Saturday, September 30, 2006


43 degrees. According to my little WeatherPixie, that's what it was when I woke up this morning. It felt like it, too. I had my window open a bit last night, and my bedroom was chillly, but I was comfortable. I put my flannel sheets on the bed last night, and it was so nice. I love cooler weather. Alex and Gremlin were snuggled into the flannel sheets and blankets, so I guess they love it, too.

Here's my Saturday Sky photo. The sky was a brilliant blue this morning, looking like a perfect fall day, but by the time
I got to Shop-Rite, it had clouded over. I'm not sure if it's supposed to rain or not, but I work tonight, so it's a moot point for me.

Something Red is coming along. I just redid the ribbing up to the buttonhole last night, and was hoping to finish it today before I went to work, but real life intrudes. Gotta go to the bank, get gas, go grocery shopping, all the annoying little interruptions. The eight extra stitches i added to the front band seem to have done the trick. The band doesn't pull up at all now. Oh, and the last picture is what happens to knitting in this house if you happen to leave it around for more than five minutes. I don't know how the cats know when I put it on the table, but Gremlin hopped up on it almost as soon as I put it down. He looks annoyed because he knows I'm going to take him off it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Well, I finished Something Red last night. Bound it off, tried it on, looked good. Buttonhole placement could have been a bit higher, but not bad. Until I looked at the bottom. Uh-oh. I can live with a lot, and I can block the daylights out of some problems, but I could see this one wasn't going to go away. I bound this sucker off twice, because I felt I was binding off too tightly the first time. Bound off real loosely the second time, nice and stretchy. I guess it wasn' t enough, or I just should have used more stitches in the button band because it pulls up. Badly. So, off to the frog pond. I ripped it out this morning, added eight more stitches, and am working on it again. Hope this does the trick. I won't get too much of a chance to work on it, because I work tonight and tomorrow night, and I really do need to sleep every now and then, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this works.

Oh, and this is the yarn for Green Gables. I thought it was a much brighter blue when I bought if off ebay, but it is a more denim-y blue in real life. I can live with it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ribbit, Ribbit

No, I'm not frogging anything. While watching "War of the Worlds" last night, I put Something Red back on the needles and picked up for the front band. I divided the sweater into eith more-or-less equal parts, and divided the amount of stiches I needed by the same number, and put that many stitches into each sweater division. Saved me a lot of cursing over my normal lets-just-get-the-damned-stitches-on-here way of doing things. I didn't even have to frog back at all. I did the short rows, which I've never done before. I think I learned a few things while knitting them, but they don't look bad, and since this is not going to be a "good" sweater, I'm not sweating it.

Why isn't this going to be a "good" sweater? Well, here's my thoughts on both the pattern and the yarn.

Pattern: Love the pattern. This is a versatile sweater, and easy to knit, too. I really like that I didn't have to sew up seams or put in sleeves. Can we all say "lazy"?

Will I make it again? Yes, yes, yes. I already have the yarn. I learned a few things about the construction, so I expect the second one to go smoother.

How about the yarn I used? Ok, here's where my problem comes in. I used tlc Cottn Plus, which is supposed to be similar to Cotton-Ease. Not. I know Cotton-Ease gets a bad rap, but I think it's a lot nicer than Cotton Plus. Why? Well, I don't know if it was a fluke or not, but every single frickin' ball of Cotton Plus had knots. Note the plural form there. Knots. Not just one, but at least two in every ball. Not happy with havin' knots all over the inside of my sweater. Remember, no seams in this one. Not only that, Cotton Plus has a bit of a sheen, which might put some people off. And, I think it is a bit heavier than Cotton-ease.

Verdict? Pattern, great; yarn, not so much.

Not much else going on. I had three days off in a row from work! How great is that? I needed it, believe me. I don't go back til tomorrow night. Last night, my husband took Eric and Mike (and the rest of the guys) out to dinner for their birthdays. I decided to go too, but just not sit near him. His mother was there, too, and didn't look overly thrilled to see me. Too bad. We went to Friday's. I'm not a big meat-eater, so ordered Key West Shrimp. Citrus sauce, the menu said. Sounds good. Well. After the second shrimp, I noticed my mouth was bursting into flames. I ordered a coffee with cream real quick. By the time it got to me, I was ready to drink the half-and-half right out of those little containers in an effort to douse the flames. I think I had smoke coming out of my ears by that time. I refrained from doing that, and verifying my MIL's opinion that I am an idiot. Fortunately, I like my coffee light, so quickly dumped four little containers of half and half into my coffee, along with some ice cubes from my water so I didn't do any further damage, and drank it quickly. It seemed to work. My eyes uncrossed, and I could feel my tongue again.

