Wednesday, June 27, 2007

There and Back Again

or, what I did on my summer vacation.

My vacation began Sunday. Since my flight was leaving Minneapolis at 7 PM, I ended up going to church in the morning, staying for a picnic, and heading straight up. This gave me some extra knitting time in the terminal, and time for a sock picture. Isn't the Rhapsody beautiful? Thanks, Becca!

The flight was overbooked, but otherwise uneventful. Security gave me no problems with 10 double pointed needles (5 metal, 5 wooden) in my bags, and the stewardesses had no problem with my knitting during the flight. I finished Rhapsody Sock #2 and started Tofutsies Sock #1.

I found the shuttle to the hotel with no problems, and called Lene to tell her I was on my way. She, too, was on her way, in annoyingly heavy traffic. In keeping with 'slow and steady wins the race' she beat me to the hotel, but not by so much that I didn't catch up with her before the elevator doors opened. (That's an amazing feat, you know ... rushing to catch up with someone you've never met when you can only see her from the back. I'm glad I had the right person.)

We talked and talked and talked some more, then caught some shut eye early Monday morning so we could get up a bit later and head off to the conference. I was the Book Table Lady, and so had to get a picture of the Book Table with Sock. (The sock pictured was finished before lunch was.)

Then, it was off to the airport to come home. All went well until I checked in. You know those delightful e-ticket machines? It didn't like me. It made me go see a ticketing agent. I thanked God that I was in Terminal 2 and not Terminal 1 (where Lene stood in line over an hour to check her bags). Terminal 2 had only one clerk at the Northwest desks. But there were also only 3 people on the other side of the desks. And two of them were self-checking their bags. The clerk informed me that my 8:00 flight had been cancelled. (rats) She put me on the 6:45 flight instead (hooray!). I didn't quite knit my way home, since my hands were considering staging a protest about 12 hours of knitting with only short breaks, but I still landed with only 4" of the post-lunch sock to do.

The next day, it was time to find my desk so I could get to work. Reading 295 e-mails, sweeping, unpacking, laundering ... never a dull moment. And reinstalling everything on Filia's computer. Her hard drive died, but was able to revive itself to factory specs with the touch of a button The data was unrecoverable :( and taking the hard drive out killed the touch pad (?) but the shop gave us a free mouse (computer, not mammalian) so she's set. Then came cherry picking time. Filius and I picked for 20 minutes and brought in 3 quarts of cherries. Then I 'computed' while they took turns pitting. One entire cherry pie disappeared into them at suppertime, and there's many more pie-worth of cherries on the tree.

The Tofutsie socks are lovely, but I could have done without the three knots between the heel and ribbing of sock #2.

Speaking of which ... you've heard of Second Sock Syndrome? I don't have it. I have Weaving In Those Ends Syndrome. I have 3 pair of socks waiting to have ends woven in right now. I shall have to buckle down and do it one of these days. I wasn't about to take my beloved hand forged silver yarn needle on the airplane, though, so I have some small excuse for 1 1/2 of those socks.

And on the needles now is the first Stash Sock for Micah. On the desk is Clement and Diogenes. I'm at the Answer Key generation point, which is the most time-consuming and fun part. There's another book waiting in the wings for editing, and more to come. "Of the making of books, there is no end," Solomon said, and he was right.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Signs of Summer

Two boys, hanging out under a willow tree, fighting battles with Lego men ...

A girl, curled up comfortably, reading a favorite book ...

A Jackmanii clematis in full bloom. It's worthy of being a desktop background (although in real life, a bit hail-shredded at the moment)

and This Week in Baseball. I began and finished two pint-sized socks ... but that reminds me of the Horrible Thing That Happened on! Friday! I left my knitting at someone's house. This was truly a terrible, horrible, very bad thing. Not because the person was untrustworthy, or would put my socks on 2 circs, or anything like that. But because, for almost 48 hours, I was Separated From My Project!

I broke my monogamy, and whipped out some lace for a pillowcase edging. And then, just as I was about to start the edging for a second pillowcase (and why my husband would *want* pink lace edging on his pillowcase is beyond me, but that wasn't the point ... the empty needles were the point!), my knitting box appeared at my side. How blessed are the feet of those who bring good projects! Faster than you could say Elizabeth Zimmerman, I frogged the 4 stitches I'd cast on for the second edging, stashed all that in my box, whipped out my almost-finished sock, and began ribbing away with a sigh of contentment.

But back to baseball. We did lose to the Diamondbacks, but by a respectable score of something like 8 - 3. The next game was much sadder, and the victory margin was wide enough I have conveniently forgot it. More than 10 runs, I think. Then yesterday we comfortably beat our opponents, and Filius bears the distinction of having been hit (as a batter) by a ball in each of the last 3 games. I discovered that even simple lace patterns distract me too much from the game, so after I finish this set, back to plain knit I go!

My current pair, in Wildfoote Rhapsody (courtesy of Becca's unloved stash), has a simple chevron lace pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks , or the sequel. I've chipped three needles while working on it, and am switching over to metal (and getting replacement wooden ones). While I was examining my needles to see which were chipped and which weren't, I noticed a curious thing. Some of them were no longer round just below the tips! They rather reminded me of sticks rubbed together to start a fire. They're not half-round, but definitely heading that direction.

