Saturday, February 24, 2007

Winter's End???

Old Punxtawny Phil said earlier this month that winter was over. I think the furry fellow is a bit daff in the head. Granted we did have a spell of above freezing temps, but there's a pretty big storm predicted for tomorrow and there's more on the way the end of the upcoming week. I know -- it's February. It's winter.

So, I broke out the wool and cast on for socks. My DH is in bad need of wool socks for work. I've tried and tried to buy him heavy wool socks for winter that are large enough around the top. He's diabetic and tight socks are a real problem. Not even at the large sporting good stores can you find them. So, I cast on with my Elann worsted weight and the heel is Wool of the Andes. The toe is going to be blue too. And you know what -- of all the things I've knit, I still enjoy socks the most. They really aren't complicated. You have the variety of turning the heel in the middle of the project. I just don't get bored knitting socks. Plus I'm a real fan of knitting from the top down. I know all the pro's about toe up socks, but the biggest problem I have with toe up is there just isn't a real good stretchy bind off to use a the top. I just have never found one. I started at the top with size 3 double points and after I turned the heel I switched to size 2. I want stitches on the foot to be real tight for good wear. And I'm surprised. This is the same yarn that I'm knitting a sweater on size 6 needles. And the socks are coming along really good.

So, I've done my Saturday morning running around, my mom is leaving on a cruise this afternoon, I have typing to do, grocery shopping to do, and knitting on the horizon and all is well with the world. Five weeks to vacation.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I am what I am

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thought that was pretty interesting. It's too cold here to do anything. It was 10 this morning and the wind was howling. The dog even let me put her sweater on, and believe me that's not something that happens often. I'm knitting on my ribs and ridges sweater. DD and DH both have colds. DD has been sick for a week. I'm looking forward to Saturday and Easter at the beach. That's all for now, folks.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yes, we got winter

Winter definitely arrived yesterday. We got tons of sleet over top of the snow. Schools were cancelled and the roads are slippery, but I don't mind. Shovelling just occurs in small bits. While I was watching James, the English Springer Spaniel win the big prize at Westminister, I was finishing up this little dishrag. It's the pattern from 1870Pearl. It was fun!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm for Harry!

Yep, I'm for Harry. He's such a cutie. That dashound body with the afro. Too cool! I missed the last group last night -- meaning I missed the Bishon's and the Boston Terriers. I've owned both. The Akita was just outstanding -- what a muscular dog. And as usual the poodles were just way over the top. You can see video of all the judging of the different breed at the Westminister Kennel Club's website. I'll be watching and knitting. (I DVR'ed the Wallace and Edward program on BBC for later watching.)

And yes, ladies and gentleman, we finally have snow. It's the first "proper" snow this winter. I actually broke out the shovel after work. So far, I'd say we have 4-6". Sleet has been mixing in off and on all day. But it has been snowing since daylight this morning. And they say there's more on the way tonight. Of course, the weather guys are soooooo excited.

I do have to say that I'm very disappointed in the Weather Channel. As my buddy, GSTQ2002 knows, I'm a Weather Channel watcher from way back. But they seem to be all about the polish and gloss these days. Where's Paul Kocin, the winter weather expert? Where's the winter storm center?

So, I've had to turn to AccuWeather. They are located about 2 hours north of here at State College. The company was started by Penn State Meterology profs and it's quite the deal. I've noticed that many of our local TV news weather guys are using AccuWeather graphics. They do their own forcasting, separate from the National Weather Service. (See I told you I know way too much about weather forecasting than any lay person should.) My favorite weather guy is Elliot Abrams. He even has weather blog. Elliot used to be seen on Penn State's Weather World program -- which was cancelled by our local PBS affiliate from Penn State. (boo) Any how, Elliot is a card and quite the poet too. Plus the man knows his weather.

