Sunday, July 27, 2008

on the road again . . .

Yes, I'm about to leave you once again. I'll be at Deep Creek lake (Maryland), trying to survive 4 days with my in-laws. Wish me luck. I was looking forward to days of swimming and laying in the sun, but as it turns out, it's significantly cooler out in the mountains--the highs are in the 70s--so it may not actually be bathing suit weather. Sigh. I feel like this type of cozy mountain getaway would be better in the fall, but I'll just have to make the best of it. Even if one of the amenities listed for our rental is a CASSETTE DECK (western Maryland is just light years ahead of us city folk!).

I'll be taking the front of Josephine with me to work on, particularly on the 3 hour drive to and from (can I finish it in time to wear at our bbq next weekend? Ha!). Here's the completed back:

Yesterday my Lotus Blossom made her public debut at my friend Catherine's engagement party, and she held up quite well! No stretching or drooping, and I received loads of compliments from friends who couldn't believe I had knit her. Yay!

And if anyone feels the need to adopt a kitten or 2 in about 8 weeks, one of my mom's cats gave birth to these little darlings yesterday:

OK, so day old kittens aren't so cute, but in about 2 weeks they'll be so adorable you'll be driving down (over, up) to Maryland at top speed so you can adopt them.


Monday, July 21, 2008

you put the lime in the coconut . . .

You know what's no fun? Returning from a tropical paradise to discover that the weather in your hometown is actually hotter and more humid, but with no beaches, palm trees or tropical drinks. Sigh. I am back after a few nice relaxing days in Nassau. My conference was Thursday and Friday, but ended around noon Friday, so I had plenty of beach and pool time. I can't add any new Flickr photo albums (and I don't want to bunch all my photos together in one messy album) until I upgrade, so for now my pics are on Facebook (and you'll just have to be my friend! And you should, because I have this cool "send yarn" application, and hardly any knitting Facebook friends!).

I successfully smuggled Josephine, needles and all, onto the plane, and knit most of the way from Chicago to Nassau (why was I, a Baltimore(ish) resident, flying from BWI to Nassau through Chicago, you ask? Good question. Damn American Airlines--my far more geographically sensical flight through Miami got screwed up, so I was stuck flying halfway to Japan and then turning around to fly in the opposite direction; I got to BWI at 4:30am and finally arrived in Nassau at 5pm. Ridiculous!). I finished the back, but haven't started the front yet. Pictures soon, I promise! I was sitting in the last row, so I didn't attract much attention, except from a few flight attendants who wanted to know what I was knitting. I decided to check my knitting for the trip home, and I'm glad I did--we went through THREE different overzealous security check points at the Nassau airport, and it was annoying enough without trying to explain knitting needles.

Now that I'm home I need to get back to work on the Windowpane Socks, and hopefully get the first one finished up before we head to Deep Creek for family vacation number 1.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Off to the Bahamas until Sunday, don't miss me too much. Josephine is coming with me, let's hope the needles make it past security!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

how does your garden grow?

Just a few yarn pictures to drool over:

Queensland Kathmandu DK in pink beige, for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Lava, for the Henley Perfected

I also want to show off some non-knitting productiveness: my garden!
Here's the view of my garden from our deck. That tangled mess of growth in the back is my tomato plants. Unfortunately we bought cages far too small. Then we tried to switch the cage for the tomatillo plant last weekend, and I think we killed it in the process. :(

On the plus side, there are actual tomatoes growing on the tomato plants!

And a few tomatillos as well (I already harvested my first one, but there's nothing you can really do with one tomatillo; if I get a bunch, I'll make salsa verde):
I've also already harvested about 2 cups worth of basil leaves and made a batch of pesto. It was delicious. Sadly, my cilantro isn't doing as well:
It just got too hot, too fast here this year for cilantro to grow well--it bolts once the weather warms up. I'll try again later in the summer, and perhaps work on growing some indoors as well. I've also got some pepper plants out there, and they're growing, but I see only 2 actual itty bitty peppers. :(

I planted some broccoli today, which, if it grows, should be ready to eat around mid-September. Once we get back from our first vacation in late July I'll plant some more broccoli, as well as some spinach and a salad mix that I thought looked good. I also picked up some pumpkin seeds (just for the little decorative ones), so once the veggies are done for the year, I think I'll throw them in the garden and see what happens.

I'm really not much of a gardener, although I do much better with outdoor plants than indoor plants, which always wind up dead. But I really like growing my own veggies. When we have a "real" house with a yard larger than a matchbook, I will definitely expand my gardening, and the first thing I'll plant will be blueberry bushes. You just can't have too many blueberries.

Only a few more days until I leave for the Bahamas--and I have to fly alone! I'm getting there a day early so I can ensure that everything is prepared for our meeting. I've never flown alone, I'm a bit nervous. I've printed out the TSA list of allowed items that clearly states that knitting needles are permitted, so I'm planning to bring something to work on--just not sure what yet.

OK, next time something about actual knitting projects!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

life, liberty and pursuit of knitting

I hope everyone had fun celebrating our independence yesterday--hurrah for throwing off the shackles of British oppression, but boo to losing the cool accents . . . We had a decidedly dull 4th here. Rain was threatening all day, and I have low tolerance for crowds and traffic jams, so we opted to stay home and watch The Other Boleyn Girl. As usual, I thought the book was far, far better than the movie, but Eric Bana's a pretty hot Henry VIII, so you might want to check it out anyway. Ever since Scarlett Johansson appeared out of nowhere a few years ago, it seems not a week goes by without someone telling me I look like her. For the record, I was born first--she looks like me. But in any case, I don't find her particularly attractive myself (I do think some of her facial features resemble my own that I dislike, so that's probably why!), so I find it hard to take this as the compliment people seem to intend it to be. Also, God did not see fit to grace me with the same assets in the, er, cleavage area. That just doesn't seem fair. But at any rate, I thought she was good in this movie as well, as was Natalie Portman. Unfortunately, in order to make a 600+ page book into a 2 hours movie, they had to cut out way too much information, which I thought left the characters and the story as a whole underdeveloped and rushed.

OK, this isn't a movie review blog--on to the knitting. I jumped into the Windowpane Socks colorwork yesterday morning, and so far it's going quite well, actually:

I really didn't have time--or rather, didn't make the time--to master 2 handed fair isle in time for these socks, so I'm working single-handedly, as it were. Once I got the over/under rhythm of the 2 strands of yarn going, it started moving quite quickly--no fancy stitches here, just stockinette. But I quickly remembered the reason I haven't tried colorwork since the chullo--floats. I'm terrified I'm not making them loose enough and that the sock ultimately won't fit. I can't imagine I would have the wherewithal to start over if I finished one sock and it didn't fit. At least it would be pretty--maybe I could frame it . . .

A little progress on the Josephine Top too: