Thursday, September 27, 2007


Two new horses just came to the barn. They arrived last night after 2 straight days of driving. The first one is Callie and she is gorgeous!

The second is Beau. He is much shorter than Callie but apparently he thinks she is his mare.

It is kind of bittersweet having these two new guys. Two of the other horses, Sam and Lace, are going to be put down sometime soon. Sam has horrible feet and they have been getting worse these last couple of months. Now he has something going wrong in his front legs and his back ones, too. He also has a tumor in his nose that periodically grows until he can't breathe out of one nostril, then it bursts, and the whole process starts again. Lace has arthritis all down her neck and she has really lost mobility over the years. She also had a bad bought of EPM, a neurological disease that affects the horse's ability to send signals from their brain to their limbs, a couple of years ago. Also, being a gray horse, she has lots of melanomas and other weird growths. Wow, this makes them both sound absolutely ugly and deformed. They aren't really. Lace used to be one of the prettiest horses and would just float along. I can't tell you how beautiful it was. Sam was really athletic and would race across the fields ahead of everyone. Now, this isn't the case with either of them. I will miss them but it is time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Slight falling down

Ravelry is bad. Horrible in fact. You can see so many wonderful different patterns and yarns and photos and . . . *sigh* It caused me to have a slight falling down on the Knit Picks site. *small cough*

I found this great cardigan called The Brennan Cardigan. It is a jacket length sweater with a very simple but nice design. The designer based it off a sweater that Dr. Tempe Brennan wore on the show Bones. I like the show but really like the books by Kathy Reichs that the show was based on. I've been looking for a sweater jacket for a while so this design is perfect! My size requires 1800 yards of yarn.

So I was on the Knit Picks site looking at those new Harmony needles, deciding if I wanted to buy some or not. I finally decided that I did want to buy some and then thought, "Hey! I can get the yarn for that cardigan/jacket from Ravelry. They have some pretty worsted weight on here. Let's see, that comes to a total of 16 skeins. And I don't have enough laceweight, let's add 2 hanks of undyed yarn." *another small cough* It's probably a good thing that most of the Harmony needles were on back order. I was able to get a pair of 2.5 mm circulars for socks and a set of 3.5 mm tips. I love that the distribution centre is in Grove City because they shipped them yesterday afternoon and they are already at my post office. No, I wasn't stalking USPS's order tracker. Why do you ask? *cough*

In other news, I finished a pair of baby socks from Cat Bordhi's new book. I really like the way she does her wraps. They look very clean. Sorry for the bad lighting. I felt to lazy to actually set something nice up.

I finished the pair of toe-up Monkeys and just need to weave in the ends. I liked working with the yarn but was really annoyed that 2 different dyelots had been joined in the middle of the skein.

I started a new project from Victorian Lace Today with laceweight yarn I got in England. It is going to be the Double Bordered Scarf. As you can see, not much has been done on it yet. I didn't really like this color combination in the skein but really liked it once it was balled up.

I'm back to working on the Shoulder Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. I stopped working on it because I ran out of yarn with a couple of inches left on the border. Monday night I sat down and ripped all of the border out and put everything on holding needles. Last night I picked a smaller border that will hopefully take less yarn to make. I started working on the new border this morning before I had to rip myself away and go to work. I'm getting to the point that I am having too many WIPs on the needles. Hmmm.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


**Blogger is being really weird so I've reposted this post will all of the sentences/paragraphs corrected.

So yesterday, I hit dirt HARD. I was mounting Capone and, before I was settled, he decided to take off bucking. It would have been alright if I had been fully in the saddle but being only half mounted I had no chance. Definitely one of those times when you can see everything happening in slow motion. You know that you are going to fall but can't do anything to stop it. I ended up hitting the driveway (thanks horse) even there was so much grass around. The driveway isn't asphalt but limestone. Not sure if that is any better.

Now usually, I always hit my right side when I fall off. Even if I fall off the left side of the horse, I somehow twist around and hit my right side. This time, however, the streak was broken. I landed quite squarely on my butt. Didn't pass out this time but couldn't really get up and catch the horse for a little bit because my breath was knocked out of me and the world kept going blurry. Once I finally staggered up, I had to walk down the entire driveway to catch the pony (took a break in the middle to sit/hang over the bank jump because my vision got blurry again). The other horses had wandered to the front of the front pasture and had been calling Capone so he went to visit.

