Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Friday, June 27, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

Today, I attempted to play with Photoshop...I have no idea what I'm doing. So, for today, our picture is, "Another Blooming Lily".

Sheepy is nearly done so I took her outside for a shoot. I didn't touch up this photo in Photoshop, mostly because I don't know how. She's nearly done and then I'll have to give her eyes this way she's not blind like the dragon.

Well, it's nearly July and it's hot. I'm hot. I'm hot even when I'm in air conditioning. Anything over like 75 degrees is what I can find well...sometimes...damn near intolerable. It's almost too hot to even eat. So, today, being it's Friday, we went out for sushi. I love sushi and I probably eat it three or four times a week. Plenty of fish in the sea. I had my usual, one eel avocado roll, one spicy salmon and one tuna avocado. Ah....heaven. And I had a soup. And I had a salad. And, I was full of omega 3 fatty acids and my heart was very happy.
Much better than eating sheep, don't you think?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And the Sheep Goes On...

"yeah, and the sheep goes on....needles keep pounding rhythm thru my brain..."

Note to those who don't know this one: Hear the real song here..

I am cookin' with gas on the Sheepish Sampler Scarf (betcha can't say that fast 10 times!) DD is utterly thrilled and keeps taking it away to cuddle it. The Debbie Bliss Rialto is very smooth and very nice and gives perfect stitch definition. All that in a soft, washable wool. It's smoother than Cascade 200. In fact, I would recommend this for nice baby garments or small blankets if you can spring for it. Luckily, I only needed four balls of this stuff. On sale though, a 3x4 foot baby blanket might only be $50, what you'd spend on a gift anyway and you'd get the pleasure of having this stuff slip through your fingers for awhile.

This weekend, I will be attending my Aunt and Uncle's 50th wedding anniversary dinner. Sadly, my parents are both gone. A few months back, I found some of the letters that my father had written to my mother during their 'courtship' when he was in the navy. He referred to taking a short leave to coincide with his brother's wedding. Imagine, I now have 50 year old letters. I like things from the past. I also have a few silver dollars from the 1880s but they're not in the best of condition, worn a bit smooth from my mother keeping them in her makeup bag. I'm going to ziploc them and stick them in my safe deposit box that I got two years ago and keep empty...still trying to find the time to get to the bank to visit it! I can't believe they're married that long. Wow. People really got married young back then! Should be a fun time. I can't knit there, that'd be rude. Can't even bring it for show and tell, that'd be rude, too. Maybe take it for the car ride though, show Sheepy the world from a car window.

In a few minutes, I will going to the ENT so that he could test my hearing. At my most recent doctor's visit, you know, the one that I went to because of my aching back? Well, she tested my hearing. (Malpractice is a biggie these days, don't want to miss anything, you know.) I didn't hear the 'low tones'. At all. None. Deaf as a post. None in either ear. So, I came home and made sure that I could hear all 88 keys on the piano, which I can; therefore, I guess I am not missing all that much. Can't miss what you don't hear, right? Huh? What was that? We'll see what he says. I don't even know what's that low. Too bad it's not jet engines. I hate when they fly over my house.

I did a little touching up of my hank of Butter Peeps; as you can see, the colors are gorgeous.

Dream in Color Smooshy - Butter Peeps

I am so happy that I got Adobe Photoshop (Elements). You can even see the dirt on the silpcovers with this camera! Isn't she lovely, cantaloupe and yellow and peachy all mixed up. Such an appropriate name.

Stay tuned, she's going to be wound up into a ball and turned into socks shortly.....

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Sheepish Sampler Scarf and the Blind Dragon

Yesterday, I was off from work and yesterday...I was a very bad girl.

