Saturday, April 30, 2005

Insert Twilight Zone music here

I think my house is in a reverse universe. Nothing is normal here. Do you want to know what my husband is having a fit about? I am leaving the toilet seat up! Not the whole seat, mind you, just the lid. And it bothers him. Give me a break. I think we have role reversal here. I like beer and he doesn't. He loves to clean and I don't. If you open his dresser drawers, the clothes look like they should be on a shelf in a store, they are so perfectly folded. Mine are folded and shoved in. Now, mind you, I am not a total slob. Our house is picked up most of the time and our bed is made everyday (by me). But he's a little obsessive-compulsive about things. And I'm not. And what does he do for a living? He's a plumber! Well, he owns a plumbing and heating store with his brother and lately he is mostly in the office doing estimates and store stuff, but he's definitely not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is a neat freak, though.

I've been working on the iPod cover for the past couple of days. If I had had several consecutive hours to work on it, it would be done by now. But I've only had a few minutes here and there. Still it's almost done. Tomorrow I want to see if I can get the red cotton yarn for Allie's cover. And the things I need for the tool swap for the yarn yoga group.

Oh, Leah asked about the pattern for the dishcloth I'm doing. It can be found at the
Lion Brand site. Very easy pattern. And Sallee suggested using metal needles for the prayer shawls I was trying to knit with LB Homespun. I'm not sure if the circular needles in size 13 and up come in metal. The Silvalume ones I have plastic. I'll have to look for some metal ones. And, finally, knitapalooza wondered if the Branching Out Scarf at is easy to do. And the answer is Yes! Easy is what I like best.
I think I'm going to go work on the iPod cover for a while and watch some t.v. Enjoy your Saturday evening.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ain't she sweet?!

The other day I was telling you all that I was feeling melancholy and missing my kids. Well, Ariane called the next day just to chat and cheered me up considerably. I told her I was missing them and on Monday, look what the mail brought me! A little cheer-up mom package. The card says "whatever you are, be a good one (abraham lincoln) and the little yellow notepad reads "If you flap your arms like a chicken, everything will seem much better. At least for the rest of us it will." The larger notepad is from the Vera Bradley 'seaside collection' and has a little notepad shaped like flip flops. And she got me a package of Bag Ladies Tea for Mother. 5 bags with witty tags - every tag is different. I guess I brought this kid up right! Must be all those nights I sat by her bed while she was sleeping and whispered "Always remember to send your mother presents!" There's something to be said for subliminal suggestion.

I actually have a FO to report! Okay, it's only the dishcloth I was working on but the important thing is that it's done! Complete! Finito! And to celebrate, I want to cast on an iPod cover for Ariane. I'm thinking of using the Plymouth Fantasy cotton yarn that Jess sent me in the yarn yoga swap.

I was going to start it at the library knitting group tonight until I realized that I hadn't wound it into a ball yet. Duh! So I'm going to do that in a while. Luckily, I never take only one project to the knitting group so I worked on the zip-up-the-back hooded baby sweater. After some diligent searching yesterday, I found the other skein of yarn needed to finish it. If I concentrate on this sweater, I can finish it fairly soon. But I have a feeling that an iPod cover is being made first. After all, Ariane will be home on May 7th and I'd like to give it to her then.

That's it for today. I'm off to wind some yarn and watch CSI. Ta!

My latest UFO - a dishcloth

See what my dd sent me! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Can I do it?

I just read my little book of Creating a Web Page with HTML by Elizabeth Castro and am going to attempt to create a link. Everyone else seems to be able to do it and I'm feeling left out. So, hopefully, within this post, you will find links.

I'm not posting much on the living room until the weekend. That's when the new entertainment center and coffee table get here. Why bother before then. Oh, and maybe I'll have figured out what to do about f'ing curtains I've been attempting to make. I'm too disgusted with them to comment right now.