After catching Capone, I walked him back to the mounting block, got on, rode one time around the arena, and promptly got off. Very promptly. If you aren't a horse person, getting back on might have seemed a little crazy but it really was necessary. He was such a good boy then. No acting up at all. He even seemed a little contrite but that might of been him wanting to get fed. :)

Yesterday morning, I was the height of efficiency and it was a little scary. I had to take the car into town to be inspected so Dad can use it to respond to emergency runs. They have been fixing a bridge on a road that serves the entire north side of the township. Repairs started in the middle of July and have been going on ever since. Because I have to take back ways into town, the barn, and work, it adds 10 minutes to even the simplest trips. Anywho, I decided not to go back home after getting the car inspected. Instead, I did something radical. I went to the library. Shocking, I know. Even more shocking, I got my assignment for class which is due in 2 weeks completely finished. This is simply astonishing. Usually, I am working on it at the very last minute barely getting it finished before turning the assignment in. It probably helped that this assignment was so much fun. We had 20 questions that we had to answer using an almanac. Have you ever looked through an almanac? They are wonderful things. I love all of the random information you can find in them. For instance, do you know how many quarts are in a Nebuchadnezzar?* Or even what a Nebuchadnezzar is?**

Later, I went to the yarn shop and hung out for a while. Right as I was starting to think of leaving, it got really, really busy. There were people just looking around, searching for yarn, and wanting help with their knitting disasters. I helped a couple of people with their socks from Cat Bordhi's new book, helped another woman with the sleeve of a fair isle sweater, and rang up other people. It is funny how quiet it can be one minute and so crazy the next.

I have also been doing a little bit of knitting this week. Mainly, I've been sewing Christmas presents because I don't think everyone is going to get knitted presents. I can't wait to share the pictures of the stuff I have been making but that will have to wait until January. :( Back to knitting! The ribbing of the toe-up Monkeys has started so they should be finished soon. I have also gotten a few more inches finished on the beaded shawl. That thing is taking forever to finish! I really can't wait until Mom brings my camera back so I can take pictures of this stuff!

* There are 20 quarts in a Nebuchadnezzar.
** A Nebuchadnezzar is a unit of measure for champagne. I love library school.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrrrrr! Did ye see this piratey yaarrrrrrrn shirt? I be off to walk the plank.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monogamy sucks

I've been staying loyal (mostly) to the beaded shawl I have been working on for the past month and a half. I'm really bad about finishing projects. Starting them is easy but finishing is very hard. So I decided to force myself to finish up some projects and not start new ones until the WIP numbers went down.

This self-imposed limit on the number of WIPs is getting REALLY hard to follow and really boring. I like the project still (though the shawl was getting a little old when I reached 700 some stitches) but I keep looking at different patterns and my fingers itch for new yarn to play with. Fickle girl that I am.

The toe-up Monkey socks were one of my "finish all of my WIPs" lapses. I started them when I couldn't look at the beaded shawl any more. They are now 1 lace repeat from the top ribbing and should be easily finished. I just have to sit down and actually work on them. They went with me to the wedding this past weekend but I didn't get much done. A lace pattern is too hard to work on in a dark car or while imbibing. Also, when you are writing a paper in the car on the drive to PA, it is hard to get any knitting done. On the way home, I worked on the shawl instead of the socks. That helped me get all of the charts done with it and now I am working on the border.

Blah, must finish shawl. So close to being done. So close!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The first one down

This past weekend, a high school friend got married in eastern PA. She is the first in our girl scout troop to get married so it is kind of bittersweet. Some of us from the troop carpooled over there to attend the ceremony and reception.

Aren't we cute? (One of our troop leaders borrowed the sign from a neighbor's yard.)

It was (and still is!) a wild and crazy bunch. We broke all of the traditional stereotypes about girl scouts. Camping, pshaw! Our style was more like renting a house for a week down on the Outer Banks. Quiet and demure, hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Yeah, right! Cookies, well . . . ok, we still sold cookies. Our leaders encouraged us to aim high and we definitely did. The entire troop earned the Gold Award which is equivalent to being an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts. It was completely unheard of for an entire troop to earn this award. Before us, hardly any girls in our town earned the Gold Award. Most dropped out by the time they hit high school. Definitely not us. We planned big and worked our butts off to be able to make our goals. During freshman year of high school we planned a 3 day trip to Chicago complete with plane tickets, hostel reservations, and a very full itinerary. I'll never forget the amount of walking on that trip!

