Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fabric Loot: Make Your Own Shop-Hop!

No web access at home-of-friends last night. Here’s where we stayed. It’s a seriously awesome house built in the early 1930s on the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania.

We made a stop at The Quilt Company on the way home today, so that makes FOUR quilt shops in three states during a 72-hour span. Well, if you set the clock from when we stopped at Four Seasons Stitchery on Tuesday to our stop at TQC today, about 50 hours, but you catch my drift. As Aunt Suz said, it’s not a shop hop until you’ve seen four shops, so we just had to stop at TQC today! ☺

So now, we move along to the loot. Today is Quilting Loot Only. Tomorrow I’ll do Yarn Loot, plus the one holiday decorating thing I got.

We shall go in order of our itinerary. First stop was Four Seasons in Grantsville, Md., on Tuesday around lunch.

Three pieces of fabric. The blue strip on the top-right was sale, as was the awesome green-pink-blue batik.

Then we stopped at Jinny Beyer’s Studio on McLean, Va., that afternoon. I got a kit for Jinny’s Jewel Box Quilt,

some yarn you’ll see tomorrow and the French Braid Quilts book. This book is seriously cool. Aunt Suzie snagged the last kit for the table runner from this book, but I can pull from my stash pretty easily. I’m excited about making something from this book, I just wonder when the crap I’ll get around to it!

In addition, I finally used the AmEx Gift Card that was presented to me at my last M&Ms meeting in California. My stash thanks you, the Jinny Beyer Studio thanks you and I thank you! Obviously, as instructed, I used it for fabric!

Yesterday, we did Valley Forge, where RT got up close and personal with George Washington. I’ll recap this visit when I have more energy, because I’m just too damn tired tonight.

On the way from Valley Forge to our dinner-and-sleep destination, we decided to stop in Morgantown. Not this Morgantown. This one! We stopped at a very nice yarn store, but did not purchase. Then we stopped at Hayloft Fabrics, which was a general store that had knitting/quilting stuff upstairs.

Almost all of the fabric was about $6.60/yard (note to Knitters: That's cheap. Good fabric is usually closer to $9/yd), and they had yardage of Moda’s The Hamptons fabric line, which I lurrrve. I was all excited and ready to buy. Until I touched it. Icky griege goods. I did find one print that felt normal and I know what I’m going to use it for. It will be backing for the Row Robin I did with Carol, Lisa and Beth a year ago.

I also got a neat panel that’s an Advent Calendar. It was 20% off because it was Christmas fabric, and since it was only $5 to start with, who could resist?

Finally, today’s score. I really, really like The Quilt Company. I just wish it was on “my” side of town!!! I found a truly special batik, and bought five yards of it.

No, I have no idea what I’m going to use it for. Shut up. It’s gonna marinate in the stash, and it will be freakin’ amazing whenever it tells me what it wants to be when it grows up.

I also got sucked in on another one of their kits (Click here, then scroll down to Winter Blessings). I know. Be quiet. I will start sewing again soon!

The kit actually has a light blue background and is much “happier” than the one pictured above. I almost got sucked in on this one too, but yeesh. I have at least two UFOs that are similar, so I took a deep breath and stepped away.

So that’s about it. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed. The air mattress at home-of-friends was good last night, but I historically don’t sleep very well the first night in a new bed, and I just had two nights with a “new” bed each night. I feel some serious Z’s coming on. I just wish I had a fake foam brick to throw at my TV so that I wouldn’t have to listen to Bryant Gumbel any more. Gawd, he’s bad as a play-by-play announcer.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On the Road Again

Yup. RT and I are once again exploring the Eisenhower Interstate System.

This time, we're with my mom and aunt. Today was all about the yarn and fabric.

It's late, I'm tired (after watching last night's suck-fest. yikes.), so you're just getting the basics. I didn't bring the loot in from the car, so we'll get to that later.

First, we stopped in Grantsville, Md., at Four Seasons Stitchery.

I got three cuts of fabric and a magazine. Photos tomorrow, or the day after.

Then we had lunch at Penn Alps and hit the road again, heading to McLean, Va., and the Jinny Beyer Studio.

Major loot there. Yikes. Yarn and fabric. And a book. Really cool book. Jinny was there while we were, but she was like a tornado. There and gone.

Loot pictures tomorrow (if I have web access and time) or Thursday when I get home. It's cool stuff. Don't know how it will photograph, but trust me.

After that, it was a stop at my cousin's house nearby to see my cousin, his wife and their two boys (2 and 8 mos). Then shopping (Crate & Barrel, Levenger), dinner (Gordon Biersch) then hotel.

I had a moment of panic during dinner. I thought I had left my most favorite-est work accessory (my original Levenger pocket briefcase, which they no longer make) at the big Ketchup bottle last night, never to be seen again. Heart sank, felt ill, the whole shebang.

The good news? It was in my "big" work bag. Phew!!!!!

The bad news? My iPod bricked last night. Please keep your fingers crossed that it's just taking a good long nap and will decide to work again tomorrow or Thursday. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I honestly mean it -- I don't want a new iPod! I wanna keep this one!

Nothing I can do but wait and see ... and get some sleep. Tomorrow is Valley Forge. Wish us luck!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Let It Rain!

It’s dumping rain and the field looks terrible, despite being totally re-sodded after Saturday’s Pitt game.

This was taken following Saturday’s Pitt game. RT wanted his picture taken with Mr. Rooney, and who was I to say no?

