Sunday, September 30, 2007

Meet Bartholomew I

Yep. I finished my first Cat Bordhi sock from New Pathways. It’s “Bartholmew’s Tantalizing Socks” and is (obviously) the first of a pair. Yarn is “Tour de France” from Yarn Nerd (hi, Adam!) :)

Modeling said sock are my awesome Turtle Daddy Sock Blockers. Just to show them off a little bit more, here’s my previous sock FO: The Fleece Artist socks (check here for the stats. They were on the hoof before.)

Bordhi has a really good tutorial on concealing wrapped stitches while working short rows. In the back of the book on her “master reinforced heel” instructions, she suggests this to lift the wraps up onto your needle. Since that was something I had muddled through on the baby practice socks, so I busted out my coil-free safety pins. It certainly made it easier.

I cranked on this thing. Started it on Tuesday, did the arch expansion on Friday, turned the heel on Saturday and finished the foot today. I'm not sure why it went so fast, but I'm not complaining!

In other news…

** The Hubster wasn’t feeling well yesterday, so we skipped the Clarks concert/Pirates game. I’m sure everyone here is tired of The Clarks, but the only time I saw them was in front of less than 100 people at The Troubadour in LA. A cool atmosphere, but I’d like to see them in front of a group of their fans one of these days.

** I enjoyed the Bloomin’ Yarns knit night, but was disappointed that Michelle’s quilting client wasn’t there. I really miss my M&Ms quilting buddies back in Los Angeles. I am not getting a lot of quilting done, and I think a lot of that goes back to the fact that right now I have knitting friends but no quilting friends. This morning, I got an email from Carol with minutes from the last M&Ms meeting. There are very few things I miss about LA, but I’d have to say that 95% of those “things” are people. Very special people that I miss a lot.

** We leave on Thursday to go to Little Rock for my brother in law’s wedding. Although I seem to have found a yarn store with good online reviews in a location that will be able to visit (here … sometimes that link works, sometimes it doesn’t), we’re going to be in LR for about 72 hours. I’m taking lots of knitting and can hopefully get enough stretches of “alone time” to keep my sanity.

** I SWEAR. Jerome Bettis is using a Sharpie on his head to disguise a retreating hairline. It’s all I can see when he’s on camera with Sunday Night Football. Dude, just leave it alone.

** If you like bratwurst, get these. Don’t waste your time and money with these. Trust me.

** Our household had a 1-4 weekend with “our teams.” Both of our alma maters and both of our pro teams lost. The only win was my former employer. The silver lining? Those arrogant Chargers lost too. I had such a rotten experience at Qualcomm last year and had to work with a truly obnoxious “fan” (SuperIntern), so I’m quite happy to see the bolts struggle.

** Comment readers will have noticed that several people have been including those goofy verification words. I commented on Jenn’s blog that those buggers are rather entertaining to me and I think we should all share the goofiness. :)

That’s about it from here. Hope y’all had a good weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Now THIS is an Errand!

See that football? On top of my car at the post office? Why is it there?

Well, it goes something like this …

My mom has been touring the American south with Hanne and Jette for nearly two weeks. I went to the Darwin Martin house, Phipps, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob with them, then right after Kentuck Knob last Tuesday, I came back to Pittsburgh and they headed south. I know they went to Monticello, UVa, and to plantations in North and South Carolina.

So this morning at 9:45, my mom called. And asked me how much a football costs. HUH?

It seems that Hanne’s grandson (pronounce it like the American “Hannah”) asked her to bring home an American football for him. And in their two weeks of driving around America, they were apparently unable to stop anywhere that sold footballs.

After doing a little online research (It’s like anything else sports-related. You can get an authentic NFL football for $90, and you can get cheapo footballs for $10), I did as my mom asked. Went to Dick’s and bought a (middle of the road NCAA “official”) football, then I overnighted the damn thing via USPS to mom’s friend in NYC, where Jette and Hanne are spending the weekend before flying back to Denmark on Monday morning.

