Thursday, August 30, 2007

Meeting fellow bloggers is so cool

I've enjoyed lots of knitting these past two weeks. I've just about finished up my second pair of Jaywalker socks.

I'm going to use The Crafty Weasel's toe trick to seam it up. I suck at kitchener.

And just like many sock knitting geeks, I immediately cast on for another. I'm in no way a sock geeker but I have to do this while the pattern is still fresh in my mind. This time I'll try to stick with it to finish it off before I forget what the hell I'm doing... again.

I'm determined to keep with this sock knitting exercise. So far I find knitting on 5 zero sized needles to be terribly frustrating. Why bother you ask? Well, last week I got to meet fellow blogger, Marce, over on the The Brown Berry Chronicles. We met for the first time and she noticed my socks!

Marce inspired me to knit my first Clapotis. Here she is showing off hers. Don't you just love the colors!

I was so glad she brought it. It is so cool to see things in real life.

Here's a shot of my finished shawl. The mystery yarn has yet to be identified. I may have to wait until Rhinebeck this year to find the vendor.

There is a little secret to my Clappy though.

Can you see it?

I ran out of yarn and had to use some random stuff from my stash to finish it off. There has to be over 50 rows of this random stuff. First I tried to simulate the stripping of the original yarn and quickly got tired of that and knit the rest in a solid color gold. Yeah, I know kinda tacky but it's done.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I don't live at the zoo

I love the wild life that hang out in my yard. Even though I can't grow vegies or certain flowers, like petunias because the woodchucks can devour several flats of them in an hour (I learned this a few summers ago when one did just that. As a result I discovered the beauty and variety of Dahlias.) I've tried to be a good neighbor to my wild friends. I put up with them swimming and dieing in the pool. I put up with how they "winter" in my pool house by making hibernation beds out of the batting to my garden furniture cushions that I have to replace each year. I put up with all of that until one of them decided to move into my kitchen.

I have mice.

I've tried being very fastidious by not keeping any food out that a mouse could eat but it seems that this doesn't bother it, because it still hangs around. As a matter of fact, it BRINGS food into my kitchen and stores it in my drawers and cabinets tucked away between the Fiestaware. I cleared out the cabinets of dishes and the little shits shits and stores seed (stolen from the bird feeders I presume - CSI is good for something) in the now empty cabinets that I must vacuum and disinfect on a daily basis. This was seriously eating into my knitting time so I had to do the drastic thing, I called an exterminator. Now that my PETA environmentalist son is off to college, I can get away with this without threat of being picketted.

Unfortunately, I called an exterminator from Brooklyn. All wildlife, save roaches, have already been exterminated from Brooklyn except, of course, for rats. Those suckers are alive and well. My cousin's husband owns an exterminating business so I figured A) he will be gentle with the poisons if I ask him and B) he would be gentle with the bill.

WRONG. People, do not call a city exterminator if you live in the suburbs. The guy wanted to blow up my yard after one of these jumped out

and one of these kept dropping tree nuts onto his truck -

but I think the clincher was this fella -

When he flew onto the pool house getting ready to order take out (bunny, squirrel or chipmunk) the exterminator from Brooklyn said as he took refuge in his truck, "lady, you don't need an exterminator, you need a zoo keeper!"

Friday, August 24, 2007

The North Carolina College ride

I just got a call from my son. His books cost over $400 dollars and he needs more money. I put $500 in his book account and thought, "nah, he won't need more money, I mean how much could 1 poli sci, english and spanish book cost?"

Then I remembered this display at the book store

First of all, if somebody put Serena Williams on my science text book, I'd be a scientist today! No dead president or some 15th century wighead ever got me excited about spending $252 for a book!

Walking around campus really brought back how wonderful college was. Even though I didn't have the conventional experience, I worked during the day and attended classes at night and starved pretty much every day in between, I still think fondly on those years...

And speaking of food, check out these prices from an eatery in Greensboro -

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that they served up some of the best burgers I've ever had for only 3 bucks too!

A stone's throw from Chapel Hill, I was able to check out some great stuff in a town called Carrboro. There was a farmer's market

where I met and chatted with an amazing herbalist. He wouldn't let me take his picture

It was hard to resist buying some of these. I mean New Jersey does produce watermelons in the summer but I was truly curious about how these tasted.

I even got to check out a nice craft store that featured works from local artists.

I think I stood in front of this display for 15 minutes trying to decide which mug to bring home.

This is Sara. She owns this lovely and very friendly store, N.C. Crafts Gallery . It is certainly worth the visit if you are ever near Chapel Hill.

Carrboro has a nice yarn store. I resisted buying too much stuff because as it turns out I had already hit their sister store in Greensboro. I did have a chance to hang out and knit with this nice lady -

Alisa is a new grad student in library sciences. What luck I had meeting a book lady working in a yarn store. I'm afraid I did talk her ear off about life on my town's library board.

Back in Greensboro, the 105 degree temperatures didn't stop me from checking out their downtown

And my new college student finding a dog pal in the local yarn store, Yarns Etc.

Nope I don't spin but this store has some of everything

Except they didn't have catfish.

Or a brass band

Sunday, August 19, 2007

...and then there were 2

I've returned from North Carolina and the 10 plus hour drive. I'm sufficiently brain dead, emotionally drained and generally catatonic. Nothing can prepare you for the rush of emotions when you drop a child off to college. For the past 13 years, I've had 3 children to care for, and now there are 2...

Dorm setup, "Mom I'd rather do it myself."

Do I look scholarly yet?

Our contribution to Target's bottom line

I have loads more pictures that I'm sorting through so stay tuned. Yarn therapy is a good thing. When I was anxious, my family and my car's GPS system helped me to find yarn stores. I got some great bargains and met some sweet knitter store ladies in both Greensboro and Chapel Hill that I'm eager to tell you about.

Oh, and before I forget, here are pictures of some projects I finished before I left. These were manic knitting events that I threw myself into usually around midnight when I couldn't sleep worrying about all the logistics with getting this boy young man off to school.

A nice silk, cotton and cashmere poncho for the end of the summer.

Another poncho from loads of rowan tape that I bought on a closeout close to 2 years ago.

And last but certainly not least, my blogger pal Marce talked about starting this so I thought I would join her when I realized that I had too many of these -

Because you'll need lots to make this (but it is fun)

Figured out what it is yet? I bought the yarn in Rhinebeck last Fall.

The famous Clapotis
my first.

Sharing with my cousins.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Laughing stock

So happy I was able to get so many wannabe comedians to comment on my travails with that dang skunk in my pool. Even my niece Trayce in Hawaii weighed in by emailing me a picture of a dancing Pepe le Pew. You guys are a riot - bang, zoom, zing...!

I was able to squeeze some fun into my summer and got together with my brothers and sisters and their children for a day at the amusement park.

That's my grandniece with her back turned, my baby brother in white shirt, my nephew in red cap, my now 16 year old in maroon shirt, my youngest in white shirt and my brother's youngest in striped shirt.

Can somebody tell me why would anyone think this is fun?

This was Jonathan's expression after he saw the ride.

After hours of walking and watching them scream, I convinced everyone that I needed a break. And, as the 'designated adult', I told them all that I thought that they were 1 ride away from losing their lunches.
Of course I brought some knitting. That's a Cascade Fixation sock I'm working on.

I wasn't sure if they were bummed out because I made them sit or if they were indeed sick to their stomachs. I wonder how many mind scrambling rides can anyone endure before their pupils are permanently fixed and dilated??

Not bad progress for a few hours of public knitting except it is my first time knitting with Cascade fixation. This stretchy stuff stretched way too big so I ripped it before I got too far down from the cuff. I'll have to find a sock pattern just for this yarn. Any ideas?

After a long day of having fun and 5 hours of highway driving, I was happy to return home. And yes, even though I never know just what I'll find in my garden, it is good to know that I'll always find some of these precious things...