I have been running around like a nut for the last two days. Yesterday, I was fighting one of the final battles for the Leaf Wars of 2007TM. Got the back yard totally done (with the Hubster’s help) and left the front yard because I had a few time-sensitive errands to run prior to dinner at my parents house. One of those errands was acquiring the raw materials for my dad’s Christmas present – he has decided that he wants a Steelers Scarf. An easy enough gift for the most difficult person on my entire list to shop for!

Today, after waking up and doing my regular email/web site check, I got down to work. I had been informed that all of our holiday cards had to be as finished as possible before I left for work tonight. Mission accomplished. Hubster just has to stamp the envelopes and sign/stuff the generic letters.

Tomorrow, I’m field tripping with my mom and aunt. We’re headed to the Jinny Beyer Studio in Virginia. Wednesday, we’re going to Valley Forge and will be home on Thursday. No clue what my web access will be while I’m gone, but I’ll do the best I can. RT will document the journey as best he can as we travel along. Pardon the lack of real photos. It's been busy around here!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Amazing Race Sunday: A Goat in a Basket!

Sorry I'm so late posting. CBS was an hour late locally, but in addition I had to get the holiday card train rolling before I have to work tomorrow night and leave town on Tuesday (two-day trip with my mom and aunt). Next week’s recap won’t go up until Monday, since I have an 8:15 pm kickoff for work next Sunday. Thank you for your patience!

No Chicken, No Check-In!
Boy, Kynt already looks like he’s struggling and it’s just the third leg of the race. I was really glad Ronald took it down a notch last week. Let’s hope it continues! I had to laugh when Shana & Jennifer named their chicken Phil ☺ I think Hendekea’s “personal pit-stop” is the first of its kind that has been shown, at least since I’ve been watching.

Detour: Shake your Pan or Shake your Booty!
Booty: Nathan & Jennifer – She thinks she’s got it since she’s an LA Clippers dancer. We’ll see if Nathan can keep up. Too bad she missed the memo that she had to be creative while she was at it! Azari & Hendekea – apparently, looking under-coordinated counts as creativity. Either that or as the Hubster said, the judges might have been a little biased (Remember what you learned from Avenue Q!) Ronald & Christina – At least as under-coordinated as A&H. Apparently, looking goofy isn’t a blanket cover for dance ability! Kynt & Vyksin – The crowd loved these two, but the judges? A+! This vaults them a head of R&C. Shana & Jennifer – Looked like they were sleep-dancing. Yikes. Apparently, though, this is creative! Lorena & Jason (A) – Started here. Little do they know … They had fun with this task, though, and fortunately the judges liked what they saw!

Pan: Nicholas & Donald – They smoked this task. Go Grandpa Go! TK & Rachel took a look at Booty then switched. But they got lost on the way to the mine. Eek! They were also a little slow, as they didn’t have Grandpa’s trick of using water to find the gold faster. Lorena & Jason (B) – They were bummed and I can’t blame them. But they buckled down and got it done quickly including Grandpa’s water trick. Their spirits were probably higher than mine would have been, and they did well.

Pelektanga Market – U-Turn!
I don’t remember U-Turns previously. I think it’s new, and BOY would that suck! The U-Turn is like the Yield ... but the U-Turned team must turn around and go back to complete the other half of the detour they just finished. Ewww! This is always the part of the Race where Karma comes into play.

Shana and Jennifer U-turned Lorena & Jason (because they thought that’s who TK & Rachel were), so L&J are going to be in serious Suck City when they get to that point in the race.

Road Block: Bike a Goat!
This is going to be challenging. Jennifer (of the & Nathan) pair freaked out at the market but managed to freak out and complete the task very quickly. Hendekea breezed through the task. Jennifer (of Shana &) really regretted playing the U-turn and was telling TK of her regret while their partners were loading their bikes. Apparently, the loading of the bikes was the most challenging/interesting chunk of this particular task, since that’s mostly what we saw.

Shana, who led the charge on the U-Turn had a huge amount of trouble in the market. There’s that Karma thing. You could see Jennifer (of Shana &) sweating it out while TK was pretty cool waiting for Rachel to come back, despite the fact that their partners had left simultaneously.

Hendekea taunting Jennifer & Nathan didn’t really make the sprint to the finish any better, and it’s going to make Jen and Nate even more motivated to beat them out next time. Her little speech about “let’s spread around the first place finishes” isn’t going to win her any points.

Africa has obviously affected Vyksin. They are doing very well as a team. NOTE: Those had to be the most docile/doped out goats ever. Maybe they were on their post-Thankgiving tryptophan naps?

It was really sad to watch Lorena & Jason finish out the leg. Jason’s positive attitude was very impressive. Unfortunately, it was an elimination leg and it’s the last we’ll see of this pair. After watching Lorena flip out at the camel task last week, I didn’t think I’d get to like this pair as much as I did tonight.

Scenes from next week: Hmmm … perhaps our friend Karma will arrive on the next leg?

Remember, next week's AR recap won't appear until at least mid-day on Monday. When we play at night, I get home at about 2 am after the game, so I sleep in to compensate (the bonus of not having a "real job"). TiVo is my friend. Thanks in advance for your patience!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm too tired for a "real" post. The drive back from Akron (my first drive in snow/freezing weather in about nine years) took a little more out of me than I'd like, and I'm beat. But I'm thankful for all of my friends and family, near and far, and very thankful for all of my blog readers and for the people who write the blogs I read regularly. I hope all of you had a wonderful day and were able to spend the day with people you care about!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


"Purpose ... It's that little thing that lights a fire under your ass!"

