Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WiP Wednesday: Gimme Some Candy!

Careful when you open your front door tonight

It might be Crazy Newspaper Face guy

Our house isn’t totally tricked out for Halloween, but I did make some effort (NOTE: The pumpkin at the top is hidden in the shade on the front door in the second photo)

We’re ready for Trick-or-Treaters. Probably have a little less than an hour before they start showing up at the door.

So what about my WiP’s? Glad you asked.

Up first, is the opening Jeweled Steps sock

I’m happy with it … except that I overcompensated a bit since I was worrying that it was going to be too short. And now it’s a little too long. I pondered pulling out the toe and re-knitting it shorter, but I don’t think that will work. Anyone with experience?

Pattern is ridiculously easy, and the fit is certainly playing nicer than its predecessor with this yarn. Of course, if anything, this is a bit too loose. Damn if I can figure out those gauge numbers on socks. What’s up with that? *sigh*

Next, the Jaywalker scarf!

This was my primary car knitting on the round-trip to the Lake on Monday and Tuesday. I kind of wish I had measured it before I left, but I’m guessing I knitted at least a foot on this thing. It is obviously going to need some blocking, but I seem to have blocked the Steelers Scarf successfully, so that gives me hope.

Off to throw some fringe on that bad boy (the Steelers Scarf, not the Jaywalker scarf) before kids start ringing my doorbell. TRICK OR TREAT!

Monday, October 29, 2007

So Long, Farewell ...

It was a busy morning of errands, then mom picked me up at about 11:45 and we headed north.

Three episodes of Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! later, we were at Van Buren Point to close the cottage.

Now, I know you’ve all seen photos of the exterior of the place. Looks pretty impressive, huh? It’s not insulated or winterized. At all. And we only have baseboard heat.

So we walked in the door, flipped on the water heater and the baseboard heat (TV room, my bedroom, my parents bedroom) and got to work. Mom started mowing the grass. I made a sweep of the house to corral all things liquid, strip and cover the beds, start laundry, lock all of the windows and bring all of the furniture on the porch into the house.

I forgot to take a picture of the empty porch. It’s really weird-looking. I’ll try to snap a shot tomorrow if I remember.

My lone request for this trip was to be allowed a break for sunset, if such a thing was going to happen in any way, shape or form. It was damn cold on the beach (20 mph winds), but I was enjoying the views enough to snap off over 100 photos. The best few are at the end of this post. Full Flickr photoset here.

It has been over a month since I was last here, and that was the latest in the year I had ever been up here. So to me, the oddest thing was how far south in the sky the sunset was happening. If you feel like it, take a look at one of my favorite sunsets from August, like this one. Use that big rock in the foreground as a reference point. The difference is amazing. And we're still two months away from the winter solstice, when it hits its southermost point in the sky.

After I snapped away to my heart's content, we went to the Ellicottville Brewing Company in Fredonia for dinner, and I had some truly fantastic beer. Two Dunkelweisen (and a burger) later, I was one happy camper and we headed back to the house. [NOTE: Mom didn't like the beer she ordered and said those were the worst wings she'd had in years. I guess I'm the only one who enjoyed the place, but the beer was so good I didn't care.] I’m finishing up this post then sprinting up to bed, as it’s after 11 pm. It’s probably 40 degrees in the rest of the house, and as soon as you open the door of a “warm” room, you can feel the cold air taking over in waves.

Tomorrow we’ll wrap things up. We’ll wash sheets and cover the beds we used tonight. Mom will finish mowing the grass, I’ll finish the liquid sweep and get everything into the car to go back to Pittsburgh. And this is the last night I’ll sleep in this house in 2007. Here’s hoping that we’ll be able to spend plenty of time up here in 2008!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Parallel Universes?

This is a long and rambling post. You have been warned.

Today has primarily been spent doing laundry. Yeah, I’ve done a lot of other little things, but mostly? Laundry.

Now don’t get me wrong. Laundry is actually a task that I enjoy. You start with dirty smelly wrinkled stuff and wind up with clean neatly folded nice-smelling clothes.

But riddle me this, Batman: At one point tonight, I started a load in my washing machine, on a setting that displayed at 1 hour, 25 minutes. So I set the dryer on a manual setting for 1 hour and 25 minutes. A while later, I headed back downstairs only to discover that the dryer had 5 minutes remaining and the washing machine had 18 to go. How is that possible? Parallel universes separated only by a slop sink? Seriously!

Between trips to the basement for Laundry purposes today, I did actually get a few other things done. One of which was blocking my Steelers Scarf!

It is currently happily drying in the 42 degree, 56% humidity on our enclosed, carpeted back porch. With the windows open so it can catch a breeze or two.

Both of the LYS’s that I considered to be “home” during the resurgence of my knitting career, first Jennifer Knits and then Beach Knitting, were not dyed-in-the-wool blocking fans. Yeah, you could steam something if it was giving you issues, but blocking was optional, not critical. You blogging folks (and apparently, all of my new-found knitting friends here in Pittsburgh) block WAY more than I ever have.

BTW, do any of you use a blocking board? Or do you just pin to carpet or a mattress or something? Lemme know. I'm Gadget Girl, but those suckers are expensive!

So when I was at Yarns Unlimited in Sewickley on Saturday (field trip with my mom. We also went to The Quilt Company. I’ll get to that eventually), I bought a blocking kit, complete with a whack of wires, more T-pins and a yardstick. After dunking the scarf in a sink with some Soak, squeezing out most of the water with some towels and transporting to the back porch, I used the T-pins to encourage the ends to not curl quite so much and I used the yardstick to make sure I was blocking the thing relatively straight. If it’s dry in the morning, I’ll take it with me and add the fringe so it will be ready for a real FO photoshoot.

I turned the heel on my first Jeweled Steps sock in the Steelers yarn last night and am now working on the leg. I’m hoping to get it essentially done on the drive up to the Lake tomorrow with my mom. We’re doing a 24-hour trip to close the cottage for the winter. Weather looks promising for sunset shots, so wish me luck.

Remember when we got grown-up furniture about six weeks ago? Well, we have finally finished transitioning the dressers. My stuff into the new one, Hubsters’s stuff into my old one and his old one into the dining room to hold tablecloths and the like. Progress!

OK, so now back to yesterday’s field trips.

Mom needed to to pick up a needlepoint pillow at the Porcupine in Sewickley, so we also checked out the stock at Yarns Unlimited. I got the blocking kit, a pattern and six skeins of yarn and yes, I’m too lazy to bust it out now for pictures.

The big issue is this: [YES, this is most certainly a PLEA FOR HELP/ADVICE!] Remember the Twizzle I got in August? Well, I got two coordinating skeins of Twizzle in a different colorway on Saturday. But now I’m thinking that I should use some Google-fu and find me two more skeins in the same colorway to make the Mountain Colors pattern that I picked up. What do YOU think?

We also went to The Quilt Company, but I’ll leave that for another day. Hope you had an enjoyable weekend, whatever you did!

Friday, October 26, 2007


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YPF: Spontaneous Edition

I slept in this morning, and was perusing the end of my email and start of my bloglines when the phone rang. It was my mom.

“I’m done being a Witch,” she said. I was without a snappy comeback.

It turns out, she had been volunteering at the St. Clair Hospital Trick-or-Treat event. Next on her agenda was to drive my aunt Suzie back to Dallas, W.Va., with stops for lunch and yarn, and would I like to tag along. How could I turn down that offer?

We had lunch at Max & Erma’s then continued south on Rt. 19 to Cannonsburg. Since it is Yarn Pr0n Friday, we’ll get on to the part you’re all waiting for.

We went to The Knit Shoppe on West Pike in Cannonsburg*. I only bought one skein of yarn. That would be what is featured in today's YPF. Why did I only buy one skein of yarn? We'll get to that :-D

This extremely pretty and soft skein of Paca-Peds from The Alpaca Yarn Company

It’s 20% Superfine Alpaca, 65% superwash wool and 15% nylon.

I’m sure it’s going to be very warm and make extremely fun socks. Eventually. :)

Oh, and what the heck is that serving as a background for the YPF photos?

As soon as I walked into the store, the second thing I saw (after their extremely cool TJ Maxx shopping baskets, which I wished were for sale) was this A.MA.ZING DellaQ bag.

Now I have admired DellaQ bags for quite a while, and I own a DellaQ needle case. And yes, JESS, before you comment, I know I ‘fessed up just last night that I wasn’t a huge fan of knitting bags that are meant to be knitting bags. But this fabric is just gorgeous and SO soft and wonderful. And the colors? C’mon. Anyone who knows me at all knows that the color of this bag was created straight out of the deepest darkest corner of my brain and was meant to be in my possession. I just couldn’t resist!

*Oh, and I want to give a shout-out to one of the stores in the same 'hood as The Knit Shoppe. About half a block uphill, on the same side of the street, is Where the TOYS Are, an antique toy shop. Why the shout-out? It's owned an operated by my sister-in-law's uncle Phil! We stopped by and said hello to Phil on our way back to the car. If you need older toys, please give Phil's shop a look!

It was another dark and rainy day here in the ‘Burgh, but when we were driving to Suzie’s farm in Dallas, the foliage was once again impressive. I took this shot from the end of Suzie’s driveway. There were better views, but pulling over for a photo shoot on a narrow windy country road isn’t the best idea, so this is what you get. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Love A Rainy Night Day

With apologies to Eddie Rabbit, I spent a long, rainy day away from home today, and I loved every stinking second of it.

I drove down to the Flatwoods Outlets in Sutton, W.Va., to meet up with my California quilting buddy Sandy and her daughter Deb. Sandy and Deb are staying in Charleston, W.Va., with Sandy’s friend Joyce.

I got to Flatwoods at about 11 am. We shopped the Bulk Foods and I found lots of fun things to bring home. We then moved on to the Fiesta outlet. A whole room of “seconds” and 50% off discontinued colors outside. Sandy and Deb have primarily Fiesta plates to punch up their black and white kitchen in their Monrovia, Calif., bungalow.

They went a little kooky in the store, but it still makes sense … they were able to buy single open-stock pieces to fill out their stuff pretty economically.

We then paused for lunch back at Bulk Foods. The only bummer of the day? My California friends bought out all the pepperoni rolls, so there weren’t any left for me to bring home. Oh well! As I said to them, it’s a “special-er” treat for them than for me. If Joyce is willing to share her Fairmont, W.Va., knowledge, it’s relatively easy for me to pick up a stash, since that’s just over an hour away.

We also stopped at the Fenton Glass outlet, where I got a truly awesome snowman suncatcher and several ornaments for our first-ever Christmas Tree, which will go up at chez DPUTiger in just over a month.

A very sad recent piece of “local” news is that Fenton Glass is going to close down after 102 years of producing truly amazing pieces of art glass.

These photos were taken just outside of the Fenton Glass store at Flatwoods. It rained my whole drive down (150 miles each way, 5 total hours of driving on the day) and didn’t stop until I was back in Pennsylvania.

I bought a few (VERY few, compared to my compadres) pieces of Fiesta, all at least 50% off, and only purchased at Fenton, Fiesta and Bulk Foods. I don’t really give a crap about my purchases, though. They're cool, but that wasn't the point of the trip. My friends were the point.

Now, everybody gets their undies in a bundle about the foliage in New England. But I’m sorry

I find it hard to believe that it can be any better than the hills in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia.

Sandy had a goody bag for me from California. Two projects for our mini-group, and a bag of the world’s best (dark) chocolate covered pretzels from Trader Joe’s. I’m going to have to hide these away so I can savor them for a long time.

Damn, it was a great day. It reminded me what amazing friends I left behind in California, but in a “damn, am I ever lucky” way instead of a “crap, I don’t know anyone here” way. Oh, and it made me ache to get downstairs and sew. I guess that means that I need to start kicking ass on this house thing so I can go down there guilt-free. Wish me luck!

(WiPs tomorrow!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cookies. Leaves. Deer Poop.

It has been a boring week so far here at chez DPUTiger.

Today, I baked cookies. All morning. A batch of chocolate chip and a batch of snickerdoodles. Mom needed cookies for some hospital thing. I like to bake, so I baked them for her.

The task actually came in handy when we were without electricity for 80 minutes this morning. I always do my chocolate chippers by hand in their entirety, and I already had the butter for the snickerdoodles out and softened, so I was the bulk of the way ready. I wound up having everything as far as I could go without electricity and all of my bowls covered in Press & Seal ready to go to my parents place when the lights came back on.

So that took until about noon.

Otherwise, I’ve been ticking things off of my to-do list. Mostly making appointments for various and assorted things. Some other stuff.

Yesterday, I raked leaves in the yard. I know I actually made progress, but it’s hard to tell for the most part. The “big leaf” trees are actually not in our yard. We have oaks in the yards on either side of us, though, so we get a good chunk of overflow.

photo downloaded from

The shocking thing about leaf-raking was the sheer quantity of deer poop in our yard. It’s just amazing! We’ve always had deer making their way through to the woods in back, but I don’t ever remember having this much deer poop in the yard. And we won’t even approach the topic of the chipmunk habitrails through the yard.

Tomorrow, I head down to West Virginia to see Sandy, so WiPs may have to wait until Thursday. Can’t wait to see Sandy and Deb. I miss my Los Angeles peeps terribly, so it will be awesome to get a mini-fix. RT and I will take pictures and we’ll check in tomorrow!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I broke a dinner plate tonight. I realize that this is not a major upset in the state of the universe, but it is notable simply because this is the dinnerware that we registered for as a wedding gift and my Aunt Melissa (and her family) got us the entire set of 12.

My inclination is to ask for a few Crate & Barrel gift certificates for Christmas (from certain relatives who tend to get us junk if we don’t get specific with requests), then use whatever we get to replace the broken plate, get a spare, and finish out whatever else we need to have 12 full place-settings.

Hubster thinks this is overkill. Opinions? [NOTE: Why the crap don't we have a C&B anywhere near here? Bummer.]

In other news, we both had fun watching a very bad football game with a surprising outcome yesterday. I had fun spotting for the play-by-play announcer. Two bad parts: 1. I never caught up with the person at Pitt who has been avoiding me since July (It’s a public blog. That’s all I have to say about that). 2. I started getting a headache with about five minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

I hadn’t been particularly hungry all day, and as a result had eaten very little. I also wasn’t hydrating as well as I should have, primarily because I knew I had two consecutive 90-120 minute stretches where bathroom breaks were totally out of the question. Between these two factors, I think I may have had the first migraine headache of my life. As this is not a normal state for me, I tried to eat a normal dinner, thinking that food would help. Nope. Had plenty of leftovers for today, though.

A good nap and an “early” bedtime killed the thing, and I was fine today for our Costco trip and continued house organization.

I promised pictures, right? Now I’m not trying to give Pioneer Woman Cooks! a run for her money, but here’s my little recipe contribution to blogland.

Meet my famous Dill Weed Dip!

This is possibly the easiest recipe ever, and can be whipped up quickly whenever you might have veggies or chips that are feeling lonely.

1 cup mayonnaise (Miracle Whip works fine too)
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp seasoned salt

The recipe actually also calls for 1 Tbsp finely chopped green onions, but I’ve been making this recipe since I was a schmoo, and I don’t ever remember including that ingredient.

Mix it all up and enjoy! The flavor comes from the spices, so it’s not a big deal to go “healthier” on the mayo and sour cream.

In other news, I’m moving along on the latest incarnation of the Steelers sock yarn. I decided to morph the “Jeweled Steps” from New Pathways into the master pattern, rather than try to make a decision between the 8” midfoot and the 9” midfoot when my actual foot is 8.5” at midfoot.

Of course, I remembered my gauge as 8/inch and used that number. In reality? 9/inch. I’m almost to where I’d start arch expansion and it’s still feeling a little loose, but I’m reminding myself how small Dove was, and also reminding myself that if these master numbers are correct, 62 stitches should be plenty few at 9/inch to go around my 8.5” foot (and ankle) snugly. Right? RIGHT!!!

No pics of the sock since, well, it’s just the toe of a sock and it’s pretty damn boring.

I’m off to watch a football (Steelers-Broncos) and baseball (ALCS G7) game simultaneously. Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2007

TGIF/YPF: Frustrated Hausfrau Edition

It’s Friday, so I’ll lead with the Yarn Pr0n.

When I said I’d gotten some yummy yarn for the next Jaywalker Scarf, I wasn’t kidding.

