Saturday, May 27, 2006

Grandfather's Revenge

My grandfather got his revenge this week. I bought myself a couple holes in the ground looking for the hatch to the septic tank. We managed to get 36 years out of the system without having it pumped. Nope, I'm not doing that again.

We thought the bird house marked the place to dig. We have a map which infers the distance to the tank from the house is 75 feet and that would bring you to a bird house out in the back yard which I've been afraid to move for years.

It turns out the tank is a minimum of 75 feet from the well, and it was marked by a poppy. Heh. It's going to drive me crazy trying to figure out what that bird house was supposed to mark, if anything. My grandfather really knew how to get me, eh?

In my next post I will post some of what I'm currently knitting, including a pair of socks which I do not like, but am going to finish and wear happily. Apparently, I don't like self-patterning yarn. I find handpainted or faux handpainted delightful. Go figure.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

This is an experiment

Which could fail miserably. I am trying to see if I'm clever enough to cut and paste a quiz. I don't know if this tickled my funny bone because life's just morbid right now, or because we've got friends who are Edward Gorey fans, or what. It just struck me when I saw it and I thought, "hey, I should be able to put this on my blog. I'm not an idiot and the blogging software is pretty easy to use." Let's see what happens now...

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will sink in a mire. You like to think you're normal, but deep down you really just want to strip off your clothes and roll around in chicken fat.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Hmm. That wasn't too bad. Now let's see how it looks when I hit "publish post."

Have fun everybody...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Two Socks and a Funeral

I just spent a whirlwind two days in England to attend my sweetheart's mother's funeral. Three and a half days, if you include traveling. I woke up yesterday in my own bed, looked out the window and thought, "Hmm, it's raining. Must be England." In truth, there has been considerably more rain here in Connecticut than there has been in London this past month. The southeast of England is suffering from a drought!

On the trip out, I wore the socks my sock pal sent me! I really couldn't believe she picked the perfect colors for me. The awful information I gave her was to avoid oranges and greens and that I prefer pastels - but that could've gotten her to the socks I'm knitting right now which I do not like, even though they're pink and purple. I hadn't realized when I contacted her that I really dislike the self-patterning yarns. What she picked was perfect, and I don't know how she did it. And they're sooooooo comfortable as well as pretty! These are the only pretty socks I own - no kidding!

Meanwhile I'm thinking about the SP8 questions I answered in such haste between sending my love to England and following him. I'm going to set up a wish list ... if only so this kind stranger can get a sense of my taste!

But right now I have to get to the dump before they close. Yuck.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I'll post pictures of them on my feet in a day or so. But I just wanted to thank my sockapalooza pal for the absolutely marvelous socks! You can get a peek at them on her blog. She finished them in March!

I am especially happy that these arrived before I have to leave for the funeral. They're so pretty and comfy that I'm going to take them with me. I. Love. These. Socks.

Monday, May 08, 2006

SP8 Questionnaire

I got curious about Secret Pal 8 and went to the site and discovered that I'm supposed to have posted answers to a list of questions! And I'm also supposed to have received an email of some sort from my group coordinator.

So, since I can't do anything about the email I haven't received yet, I'll take care of the questions:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I don't get along so well with cotton or Red-Heart style acrylic. I like to mess around with the occasional skein or two of novelty yarn. Otherwise ... think high-end (even inexpensive high-end, like Knitpicks alpaca-silk blend). I really like a nice wool.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Um, a basmati rice bag for my Addi Turbos and a pencil holder for the straights that aren't downstairs in a drawer.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've been knitting off and on for about 30 years. I guess I'd consider myself an intermediate knitter - I don't know everything, but I can follow instructions and I've done cables and multi-colored projects (and both at once).

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Huh, I'll have to look into that.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Lavender. Please, please, please no candles. I just gave away the last 100 gift candles I was given. Actually, I have to use a soap with moisturizer in it. I don't use bath oils or bubble bath (makes me itch). Um, shampoo might be good.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Dark Chocolate. I can resist anything but dark chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I don't spin. I like to recycle stuff. But mostly I knit. Occasionally I crochet, but I'm terrible at going back and forth. I prefer to knit. I just got myself a couple packages of easter-egg dye and am about to try dyeing a little knitpicks dye your own sock-weight yarn.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

MP3s ... not so good for me. I've got an MP3 player which I use to listen to podcasts, but that's it. I stick to regular music CDs most of the time.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I prefer ... it depends on the use. Take, for instance, my sockapalooza experience. My sock pal's socks were in colors I would never wear, but they grew on me real fast. I asked my sock pal to avoid green and orange and stick to pastels. But then those same colors were really nice in the socks I knit to send to my pal. I'd never wear a sweater in those colors, but socks... maybe. I prefer pastels usually...but vivid colors are nice, too. Red looks nicest in barn red, I really don't get along with orange much. Truthfully, I wear all kinds of colors, including the bright yellow and neon green I would tell you I don't like. My idea of putting something together is contrast. And Black jeans will go with anything. (And a gray sweater will tone anything down.)