Good luck getting that sucker home, though. It’s gonna take up a bunch of room in a suitcase!

I was at the Lake until Wednesday afternoon, when I headed southward between rainstorms. Here’s a look at how a goodly chunk of the cottages appear at the moment

All boarded up for winter. Mildly depressing.

In knitting news, I have sporadic pictures. I’m cruising on my Cat Bordhi sock (Bartholomew), and it looks great in my Yarn Nerd Tour de France.

I felted the Booga Bag 2 before I left the Lake on Wednesday.

My bear is standing up in that photo of the un-felted bag. I’m too lazy tired pathetic to take a post-felting photo. Maybe tomorrow.

I also felted the 12:01 pumpkin

That damn thing is THICK!! It’s triple-stranded Cascade 220, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but DAMN!

I took it to the Bloomin Yarns knitting night last night and left it there so Michelle can display it. She stuffed it with some tissue, then I realized that I hadn’t taken an “after” photo, so RT stepped up to the plate.

He likes that photo much better than the “Taliban Tigger” shot that created such a stir with the Hurricane group last week. I will most likely make this again. I'd add more rows in the "middle" to make it taller, and will not do as many decreases at the top, in order to make the opening wider. Oh, and I'd love to know how they got the handle to stand up so nicely for the "official" photo. Michelle suggested a pipe cleaner, which is a fantastic idea.

We’re going to the Pirates/Cardinals game tomorrow (Saturday) night mostly to see The Clarks. Otherwise, it’s a pretty laid-back weekend. Hope you can enjoy the same!

Oh, and I heard last night that I definitely have a seat for Bruce Springsteen in November. First row behind the stage, probably right above Max Weinberg’s drum kit. Cool!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

90% Perfect, 10% Twilight Zone

I came up to the Lake yesterday morning, primarily to deliver a fond farewell to two of my very favorite humans who left this morning for their winter residence in Tampa. I got here at about 1:30 and made a beeline for the beach.

Yes, the beach. It was Sept. 24, and I spent a good 90 minutes on the beach reading my book like it was July.

The weather was perfection. The lake is low so the beach is huge. The waves are big enough to make noise (yes, sometimes Lake Erie is so calm that it is completely silent) but small enough that the water was crystal clear.

After my beach stay, I hoofed it down to Anchor Point to see Bill and Joanne. Chatted a while, helped Bill with some of his chores (bagging their heater, putting up the last few sheets of plywood over their windows), then went on my way back home.

I decided it would be a good day for a paddle in the lake on one of our kayaks. I took a self-timer picture of me in my board shorts and rash guard shirt, but it’s too scary to post. For the appropriate mental picture, it’s very very ORANGE.

After a half-hour paddle, I came back in to grab my camera in time for sunset. As always, my favorite picture was the first one I snapped.

Then, because the day had been so perfect, the water felt great when I went for my paddle, and BECAUSE I COULD, I went for a swim.

I walked out into the water until I was about thigh-deep then jumped in (you gotta just get WET, then it’s fine). I splashed around for a couple minutes then looked back into the beach and saw this

This is Rackety Packety, the house kitty-corner to ours. How cool is that moonrise right over the house? I waded back in to grab my camera, carefully walked about 100 yards out and started snapping. Getting this shot was harder than I would have guessed, but still worth it.

Side note: Yes, Erie is the most shallow of the Great Lakes. That’s one of the things that makes it great for swimming (shallower lake = warmer water), and why it freezes almost solid during the winter. Like I said, the lake has been calm, so even when I was about 300 yards off-shore in the kayak, I could still see every seashell on the bottom of the Lake. Oh, and out of curiosity? When I was that far offshore, I stuck my paddle into the lake and could touch the bottom with it. It’s that gradual of a drop-off.

By the time I returned my camera to the beach and got back out for a little more swimming, the moon was up above the trees entirely. I stayed out for about another 10 minutes then headed up to the house.

Why the 10% Twilight Zone? Well, I’m used to being here in the summer. When rug rats wake you up as they are running and screaming as they fly by the house at 7 am. Cars, bikes, people and kids all over the place.

Yesterday, including the people I intentionally set out to visit, I’m sure that I saw fewer than 20 people between my arrival at VBP and bedtime. I know that there wasn’t a cottage within five of ours in any direction with any inhabitants, and I’d guess that about half the homes are boarded up for winter.

It’s kind of cool, but it’s definitely weird. Actually, yesterday was a nearly perfect day. The only things I would have changed would be to have had some friends (and/or the Hubster) to hang around with. I even had the house to myself, which is a somewhat rare occurrence.

Hope to do some knitting today. Last night was computer catch-up with bloglines and such. Have a gret day!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It’s a Puzzle

Well, today I completed my last day of work until November. There’s an “available” work day on Oct. 7, but I’ll be on an airplane coming back from Little Rock, Ark., in honor of my brother in law’s wedding so I’ll just have to catch the highlights.

Today, I took the yarn and needles for my plain-vanilla sock with me to the game. While casting on and creating the toe to this sock, I started thinking about the yummy Fiesta Boomerang in my other GoKnit bag, which is destined for the free Southwestern Socks patterns that Wendy created for the Summer of Socks (free pattern available at The Loopy Ewe).

That's Stay-at-Home-Eeyore modeling my Regia sock toe.

The Boomerang is a truly yummy sportweight yarn, and it should go relatively quickly. But still. What have I truly been itching to work on? Something, anything, from New Pathways.

That’s when it hit me. Just because I had previously had Southwestern Socks next in my mental queue, why the crap does it have to stay that way?

So while I watch the Bears-Cowboys game with one eye (the Hubster is a Bears fan. I’m sure I’ll be alerted if there’s something I need to see) and disc 6 of Heroes on my laptop, I’ll be swatching some Yarn Nerd, and I’m makin’ something from New Pathways, dammit! Suggestions are welcome, but the fewer “holes” (yes, that means you, YO!) the better :)

More exciting pictures soon. I’m going to the Lake tomorrow (Monday) morning so I can see two of my favorite humans one last time before they go south (Tampa) for the winter. Not sure how long I’ll stay. I’ll figure it out later.

But I promise, I’m taking plenty of yarn.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

RT in Hiding

Roaming Tigger joined the Hurricane Knitters last night at the Waterworks Barnes & Noble. RT is usually a pretty easygoing guy, but he is a little overwhelmed what with three Frank Lloyd Wright houses and a Knitting Night all in five short days.

That’s Melissa’s laceweight baby alpaca he’s wearing as a hat. (Sorry, I don’t know what Melissa’s blog address is!) I’m sure you’ll see more RT photos on Jenn and Yvonne’s blogs once they get around to documenting last night’s fun. A good time was had by all!

So standing in for RT today is his cousin, Stay-At-Home Eeyore.

I picked up these two books last night at B&N. At one point, I had all four James Herriot books in paperback, but at least one has gone missing and for less than $10 in hardback for two books? I figured ‘why not.’

The second book was the one Yarn Harlot book that I didn’t already own. I flipped through it before the rest of the knitters appeared and decided to bring it home.

I finished the first pair of “test socks” from the New Pathways book. One on DPNs and one on two circs (lemme tell ya … using a 36” circ isn’t ideal, but it was certainly functional).

I cast on the first of the Little Coriolis socks last night. I’m really digging all of these socks so far.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, this Eeyore is anatomically correct …

His tail comes off!

My pathetic little list for today is to accomplish the following:

1. Get the TV room “gutted” of knitting stuff and put back together. (It's almost 2 pm. This might get turfed to Friday)
2. Sweat (gotta get back in that workout routine!)
3. Determine a plan of attack for clothes shuffling into the new dresser
4. Take out the trash before leaving to pick up the Hubster at 5:45.

Why am I picking up the Hubster? We’re going to see The Chief tonight. It’s a one-man, one-act play that I’ve heard many good things about, so we’re gonna go!

Oh, and since I’m feeling like a whiny bump on a log, one more gripe. I made a KnitPicks order on Sunday night (mostly needles, which is why I’m like a puppy at the door waiting for them). I got shipping confirmations from both The Loopy Ewe and KnitPicks on Tuesday morning. TLE ships from St. Louis and I got that yesterday. KP ships from Ohio. No sign yet. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Frank Lloyd Tigger

RT and I had another really busy day today. Up early, at my mom’s house at 9 am. Then we drove to Fallingwater.

We took the Pennsylvania Turnpike and exited at Donegal. They were already quite decorated for Halloween. Usually, that would make me nuts, but in this instance, I’m thinking it’s more civic pride than anything else.

There were three other “SteelerCrows” at the exit, on top of this one. I got a good look at most of them when I exited on the way to Fallingwater, but I didn’t have my camera ready, so I took this one on the way back home.

So our first stop on the day was at Fallingwater.

I’ve been here at least two previous times, but they were all prior to a major renovation that has happened within the last 10 years.

This is the “official” view of Fallingwater. It’s a beautiful house, and so unique. The only down-side? Our guide. Tended to pause for really long times. Between thoughts. It was REALLY annoying. We’re lucky that the creek was low, or we wouldn’t have been able to hear a word she said either. Serious “low talker.” Good information, but the presentation was lacking.

After Fallingwater, we zipped on over to Kentuck Knob. I’ve visited Fallingwater, the Darwin Martin House, Taliesin West … Kentuck Knob is by far my favorite. It’s the most live-able of his houses and I just felt at peace the entire time I was in the house. It was great.

Kentuck Knob was built for the Hagan family and is currently owned by an English family. It’s one of the later FLW homes, and one of the ones he “signed.” That’s the red tile that’s pictured with RT.

This fountain is a mini-waterfall just outside of the master suite that the Hagans put in when they decided that they wanted a little “taste” of Fallingwater. (They were friends of the Kauffmans, the family that built Fallingwater).

This patio is one of the signature design elements of the house. At the end of the patio is the dining room.

Finally, when I was a kid, we’d occasionally go to Ohiopyle. There was a spot on the Youghiogheny River that had a bunch of shade and a bunch of boulders. You could splash in the river and sunbathe or swim or sit on the shore. It was just a lot of fun. I didn’t have a chance to poke around Ohiopyle State Park to find that really cool spot, but I did stop long enough to show RT a little piece of the river

Hurricane Knitters tomorrow (Wednesday) night. I have absolutely no clue what knitting I’ll be taking with me. We’ll see where the wind blows tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Busy Tiggers

Tigger and I have been quite busy since our last post. On Friday, we had a few errands to run at the Lake, then I baked two batches of chocolate chip cookies in anticipation of a cocktail party we hosted in honor of the arrival of my mom’s friends from Copenhagen. A good time was had by all.

Saturday morning dawned with a beautiful patchwork of clouds in the sky. We had to leave the Lake by 8:30 am in order to make it to Buffalo in time for the first stop on our Frank Lloyd Wright tour. The sky would be a common theme in this 300+ mile day of driving.

We had fun at the Darwin Martin House. They are in the middle of a very major renovation, and I will make a point of going back when the restoration is finished. The above photo is actually of the carriage house, not the main house, which is covered in scaffolding. The carriage house made a better picture.

Yeah, I’m a Wright fan. Tomorrow, mom, Jette, Hannah (our Danish guests) and I are going to Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, so it will be a busy day. I’ll return home after the FLW tours while the traveling trio is off to Charlottesville, Va., and plantation hunting in the American South.

The sky on Saturday was awesome all day, and I took a stupid number of pictures. I won’t bore you with the lot, but here’s ONE additional one.