I have a Purpose! (Purpose is one of the songs in Q) … to get this blog post up and running in the 10 minutes before my mom picks me up!

We’re going to see Avenue Q tonight at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh with Colin and Erin (brother and sis-in-law) and, of course, the Hubster. Hubster and I saw this show on Broadway with the original cast shortly after it won the Tony for Best Musical. I’m psyched!

This is an almost-finished object. I made the pompoms today for my Bright Stripes scarf.

My mom likes to give me a hard time about being Gadget Girl (different from Gidget, believe me!!) but I’ve gotta say that it was insanely easy to make the eight pom-poms for this scarf with this gadget I got at Natural Stitches last Friday. The included instructions are very easy to follow. I recommend this tool for the next time you need to make pom-poms. Totally worth the $6 because it makes the task SO easy.

OK. Gotta post and run. I’m gong to try to get a Turkey Day post up tomorrow, but if I’m lame and late, HAPPY TURKEY DAY!!! It’s my favorite holiday. It’s gonna be a great next 36 hours. ☺

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sweaters and Leaves

Earlier today, I took a look out of a window on the back side of our house. This is part of what I saw.

See those two relatively narrow stripes that have less leaves than the rest? Well, when I first looked out there, our neighbor’s youngest boy (2nd grade, I think) was “raking” leaves. Or the leaves were raking him. It was hard to tell. Luke was using a ginormous rake and I think if he had put the rake on its side, its width would have been ¾ of his height.

You can see he got quite a ways on his leaf-raking task before he was called away. :) Perhaps, had he not started in our yard (property line is roughly where the wire for the telephone pole is), he may have had more energy for his own backyard! Gotta admit, though. He was VERY cute with his huge rake and more leaves than he could handle.

Yes, I have another whack of leaves waiting to be raked. I think I’m going to leave that for tomorrow’s workout, though. Most of the trees that are dropping leaves into our yard still have the bulk of their foliage, but at least the end is in sight. Which is good. Late, but good.

The most exciting news in my world today was this

My MOO cards arrived! I’m a very happy customer, minus the fact that half of my order that is a gift arrived on Friday and the part for ME didn’t get here until today, despite being shipped a day earlier. Frustrating, but virtually forgotten once I saw how great my cards look. Both of the MOO card holders were purchased on Etsy. The card holder on the left came from studiobijou and the one on the right with the clip came from splatgirl. Oh, and I will totally re-use the plastic box they came in (pictured, center)

In case I didn’t mention it, if you are on Ravelry yourself, my username there is DPUTiger, same as here. I have photographed and uploaded the bulk of the “upstairs stash” although there’s a cabinet I forgot about. We’ll see when the next decent picture-taking day is.

The Hubster and I are going to go sweat when he gets home from work, then my “project” for the evening will be to get a few more WiP-related things up on the TimeSuck, then get the purple sweater finished. What’s next in line for seaming, you ask? Either this

Or this

Yes, they’re both brown. Feel free to vote. I can’t make up my mind.

I will miss the Hurricane Knitters tomorrow night, in favor of attending Avenue Q at the Benedum Center with the Hubster, my brother, sis-in-law and my mom. Dad didn't want to come, but I have a feeling that he'll be paying for dinner anyway :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Welcome to the Time Suck!

Yep. I got my Ravelry invite. Yesterday, right at kickoff. Lemme tell ya – Steelers-watching and Ravelry-browsing are not particularly compatible activities. Especially when your team is playing a truly pathetic game. Hmmm … on second thought, maybe it was a good thing I didn’t have to devote my full attention to that debacle.

I managed to watch about 90 minutes fly by while I photographed the “upstairs stash” this morning/early afternoon. I’ll probably upload that stuff tonight.

In other news, Hubster and I went errand-running on Sunday. The stated objective was to find a good winter coat for him. Since we’re members, we started at REI. Where I found these. (left) Yes, I know those are summer sandals for me, not a winter coat for him, but they were about 40% off, so I got ‘em.

I managed to find a really cool (warm) coat for myself at our second stop (right), and I’m quite pleased with it. I still don’t have a sock on the needles, and my only active project is my second Jaywalker scarf (the green/pink one). I’m thinking of doing SJ’s no-purl Monkeys next. Perhaps with my Yarn Pirate? Hmmm … that’s sounding pretty good. We shall see.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Amazing Race Sunday: Camel Wars!

Pleeeease excuse the tardiness of this post. I'm a complete idiot and inadvertently posted this on one of the other blogs in my Blogger Dashboard. Bad blogger! No Reese's!

Ooh! The evil dad (Ronald) gave himself a hernia while pedaling to last week’s Pit Stop. We’re starting this week with Eeyore getting medical attention. My guess is that this will make him grumpier, not more willing be nice to Christina and/or the other competitors. (NOTE: surprisingly, I was wrong about this!)

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
I would giggle at the competitors pathetic attempts to pronounce the destination, but seriously. Would you be able to say that place? No way! Awesome that Jason compared Lorena to The Exorcist. Of course, when you go to such an obscure destination, travel is usually a major issue. Despite a maintenance scare with eight of the nine remaining teams, they all made the same flight to Oogie Boogie.

I love that the first thought from Shana & Jennifer once they got in the cab in Africa was that they’d be sold into slavery :) And change from the cab driver was an adventure too! First clue box seemed to be relatively easy to find and the train station was another major equalizer. Donald (the grandfather) is scoping out the sisters (Marianna & Julia). Very entertaining.