Another thing I will never forget is our troop being told that one day we might be able to plan an overnight trip to the girl scout campground. The "helpful"/condescending person on council who gave us that advice obviously underestimated us. We had been planning our own trips since middle school to many more exotic places and for much longer periods of time. I think the experience definitely made us more mature and responsible.

One of the leaders just started a fun tradition. She took a handkerchief and stitched all of our names on it in gold. She will stitch each person's marriage date below their name. On the top of the square she wrote "One is silver" and on the bottom "the other is gold." Each person is going to pin the handkerchief under the skirt of their dress.

While we were in eastern PA, I took the opportunity to see a college friend who lives in the area. She has been in Washington (the state) and Alaska the past two years so it was great to have the chance to catch up. I loved seeing her pictures and showing her mine. Hearing stories in person can be so much better than by email! I'll post a picture of us two when my camera gets back to this state. Mom borrowed it to use while she is researching family history this week.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Toe-up Monkeys

I've fallen victim to peer pressure and started my own Monkey socks. I've decided to use some of the yarns I got in London. Jitterbug is, however, notoriously short on yardage so I didn't want to make top down socks and risk running out of yarn. So I found a discussion thread about making toe-up Monkeys and found this pattern.

I started the toes on the 8th, finished the feet and gusset yesterday, and turned one heel this morning before leaving for work. I'll probably have the other turned during lunch today. This is quite possibly the fastest pair of socks I have ever made. Of course, now that I have said that, all work will probably grind to a halt.

I like working with the yarn but what everyone has said about Collinette Jitterbug is true. The yardage is short. There are knots in the yarn. There is a distinct possibility that you might get yarn from 2 different dyelots in one skein. This happens to be the case with the skein I bought. The sock on the right has a lot more dark pools and is more green. The one on the left is a lot more blue and has some really nice purple hints. I kind of wish both of them looked like the one on the left. The yarn is really squishy to work with but I don't think that will convince me to buy more. I'll use the other skein I picked up in England and have some nice souvenirs.

So I found a pattern a while ago for a bag made out of "yarn" from plastic shopping bags. I started the pattern but then let it hibernate for a while when I became bored with it. Then along came Ravelry and I found a pattern which was a lot more fun. I frogged the other bag and wrapped all of the plastic strips into a ball.

This thing is seriously huge. Larger than a basketball huge but it doesn't weigh a thing because it is all plastic bags. I rolled it toward the cat the other day and she ran away in fear of her life. The bag will probably be cast on after I get my 15 page paper written this week.

I've also been tempted by the dishcloth bug. Have you seen some of the fun patterns out there?! I was listening to the Knit Picks podcast the other day and she was talking about using a dishcloth to teach new knitters the basics. Her reasons made a lot of sense. A scarf takes FOREVER and by the time you are done, you are bored out of your mind with the project. A dishcloth on the other hand is much, much smaller and you can practice so many different techniques. I'll just have to wait though until the current shawl and socks are done.

I think the fall makes you think of starting all sorts of fun projects like the Lotus Blossom Tank, the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, Wicked, Green Gables . . . All of these seem to be sweater projects. Do we see a pattern?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Spreading the knitting addiction

So last night was the first "Knit-in" at the Needling Yarn. It started at 6 pm and went until 9. I really liked meeting people I don't normally see when I am there. It was also fun to see all of the projects people were working on. Most of them were actually working on socks. A few shawls and sweaters were added to the mix. Mom came with me because of car mishaps and subsequent carpooling. She was the only one without a project because it has been so long since she has knitted. I, of course, am happy to help anyone find yarn goodness and had her pick a skein of worsted weight yarn for a pair of socks.

It was like she was riding a bike. Mom just started flying with the stitches. By the end of the night, she already had the first toe made and was ready to start knitting in the round. I had her start socks the way I do (a provisional cast on a la Wendy Johnson) because I can explain it the best and because I wasn't sure how many stitches we would have to cast on if we started at the very top of the toe. This way you cast on the total number of stitches you wanted on the foot. I also had her do a Sherman heel which is going to be exactly the same type of wrapping and turning goodness as that of the toe. It is a good way to re-enforce what was already learned and you don't have to increase. She'll probably have the sock done by tomorrow that is how fast she picked it up again. :)

I also helped someone Kitchener her toe together. Kitchenering is very difficult to explain if you don't have illustrated instructions. It isn't exactly something you can easily read the directions for and immediately understand. I know I didn't understand it until I read these Kitchener instructions.