It’s 80% bamboo, 20% merino, 100% soft and pet-able.

Who knew the lighting in my basement would make such good pictures. And that my Macro function would be happier here than anywhere else I’ve tried it. How ‘bout that?

Dove met its fate this morning

The Steelers yarn is ready to tackle its next task. Most likely Jeweled Steps from New Pathways. It was the runner-up pattern when I decided to go with Dove for this yarn. The gauge I was getting on Dove actually matches the gauge for this pattern, so let’s all hope for a happier ending, m’kay?

I have also been cranking on my Steelers Scarf.

I’m basically at 62”. I’m past where the “pattern” says I should bind off, but I like longer scarfs and I’ve already cut the tassels for it, so I’m going to go until I run out of yarn and will re-evaluate at that point.

The Jaywalker scarf is also getting a chunk of attention.

It’s perfect portable knitting and fits wonderfully in a sock knitting pouch or the like.

After the first few rows, it’s very easy to read the pattern so you don’t have to refer to anything, you can just look at it and know if you’re still doing the right pattern or if you have screwed it up.

In other news, I finally accomplished one of my long-standing house goals. Making the guest bed.

But first …

If you leave a bottle of Windex lying down on an absorbent surface, it will make a puddle. I used the hair dryer to dry it out a little bit, then went ahead with the bed-making

There is still some not-quite-organized junk in this room, but if you want to come visit, we now have a place for you to sleep!

But seriously. How pathetic that my big accomplishments for the day are laundry and making the guest bed. *sigh* Maybe next week I'll be able to get more stuff DONE, since the only thing on my calendar is to meet up with Sandy and Deb somewhere in W.Va.

I have a post prepared for over the weekend, so hopefully I’ll get something up over the next two days. Tomorrow I’ll be at the Big Ketchup Bottle all day for a Pitt game. Hubster and I are both working for The Worldwide Leader In Sports (espn). I’ll be in an open-air booth, so please send warm thoughts to me. If this cold front finishes coming through, I’m afraid I’ll be part popsicle by the final gun. Brrr!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seriously Scarf Sity*

Thanks to everyone who chimed in on my hand-wringing on Tuesday. It was appreciated.

Dove I and II are going to the frog pond. The pattern just isn’t playing nicely with the Steelers yarn.

So I’m going to re-skein the yarn and do it again with a different pattern. This is the sock yarn I want to be working on. I’m wondering if the yarn, after its recent adventures will be too “kinky” to re-knit. I don’t want to wind it, wet it and hang it unless I really have to. Anyone with experience like to chime in?

I got a bunch of stuff done today, but didn’t take any pictures and don’t really want to get up and deal with picture-taking in the dark, so please forgive the text-heavy photo-free post.

Among other errands, I stopped at Trax Farms this afternoon and got some Halloween stuff, since they had crap that I liked and it’s all 25% off. Got a cool Jack-o-Lantern for the front door and a tub I’ll use for candy distribution in two weeks. Oh, and some apple cider. I haven’t had apple cider in … well, at least eight years!

Meanwhile, it has morphed into Scarf City (*the “sity” above was just for alliteration purposes, of course) out here. I’ve added three more bands to the Steelers scarf and will most likely work on that for the remainder of tonight’s baseball game. How long will it be? Well, I don’t think it’s long enough at its current 56” length. The plan is to knit until I run out of yarn, a la Jen's Lady E, and re-evaluate.

I’ve also been working a good bit on the Jaywalker Scarf. It is now about 14” long and it will certainly be the project that goes with me to the Pitt game on Saturday. Very small/portable and repetitive enough that I don’t have to pay much attention to it.

Oh, and I got some Yummy worsted weight yarn to do it all over again. :)

My old boss called today. There is no question that moving home was the right move, but I miss the high-energy environment of my career. And ooohhhh boy, do I miss my friends.

I’m quite lucky to have found the Hurricane Knitters. But I don’t have any quilty buddies out here yet. I signed my mom and I up for a class at the most convenient quilt store to where we live. I’m hoping for the best, but I just don’t get a good vibe from that place. There is no question that I will continue to buy fabric there. They have a good selection and a large amount of stock. But a Bearly-type hang out? I’m not gonna say for sure before this class and maybe a second class (that’s on a weekend or evening), but I dunno. I'm not hopeful.