In a recent post, Ruinwen remarked on the peaceful inspiration of her knitting. It's a wonderful post and you should read it. And to add a little something to that thought, I find using yarn and needles that make my knitting flow easily, I am more serene when knitting. Case in point, the Branching Out Scarf I'm knitting from . I'm using Plymouth Yarns Silk Merino yarn which is very light and soft and 10" size 8 bamboo needle. This scarf is such a pleasure to work on. My hands don't hurt and the rhythm just flows. I'm also working on a dishcloth out of cotton and while it is an easy pattern, using the cotton just doesn't have the same tranquility. It's a harsher experience.

And that leads me to my prayer shawl knitting. I'm not doing any right now. I started 3 different shawls and frogged them all. As I said before, using Lion Brand Homespun and plastic needles just sets my teeth on edge. Then I tried doing a Fan and Feather one out of Lion Brand Woolease but I lost my place twice and frogged that, too. It's hard to pray while knitting a pattern that you have to really concentrate on. So I have to let my brain settle and see if I can find another one I want to do.

I have to get Isabella to the groomer's this morning and if I don't end this now, I'll be late. And it looks like I may have figured out how to add links. That's a good thing.

Branching out Scarf from - 8 repeats done

Close of the Branching Out scarf. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Work in progress...

Here are pictures of the living room with the new couch and chair and a half in it. We also brought up the t.v and set it on the oak library table, the old red cupboard that holds our cds, dvds and vhs tapes, an old splint chair, a small wicker trunk, and my small china cabinet. I don't think you can really see the china cabinet. It's at the far end of the fireplace next to the couch. As you can see, most of our furniture is antique.

The furniture looks pretty good but we need to add a few things. We're going to Syracuse tomorrow to look for an entertainment center so the computer can go back on the library table, new end tables and a new coffee table. Plus we need a couple new lamps. I don't think we'll get it all tomorrow but some of it would help. Once we decide if that's how the living room arrangement is going to stay, I'll start bringing up accessories and books, too.

It would also help greatly if I'd get the curtains made. I'm going to attempt to put them together today. I'll probably have to run up to JoAnn's Fabrics first and buy more lining material. I know I don't have enough.

I decided I was going to make a prayer shawl for a woman at church who has cancer. I picked out the Lion Brand Homespun triangle shawl pattern and some dark green Homespun I have here and started it two days ago. 28 rows later, I found a mistake. And trying to fix a mistake in Homespun just doesn't work. So I ripped it all out. Now I have to decide if I'm going to start it again. The pattern is really easy to remember but the only size 13 circular needles I have to work on it are plastic. They are the Susan Bates gray plastic and the yarn slides fairly easily on them, but working with plastic needles sets my teeth on edge. I don't know why but they do. So I have to find some size 13 circs in either silvalume or bamboo. Another project on hold.

Alek has a track meet at Hamiliton College today which is about 40 minutes away. We were planning on going but it's raining quite steady. I can't believe they haven't cancelled the meet. We were at Hamiliton a couple of weeks ago and there is no where to get out of the rain. And not enough room to put up tents. He's not supposed to run until 4:25 p.m. so we'll see if what the weather's doing before going out there. I'm hoping he calls and says they cancelled it. Or that the rain stops and we can watch him run.

Well, I have a ton of housework to do plus make curtains so I guess I'll get going. It's such a gray, rainy day that I'm tempted to curl up with a good book or some knitting but I can't. At least not until I've cleaned up this place a little. Enjoy your Saturday!

Plum chair and a half

Sage green couch

Isabella checking things out

Another view. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Living room left front corner

Living room right front corner

Living room - french doors (back of house). Posted by Hello

Branching out scarf after 3 repeats. Posted by Hello


Ariane hasn't lived at home for the past three years. And after she graduates from grad school in June, who knows where she'll end up living. And Alek probably won't be living at home this summer, either. Plus, he'll be a senior in college next year. And tonight I really miss them. In October, Ariane will be 24 and Alek will be 21. Where on earth did the time go?

Okay, I have to get out of this mood or I'll sit here and cry all evening. And I don't cry very often. Actually, I cry almost never. Must be I was due.

Now for some good news! At least it's good for me. Our living room is all done except for the curtains and the new furniture. I'm still slowly working on the curtains and the furniture will be delivered on Thursday! I can't believe how much I missed having a living room! I'm posting some pictures of the living room that I took this morning. Scott got the floor sanded and varnished and put up the curtain rods. We put the built-in bookcase in place and set up the legal bookcase. Plus, the library table that normally holds my computer is in the room. I have no idea if these pieces will stay in the places they are right now. We'll see once we get all the furniture in place.

What? This blog is supposed to be about knitting? Really?! Okay, here's the knitting content for the night. I'm not working on my sock right now. And I started something new yesterday. Please don't act so shocked. You knew I would. I'm posting a picture of the Branching Out scarf from the lastest issue of Knitty. I read about a KAL for this scarf and since I had already printed out the pattern, I decided to try it. But I didn't join the KAL! The picture is from yesterday morning and shows it after 3 repeats. I now have 5 repeats done. I'm using Plymouth Yarns Silky Merino yarn in cream. I bought 7 skeins of this yarn in Cape Cod three years ago at the clearance price of $2.00 per skein. I used 3 skeins on a cabled scarf for a friend this past fall and liked how it worked up. I also like how it looks in this lace scarf.

And except for some work I've done on my most recent dishcloth and several inches on the hooded baby sweater, that's it. I'm almost done with the skein I'm using for the baby sweater and the other skein I have is buried somewhere behind the stuff from the living room so I can't do much on that right now. Hopefully, I can access that yarn this weekend.

Well, I'm feeling better now. Hope everyone is enjoying the great weather that NY is this week.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


We are being invaded by ants! We started seeing a few black ants a couple of weeks ago so we had our friendly exterminator come in and check things out. (This kid is a friend of my brother's and I used to babysit for him and his siblings.) He said they were carpenter ants (which we figured since we've had them before) and he put out some ant bait, squirted liquid bait in the cracks and crevices and sprayed all around the foundation of the house. Well, it seems to be working but all the dead and dying ants are all over the house! We no sooner clean them all up and they're back. I hope they all die off soon. I'm tired of picking up ants.

I'm in a semi knitting slump. I haven't stopped knitting but I'm not excited about anything that I am knitting. I'm still working on the first patterned sock (updated picture posted) but it's slow going. In an effort to finish some of the multitude of UFO's I have accumulated, I dug out a baby sweater I started for one of Scott's grand nieces when she was a baby. She's almost 4! It's a zip down the back hooded sweater worked from the top down. I've made this pattern before and like it. This picture shows it just before I divided for the sleeves. Now I'm about an inch past the sleeves. It's made from worsted weight on size 9 needles so it shouldn't take me too long to finish. I also have another dishcloth started from the same pattern as the yellow one. The patten can be found on the Lion Brand site ( .

My last picture is of one of the patches of daffodils that have bloomed in the past week. I love daffodils - they're so cheery. And they're one of the few flowers that the deer and rabbits don't eat! The yard really needs cleaning up but we're trying to get the dang living room done! It's all painted and now the floors need a light sanding before they get a couple coats of varnish. And I need to finish making curtains. Scott is going to sand them today and hopefully get the varnish on. Now we have to figure out how to keep the ants out of the wet varnish!

Time to get ready for church. Till next time...

Latest sock picture.

Back zip baby sweater.

Spring has sprung! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

My Regia sock with the heel turned and the foot started.

The dishcloth I ran out of cotton yarn for.

A close up of the stitch detail on the dishcloth. Posted by Hello

Home for an evening

Ahhh! There's nothing on the calendar for tonight. I think I'll catch up on laundry, e-mail and blogs. I haven't really read anyone's blog in a while.

