Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There Is Actual Knitting

But no pictures of it. I'm going along on the Flower Basket Shawl, but not as fast as I'd like. And that's my own fault. I'm doing a lot of garden-center-hopping during the day, and at night, I'm busy on Flickr, blog-slogging, etc. I've been taking a lot of pictures lately, and it takes a bit of time to get them organized on Flickr.

Although our weather has cooled down considerably (it was 38 here last night!), I've been planning out more gardening. We cleared away some of the overgrown on part of the yard, and took down our pool, so now I have a new area to cover. Chris put in grass and sod, and marked off the border garden, which doesn't have much in it yet, except for some hostas, pachysandra, and some bleeding hearts.

I'll try to take a picture of Flower Basket tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The World Needs More Dancing Kittens

I love this video!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rain, Rain

While I was somewhat frustrated by the rain today - didn't feel like running errands in the rain - I have to admit we needed it. Things were getting a bit dusty around here, and I've been dragging out the hose way too much lately. I'm all for natural watering. Plus, we just seeded and sodded part of the back yard, and I shudder to think what my water bill will look like after dragging the sprinkler out every nite to water things. I just didn't go anywhere today - it was a goof-off day basically. Afer I cleaned up the various messes my cats had made. After I brought out the tripod and camera to take pictures of the squirrel antics in my back yard, only to have the squirrels get bored and take off after I had taken exactly one picture!

We were crazy at work last night, so I was really pooped when I came home this morning. I fell asleep around 9:45, and woke up at 3, so most of the day was gone. However, with all the aforementioned rain, it wasn't a total loss. I'm wide-awake now. mI think I've played about a zillion games of Spider today, too, Finally made some really good Dunkin Donuts decaf in my coffee maker. The last pot of coffee I made probably could have walked out to me all by itself. Strong? Just a little. I don't think my stomach had a bottom after I drank a cup of that. Don't think my cup did, either.

I didn't knit on Flower Basket yesterday, but I'm going to tonight right after I finish this post.

Which is right now.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Inching Along

Almost 200 stitches on the needle!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What A Day!

Well, today turned out to be more interesting than I thought it would be. I was invited to a baby shower for my nephew and his s/o. Got there, having a great time, and someone says "Fire!" Yes, indeed. The sterno had somehow leaked, I guess, and there was a line of fire going right down the table. The table cloth was on fire. We were busy getting the pregnant mom-to-be and the kids out the door, while someone grabbed the fire extinguisher. Thank God the window was closed and the drapes did not catch. The table and floor were damaged, but everything and everyone else was ok.

All in all an interesting day, and not until now did I realize I didn't take a Saturday Sky picture.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Feathery Friday

I've been working on Flower Basket, but it basically looks like a wrinkly mess of knitting at this time, so I haven't taken any more pictures of it.

Heh. Actually, I forgot to take pictures of it. I was too busy at a local park taking pictures of things there. I told you, it's warm here. I have a raging case of spring fever. I've been outside. I've been to every garden center within 30 miles. Several times. Each. I haven't bought too much yet, because I'm still planning what I need, and what I want to buy. Actually, I want it all. I want to have my yard done. I don't want it landscaped to within an inch of its life. I want bushes, trees, flowers, plants that attract birds and butterflies. Hell, I want to have money to get all this done. I've written a lot of checks lately at these places.

So, here are a few pics of todays picture taking orgy at the park:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What A Difference A Day Makes!

When I left work on Wednesday morning, it didn't look like we were going to be too busy. We were sending home all patients except for two or three who had just come in. Last night, I get a call to come in. We were nearly full again, and the night was crazy.

Our weather has been so warm lately. Everything in my yard is blooming so much earlier than usual. And, it's been a bit dry, so I had to start watering earlier than usual, too. Can't wait to see my water bill.

I've just gotten done working four nights in a row, so I didn't make too much progress on Flower Basket .

I was working on it last night when I got the call to come in to work. Wouldn't you know it- I was sitting on the couch, feet up, cat on my lap, tv on, knitting away, when the phone rang. I knew right away what it was. Oh, well, I can use the overtime. I need to take down a tree in my front yard before it comes down by itself. It's a 100 year old oak, and it has been chewed to within an inch of its life by carpenter ants. Crap. I hate to lose this tree, but it's beyond help at this point. It's about $1200 to take this down, so I need the overtime.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Let'sTry This Again

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

(This post is supposed to have pictures of my garden. As usual, blogger won't let me upload pictures.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Almost Forgot!

To post, that is. I'm on my way out the door to go to work. I made some progress on Flower Basket! I have 137 stitches on the needle; I need 417. I might actually make my deadline!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Back to work today. And, true to form, I didn't get nearly as much done during this week off as I thought I would. I got some gardening done, but did nothing to rearrange my bedroom, or get my craft things into a more organized order(?). Does that even make sense?