Enough weather talk. I'm out of here. Must prepare for Westminister.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The "After" shot

Well, the slippers have been felted. This is the first time I've used Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks. I really like the end results. Not much fuzz. Very little shedding. I like the addition of the design on the upper of the slipper. It wasn't anything fancy and it's not quite the same on each one. But it's something to consider for another pair.
And that's all the news from here. I've spent the day typing. The end is near! I think I'm going to knock it off for the day and find some knitting to get into.
I'm considering what type of handle I'm going to put on my Landscape purse. I'm not wild about the one the pattern gives. I might have to sleep on that one.
Do you know about Bloglines? You can sign up and subscribe to various blogs. Basically when you go to the page you've created with the blogs you've subscribed to, it tells you who's updated their site. Pretty cool. Plus I found out there are five people subscribed to my Blog! Wow! Anyhow, by checking out my subscribers I found a cool pattern for a dishcloth based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Square Baby Blanket. I think I'm going to have to try it out. Then when I went to 1870 Pearl's current blog page I found a link to a German knitting blog and a pattern for some fingerless gloves that sport a beautiful cable pattern. There is an english translation at the bottom of the page. I'm not big on fingerless anything (my fingers get too cold) but it would make a beautiful pair of mittens. I'll need to put that on the "Consider It" list.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Snow is on the horizon. Now, many people (one of them lives here in my house) would say that's not a good thing. But, I do enjoy a good snowfall. There's just something about how the snow muffles sounds while it's falling. I have a 4X4 to get around in and I could walk to work if need be. DD does drive for a living and the snow is not a good thing for him. We've just not had any snow to speak of so far this winter and we're due! It looks like Tuesday into Wednesday is the time. So, we'll be turned into AccuWeather. It did get up to about 25 degrees here today. I took the time to go over the car wash this afternoon. My Blazer was soooooo dirty. Covered with road salt. I sat in line for about 45 minutes to acomplish that.

I did put in some time on my transcript today. I'm hoping to finish both parts tomorrow. I'll print, collate, and mail next week -- after Mr. Green arrives! I did however get in some knitting time this evening. We watched a terrible movie -- "Employee of the Month". At least it wasn't as bad as "Bad Santa" which in my book ranks up there with the worst movies ever made. Anyhow, I finished up the body of the Landscape Purse.

Isn't it cool! It's really neat how the colors tilt one direction and then another. I still have to knit I-cord for the handles. There's four small sections to make loops and then two long ones for the actual handles. Then I can felt the whole works.

Speaking of felting. Here's the slippers for DD, pre-felted. At her request, I used the remaining purple yarn and added some stripes and duplicate stitches on the yellow upper of the slippers. I thought it would be a neat way to add a bit of zip to them. I'm hoping to felt them tomorrow. The purse will have to wait till later in the week. And then what shall I work on next? I definately need to put some time in on my ribs and ridges sweater. I'd like to be able to wear it before spring shows up. And I want to knit some worsted weight socks for DH. Plus, the gnomes are calling from their bag of yarn over in the corner. (I've even found two different yarns to use for beards.) Too many projects and not enough time. Plus, I have to keep track of who else is throwing their hat in the ring to be the father of Anna Nicole's baby!

I finished my book, "Roger Mortimer: The Greatest Traitor". And next up is the biography of Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser. The Mortimer book is a new biography and it was pretty good. A little dry in parts, but very well researched. I'm such a nerd! I mean, who really cares about politics in 1330 England?

Well, I'm out of here. Keith Urban is going to be on SNL and I'd like to check it out, if I can figure out how to stay awake!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Deep Freeze

The deep freeze is on here. School's been delayed for the past two mornings. You know when it gets colder than 10 degrees, what's the use in counting.
There's been no blogging since Sunday when our internet went down. The tech thinks our router is going bad. Today they were having trouble with their downstream provider. (don't you just love all that tech talk!) And after checking out FoxNews online, there was a massive attack on the internet in the past 24 hours. But we seem to have good connectivity now (there's another one of those tech talk terms.) I think it's just been too darn cold and the whole thing just froze up!

Since we were all having internet withdraw here, I was busy knitting. Slipper No. 2 is almost done and I promise a before and after felting photo. It always amazes me to see how big the slippers are before felting. I should have them ready for the washer before Thursday. Then it's back to the Landscape purse.

Here's another bit that I knit up over the weekend.

It's the Janie Cowl free pattern from KnitPicks. It was a fun and easy knit. I thought with all the cold weather coming, I might like to have one. It needs some finishing and a bit of blocking. I did consider that when it's cold enough that I'd like to wear it, that I usually have on a sweater with a turtleneck underneath. It might be a bit of overkill. My favorite winter headgear at this point is a headband that I knit a few years back. I knit it in a feather and fan pattern, in a tube. I find that covering my ears is the most important thing. Leaving the top of my head bare let's all that hot air out! Now, if I could just get my feet warm.
Marguerite mentioned that I noticed her "blue" winter. Stitches of Violet always has interesting reading and great photos of the birds and wildlife. Marguerite got me thinking about knitting some worsted weight socks. My DH has worn out several pairs of commercially made socks. I've never made him a pair of handknit ones. So, I think I might give it a a shot.
Susan over at I'm Knitting as Fast as I can is doing a serial on knitting a worsted weight sock. But I do protest -- she started today with casting on 40 stitches! Us folks here in Central PA have "studier" ankles and require a few more than 40 stitches. (I'll be upsizing.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Freezy, Breezy, days of Winter