We went to Alek's track meet at Hamilton College yesterday. Why do NY schools insist on having spring outdoor sports? They have to start in March or April and it's just plain cold out there. The wind was blowing at the track meet and it was chilly! The poor kids waiting to participate in their events didn't take off their sweats until the last minute. Alek ran in three races but we missed the first one. We waited around outside and watched the second one then I sat in the truck with the dog until the third one. He did pretty well. Nothing outstanding but not bad, either. Then we came home and I immediately left for craft group at Diann's.

Even though I was half an hour late, I was the first one there. Everyone else was running late, too. Carolyn had a high school track meet, Sue was late getting out of work, Carol rode with Sue and Donna didn't even make it. She was on her way home from Texas! Once everyone got there, we had a nice time. I worked on my Regia sock.

That seems to be the only thing I work on lately. I think I'm in a rut. I'd like to start something new but I'm not going to until I finish a few of the UFO's hanging around here. The sock is a UFO so that's what I'm working on. I'm on the foot so it's pretty mindless knitting which is another reason I'm working on it. And I do like how it's coming out. So I'll keep going with it and then, hopefully, finish the second one. I'd love to wear a pair of socks that I made! I took a picture yesterday morning that I'll post. I think it shows the sock with 2" done on the foot. I now have 4" done.

I also am posting a picture of the dishcloth I made on Saturday. It's not a full size one because I was using leftover skeins and I ran out of that particular colorway. But it's big enough to wash dishes. I like that pattern and will have to do another one. I started a different patterned dishcloth but don't like the seed stitch border so I'll probably rip it out and use this pattern again.

My poor Knit Red KAL! I ripped out the diagonal scarf that I thought I was going to love. I think I had made a mistake in the first 16 rows so off the needles it went. I have to take my time and find a pattern I really want to make in red yarn. The KAL goes until 12/31/05 so I guess I have time to look for a pattern.

That's all for tonight. I'll post the pictures and then I need to start dinner. Au revoir!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Lots going on lately...

Phew! Finally time to sit and write a little something. We've been on the go all weekend!

Saturday we drove to Rochester to watch Alek run track at the University of Rochester. We got to Ariane's around noon, waited half an hour for her to get ready, then headed to the college track. We found Alek and he thought he might be running at 4 p.m instead of 3 p.m. So Ariane, Scott and I went to lunch. We got back to the track meet somewhere around 2 p.m. He never ran until after 6 p.m.! It was a beautiful sunny day with the temps around 60 F but there was a slight breeze blowing and that made it chilly. And sitting 4 hours on metal bleachers in the spring makes for a chilly wait. I brought my knitting and worked on my Regia sock. I got the heel done and started the foot. The good thing was that Alek came in 2nd in his heat. He was running the 5K (3.1 miles) and started out in the middle of the pack. Then around lap 5, he started picking up the pace and passing people. Ariane was the one who noticed he was in second place. It made sitting there and freezing worth while. By the time we took Ariane back and got on the Thruway, it was after 7:00 p.m. So it was after 10:00 p.m. before we were back home and then we had to eat dinner. Talk about bushed!

Sunday we had the pastoral candidate preach at church so the congregation could hear him and vote on whether to offer him the pastor position or not. We voted yes and then had a brunch for him and his family. After I got home from church, Sue and I went up to JoAnn's Fabrics so I could buy lining material for the curtains I'm making for the living room. And all I bought there was the fabric. I didn't buy any yarn! We also stopped at the used bookstore to check out their sale. I picked up a few books.

Today, Scott finished painting the living room walls, woodwork, and bookcase. I spent the afternoon measuring and cutting out 7 curtain panels. I need 4 for the side windows and 2 for the large front window. The 7th one I'll cut in half to add to the panels for the front window. That was 19 7/8ths yards of material I cut up. I had to do most of it on my knees on the living room floor. My knees don't work very well on a good day. This really did them in. Then we ate dinner, went to get haircuts and then I had a meeting at church! I think I'm tired!!

And it doesn't stop there. Alek is running track at Hamilton College tomorrow afternoon and we'd like to go since it's fairly close. He thinks he's running around 5 p.m. If we go and he runs on time, I'll have time to get back for our monthly craft night at Diann's. Thursday night is the library knitting group (and Scott has a heating class) and Saturday night we're going out to dinner for a friend's birthday. We haven't been this busy in a long time!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Chicken soup!

If you have a cold, make yourself some chicken soup and eat as much as possible! I had the worst head cold Saturday and Sunday. So, on Sunday I made homemade chicken soup. I had it for dinner both Sunday and Monday. And I'll tell you, my cold seemed to clear up fairly fast. I can breathe, I can think, and I only have a little cough left. There are some old remedies that truly work!

I posted some pictures of the new butter squash wall color. Scott and I both love it. It's bright and cheery. Now we have to get the second coat of paint on the walls and the last coat on the trim so he can refinish the floors. THEN, we can pick up the new furniture!! He figures 2 weekends before we're done.

This coming weekend is pretty well shot. Saturday we're going to Rochester to watch Alek's track meet at the University of Rochester. Since Ariane lives in Rochester, we'll pick her up first and then go to the meet. I hope she knows where the outdoor track is. She's in graduate school at U of R but that doesn't mean she has a clue about the track. He doesn't even run until 3 p.m. We wanted to have him stay with us and go to dinner but it's 1 1/2 hours to take him back to Oswego from Rochester and another 1 1/2 hours to get home. That could end up being very late. But we'll see what happens. Maybe if I offer to drive home.

Then Sunday we're having the pastoral candidate preach at church so the congregation can vote on whether to hire him or not. After the service, there's a brunch and then the vote so that means not much will get done on Sunday either. But that's okay because we'd really like to get a new pastor.

That leaves Monday for working on the living room. I have to start working on the curtains. We bought the hardware last Saturday so I don't have any excuses left. And now that things are getting close to done, I want to get them made.

Hmm, knitting. I really haven't done much of that the past couple of days. I still can't decide what I want to make in red for the Knit Red KAL. I'll find something soon, though. I did get to the heel on the Regia sock today. I still have to sew up the second bootie for the charity sweater, make a hat and then another pair of booties for the other sweater. I'll get it done.

Yesterday it got up to 71 degrees F! That's amazing for the beginning of April in central NY. It was a gorgeous day! Today it's cloudy so I think we're getting rain sometime. And it's no where near as warm but still not too bad. I am soooo ready for spring!

Here are the french doors with the new butter squash wall color.

Left front corner of the living room with new butter squash color.

Same corner, different angle. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Just stuff...

I'm just about ready to can Blogger and find a different server to use. I'm so tired of typing posts and having them disappear.

I posted a picture of the new french doors in the living room. This picture is a few days old and now the first coat of the butter squash color is on the walls. We really like it.

I also posted a picture of the socks I'm making out of Regia 6 Jacquard yarn using size 3 needles. I'm not in a hurry to finish these socks but watching the pattern emerge makes them fun to do.

I finished the booties for the charity sweater I made from the discontinued yarn. Now I have to make the hat. And then another pair of booties for the other charity sweater that already has the hat made. I'd like to mail these out this week.

My head cold seems to be leaving and I can think again. I'm grateful for that!

I need to start another project for the Knit Red Knit Along now that I'm frogging the shawl. I just don't know what I want to make for this KAL. Who knew it would be so hard to pick out a red project!

I'm going to try to post this entry now. I already lost it once. If I lose it again, I WILL lose it!!

French doors in the living room.

Socks using Regia 6 Jacquard yarn and size 3 needles. Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 03, 2005

This is a picture of the wool yarns I bought. Posted by Hello

This is the pile of yarn I bought yesterday. Posted by Hello

I hate being sick!

