Monday, September 29, 2008

Quick Update

On Thursday, we are off to Skyline Drive, in the mountains of Virginia, for a long weekend. But before we go, I thought I would leave you with the following:

Braces and a Pig
Girl with Pig and Braces. She smiles more now that she has braces than she did before. Hmm.

Chemo Comfort Shawl all done
The Chemo Comfort Shawl, all done and awkwardly posed on an ugly office chair.

Hanging Hand Towel
My first project from the new Mason Dixon Knitting Book, which I received last week. I actually won this book in a contest that Kay and Ann had on their blog over the summer, and it was so exciting to get it in the mail last week on the day it was published. The book is really wonderful--even better than their first book, I think. There are so many projects in there that I want to do, but I started with this one. I plan to make several more of these, in classier colors (i.e., solids) and preferably without the gajillion mistakes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another Turkey of a Blog Entry.

It's not every day that I get blog fodder as downright cool as finding a frog on the commode. But that is what I had last time, and I BLEW my chance. I've never read a duller blog entry than my last one. Thank goodness I had a cute frog picture to make it worth a reader's while. Oh well. I am very sorry, and will endeavor to do better this time, even though I do not have the benefit of frogs to help me out. I'll see what I can do.

Unfortunately, this week's material is kinda, umm, boring. This is what I've got, people:

Braces. Cat Crazy Girl got a partial set of braces this month, and is SO excited. I know Rich and I were not this jazzed when we got our braces as kids (possible understatement of the day there), so we are a little confused. But we're glad she has such a good attitude about the whole thing. Bad mom that I am, I have no picture of the braces yet. I will post one when I have it. The plan for Cat Girl is to have the partials on for a few months to take care of the canine tooth she has that came in completely sideways, and to help straighten the front teeth that are all catty-wampus (how do you spell that?). That should only take a few months. Then she'll wear a retainer until all her grown up teeth come in and get a full set of braces to deal with a minor overbite.

Mathboy's program is a little more complicated, because apparently he has a ridiculously huge overbite. He has to start with an appliance to help move his lower jaw forward; after a few months with that, the ortho plans to put on a full set of braces.

Fun times. I had to make the deposit this month for both kids. I kinda saw stars when writing the check.

Working! I am working part-time now for a matrimonial lawyer in Philadelphia. In fact, I already got paid for my first 3 days of work, which was nice! Another check like that, and I've got the downpayment for the braces for both kids. Woohoo! My new boss is actually one of my old bosses--I worked for her in 1994, between my stints for the Judge. She was tough back then, and, from what I've seen so far, she's tough now. I hope it works out.

Are you bored yet? How about some pictures of FO's to brighten things up?

Knitting: I finished Hey Teach and I LOVE it. I've already worn it, like, 3 times? No, I think 4 times. I even wore it to the office. Why not? I'm not going to court. Hey Lawyer?
Hey Teach! is done!
To recap, this was done in a cotton/silk blend that I have had hanging around in my stash for a couple of years. It is perfect for the weather we have been getting lately and I am very happy with it.

After all that cotton, and the seaming, and the buttons ... I felt a strong need to knit something small, with no seams, and that used wool. Socks, right? No! I still can't bear the thought of socks yet; it's too close to the Summer of Socks. I'm not ready. So...
Column of Leaves HatNautilus Hat
I made hats. The left hat is Brooke's Column of Leaves Hat. A nice pattern, but completely obliterated by the busy yarn. The hat of the right is Nautilus Hat, a very cool pattern that you knit from the top of the hat down. This was a much better pattern for this yarn, as the stockinette and the eyelets are simple enough to compliment the yarn colorway. The yarn, by the way is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Peru in the Philosopher's Stone colorway (which has been discontinued). Some of you may be getting these for Christmas, so please forget you saw them. Move along.

A Shawl for a Friend. The Blanches are having a celebration for one of their members, and suggested that folks might want to send a scarf or hat or earrings--something to complement her "new look" after chemo. (The Blanches are so great.) So, being the weird knitter friend on the fringe of the group, I decided that I needed to make her a shawl. This lady is terrific, and deserves every prayer and good intention that can be sent her way. I want to make her a scarf that will be beautiful, soft and luxurious, and into which I can knit my best prayers and wishes for her recovery. And I want to be able to do this in 2 weeks, although 10 days would be better. Yikes! I started Friday night.

