Friday, March 31, 2006

Time and Ineptitude

The ol' cowboy boots calendar on the wall says it's time to end one adventure and begin a new one. Goodbye to Secret Pal 7. A multitude of thanks to my spoiler, Bethanie for her good taste, good humor and first-class gifts. Her last package (again, absent a photo) included toast-colored cotton yarn, mint tea, a very pretty travel mug (which I am keeping out of Miss H's sight), a cute appliqued hot pad and birch double-pointed needles. I've never had wooden dpns before --- do you think they might change my luck?

Tomorrow, Stashalong starts. I've never kept a record of how much yarn I buy in a month (for sanity/embarassment/budgetary reasons), but just knowing that purchasing more is now verboten makes me very nervous. Still, this will be a good thing. I'm promising to keep a record of how much of what I use, and to provide photographic evidence thereof. (Other blogs will accept my pictures --- go figure.)

Today is my late husband's birthday. Yes, a lot of special dates in March. He would have been 58. Happy Birthday, Dale.

Is there anyone out there who can make a button for my sad little buttonless blog here? There would be compensation. Of some sort. (Usually, the offer is to knit something for someone, but that won't work with this crowd.) If you know how to make a button, and would be willing to take this on, just e-mail me. I really would like a button of my own. Thanks.

Working on the foot of the 2-circs sock. I am crazy in love with this yarn: the colors most of all, but the texture, too. It's Regia, which is new on my needles. I bought some for my KTC swap pal and for my Secret Pal, and decided to just go ahead and dive in for myself. The dog sweater is the in-the-car project at the moment, so it isn't getting a whole lot of play. The Life of Pi wrap is going to take a bit of time: it's something like 120" long in 4 x 4 ribbing. Not the most exciting knitting. The fun there is going to be twisting it just so and seaming it together.

Hope you all have a good weekend. Hannah is keen to get to Lowe's and buy pansies (or something) for the box planters on the deck. This Junior Master Gardener program she's in has really gotten its hooks into her. Now if I could just get her to push a mower. . .

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Testing, Testing


Crazy Blogger, after about two dozen tries today, finally allowed this picture through. The Shark whale at the Georgia Aquarium. Above him is a full-grown, albeit smallish, "regular" shark for comparison.

Now, I tried to show you knitting pictures and such, but only this one came through. It's a bit like roulette now, trying to spice up the ol' entries. . .

Several nice comments on Sam; glad to know others out there share my feelings for him. I sometimes feel he gets overlooked. But it --- I --- always come back to him.

Received some gorgeous Lorna's Laces yarn in a Knit the Classics mystery book swap yesterday; my pal, Sue, also included 2 books and some really yummy candy. That's a good group. If you like to read, come on over and join us!

I've begun two new projects: a dog sweater and another pair of 2-circulars socks. I took the latter to Hannah's physical therapy session this morning, and got quite a bit done. This round and round is extremely calming. When I've knit on circulars before, I got the same kind of feeling, but large items don't have the intimacy that these little socks do.

Just a couple of days left before the new quarter starts. Must turn my thoughts to academia. Aaaarrrrgggggh.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Triumph

The caper was a success! By the time we got through unexpectedly hellacious Atlanta traffic, it was getting late enough in the day that I was sure Mama was wondering why I hadn't called yet with birthday wishes. So, we let her in on the surprise in Cartersville, as opposed to Chattanooga, as originally scheduled.

She was just astounded, and worried that there wasn't any milk, but sounded very excited at the prospect of us being there. It was a maddening drive; seemed to take us forever to arrive. But once we did, she opened her gifts (Elaine, your sock story was as big a hit as the socks themselves!) and we had German chocolate cake. Saturday, we took her to lunch, which she also seemed to really enjoyed. Of course, we had to come back yesterday, and, after seeing the traffic on Friday, I decided to get out early. We were back here by 3 o'clock, after a nice, nice weekend.