So when Marc called, I had an attack of homesickness for the people back in LA. With one exception, I really liked everyone I worked with on “our hallway” at UCLA, and I miss them. And oh boy, do I ever miss my quilting buddies. But Sandy and her daughter are in Charleston (W.Va.) right this very minute, and I’ll see them at some point next week. Hooray!

Sorry again for the photo-free post. I’ll try to get back on the horse tomorrow, around the Costco field trip, laundry and some critical house-weeding tasks. And I wondered how my mother could be sooo busy once she retired. HA! Joke is on me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gauge Wars

Ever have a day where you’re so mentally scattered you can hardly see straight? Welcome to my life. Here’s a rundown:

1. My photos suck tonight, and I don't feel like re-shooting them, so they're small. Cope and adjust, m'kay?

2. Dove is pissing me off. Dove I is on holders waiting for me to decide what to do with it. It’s a little too tight, and a little too short in the foot. If I had gone to the ribbing when the pattern told me to, it would have been an anklet.

So I cast on the toe for Dove II in the next size up. It’s too big. So I tried bigger needles to get a looser gauge (which would match the pattern’s gauge), but I hate the fabric because it’s too loosey-goosey. So I’m trying smaller needles to see if I like that fabric, or if it will be too dense. I doubt it will be too dense. I’ve never met a dense fabric that I didn’t love. I’m crazy that way, and it probably explains why I’m a pretty tight knitter and part of the reason why I hate Yarn Overs (they make holes! I hate holes!)

3. Starting the Jaywalker scarf almost killed me, and it certainly disrupted my sleep schedule. I think I tried at least a half-dozen variations and hybrids of Javajem’s pattern and Turtlegirl’s pattern before I settled on something I didn’t loathe. I was swatching and starting and ripping and re-starting until about 2 am on Sunday night.

I do like what I am cruising with now. However, I’m thinking I may give this to my best friend so he can gift it to either his mom or sister for Christmas. Or maybe my new sister in law would like it? Who knows. I just don’t think it’s me, but it’s a perfect travel knit.

And, in news of a different type of gauge, how do we measure what should be kept and what should be tossed?

I threw out a ton of stuff in Los Angeles, but there’s more! Yeah, a lot of it is papers that I can’t seem to throw away unless I’ve at least skim-read them. Which takes forever. And brings Captain Cranky to the forefront if the Hubster is around. Understandable. And I’ve thrown out a lot! It just takes time. A lot of time that I would much prefer to spend on other things.

Like figuring out how the hell to get Dove to fit my feet. Maybe the Hurricane Knitters can show me the way tomorrow night. 7-10, Barnes & Noble Waterworks. Be there or be square!

Did I mention that I can’t find my cell phone? (found it! On vibrate, in the back seat of my car, under about three sweatshirts) Let the fun begin.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I Got Nuthin’

Well, I have some minor stuff. But no clever title. I’m sure you can deal with that.

I’m still cruising on Dove.

Have to say … I feel like something about this pattern is just the tiniest little bit “off.” Yeah, I kind of faked the swatch, but I DID measure once I had enough of the toe finished to see if I needed to start over. I did all the math that I was supposed to do (twice). I still feel like my foot should have been about 1/4 inch longer and that it’s a little too tight around.

Oh, and my RPI (rounds/inch) must be a lot higher than whoever knit the sample. When my diamond ended on the top of the sock, I was supposed to knit two more rows then do the ribbing and bind off. Nope. It would have been an anklet. Plus, I had a bunch of yarn still left in that hank, so I’m a few rows away from starting that ribbing. I’ll finish it soon, but I seem to have over-poked my left pointer finger with the little needle, so I’ve switched projects for a bit.

With that said, I'm still enjoying this book, and want to make more socks from this book. I just need an active portable project on larger needles (Steelers Scarf is larger needles, just not that portable any more).

I had a great little field trip to Bloomin’ Yarns on Friday (I can't WAIT for their website to be up!). As always, it was wonderful to see Michelle and chat for a bit. I found an “orphan” skein of ShiBui sock yarn (marine colorway) for 20% off and immediately thought of Turtlegirl’s Jaywalker scarf which is based off of Javajem’s masterpiece.