I think I found a great pattern: the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl. It's very pretty, it's not huge, and the repeats are short and easy so I can work fast. The recipient can throw it around her shoulders for a little comfort, without having to deal with a full size shawl. But deciding on a yarn was a little harder.

My first try was with some Fleece Artist 2/6 I had.
Forest Canopy Take 1
The colors were beautiful, but I wanted the end result to feel luxurious and soft and comforting, and this was not. So I tried again:
Forest Canopy, take 2
This yarn was suggested by the ladies at Woolbearers. Made with Merino and Cashmere, it does feel soft and luxurious, but the color choices offered were rather boring. This looked okay in the store, but knitted up it just looks drab. So I went stash-diving again, and found this:
Forest Canopy Shawl for Laine
Laine's shawl, Take 3, with Handmaiden Mini Maiden silk and wool in "Midnight." It is beautiful and soft and luxurious. I would have preferred a cheerier colorway, but it is lovely. I am cruising along on it--it does go fast.

Other Interesting Items: So Mathboy and I got home from school last week, looked out the back window and saw ...
Wild Turkeys zoom
A whole family of wild turkeys, just wandering through. This is suburban New Jersey, not the wilderness. What up with all this? We've got a family of deer treating my tomato and green bean plants and my hydrangea as a buffet, frogs in the bathroom, and wild turkeys wandering through the backyard. Hunh.

And why is it that when I make tomato sauce and tomato soup with the fresh tomatoes from my garden and from our CSA share I get this color?
Tomato Soup
This soup is orange, people, not red. It tastes great, but the kids are very suspicious since the color is not exactly the same as Ragu or Campbell's, ya know?

Well, that's all I've got for now. Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

In which we get a Froggy Visitor

This morning, Rich was in the bathroom when my alarm went off so I went downstairs to use the powder room. I was still a little fuzzy in my head so I did not even jump when I saw this little visitor sitting on the back of the toilet looking up at me.
Froggy visitor on dishcloth
Kinda cute, isn't he? (or she?) I kept him in a bowl until the kids woke up, then we set him free. We hope he can stay clear of the Rudolph. We hear frog tastes like chicken. Rudolph does like chicken. C. says we are going to miss him. I'm trying not to think about how he ended up in the powder room. I'd rather frogs than bugs.

The wedding was fun. The kids enjoyed seeing their cousins. We got some hiking in and saw some pretty views.
View from Mt. Battie
Good Pic!
The annoying thing was that we did not get Maine weather while we were in Maine. We got New Jersey weather in Maine. It was supposed to be in the 70s while we were there, but instead it was close to 90. Meanwhile, friends back home reported that it was in the 70s in New Jersey. HUNH?!

I did not finish any more socks for the Summer of Socks. I got through one sock of the Cross Hatch Lace socks, but then totally lost my sock mojo.
See? One sock down and half a foot on the second, but I am out of gas. I need a break from socks. So...

I made 2 squares for the afghan:
DSCN0436 GAA Square #7

I started the Lace Ribbon Scarf, which will be a Christmas gift for someone.
Lace Ribbon Scarf
It is SO pretty. The camera just can't do this pattern or this yarn justice. I am using the Kraemer Silk & Silver yarn again (just like the stuff I used for my Clapotis this spring, but this time in Navy), hand-dyed at Woolbearers. I heart this yarn. Love, love.

Hey Teach
I am working on Hey Teach! in Fable cotton/silk. This is yarn that I have had for a while. I bought it a couple of years ago with the intention of making a summer top or a shell, but it was hard to find something I liked and for which I had enough of this yarn. I liked this pattern so much when I saw it; I do hope the FO looks as good as I hope! The funny thing is that tons of people are making this pattern now because the Yarn Harlot is making it--and hers looks great, btw. Anyway, it is a fast knit. I just started it last week, and already I have one front, both sleeves, and half of the second front.

I also cooked about 15 tomatoes down into this:
tomato sauce
Much sauce, now in the freezer. And I still have this bounty from this week:
Late August Bounty
I have to go now. I need to Google eggplant recipes. And maybe salsa recipes for the tomatoes and peppers? The kids are terrified.