Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday Night Knitters wish Joanna "Happy Baby!"

Last night we Tuesday Night Knitters got a surprise visit from fellow knitter Joanna, whom we hadn't seen in a few months. She's just cute as a bug, the picture of health in her last trimester of pregnancy with her first baby:

and thank goodness Issy knew she was coming, so that we could finally give her the baby gift we made for her:

the alphabet block baby blanket!
(and look TNK'ers - I got part of the wall in the picture - I'm in trouble!)

Everyone seemed happy to see her:

Amy, Nancy, Patsy, Deb, Judy & Robin C. caught up with the mom-to-be
(Amy is also expecting a baby -- her third, a girl!)
Linda, Rita, Norma, Renny & Sheddy stayed busy knitting
Christina taught Cathy the long-tail cast-on

Even Mary Jane was able to stop by for a few minutes and join in the fun.

Which reminds me -- next Tuesday our knitting group is meeting at Unraveled to help Mary Jane celebrate her shop's anniversary. Jane's sister Lawre is also having a trunk show of her knitting bags there that day, so if you're in the area, stop on by!

Speaking of Lawre's Laine bags, Issy brought her latest bag to knit night:

The fabric is adorned with a gorgeous Toucan, whom Issy has named Arthur, in honor of the creator of her favorite beverage:

Issy was working on one of her eleventy-seven shawls she's got going, and I could not take my eyes off of this one:

these colors make me swoon!
The yarn is Schaefer Trenna, only available at, and they are all out of that colorway (boo hoo!). I'm going to be stalking them from now on, until they get more! The pattern is the Shell-and-Wave shawl, and shows off the yarn just perfectly.

extreme lace close-up

Linda, one of the latest TNKers to join Ravelry, sat while I took head shots of her for her Ravelry profile photo:

such a nice smile

Linda also came very close to finishing her baby surprise jacket:

and I do believe I see Opinionated Knitter very close by!


And now, for something completely different....

Tonight Turner Classic Movies is airing movie musicals from the 1970's, including New York, New York, Tommy, and Paint Your Wagon. I managed to catch the tail-end of Godspell, one of my favorite musicals from that time period. If you were a Catholic growing up in the 70's, you no doubt heard some of those songs played during folk guitar masses. My favorite song from that movie, I think, is By My Side -- so haunting. A couple of fellow guitar-playing friends and I used to do a pretty good version of it in three-part harmony, back in the day....

Anyway, I mention it because I never knew who played Jesus in that movie.

nice fro
So, tonight, out of curiosity because he seemed so familiar, I looked it up on IMDB and wouldn't you know it -- Jesus was played by Victor Garber, of Alias and Titanic and Legally Blond and Sleepless in Seattle and Annie, and a host of other movies and television shows.

I've always liked him in things I've seen recently, and now I know why.

I just forgot he could sing. :-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I'm so far behind on blogging I've circled back around and am now in front again! (Would that were really possible!)
Seriously, though, and in case anyone was wondering, I'm no longer unemployed. After 9 months of thumb-twiddling, I'm under contract again and am working mostly from home, which has obvious benefits (set my own hours; work in my jammies, etc.), but a few drawbacks (harder to be disciplined; more distractions, cabin fever, etc.).

I've been in talks with these people for four long months, which was very frustrating because I'd hear something promising one day and then hear nothing for two weeks and think that they'd changed their minds. Such is the nature of this biz I'm in.

Anyway, suddenly, I have less time for extracurricular pursuits, (doggone job gettin' in the way of my personal life!) and blogging is one of them. Not to worry -- I will still be blogging, but probably just once or twice a week, at least for the next little while.

I am, however, knitting again, and have two FOs I need to share here, at some point. I also have a new one I will cast on for tonight, but I need help with a pattern decision.

You may recall that my sister Anne, whom I met in Blacksburg for the Hokie Healing blanket sewing party back in June, won a lovely cashmere cabled scarf as a doorprize:

lucky winner!

I want to knit her a (somewhat) matching hat as a belated birthday gift, (I'll be seeing her this coming weekend), and have narrowed the hat patterns down to the following:


I think I'm leaning towards the cabled pattern, which then leads me to my next decision: whether I want a long fold-over ribbed cuff (bottom photo), or a short one (top photo). I think I prefer the long, fold-over cuff, but I'm not sure I have enough yarn for that.

The yarn is Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere in red:

to match Anne's scarf, and I bought three 50-yard hanks over the phone from Mosaic (thanks, Gina!). Will 150 yards of worsted weight be enough to do the long cuff? Or should I play it safe and keep the ribbing section short?

And speaking of Mosaic....

Hey, Gina -- if you're reading this, maybe you can help me. There was some lovely but unlabeled yarn in my goodie bag from the sewing party, and I was hoping you might be able to identify it?