Being that DS got the Dragon Scarf, DD, who is completely enamoured with anything resembling a "Lamby", wanted a "Lamby Scarf". She had no school yesterday so I took her to the LYS to pick something out for the Sheepish Sampler scarf. Needless to say, she was between Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Mirsaol Sulka and Miski. She loves her Lamby because of the way she feels and she wants the scarf to feel the same way. I bought two different types, the Cocoa is Sulka, more bulky weight than worsted but its supposed to be 'Heavy Worsted'. It's 60% Merino, 20% Alpaca and 20% Silk. It isn't twisted and isn't that easy to knit with but makes a divine fabric. The Cream is Miski, which is 100% Baby Llama and is most certainly worsted. I planned to use the Cocoa for the head and feet and ears and hope for the best but that didn't work out. Unfortunately, both of those yarns aren't available in the both of the colors I need. I couldnt' even get black!

So, after working on the head and part of the body, I decided that that wasn't going to work. I wasn't going to turn in my nice yarn at the I bought more! I got Debbie Bliss Rialto. Three balls in cream and three in chocolate brown. Being my back hurt and I couldn't bring myself to walk on my treadmill, I restarted the scarf. As you can see, I made the right choice.

The stitches in the scarf on the right are much too loose. Better photos are coming on this.

Meanwhile, Dragon is blocked and has stretched to a nice 60" length; however, he's STILL blind.

That's it for now, I have to get to work sometime this morning!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Knitting Update-Baby Fern and Dragon Scarf

The Dragon Scarf grew enormously when blocked. It is now a perfect 60" long. Today I will sew on on the eyes and the nasal tassals and take him out for a photoshoot. We're supposed to get yet another thunderstorm today and the dark lighting may make for a mysterious picture.

I've also picked up the Baby Fern Sock, the one I'm doing on size zero needles in Valley Yarn's Huntington (shh! I believe it to be the same as Cascade Heritage!) in a lovely dark green. It's a bit hard on the eyes to knit at night with this small a needle with such a dark color but they're coming along nicely. I was going to work on them a bit over this weekend but didn't get to them.

It was sewing time! Yesterday, Elizzabetty and I worked on a small knit top for my DD, the fashion plate. I was assigned a small homework project of doing the shoulder straps on my own so I will try that during the week and then I will show you my progress. Oh boy! I am so excited to be learning how to sew. To tell you the truth, I really thrive on the repetitiveness of knitting and crochetting. That is part of the reason why I think that I will like spinning. It can be mindless and rewarding. The other reason why spinning is turning me on is because I love things that are historical and having a nice spinning wheel in my house as a piece to admire would be lovely. Ah, beauty.

Speaking of beauty, the front of my house faces the north and it's always a few weeks behind the seasons. The lillies are just starting to bloom...

Yet the other plant, in the brighter light, is in full bloom...

And, the pansies are looking happy, like little smiling faces...

Such beautiful colors all around us.

"Life is just a box of...crayons"

Saturday, June 21, 2008

An Almost FO!

The Dragon Scarf is done. Well, except for the eyes and the stuff coming out of his nose. I learned two things from this project:

1. I don't like Morehouse Merino yarn. It just isn't spun, it's like knitting with..roving. Or, worse, dust. Maybe it's me, I knit continental. In order to 'pick' and get the yarn in the right spot and at the right tension, one tugs a bit with the left index finger. Well, there is a three needle bind off to make the spikes. It's really hard not to do that loosely. So, even though I used one and a half hanks of yarn, I had to sew in like 20 ends. That sucked. I like yarn with a tighter twist. In this case, SOME twist would've been good. It is nice and soft and so authentic that it comes with straw in it.

2. This was a really cute pattern but had no row gauge. I added a few repeats here and there to make a longer scarf and regretably, could've added a few more. It's nice albeit shorter than I'd like. There was plenty of yarn included with the kit to do this.
3. I noticed that I become a little discouraged if every row requires that I have to read the instructions. This silly little scarf took me nearly two months and should've taken like 10 days. There aren't all that many stitches!

4. My Baby Fern socks miss me.

Here it is before blocking. I kinda made it a bit longer after it was wet!

