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March 2005

they're on their way

The hummingbirds are in North Carolina, working their way up the coast.  The way I figure, they should hit SE Pennsylvania in another 7-10 days and be in New England the tail end of April.  I put my feeders out nearly a week before I expect them, just in case there is a speedy little rascal that arrives exhausted and has no energy left for foraging.. or worst case... has arrived before the food here is ready.  Get your  feeders out and ready.  If you haven't ever gone the Hummingbird site, check it out now.  Pay particular attention to the migration charts.  You can look at the arrival date in your area for many years past and make your own predictions.  It's fun.  Hummers return to the same area feeders year after year.  It's their home, afterall.  My little hummers usually arrive in VT the end of the first week of May.  The 7th to be more exact.  Year after year, the same day, or only a day or two off if it's been particularly lousy weather.  They find me in the house too, checking through all the windows and chattering to me, letting me know they have arrived.  (I've had them do the same thing if the feeders go empty, yelling at me to get on the stick, fill 'em up.. bossy little things.)  They are the original garden fairies.  If you haven't had a feeder before, treat yourself.  You won't be sorry..  promise.

I have started the seashell scarf.  I'm placing only one bead per row, 30 sts wide,  just for a bit of sparkle.  What a pain to keep pushing all 240 beads down the boucle every row.  They don't move easily.  I've already dropped a couple sts. putting on the shells and had to frog back an inch after only four knitted.  It's not terribly slow, but you definitely have to pay attention.  No pics yet, it's going to be hard to show the beads.   I haven't had much luck showing them off on the other beaded projects. 
I'm posting early.  C has an out patient appt. at the hospital first thing and we'll be gone by 6am.  I'll get him home then run back out to pick my neice up from the airport and taking her to her meeting in Newport.  We'll have the day to hang out together on Friday, maybe hit some LYS.  She's a knitting newbie.  Fun stuff.


I saw sea shells down by..

0330051  Cotton / linen swatch.. great fabric, but heavier than I want for this project.  It looks strong enough to catch Moby DIck.

0330052  Rayon Boucle..  I think so.  The yarn has a great  sheen.  I need to pick up some sparkle.  I'm picking out beads. 

Within each are several stitch variations and needle sizes.  I don't want to appear too fickle, so I'll wait to describe my final choice as I get to it.  Girl's prerogative. 




the best store in town

After a very long day, with the promise of another one like it to follow, I decided to go shopping.. at home.   Shopping in the Stash Bins is a rewarding experience.  I know ahead of time that I will like what I find.  I put it there. It may not be what I'm looking for at the moment, but sure as heck , I'll find stuff that I love.  It won't be one of those disappointing, empty trips to the LYS (sometimes I DO have those, I know that it seems unlikely due to the size of my Stash, but it does happen).  I'm looking for inspiration, something that talks to me.   I'm looking for the right fiber from which to make the shell shawl.  I think I may have found that one.  I'm also looking to see if I have the right yarn for Blaze.  There is a silk and something, I think rayon, that I have dyed before.  I like it in it's natural color.  It might be chancy with the weight, it's sort of heavy and I wonder if it will hold it's shape after washing.  This will have to be swatched and washed. 

Dsc_0107  top.. Blaze contender, bottom..shell shawl

Then I found this.. it has a wonderful color.  Both boucles are the same stuff, rayon and very slippery. Just the thought if untying it to take enough for a sample sends shivers up my back.  If it gets away from me, it'll be all over.  If you've ever used Fiesta's Rayon Boucle you know what i'm talking about.

Dsc_0109

Maybe what I need is a trip through some knitting mags.  I'm missing the FBS already.  That was a fun project.  Or I could dig up the beautiful lace leaf socks that I started a year ago,  they're hanging around waiting for me somewhere.  The pattern???  ;-)



Part 1... morning..
The forecast is for rain..LOTS and LOTS of rain... 1"-2" today.  That ought to decrease the snow piles.  I've lit all the lights around my workspace hoping to stave off the grayness.  Knowing that I will be sitting at my desk, all day, on a wooden chair, staring at the monitor or alternatly at a pile of papers that may make some sense to the accountant, but never to me; has not elevated my spirits.  Even the cats are pacing around.  The promise of spring may be here, but the color is that of Mud season.   On a good day, I'd haul out bins of stashed yarn and start poking around to choose a new project.  But, this is tax day and I'm way behind.  As a reward to staying put at the desk, I'm going to go blogging every now and again.  Distractions that keep me here can't hurt.  Margene posted a picture of herself wearing Blaze. She looks absolutely beautiful in it.  I'm really tempted.  It's a project I started last winter, then frogged.  My choice of wool / alpaca was too heavy for my taste, espcially with the short sleeves.  I pulled out a couple of unfinished projects that were lounging in my many knitting bags in the den.  I was figuring on working on them first.   Damnation, those bins are all stacked behind me,  sirens calling out.. pick me, just open the lid and look for a minute...  by the end of the day, I'll need to be tied to the chair.
Part 2.. end of daylight..

