Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Birthday...29 again.

It's actually tomorrow, but (a) that's a Saturday and (b) we'll be in TX, visiting family.

The presents have been lovely: books, a DVD set, a CD, Chanel No. 5, a reproduction Whiting and Davis purse (20s style), and a knitting diary.

But the best part is this: tomorrow I am going to a movie and lunch with my mother and sister. It has been 19 years since I was with them on my birthday. We're going to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Of course. You didn't think I'd miss out on Indy, did you? (I remember going to the last ex and I were not exactly swimming in cash, and planning a chain-restaurant dinner and a movie took some forethought, but we had a very nice time.)

New Yorkers in TX. The mind boggles, doesn't it? But the economy is decent down there, and they manage, though my sister misses the trees and the mountains something fierce. ALL New Yorkers, too, except for my youngest nephew. Even the oldest nephew was born in New York State. My BiL and his mother (also down there) are from New York, too.

I'm taking a half-day at work, and Monday is a holiday (Memorial Day to Americans, formerly Decoration Day). We leave this evening, and will return on Monday night.

The cat sitter will be coming in to look after the boys, and a friend in the area will also stop by to play with them...they need their human fix, and they love their Auntie Jen.

Monday, May 19, 2008

RI Wool and Sheep Festival, 2008

We finally got there, no thanks to Than Chai (aka Destructo the Wonder Kitty).

Perhaps I've mentioned it before, but little Than-Than chews things. Sometimes he swallows them, and this time he did both. We found some of the evidence (well, his brother did, and showed me) that not only had he done both, but he got rid of it again.

Problem was, he was acting as though he hadn't gotten rid of ALL of it. He was droopy and quiet, and hunched on all four little paws instead of curling up in a ball.

Being good Cat Parents, we arranged for him to go to the vet. DH took him. She couldn't find anything by palpitating him, and fuzzy bits from his toys wouldn't show up on an X-ray.

She pumped him full of fluids, gave him some feline version of Peptid AC, and they came back.

We finally left for Bristol, around 2:00 p.m. or a bit later. The RI Wool and Sheep Festival is quite new; this year is the second one, and I didn't go last year.

I am very glad we did go this time. The setting is gorgeous. Incredible. It looked like picture postcard Imaginings of New England.

The vendors were friendly and chatty, and as it's a working (Colonial era) farm, there were chickens clucking all over the grounds, beautiful horned cattle in the enclosures, sheep, donkeys, and a horse. Also, two very friendly cats--a tortie and a tiger.

I haven't taken pictures of the loot yet (and worse still, didn't bring the camera when we went!) but I got sock yarn, we bought balm, honey, soap, alpaca was lovely.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Dollar Cart

I love libraries. I always have loved libraries, and my summer vacations consisted mostly of staggering out of the downtown branch in Schenectady, NY with a pile of books balanced precariously under my chin.

My husband and I live right across the street from a branch of the library, and it's an amazing resource...not only for books. We check out magazines, DVDs, and CDs. The request system in Rhode Island is sophisticated; I can search online by key word or title or author...even publication date..and choose what I will.

On top of that, these libraries accept a constant stream of donations and sell many off at a few large sales yearly. But in order to keep things manageable (I imagine) there are also "dollar carts" set up, at least in our branch. $1.00 for a hardcover, .50 for a paperback. Pay on the honor system (which I think is wonderful). Metal boxes with a slit on top sit on the uppermost shelf. Drop your coins or stuff your paper through, and the book is yours.

Yesterday my husband walked across to return some books and glanced at the carts on his way out. He found the books posted at the top. For $1.00 each!

I like the bags's got a wacky sheep backpack that looks like it could become a wonderful kid pillow, and other useful things. But the baby blankets book is great. I found a simple cable blanket that will make an elegant shawl, and a second one, by Norah Gaughan, that will be just right for the aran superwash I bought for the co-worker baby present.

The Vogue Knitting On the Go series is charming, and most books have at least one pattern that I like. The format is good, and there's practical advice at the start of each one. I've got five or six of them at this writing, and I won't pass up the chance to add a few more to my collection.