I asked if I could take pictures, but that idea was politely and firmly declined. So, no photographic evidence of our joy, but it existed. (Speaking of pictures: Briton and Hannah don't know I posted one of their Aquarium shots here. Mum's the word.)

I finished a pair of wristwarmers while home, and cast on a beret. That was bound off and seamed up yesterday, and went into my last package to my SP spoilee. You all know what that means: time to pick something new! And now that I can do the 2-circs socks. . .

Now You Know

As mentioned in my last post, the subject of sexy men is a familiar one here. Mulling over characteristics, including and excluding men over the years, carefully considering what is and what isn't appealing, trying even to rank those who possess all that might be defined as "charismatic," or "heart-stopping," or just plain "steamy" --- all that has been done. And time and time and time again, no matter what leading man has just been in a magazine or on a talk show or in the theater, this is who, were the point pushed to its ultimate, I would have to say is the Sexiest Man I Know:
Sam Elliott.

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's George's World; We All Just Drool In It

Well. It seems I was preaching to the choir on the George Clooney thing. Not a dissenting voice to be heard ---uh --- read. And that's fine. I'll take my love for Rickman and Neill and the others you've so heartlessly cast aside, and live my own life. Really. I will.

;)

A couple of years ago now, I had a student who was Clooney's cousin. Maybe 2nd cousin. Anyway, she said her mother had pictures of her and George playing at family reunions, all that type of thing. She, needless to say, immediately became the most popular person in the room.

We are off to Nashville in a couple of hours. My mother will be mortified at not getting more of a heads-up. Which, in a way, is part of the fun. Not to cause her grief, but to really surprise her. I finished the second sock (oh, yes, I'm quite proficient on the 2-circs now!), and we have a few other little trinkets for her. I went to my favorite bakery here yesterday and got her a cake; we are completely prepared for a party! I am taking the digital camera, but, as my latest attempt (as I signed on here today) to get Blogger to allow my photos to be shown fell flat, I don't know what or when I'll be able to show you anything. Rox, are you ready for more incoming?

And maybe, on Monday, I'll unveil the man who, when I stop and really think about it, always comes out as the Sexiest I Know.

But you all have to be good over the weekend, and knit nicely.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Luck!

Got one photo from Atlanta to load before Blogger got uppity, but it's an awfully good one. For my money, these were the two most beautiful creatures in the Aquarium on that particular day:

And this, proof of the ShRed scarf, went through Olathe, Kansas to show up. (Thanks, Rox!!)

And, if these things weren't enough, Bethieee and Tahlia sent me, out of the blue, a box chock full of breathtaking green/blue mohair, a tote and some of the yummiest chocolate and caramel candies you can imagine. WOW! Thanks, ladies!

You meet THE sweetest people on knitblogs!!

I Hear Al Michaels in My Head

It may well be --- probably is --- that I am the only knitter on the planet who cannot knit with double-pointed needles. Not "doesn't like to." A big, fat "can't." Which means that socks, the backbone, it would seem, of the knitblog industry, that I make are knit flat and then seamed. And there's not a thing in the world wrong with that. Except the gnawing that there was something out there I should be able to do but just couldn't.

Well, if you believe in miracles, go read this.

(I can also hear my Daddy saying, "Well, how 'boutchu!?!")

My initial Project Spectrum item came off the needles yesterday. I've got a picture, but Blogger is still being danged persnickety. It's a scarf, which I'm calling "ShRed." Naming my finisheds is such fun for me. This is made of two Moda Dea yarns: TuTu (a solid tomato-y red with occasional pieces of "fringe") and Ticker Tape (a wide, soft prism-like tape). I've enjoyed all the Moda Dea yarns I've worked with; this Ticker Tape has a very nice feel to it. Just wish you could see it. I could be making the whole thing up for all you know. But it truly is done, and it really is red.

