Green Hope

Firstly, I can hardly wait to show you the goodies Ann brought me today!  (And that’s all you get until I get some photos… probably tomorrow?)

embrace-the-lace-1Instead, I’ll share my first Embrace the Lace kit.  I should be ashamed to admit how excited I was about this club.  It’s either my third or fourth club, depending on how you count my second year in the Loopy Ewe Sock Club, but I really got antsy waiting on this one!

WARNING!  SPOILERS AHEAD!

Got it?  If you’re in the lace club and haven’t already peeked in the Ravlery group, photos of the contents follow…

We’ll start out slowly, in case someone isn’t paying attention.  Stop NOW if you don’t want to see the contents!

Here’s a photo of the contents, all wrapped up.  There was also a GIANT, clear tote with the club’s logo on it, but I couldn’t get a decent photo of that.  It’s also the best representation of the actual color of the yarn, there in the right corner.

MJ was taken with the gift tag, but you can see there were plenty of “real” goodies in there too.  Keychain, mints, a note pad, a pretty stitch marker…

And the yarn.  Yep.  Mmmmmalabrigo lace, in a yummy green.  The pattern’s incredible too, but I’ve yet to master taking a decent photo of a pattern, plus I always wonder about the copyright issues.  Instead, if you’re on Ravelry, go HERE and scroll down to comment #58. 

That’s an enlargement of the keyring, which should serve to explain the theme behind the club.  I suppose it could be said the club will extol the virtues of lace…  

I kinda’ like green for hope, what with the connotations of spring and new life for all the budding things.  Allergens aside, I know that seeing things start to green up after the bleak, brown winter improves my mood.  I’m quite curious to see what comes next, aren’t you?

Just to entertain you, I think I’ll evaluate myself on each virtue as we go along.  (You know, because that inner Catholic kid never really shuts up?)  Hope is definitely one of my stronger virtues.  I’m not necessarily a sunny, glass half full kinda’ gal, but I do believe that without hope, we’re lost as a species, so almost as a matter of self-preservation, I try to remain hopeful. 

I promise some most of the other virtues will make for more interesting blogging.  Those two at the bottom of the oval, for example…

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Which way did it go?

Pardon me, but have you seen my weekend?  It was here, and then I blinked and it was gone…

The Knight was in class all weekend, one of those boring but required things where he learned what Federal form to fill out when during a BIG, ugly disaster.  Yay for him.   

10616038Saturday was Vera day girls’ day out.   MJ, Sis and I ventured out for some shopping and lunch.   We all came home with a little (some, a lot) Vera.   Sis did get a few items in Hope Garden, and MJ got quite a collection in Pinwheel Pink, but I ended up with Mod Floral Pink.   I love the new Lisa B bag, and I discovered the Taxi Wallet is best-suited for my phone and ID.  I like the look of Lisa B, but I haven’t carried it enough to bond with it yet.  For now, it’s my daily bag.  I can’t carry a camera in it, but my phone has a camera, and it sure is nice to have a light bag.

Last night I made dinner for the crew, had a meeting, and came home and frogged the scarf I’d worked on most of the afternoon.  (Note to self:  ripping back and picking up stitches isn’t as easy as it sounds at midnight.)  I’ll be casting on again tonight, because I’m loving the Argosy pattern and the Silk Garden (#203) colorway.  It’s too soon to tell about the square needles.  They’re fine; I love palmwood, but the tip isn’t pointy enough for a love affair, and I haven’t sat and knitted for hours on end with them yet to know if they really do help with hand aches and pains.

Along those same lines, I had a couple of FOs over the weekend.  We’ll start with the socks.

Not-so Summer Socks

#1

#1

Pattern:  Um…  #1 was an altered version of Summer Socks.  #2 was the brainstorm for what will become my own pattern, but I noted the most obvious changes in the project page on Ravelry.  I’m not kidding when I say I had to ask THREE other sock knitters to help me interpret the original pattern (at the heel/cast on 24 part), and then I didn’t like the ridge that section made when I pickted the stitches up, so I took Gmarie‘s advice and used the afterthought heel method on #2, only it’s not for the heel, it’s for the leg/cuff section! 

In short, I liked the CONCEPT of this pattern, but the pattern itself left a lot to be desired.   A couple of friends are going to test-knit my adaptation and I’m going to knit a second pair so I can provide step-by step photos, since the construction is a bit unusual.

I *do* have ankle bones; I have my foot cocked sideways.

I *do* have ankle bones; I have my foot cocked sideways.

Yarns:  Well, I loved the Heart & Sole so much I wanted to use it all up and make a pair for me, but I didn’t quite have enough.  The first sock weighed 40 grams and I had 35 remaining, so I cast on with a similar Tofutsies colorway and used that for the toe and heel on #2.  I like the colors together so well that I bought one more skein of the Heart & Sole and will do a simple, stranded stripe with both yarns at some point (2010, since I’m knitting socks from my stash this year).

