Thursday, May 31, 2007

Citrus update

Did I say this before? I just looked and I don't remember.

I went to one of my LYS last week and asked my friend (who was a kindergarten teacher when my kids were in school, and my oldest grandson was in her last class before she retired) (God am I old) what she thought of the Citrus situation. Her opinion is that as it grows and is weighted down, it'll be narrower and might even fit. So I've continued working on it, after speed-knitting a pair of Happy Socks for Tom's 8-year-old niece (one week for a pair of knee socks). We visited them on Sunday and they would have been completed, except I'd forgotten a crucial bit of turning the heel, so I had to rip out several hours' worth of work. Erin tried the first sock on, it fit, so I finished the second one on the way home. Now I need to remember to mail them to her.

This was Mommy deer on Saturday. She was really wide. We think she's had her baby/ies; we haven't seen her since then, although we did see a big, skinny deer in the back field at 1 on Monday afternoon, and they don't usually feed at that time of day.

This is the barn on the farm that Tom's grandfather owned many years ago. We stopped there on the way up to Pennsylvania on Sunday.

This is an exchange student from Japan. She's been here since last June and will be going home in 3 weeks. She came in for knitting lessons and has been checking in with me all year. She's a real sweetheart.

*cough cough* I'm going home.

It finally gets warm

and I come down with a fever (100.2 [F] at last check), runny nose, bronchitis-type cough as opposed to the usual giant-feather-in-the-back-of-my-throat tickle cough. Great timing, as my sister-in-law's birthday dinner is tomorrow night (nothing like giving the birthday girl bronchitis, is it?), I'm giving an extended-time version of the SAT on Saturday (which means at least 7 hours as opposed to 5), then my youngest granddaughter's 4th birthday party is 45 minutes up the road at a skating rink (yeah, let's get all those kids sick, too), AND that night my sisters-in-law and I are having a spa weekend at a fancy place in Berkeley Springs, WV.

So I'm whining.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Update, Citrus-wise

1. One of the cats knocked a seedling lemon tree off the porch rail then totally uprooted it. I bet the lemon attacked him first. No, he was trying to get to the hummingbirds feeding on the nasturtiums and the sugar-water feeder. That's why I put a dozen pots of tiny seedling citrus trees on the rail underneath it.

2. I swear I had gauge on that stupid Citrus top. It was perfect. Until I finished about 14 of the units and measured it, when I discovered that it was 50 " around. Now, my butt is big, but it's not THAT big. So back to the drawing board. I swatched it four more times and finally got it on (naturally) the last one. If it doesn't work this time, I'm going to frog it and toss the yarn back into my stash to await a pattern that is less dependent on individual units that are then knit together.

3. There is no 3. There was, but I forgot what it is.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Since we don't yet have season 4 of 24, I took a few minutes to take pictures of some knitting.

First, the pink baby socks.

The second picture shows the color better. I liked knitting these tiny socks; the lace pattern was easy enough for my brain to work, the yarn is so soft and cuddly (KnitPicks superwash sock yarn, very inexpensive), and they were so quick to knit.

Next, the citrus-y top that I'm making:

I love the colors in this thing. I'm just hoping that it fits without having to rip it all out and start over again. I didn't try to measure it before I started the second round of sections because they're connected by just two strands of yarn and they twist every time I touch them, so right now I'm going on hope and faith alone. The yarn is Lang Yarns Trinidad, 60% cotton/40% acrylic. There are about 100 yards per ball, and I bought 12, so I think I'll have enough. It took only one ball to make the bottom 8 sections, so I've got my fingers crossed. It's really hard to knit that way.

Here's a (bad) photo of the pattern that I'm using; I couldn't take a clear picture to save my life.

I'm not using the fancy yarns that were used in the sample; for some reason wearing fuzzy stuff in the summer just isn't that appealing. In the winter either, for that matter.

Still no progress on the blocking front. I really want to wear that top, but that means dragging out the iron and ironing board, and how I hate those things.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


We finished watching season 3 of 24 last night (on dvd). Way back when it first came on years ago I thought that it was a show that I'd like, you know, lots of disasters, terrorists, nuclear blasts, etc. All in LA. I guess the writers either don't want to wander too far away from LA or else LA is a hotbed of terrorism. Even the President is usually in LA.

But when I tried to watch the show on tv, it was just too scrambled for me to keep up with. It's filmed in "real time"; each hour show is one hour of a hellishly long day, hence the title 24. As in hours. But if it's on dvd, I can keep up with what's going on long enough to understand (more or less) what's going on, and it's a really addictive show. Without commercials. So each "hour" of the day is only 40 minutes long.

Anyway, there were a couple of incredibly irritating women on the show, one who worked for Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) LA Division, the other the meddling power-hungry narcissistic bitch ex-wife of the President, who is that rare political animal, a good and honest man.

Nina, the CTU witch, turned out to be working for first Serbs (first season) then Russians (second season). She was deported (and I still don't fully understand that; she was an American citizen) but kept managing to sneak back into the US and get involved in terrorist plots. Oh, and she also killed Jack Bauer's wife, and Jack doesn't forgive things like that.

Jack Bauer is CTU's best man. Jack doesn't eat, drink, take a cigarette break, or sleep; he does his job and he does it well. He doesn't always play by the rules which frequently gets him a time-out from his bosses at CTU. That doesn't mean he gives up; not Jack, he just keeps working.

Nina showed up again 3rd season; already I can't remember just what treasonous activities she was involved in, but this time Jack killed her. We cheered. Then, during the last show of the 3rd season, the President's MP-HNB ex-wife, who was once again working with the terrorists, was finally killed. Dead. THAT was the most satisfying moment of the show up to this point.

I hope that Tom brought home season 4 today. According to the promo from the end of the 3rd season, Jack loses his job and says a very bad word. I can't wait to see how he gets out of this one. Without Chloe the Wonder Nerd to open sockets, download schematics, and set up perimeters for him, how is he going to rid the world of whatever terrorist threat is in LA this season?

If I lived in LA, I think I'd move somewhere safer, like Iraq.

Friday, May 11, 2007

About that blocking........

Uh, yeah. Didn't happen. Neither did pictures.

Damn 24.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back to knitting....

I started the second Happy Sock and got about 4" done while I was proctoring online SOL testing (Standards of Learning for Virginia; every student has to pass a certain number in order to graduate with a standard diploma), but at night I've been knitting a t-top made of Bamboo from Southwest Trading Company. The yarn is actually made of bamboo, and it has a lovely drape and should be cool for the summer. I made it wayyyyy too long (why do I do that???) but not so long that I'm going to take it apart and fix it. It has to be blocked before I can wear it. I've never blocked anything before. Sewing up seams and weaving in the ends is enough work for me; I have a 50/50 merino/silk sweater (cost on eaby: over $100, bought before I could even knit straight) that's been in the finishing stage for over two years. It's a gorgeous sweater, so soft, beautiful shades of pink to blue, and I'll probably never finish it because menopause hit me with a sledgehammer and I can't wear long sleeves, much less a turtleneck.


Anyway, I plan to block Bamboo tonight so I can wear it tomorrow. Hahahahahahahaha! That's a good one!

So the other night I started another top that's made of cotton/acrylic yarn that I bought in Germany. It's from Switzerland, but what the heck. I gathered all of my courage and started a top that I found in Cast On magazine. The yarn is citrus shades, from blood orange to orange to shades of green, much prettier than it sounds. If I have a chance this afternoon I'll take a picture of the pattern and the part I've finished so far. It's a more challenging pattern than I've ever done before; I'm tired of plain old stuff. It's time to branch out.