On the other hand, I'm getting along on Flower Basket. I finally figured out how to "read" this knitting, so I can look at it now, and figure out where I went wrong. Makes things go a lot quicker, I'll tell ya. No more ripping. I had a heart-stopping moment last night where I was tinking back, and dropped a stitch. It zipped down a few rows so fast, I couldn't believe it. It made me think of Clapotis in Noro Silk Garden, where I have to force the stitches to drop. Anyhoo. I managed to get the stitch back up on the needle without f**king up the pattern, and continued on my merry way. Don't look for too much progress, because I work three in a row, and this is not a project I'll take to work to work on during my "break" time.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I'm a more or less regular reader of Stitches of Violet, over there on my sidebar, and looking out my window today put me in mind of that blog:

Lots of violets. Front yard, side yard, back yard. Flower beds. Cracks in the driveway and sidewalk. We've had really warm weather (in the 80's!) for the last day or two, and they've really popped. They were my mom's favorite flower. My sister and I used to pick tons of them every year. She died last year just a few days before they bloomed. I don't know if she would remember that she loved them; Alzheimer's had erased most of her memory.

I'm chugging along on Flower Basket, but only knitting at night on it. Days are spent outside now, and I have to go back to work tomorrow night.

Friday, April 18, 2008

OK, I Threw In The Towel...

and frogged Flower Basket. I was missing a stitch, and I could not for the life of me find where I missed it. So, in frustration, I frogged it, and restarted it. I hope it goes better this time. The picture is as much as I did last night.

Spring is still keeping me busy outside. I bought some perennials today for something Chris is building in the yard, and I cleaned up a bit out there. I still have a lot of clean up to do. It seems like the main occupation of my trees is dropping branches. It was 82 degrees today, which I think is just a bit too warm for this time of year. I'm happier when it's in the 70's.

One more day of vacation. I go back to work on Sunday night, for three in a row, with a call night tacked on the end.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Not Much Knitting

There has been little to no knitting here at chez Knitting at Night. I've been busy taking care of a sick cat, working in the yard - it was 77 degrees today, and 80 tomorrow, and taking pictures. I bought a tripod a few weeks ago, and used it for the first time - I got some good bird shots, and I took some neat pictures of the moon.

Maybe I'll get a bit of knitting done tonight on the shawl, although truth to tell, I think I'm avoiding it. I've not found this pattern to work well for me, but I'm determined to get at least one flower basket shawl done. I guess I just need to get a grip.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tired and Crabby

I have no idea why I am so tired and crabby today. It wasn't a bad day, just a lot of stupid little things piling up on me. My computer decided to give me fits today, moving at the speed of molasses until it finally quit working at all. I rebooted it, only to have it announce that it needed to check one of the drives, which it proceeded to do, once again at the speed of molasses. Once it was done, it stubbornly refused to do anything else, until I shut it down again.

I walked outside today, only to find that all four window boxes and pots had been trashed by that stupid squirrel, and he was still busy yanking pansies out of one window box, totally ignoring me, until I threw something at him. Sheesh. Wildlife with an attitude.

Waffles goes to the vet tomorrow to check for dental problems. He's doing real well, nice and hydrated, and eating well. I don't know what happened over he weekend.

Probably the smartest move I'm making today is NOT knitting lace. I have a feeling that wouldn't turn out well, given that I'm already so aggravated.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Can We Postpone The Wedding For A Year Or Two?

I'm beginning to think that's how long it's going to take me to finish this shawl. I know there are bloggers out there who whip through shawls in less time than it takes me to knit a pair of socks. I'm not one of them. I am progressing at a snail's pace on this shawl. I need to check my stitch count every row, and I nearly always find that I've left out a yo or two on each row.

Spring has really sprung around here. Once it arrives, it seems like it just hurtles along. My maple tree already has seed pods (helicopters!) on it. My Bradford pears are in full bloom, the daffodils are over, and the grape hyacinths are starting to bloom. Hostas are out of the ground, and pretty much everything has some growth on it, with the exception of my oak trees. Last to leaf out, last to lose their leaves.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Aggravaton And New Lace

Aargh. I love knitting lace, and have done so successfully - I knitted Creatures of the Reef shawl 18 months ago, and except that I made it too small, the lace part came out great. However, I started to knit Flower Basket about 2 and a half years ago, and wound up frogging it, mostly because I didn't like it in the navy blue yarn I was using. I did have trouble keeping the count, though, to be honest.

