Saturday, February 24, 2007


I've been very bad with my knitting these past couple of days. I keep starting projects and putting them down to pick up another. Sheldon's shell is halfway done and the PS socks are starting to be pretty far along. It would be a good thing, however, if I actually did complete one project (preferably Sheldon as the baby shower is next weekend!).

I tried to run errands yesterday on my day off. "Tried" is the key word here. Here is a little rundown of my day.

1) Wanted to go riding. The icy snow nixed that idea.

2) Wanted to find new glasses frames and was actually able to find some slightly cat's eye frames but, sadly, without the rhinestones. They are from Wal-mart so at least I was able to save some money. Also learned, if I supply my own frames, they can put the lenses in. Hmm, vintage stores, here I come!

3) Make the foot on the one pot I have thrown. (Did I mention that I was re-learning how to throw pots? It is amazing how much my hands forgot in two years.) Actually accomplished this!

4) Do two errands for Mom in Columbus: dropping off a rug to be cleaned and dropping off her computer to be fixed. Accomplished the rug but couldn't make an appointment for the computer. Also had a difficult time fiding the Apple store at Easton. Easton and I just don't mix.

5) Go around to the yarn shops in the Columbus area. Didn't get to any of them. Not one. None! I only had time to get the rug dropped off before it closed much less going to any of the stores.

6) Meet friend for dinner. Definitely accomplished :) We got sushi and later went out for tea. Played checkers in the coffee shop using coins and jewelry. I had just bought some dangly clip earrings so I had plenty of pieces. The night was a lot of fun. I like not having to explain history dork jokes.

An extra task which I decided to add to my list was getting my hair cut. It was a totally spur of the moment thing. I was getting frustrated by the hair and its lack of doing anything fun. The hairstylist was snipping and cutting a whole lot more than I expected but I love the result! I am glad I left it up to him. The haircut, however, is what made me get nothing done. I ended up leaving the Heath area around 3.30 instead of 12ish. Little bit of a difference.

OK, off to knit. I feel like socks . . . .

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yarn p0rn

Got this lovely Koigu in the mail yesterday from Knit, Purl in Oregon. The purple is much more purple in person. I had gotten one skein (don't know what I was thinking only getting one!) of the dark multi-color when I was in NYC. The dye lot of this new one will not be the same, of course, but it is close enough. The pink is to help me finish up the Valentine's day socks. I can't wait to finish them but other projects call first. Namely, Sheldon.

I am just now working on his shell and need to attach the legs. The body was a very fast knit though I have heard other people that he is a fiddly knit. We shall see. I need to get Sheldon finished before the baby shower the weekend following this one.

This is what I was up to today. . . .

Sewing together squares for the Warm Up America! blanket. One of the women who came to the last program brought 55 squares this time. That is right, 55! She is amazing. All of them are exactly 7x9 inches and such even stitches. Thanks to her, we easily have 2 blankets and maybe even 3. :)

OK, back to Sheldon!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Socks and scales

Got this yesterday.

(stupid Blogger

I measured a couple of skeins this morning including a few that I had divided by hand. One of those, I was only an ounce off between the two balls. Of course, I counted each and every time that I wrapped the yarn around the back of the chair. This should make it so much easier.

Here is a current picture of the PS socks.

(again, stupid Blogger

OK, now I am getting off the internet and actually going to work!

Happy New Year (sort of)

Happy Chinese New Year! It is the year of the Golden Pig, by the way. Yea, pigs!

I've definitely had a full day today, surprisingly. My friend was acting in a play this afternoon which included all-you-can-eat dining at the 7th annual Soul Fool Festival. I had no preconceptions before going into the church (the play was held in a church) and didn't know what to expect for the food. Frankly, for a small-town, non-religious girl, it was a bit of a culture shock. The people were all really nice, though. They play was funny, especially the one woman who stole the show with her dry, witty comments. She had a great sense of timing.

All of the food was fabulous and included a number of ingredients which I had never had before including rabbit (yes, Thumper bit the dust) and cow (?) small intestines which I also had later in the night. The first time I had no idea what the intestine dish was until I was told the second time that I had had it earlier in the day. (Does that make sense? It is way past my bedtime so I am worried that it might not.)

I had gotten there sometime around 1.30 and the play ended around 5.45-6. A couple of my friend's friends also came so we all went out for coffee to waste the time until 7.30 when we all were going to dinner at an authentic Chinese place. It was fun to sit around and talk there (at the coffee place).

The Chinese place was a lot of fun. There were 10 of us total. The food was cooked in the middle of the table in front of us. One cauldron-like pot had the spicy liquid and the other was mild. I started out with the spicy but then went for the mild. The food ranged from fish dumplings to shrimp with the creepy heads still attached (:P) to lamb and beef to more small intenstines to tofu to leafy vegetables. I've never had food prepared like that and it was so much fun! The variety was amazing to me. The camraderie around the table with everyone reaching over and around each other for the food was cool. You make a connection with a stranger when you share food like that.

Right now, though, I am very happy that I switched to the mild sauce. I have a tendency to get migranes which can be affected by the foods that I eat. Slight headache but I think it could have been worse if I had continued with the hot stuff.

