Friday, June 30, 2006

A Train Trek

I dropped a major hint that a really awesome trek was coming up. Some of you knew about it, and were even in on my devious plot to deceive TRHM.

The set-up: TRHM was off to Pittsburgh to ply his wares with the great horde of furries at Anthrocon. Although excited at the prospect of having a successful show, this was the first show that he would do on his own since we met, and he was not looking forward to that. I stayed home because my favorite son was scheduled to graduate from high school, and I did not know the exact date when we were making the arrangements to be dealers at the show.

Enter Jenn, usually an honest and above-board person, she helped me decieve TRHM. She sent him an e-mail asking him to meet a "college friend" in the lobby of his hotel to pick up a handmade ceramic lamp. This story was very well planned and executed, and resulted in TRHM responding with a "no problem!" e-mail. In Jenn's words, "The fish is on the hook!"

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was preparing for my train trek. Destination: Pittsburgh! I took the train from Hammonton into Philadelphia, then hopped on Amtrak and headed west. It took all day, and I got some serious knitting in while I was watching the countryside go by. If you haven't done this, you really should - the train tracks follow the river bed, and it really is a pretty ride. The seats are wide and comfy, and recline with pop-up leg rests.

My plan was to show up in the lobby of his hotel at the appointed hour, and whisk him away to this fabulous B&B. Well, Amtrak and CSX botched that one. We were at a dead stop, waiting for the freight train ahead of us to pull onto a siding so we could go past. I got a phone call at 7:30 pm. It was TRHM. He was not happy. "Where the heck is Jenn's friend? I've been waiting in the lobby for 30 minutes, now. Is she going to show up or what??" I placated him by promising to call Jenn and find out what was happening. I asked the conductor how much further to Pittsburgh. Another 45 minutes, provided we don't get stuck behind any freight trains. Bummer. Knowing that I couldn't string him along for another hour, I made the call. "Honey, I have something to tell you, and you aren't allowed to be mad at me, okay? I'm Jenn's friend." When it sunk in that I was on my way to Pittsburgh, and would be there shortly, he was very pleased.

So we went to the B&B, got checked in, and headed to a local Irish pub for dinner. It was an awesome trek, TRHM was surprised and thrilled to see me.

The music room. Isn't it pretty? There is also a grand piano in the room, and the inlaid panelling is lovely!

Our Room. I loved the stained glass window, and the bed was very comfy. We had a private bath with a dressing room. The view of the courtyard and garden below was very nice.

Breakfast!! De-lish!! The best fruit salad I have ever had, with very sweet fresh pineapple. There were bagels, English muffins, toast of several varieties, cereal, cinnamon buns, and lots of other yummy things.

We had a fantastic time, and the sock got to see lots of interesting things!

Including the Purple Furry Eater - he got me!!


Check it out, I'm over on Betsy's blog, and I find this. This chick has it all goin' on. I think when the vinnie-man give up the ghost, I'll consider one of these custom jobbies!

Bizzy Bee

So, I'm at Knit Chicks yesterday, and Margie says to me "Ya know, Lia, I've been checking your blog every day, and I haven't seen anything new this week." Well, let me tell you, I have been one bizzy bee!!! And, yes, I do know how to spell busy, but I think "z"'s are cuter, and hey, it's MY blog ;)

I promised happy feet, but my feet aren't so happy... I did finish my pastel trekking socks, and just have to weave in the ends. I got one Cascade sock almost finished, but left it at my Mom's house on Monday night. I took a really cool train trek last week, and got one of the red, white, and blue socks 1/2 finished.

I've been busy knitting and sewing for The Preemie Project and Lucybug.

Oh! And guess what I did last weekend??? I went to see Steven Seagal. Uh-huh! In person! Personally, I think he is a total hottie, and one of about 2 men on the face of the earth that actually looks good in a ponytail. I'm an Army brat - I like the buzz cut!