I'm knitting Flower Basket again in the Lorna's Laces Somerset colorway. I started it last night, and I thought I would be further along than I am. I had to backtrack on several rows - off by a stitch, and I found I have difficulty "reading" this lace. I don't know why. Right now, I'm on row 25. Will I finish this in time for the wedding? Will I like the colorwaywith this pattern? Or the pattern in this colorway? Will I chuck the whole thing out the nearest window? Who knows? Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Upside Of Things

A few days ago, I was grumbling about the high price of gas. A comment was left that at least in NJ, we are not allowed to pump our own gas, plus our gas prices are lower than many surrounding states, so in essence, we get full-service for much less than people in other states pay to pump their own. And it brought to mind a campaign several years ago, and widely reported in the Asbury Park Press, to allow New Jerseyians to pump their own gas. It may have been one of their columnists who was pushing for this; I don't remember. But I do remember thinking, "what the heck?" Why do I want to pump my own gas? Why do I want to go to work or wherever, smelling like a gas pump? Why do I want to stand out in rain, winds, snow, whatever to pump my own gas? The gas prices WEREN'T going to go down if we were "allowed" to pump our own. Thank heavens this nitwit didn't get far with his campaign to do this. Sheesh. I live only a few miles from the Pennsylvania border, and I am always astounded at the difference in price over the bridge. No wonder Pennsylvanians who work here in NJ fill up here.

On a different note, Waffles is still hanging in there. We had to rehydrate him yesterday, but today he is only mildly dehydrated, and has quite an appetite. I know some of this is due to the steroids he received on Friday, but he looks happy and better today. Jon came home from college last night to spend some time with him, and took him out for a supervised walk through the yard today. He has eaten nearly two small cans of cat food today, so we're feeding him whatever he will eat. We know we don't have too much time left with him; but he isn't in pain, and is still clear-eyed, using the litter box, and going up and down stairs, so we're taking it a day at a time right now.

I'm thinking I may be starting another project, after all. My niece is getting married in June, and I think a shawl may be nice for the reception venue, especially if they have the air conditioning system set at "arctic", as many venues do. I have some Lorna's Laces yarn in "somerset", which I like, but that pink in it is a tad too pink for my taste; hopefully it will not be so as it is knitted up. I don't have a picture today, as I just thought of it, so I'll try to post one tomorrow. I'm going to get the swift and ball-winder, and hope for the best with this.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

This Isn't Going To B e Good News

When I got home from work yesterday morning, I noticed our 15 year old cat was looking not too well. Checked him out, and he was dehydrated. Off to the vet for a little sub-q hydration, and home again. This morning, same deal - dehydrated, sub-q, home again. I have fluids to rehydrate him tomorrow morning, if need be. But I know on some level that this is not going to be good.

Friday, April 11, 2008


That was pretty much my reaction today when I stopped to get gas. $3.09/gallon. Last week I paid $2.97 and thought that was bad. Yesterday, it was $3.05, the day before; $3.03. That's a twelve-cent increase in less than a week. I just read an article how gas prices are starting to drop. Hello? Doesn't drop mean down??? And I read another article about how the oil companies are posting record profits. Cripes.

Starting today, I have nine days off from work. I have a lot to do - clean up the yard, the house, get some knitting done. I think I'll need a month for the yard and house alone.

My mom passed away one year ago today. It's been on my mind all day.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Can't Go To Work Tonight Because I Have Spriing Fever

71 degrees! That's what's outside my window right now. I missed most of it because I worked last night and I work tonight, so I slept all day. This is the warmest it's supposed to be for the next week, when of course, I'm on vacation. What a beautiful day! I have the windows open, a nice breeze blowing in, and of course, the cats are loving it.

Does anyone have any ideas to keep squirrels out of flowerpots? I have two pots on my porch, and two window boxes that I have to replant every damn day, because the squirrels keep digging them up. I'm so tired of tossing acorns out of those pots. Where the hell are they getting acorns at this time of the year, anyway?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Nutty Squirrels

That's a brand new perch I put on the birdfeeder. It took them less than eight hours to break it. I think the suspect is the one in the top picture, trying to cram his fat butt under the feeder.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

One UFO Completed

I finished the blue Clapotis last night. I don't have time to take or post pictures - this is the first night of three-in-a-row. It came out great, just the size I wanted, and I can't tell where the extra skein is. I used eight skeins, with just a few yards left over, plus one extra skein from the two I just bought. It's a great size, and I can't wait to see it blocked. That will have to wait til next week - I'm on vacation!!!! Not going anywhere - just hanging out, cleaning, knitting, gardening, taking pictures. I can't wait!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

If This Is April, Why The Hell Is March Madness Still Around??

Aargh! I wanted to watch my favorite show (and just about the only network show I watch) "How I Met Your Mother. I missed it last week because I was at work. Flip on the tv, find something else on, check the program guide, and find out there's a stupid basketball championship on. Crud. Who cares? I know, I know, a lot of people do, but I'm not one of them. I want my show.