In addition, I also helped someone working on her second pair of socks, two at a time, top-down with heel flap. Unfortunately, we had to frog the heel flaps because she had an incorrect number of stitches and had done some other stuff. We could have fudged it and made the stitches work but she wanted it to be right. She was a very good sport with the frogging. I hope I explained about the picking up the stitches along the heel flap clearly. To illustrate what I meant, I even drew some pictures in her pattern. Hopefully she will go into the shop if she has any questions.

All in all, it was a fun night with lots of good food. (Someone brought sushi! Yummmm) I meant to take pictures but forgot to take the camera out of the bag. :( I also only knit about 10 stitches the entire time. Next time I am bringing socks!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Knitting books

Looking through the summer Knitty 07 Cool Stuff features, I saw the book, The Close-Knit Circle: American Knitters Today. It reminded me that I probably didn't share the Readers' Advisory wiki I created for one of my lib. sci. workshops. In case you don't know, Readers' Advisory is basically matching a person with the right book. One of my pages on the wiki is all about knitting books which are not pattern books. These are more like the Yarn Harlot books or fiction books which mention knitting. Here is the link if you are interested.

Pie, Ponies and Pattern Perusal

Did you have a good Labor Day? My aunt and uncle were here over the weekend so we all had lots of lovely food. I absolutely love grape pie and Mom made one of those, numerous peach ones, apple and a birthday cake for my aunt. Way more food was consumed than should have been. :)

On Sunday, I rode all three of the horses I've volunteered to ride. I started with the one that is the most challenge to me, Capone. He tattles when I do anything wrong so it is making me a better rider. After working him in the ring for 1/2 hour, we went on a short trail ride. Once we got back, I got on my own horse, Java, and headed out again for the trail. I met up with some of the other horse people (that makes them sound like centaurs) from down the road and went out on a trail ride with them. It is funny that we went the same exact distance (actually a little shorter) that Greta and I usually do but it took so much longer because we walked the entire way. I ended up being on a horse from 9 am to 1 pm with only a 30 min break to hose one horse, catch the other one, and saddle him. Then, in the afternoon, I went to ride Brandy, the third horse. She is a fat little 20+ yr-old mare who still has lots of spirit. We wandered all over her owners' property until it was starting to get dark. She and I came face-to-face with 10 deer and she never even flicked an ear. If it was Java, we would have started running and not stopped until we reached the barn. By the end of the day, I could hardly move but it was even worse the next day! I ended up only riding Java on Monday even though I had the day off. He was the only one I could trust not to take advantage of my stiff state. I'm hoping to go ride Brandy tonight after work.

This working till 7 pm three nights a week and having class the other night is already getting old and I've only done it 1 week! It makes riding and getting to the yarn shop difficult. Hey, I have my priorities. ;)

Speaking of yarn shops reminds me of knitting. I've reached the doldrums of my lace project. The pattern is still nice, I love the yarn's colors and the beads are still crack but it is taking me 20-30 minutes to do one row. That makes for very slow progress. Also, because the pattern is the same, no one else can see what progress I do make. It just looks the same to them. At least I've reached the halfway point of the third and final chart repeat. It will be very nice to bind off and block this one.

I've already started thinking of other projects to do. It probably is time to get back to socks. They've been neglected for far too long. The Monkey socks by Cookie A. sound like a good project. A ton of people in the blog world have been making them recently. The Jitterbug I picked up in London might look nice but I'm worried there might not be enough yardage.

I'm also thinking of starting some sort of cardigan or sweater thing. I haven't made a sweater in a very long time. Maybe over a year or two? Ravelry is a bad influence because I've been looking at things in other people's queues and then adding those projects to my own. Interweave Knits doesn't help either. Did you see the Tangled Yoke Cardigan? Sigh Of course, any of these big non-sock projects will require yarn purchases. Why does it always work that way?

Saturday, September 01, 2007


Why is it that you can write so much more easily for a short paper but it is like sweating blood when you try to write a long paper? I finally got my short paper for my England class done. There just wasn't a feeling of "Ahhhhhh! This paper is due tomorrow!!!! Must write!" even though the paper was due tomorrow (well, it is due today but you know what I mean). I found it a little difficult not to write little asides in the paper. They probably wouldn't be appreciated in a scholarly work. I'm just glad it is over and now I have to concentrate on the long paper. Fun-ness.