Saturday, November 29, 2008


"Whatever you do, NEVER throw the ball for this dog!"

I've been cleaning out my stash, and I will give winner's choice to the first person to give me the name of the movie that line came from. The rest is going on Ravelry in the 'for sale or trade' section of my stash!

We've been saying that stinkin' line over and over here at my house.

Here's the culprit, momentarily sitting with my mother on the floor. Note what she has in her mouth!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Beautiful Boys

Monday night I went once again to my favorite jazz place (Blues Alley) and was witness to a great show (of course). The Christian Scott Quartet, while very-very-very young (!), played the most beautiful music!!!

I forget where I first heard of Christian Scott - probably on my David Sanborn "radio" station on (heard of it? It's GREAT at work!!!) But I absolutely LOVE his sound! He's originally from New Orleans, and much of his Anthem recording is very brooding and soul-stirring. Just the way I like my jazz very, very often! I went to his website, liked what I saw, went over to iTunes and downloaded some individual tracks and the entire Anthem CD. It's on my 25 most played on my iPod now. LOVE. Him.

HOWEVER!!! I had NO IDEA how young this man is! I just liked the music, period, end of story. Sooooooooo, Monday night when he and his quartet (equally as young) came out, I was pleasantly surprised to find that these young guys were responsible for the sounds I liked so much. Plus, they were all BE-U-TI-FUL!!! OMG! Wow. A quartet full of beautiful, talented guys. That is something that you really need to experience at a venue like Blues Alley. They were about 10 feet from me, playing all that beautiful music. Couldn't be better. While I watched, I had visions of The Boy turning into the bass player (that is the coolest instrument, EVER). That would be a logical next step from the violin, right? He's already halfway there!!

But really, it was a great show. They were all amazing musicians and artists. When he and his saxophone player played together on Katrina's Eyes, it was amazing. Those two instruments have never sounded more like one. Amazing. I was so glad I went.

Oh, and Christian - if you're reading this (as if), I can totally help you out with that baby dream. Just ask.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Out of Queue?

Ravelry sure has changed things around, hasn't it?

This past visit to Stitches East (the last in my dear Baltimore, I am afraid) helped me decide to kick a pattern out of my "queue" or "line" for knitting. Although I really like the pattern, I am no longer going to consider February Lady for knitting. Apparently, most people already assume I have, so why bother?

I wore my cotton, cropped Juliet, and got so many compliments - "What a great February Lady!" and "I like your February Lady." that I just might as well say I've done it. Actually, those people probably thought I couldn't follow a pattern to save my life!

Truly, the two patterns are very similar (probably why I liked the idea of February Lady so much), but different just the same. The basic idea is the same - garter stitch top, followed by an interesting lace pattern bodice. The FL includes lovely sleeves and buttons in "normal" places (I actually like the abnormal occasionally!) and is meant for worsted weight yarn. The Juliet was intended for a bulky yarn, or holding a worsted doubled throughout. Tomato, to-mah-to. I'm kicking FL out.

Since, apparently, I've already knit it in so many other knitters eyes, I'll move on to patterns I haven't knit yet! Maybe one day I'll knit everything in my queue that I want and have time to go back and "reknit" something.

Until then, get out of line, Ms. Lady. Make room for something new. (Which will, of course, have to wait until after the Christmas-knitting rush, which started about two weeks ago. Only and entire Lizard Ridge, NaNiSweMo to finish, and some spinning this year. Oh, and two scarves for Special Olympics that I could NOT say no to - now how the heck did that happen????).


Monday, November 10, 2008

Could Have Been Worse

This past weekend, I traveled (a whole hour) to Baltimore for Stitches East. As usual, I loved it. I didn't find any classes that I absolutely HAD to take, so I only did the fashion show and saved the rest of my money for shopping! I do love the fashion show, though (see the end of the post for just WHY!) - it's so inspiring and nice to see the knits in person and on a live person!

