Monday, August 31, 2009

Snoopy is Dancing

Doesn't he always look SO happy when he's dancing like that?

So what happened in the land-o-DPUTiger today?

Well, we designated August 31 as the honorary end of the Craptastic Summer of Suck™


That’s all the stuff belonging to Teh Crazy Lady (aka former boss), just before I took it to be boxed up and shipped back to the home office.

Which means that she’s now permanently out of my life. I’m still a little sick about being unemployed, but never having to speak to Teh Crazy Lady again is a huge bonus. Yes, I will be screening calls from her area code for the foreseeable future.


The Smurf Killer socks, following a three-day sprint, are also out of my life. They’ll get a well-documented bath tomorrow and will be headed for a FO-to shoot as soon as they’re dry. I’m almost as happy that these are done as I am to be done with Teh Crazy Lady.

Next knitty project is already on the needles. I have a few morning errands to take care of on Tuesday (September! Yay!), then I plan to spend the bulk of the day in the Dungeon, cleaning up and sewing.

Separated at Birth?

You may remember that my first Tulip sweater was inspired by a shop sample knit by Michelle, the owner of Bloomin Yarns. When I went to do the photo shoot for the Tulip I just finished knitting for my upcoming nephew (Hubster’s brother and wife are expecting around Turkey Day), I realized that the “Nephew Tulip” and the shop sample may very well have been twins separated at birth.

My sweater in the front. Michelle’s in the back. Creepy, huh?

After knitting my first Tulip cardigan for my niece, I decided that I liked the pattern and loved the yarn enough to knit it all over again. Since this time around the recipient is a boy, I inadvertently chose nearly the same colors as Michelle did.


My cream color is darker than hers, but otherwise? Yeah, the same.


Since this is a boy sweater and Mom & Dad have dogs, I did a button band instead of ties and got cute puppy buttons.


I’m very proud of my applied I-cord on this sweater. It’s just about impossible to tell where I grafted the start to the finish. Two very experienced knitters guessed WRONG at Hurricane Knitters!


I also decided that the buttons needed a little more reinforcement than normal since it’s a baby sweater. I whipstitched a close-to-matching grosgrain ribbon to the inside of the button band, then used some DMC #5 Perle Cotton to sew the buttons in. They aren’t going ANYWHERE.


Nephew Tulip

Note: Everything is the same as Ellie’s Eco-Tulip except the colors.
Pattern: Tulips, A Colorful Cardigan for Baby, by Lindsay Pekny/Dream in Color
Yarn: Sublime Yarns, Organic Cotton DK
Colors: Borage (Blue), Bone (Off-White), Peapod (Green), Nutmeg (Brown).
Quantity: About half a skein of all but the brown. I actually didn't start new balls of the green or blue until the last stripe on the 2nd sleeve. Until that point, I was using Ellie's leftovers. Started the 2nd skein of the brown at roughly the same point.
Source: Bloomin Yarns (pattern and yarn)
Needles: US 6 and US 4
Started: 12 August 2009
Finished: 28 August 2009
Mods: I did more of a Rocketry finish than a Tulip finish because of gender.

Now, if you will excuse me, my hands are purple and I want to get back to the damn socks so I can hopefully get two icky things out of my life on Monday ... The Crazy Lady AND the Smurf Killer socks!

Friday, August 28, 2009

YPF: Sock Summit STR

Since WeirdyPants asked so nicely, I will first share my latest Socks that Rock acquisition. Purchases for me at Sock Summit by a woman with impeccable taste (Turtlegirl76).


It’s a rare gem, which means it was either a mistake or an experiment in Tina’s world of yarn dying at Blue Moon Fiber Arts


It’s STR Lightweight, which means it will almost certainly wind up as a pair of socks for yours truly


There are enough blues and greens in this skein that I’m pretty sure that’s why Cristi picked it for me (even though she likes to give me a hard time that I don’t branch out enough color-wise) but there are also enough browns an purples to make it interesting.


Whatever. It’s awesome. I love it. Thanks, Cristi!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SuperSherpa to the Rescue!

We all know I enjoy knitting socks. And that I want to be Cat Bordhi when I grow up. But in one of the few “boy, that was the right decision!” moments of the Craptastic Summer of Suck™ just a few short days before registration opened, I decided that I was better off staying home this summer rather than trooping to Portland, Ore., for Sock Summit.

Holy crap, was that ever the right decision!

Anyhoo, I “knew” a number of knitters who made the trip to Portland, or were fortunate enough to already live there.

The Sock Summit store was open for orders from anyone, but your goods had to be picked up in person. There was only one person I could possibly ask to Sherpa for me (translation: pick up my SS swag and ship it back to Pittsburgh). A Turtle!

Cristi picked up my swag first thing. I got a text message confirming receipt on arrival day! I’m assuming it was a trouble-free transaction. If it wasn’t, she never let on.