I’m a little sad that none of the teams missed the stop on the train. That would have been awesome.

Road Block: Milk a Camel!
Oh, and they’re gonna have to drink the milk too! Awesome! Lorena freaked out, as seen on last week’s preview. Don’t most people realize that if you stay calm around animals you have a much better chance of getting along with said animal? This is certainly an example of “slow and steady wins the race”

Three camels ran dry. Those teams wound up at the back of the pack, but the gap was not as long as it could have been since the three teams in front did their best sheep impression (follow the leader, blindly). Two teams were still at the Road Block when the first team checked in at the Pit Stop. Lorena & Jason were one of them. Being last at the Camel Station really pushed Lorena over the edge, but she finally did complete the task.

Detour: Teach It or Learn It
I find it funny that none of the teams could find the school once they got their clue ☺
Teach It – Teach a local kid 10 english words
• Ronald & Christina, TK & Rachel. Nicholas & Donald, Shana & Jennifer. Kids were sponges and did pretty well.
Learn It – Teams must learn 10 words in a local dialect with a kid as teacher
• Azaria & Hendekea flew through this challenge! Very impressive.
• Nathan & Jennifer, Kynt & Vyksin, Lorena & Jason, Marianna & Julia pulled this one out too
• Head-to-head drama with L&J/M&J taking their language tests, then trying to find the marked path.

Once again, the teams were being sheep (very wet sheep), trying to find the marked path to the Pit Stop.

Pit Stop: Bingo!
Azaria & Hendekea were the first in, arriving in a torrential downpour. A very damp Phil was waiting for them under a pretty large umbrella. After the first pair, five teams showed up simultaneously at the pit stop, leaving just three teams on the course.

Marianna & Julia were the eliminated team. Done in by camels.

Side note: You could not pay me enough to watch Big Brother, let alone be on that show.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Field Trip: Natural Stitches!

Twice in my brief association with the Hurricane Knitters, Melissa has joined us. One of the last times she joined us, she mentioned that she was working at Natural Stitches, a new shop that would be opening quite soon in East Liberty.

Since that time, I’ve been monitoring the Natural Stitches blog via Bloglines. Yesterday morning, there was exciting news on the blog. They were opening today!

I suckered my mom by saying “Do you want to field trip to Trader Joe’s tomorrow?” When she said yes, I immediately fessed up that this was also a yarn field trip. She’s a good sport, so she was still “in.”

Since the last time RT saw Melissa he turned into Taliban Tigger, he was a little scared to come out of my bag when we got to the shop. But Melissa remembered that I blog, and she really encouraged me to take pictures in the shop. So RT jumped out and attacked the store with all four paws.

While inside, the first thing RT jumped into was the wall of Cascade 220.

That wall is pretty much the store’s hallmark. Can you find RT in the wall? Here’s a hint:

Want some Malabrigo? They have plenty. RT likes Malabrigo. (there's a lot more in the cubbys behind RT)

Oh, and see that stuff in the background back on the wall in the top-left of that picture above? It’s Dream in Color worsted weight!

How ‘bout some sock yarn? They have a whole corner. And a mini-wall of various recycled or eco-friendly sock yarns including Tofutsies, a recycled cotton yarn that looked pretty neat and various other stuff. I didn’t take notes. So sue me! Oh, there's also another set of cubbys to the right of where RT is sitting full of sock yarn.

Want needles? Their primary stock is ChiaoGoo and Addi Turbos, but you can see their whole list on their website
I need another cotton shell like I need a hole in my head, but this stuff made me want to buy it NOW. Screw the 11 almost-done sweaters. I want to start a new one! (RT said no. He’s one smart guy)
See that little white card on the TyDy? They have one up for every yarn in the store. It includes the manufacturer, yardage (NOTE: If the yarn only shows meters on the manufacturer's label, it only shows meters on the store card . Doing the math for yardage would have made a really nice touch an amazing touch, but I understand wanting to get the darn things up so they could open. Cards also show roughly how many balls of that yarn you'll need for a sweater. Great touch!)

I didn’t buy any yarn and neither did mom. Mom got a pair of 16” circs to make her own Steelers Scarf. I got a pom-pom maker. You’ll see why eventually, as it’s for one of my active WiPs :)

After Natural Stitches, we stopped at Trader Joes. For my left coast readers, here’s some perspective – this is the only Trader Joe’s within 100 miles. They carry the best pretzels in the world (hi, Sandy!) so I now have an extra bag :)

The following is also strictly for the entertainment of my California friends. I know I’ve mentioned that going to Costco is a tiptoe through the tulips here. Want to know what the closest thing in Pittsburgh is to the California Costco experience?
Yep. It’s Whole Foods.

This is also the only Whole Foods within 100 miles. This parking lot shot really doesn’t do the experience justice. You can see that the parking lot is completely full, but you can’t see the lines of cars waiting to turn into the parking lot, or the exiting customers getting stalked as they walk back to their cars. It’s an adventure.

So that’s it for today. I have no clue what’s in store for the weekend. Hope you have an enjoyable weekend!

Special note for the Hurricane Knitters: One of the categories on Double Jeopardy tonight was "Jazz Hands"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Steppin’ Up

Let’s all welcome the latest addition to the DPUTiger sock drawer

It’s the Jeweled Steps socks from, of course, the new Cat Bordhi book.