I tried to restrain myself. This post makes it look worse than it actually was. In the yarn department, at least, I bought only things that were planned or had a project I wanted/needed in mind.

Before leaving, I made sure to cast on for Snow White. I am anxious to knit this up and see how it looks. I'm hoping it's flattering. I love that I'm learning how to increase/decrease in a rib pattern! Yay for learning!The tubular cast-on has me sold. The way this works is slightly fiddly (but it could be worse!) but so totally worth it. I AM calling it "totally tubular!" no matter what my big sis says!! :P

I am much further than this now - in fact, I'm finished increasing at the back and just finishing up the bust increases. Fascinating!!!

My haul from Tess' Designer yarns. The blue is her Superwash Merino to knit the Cable-Down Raglan with. I loved Robin's version done in the same yarn in a gray colorway, so I had to try to repeat it. Let's hope it looks as good on me as it does on her! The charcoal is some Silk/Ivory I picked up to knit a Clapotis to be auctioned at The Boy's school. We totally wanted a luxury yarn, and the staff there helped us find just the right color. AND they offered to give us 10% off that yarn purchase. They are so nice!!!! The green there is some Baby Bunny for a super-helpful co-worker who is expecting in April. She deserves something yummy for her little one!

Some Pima Cotton Silk I got from Brand Name Designer Yarns. I think I'll do the Green Gable Hoodie from this - it's about the right weight, and I got a TON of it (each skein is 191 yards. I bought two bags, or 10 skeins - plenty for a jacket to fit lil ole me!!!!).

Kauni madness!!! Yarn and Fiber Company had a swallowtail shawl done up with this on the rack right next to the yarn, and it was FLYING off the shelves! Considering one skein ($13-$17 depending on which size skein you bought) will knit the shawl, and the colors are purty, purty, purty, I can't imagine why. Oh, they also had the shawl right on the corner as you came through from one section, and down the aisle from their main section, so it caught EVERYONE's eye. Smart, they are!!! My two choices are the blue/brown/tan combination I'm such a sucker for lately, and a brown/pink combo as well. Oh, and say HI to "Kicky" - my son's souvenir!

I may make a swallowtail (it's a free download) but I'm more interested in FINALLY doing a Fallilng Leaves with it. I've been meaning to knit that one for two stitches now (the pattern is in Lavish Lace. After Christmas knitting/gifting is over, I totally see myself casting on for this one!

Cascade Dolce (silk, alpaca, and wool) for who knows what. I have 10,000 things in my queue, so eeny-meeny-miney just might find the right pattern! Got this at Woolstock, so for $39 a bag, it was kinda silly to leave it there. I bought enough to go wild with cables if I want, so it's up for whatever!

My sister wanted some Silk Garden to knit gifts with. I decided to help fill the bag at Webs, so bought some to take the place of the Kureyon I'm using for a Lizard Ridge. The original LR will be for my son (who is more tolerant of scratchy yarns), and I'll make one for me out of the Silk Garden. Oh, the suffering!

I bought plenty of roving! I'm loving spinning! From left to right, there's some yummy fibers from Creatively Dyed. The owner is so, so nice and her colors had me mesmerized! I loved them all, and went for a purple in the seacell blend - I went for colors I don't usually gravitate towards. I also wanted one skein of "every-color-madness" that was all over her shop, so I chose a small wool/tencel skein for a quick fix. Yum-O!

In the front, there are two colorways of roving (!!!!) from Neighborhood Fiber Co. I originally passed Karida by, since I'd put myself on restriction from buying sock yarn (you'd have to see my list to believe it - I actually wrote that on there - "NO sock yarn - no matter how pretty it is!"). But, on Saturday (to go down in history as "Roving Day" forever more - that's all I bought that day!) I walked by and saw a customer with a huge braid in her fabulous signature colors in her hands. OMG! You know I HAD to go in. I bought three braids - one Corriedale in Tenley Circle (I hope) and two braids (one Corriedale and one Merino/Tencel blend) in Brightwood (I think) I am too lazy to go searching in my hiding places to double check - I'm afraid I'll spin them if I see them!!!)