I feel like a truck hit me! Okay, I know it's only a head cold but I seldom get them so I'm miserable. But enough whining because I'm sure no one wants to hear about my stuffy head.

Donna, Diann and I went to Sybil's Yarn Shop in Cooperstown yesterday. Well, it's not in Cooperstown. It's quite a ways outside of the village but the address is still Cooperstown. Any way, at first we drove past it and had to turn around and go back to find it. It's on a state highway but it's still winding country roads. The shop is in a little building that kind of looks like it might have started as a prefab storage building with a couple room additions. When we pulled up, Donna said "This is it? It's so small. What are we going to find in there?!" Well, we went in and did we find yarn! There were 3 small rooms and a couple of closet spaces and they were all stuffed with yarn. Good yarn! She had just about every Cascade yarn you could want, lots of Patons, Plassard, Hayfield, and lots more. She had wool, acrylic, cotton, sock yarn, baby yarn, blends. I could go on and on. She also carried Crystal Palace bamboo needles. Plus tons of pattern books that I didn't even look at. Sybil is probably in her early 70's and I think she's been in business a long time. The place was little messy but the yarn neatly shelved for the most part.

One of the closets she used as her bargain bin and had just tossed the discounted skeins on the floor. All the skeins in there were $2.00. I picked up 3 bargain skeins of a claret colored yarn that I think is acrylic and wool. Most of the ones in there were but these didn't have ball bands. I also got a bargain skein of Brunswick Germantown pure wool in gray to use for Afghans for Afghans knitting. My other purchases were 3 balls of Hayfield Traditional DK pure superwash wool in a heather tweed (light purple), 2 hanks of Plassard Symphonie 100 % pure wool in a gold, red, brown blend, two balls of Cascade Yarns Bollicine 70% merino wool, 30% acrylic in a harvest colors varigated, a skein of red Patons Icelandic 100% bulky wool, and a skein of Patons Canadiana acrylic in the pampered pastels colorway that I looked all over for and was told was discontinued. She had 3 bags of it. Now I can make a hat and booties to match the baby sweater I made from the one skein I had.

In addition to having a great selection of yarn, her prices were below retail! My total purchase was around $68.00. for 13 skeins of yarn! That averages around $5.25 a skein!! I don't know if it's a good thing that the shop is so far away from me or not.

Donna found a skein of handpainted wool and a matching one of mohair that she bought for $4.00 each! She also found 10 skeins of a bulky wool in the bargain room and bought them to make a sweater. A wool sweater for $20.00 - not bad. She also bought several other yarns but I don't remember now what she got. Diann knits but is not as obsessed as Donna and I. She didn't buy anything. I should have her willpower.

I posted pictures of my purchases and I hope from my descriptions that you can tell which yarn is which. I'm eager to start something with all of it but I have to finish some of WIPs first. I might start something out of the red Icelandic, though, for the Knit Red Knit Along. I don't think I like the shawl I started so I'm frogging it. I think I'll make mittens out of it for Afghans for Afghans.

Time to blow my nose and take some cold medicine. Till next time.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Busy, busy...

This is a quick post before I head out the door today. Donna and I are going to Cooperstown to visit the Ommegang Brewery ( and then we're going to try and find a yarn shop that is in a barn somewhere out there. It's a rural area but it's on a state highway so I hope it's easy to locate. Of course, it's raining cats and dogs and the wind is wicked but at least it's not snow.

If the name Cooperstown seems familiar, that's where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located. It's about 40 minutes from where I live. Also, James Fenimore Cooper's house is there. He wrote "The Last of the Mohicans". Cooperstown sits on Otsego Lake and has a lot of wealthy people living there. The village itself is quaint with lots of baseball memorabilia shops and other cute touristy shops. My sisters and I usually go once a year and make a day of it. The yarn shop is actually quite a distance from the village, I think. I'll know better once we find it.

I hope to have more to report later. And I'd like to get my pictures posted. But right now I have to jump in the shower and get ready to go.

Enjoy your Saturday!!