Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stitches East 2010

Saw: Countless knitterly friends, including one I've known since I was about 16. :::hi Roz!:::

Made (by Leah): baby hat for Caps for Good.

Walked: from East Hartford boat launch, over the river, round and round the convention center, then back again.

Wore: My newly finished Lacy Baktus with Edge. Pattern from Cheryknits, posted with her permission. If you make her version, she'd love to see a picture of it. Since my first Baktus has been worn just about every day since I finished it, I knew I'd also like another one. This time, I used two skeins of Koigu. It was smaller than the first one, so I gave it a good blocking. This really shows off the lacy edge and made it every bit as big as the first one. Love it, love it, love it, and got lots of compliments on it from other knitters too. I'm tempted to knit a third, but...

Bought: Two skeins of Miss Babs' Windsor Shadows sock yarn in Blackwatch colorway, with the idea of doing something about my mismatched self. The plan is to knit a Semele scarf and Ringwood gloves. Both patterns are printed out, so with that, I'm off to cast on!
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one foot in front of the other

During last night's walk:
Who's the most colorfully mismatched knitter hoofing it along the sidewalk?

Three cheers for knitwear season!

Turned the corner onto Main St. and I was so pleased to see this:

The yarn store in my town has never been my favorite. It was always messy, disorganized, overcrowded, dreary. And I always felt like I was interrupting something private when I went there. Still, they had some awesome sales and yummy yarns and came in handy when I didn't want to make the longer trek to my usual/favorite LYS. Unfortunately, this store suffered water damage a few months ago, so it closed down for renovations. I'm psyched to see that they're giving the place a complete overhaul. That sheep sign in the front window says reopening is expected in 2-3 weeks. That ought to be fun.

Meanwhile, have I mentioned that Stitches East is happening 10 min. from my house again this year? I wasn't planning on going, as the whole atmosphere of the thing didn't thrill me last year, but the Goob wanted to go, so we will spend the afternoon there. I told Scott that I might buy some yarn. He laughed.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

then there was thursday

We got home late Wed. evening, which meant that Thursday was chock full of catch-up work for me. So of course that's the day the electricity went out repeatedly for short periods, for no apparent reason. Luckily, blocking a scarf is an electricity-free activity.

Later in the afternoon, I gave the Goob a ride to the farmers' market so she could work with Scott and Jesse, as usual. It was the last market of the season in this particular town, dark and cold by the time I returned to help break down our booths, but such a warm and friendly feeling among the vendors there. Our organic farmer friend Jessica was so proud to be wearing her first ever knitting project!

Since Leah helped her with some of the knitting basics at the market a couple of months ago, in between customers, Jess made sure to show Leah how far she's come. She winged the whole thing, just made it up as she went along, and it turned out great. I especially like how the gather at the top turned into a star.

Then Jess mentioned how she bought a few more hanks of yarn recently. I said it sounds like she's been bitten by the knitting bug. With an ear-to-ear grin, she agreed wholeheartedly.

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oh. now I remember.

Remember how I killed the blog as a means of simplifying? Well, I forgot that blogging actually IS simplifying for me. I got slapped upside the head with a reminder of this over the past couple of days, as Jesse and I went on a trip and enough people have since written to me to ask how that trip went that I might as well just blog it, rather than send individual emails in response.

First, let's back up a week. Jesse and I hit the road for the Maryland Delaware Rocket Association's 3-day rocket-launching event, Red Glare. Translation for the yarnies: This is Rhinebeck for rocket scientists.

There were rocket drag races, vendors, experimental rockets, chemicals, charity fundraising, camaraderie, and plenty of sunshine on the most enormous wide open, flat expanses of soybean fields I've ever seen. I took this pic, with my newest lacy baktus in the corner, to send to the Knitwits podcast because I've recently become a fan and they mentioned getting a kick out of knowing what people are doing while they listen to the show.

Next, we headed to DC for a few days. Since it was just the two of us (Scott home to work, Leah still happily doing that silly school thang), Jesse got to choose the itinerary. The best part was that these places were of such high quality that I was every bit as enthusiastic about them as he was. After hitting up the Air and Space Museum and the Spy Museum, we stopped for a self-portrait in front of the Capitol.

The junk behind us is leftovers from the engineering and science expo held there the day before. We were hoping to make it to that, but a dead car battery stole a few hours out from under us, so we shifted to Plan B for that day. Still, I was pretty happy with this pic. Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a pic of two people (one of whom has minimal tolerance for the mom's self-portrait efforts, preferably not looking like they're in pain or camera pointing directly up nostrils) AND a building in the background without actually being able to see what's in the shot?

Another day, another couple of amazing museums, this time the Smithsonian's Museums of American History and Natural History. I had to laugh out loud when we arrived at the latter and there was a big banner announcing that the Crocheted Coral Reef was currently on display.

Seriously, a CROCHETED exhibit in the Smithsonian? How could I not blog this?! My little iPhone pic doesn't even begin to do it justice, but browse this Flickr pool for better ones, especially this pic to get an idea of the scale. It's huge, it's colorful, it's a textural bonanza. There were LOTS of people gathered around, admiring it. Totally unexpected and totally cool.

Our last little jaunt was over to the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport (related to but separate from the one in DC). This pic shows a fraction of one of the two ginormous hangars full of flying contraptions of all shapes and sizes.

One of the rocket dudes mentioned this as a must-see a few days earlier, so we squeezed it in on our last day and I am so glad we did. It was entirely fascinating for both of us and we could've both enjoyed a few more hours there. It just blows my mind how much interesting stuff is out there for the learning.