This weekend is my favorite weekend of the year - I luv 4th of July!! I guess it has to do with the Army brat thing, being patriotic and all. There are so many things to love about this holiday - it is hot, so there will be swimming in the pool, Jared will be manning the grill, the blueberries are in, there will be parades, and best of all - fireworks! What's not to love??

Monday, June 19, 2006

Yet another advantage ...

... of being a middle-aged fat lady. I never, ever have to worry about designing a cable pattern like this one framing a teeny waist!

Lovely sweater, fantastic design, flawless execution.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Suburban Mini-Trek

Today, Jenn, Owen and Margie drove all the way from West Chester, PA, to Lawrenceville, NJ (about 1 and 1/2 hours) just to have lunch with little ol' me - I feel so special!

They met me at work, and we went out to lunch at Penang's, a great Malaysian restaurant in Lawrenceville. Owen was not too thrilled about going to lunch, but loved sitting on the bench with Margie watching the cars in the parking lot.

We went from lunch to Pins & Needles - the best yarn shop in Princeton! I love this shop because they have a wonderful selection, and without a doubt, the nicest staff, ever! They are always so cheerful and helpful, and enthusiastic about knitting and needlepoint (the have a wonderful selection of needlepoint goodies, too). If you are ever in Princeton, be sure to check them out!

We walked a couple of blocks from the car to the shop, and Owen picked out a skein of Koigu. I am pretty sure he said "This one tastes the best, Momma. Get this one!"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sock it to me, baby!

My second pair of Fixation socks are coming along well. I really like this colorway, and I think the hot pink heel is just too cute. The summer I graduated from high school, I worked at Great Adventure, and our uniforms were this color pink. I used to paint my nails to match, and one of the fellas used to say "Pink, pink, makes the boys wink, the hotter the pink, the harder they wink!"

The plan is to finish this pair, and start my third pair this weekend. Feet wearing these socks will be featured on Monday.

What's that you say? You missed the pictures of the first pair?? Ummm, well, errr, that is because they sleep with the fishes ... in the frog pond.

My Trekking socks are coming along, albeit at bit more slowly. I have been very good, and I am only working on them on days when I actually take a trek, and this weekend, I have an extra-special trek planned. I might even get the first one finished. Next weekend is another urban trek - to the Big Apple Con - a comic book show in New York City! Train rides are the best for knitting, I think!

The skein of yarn was being unruly, and kept trying to roll away - it was feeling a little camera-shy - so I held it down with a pointy stick I happened to have handy. I really heart this chevron pattern - it shows up the striping nicely. This pattern is in the Sensational Socks book. I usually use Peaks & Valleys from Knit Socks!, but I like this pattern better.

This will be the weekend of the finished socks. I will finish my pink Fixation socks, and my pastel trekking socks, as well as the pink/mauve hand-dyed merino socks that I am working on. So be sure to tune in on Monday for happy feet!

I thought Wednesdays were for Crochet??

Well, this Wednesday was for getting TRHM ready to leave in the morning for the biggest show of the season. He is going by himself because my favorite son's HS graduation is this weekend. When we had to make arrangements to attend the show, the date for graduation had not been set, and it was possible that it would be on Friday, the 17th. This show is at a convention center, and the Teamsters get to haul the inventory for us, so we were busy taping the boxes securely (why, yes, that is the handman's secret weapon that I am wielding), and labeling them with our table number, business name and box number. All together, there are 28 boxes, heading to Pittsburgh with TRHM today.

I started to crochet, and got 1/2 a row done. Shameful, I know, but by the time we got all the boxes taped and loaded, I was just too tired. I'll do some extra work on it tomorrow.

What kind of car are you??

I'm a Mazda Miata!

You like to soak up the sun, but your tastes are down to earth. Everyone thinks you're cute. Life is a winding road, and you like to take the curves in stride. Let other people compete in the rat race - you're just here to enjoy the ride.