Pattern: Jeweled Steps from Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways Vol. 1
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted in the Steelers colorway from The Loopy Ewe
Needles: My “standard” US2/2.75mm 16” KnitPicks circs
Started: 20 October 2007
Finished: 14 November 2007
Mods: On the second (left) sock, I left two additional stitches for the leg portion of the program. Should have left four additional. Also altered the “official” pattern slightly via Master Numbers.

Now my only problem is deciding what socks are next on the needles.

As far as last night’s show … it was very enjoyable. A 2 hour 20 minute show. Our tickets were in the front row of the balcony behind the stage, so it was neat to be able to see a lot of the backstage goings-on. But it also meant that instead of seeing THIS:

For most of the evening, I spent probably two hours out of the of the 2:20 looking at this:

Hey, at least it wasn't bad scenery!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WiP Wednesday: Scarfs R Us

I tried to blog yesterday, and it was a disaster. I started with a post that would make Eeyore proud, then re-wrote something else that would rival Beaches in sap-factor. Seriously enough to give you a cavity. They were both awful, so I spared you the carnage and decided to wait for a nice, boring WiP Wednesday.

Today’s agenda is to post this blog entry, run to Staples for printer ink and then get my sorry behind out the door in time to go see Bruce and the E Street Band at the Igloo. RT will make the trip. We’ll see how the ‘ol camera phone performs in its first use. I haven’t listened to the new album (Magic) as much as I would like, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the show regardless. Woot!

On to the WiPs!

First in line: My second Jaywalker scarf.

The color changes are very subtle, but the more I knit this, the more I think it becomes apparent that Javajem had the correct idea when she did her scarf – as many coordinating heavily variegated yarns as possible. I started this scarf as a good traveling project, and it’s going to jump into the starting lineup tonight. Because I finished Jeweled Steps last night.

I’ll try to get a sock photo shoot tomorrow. More blog fodder! Yay!

Second is the scarf I was mocked for last week at Hurricane Knitters. Yes, I swatched for a scarf. The only reason I did that is because it is knit lengthwise, and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to be insanely short or long.

This is an intentionally average photo.

And this one better shows how far into the scarf I've climbed. Yes, it's intentionally a shot of the "wrong side." Better photos will follow when it’s finished. I’m loving this scarf, but because it’s lengthwise and has color changes, it’s not particularly portable.

So that’s about it from chez DPUTiger. The Hubster and I have been taking turns not being home for the evening. He got home at 9 last night after having to work late and tomorrow will be similar. Tonight, I’m hangin’ with The Boss. Oh, and due to tomorrow’s late work night for Hubster, I plan to head on over to knit night at Bloomin’ Yarns, where I hope to finish the second armpit sleeve on the purple sweater!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Amazing Race Sunday: Dutch Ditch Dunking!

Welcome to the second installment of my blog-along for The Amazing Race. I can’t figure out a way to write this without spoiling at least a little bit, so please keep that in mind before you decide to continue.

General Thoughs
It kind of bugs me that all the teams have to be labeled: “Dating Goths” Kynt & Vyxsin, “Married Ministers” Kate & Pat, etc. I know it’s early and it’s hard to remember who’s who at this point. But please. Does every team need to have a Label?

Drive to the Shannon Airport!
Oh my gawd. Shana & Jennifer bitching about missing a manicure (How Awful!!). Grandpa Donald nails the curb and kills a tire. Making flight reservations always intrigues me … the whole web vs. in person thing. And why would someone at the counter of Airline A tell you that Airline B will get you there faster? Maybe it’s different outside of the U.S.

Ronald is a salty old dude! Christina tries to tone him down, but that’s not gonna last, as evidenced by his blow-up in the Dublin airport.

Detour: Hoist It or Hunt It!
Hoist It – OK, Ms. Macrame (Vyxsin) struggling with the knots was amusing. Lorena & Jason kicked butt on this one. Shana & Jennifer saying that their upper body strength was their best strength was pretty funny, but damn if she didn’t kick butt. TK & Rachel’s knot problems were impressive and it took them too long to switch.

Hunt It – Azaria & Hendeka’s reaction when they saw the sheer number of bikes was priceless. In addition to being volatile, Ronald is also Eeyore. Or, to quote the man himself, Archie Bunker. (But I don't think that's quite right either. Suggestions?) I feel bad for Christina (aka Meathead). And I don’t blame Pat and Kate for laughing at R&C, or Marianna & Julia for keeping a wary eye/ear on the fallout. Aside from the mild needle in a haystack aspect, Hunt It was by far the easier chore of the detour.

Road Block!
The Ditch Vaulting was awesome. Lorena and Jason did that way too easy, and Marianna/Julia exhibited similar skill. Glad the pretty girls went splat. Kynt & Vyksin’s guess on the Road Block was hysterical. Grandpa in his underwear was awesome. TK and Rachel (and later Nicholas and Donald) pedaling Right. Past. Phil. was fabulous too. The team that was eliminated was not unexpected. I’m glad I didn’t have to do laundry after this task. I’m sure that half the contestants smelled just lovely by the time they got to Phil (P.U.!!)

I love this show. I’d love to compete (my mom would be my first choice as a partner). I can see how it would be really taxing, but I think it would be fun too.

Scenes for next week: Isn’t the third leg a little early to have a meltdown? I’m just sayin’

Everyone is encouraged to comment. So far, there doesn’t seem to be a Survivor-quantity of stuff to comment on, but hopefully that will change as we get to know the teams better. At this point, I’m not even totally sure who I’m rooting for. Until next week, we’ll be focusing on knitting and quilting thankyouverymuch!