Had a little bit of difficulty today putting pictures in this post. One was posted perfectly, the other one refused. And, yes, I do use Firefox almost exclusively. Internet Explorer has a very bad rap in this household. Way too many security issues.

Ending today with a gratuitous cat picture of Gremmie, doing what he does best.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's Off the Needles

NOTE: Blogger is really pissing me off today. This is the second time I've had to type this post. I got it all typed, and started putting in the pictures. After entering the second picture, I noticed that most of my post had disappeared. Is anyone else having trouble with blogger, lately? This is a shortened version of my original, very long post. Why is is Blogger only eats long posts?

Here we go again....

Something Red, that is. I finished the bottom ribbing last night while watching M*A*S*H reruns. Now, I have to put it back on the needles to pick up for the front ribbing band. This should be interesting. I've never done short rows before, and this requires them around the neck. Oh, well, should be a learning experience.

I got the yarn today for Green Gables. I've been dithering around on this one, wondering if I should knit it. Since I am usually on time for things (I am almost always early getting places or doing things. Who says I'm not anal-retentive?), I'm wondering why all of a sudden I am knitting summer things at the end of summer. I guess it's because at the beginning of summer, I was on orientation for my new job, and learning a lot. Not only did I have to work my regular shift, there were a lot of learning units I had to do and hand in. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Since I already uploaded my photos this morning, and I'm feeling lazy, I'll upload a photo for my next post.

Anyway, for the person who asked, a M1 is a knitting increase. I did it by putting the bar between the stitch I just knitted and the next stitch on my left-hand needle, and then knitting it as a new stitch. It usually makes a fairly invisible increase, but on the ribbing, it seemed to be more obvious. I'm reserving judgement til I block this sweater.

It's been kind of chilly here lately. And, that's not a complaint. I love this weather. Trees are starting to turn, and I'm starting to think of getting my sweaters out. When I left work Thursday morning, it was 49 degress!! I'm not complaining. I love cooler weather. The other night I was sitting at the computer in my pink pussycat pajamas and a sweatshirt, when my son and his girlfriend walked in the door. She commented that I looked really comfortable, and I was. I had the window open for a cool breeze, and I felt really cozy. I love sweaters, flannel, and anything like that. This picture that was taken the other night shows how cool it's been getting. Excuse the mess on the couch, I usually keep an afgan across the top to cut down on the cat fur, but the cats like to pull it down and sleep on it. I've always said that I can tell the temperature without looking at a thermometor. All I have to do is look at what the cats are doing. When there is a pile of them on the couch, we know the weather is changing. This was a five cat night. The other picture was taken of Alex in early August on a really hot day. And as I type this, I noticed my little weather icon flashing at me. It informs me that there is a cold front headed my way (it's 74 degrees right now), and I can expect thunderstorms this afternoon. Aargh. I DID have plans for today....

My original plan for this weekend was to get home from work Saturday morning, sleep for a few hours, and then head out to the Delaware Canal on Alexander Street to take some pictures. What is it they say about the best-laid plans, etc, etc? Anyway, I went to work at 7 pm Friday night, and didn't leave until after 11 am on Saturday morning. Babies. Lots of babies. I didn't get home til nearly noon, and fell asleep on the couch. Didn't even make it to bed. Couch was as far as I got. Woke up around 4 or 5, and spent the rest of the day feeling bleary and exhausted, helped, no doubt, by lack of breakfast or lunch. So, no trip out to take pictures. Oh, did I mention that it rained, too? I finally get an entire weekend off, and the first day is a total loss. I just spent the rest of the day knitting and watching tv. The Wedding Crashers was funny, and I caught the last hour of National Treasure, which I never wanted to see, but now I'm going to have to watch the whole thing.

My Saturday Sky pciture. Taken just after I woke up. it wasn't raining at that time, just murky and cloudy. I guess because there was no sun to speak of today, it seemed like it got dark earlier than usual.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Something Red is Something Else

Heading out to work tonight, but just a quick post to show progress on Something Red. You can see the line of M1 stitches where you increase the ribbing, but, being ever the optomist, I hope they even out during blocking. If not, I'll try something else the next time I make this sweater. It is comfortable. We were having chilly temps the day I took this picture, and I wore it for about a half an hour, knitting needles and all, while I was at the computer. The air coming in the windows was cool, and this sweater was just enough. I never saw the point of a short sleeved cardigan before, but now I do. Just call me a slow learner.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Aargghh!! I Missed International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

I forgot all about it until yesterday evening, when I was in the nursery with a new dad, who noted that his minutes-old son was born on International Talk Like A Pirate Day. He was amazed that I knew about it. Oh, well, there's always next year.