Today, my phone rang at 7:45 am, and mom reported that we were leaving for Phipps Conservatory and the Dale Chihuly exhibit at 9 am.

It’s pretty cool. If you’re in the area, I recommend it. It’s at Phipps until Nov. 1. I’ll certainly be dragging the Hubster over for the evening viewing some time between now and then.

I had previously seen a Chihuly exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Some of this stuff was familiar from that

But I was really impressed by how seamlessly this installation works with the Phipps. It was very cool and it was quite an enjoyable morning.

I’m almost through with my first pair of Cat Bordhi baby socks (“test socks”). A very quick knit. I’ll take some pictures of those, plus my Fleece Artist socks on their kick-ass Turtle Daddy sock blockers around the FLW trip tomorrow.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures of our field trips! Back to “normal” hopefully by the end of the week. Including Hurricane Knitters on Wednesday night. Be there or be square!

Friday, September 14, 2007

YPF: Seriously Loopy/Part 2

So remember last week? I showed you a bunch of stuff I got from that shockingly dangerous place (The Loopy Ewe) and told you I had even more goodness for today? Well, here it is.

I took these photos last Friday while I was in Pittsburgh. I’m poking around on figuring out what sock to start next (I need a gameday sock no later than tomorrow night, so I can take it with me on Sunday morning), but all four of these beauties are high in the queue.

We’ll take the introductions from the top and work down.

First, one of the two current Holy Grails of yarn that threatens to crash TLE whenever Sheri posts it: Dream in Color Smooshy. This is the Deep Seaflower colorway. It’s 450 yards of Australian Merino Superwash.

And now? More Fleece Artist!

This is FA’s Somoko yarn, which is 65% Merino, 20% Kid, 10% Nylon and 5% Silk. Colorway is Angel Fish.

Next is probably my favorite. It’s the same yarn that’s featured on Turtlegirl’s YPF today. Seacoast Handpainted Panda in the “Rain” colorway.

I can’t blame Cristi for wearing this stuff as a necklace. It’s freakin’ amazing. SO soft, and the colors are beautiful. It’s 60% Merino, 30% Bamboo, 10% Nylon. 400 yards. MMMMmmmmm…

And finally, All Things Heather!

This is 360 yards of Superwash Merino in the “Limerick” colorway. Seriously, folks. These are the most amazing greens ever.

So that’s about it from here. If we get a good sunset tonight, I may post again. This is probably my last night at VBP for the summer. All good things must come to an end.

I decided not to quilt today. It was too much set-up and tear-down considering the amount of organizing I needed to get done in order to be ready for company arriving tonight. Oh well. I’m all set up in Pittsburgh, so I’ll hopefully get some good quilting in next week. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Plethora of Projects

It’s been a busy, long day here at chez DPUTiger, North Branch.

The baby brother and I woke up early to start the car detailing shuffle. My car went first, his car went second. It took from 8 am-5 pm to get TWO cars done which seems pretty extreme, but they did a fantastic job on both cars. Very shiny and clean inside and out, and all waxed up to be ready for winter.

I nearly finished my second Fleece Artist sock before the Great Car Swap at 1 pm, and grafted as soon as I got home.

I think they look great. When I tried them on for the photo shoot, the second sock felt much tighter (and a smidge shorter) than the first one. ::sigh:: I’m hoping I was just hyper-sensitive and when I put them on without knowing which was which, I won’t won’t really be able to tell.

Pattern: The Yarn Harlot’s basic sock recipe from Knitting Rules
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino
Needles: US2/2.75mm KnitPicks DPNs, which I LOVE
Start/Finish: August 14/September 13, 2007

Assuming I didn’t really knit two different-sized socks, I’m very happy with this knit. My only problem? What’s my next small project? HELP!!! Gotta have a sock-in-progress by Sunday. It needs to be easy to follow. If I can transfer the pattern to an index card, that’ll work, but the whole shebang must fit in my GoKnit pouch. I'm hoping to do toe-up on two circs.