First day between quarters went well. Grocery shopping, cleaning out a couple of kitchen cabinets, dusting and sweeping the den, beginning to straighten out the deck. I'm determined to get us a couple of nice chairs for the deck this year. The deck (which Dale and I built) is a split-level, and we have a table and chairs up top, but nothing on the bottom. We've always just grabbed a chair and moved it when we wanted to sit there; I picture some nice all-weather rockers, with a table for drinks, etc.

Can you stand two sexy men in a row? Of course you can. Let's see what Rox has to say about this one!











This is what I have to say about him: EDIBLE.

Monday, March 20, 2006

In Honor of Basketball Season

Oh, yes, back to the Sexy Men. Here's one who fell into disfavor with me for a while, but his extreme shoulders, Ministry of Silly Walks gait, soothing voice, awesome hands, the whole Zen thing. . . He's back. With the Lakers and with me. Ladies and gentlemen, Phil Jackson:

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Just So You Know

I'm going to go ahead and post about our Atlanta trip, but I can't get a single durn picture to upload. I even tried to do a "Hot Man" post carrying this message, and that picture wouldn't show. (Shame, too --- I'm anxious to hear what Rox thinks about this one.) So I'll try again tomorrow. Probably from school.

Oh, and I'm knitting a lot. Getting things finished. New projects in sight!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Great Fun

We had a terrific time in Atlanta. I have awfully good luck getting to the places we want to go there, not wandering around on all the one-ways. Our hotel was wonderful, nestled in along with the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, Phillips Arena and CNN Center.

Thursday night, we found a good deli for dinner, then took a walk. Through the park, over to CNN, where we've been lots of times before. We have some shops over there we like to visit. Well, you might as well call the place ACnn, for all the Anderson Cooper billboards and posters everywhere. I had walked out of the hotel without our digital camera, so you'll have to be patient for photos. Just know I was pleased. (Although, to come completely clean, for all the "ink" he's getting here, and as much as I really do like Anderson, he isn't my Very Sexiest Man. He is yet to come here.)

Back at the hotel, we ordered "Memoirs of a Geisha," and all three of us sat mesmerized for the entire film. Hannah and I both think Ziyi Zhang is just breathtaking, Briton and I are Ken Watanabe fans, and we all fell for the girl who plays the part of the main character as a child. It was a nice way to end the day. The fact that I got a truckload of knitting done during it only added to the pleasure.

Yesterday, the Aquarium. You must visit if you ever have a chance, though be there early, with pre-purchased tickets, if you can. You get to by-pass the mammoth lines. Inside, there is a definite children's-hands-on-museum feel to the huge lobby, but that sort of goes away once you're inside the various halls. Our favorites, by far, were the Japanese Spider Crabs. Beautiful, too, were all the rays. The shrimp were rather comical. And electric eels are just plain fascinating.

In places, the fish are swimming above you, in other places, around you. The centerpiece tank has a whale shark, which swam with half a dozen or so little fish right in front of its mouth. Escorts, if you will. And what keeps him from eating them, I do not know.

Best inside joke for us was the Beluga whale named "Maris." "Maris" is the name of the never-seen-but-scathingly-joked-about wife of David Hyde Pierce's "Niles" on Frasier. When the orator said her name, we had to duck behind a column and just laugh. Of course, we left with a stuffed Beluga.

Stopped at a favorite bookstore on the way home, and now we're sort of back into a normal groove. Everyone goes back to school on Monday, though I am there for Finals, and then I'm done for a couple of weeks.

(Added on March 19th: I've tried again all morning to get the photos up, and I keep getting the freaking "Page Cannot Be Displayed" message. We went to Atlanta, I promise. And I hate something here: Blogger or my computer, I'm not sure which.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Shh! Don't Tell Anyone!

Two teenagers at home on Spring Break means Mom hardly ever gets a crack at the computer. (Especially when one teenager has had screen time restrictions eased in the name of Said Break.) I have to post early in the morning, and keyboard quietly so they won't hear, and come plowing downstairs demanding a turn.