When I left work early this morning, I immediately noticed something that we haven't seen too much of in the last few months - very cool air. Not too cool for me-I think I'm part Eskimo, but my coworker was freezing. For me, it felt wonderful. I love cooler weather, and I'm at my best when it isn't hot. I felt so alive today, and the blahs that seemed to have gotten hold of me in August have disappeared. Armed with the essentials, I even went for a walk today.
I used to walk four miles or more nearly every day, but I stopped when I fractured my ankle back in January 2003. I started nursing school shortly thereafter, and between having no time, and a very sore ankle, I just kind of gave it up. Three years and 20 pounds later, I'm starting again. I took my digital camera, my cd player (I know - how retro - everyone has ipods these days. Not on my budget.), and Big Bad VooDoo Daddy, and, oh yeah, Advil. Christ, I hate getting old. I don't feel old, but my body lets me know every chance it gets that I am old. I have a very sore knee, so I do the best I can. And, for my first time walking in quite a while, I did a mile and a half. Yeah, I know, I'm no triathelete, but it's a start.

I'm nearly finished with Something Red. If I can stop blogging and reading other blogs tonight, I might actually finish it, except for the edging. It was been an interesting knit, and I really like the raglan-from-the-top-down style. I will definitely make this sweater again. I'm planning to make it in blue, and I might even search around for another yarn, and make a long sleeved version. I will never look like Wendy in it, unless I have my jaws wired shut. And, thanks to Chris's car for being my lovely model.

And, this came in the mail today. It's Noro Silk Garden in colorway 8, which is mainly blues.The third skein from the front is a surprise - it's mostly green, at least on the outside. This should make an interesting combination. What am I doing with this? Clapotis, of course. I really enjoyed this project. It was fairly simple, went fast, and looks great. not to mention, I think Silk Garden is solft, and feels great on my skin. And, it's incredibly warm. I'm thinkin' January and February, here, folks. I feeeze my butt off when I take the dog outside, and wait while he picks the perfect spot to pee. I love my other Clapotis, which still needs to be blocked. I promise I will get around to that soon.

Today was an incredible day. I did my best to not sleep through the whole day, and I did manage to haul myself out of bed at 3:30 pm. Not bad considering I went to bed at 10 am. But take a look at the outdoors today. I love the way the sun slants this time of year. During the summer, when the sun is high, it just looks hot, no matter what the temperature is. Now, the sun is lower, more shadows, brilliant blue sky - just perfect weather. I do have some leaves on the ground, and some of the trees are starting to show some tinges of color. Here in Central New Jersey, real fall color is a few weeks away, but there are always a few renegade trees who jump the gun.

And, in one of my flower beds I found these. Millions of them. The entire bed is sprouting little miniature mushrooms. It seems like they came up overnight. I don't remember seeing them there yesterday. We have other, bigger mushrooms growning around the yard, too. The squirrels eat them, and then we are treated to the sight of several squirrels running around the yard, acting like maniacs. I wonder what's in those mushrooms?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Happy Birthday!!

To Mike, who was 30 on September 17. I don't have a picture of him handy - like most of us, he is camera-shy. But I do have a picture of Eric, who is 20 today, September 18. They are the "bookends" of my family - the oldest and the youngest, with three more boys in-between. I hope it's happy for both of you, and that you get what you want. I think of both of you everyday.

Love you both!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Nine Months After the Holidays is Pure Hell

At least on an OB floor, it is. We have had a mini baby boom for the last, oh, ten days or so. And it doesn't show any signs of letting up, either. September 11 was kind of odd, though. No scheduled inductions or c-sections. Anyone who gave birth that day did so because they had no choice. The rest of the week was insane. Babies everywhere. Every time we looked up, there was another pregnant woman standing there, pillows in hand, and husband in tow, saying, "Hi, I'm in labor." No kidding. I've been working some long hours this week, and although I have been able to get in a little knitting, I don't have progress photos yet.

Here's my Saturday Sky. When I left work this morning, it was raining. Hard. As in "monsoon". Streets flooded, etc. As I got closer to my home, roads got drier and drier. It was clear it had not rained in my town for at least a few hours. Sometimes when I'm at work, I'll call home and remind the guys to close the windows, so we don't have to deal with an indoor flood. Rain? What rain? Not raining here. Meanwhile, I'm looking out the window at what looks like the end of the world. the town I work in seems to get worse weather than anywhere else around. Hell's Little Acre, it is.