I also bought some little balls (probably 4-6 ounces) of alpaca and silk roving for a bargain from River's Edge. I hope there's nothing wrong with them. I could not pass up the $5/ball (6th free) price, so I dashed in there quickly when I was supposed to be looking for my dear auntie. Shame on me - I'll let you know how it goes!

Oh, and um . . . . .

Did I forget to mention I won a kit from the fashion show YET AGAIN!!!??!!!!! I love it when my entrance fee is taken care of by them throwing yarn and magazine subscriptions at me!!! I won the yarn to knit the cover magazine from Knitter's Winter issue (mailing out today!), and a new subscription to Knitters. Since I had let my subscription lapse, I was very happy. I had the biggest grin on my face walking back to the hotel. My family laughed their butts off at me. I won two years ago as well. One day I'll actually finish knitting and sew in the ends on that puppy, too!

But for now, I'm very happy to have had a great time at Stitches. I'm still considering if I will venture to Hartford, CT next year. I may change venues and go for SOAR instead, to brush up on my spinning skills instead. . . Any suggestions??

So, how was your Stitches?


Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Have you cast yours yet? If you're reading this and the polls haven't closed yet - get yer butt out there!

I got rained on for two hours this morning to cast my vote. I was damp and my fingers were little icicles by the time I got to the "indoor" portion of my voting line, but I did it. I've been through worse for voting. The last presidential election, it was freezing cold AND raining. Fun, fun, fun!

Here's what my line looked like. This was what was in front of me:

And this picks up where the last picture left off - to the left, in fact!

It hadn't started raining at this point, and just after I took the pictures, I finished my tubular cast on for Snow White. All I have to say about that cast on is - "totally tubular, man!"

What WAS fun, though, was casting the actual vote. When I was next in line for the voting machine itself, I must say - I got the biggest "squeee!" feeling. Then, when I saw the name of my candidate (I voted for Obama, by the way), I just stopped and looked at it for a while! Then I made sure my X appeared where I wanted it to, and double-checked it after voting for the "other" things for this election. I heard what happened in West Virginia. It did not happen to me (at least I think!).

Maryland is apparently going back to paper in the next election, just for this reason - apparently they are not sold on the zillions of ways the voting could be messed with by hackers with all this electronic stuff. It's a good thing they already paid for the voting machines - OH, WAIT - they haven't. My bad. Sheesh. Could I vote for that one, please???

So, did you vote? Please say yes.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thing of Wonder

Wanna guess what I did all day? Here's a hint:

The Boy has been hinting, and I've been thinking, that he needed some "big boy" legos. We have long since graduated from the mega-blocks of the toddler years, although he has recently tried to get me to build something with him out of them. He's been working really hard at school - his reading has taken off, and he gave a wonderful presentation on Trinidad and Tobego on Friday during International Day at his school.

So, today, the mega-blocks sit in a bag of things to give away, and he is the new proud owner of several alien invasion-type vehicles, thanks to his willingness and ability to follow directions. Here they are:

I was truly amazed at my son's ability to pay attention to one thing for such a long time. On our trip to Target today, we had planned on picking up the mid-sized set of alien invasion legos as his reward for hard work. Once we got there, they had a cute little $4.99 kit that we couldn't pass up, so we brought that one home, too. I could barely stop him from opening the boxes in the car.

We got home at 2:00 by 2:15 we were well-entrenched in the book on how to make the first spaceship. He'd already put the people/aliens together himself.

By 5:30 we were finished. He worked straight through. I took a phone call/Ravelry break once. He worked with my mother in my absence. I am truly amazed. Look at the concentration on his face in that picture. He was enthralled! He has never, ever paid this much attention to one subject, unless it was the Disney Channel.

Legos, I love you!!!

We had a truly wonderful day together, thanks to those legos. I am hooked, and plan to reward him with many, many packages to come!