So I grabbed a coordinating skein of Claudia Handpaints limeaid and I’m off to the races.

It seems reeeally wide. [NOTE: Yes, that swatch is funky-looking. I cast on 30 and that was way too wide for a swatch, so I decreased it down to 20 because I'm lazy.] And my adaptation of their combined pattern seems kinda wonky. But I’m working on my ebony Lantern Moon US6’s and I’m enjoying it, so I’ll keep chugging tonight while I watch football and baseball.

There was one other gem that came home with me

A Lola Bunny Love kit!

It’s actually a very comprehensive little package … yarn (Schafer Lola, which is available at The Loopy Ewe), a darning needle, embroidery floss and poly filling. I’ve seen two of these bunnies in action and they are both adorable and easy!

Nice pr0n shot, huh? :)

I’ll get to Lola eventually, but right now my Jaywalker scarf is calling my name.

Oh, and does anyone have any freakin’ clue where to find the toggles that people use on drawstring bags? Or on the Everlasting Bagstopper? Talk about frustrating. I can’t even figure out what to call the damn things to Google them properly! Help!!

A little extra eye candy … this caught my eye as I was leaving the gym on Friday, and I had my camera with me.

And finally, this may be the coolest thing I've heard about the Stanley Cup's whereabouts since it spent the night at the bottom of Mario Lemieux's pool. Click that first link if you don't give a crap about hockey but enjoy all things Disney.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


WE ARE IN ESCROW!!! After five months on the market, we are in Escrow on our house in California as of this afternoon. Hooray!

Sorry I have been AWOL for a few days. I’ve been running around for two straight days and haven’t had time to sit around long enough to get the photos off of my camera and post.

Well, as Turtlegirl correctly guessed on WiP it Wednesday, I’m finished with my Bart socks. I stayed up too late on Tuesday night getting the toe finished on the second sock. Aren’t they awesome?

Pattern: Cat Bordhi, "New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book 1" Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks
Yarn: Yarn Nerd 900mHz Tour de France colorway. I purchased from Adam, but it's now being sold through The Loopy Ewe
Needles: US2/3.0mm and US3/3.25 mm KnitPicks 16" fixed metal circs
Start/Finish: 25 Sept/9 Oct 2007
Mods: More of a screw-up. I misread when I was supposed to change from the larger to the smaller needles on the first sock. Got it right on Bart II

And, I’ve already started my next Cat Bordhi sock. It’s the Dove pattern, which is an Upstream architecture. Toe-up, pretty simple with a cool stitch pattern on the leg. Of course, I say it’s pretty simple as I’m knitting from the toe to the arch expansion. Ask me again in a day or two.

Yarn is my Claudia Handpainted in the “Steelers” colorway.

Other things I’ve puttered with since my last post:

RT and I field tripped to the “J-store” and used my 50% off coupon to buy a bolt (yes, a 40-yard bolt) of Warm and White, my favorite all-purpose batting. I’m all stocked up for the foreseeable future. Yay!

Also on Tuesday, I was sitting in my usual spot in the TV room and looked up, only to see some really awesome colors out my window. So I went upstairs, opened a window and snapped some Pittsburgh sunset shots. Not as good as my Lake bunch, but the sky was pretty impressive.

The other exciting thing was in today’s mail. I read a lot more knitting blogs than quilting ones, but I’m finding more and more quilters. And one of them, Teresa, has started dyeing her own FABRIC!!! About two weeks ago, she was describing one of her first sessions with the dyepot and mentioned that she’d have something fun in store for commenters on that post. You’d better believe that I commented in a hurry!

It was overcast and raining all day today, so I couldn’t get a decent natural light photo. I haven’t measured but it looks like a half-yard of a beautiful turquoise fabric. SOOOO PRETTY!!! No clue what I’ll do with it, but you’d better believe I did a happy dance when I opened the envelope!

