Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's Knitterly Magic

Last night, while I was in the kitchen fixing dinner, TRHM came into the kitchen:

TRHM: Are the lacey bits for your top finished already?
Me: No, I'm not quite half done with that part.
TRHM: Oh, well they look like they have been sewn together, so I thought you were ready to make the top part, now.
Me: What do you mean, sewn together?

I follow him over to the dining room table where the LBT is still laid out from yesterday's photo shoot.
TRHM: See, they are in a circle, like you sewed them together.
Me: Oh, no, honey, that is knit in the round, not back and forth.
TRHM: But there's no seam. It looks like they are sewed together.
Me: No, honey, that is knit in the round - you go round and round and round - you know like a tube. You might not realize it, but most shirts are a tube from the armpits, down, you know.
TRHM: Really? Never noticed that. You are so funny!!

After dinner, I even beat him in cribbage. We're even now, I let him win the night before.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sock Wars!!

Wanna have some fun? Check out Sock Wars, run by yarn monkey. It sounds like a lot of fun, and I am IN, IN, IN!!! So watch out - sock assassins will be on the alert, will you be the next target?? Join in the fun!

Caution - the aliens are landing!!

I have finally gotten started on the Lotus Blossom Tank. I have to say that I didn't see alien heads when the other knitters mentioned them, but when I looked at the photo of my LBT, all I see are alien heads, and it is beginning to skeeve me. Personally, I'm not a sci-fi gal, and I would rather see spiders! I just keep thinking "lotus blossoms. peaceful, relaxing lotus blossoms." as I knit, and hopefully they won't do some sort of freakish morphing thing and become alien heads.

I'll say it right now, and risk the wrath of the knitters - I don't like the bamboo yarn. It doesn't feel soft to me, and I don't like the twiney look of it. So I went with a cotton/modal blend. I went with Knit Picks Shine Sport, and I really like it a lot. It feels very soft, and has a lovely drape. I knitted my first swatch with size 5 needles, but wasn't feeling the love. I wanted a finer fabric. So I switched to size 4 and knitted a stockinette swatch. I threw my swatch in the washer and the dryer with a load of laundry, and my guage was dead on, row and stitch. Not that it matters. Because the designers apparently think that larger ladies don't want an LBT - WRONG!! And so I know I will have to recalculate everything.

Oh, and hey - did you check out my little purple ladybug stitch marker?? How cute is THAT? It was handcrafted by the uber-talented Jenn. She also made me a pair of knitting needles with purple ladybugs on top. I love them! I pet them daily. Why can't lotus blossoms look like ladybugs instead of aliens????

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Raised to the power of 2

I know that they usually say things come in threes, but for me, it has always been in twos. All the good things in my life, and the bad have come two-by-two, just like the animals boarding the ark.

My sister was born exactly two years after me, arriving on my birthday. My son was born two days before his sister's birthday. And this week, although she missed the "exact" part, my Grandma died two years after my Grampa.

She always was late, though. We used to tell her we had to be somewhere at least 30 minutes before we actually did - it was the only way to get her out of the house on time. I remember that we had a pool, kind of like a football pool, on their 35th wedding anniversary. We were all gathering at my Aunt's house in Nottingham, PA, and the adults were going to dinner and a show at the Three Little Bakers; the cousins were going to stay home. My Uncle made up a chart, and we all wrote in how many minutes late we thought Grandma and Grampa were going to be. I think my mother won, I don't remember, but it was always a family joke about Grandma being late. Grampa used to say that she would be late for her own funeral. I guess he was right.

Grandma started forgetting things about 4 years ago, and it got worse and worse. When Grampa died, she didn't realize it was her husband who had died. As awful as that seems, it was actually a blessing. See, they were completely devoted to each other, and had been married for over 65 years when Grampa died in 2004. He retired from the Coast Guard after 30 years of service when I was 5 years old. I don't think they spent a night apart, except for when one of them was in the hospital, for 35 years. She broke her leg at the end of last month, and the doctors said she wouldn't survive the surgery to repair it. There was little hope that it would heal on its own, since she had osteoporosis (go take a calcium supplement - right now - I'll wait). So they sent her home. I thought for sure she would die on July 1st - that was the anniversary of Grampa's death. But she hung around for another couple of weeks, and slipped away peacefully on July 18th. When she was running late, Grampa used to stand at the bottom of the stairs, and whistle for her. I imagine he was standing at the pearly gates whistling for her last week. She was late, but he waited for her, like he always did.