Welcome to the WABAC Machine!

I lurk on Norma’s blog, and through her post there today, I found this KitKatKnit post. I have nothing else to say today, so I thought that it would be fun to pretend I’m in Frostbite Falls and hop in the WABAC Machine with Mr. Peabody and Sherman. (Is it weird that I find it hysterical that Mr. Peabody had a pet human? No? OK!)

And for the record, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was still airing first-run during the first two years of my life, but I certainly remember watching the show in syndication as a schmoo. We definitely had a TV with rabbit ears and an antenna on the roof. This makes me eligible for the contest according to KitKatKnit’s rules.

So what’s the answer to what I was working on a year ago?

Well, for starters, I was doing a lot more quilting. I took a Bearly Stitchin’ class for the Lone Star Tree Skirt and stayed for Finish a Project that Friday and worked on Pumkinstein. Neither one of those projects have seen the light of day since that time. So you’ll just have to go back and check out the post.

Knitting-wise, Uh … Well … Uh ... I was working on the first sleeve of the purple V-neck (Yep. The same one that just got its first armpit seam on Thursday). And I was working on my Countess sweater. Which is still waiting to be seamed/finished. I suck.

I was also working on my first-ever pair of socks, which I actually wore yesterday! Hey! I do finish some things! Especially if they don’t require seaming!

Work today was a little more dramatic than necessary, but good. Nothing else exciting is happening in my life. I’m pretty boring.

Thanks for spending time in the DPUTiger WABAC Machine! I'd best go get some snackage so I'm fed in time for The Amazing Race. Back later tonight with that blog fodder!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Seams Like It’s Time

To do some serious seaming. I don't feel like shooting Yarn Pr0n, so you get a regular post today. You'll live. I promise.

One of the four projects I tossed in a bag to take with me to Hurricane Knitters on Wednesday night was my purple V-neck pullover. It’s the garment of mine that is closest to being finished, needing just the armpit seams and ends woven in to be wearable.

I was really early in arriving at the B&N CafĂ©, so I hunkered down at a table and pin-basted the crap out of both armpit seams. Once the group arrived, however, I didn’t really want to be seaming, so I busted out my other projects and knitted the night away.

Last night, the Hubster had to work late and since my dad was out of town, my mom was at loose ends. So we went and had a yummy early dinner, then headed to Knit Night at Bloomin’ Yarns.

I worked for a while on my second Jeweled Steps sock, but quickly realized that I was just about at the point where I needed to start my heel increases, but was missing my working page of Master Numbers necessary to tell me exactly when I needed to stop knitting the foot and start with the heel/gusset increases. Curses! Foiled again!

A row or two on the new in-progress scarf (Bright Stripes from Scarf Style) took another little bite of the evening, then I caved. That damn purple sweater needs to become wearable!

The good news is that I got one entire armpit seam done, so I’m halfway finished with what’s left of the seaming on that sweater, then it’s just ends. Easy peasy. Hooray!

Last week, SJ was bemoaning her fear of seaming set-in sleeves. I tried to explain to her via blog comment/email how I seam my sleeves, but I kind of stumbled all over myself. The good news? I have multiple sweaters sitting in my basement with the shoulders basted, just waiting for my tapestry needle to stop by. So you get a pseudo photo tutorial.

The sweater you are about to see is Cherry Tree Hill silk & merino (a to-die-for yarn), and it is very low on the finishing list. Simply because it’s a summer sweater. Very lightweight and short-sleeved, but SOOOO soft and drape-y. This is also a sweater that has been in progress for about two years. I knitted the back and front once, then I lost about 75 pounds and two of me could have fit in what I had knitted. So it got frogged and re-knit. That’s the stage where it is languishing now.

The first thing I do is find the center point of the sleeve (highly scientific: fold it in half!) and match that midpoint to the shoulder seam of the trunk. Then pin the corners of the sleeve to the coordinating armpit points on the trunk of the sweater. Ease in and pin all around, so it looks like the purple porcupine (picture a pin-basted sleeve, not a pin-basted armpit seam):

Then whip out some contrasting yarn and do a running stitch about ¾” from where you will be seaming, like this (see the yellow? It's there on the bottom edge):

Here’s another view, from the sleeve side (you're still looking for the yellow, but now it's at the top of the photo):

The basting yarn holds the sleeve firmly in place so it’s not going to shift and get all wonky while you’re seaming from one side to the other. It makes it easy to see if you need to adjust your seaming pattern and take bigger chunks on one side to ease that sleeve into its appointed hole. And it's very easy to pull out as necessary and it holds the pieces together without the danger of getting stabbed by a dull pin. :)

SJ had mentioned that she starts seaming in the middle, then works out to either side. That worked well for her with the CPH. Remember, there is NO SUCH THING as the Knitting Police. If your current method works for you, that’s fantastic. I just thought you might want a look at how I tackle set-in sleeves.

The other good news? SJ's Central Park Hoodie (and Jenn’s) both came out great. Great enough that I now want to add another cardigan to my list *sigh* Go look!

This weekend is going to be pretty dang busy. Tonight, we have dinner with family friends who are in from out of town. (We’re going here).