I may jump in on one of the free patterns Wendy has up at The Loopy Ewe. I do plan to attack the first baby sock in the new Cat Bordhi book, but I don’t think that’s gameday knitting, nor is my current most mindless project, the Steelers Scarf (too big).

Just to prove that I am at least as schitzo with my quilting projects as I am with my knitting, I took pictures of all the WiP’s that I have here at the Lake. I think I know which one I’m going to quilt on first/next, but the truth will be told tomorrow morning when I set up. Tonight, I’m probably going to felt my 12:01 pumpkin and Booga Bag. Sometime after the ‘Eers put this game away.

So. Quilting. First up is this panel that I picked up at Road to California a few years ago. I’m pretty sure it was at The Fabric Patch. It’s pinned with some ditch quilting on it, but I think the ditch quilting is in water soluble thread. It's really not this blue, but I didn't notice the tinting until I downloaded the pics, and by then it was dark out.

Below a Mary Ellen class I took at Bearly at least a year ago. Pretty sure it’s a Stargazey pattern called Celebrate! It’s pinned. I’m gonna do a close stipple in the background, not sure what I’ll do on the “colored bits.”

Next is another Mary Ellen/Bearly class. Daisies and Ladies. Lots-o-Applique. Also basted …. It’s ditch quilted in water soluble thread. Again, I plan to closely stipple the white areas, but there’s a problem. My cone of white quilting thread went to Quilted Memories with the Pineapple, so it’ll be a little while before I can tackle this one.

This is a baby quilt that just needs the binding sewn on

Then, finally, there is Hip to be Square. Also ditch quilted with Vanish. No freakin’ clue how I’m gonna quilt this thing. I’ll figure it out eventually, I’m sure.

So that’s it from here. We had a totally clear sky at sunset today. I don’t expect this trend to continue. Today was the first nice day of the week, and Erin and I both spent time on the beach. The beach was HUGE, and it was obvious that in the last 48 hours, the water had gotten the whole way up to the seawalls. That doesn’t happen too often.

Anyhoo, here are the photos. A little quilting followed by A LOT of organizing/picking up tomorrow. Enjoy!

Oh, and I was doing something after sunset, then got up and looked out the window. The reds on the horizon were amazing, so I grabbed the camera again. This was at 8:02 pm, nearly half an hour after the sun went below the horizon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Errands, Part 2

Yes, I know it’s Wednesday, and that’s generally WiP it Wednesday. However, I don’t want to bore you into a catatonic state, and since I SUH-WEAR that I have nothing interesting to show you, we shall move along.

This morning, Erin and I field tripped to East Aurora, N.Y., so I could pick up my sewing machine after its service trip (nothing wrong, it had just been about two years since this machine had gotten a check-up). I haven’t sewn with it yet, but my mom has used their service dept., so I’m sure I’ll be pretty happy with them. Just wish they were closer!

I wound up getting a little spendy at the sewing center. A queen size wool batting

I’ve been wanting to work with this stuff for a while, and it’s the first time I’ve seen a wool batting on a shelf, so I grabbed it up!

Some thread so I can get quilting on a few basted objects I have hanging around. A book I owned, had signed by the author and has vanished and did not surface during the move. And, because I am perpetually terrified that I will lose the ONE notion that is my favorite of that genre, I bought a second pair of my very very favorite small scissors. (This is also why I have about eight of my favorite tape measure, and buy one every time I see it on sale for less than $5)

Oh, and a Jelly Roll that I was totally planning to buy online. Might need to get another one (or two). Love these fabrics!

Erin and I stopped for lunch on the way home in Buffalo at Erin’s favorite restaurant

It was yummy.

RT doesn’t think he’s been featured enough lately, so he’s been posing around the house

We had a pretty impressive sunset tonight, but I was out with the brother and sis-in-law so I missed the “main event.” Still got some good pics when we got back. Enjoy!