Needles:  Addi Turbo #2, because I wanted to make the fabric a little more open than I normally do for socks.  40″,  because I Magic Loop all the way now.

Verdict:  I wish they matched perfectly, but they’re to be house socks, so it’s all good.  I allowed myself more freedom to try new things than I ever have before, and a pattern I hope others will find an easy, introduction to toe-up socks was born.  I’ll be knitting another pair in *MY* version just as soon as I find my cotton sock yarn.  (Hem, hem…)

Oh – and just so you know, they’re heel huggers.  That awkward looking heel cups the foot and the picots just skim the ankle bone.

Phew!  That’s enough for one post.  More on the rest of the shopping and the other FO later.

How was your weekend?

Okay!

February 2008, OBX

February 2008, OBX

A perky “okay” releases Sissy from a “wait” or “stay.”  She met me at the back door, with Gretchen at her side.  They were happy just to see me.  I bet you want more than that though, huh? 

I had a great, long lunch with Amy.  I had my camera in my purse, but I forgot to pull it out and snap photos.  Her hair is getting long and looks awesome!  She crossed the street just ahead of me; we’d parked in different lots on the same street.  So, arriving early to scoot up to The Cat House for a little gift for her took a different turn.  (I just dragged her along and let her pick out a few things.  She picked toys for her kitties and the cat at work.  I added a little something for her too.)

sqaure_needles_on_card_smallWe walked down to The Needle Lady next.  We each purchased a few things and then headed to find some lunch.   My first choice was Hamilton’s, but they didn’t have a table available, so we wandered down to Miller’s.   Time flew by, and before I knew it, I needed to head back to work.  The good news is, now I’ll have to head north one day to catch up with Amy on her home turf!

Of course you want to know what I got, right?  Well, I grabbed some yarn (of course), but my big purchase was the Kollage Forest Palm Square Needles.   Are you surprised to know they’re also what Gretchen raced to when I set the bag down?  Luckily these days, “Leave it” works like a charm, and only one needle had nose prints on it, nothing more.  I’m eager to see if these are indeed easier on my hands and provide more uniform stitches.  I’ll have to find a little lace something to do on size 5s…

Rain, rain, go away.  The sun never came out today, but tomorrow, I’ll be making my own sunshine.  MJ has finally decided she wants to join the Vera nation, so my sister and I will be escorting her to our local Vera retailer, just to be nice.  (Hem.  Those of you who know me really well know that my Vera stash eclipses my yarn stash, not by item count, but by mass.  I’ve sworn off yarn stashing with only moderate success so look out Vera!)

Other than that, it’ll be a quiet weekend with lots of finishing projects, yarn and otherwise.  I’ll just keep promising an FO or two, and one of these days, I’ll surprise you.

10615015

Maybe I'll come live with Chan?

What Vera tempts you this season?  (Yeah, yeah… I’ll confess my sins purchases…)   I love this Hope Garden fabric, but honestly, I question my ability to keep it looking crisp and clean throughout the summer.   I also have to find something that will hold my smart phone (and dang, the thing is smart and makes me happier than I should be willing to admit), an ID and my trusty piece o’ plastic, and still fit in my Newport without taking up too much precious project bag room.

What’s on your agenda for the weekend?

Save the Space

I love “save the date” cards, so consider this a save the space card.  After a while, I’ll come back and blog about catching up with a friend and about a medley of other things. 

Fall 2008

Fall 2008

Sissy in a “wait” pose.  Same idea… only she won’t hold a “wait” indefinitely, and you’ll have to hang on several hours.  (This is also her best kitchen setter look.)

Wine-y Dogs

gse_multipart112972Happy Dogs on Thursday!  It’s a dreary, rainy day here, but we need the rain so…

Be sure to check the group’s blog for news on a contest that starts today.   It’s not too late to join our group and get in on the contest either! 

I had photos for you, but my camera is at home.  I’m blaming it on my allergies, but boy have I been in a fog of late!  Bear with me, and we’ll just make do.

pinot_grigioLast week, I found a wine bottle that entertained me.   The label on my bottle is a little different, and the foil seal (hem, hem… it’s actually a twist-top, which I hadn’t noticed until I opened the bottle last night) even has paw prints on it.  I wish I could tell you I have a new, inexpensive favorite, but I found the earthy undertones undrinkable.   I thought perhaps it was my allergy tastebuds, but the Knight dropped his head into the glass and inhaled, and came up coughing.   He refused to taste it.

That’s unfortunate, because I love that they support Guide Dogs for the Blind.  Guide Dogs is one of my pet PET charities, so I would love to have a “house wine” that supports them!  I’ll give the other non-reds a try if I can find them locally. 