Super Bowl Sunday had arrived. It's a beautiful day here. The sun is out. There's not a cloud in the sky. It's breezy. And did I mention that it's 11 degrees? Yep, that's what the thermometer says, and you have to take into account that it reads a bit warm because of where it's located. Needless to say I planned ahead and I'm not leaving the house today. (Oh, I'll probably find something that I need to pick up at the store -- like the buns that I need for the Italian sausage sandwiches that we're having for dinner...)

Here's a lovely bit that I picked up at the grocery store yesterday.

I really enjoy a good cup of Earl Grey in the mornings, but none of that decaf stuff for me. This is all they had. Do you see the interesting little pyramid shaped see-thru bags. It was a bit pricey (not too bad) but it's really very good. The tea isn't all ground up and powered and you can see the spicy bits that make Earl Grey Earl Grey. It was quite delicious.

I spent Saturday getting my taxes together. I use TaxCut software. It's great! I haven't filed it all yet. I like a day or so to think about it all to make sure I haven't missed anything. Then I'll E-file and viola, the return will appear in our bank account in less than two weeks! After working so hard on the taxes, I rewarded myself with a little knitting. DH and I are working through the DVD's of Desperate Housewifes that I got for Christmas. We're about two-thirds of the way done with Season One. What a great way to watch a program! No commercials either!

First, I worked on my Landscape bag.

You can see that it's moving right along. I'm at the end of the first skein of the varigated yarn. There's one more left to go. Now that I've gotten onto the pattern and the yarn for this bag, it's really a lot of fun. I may have to try out some of the other colorways that are available. But I do want to Google around to see how to line this bad boy. I'm thinking that some fuseable stuff inside whatever fabric I use to stiffen it up a bit might yield a more professional looking job.

When I got to the end of the skein, I moved on to the Felted Clog slippers for DD. ANYTHING to get her to wear something on her feet in the winter. She requested purple and yellow and she's getting it.

I still have to make the second sole, stitch it all up, and weave in the ends. Then move on to the second slipper. But I did do all of this in about 3 to 3 1/2 hours. This is such a great pattern. I'm all for using free patterns. But I have several patterns that I've purchased for smaller type items (i.e. purses, felted bucket hat, mittens) that are well worth the small cost of the pattern. I think because the items are small and they've been test knitting over and over. The kinks are worked out of the patterns and they knit like a dream. This is the famous Fiber Trends Felted Clog pattern and I think at this point I've knit about eight to ten times. A couple different sizes and a couple the same size, with consistent results. Plus, I've worked out my own shorthand notes to keep me on track when I'm knitting and found that a couple strategically placed markers are necessary.

Well, enough of that. I'm cooking up some Italian sausage in the slowcooker today for the game. I've made some crab spread to snack on. There's some corn chips, salsa, and CheeseWhiz. I've got a transcript to type and pages to go before I can knit and watch football without feeling guilty.

Go Bears!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Knitting this week

Well, I've taken a detour this week with a non-sweater project. I'm working on the Landscape Purse from KnitPicks. The yarn is a bulky varigated (gray, blue, white) yarn. The pattern takes advantage of the varigation to form the overall pattern of the purse.

Sorry about the poor photo. I can't seem to get Picasa to send my cropped and beautified photos to Blogger. Sometimes the improvements really aren't. Anyhow, when it's all knitting the purse gets felted. So, far it's been fun.
I also received the pattern for the knitted gnomes from England. (doing the Happy Dance) I've got yarn on order from Elann -- two reds, two greens, a salmon color for the faces, and "bisque". I have to restrain myself and not start until I get at least one of my sweater projects under my belt. That's going to require discipline because I've got several transcript orders lined up. (gotta pay for the yarn)
The other good news for the day is I booked the rental house for the Easter vacation at the Outer Banks. Hot tub included! Only two months away. Just gotta keep my nose to the grindstone and before I know it I'll be sitting on the beach.
Welcome to the new readers! I've been reading your blogs too!