And another storm is definitely heading our direction, so it's time to shut down this 'puter and go knit. Hopefully by electric light.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

This Week in Baseball

Admittedly, a bit late, but still ... last Monday, en route to a game, I cast on for the sock at the far left of this photo. Three games and one Monday afternoon later, I cast on for the sock at the far right.

We're leaving for a game in about an hour, and I seriously need to find two more almost matched partial balls so I will have sufficient knitting for the game.

The record is 2 and 1, and rumor has it the team we are playing tonight has some serious hitters, and will hopefully lose one game this season so their heads don't get too big. I think that means we should be happy if we keep them under 40 runs.

What can I say? I like being happy.

I have now used all my new kitchen tools. Homemade corn tortillas have been pronounced delicious, my grain mill motor is a delight to use, and gluten-free pasta is now available with a bit of time and cranking. I've enlisted Filius to build a drying rack for me. Lehmans has one in their catalog, but one made of K'Nex should suit me just fine.

I've been reading a good bit lately, and think I will plop a list in the sidebar of my summer reading. They're not Great Books, but they are getting read. Now, if I can just figure out how to DISCUSS them with my young bibliophiles, all will be well. And if I can't ... all will still be well.

Now, as to that Green Thing. Here it is, in all its Green Splendor.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Baby Bogdom

As requested, here is a picture of Filia's Baby Bog jacket.

But wait ... there are some booties with it! And there's another Baby Bog jacket! Yes, the Baby Bog Bug struck. You're looking at Projects From The Stash as well. I worked mine pretty close ... the scraps on the right is ALL the leftover I had of that yarn type (Swish Superwash). I was wondering if I'd be in the sad position of ordering more yarn so I could finish a stash project.

Bohemian Wrapsody Socks are finished as well. I hunted through my sock stash to find two yarns that would go together reasonably well, and in reasonable quantities. I wound them each into two balls of equal weight (four ball), tucked them in my sock bag, and headed off somewhere with a boy looking like this...

and by the time we got home, I had a decent amount of sock done. Nothing has happened to it today, since I have cleaned the pantry. (which would be an even bigger gasp if I hadn't caught the missing 'r' in that last word.) Things have been lurking on those four shelves since we moved into this house, I think. But, the shelves are now tidy, and the bathroom looks neat.

Bathroom? Didn't I say I was cleaning the pantry? (there goes that r again.) I was. The pantry is scant inches from the necessary feature of the bathroom, and opposite the washer. Which is not a front loader, since there is roughly 18" between the front of the washer and the vanity. And next to the vanity? The basement door, opposite the dryer. In a room that is about 4x8. It's snug. I have delusions of making it more w/c accessible some day by changing the vanity to a pedestal sink.

I am also DISPOSING OF 2 boxes of medical supplies (to a health clinic rather than the landfill, yay!) and sending away four AFOs, 1 KAFO, and 1 TLSO to a medical mission. (And if you can read that last line without blinking, you probably know what SB, HKAFO, RGO, and ACMII stand for also, and don't think Private Eye when you think Ace Malone. ) That will free up some space for more dryer lint to collect in.

And to round out the hats I wear, this evening found me studying some directions on my computer, waving scissors around, and looking at the back (sides, and front) of Filia's head.

She's quite pleased with the results. Tomorrow, I'm going to let her trim my hair. And maybe then I'll find time to open a book.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spring Fling and Socks

Spring Fling is finished now, and I've been wearing it every chance I get. The color isn't really me, but it was the only color KP had available for a Whole Month. I may have to buy some more Cotlin in another color and make a second one.

My gray striped socks are finished as well. They took forever, and I'm not sure why. I think the ribbing, fluctuating as it did with k3tog and k1p1k1 in one stitch, just disagreed with my fingers. But still ... a few baseball practices, and they are now in the finished bin (aka 'sock drawer') The next pair is going much faster, so much so that I expect to have them done tomorrow. Did they have any choice? Baseball practice last Monday, last Wednesday, baseball photos today, game today, practice tomorrow, and then three games this week. Plus it's summer break from school. I *really* need to get some more socks lined up. I don't think I have enough of any one sock yarn to make two socks. Jinkies.

Filia has finished the Baby Bog Jacket, and is plotting her next project. The Baby Bog had some pitfalls ... such as discovering some serious errors while seaming, and having to frog back to the armpits. There were some other small issues as well, but she persevered through them, let me do the frogging, and it is now a Done Deal and ready for the county fair.

We are starting to make the transition into summer, and I have the high ideal of keeping tabs on what we read all summer. My list so far reads:
  • The Yearling, by Marjorie Rawlings. For some reason, I'd always thought this book was a dry book about juvenile writing and awards, and have avoided it like the plague. But it kept popping up on Good Book lists, so I took the plunge. It's a good book. Filia and Filius will probably both read it this summer.
  • The Lottery Rose, by Irene Hunt. Sad, sad book. I was crying even though there was a happy ending. Filia has read it as well. I'll give Filius a few more years before dangling it under his nose.
  • Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt. Nifty Civil War book. Filius will definitely be directed to this one.
And that's it for June so far, unless you count the work I've been grading today. The last week of school had greater liberty than usual, and a large amount of work was left undone. The caveat was "No summer vacation, and no computer time, until your schoolwork is done." Filius spent 3 hours today trying to get a week's worth of math and Latin done. He's got more to go, but his to-do list is much shorter than Filia's. She knit.

Two pictures seems like such a small amount for a blog, so I fished around in my archives for an appropriate photo. Without further ado, I present to you a 3 year old Filius, practicing the smile he does so well...