Yes, I know, I shouldn't let him sit on the kitchen table but DS is very excited about this scarf. DD wants "Sheepish Sampler" but I don't have any suitable colors in my arsenal for that. I just noticed this... Interesting..maybe I'm not the only one who is complaining that there is no twist. I should try that.....hmmnn...
As for my aching back, I broke down and went to the chiropractor. My neck is a disaster area and actually has no cervical curve. In fact, it almost curves a bit backwards. It's really ugly on the x-ray....can't really fix that but that's ok. My lower back is hurting so much that my neck almost doesn't hurt. A plus to back pain! I mean, this was really bad, couldn't get out of the chair, turn in bed, get into my pants, tie my shoe, get in and out of the car. Yes, I was ready for the witch doctor but he didn't make house calls. I found a chiropractor who got great reviews and happens to be located very close to my home, on a road I must pass to get to my house and conveniently located by the Italian Pork Store (ahh!!!). So, I walked in. I went back for my second visit, skeptical. He showed me my x-ray and lumbar vertebrae number 4 was the only bad one. It was tipped to the right at nearly 45 degrees. I let him adjust me, still skeptical.
Well, today, there is some soreness but it's very tolerable. Just like a black and blue.
And, you know what else? I can bounce around like Tigger.
How the heck did he do that? I have been in pain for SEVEN MONTHS.
Well, my dear friend, Elizzabetty, is on her way over to show me how to sew. Next, we're both going to learn how to spin...hmmn.. Another costly endeavour.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We're In Kansas?

No knitting update today. I have been doing work, like at my job, you know how it is. Plus, been tired but that's par for the course.

I just can't believe that we've been having such major thunderstorms around here. Last night, everything was fine, we were eating dinner, talking about the bad weather that we were supposed to get. DH said something about hail. Now, I can't really remember getting hail here on Long Island. I remember that we would get it from time to time, little tiny bird shot hail, when I was a child. That was a long time ago when the earth was a cooler place, it snowed in the wintertime and dinosaurs walked the Earth. I poo-pooed the hail idea and was dark. I mean, not just darker, it turned to .. well, night. I looked out the window and saw this, a giant man sized BLACK cloud just rolling in. No rain though...

And it blocked out all available light. It was only about 6:30 PM, nearing the longest day of the year where it stays light until about 9PM, and it was NIGHT. PITCH BLACK LIKE THIS.

Then, it poured. No hail though, but a giant deluge of rain. This storm was booking at 36 mph and soon past by us, leaving this trail of less frightening clouds, followed by clearing.

Oh boy, was that great. Not many storms like that here at all. And, idiot me was outside, standing in the street, snapping pictures of the clouds. Don't really want the hail, it might dent my car or break my camera lens. I told you that I have to move to a house that has no lines in the way of the sky.

More knitting coming soon! I promise. I have just been busy playing with my new toys.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I've been away a few days, pretty much unable to post. For those of you who don't know, I telecommute from time to time. I use my own Internet connection and it's like being at my desk. Do you remember the movie 9 to 5? "Oh, I think I just saw her at the water cooler!"..just like that. I was unable to connect so I called Verizon. They did, or at least said they did, diagnostics on my router and assured me that the problem wasn't the router. I begged to differ so they sent out the Verizon man for a house call. He fixed the problem in 36 seconds. It was the router. Now I have the new and improved baby sized router. It's cute.

One day at work, we were discussing how ugly routers are and how they are an eyesore in the house. It may be nice to start knitting Router Cozies. Laugh? Our mothers and grandmothers crocheted poodles to cover toilet paper. Today, they even have a pattern for a 'Sushi Roll'. You can buy the poodle pattern on eBay!

OK, so I have been playing with my camera, dealing with bad lower back pain, and working on knitting at a slow pace. I picked up the Dragon Scarf because I want to have a finished object. Here he is, headless still, about 50% done, all nestled comfortably. The pattern is very nice but there is no row gauge so I have no idea how long this will be. I am up 'somewhere in the middle' and methinks I will add one extra spike. That will make me nuts about having enough yarn to complete this. Worse case, he'll have a different color nose or something. Besides, others have said that this comes out kinda 'short'. My son is thrilled and can't wait for it to snow. I told him he has a long time to wait on wearing this.
I know you're just dying to see how good my photography skills are coming along. Being we didn't have an eye candy Friday because we were unable to post on Friday, we'll do an eye candy Saturday. I was playing with ultra fast shutter speed yesterday.