As the day progressed, so did the rainfall..  two inches already and a possible 2" more tonight.  By evening I am still sitting in exactly the same place, having left it only to make tea and go to the diner for lunch.  Lucky for me, as I opened the front door, there on the porch, in the pouring rain... stupid DHL man never even rang the bell, just dumped my package and ran.. but anyway, there was a package from Betsy.   THAT was a nice surprise.  In it were these..

Dsc_0102_1 

The other really good thing, the diner was having turkey dinner with all the good stuff.. $5.25.  I won't have to cook dinner tonight. 



My Flower (Easter) Basket Shawl

Without any family nearby, we spent the afternoon walking the ocean cliffs and later the beach at one of my favorite places.  The temperatures are still in the low 40's , rather brisk with a bit of a breeze.  It was the perfect time to show off the Flower (Easter) Basket Shawl.  I finished it with my morning coffee.

Dsc_0095_1  I have absolutely no idea why one picture came up so large and the other one smaller.  I'm not going to tempt fate and try to change a thing.

Dsc_0084_1  click on picture to see patterning better

 



Just in nick of time (it's spring after all), the temperature outside has risen to start melting the snow on the north side of the house.  Translated, this means that the snow on the front porch has melted enough to get to the Christmas balls that I had hung on the Alberta Spruce.  If it hadn't happened yesterday, I'd be faced with digging it out just so I wouldn't have to tell myself that the red and gold balls were sort of shaped and colored like Easter eggs..  and that the wreath hanging on the door should remain because it was well, still fresh looking and some color is better than no color at all. 

The FBS is now waiting for me to find my crochet hook.  I remember thinking that it was the kind of tool that should be removed from my knitting bag before going through airport security.  I left the F-J's but the 000 looked somehow more threatening to me.   Guess it got pissed off being left behind as it is in hiding now.  The shawl would have been finished if I hadn't spent sooo much time searching for the hook.  This morning I'll do what I already know will most certainly return the hook to my desk or knitting chair or other convenient spot;  I'll run to the store (that being the exact same store that I ran to yesterday to get the beads for the bottom edge of the FBS) and buy another replacement hook (I have purchased at least 3 of these mini hooks during the past year, all of which are presently in hiding) before driving in the opposite direction to the last Saturday of the month Spin In at Sue's.  Given the option of canceling due to the holidays, everyone felt that the holidays were precisely the reason that we should have the Spin in.  Yessss!


the Book (you know which book)

Last night, as planned, I was able to pick up a copy of Stephanie's book on the way home from the Thai restaurant.  I spent much of the evening reading, first in order..  the intro is so perfect, then by flipping through and reading whatever page fell open.  I love it.  Here's the proof, I can't imagine why I think that proof is needed here, but since I've seen other bloggers actually showing their copies with 'proof of ownership', I'll follow along with the thought that this is somehow important to someone. 

03250501 
and just because I think it's even more important to show the 'true' colors of the 'proof of ownership'  Flower basket shawl...

03250502

After seeing the Chai FB that Steph (her again) made SINGLE strand on BIG needles..  I know that I must make another one, mine being far more a winter scarf than a lacy shawl.  I am presently searching out beads to accent the lower edge and hopefully weigh it down, keep it stretched out,  just a little.  This was a perfect travel project.  It kept my attention in all sorts of situations. 

I can not say enough about the value of the knitting community at large.  You girls in Fort Lauderdale saved my sanity, made my day(s), and in general kept me from feeling that 'hung out to dry' sort of feeling that you can get when you are in a strange place, ie. a small, rented, dark in a reminiscent of your elementary school hallways, kind of building, with your 88 yr. old semi senile MIL.  I was thinking of ways to explain this when I happened to flip open Steph's (yep, her again) book to a page that explains it all... (pg. 318, just in case you want to see for yourself) 
Here's the quote.. 
"It doesn't matter, for you are a knitter, and to belong completely, no matter how different you appear to be....... all you need to do is find more knitters."