I was up late last night, working the first pattern set for the shawl. It's going to be lovely.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Lost Are Found

Some of them.

Photos of last year's FOs (Finished Objects, for you non-knitters, if any). DH told me he had uploaded them to the laptop, so for your viewing pleasure...

Soysilk Branching Out (blocked with points) from soysilk obtained in a swap with Seven of Knitty.

DH's crazy Chess Socks.

My favorite white anklets.

Yellow Checkerboard Socks.

The green socks since eaten by Than Chai (you know, Destructo). (I need to frog the one he didn't eat, but so far I haven't had the heart.)

I knit socks, don't I?

The Red Sox anklets will show up soon.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Spring Fever and Baseball

I have both. Almost.

On Saturday evening I have two tickets to the PawSox's first Stitch & Pitch. For those of you not in the know, it means the ballpark will be flooded with needleworkers of all flavors, knitting, crocheting and otherwise stitching madly, yelling at the umpire, and (we hope) not dropping a stitch.

I might be on my own; I got two tickets because I didn't know whether the seating would be assigned (I know it wasn't in the old days, but now...who can tell!) and I figured if Batty or anyone else spoke up for it, we'd sit together.

If it's not claimed I'll donate it back. That's another thing. The people who organized this are also sponsoring a table for charity donations. I am not a selfless knitter. I want to knit for ME and MINE for the most part...but who doesn't love the warm fuzzies from helping out? This makes it easy. So...the scarf I knitted 18 months ago for another charity (which didn't make it into the post) will find its new home that way.

DH won't be there. He's not a fan anyway, though he knows more players than I do. But if you possess mainly testosterone, apparently there's No Choice. Gotta be able to talk the talk, even if you don't go there!

I'm geeked. I've bought my little t-shirt, a Sox hoodie, and am just rows away from the toe of my second Red Sox anklet. They'll be done before Saturday!

Maybe I'll remember to take the camera and get some photos. I really should. And who knows, if I ever remember to blog from home, maybe Blogger will like my computer photos better than my online batch.

Play ball!

Friday, May 02, 2008

May Day!

Okay, that was yesterday.'s been a Week. As I don't think my "day job" should be part of this, I'll leave it at that.

I'm not doing a whole lot of knitting right now. I did spend most of yesterday evening trying to find cute (but not twee) baby patterns. I'd love to make a dress.

Nope! Not us; a colleague at the office. And as she's the daughter of an antiques dealer, and her mother was a knitter, she gets it. Well-worth knitting for.

I have nearly an entire slim bookcase stuffed with knitting books. You'd think something would catch my eye.


There are plenty of vintage patterns, but they're fine gauge, and I want to make too many things this year to be caught up in a project that takes a couple of months to finish. There is a Knitty pattern I like; several in fact. That might be the way to go. (Sorry, I can't remember the names of them off the top of my head...oh. I lie. Tulip Toes is one. The other is a dress, very cute and bright.)

Some of the free patterns on the Net are cute, but I don't know...I want to be sure that I have the right yarn. The mother-to-be has an 18 month old son, works full time, and this coming girl will keep her busier than ever! It's got to be machine washable or it'll never be worn. Cascade 220 Superwash is probably the best bet, but I have only blue and rust in the Stash right now. My LYS doesn't carry it. The machine washable worsted they have is 75% acrylic. The colors are excellent, but I've tried knitting with it. Too squeaky for me, I shudder just thinking of it.

The Presto Change-o baby sweater from Jimmy Beans is adorable (I made one last year) but I'd like to do something else. I don't know, though...maybe I should make that and just change the front panel a bit. Or make multiple panels. It really is a fantastically practical and cute pattern.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Still no images!

But I did finish the shawl. (It's on my lap right now, and I wore it yesterday with its gorgeous enameled pin in the shape of an autumn leaf.)

No blocking so far. I actually put it on right after it was finished. Impatient? Just a tad!

I will take some photos soon and you'll at least have links to them. Blogger is a pain; images from the web (my own album on Photobucket) aren't posting.