Zoey in action!


Bubbles! (note: take a good look at his arm and chin, you can see the limitations of a digital camera. I enlarged this a bit but you can see how the edges aren't smooth. It has 'jaggies')
And, the shot du jour...Underwater Boy

I'd show you more of my doggie but she didn't want to participate. I mean, she had just had a pedicure...
Sorry about the bluishness. I grabbed the camera and snapped, didn't want to miss the pose.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Knitting Update! Palindrome & Baby Fern Socks

Will wonders never cease? I actually got a chance to knit today AND to finish an object. I currently have three WIPs and that's too much. I like to have one or possibly two pairs of socks and another project going at the same time, tops. Lately, I've been slacking. I have been working on the Palindrome, mindless knitting, for quite some time. Today, I took it out, in the 100 degree weather, and finished it. Also, in the 100 degree weather, I put it on...ok, just for a brief moment.

These were taken with my new Canon Rebel XTi...
A beautiful approximately 60 inch Palindrome scarf, hand knitted out of Plymouth's Royal Silk Merino. I used a little more than 4 balls so this was a bit more expensive than I had originally anticipated. I would have liked it to be a teeny bit longer but I was afraid that it would grow a foot or so when I block it. Actually, it doesn't really need to be blocked. this yarn is luscious, a pleasure to work with. It is soft and cozy and the cables just pop. Just look at this nice detail... don't look too closely, I wouldn't want you to find a mistake.....
Palindrome Scarf, looka that detail! (The yarn, not the camera!)
Next up, we have Baby Fern Socks, posing for you on a nice bush to add interest. (Don't you just love how my photography skills have improved? Much better than using a piece of my couch or the wall or having bad lighting, hah? Like, you'd think that I was hanging out with Ansel Adams...) Ok, maybe not great, just better, right? Gotta keep things interesting around here.

Baby Fern Socks...12 st pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks.
Valley Yarns - Huntington

Most importantly, I am working on this with size 0's, 72sts casted on, two at once magic looping. I was the very first project to use this yarn on Ravelry. It's Valley Yarns Huntington (shh! I believe this to be Cascade Heritage but don't tell anyone.) I might've been able to get away with size 1's but in the long run, I know that I'll be happier with itty-bitty stitches. That's me - queen of the tiny gauge socks. More stitches, stronger fabric, last longer....and takes alot longer to knit. These could take awhile. I felt like I was knitting for hours and only got a teeny bit done. We'll see how it goes, I was tired and watching tv and it's a 12 st repeat so I have to somewhat pay attention. Alot of knit rows in there though. Now that it's my main project, I expect to have the leg done within a week.
And lastly, ominous clouds. We had a nice thunderstorm with some wind blow through here around dinner time. That usually happens during a heat wave. It did cool us down to a sultry 78 degrees though. June heat is so weird, it's HOT HOT HOT but not sweaty overly humid. Strange.

I'm going to have to move to a house that doesn't have telephone lines in the view from the front door. A few blocks away, the lines are run through the backyards instead of in the front. Oh well, that's another post: History of Suburban Long Island, NY, for those of you who don't live here.

That's about it for the Weekend Update. Time to knit the socks and plan out another project.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dream in Color Smooshy!

Well, I promised and I deliver!

Here's som photos of my new Dream in Color Smooshy taken in bad light:

This one is "Butter Peeps". The yarn is fluffy and looks almost like worsted weight until you stretch it a teeny bit and then it's thin like fingering weight. The colors are beautiful, creamy buttery and cantalope! Tons of yardage, too!

This is Gothic Rose, sort of a nearly solid black cherry.
I have tons of things to do today so I probably won't be doing much picture taking. We'll see though..

Here's a picture I took last night of my Snapdragons which I planted two years ago and come back every year big and strong and pretty!

Time for morning exercise and knitting before the family gets out of bed!