My oldest is turning 30 tomorrow, my youngest will be 20 on Monday.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday Sky and More Knitting

Well, this IS a knitting blog. Made some progress on Something Red - am now working on the ribbing on the bottom. As for the sleeves, someone suggested I block them out first before frogging them, so I may do that. I'm feelin' kind of lazy, lately. And, I work for the next two nights, and I have a seminar on Monday, so that's going to cut into my knitting time. I haven't figured out how to knit when I'm unconscious.

And, here's my Saturday Sky Photo. It's a bit cloudy, and it's cloudier now than it was when I took this picture about an hour ago. I guess it's thinking about raining later.

Now that the weather has cooled down somewhat, my gardens look a little less like they're giving up the ghost. My impatiens have rebounded nicely, and the ground covers are giving it a second try. I can't wait to start getting my pumpkins together, and just getting ready for fall. My favorite time of the year!

God, tomorrow is, or would have been, my 30th wedding anniversary. We've been separated for over four years now, and while I don't think I'll ever live with him again, I have very mixed feelings. In a lot of ways, my life is so much better. It's calmer, saner, and with far less tension. The kids are happier, and I have a good job, even though I'm still working a lot more than I thought I would be. But still, the day kind of reminds me of all that I thought my life would be, and it reminds me of the things that I miss, even though I realize I only thought I had some of them. It's a reminder that most of my adult life was taken up by a man who didn't really love me, even though he protested that he did, and just generally that I will probably not have a partner again in my life. Is that any worse than having a partner who didn't really give a shit about me? I don't know. It's one of the things I have to work through.

And then, of course, the next day is September 11. Five years.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Something Red Progress and Boo-Boos

I've made a fair amount of headway on Something Red. I knitted both the sleeves. Each sleeve took one night and a half a ball of yarn to knit. The bad news is, I'm going to frog both of them. I changed needle sizes while doing the sleeves to get a closer fit, and unfortunately, it really shows. Plus, they are a little longer than I like. They come down slightly over my elbow, and I want them to end just above my elbow, so off to the frog pond. This time, I'll knit the stockinette part in the needle size I used for the body, and knit the ribbing in a smaller size needle. This is a nice knit, and fairly inexpensive, too. So far, I've used less than 3 balls of yarn, and I guess I'll use 3 more. So, what is that? - 6 balls of yarn at $1.99 each? Not bad. Not top quality yarn, but for an everyday sweater, I think it's pretty good.

Not much else going on. I noticed tonight how early the sun sets this time of year. I took some sunset photos at the beginning of August, and they were taken at 8:20 in the evening. Now, it's dark by 8:00. I am SO looking forward to fall. I've been checking out the pick-it-yourself farm for pumpkins (not ready yet), and I'm looking at tossing the plants in my front porch pots - overgrown and spent. We really didn't have a bad summer this year - hotter than hell in July, but I haven't used my air conditioning at all since the first week in August. Not bad, really. I've been sleeping with the windows open at night, and there have been a few nights when I was really chilly. I'm not complaining at all - I love a cool bedroom. Some of the trees are changing already - I'm looking forward to getting some pictures of the fall colors. Absolutely my favorite time of year.

School starting in September has a different meaning for me now. My youngest graduated from high school in June 2005, so we have college. I have one at Rutgers, and another at the local community college. He didn't make out a schedule until the Friday night before school started. And I wonder why I'm getting so grey.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

First Saturday Sky in September.

Not much of a post today, but wanted to do the Saturday Sky thing. The first picture is of my front yard, which is well on it's way to becoming flooded. The path is not a path right now, but a stream bed. Walk on it at your own risk. That clay soil gets pretty slippery when wet.

I feel pretty crappy today, and not doing much of anything. Just watched "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" on HBO, which I think is one of the funniest movies ever. Also, my son just called from Dairy Queen, so he's bringing over a hot fudge sundae with chocolate ice cream. I have chocolate sprinkles here in the kitchen. One can never have too much chocolate.

The other picture is my front sidewalk. We had high winds last night and today, and a lot of small branches and leaves were whipped off the trees, and are currently stuck all over everything, including the side of the house and the cars.

And here's a picture of our Saturday Sky, taken from the safety of my front porch. Didn't want my camera to get soaked. Rain compliments of former Tropical Storm Ernesto, who seems to be confused. Doesn't he know NJ ain't the tropics? The little patch of sky is all I could get. The trees are so wet, the branches are hanging lower than usual. It's supposed to rain all tonight, and continue on with showers tomorrow.