I ordered a hooded sweatshirt, logo buttons in both sizes and a clip-light. Hoodies are my favorite and I have a “thing” for buttons.

I sent Cristi money for postage with a little extra to see if she could find some stuff in the marketplace that I might like. And to get something for herself as a "handling fee." Of course, she found some amazing stuff in the marketplace


We’ll meet that yarn in a future Yarn Pr0n Friday post (this week? Maybe if I write it tonight …) but in the middle there is a nifty Sock Summit notebook. Lined on the top half of the page with graph paper on the bottom.

So YAY for internet friends and YAY for getting a little tiny taste of Sock Summit. Even though I wasn’t able to attend.

And a very big thank-you to Cristi. I'm lucky to have friends who (have great taste and) help to enable my sock yarn habit.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Do YOU Spell Relief?

Right now? Today? G-U-T-T-E-R-S

One of the more recent chapters in this Craptastic Summer of Suck ™ has entailed water in our garage and basement. This happened (for the first time in the 38 years my family has owned this house) because the gutters on half of the front of our house failed in spectacular fashion.

This has been the rainiest summer I can remember. And what happened every single time it rained here?


See the wet stone on the front of the house? That’s not from rain blown into the wall.


You can see the stream of water coming out of the gutter instead of going down the downspout like it’s supposed to. The gutters had also pitted out so badly that the water was going down the face of the house rather than, you know, into the gutters and down the downspout. This caused lots of water in the garage and a little in the basement. Eww.

So anyhow, we finally got the gutters fixed today. Fantabulous!

First up was ripping down the old gutters on that section of the house. We hired a great roofer who believes in not replacing things until they have officially worn out. I'm good with that.


It came down in pieces.


The piece of wood underneath looked gross until my buddies Riley and Bob scraped it down, at which point it actually looked fine. (Surprise!)


Because gutters are boring, here is a gratuitous puppy picture:


Back to the roof. The cool bendy thing that the roofers bought and I didn’t photograph created sheet metal to cover the wood that attaches the gutters to the stone.


New gutters! Woot!


Puppy got a bone today. It looks gross because she had buried it, then un-buried it. She was quite concerned about where she should stash the bone before she really started working on it


The final step in the process was to put a coat of co-poly (that's the red stuff. This is a before/after photo all in one!) on the copper facing of the dormer windows. The pink parts show where that copper was starting to pit out, but we took care of it in time. Yay!


Of course, I forgot to take a full front-o-house shot before it got dark, so you’ll just have to deal.

But bottom line? We have functioning gutters again. And I can sleep at night instead of waking up every time it rains completely convinced that water is coming in through the roof/ceiling. Hooray!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cue the Elevator Music

Just a quick update here at the World’s Most Boring Blog ™. Six days of employment left on the books. Still job hunting. Ugh.

Roof guy is coming Monday morning at 7 am (yikes!) to fix the gutters. I’m quite psyched about that. Aside from the early wake-up call, of course.

I was going to take yarn pictures and Ravelry sweater-stashes pictures today, but it was rainy and overcast all day, which makes for crappy pictures. So I turfed that to later in the week. School starts here tomorrow for all the neighborhood kidlets. Nothing else exciting to report.

For those of you who asked what I was going to do with my beach glass from this summer:


WeirdyPants suggested I take a look at Ikea for a glass container. Perfect suggestion! This one is full, but I have a second empty one. May have to sneak back over there to get a couple more for future beach glass.

In other news, we had a family of deer wander into our yard and (primarily) the neighbor’s yard earlier this week


Sydney was not outside, or those deer wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in the neighbor’s yard. We have "wilderness" immediately behind our house, so deer are pretty common 'round these parts.

Still trying to psych myself up to cast on the second SmurfKiller sock. Nothing else to report here. Less sewing that I’d like. Perhaps the sewing time will increase drastically once I’m unemployed? One can only hope.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WiP Wednesday

WiP #1: Still job hunting. Right now it looks like I’ll be unemployed Sept. 1, but I’m still working on fixing that. Damn, I really didn’t want to change careers, but I don’t have much of a choice in the matter.

WiP #2: Socks. I finished SmurfKiller #1 a little over a week ago. Yay. This is the sock that caused the purple hands. Seems that’s the Indigo, since this yarn was naturally dyed. Meh. I’ll make myself cast on for SmurfKiller #2 before much longer.


WiP #3: Tulip #2. I liked the one I did for my niece so much I cast this on for my nephew (Hubster’s brother and his wife are expecting around Turkey Day) a week ago. Sleeves will probably go on at Hurricane Knitters tonight.


Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Camera Clean-Out

I take most of my pictures on the Nikon D90 I got for Christmas. But my Canon point-and-shoot takes better Roaming Tigger photos and is easier to bring along on “outings.” It’s been a while since I downloaded the photos on my Canon, but I did that tonight. Let’s see what RT and I have been up to!


This was a quilt shop in Salem, Va. Located basically halfway between my hotel and the field for the Division II softball championship. Great shop, and I got a LOT of fabric for an average price of $3.50/yard if I remember correctly. That was part of what I did on birthday-eve. Which was in May. No website, but if you’re in the neighborhood, it’s worth stopping by.


On my actual birthday (May 24), I managed to meet up with Zarzuela and HWJF (her fiancée) for dinner in Roanoke, Va. It was a nice coincidence that they were in Roanoke for an overnight stop en route to bassoon camp while I was in Salem for work. Great to meet them both, and it was a wonderful way to spend my birthday evening!


About a week later, I was in Norman, Okla., which is only about half an hour south of Oklahoma City, home of the Women’s College World Series. In July of 2008, I got a desperate Ravelry message from “L” of L&B Yarn Co. begging to purchase two skeins of a discontinued Noro Silk Garden from my stash. I agreed, and she sent me a VERY VERY generous gift certificate. Which I spent on my visit. Awesome!


While at the Lake on vacation the first week in August, Mom and I field tripped to The Quilt Farm in Boston, N.Y. It’s not close to much of anything, but they have a HUGE amount of fabric in that barn (website says 7,000+ bolts. I believe it!) and it’s well worth the drive. Roaming Tigger stayed at the cottage that day, which is why he’s not pictured. Beach bum!


The next day was the opening day of the TKGA/CGOA Show in Buffalo. While lots and lots of knitters were having a blast at Sock Summit, I was at this thing. RT and I got two skeins of sock yarn and two pieces of jewelry. Marketplace was “meh.” We didn’t do classes or anything else, just the marketplace.


RT wanted to play with the buffalo in the convention center lobby on the way out


We thought the colorful one was much more fun.


On the way home, we stopped to buy booze


Drove down Rt. 20, which is now the Tim Russert Memorial Highway


Which takes you past Ralph Wilson Stadium (it’s hard to take a good RT photo from a moving car)


And evidence for why I haven’t cast on the second sock for my pair-in-progress. They’re bleeding like nobody’s business. I don’t even carry the yarn with my left hand (the hand with rings). That’s the hand that pushes stitches up onto my left needle to be worked. No fun! You can see the path of the working yarn on my right – ringless – hand. It’s a recipe for SSS (second sock syndrome).

OK! Now you’re all caught up. We’ll see what bloggy things I can come up with this week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vacation Wrap-Up

Well, I have another full week of vacation that I’m enjoying … although I’m working a full day at the LYS tomorrow (Wednesday) … but we came home from the Lake on Sunday so the Hubster could go back to work yesterday.

Had a great beach glass day on Thursday morning

Good variety of glass, and a large quantity. But the kicker on Thursday was this:

That blue thing, to the left of the “for-scale” battery, is the largest piece of cobalt glass I have ever found in 30 years. I’m still a little bit in awe.

That night, we had a rather boring sunset

But I was easily distracted thanks to Georgia

She’s a lab-mix rescue who was on the beach with her humans. She’s named Georgia since that’s where she came from!

On Friday, I took a brief speed-walk on the beach and came up with this:

What’s not pictured are the two largest pieces of red glass that I’ve ever seen. My sister in law mentioned red glass at dinner that night, and when I went out for my walk, there were TWO big pieces of red. I hadn’t found a piece of red bigger than the nail on your pinky toe all summer. And in one walk? To find two the size of your thumb? Day-um.

Saturday and Sunday had lousy weather. Rainy and cooler. But I didn’t care. I parked here

In that front blue chair, and read books. All day. It was awesome.

There were other adventures, but those pictures are on my other camera. So I’ll blog them on another day.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Vay-Cay Wednesday

There’s been plenty going on here at the Lake, but very little knitting.

Progress has been made on the sock. Mostly while at the Chautauqua County Fair’s Demolition Derby on Sunday.

Didn’t realize I focused on the chair, not the sock. Oops.

I’ve been taking a roughly 90-minute walk on the beach every morning. And yes, picking up more glass. AA battery included for scale.


Monday’s “theme” was blue glass. Got four good pieces of cobalt blue. That’s really unusual.


Tuesday was “don’t break an ankle” day. The lake was pretty high and there were lots of rocks to keep me on my toes. Found a few big pieces, but a low “take” on the whole.


Today, the lake was going down a bit so the beaches were bigger and lots of glass was exposed. I’ve now filled a 12oz Solo cup with glass and will have to start a new one tomorrow. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Just one sunset photo so far. From tonight.

Hope you're all having a great week. I'm looking forward to getting Sock Summit reports from Portland. Considering how this summer has gone so far, I'm glad I decided not to go. But that doesn't mean I'm not a tiny bit sad that I'm not there. I'm certain it will be an amazing event!