Okay, so now be prepared for a flurry of catch-up posts, especially since so much yarny goodness continues to happen all around us.

ha ha ha. And then Blogger imploded and politely stated that it could not complete my request (um, to post to my blog) at this time. I'm going to make it post my words and pics from a diff. direction, but ha ha ha, Blogger, you're too funny and the timing is impeccable.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

over and out

I think the time has come to close up shop. I've been writing this blog for almost five years and feel like it's run its course. I'm not knitting as much now that I'm spending more time walking and Leah's barely knitting at all. My Gram's not out there to read what I write anymore, but people are who I don't necessarily want to know what we're up to. I also keep whittling away at things and still feel like I'm being pulled in too many directions. Time to shift my focus elsewhere and simplify further.

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing. Hope to see you all on Ravelry and in real life. Take good care.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


You just might be at a pumpkin carving extravaganza with knitters if you notice:

DPNs being used as pre-carving tools,

handknit American Girl doll sweaters on an end table,

and jack-o-lantern carving encouraging everyone to pick up the pointy sticks.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

a holiday. or not.

Some of my offices are open on this Columbus Day Monday, so in my head it's a holiday, but the reality is that I might only be able to squeeze out a few hours of being off. That's okay, though, because the kids and I have a beautiful hike planned for later today. Meanwhile, here are a few snaps of things that made me smile in the past few days:

Most adorable yarn label ever, on the yarn I picked up at the Thurs. farmers' market. The writing on the sheep has faded now, but each label tells the name of the sheep the wool came from.

Some of the fabric given to Leah by a very kind customer who has become a friend. She's an elderly woman now, but many years ago, her sister worked at a textile mill somewhere in CT and the sister was able to take home yards and yards of fabric. When the sister passed away, our current customer inherited all her boxes of fabric. Since she hasn't been able to sew it all and loves to chat with a certain young seamstress working at the bakery booth, she's unloading some treasures and Leah is delighted.

Irish step dancing, AWESOME live music, yet another incredible autumn day, a massage for me, and friends galore at the Sunday farmers' market. (BTW, this is about one-sixth of the market. It's a biggie.)

My second Lacy Baktus with Edge in progress, this time in Koigu. I see a few misplaced YOs where I didn't KBL on the return row. They don't show too much with this busy colorway, but I think I'll change the increases to M1s to avoid the oopsies. I'm also going to do a little stitching at the points to pull that last sawtooth all the way across the end. The first Lacy Baktus has been worn by me or Leah every day since cast-off. Love. it.

While writing this post, work came in from two more clients, leaving only one that may or may not be closed today. I'll check that next, but it appears my holiday time is dwindling. Oh well, if I dive back in now (have already been working for a few hours this morning), we should still have enough time for that hike before dark!
ETA: Just checked on that last client. Not only are they open today, but the doc who makes the most work for me is on. :::headdesk::: (no, not really. happy to have the work, but would've been equally happy to lounge and hike today, y'know?) That was a quick trip from holiday to a hoppin' workday!
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

at the ren faire

A Goob among her peeps,

hanging with the knights, lords, and ladies
on a glorious autumn weekend.

Wearing an outfit handsewn with joy.
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Friday, October 08, 2010

so long, old friend

This week was a tough one. We had to say goodbye to our 11-year-old furry friend, Kodi, whose spinal stenosis made her unable to do the stairs in our house on her own for more than a year and had lost control of her bowel and bladder. It was the right time, but that doesn't make it any easier. In case you never got to meet her or just wanted to be reminded of how sweet she is, at the bottom of this post is a video of our gentle giant playing with nephew's dog, Squirt. Watch to the end for a good laugh -- such a tough watchdog! We all miss her quirky ways, her twinkle toes, and the white eyelashes around her big brown eyes.

:::deep breath:::

Meanwhile, my mom is working on a pretty scarf...

and it is the beginning of another
beautiful autumn in New England...

and we know friendly farmers
who like to share the abundance, as do we,

and this weekend is chock full of funstuff,
including going out with an old friend and a new one tonight,
so forward we go with lots to smile about
even though the tears spill out a little easier than we might like.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

early morning baktus thievery

I spy a daughter and her knitting at breakfast.
But what's that cozy accessory she's wearing?

There is clearly a need for more than one
lacy baktus with edge 'round here.
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Sunday, October 03, 2010

something for everyone

Yesterday was atlatl day. If you've been reading here for a while, you may remember from past blog posts that this is a favorite event of Jesse's, so, for the umpteenth Saturday in a row, the boy and I were up and out the door early for a trek to something he was excited about. Little did we know that I'd enjoy the day every bit as much as he did.

I had a great walk along some trails of the state park and found a perfect little cabin.

I ran into a few delightful knitters over the course of the day, including this vendor; a woman who used to own a yarn store; and a couple of white-haired women who were on a bus tour where somebody else was knitting socks during the rides and there I was, also knitting socks while waiting for something, and they thought that was just about the best idea ever and they were both inspired to go home and dig out their long-stashed knitting supplies and get back to it.

I finished the lacy baktus scarf and, with it being October in Connecticut, put it to use right away for a walk along the boardwalk with Knitajourney and Stuff You Should Know podcasts in my ears. I wasn't terribly enthusiastic about this scarf all along, but it turns out that I just might love it. As a matter of fact, I just might be planning to cast on for another one. The size and shape make it that good.

I joined in on a wild edibles talk and group walk that included tasty snacks and a cool group of interesting and interested folks.

Life is good. :-)
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