My own girls are a bit whiney too.  They resent Sissy’s new restrictions, but they’re learning to hunt in the house.   Watching how single-minded Sissy gets when her eyes lock on a bird, squirrel, or whatever, I know we’ve made the right choice to keep BOTH dogs safe. 

This is how they pout.   That’s the wallpaper on my cell right now.  The Knight took that photo Sunday afternoon.  I love how Sissy has her big ol’ melon on Gretchen! 

Happy little friday to you.  I should have some fiber content for you tomorrow.

Oh! Congrats to Sonya for winning the Blogiversary Contest.  Most of you found Sissy, but here’s a close-up for clarification.

Sonya, email me with your address and I’ll get your prize in the mail. 

Thanks to everyone who participated.  I’m going to see about doing some fur-girl videos once in a while, and I’ll try to continue to keep it interesting.

Ada Who?

My childhood best friend sent me an email a few minutes ago that made me aware of a neat cause for the day. 

Today is Ada Lovelace Day.   I must confess, I had to click on the “Who was Ada?” tab.  While I know several women in technology, there’s one to whom I ALWAYS turn when I have my own little techno-snafu – Monica.  

Go ahead, click on the links and learn about Ada and her day.  I hope it does become an annual event, and next year, I’ll plan a proper post.

And because I know you like photos and stories, here’s my own Ada.  She was my maternal grandmother’s sister.  I remember her sense of humor, her elegance and her smile, which ran clean up into her eyes.   It’s a cropped version of a scanned photo that I do believe was taken with an old 110 version camera, probably from the 20th century. 

Just take a gander at what I didn’t crop.  Here’s this LADY – in every sense of the word – sitting in her rather standard attire, at a picnic, in a shelter, just off the water.   What you can’t see is that she’s encircled by her family.  She was widowed before my earliest memory of her, but I can’t ever recall seeing Aunt Ada sit alone, except when I stayed with her and she got up before I did in the mornings, and I’d come out to find her reading her Bible or working a puzzle.

No, I don’t know that she qualifies as a woman in technology, but she was a school teacher in a little one-room school in central Virginia.  Her life nearly touched THREE different centuries, and I’m sure that like her sister, she too was in awe of the changes that happened in her lifetime.  Just for starters, when their father died just before my grandmother was born, his death was caused by an accident on his way home from the seminary; he was thrown from his horse and died.  But before her death, my Ada saw the space shuttle, and the daughter inlaw she lived with had a computer, I do believe.

I’ve always liked the name Ada.  I’m positive my Ada would love to see Ada Lovelace Day take its place on the calendar, reminding all the world that a woman was behind the computers that run the world.

GO FIGURE!

Yeah, I’m shouting.   The Knight has been fussing for a while about me being too loud at times.  I’d had some ringing in my ears a few weeks ago, but it went away.  Long story short, my doctor is much more interested in the fluid behind my ear than my allergies.  It’s all being treated with Flonase and eye drops.  Of course, I don’t have either in hand yet, so we’ll see…

I just don’t have it in me to write much today.  Aside from feeling icky, we learned this morning that Uncle’s Sissy the very senior basset, with a tumor much too much like Fred’s, died last night.  It was a blessing, but it’s still sad.  In the same breath, Uncle told us that last week, our Sissy’s father charged through his invisible fence after a deer, was hit by a car and died. 

You wont see us hanging out in the front yard anymore

You won't see us hanging out in the front yard anymore

So, the Knight and I are quite done fooling ourselves  pretending  with all efforts to teach Sissy to deny her inner hunter.   We have a nice fenced pen in the back yard, and after next weekend, the Knight and most likely CP, Neighbor Guy and Nephew will add steps to our back deck so we can let the girls out into the pen from inside.

I hate to restrict them.  They both love to race and run and hunt, but it’s just not worth it.  Maybe when we get around to the addition (you know, the one I really thought we’d build this spring, before the economy bottomed out and the Knight became chief?), we’ll fence in much more of the yard so they have more room to run.

The pen we have now will afford them room to chase each other and it is on the edge of the woods, so birds and squirels will entice them, but trust me, the pen is VERY secure, and high enough even Sissy can’t get out of it.  It just makes me sad, all of it.

Uncle’s Sissy and her tumor ripped the scab off my heart.   Fred suffered because of missed signs and symptoms.  No one will ever convince me otherwise, and I hold myself as responsible as anyone, but it scares me that two unrelated bassets died so similarly.

Sorry I’m just a big ol’ grump today.  Tomorrow will be better.  Maybe the nose spray and eye drops will help, but at the very least, I’ll have an evening at home with the Knight and the fur-girls for the first time since …  I’m not sure when.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the last day for the contest.