This picture was taken when they were still newlyweds. Grandma told me this was the day that she told Grampa they were going to have a baby. I think it was taken in the Norfolk, VA area. They rented a small room with a hotplate from an older woman. She used to tell Grandma that she liked "that sailor, even if he is a damned Yankee!"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!!

I am the luckiest girl in the world! I had a wonderful birthday weekend. It started with awesome yarn prezzies from my best friends!

Jenn gave me the book "Knitting out of Africa" - I heart this book, it has beautiful patterns and very interesting construction methods. There is a wonderful instructional passage on Entrelac and another on working with two colors, I have attempted neither technique, but they are my "learn to do this" list! There was also a beautiful skein of Vesper yarn. Uh-huh - the ultra-impossible-to-get Vesper yarn. And it is very pretty - with lots of bright summertime colors! I also heart the sheep button - how cute is that?? And it all came in a beautiful box that I can use to store some of my knitterly goodies!

Margie gave me a pair of scissors to DIE for!! They are lovely - the handles have this totally cool ladybug design, and they feel like velvet! The tips are super super sharp, perfect for hardanger! And she needlpointed that cute scissor keeper for them - perfect!! There were also two skeins of Sweet Georgia superwash merino in a gorgeous chocolate/turquoise/pink colorway (which inspired my outfit today - chocolate colored slacks with a turquoise twin set that I never thought to wear together). I especially liked the card - inside, it says "Well, HOOCHIE-COOCHIE for you!" Margie said that the photo reminded her of me. The funny thing is that I had lots of outfits like that when I was a toddler, and often struck funny poses.

Thank you girls!! I have the bestest friends!!!

On Friday, TRHM took me to Atlantic City for the weekend! We had so much fun!! On Friday, we went to dinner, then went back to the hotel and relaxed in the jacuzzi bathtub in our room.

Saturday was retail therapy. There is a new high-end shopping complex opening right across the boardwalk from Caesar's Casino. The stores are all very chic, and very expensive. And not a single plus-sized store among them!! I guess it is for the trophy wives of the high-rollers. At the end of the second level, there is a deck area where you can enjoy the ocean breeze. There will be a huge fountain with light shows opening soon. That is also at the ocean end of the pier. The area is huge, and open to all four floors of the complex. There is a wall of glass overlooking the Atlantic, and escalators criss-cross in front of the glass. The ceiling of the hallway on the second floor is a navy blue fabric with teeny little lights - it looks like the night sky filled with twinkling stars. Very very pretty!

We played some slots at Caesar's (I lost, as usual, TRHM won, but I don't think he kept pace with my losses ...), then went back to the hotel to sit in the hot-tub, before getting dressed for dinner and a show! TRHM had planned to take me to the Virginia City buffet, where they make steaks to order. But by the time we got there, the wait for a table was too long. So we headed over to Harrah's and ate at one of the bistros, then saw Rita Rudner perform! She is so very very funny!! She rarely travels these days, as she and her husband have adopted a baby, so she stays home in Las Vegas, performing nightly. The show was great!

Sunday, we slept in, and had Belgian waffles at the hotel, then sat in the hot-tub for a bit. It was a little warm in the sun in the hot water, so we moved into the shade, and I beat TRHM at cribbage - not once, but TWICE!! Of course, he says he let me win, but I know better! Then it was back to the walk for some more retail therapy. My girfriend, Adrienne is a Grandma!! For the second time!! Her daughter had a baby girl this weekend, so I went to Carter's to get a baby gift. Then we went over to The Quarter at Tropicana. I absolutely love The Quarter. The shops are very nice, but I love the decor! The fountain in the middle, and the sky painted on the dome really give it the feel that you are outdoors. There is a little shop there that specializes in imported goodies ... yum! We attempted lunch at PF Changs, but it didn't work out so well. We waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and finally gave up. The waitress managed to get us some drinks, but didn't offer refills on my iced tea. When our appetizers came, it was apparent that they had been sitting for a bit - not even the spring rolls were hot. They weren't cold, but if they had just come out of the fryer, they would have been h-o-t!! We were there for 1 hour. There were 8 other tables seated. No call for that length of time!!