Well, at least I can get in some knitting time. I think I can finish Clapotis tonight. It won't get blocked until I have some time, probably next week, but at least it'll be done, and I can get it off my UFO list.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

It's Not True!

For as long as I can remember, I've heard that the full moon brings on labor in women. Well, after a few years working L&D, I can tell you that a new moon is even worse. We had a really low census last week, which gave us all time to catch our breath. Starting on Friday night, the night before the new moon, it started to get crazy. Real crazy. Like we went from 1 labor patient to nine labor patients in a matter of hours, and the next night was even worse. We are at full census again, and I'm not sure what I'm going to find when I go in tonight.

Looking back over my own children's births, three were born near or on a new moon, while one of them showed up 45 minutes after the moon was full. One just showed up when he felt like it, disregarding any new or full moon nonsense.

Wedding shower today for my niece, so I'm going to catch some sleep and then head in. I'm nearly done on Clapotis. If I don't sleep too much, I'll work on it a bit tonight before going in.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday Sky and Pear Blossoms!

My Bradford Ornamental Pear has buds ready to burst open! Early this year!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Good Grief

After I woke up this morning, I walked into the family room, just in time to see a hawk swoop down and nab a bird off the feeder. I should have realized something was up, because I saw the squirrels crouched on the tree branches, close to the trunk. I love feeding the birds, but I really hate the feeling of providing a fly-thru McDonalds for the hawks. I'll be glad when the trees leaf out to provide more cover for them.

I knitted quite a bit on CLapotis last night. I only have 50 stitches left on the needles, and worked through more than half a skein of yarn last night. I'm not sure whether or not I'll need that last skein. I work tonight and tomorrow night, and have some family obligations on Sunday, so I'm not sure when I'll get to finish this. Soon, I hope. I'd like to decrease my UFO pile.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I Love It When I'm Wrong

My gloomy predictions for last night at work were way off the mark. We had a very quiet evening. Basically, I stocked all the equipment and nursery, cleaned some equipment, and spend the evening being the world's highest-paid babysitter. Nice. It was great for all of us to have a night were things were (mostly) relaxed.

I got home before midnight, so I knitted for an hour or so on Clapotis. I've started the end decrease section, and I'm still not done with that skein of yarn! I thought I would have used it up way before this. So far, I've used seven skeins, and I will definitely start the eighth tonight. I am loving this project. I love the colors, I love the size, I love the yarn. Did I say I love the colors? The picture does not do justice to the beautiful jewel colors of this colorway (08) I know some people say this yarn is kind of scratchy, but I don't feel it at all! 45% silk, 45% mohair, 10% lambswool. What's not to love?

The bottom decrease, showing the short dropped rows here.

Most of Clapotis, folded to show the dropped stitches.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Finishing Up

I'm almost done with the first skein of the second dye lot on my Clapotis, and I really can't see any difference. I'll try to post a picture of it tomorrow. When I finish this skein, I'm going to use the last skein of the original dye lot, and then if I have to, the second skein of the second dye lot. We'll see how this turns out, colorwise. Sizewise, I love it. I started the decrease section for the end, and it's the perfect size. I'm so happy I did this size, and I'm happy that I frogged the other Clapotis to redo it in a larger size. I didn't want a scarf, and I think this is a great size. I can take this to the movies on nights when I don't want to bring a jacket with me.

On the who's-driving-me-crazy-now front, it would have to be the squirrels again. This time, there is a small squirrel who has figured out how to jump over the baffle on the main feeder, and spends most of his time doing that. He's gotten so fat it's a mystery how he manages to get that fat ass off the ground, but he does. He gnawed through the perch, too, so now if the birds get a chance at this feeder, they have to balance on the side. I have a Duncraft catalogue coming, so I think a new, higher pole is in the works, and maybe a new feeder, too. This one is supposed to close with weight, but it doesn't do that anymore.

I'm working what is known as a "princess shift" tonight. Four hours, 7-11. Whether I work nursery or postpartum, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be feeling like a princess. I'm pretty sure I'll be busy. When you have eight patients for four hours, there's a lot to do.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Time To Destash

Although I listen to a book on CD while I'm on the treadmill, I have time to think about other things, too. Today, I was looking at a few of my yarn containers. I have a lot of sock yarn, some of it in colors I don't really like. It might be time to destash that.

My UFO's are piling up, too: one scarf, two Clapotis, three Philosopher's Wool Sweaters, four other sweaters in various stages of completion; some socks. I think I really need to finish some of these things. I don't mind having a few projects hanging around, but this is getting out of hand. I'm hoping I can make a big dent in the blue Clapotis tonight.