I was definitely the first one to stop eating. Still full from lunch much less the wonderful variety of Chinese foods. American Chinese food had nothing on this stuff! I really liked learning about the food from the people there. All of this stuff I never knew.

After every single food item (including the seconds or was that thirds? brought from the kitchen) was consumed, we did kareoke. Haven't done that since a pub in England. It was a lot of fun sitting around, talking with everyone and looking through the song books.

I hope I made a good impression on the people there. I can be horribly shy around people I haven't met before. Guess it is a good thing to be working with the public. It is making me come out of my shell.

The people there at dinner kept assuming my friend was my boyfriend. Hmmmm. FOM or PFOM, anyone?

OK, after all of that rambling babbling, I am going to go to bed!

P.S. I knit all the way through the play. Am working on the PS socks which are featuring an afterthought heel. It is a simple stockinette stitch to show off the pattern so it is a really fast knit. I am beyond where the waste yarn for the heel is place and am off and running. W00t.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

March of the Librarians

YouTube - March of the Librarians

Hahahahaha! This is march of the penguins in a whole new light!

Valentine's snow

This is my second snow day in a row! And I thought hell would have to freeze over first ;) They are expecting it to get worse later in the day and didn't want to risk having employees trying to leave work in the middle of a storm. It is a good thing that I didn't have to try to leave because our garage doors are frozen shut!

Yesterday saw me attempting to cough up a lung (pleasant, I know), cleaning the waste dump called my room and working on 2 different pairs of socks. Now, I didn't finish either of those pairs;I just worked on them. The one pair is made up of my orange, yellow, pink and red Kool-aid yarn. I divided the skein into two even balls and started the toes. The other one is pink and red Koigu that I got while visiting NYC in November. That one seemed appropriate for Valentine's Day. I think I will work on them today.

While cleaning, I arranged and organized the stash. Wow, I am working on a ton of projects at the same time. Though in this case, "working" might not be the correct term. I put WIPs in paper bags from Kim's shop and actually put them in the same place in the room. Here is a picture before that step. If you are interested, click on the picture to see which bag holds which project.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Finished socks!

And another view . . .

I LOVE this yarn. It feels wonderful, absolutely wonderful on my feet! It will be difficult to take them off. I am definitely going to have to have Andi send me some more ;)

Sorry for the crappy pictures. I am home sick today so they aren't the best that I have ever taken.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Spectrum Socks

After the speed knitting last weekend, this past week has been disappointing. I was scheduled to close 3 nights this week and that really eats up the evening knitting time. All of this means that I am still finishing the Austermann Step socks. So, logically, I started another pair of socks. Ha! These new socks are actually the Project Spectrum colors for Feb and Mar.

(We'll see if Blogger wants to upload this picture. If it doesn't, click on this link

I also dug some ribbon yarn out of my stash which also works for Project Spectrum. The plan is to make a summer scarf out of it.

(Again, in case Blogger is stupid,

So how many WIPs is this? Hmmm, don't want to think about that!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


originally uploaded by bookworm knitting.
Yes, this sign is for real. I saw it on my way to work and just HAD to take a picture of it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Professor and the Madman

I finished reading the historical non fiction book/micro-history,The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester. I really liked it. Our library system had a non fiction book club read it a couple of months ago.

A historical non-fiction is a book that reads almost like fiction. A micro-history is a book which focuses on one small part of history. The part can either be an item or a time period. Seabiscuit is a wonderful example. It focused on horse racing during the Depression and really made that time-period come alive.

The Professor and the Madman focused on two men who were strongly involved in the editing of the OED: James Murray (the professor) and Dr. William Chester Minor (the madman). The vast undertaking of creating the OED simply amazed me. Before 1857 (when the idea was first suggested), there was no all-encompassing English dictionary. Or at least, not a dictionary like we think of today. The OED editors set out to catalog, define, provide illustrative quotations, and track the word's history through written history from its first use until the current day. Every. Single. Word. Wow.

They had thousands of volunteers read through books, write down words (any words), illustrative quotations, where the quotation was found, page number, and send in the slip of paper to the Scriptorium that Murray had set up in Oxford. The Scriptorium might sound impressive but really it was just a corrugated metal structure full of paper. Can you even imagine the scraps of paper everywhere? How would anything ever get done or even found?

Dr. Minor is introduced as a madman from the very beginning of the book. A madman but also an intellectual. He was an American doctor who served in the Civil War. Apparently, his paranoia was sparked and/or became more pronounced after an experience during the Wilderness where he had to brand an Irish soldier as punishment for desertion. After that, he felt that the Irish everywhere were after him in revenge. He also complained of being followed and being forced to perform "lewd acts" every night by persons unknown. A while after the end of the war, Minor left America for England. He was imprisoned in Broadmore, a lunatic asylum there, when he murdered a man in London. (Minor thought the man was going to attack him.)