Yeah, Momma likes a little sun on the girls when she goes out for her Sunday drive!! Oh, wait, reality check, here - unless the girls are secured by lycra, I trip over them, and no one likes to see a fat middle aged woman topless - except TRHM, that is!!

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wednesday is for Crochet!

On Wednesday, I work on my crochet projects. I am currently making this wonderful afghan for a special family member. There is a story to it, and although I am fairly certain that the recipient does not read my blog, I don't want to give away too much. It will be roughly king sized when finished, and I hope it will warm them for many many happy years.

I have a couple of other crochet projects in mind, but TRHM is always asking me how this one is coming, so I really need to get it finished!

Also planned for tonight, is taking the goodies from my couch o' swag over to the storage unit. Yes, I have my very own storage unit for my stash and other crafting goodies. After all, a two-bedroom condo will only hold so much yarn and comic books, especially when one bedroom is full of teen-aged boy!

Stay tuned for another trek this weekend, desination to be determined!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Cat's Out of the Bag!

I was on my way home from work, yesterday, and TRHM called me:

TRHM: You got a really big box today. It must be more yarn.
Me (as innocently as I could manage): Oh? What makes you think that??
TRHM: What else would you be ordering??


An Urban Trek - FINALLY!!!!

I finally got to take my trek - everything came together:

  • Yarn? Check.
  • Needles? Check.
  • Pattern? Check.
  • Great Company? Check, check, check, and check!
  • Refreshment? Check!
  • Awesome Destination? Check!

After double checking my knitting bag, off I went. I was planning to take the train, so I could cast on, but TRHM made me late ;) so I drove to Chinatown to meet up with Margie and Jenn. The weather was wonderful, and I just knew it would be a great trek! Jenn's hubby, George, and her baby, Owen were with her, and I met them all at Ocean Harbor for dim sum. We had a yummy, yummy time, and it was off to Loop to see Wendy!!

We started in Chinatown after lunch at the Ocean Harbor. The first stop was the supermarket where everyone got some tasty treats to take home.

We went past City Hall and stopped for a photo op at the Giant Clothespin.

Twenty blocks later, we arrived at Loop. As we came in the door, we saw Wendy checking out the yarn - how exciting! Wendy was there already!! We listened to her read from her book, and got our books signed. Owen was ready to go home, so Margie, George and Owen headed off for home. I decided to walk back to Chinatown, to my car, and took the scenic route. I walked through the chic shopping district on Walnut St, down to Rittenhouse Square, where I finally sat down and cast-on for my sock. As I was knitting away on my sock, watching everyone walk their little doggies, a very nice lady came and sat with me and knit away on a purse she was making.
It was a wonderful (first) trek - I logged almost 4 miles, and got about an inch done on my sock. Progress pictures to follow...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ssshhhhhhhh - It's a secret...

Don't tell TRHM, but I was shopping for charity yarn on ebay this week... When I came home from my trip to Loop to see Wendy, a box full of Baby Clouds was waiting for me! Good thing he was at work, huh? And coming this week is another box with 15 more skeins...

Pics to follow, as well as progress notes on my various KALs!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday's are for Cross-Stitch

And it is a good thing, too, because my knitting has all gone to hell in, well, a knitting basket!!

I can't seem to get my Trekking sock yarn and my needles in the same place at the same time, and every time I think I'll cast on for them, I have one but not the other! Not to mention the fact that every time the weather is good enough for a trek, I am stuck at work. I finally tried on my Cascade Fixation sock, and clearly heard the call of the frogs... It is comfy, but I don't like the fabric at all, I used size 4 needles, and the fabric is too "loose". I think I'll try again using size 3's. I have a small knitting project in my desk at work for my lunch breaks - it is a blanket to go with some caps and booties I knit for The Preemie Project. Well, I decided to modify a regular pattern for an isolette size, and didn't calculate the pattern carefully enough - it is a reapeat of 8, not 6, so when I got to the end of the 15th row, where the pattern begins, I found that I was 5 stitches short! On the bright side, it is really nice in all garter stitch, so that is what I will do - no frogging required.