In knitting news, I am learning a lesson on gauge, or actually how gauge sometimes doesn't mean squat. The yarn I've been essentially swatching with all weekend long should work with the Snow White pattern I'd like to knit, only, in ribbing (the stitch pattern for the entire sweater), it doesn't. Wanna know how I know? Because about 3 inches after this picture:

the ribbing will barely cover my lower waist/top of my hips. It's tight. Snug. It measures only 15 inches when fully stretched. It should measure at least 18. I may cry. It's a good thing this part of the sweater has taken a relatively short amount of time. The thing I'm upset at is having to do the tubular cast-on all over again. Really, really cry. I mean it! While I spin this evening (something I won't have to rip out and do over again, unlike the two recent attempts to begin a new sweater), I will consider how best to handle this - I'm thinking restart the sweater, following one of the larger sizes. Since my gauge is clearly off, if I knit a bigger size, I should be okay. Question is, which one? I'm thinking the next-to-largest, the 2X. I hate to have to knit that size, but since it's to cover a gauge problem, I think I might be able to handle it! Any thoughts???

I'm off to spin.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

It's Like Waiting for Christmas!

That's what it feels like, just waiting for next week to arrive!!! I can't wait. Why? Well how about:

1. Elect-Obama-Day, aka Election Day, 2008. I will be sorely disappointed in my country if things don't turn out "blue" that day, but waiting to actually go cast my vote for Obama is really like waiting for Christmas. I know that people are saying, "either way, it's an historic vote" but I want it my way! I like going into an election with the gut feeling that there truly is a "best" candidate out there, and that I plan to vote for him (or her, but that's not me - at least this election, anyway)!

2. STITCHES!!! Stitches East starts on Thursday in Baltimore. I am taking Friday off completely, so I plan to do my motherly duty and drop The Boy off for school in the morning, then jet up the highway! I should be there just in time for some good market shopping before lunch.

I plan to scope out Webs, Woolstock Knit Shop, and Tess' Designer Yarns first. I'm hoping to score a good price on some bags of yarn at Woolstock. They have REALLY good discounts, especially at these shows. I'm wishing for a nice bag of Noro Silk Garden or Iro (I passed up the Iro at Sheep and Wool, found a skein of it, used it for a Christmas present and fell in love, so I'm really hoping they still are giving the discounts on this yarn!!!) I do not plan to make the same mistake twice! I'll even take Noro Kureyon, since I'm also in love with the Lizard Ridge Afghan, and have two that I want to knit. I want the one for my son to keep at his dad's to be 1,000 different colors, but mine can be one simple color scheme and I'll be happy.

Other than that, I want some Tess Silk and Wool or Silk and Ivory for the Cable Down Raglan, and I'll check there and Webs as well for the yarn for the new Sexy Knitters Club KAL of Baby Cables and Big Ones Too. I actually started this pattern with some Caron "Country" but the braided, acrylic blend is not quite right for the cables. I plan to try Snow White with that yarn instead, as soon as I can figure out my size. I had planned to knit the size 36 with this yarn, since I'm getting a nice fabric that's a little bit more than gauge from the swatch I did for Baby Cables. A closer look at the pattern today, however, tells me that the final measurements mean I should knit a 2X!!!! What's up with that??? I know I've gained a few, but I'm not THAT big! Since this is supposed to be a knit that has a wide range of sizes, I think a trip to Ysolda's blog to check out her sizing guides is due before I commit, but I plan to cast on later tonight. Check back tomorrow for a progress/cast-on pic!

(The "not-quite-right" beginning of Baby Cables, snuggled up with the pattern for Snow White - the yarn is trying to decide what it wants to be!!)
Anyone else going to Stitches? Let me know if you plan to meet up at the Ravelry lunch on Saturday - I'm actually doing the Fashion Show and staying overnight Friday at the Mariott, so that I can shop and possibly do a market session on Saturday before heading back to my part of the state. I love meeting my bloggy friends, and Ravelry (and Stitches, for that matter) really knows how to throw a party, so give me a heads up so we can meet!!!