very anxious to turn this into a summer top for myself, and will be scanning all known patterns for just the right one. Suggestions welcome!

The other purchases were made at the Woolstock Yarn Shop, which has a different deal at S&W than at Stitches. 50% off the normal price of a skein. Bummer, but still a good deal. They usually have RIDICULOUS deals like a complete BAG of yarn for about 75% off what it would normally cost. Ridiculous. I picked up the berry-colored yarn on the left (Alpaca Seta from Skacel) for half off - I think about $5.00 a skein. I also picked up three different skeins of Noro to start the Lizzard Ridge afgan. I am very intrigued by this pattern. Unfortunately, the wool fumes had me confused, and after looking back at the actual pattern, it actually calls specifically for Kureyon. Anyone know if the others will work? It's pretty much designed to work with the color repeats of Noro in general, right? Not just the one type of yarn? I got two skeins of Silver Thaw and one of Iro. The Iro has me positively mesmerized. Just look:

If it doesn't work in the afghan, I WILL find a different use for this one! Promise!

Other than that, I had a great time meeting up with TWO previous Secret Pals. Before I could even grab the phone to call, I ran smack-dab into Lisa - the pal that gave me the yarn I successfully made my Tempting sweater out of. I LOVE that sweater, and enjoyed talking to Lisa. She actually recognized me as I walked past her toward the first Ravelry meetup of the day - in the Rabbit House. She had other friends in tow, and worked the festival for all it was worth! After our initial meetup, I found her again coming out of the Carodan Wool Shop, but lost her somewhere in Tess' Designer Yarns. So sorry, Lisa - it got a bit confusing and crowded in there. Somewhere along the line, Lolly spotted me in the same booth. At the time she was talking to two of the ladies from Knit Happens, who seemed to be in every booth/place I stopped. I think they thought I was stalking them - it certainly appeared so! I promise, I'm harmless, everyone!!

Here's Lisa and friends:

Then, there was Heather, who I actually got to spoil by knitting socks for in the first Hogwarts Sock Swap I joined - last year at this time, I believe! When I saw her, she had an extra-special surprise for me! As if meeting her in person wasn't a big thrill to begin with - she actually brought me a hand-made goodie! I commented on a post she had on her blog wherein we were supposed to keep the spirit of paying-it-forward by getting, then giving handmade gifts. So, I commented, she promised the handmade goody, then I posted the same deal here on my blog and got . . . . . . . . . nada. Not one comment! Chickens!

Anyway - I promptly forgot that I was due a lovely, but Heather didn't - she gifted me the most spectacular market bag! I'd been thinking I needed a market bag since we recently had an Amish market move in down the street (literally, it's like our neighborhood grocery store!). Plus, there's the whole Earth day/one with nature/carbon footprint/environmental deal to worry about. And while I do recycle my plastic bags or reuse the heck out of 'em, a handmade one is SO much better! Thanks, Heather!!!!!!

After all that, I finally broke down and purchased the yarn from Brooks Farm that I was thinking about, then moseyed on out of the fairgrounds and down the street to Columbia for the Ravelry meetup at the Sheraton. It was a really great time, and I forced myself to break out of my normal quiet shell and meet some new people. It worked like a charm, and I met several great people! More on that in the next post!