Works for me.


waiting it out

The idea of moblogging is a whole lot better than the reality of it.. I tried twice during my morning walks on the beach, sitting down on the sand, typing on my cell phone, one letter at a time punched on the numeric keys .. try it.  It takes a long time, and is very frustrating when it does NOT go through.  That's my excuse. 
A couple of nights ago, while I slept, I finally worked out my next project.  I'd been gathering shells with a shawl in mind.  Things usually appear when you need them, and I had been thinking / searching for an appropriate stitch to use for the body of the shawl.  Monday evening I met with a S&B group in Ft. Lauderdale and Betsy was also searching shawl patterns.  There in front of me, the pattern, a simple K2tog, yo repeat.   Perfect for a fish net sort of thing and just what I had in mind.  I'll swatch when I get home.  The perfect ( I hope ) yarn sits in my office waiting. 

Which leads me to this question..  what inspires you?  I often find my inspiration from something I see in Nature.. while taking a walk.. something.  Walking on the beach, sort of looking for little shells got me this time. 

Meanwhile, I'm sitting in the airport, flight delayed, (hour 3 here at this point) due to a big storm further up the coast.  I hate sitting here, but wireless internet finally and the though of flying into a storm.. this IS the place to be. 


another day

What a difference a day can make. We finally got a day off. C’s uncle ‘babysat’ his (C’s) mother on Thursday. We motored on the water taxi 2 ½ hrs. down the intercoastal to South

Beach. Unbelievable homes!! Hotels!! And of course, more humanity than you want to imagine. The captain narrated the trip, whose house, whose boat, great fun. We headed up to the Lincoln Ave Mall area. It’s a people watching heaven. We found a great place to sit under umbrellas on the mall and ordered lunch. I’m quite sure that I had the best, by far, calamari that I’ve ever eaten, followed by a shared crème brulee. And, we watched the world go by… no one dresses (costumes themselves) like that, unless they are out to be watched. Fun stuff. Then we headed over to Ocean   Dr. for our walk touring the beautifully restored Art Deco hotels, etc. Weather threatened all day, storms were predicted. It all held off until we were on the boat, and halfway home. Even the lightning over the water was a treat. It was topsy turvy back on the home front. Mom’s purse was missing, she had left it somewhere, and so was the wallet. We dealt that card for a while; locating it finally at uncle’s house behind a sofa… it’s always something, this terrible trip into Alzheimer’s.

I’m hoping for a local version of the water trip today. This time with C’s Mom. Who knows what adventure may fall... I’m ready, already, for another knitting night with new friends. Where will you guys be this next??


Wed.

0316051

Beware of the BIG WHINE. After spending over a week without internet access, without phone except cell service, mostly trapped and sleep deprived in a small dark apartment with someone with limited mental access to the real world, I’m nearly speechless myself. When the phone guy called (while I was out and on my cell) to tell me that we had a dial tone, I could hardly wait to get back and log on. When I got there and picked up the receive, it was stone dead, nothing, NADA.. and so I waited, another day.  Then, out of the blue, the phone rang. Get this; it was a survey, by the phone company, to see how we liked their service. They called twice… Same thing. Finally I’m connected, at 28.8 bps. I haven’t had service this slow in at least four years. But, it’s something. My cell phone has been collecting my email, at snails pace, and it was a pretty fine thing to have. It’s almost as fast as this dial up. End of whine, maybe.

Last Monday night, I finally made it to a local S& B. Beth had emailed me before I left home and given me directions to the Barnes & Noble meeting place.

0316052  thanks Beth!

What’s better than to be able to meet like minded people when you are feeling out of place and homesick to boot. You can check out Betsy’s blog for some pics of the evening. I managed to get absolutely nothing done. I frogged back twice on the gold shawl. When I called it a night I had just discovered a forgotten pattern row, eight rows back. This morning I got it back on track. Thanks, for having me.

I’ve worked on and off on the Flower Basket shawl. It should have been long done by now. I actually did try to moblog a pic of it last week and thought that it had downloaded, only to find out when I just checked, that it wasn’t there. Aside from that, there just wasn’t any opportunity to blog. Now that I can, I’m realizing that nothing has been going on, at all. I’ve read a book. That’s it. I walk as much as I can, as often as I can break away. I’ve made it to the beach for a few minutes during several walks. I’ve walked across lots of bridges, seen evidence of incredible wealth (by the looks of the luxury yachts that are moored everywhere, and driven in more traffic than rush hour in Boston. Tomorrow, I have the opportunity to take a water taxi to South Beach for the day. I’m going. Thunderstorms are predicted. I’m still going.