Tomorrow, a work friend who wound up with an unexpected two-week break in his basketball season is in the ‘Burgh for the weekend. We’re meeting Johnnie and his girlfriend here for breakfast, here. Then going to the Three Rivers Film Festival to see the Maurice Richard movie with my mom. Then we have tickets for the Chihuly Nights exhibit at Phipps (it’s extended to February! GO SEE IT!) and I’m hoping we can sneak in a dinner here.

[Geez! With all this food, I'll be wishing I hadn't re-knit that CTH shell! Or, I'll be spending 8 days/week in the gym!]

Sunday, I have a 9 am call time at the big ketchup bottle and probably won’t get home until about 6 pm. I’ll blog the Amazing Race, then may turn into Rip Van Winkle and sleep until next Thursday. Wish me luck.

In other news, It’s official. Garmin wins the asshole of the year award for airing the first TV commercial with Christmas music. On November 9. I just don’t understand why we can’t get to Thanksgiving before the holiday madness starts. Seriously. The tree was up at the mall already when I got my new shoes (which I luuurrrve) on Tuesday. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Butter Charms & Jelly

Yeah, I know it’s WiP Wednesday, but today’s action was all quilty and the knitting doesn’t get rolling until tonight.

Mom and I went over to Quilters Corner in Finleyville for a Butter Charm & Jelly class. It’s a pattern made for Moda’s Jelly Roll and Charm Pack stuff. I had several Jelly Rolls in my stash, so it was easy to be ready to go.

We were right on time for class, but weren’t quite ready to sew at the 10:30 am start time. Because the classroom was locked until about 5-10 minutes before class. Oh well. I still got all 12 of my blocks finished in time.

I have a second Jelly Roll in this fabric line and almost a full Charm Pack of the fabric, so I think I may figure out how many more blocks I can make to enlarge the quilt and still have enough fabric. Lisa? Are you proud of me? :)

The class was OK. Everyone flipped over my Pooh bag (no time for pics. I’ll photograph some time soon) and the teacher of my class seems to think that I’m going to drop off the pattern so she can teach the class. As I said to my mom on the way out, I’d be happy to teach the class if someone asked me to, but I don’t know about just handing over the pattern. And I certainly wouldn’t hand over Louise’s tips and tricks. I’ve made three of the bags and could probably handle teaching the class. We shall see.

Mom and I stopped at Kohls on the way home and I got a new pair of jeans with her old fart discount (She’s not old, I just give her a hard time because she loves to use her senior citizen discount ... it was 15% today only at Kohls). Now I need to make some quick decisions and get my act together to head up to Hurricane Knitters TONIGHT at the Waterworks Barnes & Noble. Catch you later!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I voted. Did you?

First of all, work last night was awesome. Seriously awesome. I got to meet/interview six members of the all-time team, all of whom were players I really admired while I was growing up. Oh, and the game was seriously awesome as well.

On a side note, when I got dressed for work yesterday, I realized that my only “grown-up” watch (not made of plastic with big digital numbers) had a dead battery. Then I got called in an hour early so I could park and not be dependent on others to get home in the dead of night.

I stopped by Batteries Plus near my house in a terrible rush/panic. They not only sold me a new battery for my favorite "real" watch, they installed the new battery and set the watch to the correct time. Plus, they got me in and out in less than 10 minutes. Great experience. Highly recommend.

The down-side to last night’s avalanche of awesome-ness was that I got home at 2 am and didn’t get to bed until about 2:30. I didn’t set an alarm, and I scraped my sorry behind out of bed just before 11. As I walked downstairs, still in my PJs, I could see my mom walking down from the street to our front door. After re-hashing last night, we decided to do an errand field trip to vote, then go to Costco and the J-store.

I just have to say that I had no idea how election-spoiled I was in California. Every election, general and primary, we received a full sample ballot so at least you knew what the heck you were voting for. Allegheny County is so chopped up into little municipalities that it’s hard to find information on many of the candidates. And those nifty sample ballots that used to magically show up in my mailbox? They don’t exist here. I got good info on judges from two good lawyers I trust (the parents) and guessed on the rest. *sigh* I appreciate that the United States is “advanced citizenship,” one of my favorite lines from The West Wing, but being new to this community, it was a little harder than I’d like to figure out all the local stuff.

The biggest “news” of the day is that I got a new pair of shoes. Two reasons for this purchase. First, I need a reliable pair of shoes that will play nicely with the morton’s neuroma that my feet struggle with that will also be appropriate with dress slacks that I wear for work. Second, I wanted a pair of shoes that would encourage me to actually wear my hand-knit socks.

These fit both bills and I have to say that I had an extremely good experience at The Walking Company. With my foot issues, I really need to try on shoes before purchase, so web shopping doesn’t work for me. My next purchase of similar shoes will most likely be there as well.

So that’s about it from here. I have a quilting class in the morning to make this pattern, and I have no clue what I’m taking to Hurricane Knitters tomorrow night. Wanna find out? Show up at the Waterworks Barnes & Noble at 7 pm Wednesday night!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Two Scarfs Are Better Than One

With apologies to The Boss, who I will be seeing up-close and in-person on Nov. 14 …

I went out walking the other day
Seen a little girl crying along the way

(Someone must have stolen her scarf!)
She’d been hurt so bad said she’d never love again
And you’ll find once again

(It’s warmer when you remember your winter accessories!)
Two scarfs are better than one
Two scarfs girl get the job done
Two scarfs are better than one!