While in Broadmore, Minor had an extraordinary amount of special privileges. He had a pention from the U.S. Army and was a doctor like those taking care of him so Minor was housed in the nice part of Broadmore. He had the use of two rooms, one of which served as a library and the other which was his bedroom, where he painted and played his flute. The library was quite impressive because he collected rare works and anything else that caught his interest. Minor hired one of the other inmates to clean his rooms and perform small tasks. Sounds pretty nice, huh? He still had the slight problem of thinking people were breaking into his room at night and poisoning him or forcing him to perform those lewd acts.

Ten years after he was first imprisoned, Minor came across Murray's plea for volunteer readers. He wrote to Murray offering his services and got down to reading. Minor's approach to the task was completely different than that of the other volunteers. He would read a book through writing down each word that caught his attention and page number where it was found. He wrote the words down so that they would be in alphabetical order, leaving space for words he would find as he read. Once he finished one book, Minor would go on to the next. Because he wasn't sending in submissions to the editors in Oxford, they thought he had gotten bored with the project.

Once Minor thought he had come up with enough words, he wrote to Murray asking him if they were having any difficulty with any word. When Murray responded that "art" was vexing them, Minor immediately responded with quotation, volume number, and page number. After that, Murray and his workers would send any word "problems" to Minor and he would immediately respond with a correct response. Because Minor had his word lists minutely indexed, it took him no time at all to find a correct quotation. As the author says, other volunteers might have sent in more quotations but Minor's were worth their weight in gold. The editors knew they didn't need to double-check his work.

It was very interesting to watch the friendship between Minor and Murray develop. They corresponded for years and Murray visited Minor frequently in Broadmore. I also found it fascinating to learn more about the editing of the massive dictionary.

The only problem I had with the book was that the author, Simon Winchester, did not have a bibliography in the back of the book. True, he mentioned other books people could read to learn more and talked about some of the books he read. But, to a historian like me, that is not good enough. I want to see all of the documents he used. The letters, the journals, the books, the interviews. Everything. Still, I greatly enjoyed the work and would highly recommend it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Austermann Step socks

Austermann Step socks
Austermann Step socks,
originally uploaded by bookworm knitting.
Blogger is being stupid and not letting me load any pictures. We'll get around that by posting from Flickr!

If you want to see any Chihuly pictures, click on my user name / photostream.

Flying fingers

I have no idea how it happened but a pair of socks is virtually flying off of my needles.* Late Friday evening, I started on a pair of Austermann Step (Whiskey colorway) that I got while in Austria.

I worked on the toe-up socks a little during the day on Saturday while I was at the Franklin Park Conservatory. (I <3 Dale Chihuly.) That night, a family friend invited us to a bluegrass festival up at Denison. Apparently, bluegrass is a perfect music for knitting. When the music sped up, my fingers kept pace. When it slowed down, I did, too. I was already working on the gusset increases by the end of the evening.

Sunday, I was able to put in a little bit of knitting time before going to work and during my break. By the end of the night, I had turned both heels and started working on the legs.

I am thinking that, by the time I go to bed tonight, I will have at least 2 maybe three inches worked on the legs. I am planning to make them however long it takes to use up the yarn.

This is unbelievable! It has never taken me this little time to make a pair of socks. NEVER. Even when I was travelling and on planes and trains all day, nothing like this has ever happened! Maybe it is the combination of the yarn (LOVE IT) and the Addis. Who knows!

A little about the Austermann Step yarn. It is some of the nicest feeling yarn with which I have ever worked. It has aloe vera oil and jojoba oil infused in it. These oils mean that the tips of my fingers are soooooo soft where they come in contact with the yarn. I can only imagine what the socks will feel like on my feet! According to various websites, the oils should last through 40 washings (hand-washed, of course!) The only thing that I don't like about the yarn is that it has a tendency to be splitty. That is definitely not a good thing when your fingers are flying along with a banjo player's! Most of the time I can catch the splits but that slows me down.

Another "bad" thing about the yarn is that it is not Project Spectrum colors :) I meant to work on a pair of blue, grey and white socks (perfect colorway for Feb/Mar) this weekend but the Austermann Step took over! I had already made a pair of socks using the blue, grey and white yarn but frogged them because the sizing was all off. Not sure what I was on when I made that pair. Whatever it was, it wasn't a good thing! I think I made that pair when I was first starting socks and didn't have any idea how to customize them. This time around, the result will be much better.

* I like working toe-up socks two at a time on two circular needles.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Knitting Survey

I just received this from one of my knitting lists.

" My niece, a knitter herself, is writing her thesis on knitters &
knitting and has put together an online survey to collect the
information she needs. If you have a moment, would you mind going over
to submit your information? It takes only a few minutes. You can find
it here:"

Anyone who is a knitter, please help and fill out this survey. I wonder what the girl's thesis will end up being.


With the wind chill, right now it feels like 13 degrees Fahrenheit. This is what Java thinks about it.
Out at the barn it is definitely colder because the wind has nothing to break it. Java gets another reprieve from riding!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Old Bag of Nails

Old Bag of Nails
Old Bag of Nails,
originally uploaded by asbalyan.
I think I am tempted to go here. With that name, who wouldn't want to?