Today and tomorrow are my last class days, then Finals on Monday. We are leaving for Atlanta late tomorrow afternoon for a couple of days sightseeing. Mainly, we'll be visiting the Georgia Aquarium, but hope to find other things that look interesting. When you think about being touristy, you forget the things very near you.

Knitting-wise, I'm frantically trying to finish the baby blanket, because 1) I'm tired of working on it, and 2) I won't see the student again after Monday. That has kept me from making any real headway on my Project Spectrum scarf, or my KTC wrap. Yes, I finally decided to go with the yarn instead of the pattern. I can't imagine having it done by month's end, but I think it will be quite lovely when I am through. I'm making Norah Gaughan's "Twisty Turns" from wrap STYLE, and though the yarn is rather pedestrian (Red Heart Tweed), the colors put me so in mind of the story. And the moebius-ness of the wrap symbolizes the plot to me. It will forever be my Life of Pi shoulderette.

Of course, Rox has been on my mind these last several days. Since she put me on the Hottest Men course (though I've been keeping this list since I was in high school. My best friend and I got the idea to poll people about their tastes, and I've kept the question alive ever since. Oftentimes, I use it in class.), and since she seemed to enjoy some earlier remarks I made about him, here's who's next:

Sunday, March 12, 2006

It was to be a silly little post with another picture of a man I think is sexy, but I read on Rox's blog this morning that her sister has breast cancer. I know what it's like to be gut-punched by cancer, and I can't send enough positive thoughts and prayers to her and her family.

Love you, Rox. Hang in there.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Words

Today is my 22nd wedding anniversary, though I only got to celebrate 14 of them with my husband. If you are so inclined, and enjoy stream-of-consciousness-type writing, I posted an entry on Mindfull early this morning, pretty much covering the topic. It was a good day then, and I've tried to make it a meaningful day ever since.

Won't go back to the sexiest men today, as that would be unseemly. Although Dale certainly got my tendency to crush. He once bought me a poster of Pierce Brosnan and insisted that I hang it up. It found a place in our laundry room, and he loved to tell everyone the story.

New links to the right. Project Spectrum hasn't been as difficult as I first thought: I found some tomato red yarn that had been forgotten, and am teaming it with a variegated ("spectrum"-ish) for a ribbed scarf.

Stashalong begins April 1st, and prohibits me from buying new yarn for one month. I must admit to making some recent purchases for Secret Pals and the like --- there should certainly be enough around here to keep me busy for 30 days. I tend to knit out of my stash all the time anyway, and a trip to Barnes & Noble this morning guaranteed Stashalong's success.

I went to buy a CD for my KTC swap pal (no luck), and to pick up any magazines with Oscar coverage (Briton's order; every good Keira Knightley picture must be had) --- nothing there either. But guess what was there? Leigh Radford's OneSkein! Hooray! (I'd say double hooray, but that wouldn't fit, huh?)

Also over there is a link to a new blog I found yesterday: Yarn Dreams. The knitter is named Sarah, and has just finished a pretty and very comfy-looking Klaralund sweater. Even more than that, though, she has links to NASCAR, and my favorite driver, Dale Jarrett! Elaine --- more NASCAR knitters!!

Cirque de Socks is a knitalong hosted by the treasured, and aforementioned, Elaine. I am going to try yet again to do the 2-circulars thing. Come join us!



Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Women Hold Up Half the Pretty Sky


These are some of the world's women whom I find particularly beautiful. Just thought they deserved some recognition, after spending time on the men. (To whom I will return, don't worry. My Very Sexiest has yet to be revealed.)














Sophia Loren may be the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Various and Sundry


Just a peek into my life. This is the armoire in my bedroom, top covered with an arrangement of eucalyptus and most of my Yoda collection. (Oh, and dust.) The reason I show you this now is that the stand-up to the far left of the picture is my latest acquisition. Hannah and I went shopping Saturday, and I found this --- love it!! Might be my favorite now. Though the big head next to it (which opens to a miniature Dagobah) is awfully cool.