So I cross-sitched instead. I am working on a Lavender and Lace angel, called The Angel of Light. I love this pattern, and even though parts are slow going, I can really see the progress. I am working on the wings, having completed the flowing gown. I still have to finish the bodice and do the face. After all of the cross-stitching is done, the beadwork will be next.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Gettin' my Fixation on!

Knitting away on my first Cascade Fixation sock today! We went to Wizard World (a huge comic book show in Philadelphia), not as vendors, but as attendees. I got to knit in the car on the way to the show, at the show, at The Pagoda Noodle Cafe while we were waiting for dinner, and in the car on the way home, and now my sock is almost finished! The only thing left is to change to blue for the toe.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Knitterly Goodness!

I came home tonight to find not one, not two, but THREE packages waiting for me! The first package was full of Paton's Glittalic for a secret project, the second was my Cascade Fixation for the sock KAL, and the third was full of purse handles for some felted bags I am working on.

Woo hoo!! I heart the mailman!

Here are close-ups of my goodies.

I guess I'd better get busy organizing my goodies. I got a phone call at work from TRHM - he said that he couldn't sit on the couch because there were balls of animal hair all over it ...

Fridays are for quilting!!

Yep - Fridays are my quilting days. One of the KALs I joined is the Blue & Gold Along. It isn't technically a KAL, because you can do whatever craft tickles you at the moment, as long as it is Blue and Gold. I have a couple of baby quilts that I am working on...well, I have the fabric washed a pressed for them. I'll have to fire up the rotary cutter and get the top pieced tonight.

Last night was Knit Chicks, and we had a great time, and someone got a prezzy!!! Jenn's mom made this gorgeous bag for Margie. It has a gold lining with lots and lots of pockets for knitty goodies! Margie was glued to the webcam when the panda babies were born, so she loved the embroidered design. When I find that winning lotto ticket in the bottom of my purse, I'm gonna get one of those fancy-pants computerized sewing machines, uh-huh, sure am!

It seems that the weatherman was a bit confused, and it is not pouring, as expected. I might actually get a little trekking in later this afternoon - gotta love summer hours!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Trek Along With Me!

This is the first KAL I signed up for, so I will tell you about it, first!

I started knitting socks by knitting a pair of "house" socks using some Red Heart worsted. I chose that yarn because:

  1. It's cheap.
  2. It's worsted weight, so I could use the one pair of DPNs I already had - size 8.
  3. It was thick enough that I could really see what I was doing.
  4. I wasn't sure if I would like knitting socks (see #1).
  5. I didn't think they would actually fit my chubby legs (see #1).

And I was hooked! Uh-huh, I heart sock-knitting. I now own DPNs in all sock-knitting sizes, and have an entire bin devoted to sock yarn. So when I saw a KAL devoted to Trekking, I just had to sign up, right? Not only that, but I live in the beauteous town of Hammonton, with lots and lots of great trails (with lots and lots of blueberry bushes - snacks on the trail - BONUS!). So this KAL will fill two of my goals - knit up some of my Trekking, and get a little exercise along the way.

So, I dove into my stash, and found three balls of Trekking XXL

Should I go with the purply stripey, the pink or the patriotic red, white and blue? Hmmm. Well, my birthday is right around the 4th of July, and TRHM is taking me away to Mystic, CT, so if I use the RW&B, I'll have a new pair of socks to wear. Patriotic, it is! Today is the first day of the KAL, but it is also KnitChicks night, so I will have to wait to trek until this weekend (it will be rainy here until then). Stay tuned for progress pictures!

I'm just a KAL gal!!

Well, I decided that to motivate me to get moving on my projects, I would join a couple of KALs. It is going to be a fun, fun summer! I'll be adding buttons and links, as well as photos of my KAL projects over the weekend. Are you KAL-ing this summer?