Steelers scarf
Pattern: Year 1-2 House Scarf from Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel
Yarn: Cascade 220, 2 skeins each of black and gold
Needles: US8 (5.0mm) 16” bamboo circs from KA. These were GREAT needles and I would certainly recommend/buy again. Finish and joins were great.
Started/Completed: 6 Aug/25 Oct 2007

This was a great project that I could easily be convinced to do again. It’s longer than the pattern (90” including fringe) because I just knit until I ran out of one of the two colors (unsurprisingly, that turned out to be the black). I wet-blocked the scarf sans fringe and put the fringe on last Friday. The fringe is what really makes this scarf. I’m probably going to wear it to work tonight where I can show it off :) Hubster took a pic of me modeling the scarf, but Derf is a much better model.

Jaywalker Scarf
Pattern: A hybrid of Jaywalker Scarf patterns from Javajem and Turtlegirl

CO 44
RS: K4 (garter border), *K4, KFB, KFB, K4, DD* twice, K4, KFB, KFB, K4, K4 (garter border)
WS: K4, Slip 2 knitwise, put back on left needle, P2tog, Purl to last 2 before border, P2tog, K4

Yarn: One orphan skein of ShiBui in Marine, one skein of Claudia Handpainted in Limeade
Needles: US6 (4.0mm) Lantern Moon ebony circs 36” (I love the ebony so much, I didn’t care that they were 36” circs
Started/Completed: 14 October/1 November 2007

A great traveling project, but I don’t love the colorways, so it’s headed to Mississippi so my best friend can gift it to either his sister or mom (his choice). Project started with a lone skein of ShiBui that was discounted because it had no mate that would allow it to be a pair of socks.

As I have previously mentioned, I can’t abide yarn overs in most patterns, so I used the “true” Jaywalker increases of KFB rather than the YO used by Javajem and Turtlegirl. It blocked to 60" and I'm extremely happy with the fabric of the scarf.

I’m swatching for a new scarf, have started another Jaywalker scarf (border-free) in the Yummy yarn. But really? I need to start attacking the 11 (!!!!!!) sweaters in this house that need only finishing or a little knitting-plus-finishing to be wearable. Yikes.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Amazing Race Sunday

Knitting content will resume tomorrow with a pair of FOs. Meanwhile …

Yep. I’m following in Jenn’s footsteps and I plan to do recaps of The Amazing Race every week, since this is my favorite reality show. I will do my best to watch the show live, but I can’t always guarantee that I can stay away from TiVo-Land (or win the battle for the remote control vs. Sunday Night Football). I can already tell you that I know I’ll have one work conflict in December, but who knows what else life will throw in my direction.

Pre-show thoughts:

There are WAY too many contestants from Southern California. I mean, COME ON! Six of the 11 teams are from Los Angeles/Orange/Ventura Counties (and really ... Thousand Oaks is practically LA county), and 13 of the 22 competitors hail from that small area. You’re telling me the producers couldn’t find anyone viable from outside of their backyard? Get real.

From the information and photos on the teams that’s on the official website, I originally thought that Kynt & Vyxsin were both women, and had to re-read their blurb to figure it out. I also can’t tell if the “married ministers” Kate & Pat are married to other people (men) or to each other [the answer? They're married to each other. At least they're Episcopal!]. I’m sure it will be pretty obvious pretty quickly. [it was] There definitely isn’t a “traditional” married couple in the cast. Four “dating,” four “family ties” and two “friends.” Let the game begin!

• This show was much easier to watch when I lived on the left coast and I knew it was going to start at 8 pm. I know I’m going to have to set a TiVo season pass, but I’m going to have to extend the window by about 45 minutes to account for football games going past 7 pm ET.

• No freakin’ wonder they started in Los Angeles. ALL THE CONTESTANTS ARE FROM THERE!

• How did they get decent traffic on the LA freeways for those opening shots? They must have done this on a Sunday. It’s the only semi-predictable decent traffic day.

• It makes me a little sad that you can’t tell Phil is a Kiwi from his accent.

• The most Los Angeles thing I’ve seen? Everyone honking their horn because they’re stuck in traffic. In the driveway. At the Playboy mansion. Two minutes after they got their first clue. Oh, and proof that there are eleventybillion ways to get from A to B in LA, but you always need to take the 405 at some point.

• Ahhh, a yelling couple (Jennifer & Nathan). There has to be one every Race! And having the Donkey “yelling” back at them? That was AWESOME.

• I think it’s cool they finished in Connemara, Ireland. Both of my horses were half Connemara (it’s a pony breed). And listening to the teams killing the pronunciations of the places is always amusing … or like nails on a chalkboard, depending on what they’re slaughtering.

• Animals and Airlines. The great equalizers in the Race, as always.

Love this? Hate it? Lemme know. Comment away! :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

YPF: Tiny Toes

During last Saturday’s field trip to Yarns Unlimited, I was able to pick up some sock yarn that had been on my “that looks interesting” list for quite a while.

Interlacements Tiny Toes. Color 127 (gee, that’s boring!), 185 yards of Superwash Merino.

The colorway had my name on it, and it’s really soft and yummy

Of course, as I mentioned in yesterday’s MeMe, I have a whack of sock yarn just sitting and waiting to be knit

So I might get around to this stuff in 2009. Especially once I get the results of today’s project: an inventory of ALL my WiPs. It’s horrifying how many of them are SO close to being done.

Wish me luck.

Oh, and I finished the Jaywalker Scarf last night. It’s soaking in preparation for blocking right now. It was 57” unblocked, so we’ll see if it will grow a little bit in blocking since it seems a bit short to me.