Mom and I field tripped to the UPMC sports complex this afternoon, then went to South Side Works for lunch. I got a second pair of these sandals:

at REI. Because I completely fell in lurrrve with the pair pictured above. It’s shocking to me, but I’ve started to pass up my beloved Rainbows in favor of these sandals. Since the Tevas are not leather, I don’t have to worry about a little damp. I'm overprotective of my Rainbows that way and the Tevas have molded to my feet same as the Rainbows do. Actually, it’s now too cold for sandals, but still. It’s worth it to have a spare pair because these are SO GREAT.

I freely admit that I’m a wuss, but after eight years of living in Los Angeles, a temperature swing of 87 on Tuesday to 50 today has me shivering and layering polar fleece. Now I admit to loving sweaters and layers and all that, but give me a little time to adjust, m’kay?

Oh, and what’s the unwritten rule about replacing things you have misplaced? (reference the last three graphs of this post)

Yep. *sigh* Baxter is wearing the new pair. RT and SAH Eeyore wearing the old ones. I found one the morning we left for Arkansas (in a sock knitting bag I hadn’t used in a few weeks) and the other one this afternoon (in the pocket of my raincoat). Oh well. :(

Monday, October 08, 2007

RT Does LR

This is a bit of a catch-up post. I’ll work from Friday’s post and go from there.

After the Hubster successfully negotiated tux pick-up on Friday (took forever. Was a mini-disaster), we went to lunch with the groom and my father-in-law. Yummy Mexican.

Hubster and I then field tripped to the aforementioned yarn store. There wasn’t anything that needed to come home with me, but if I lived in Little Rock, I would certainly spend a pretty good chunk of time at the Handworks Gallery.

Then it was off to Jacksonville, Ark., where the Hubster grew up. I got the driving tour, then we stopped to spend half an hour with one of his best friends from high school (who I had not met previously).

Then, it was off to the Double-Wide.

We only had an hour to check out the Clinton Library before closing time, but it was an enjoyable visit. I wish we had left more time to check it out.

Should we visit Little Rock again, I think we’ll do a repeat visit.

After the Clinton Library, we went and checked out the new ballpark in Little Rock

Until the 2007 season, the Arkansas Travelers played at Ray Winder. That’s the stadium where the Hubster grew up learning baseball and working games. This is Dickey-Stephens Park, the new home of the team. Yes, the Rockies-Phillies game was airing on the big screen in the empty park while we were there. We’re guessing/hoping that it was for the benefit of the patrons at the in-park restaurant.

We spent a good chunk of Friday night on the phone with our Realtor. Nothing official yet. Please keep your fingers crossed!!!

On Saturday, we set up for the wedding (hot humid and sweaty, but not awful), then came back to the hotel for our second shower of the day (each). I had to iron my (linen) dress for the wedding

Is this not the most ridiculous set-up you have ever seen for a hotel iron? The “holder thingy” is BOLTED to the ironing board on the square end.

And is connected to the holder thingy by a leash. I mean seriously, people! It’s a crappy Sunbeam hotel iron! Are you that worried someone is going to steal it? Really? Well, it served its purpose, but good grief!

RT enjoyed tooling around Little Rock in our rental car. I think it was a Chrysler Pacifica. The brakes were really grabby, but otherwise it was fine.

Wedding was good, but it was HOT. After the ceremony, reception and tear-down, we returned to the hotel for Shower #3 on the day, hung out with the bride and groom (and a big chunk of the bride’s family) for about an hour, then crashed.

Flew back to Pittsburgh with a two-hour layover in Memphis. Thanks to the Titans blackout (they apparently don’t sell out), the Steelers-Seahawks game was on every TV in the entire terminal, so we saw a pretty good chunk of the game, including the Steelers first 14 points.

Before we left, my mom had asked about using freezer space over here. A local supermarket was having a really good sale on all kinds of MEAT!! (that was for the Hurricane Knitters) so she stocked up and since she’s out of freezer space at her place, a lot is in our downstairs fridge. Oh, and having lived away from Pittsburgh for a good solid 12 years, you can say I’m weird, but I enjoy “true” (translation: Islay's) chipped ham a lot. Since it was on sale for $1.99/lb, mom got some for me while she was there.

It’s yummy. I’m gonna throw half of it in the freezer tomorrow, but I will enjoy all of it!

That’s it for the trip recap. I’m slogging along on the foot of Bart II and have my next sock ready to roll in the queue when it’s done. Catch you later!