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have a cat who has a bad kidney and is on a special diet. I'm actually allergic to cats and didn't know it. This is the last cat I'll have. I also have a fiancee. We've lived together for the last ten years and we're going to actually get married now. He's from England. Neither of us owns a television and between us we have about nine computers. I, um, used to raise earthworms.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Please no ponchos. Scarves and hats, yes. Mittens ... not so much. More gloves. You know what I could really use? A pair of any color kick-around-the-house slippers. I'm wearing holes in the second pair I knit myself and I don't have a lot of Red Heart left 'cause I hate it so much (I gave most of it away). I wear size 8.5 - 9 shoes, so a standard "adult" or "women's" size slipper will fit me.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Hats, scarves, socks, socks, socks. Oh, yeah, that's right, le clapotis. I've knit a bunch of 'em, though only two full-size and none in the Lorna's Laces.

13. What are you knitting right now?

I've got a short-sleeved lacy jacket nearly done, two pairs of socks OTN - one in Sockotta (first time) and one in Knitpicks essential. Oh, and I'm knitting a scarf. I really, really needed to have some wool in my hands. Yes, I realize it's May.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I am looking for some long - 10" or longer - double pointed needles. I don't care what they're made of. Any size 1 - 8. I've got plenty Addi Turbos and a friend gave me her entire needle collection (they're all regular straights).

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Finally, YES! Oh, I couldn't live any longer without both. Neither is jumbo sized.

17. How did you learn to knit?

My grandmother taught me. I miss her. I knit continental - she was from Germany.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

About a year old.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

My sweetheart's birthday - June 28th.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Actually, I've always had a special place in my heart for giraffes.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I'm disappointed in Interweave Knits (the ads have much better photos than the projects in the magazine) and I think I recently bought a subscription to Vogue Knitting. I like Sci-fi and mystery stuff. I mentioned the needles I'm looking for. I like gadgets. A row counter I could wear around my neck or a yarn cutter I could wear around my neck or a gadget to measure the length of a skein would be neat. I like Knitty more than Mag Knits ... I wonder if that's helpful or not. I'd really, really like any of the Adrienne Vittadini fall pattern books (except 2001, since I have that one).

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

At the moment I'm learning Orenburg lace - thank Franklin's Olympic Knitting project. I'm actually trying to design a sweater for my sweetheart based on a DNA design. He wants something multi-colored - one of those plain backgrounds with a band around the chest. I'm not too thrilled with the DNA cable-scarf, so I've been collecting DNA pictures off the internet trying to come up with something classy but knit-able. Hmmm.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

foot length - 9.5"
ball circumference - 9.5"
I'm finally knitting myself some socks. I have really sensitive feet, and the location of the seam in commercial socks is very painful for my toes.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

February 17th.

I will put a link to this post in my sidebar when it's getting close to being archived.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Just a Little Too Late

First of all, remember this? Well here's the last picture of my three skeins of Koigu all in one place. My Sock Pal's socks are winding their merry way through the U.S. Postal system as we speak.

I didn't learn to knit socks out of a burning desire to knit socks. I had, in fact, failed to learn to knit socks before. It was an idea I had toyed with, but I had no real need to get it right in any hurry.

Then we went to England last November to visit my sweetheart's family. His sister was no longer able to find the stretchy-topped 100% wool socks which would fit his mother's swollen ankles. We went shopping to try to find something she could wear, and we did find some wool socks at Tesco. They were cute, but the ankles were obviously too tight. All the other socks we found were cotton.

So my plan was to get pretty good at making socks this year and then, when we make our annual pilgrimage, take measurements and knit a few pairs for her. I wasn't going to ask his sister to take measurements until I was comfortable enough making them that I knew exactly which measurements I would need to make these special, non-standard socks.

As an interim measure, to give myself a goal much closer to right now, I made sure I successfully knit my sweetheart two pairs of socks and then signed up for Sockapalooza. To get gauge on the yarn I had bought for that, I made myself a pair of toe-up socks, as well. Then I knit another pair for my sweetheart after I finished the socks for my sock pal, and I'm now half-way into two more pairs. I'm starting to get comfortable with my gauge and I'm trying both cables and a lozenge pattern.

But I started this whole thing just a little too late. The day I was supposed to mail the Sockapalooza socks, I drove him to the airport to catch a plane to visit his mother in the hospital. She passed away two days later, several hours after I mailed the socks.

So now I've got a new skill that I can't use for its intended purpose, and I'm very sad when I work on the socks I've got on the needles. Sigh.