You can see to the right that I have now joined Project Spectrum. The absolutely lovely Francoise explained it all to me, and I jumped in. Funny thing, that. March is the month for red, and I almost never buy red yarn! I don't even look at red yarn that much! I did get a couple of red samples from Yarn of the Month --- maybe I can whip up a Barbie something as this month's project?

Also having difficulty coming up with what to knit for this month's Knit the Classics book. I've got yarn that would be suitable, and a pattern that would make sense, but the two wouldn't work together. Oy.

Rox is more than welcome for her Dr. Pepper can pillow. Hannah picked it out of a bin full of novelty pillows, and Rox came immediately to mind. She is a fellow Dr. Pepper addict, and a remarkable support and source of crack-up-worthy material.

The socks are done. Thanks again to Elaine for the beautiful yarn. One day, dear friend, I promise, I will knit a sock on two circulars. Your book purchase will not have been in vain!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mayber Blogger Doesn't Like Boleros


'Cause it took the picture of my socks!

Would you believe that as I sat here waiting for the photo to upload, I began seaming the second sock? The pair is complete! I used a rib pattern from a stitch "encyclopedia" I have, and the foot and toe from the Easy Accessories book, which you see. The yarn is a much riper purple than the camera showed, and it is faded in spots, like distressed paint. Just tremendous. And could you die for how the heels turned? Precisely halved, one part solid, one part flecked. The goddesses smiled on this one.

Spent a lot of the morning at the car dealership, as the "Check Engine" light in the car came on again (3rd time) yesterday. Extremely frustrating. But that gave rise to a long, long nap this afternoon. So it all worked out.

Got another wonderful package from my Secret Pal yesterday: Burt's Bees lotions (yum), folding scissors and two hanks of chocolate brown alpaca from Berrocco. The yarn is absolutely beautiful, and I thank you very, very much!!!

Nope, no sexy men today. I figure one successful photo upload is good --- let's not push our luck.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Vibe

There is a definite Bee Gees vibe lately on some blogs I've been reading. Not a problem for me. Me, who has a vivid memory of sitting on a swing during play period in elementary school singing "I Started A Joke" while looking at the gravel under my feet.

(Yes, there used to be gravel under the swings on playgrounds. And all the equipment was made of metal. A solid metal slide on a sunny day? Oh, it's true. And the girls were still made to wear dresses at this point in Neolithic history. We were a tough people then. But I digress.)

I've been a Bee Gees fan for a long, long time. And Barry is one of my Sexiest Men. Then and now. Funny, quick with a smile, disarming laugh, left-handed, a birthmark on his chest, exquisite wordsmith --- he just makes me happy.

One of the several Bee Gees concerts I went to (hard to speak of them in the past tense --- poor Maurice), I attended with my father. How great is a Daddy who would take his daughter to see the Bee Gees? (Actually, he liked them, too, I think. Daddy was a connoiseur of harmony, a taste he passed generously along to me.)

Was finally able to graft the photo of my bolero from camera to computer, but have tried repeatedly to upload it to here. Have you seen it yet? No, because the only message I get on trying to upload is "The Page Cannot Be Displayed." Which page? This one? Hel -lo!! The one the picture's on? That isn't even a page, is it? Isn't it a file? Will I ever be able to show knitting photos here again?

Because I'm making some socks from awesome yarn Elaine sent me last SP round. I had been saving it, wanting to use it for the first pair I knit on 2 circulars (as Elaine also gave me the Bordhi book), but, as that's not going anywhere right now either, I combined a couple of 2-needle patterns and have one sock finished. I'd love for you to see it. But, as you've no doubt gathered from my last several posts, things just aren't going my way at the moment.

Time to crank up the "Jive Talkin'. . ." Or the "Stayin' Alive. . ."