Here's a picture:

mystery yarn

It appears to possibly be hand-dyed, (maybe with Kool Aid?), but I could be wrong about that, and seems to possibly be a chunky/bulky weight. I'm pretty sure it's 100% wool.

Gina -- if you remember the brand, I'd be eternally grateful! Thanks!

Monday, July 16, 2007

TNK, Yarn Swap, Yarn Pr0n & a Monday Sky

I'm a little behind on posting about a few things, so am lumping a couple of things together into this one blog post.

TNK, 7-10-07:

First of all, a few pictures from last week's knit night:

Issy helps Cathy with her Lizard Ridge short rows

Deb finishes her Sursa shawl - gorgeous!
(I think that makes six people in our group who've now knit it!)

Amy worked on her Origami Cardi
(Summer '07 Interweave Knits)

Origami extreme close-up
(Amy is knitting a criss-crossed cable instead of "berry-in-a-box")

Jane happily knits on and holds up her Hanami stole.
(She's since finished and blocked this beauty.)

Sangeeta's Yarn Swap, 7-14-07:

Sangeeta repeated last year's hospitality by hosting another fun yarn swap, this time at her lovely new home!

I brought just a modest amount to sell/swap:

But other people brought lots and lots:

Here's the mob swarming in on the loot:

There was also a delicious spread:


Here's our hostess (second from left) holding the beverage of the afternoon -- Sangeeta's Sangria (I just love saying that... Sangeeta's Sangria, Sangeeta's Sangria...):

And here are a few folks you might recognize, knitting and enjoying their sangria:*

Here's Cate showing a couple of her fantastic WIPs:

Sidewinder Sock
(a brilliant pattern by NonaKnits)

She's started clue #3 on her MS#3
(yarn is Malabrigo laceweight from the Yarn Lounge, and is superb)
(check out close-up pics on her blog)


And here's Sangeeta's coworker Jennie, (whoops - forgot her name), crocheting a baby blanket and snuggling with Sangeeta's roommate's dog Hershey:

what a sweetie!

Yarn Pr()n:

I was able to swap/sell my unwanted yarn, and managed to come home with just a little bit -- two balls of angora and a ball of a cashmere blend, all originally from, but more recently from Cate's stash:

we were both happy with our swaps!
(I see baby things in these yarns' futures)

But wait! That's not all! There's more Yarn Pr()n to show you:

This was ordered about six weeks ago and just arrived on Saturday, and I think it was well worth the wait. It is hand-dyed, hand-spun Crown Mountain Farm's Sock Hop yarn in their "Blue Suede Shoes" colorway.

I've been lusting after this colorway (no surprise) for months, but they sell out of this yarn incredibly fast and only restock as fast as the spinners can spin it. I finally got myself on a waiting list and managed to submit an order in late May. A month and half later, here it is. Again - definitely worth the wait. The pictures don't show it, but it's incredibly soft and squishy (100% superwash merino), and of course, the color makes me swoon. I've already trolled Ravelry for other people's socks knit with this same yarn & colorway, and it does not disappoint.

And since I'm not knitting socks at the moment (will I ever?), I get to just fondle and drool over these skeins for the forseeable future. Makes me happy!

So....Happy Birthday to Me! :-)

Yep, tomorrow is my birthday. So, that's my justification for adding more sock yarn to my stash. Not that I need justification -- I unloaded sock yarn at the swap on Saturday, after all.

And that's not all I bought myself for my birthday. Yesterday I was catching up on the Shelterrific blog and after reading this post, made an immediate impulse purchase of some Graeter's Ice Cream:

Mail-order ice cream. God is good.

Minimum order is six pints, so I ordered six different flavors, including the highly recommended Black Raspberry Chip pictured above. Here's hoping it's as good as its press, because I'd hate to waste one of my six choices on a dog. It's supposed to arrive on Wednesday -- I'll let you know if it's any good. :-)

In closing, I'll leave you with a Black Raspberry Chip -colored Monday sunset:

I'm taking it as a sign of approval on the ice cream order. ;-)

Monday, July 09, 2007

What I Did On My (mid) Summer Vacation

1) Attempted explaining to the girls that the groceries weren't for them:

whatdya mean, you're leaving us?

2) Ate lots of great meals:

3) Refereed a father/son arm-wresting match:

mano a mano

4) Giggled as my brother sailed his kid's sailboat:

man vs. wild

5) Laughed at hams on inner tubes:

6) Boated and basked in the sun:

7) Played with the dogs:

8) Admired the brother's landscaping:

9) Admired others' landscaping:

10) Enjoyed beautiful sunsets:

11) Lashed ourselves to a six-boat flotilla:

12) And watched fireworks over the water:

grand finale - a little wobbly from a bobbing boat

All in all, a wonderful time! :-)