So we went upstairs to the IMAX theater and saw Superman 3-D!!! It was awesome.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Remembering ...

Recall that last month, I said that one of the advantages of being a fat middle-aged lady is never having to design flat-ab hugging cables? Well, check out the finished product. Lovely sweater, Eunny!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Stifle, Edith! Stifle!!

Yesterday, I took a break from sewing, and went to see what sort of lace trims I could find at Wal-Mart (out here in the sticks, anything else is 40 mins away). On the way home, I stopped at WaWa for a hoagie. When I got in line to pay, I overheard the cashier saying "I really couldn't care less about the 4th of July!" I guess the WTF??? look prompted additional explanation.

Her: Well, I mean I like the BBQs and fireworks and all, but what are we supposed to be celebrating, anyway?
Me: Blank look.
Her: What is it, America's birthday or something?
Me: Uh-huh.
Her: Well, how old is America, anyway?
Me: 230 years.
Her: Yeah, really? But when are you counting from? I mean, how do you know that?
Me: Um, from the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Her: Oh, yeah. I think I remember something about that.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I found my thrill ... on blueberry hill ...

What is Lia up to today??

Coming to you live, from the Blueberry Capitol of the World!!!!

Whew! Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me??

Nothing like homemade blueberry jam!

I better get some bread in the oven!

Another Train Trek

Last night, I took the train into Atlantic City to meet up with TRHM. It was a beautiful night, nice and cool, breezy and low humidity. We went to The House of Blues for dinner at the Showboat casino. We had originally planned to get some take out from PF Changs (they have wonderful house lo mein) and walk on the boardwalk a bit, but couldn't find parking. Dinner was great, and on the way out, we stopped at the nickel machines outside the restaurant. TRHM won the cost of dinner - WOO-HOO!! Nothing like free dinner at HOB!! I won $1.50. whoop-ee. Not even enough to get a frap at Starbucks. Not even a little one. Good thing I had my debit card.

We drove over to Harrah's, and parked on the roof to watch the fireworks. They were pretty cool! There was a family with the same idea, and they had a little fella (about 8 or 9) who was bounching off the walls with excitement. The fireworks were scheduled to begin at 9:15. They started at 9:45. I think the little fella was asleep by 10. Poor little guy, he missed it.

Whenever I watch fireworks, I remember a story my Grampa told me about taking my cousin, Mike, to see fireworks when he was about 5. After the fireworks show ended, Mike yelled out "Do it again, God!! Do it again!!" I wonder if Mike thinks about that when he watches fireworks?

So there was a train ride, dinner, slot-winning, frappucinos, fireworks, and what else? Knitting! Of course! I started a felted bag. I am using Noro Kureyon. It will be felted, lined and sent to The Preemie Project for their craft sale at the end of this month. I worked a bit on the RWB trekking sock, but I don't like the way the heel flap is coming out, so I will probably rip back and start it over again. There weren't any pictures because the camera batteries were dead. ERRRRRR.... But it is a nice sunny day, so there will be pics later!

Today, I am sewing (bereavement bears, preemie quilts, tote bags), making blueberry jam, and blueberry pies. TRHM is working, so I have the day to myself!

Ze Rat Man Cometh!!*

This week in wierd (a news category on Comcast), there is a crazy story about a man who bought a rat to feed his pet snake, then didn't have the heart to serve dinner.

*"Do you know the reference??" - The movie IQ starring Tim Robbins and Meg Ryan - very cute, run out and rent/buy it if you haven't seen it. Especially if you like math and science - it is about Einstein's niece (Meg Ryan) falling in love with a car mechanic (Tim Robbins). Walter Matthau puts in a great performance as Einstein.