Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend, Part I

I have so much to tell you about this past weekend, I have to split it up into at least two posts. Maybe three. It was fiberfully-delicious!

(And yes, Joy, I know. The post was going to be up earlier today, but Blogger won't let me upload anymore pictures today. Therefore, this post is mostly picture-less, and I'll show more pictures whenever Blogger stops being mean.)

Friday night I went to see
X-Men: The Last Stand. I had refused to see the first one for the longest time, and when I finally gave in, I really enjoyed it. I subsequently enjoyed X-Men 2, and the latest one was not a disappointment. It was nicely intense in a couple of spots, and Hugh Jackman was a delight, as always.

Saturday was spent mostly in the yarn store. I had sock club from 10-noon with two participants (Hi Tobie! Hi Lisa!), then I sat with Nicole's baby sweater class and worked on my entrelac bag. (I find it interesting to note that the last time I posted an
update about this bag was two months ago. Scroll down to see the then progress.)

After Nicole's class,
Kimmie came up and we got packed up to head to Wooster for the Great Lakes Fiber Show. We arrived around 9:30 and were greeted with a million hugs and a home made carrot cake. We knitted long into the night (sort of), and fell asleep dreaming of the differences between sheep and goats.

Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful. We headed off to the Wayne County Fairgrounds around 9:30am. We found at least four different buildings jammed full of vendors, a large barn filled with sheep, and a plethora of tents outside with alpacas, angora rabbits, and more vendors.

We wandered through the vendors first. It was very difficult to be patient and look at everything before deciding what to purchase. (Tomorrow's post will be about my purchases. I haven't taken pictures of everything yet.) Nicole found a drop spindle and quite a bit of different kinds of roving (she's never spun before), and Kimmie found some Fantasia yarn and some pretty brown and cream colored yarns that I'm sure she'll soon enlighten us about on her own blog.

We had lunch at the fairgrounds, visited the alpacas and bunnies, then wandered through the vendors another couple times. We made some purchases (pictures soon!) and headed out around 2pm.

We went to Scoops, a diner/ice cream parlor in Wooster, and we were just finishing up our ice cream when a very large group of 10 year old boys came in, with one parent. It was a birthday party! There had to have been at least 20 boys in the parlor. Each of them got to order ice cream, have a cupcake, and fill a brown-bag-sized bag with candy from the bins. We overheard two priceless quotes. One boy said, "This is the BEST day of my life!" Shortly after, while the boys were pushing and shoving to overfill their candy bags, another boy said, "My parents would NEVER let me do this!" That was pretty much our cue to leave.

We sat outside for a little while, finishing untangling winding Kimmie's Fantasia yarn and letting Nicole thaw out from the parlor's AC. We made a rather unmemorable trip to Wal-Mart, then headed back to my mom's house.

We dined on some ox tail soup that Nicole's dad had brought from Germany. Ox tail soup, you say? That was one of two dishes that my dad had always remembered from being stationed in Germany when he was in the army. Nicole's dad came to visit for two weeks in April and brought the soup. My dad passed away during his visit, so we enjoyed the soup Sunday night in his memory. It was actually really good, and I'm really glad that I had the chance to taste it. So thanks again, Nicole. It was very fun to enjoy something that my dad had such good memories of.

Sunday night we knitted long into the night again, and... well, you'll have to wait until I can upload pictures to hear the news.

More soon!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Please Be Advised

Your attention, please.

Do not be alarmed.

I am not in the process of setting any kind of trend.


Let it be known that I have finished two projects in one week.

Leone made me laugh when she commented on my productivity the other day. Crazy, yes. Productive? Not so much. I'm all about the process, baby. (At least, that's what I like to tell people when they start to worry about my current-project list.) (Hi, Leone! Of course you can link here from your blog! Thanks for asking!)

Also, please notice that I am concerned, for my nephew's sake, about sock identicality. He's very young, you see, and I don't want him to grow up thinking that it's okay to wear mismatched socks. He needs to be able to match his socks, at least while he's a little boy. So for you, my favorite nephew, I hemmed and hawed and stressed and strained about getting your stripes just right. (Or shust right, as my junior high math teacher Mr. Pim used to say.) Now, PLEASE don't grow your feet too big between now and the end of June!


I was driving home from work today and saw a small motorcycle gang stopped at a stop light. They reminded me of one time when I was in high school. I was probably 16 or 17 (I know this because Sean was in college but I was still at home), and my parents and I were on our way to lunch after church one Sunday. Dad was driving our brand new 1993 bright red Dodge Caravan, and we stopped at a stoplight next to a guy on a motorcycle in the left turn lane. As motorcyclists are wont to do, this guy was revving his engine over and over again. Dad put the van in park, looked over at the guy and started revving the engine of the van. The guy looked back at my dad with this big goofy grin on his face, and we laughed all the way to the restaurant.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lilac Garden



Ribbon. (Awww.)


Lace pattern: Arches and Pillars from Knitting Pattern-A-Day Calendar
Sweater pattern: from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies
Yarn: Catania Color mercerized cotton, 100g
Needles: US5
Size: 0-3 months

The next one?

I'll use the solid red for the picot edgings and the variegated for the lace pattern.

Friday, May 19, 2006

King of the Dinosaurs

The first weekend in May marked another anniversary for my swift and I, so, based on a tip from fellow knitter and sock club star Wendy, Anthony and I headed to Indianapolis to the children's museum. We were going to make a stop at the Mass Ave Knit Shop along the way, but apparently Yahoo Maps is more complex than I thought. It clearly did the research to find out that I'm supposed to be on a yarn diet, and it gave me directions that were so lousy we never did find the place. I'll have to tag along with Wendy next time, methinks.

The directions to the museum, however, were right on target. The building itself was pretty tough to miss, as there were dinosaurs charging right out the side of the building. Any building with dinosaurs crashing through the walls can't be a bad sort of place, can it?

The dinosaurs, in fact, were the main reason why I wanted to go to this particular museum. My readers may or may not know that I am, in fact, a dinosaur. Not just any dinosaur, mind you, but a Tyrannosaurus Rex of great proportions. This whole dinosaur thing stems from a really lousy movie that came out during my sophomore year of college, "
Home for the Holidays", starring Holly Hunter and Robert Downey, Jr. (This is NOT a review of the movie. This is not even an endorsement of the movie. In fact, do NOT see this movie. It's horrible.) However, during one scene Robert Downey Jr. jumps up and down on his sister's car as if he were a T-Rex. Brenda and I thought that looked like great fun, and from then on we were self-declared Tyrannosaurus Rexes ourselves.

I even proved my dedication to the cause by hyper-extending my knee while stomping through the grass to get to dinner one night. Silly dinosaur.

When I taught junior high students, they took great pleasure in knowing that they had a T-Rex for a teacher, and while the excitement has waned just a tad, I've continued to carry the Tyrannosaur legacy with me even now. Remember the plastic dinosaurs and the dinosaur book I got for
Brooke The Higgins day? Now you know why.

When I met Anthony and told him of my dinosaur oddity, he didn't laugh and point and call me things like "Dino-dork" or "Tyrannosaurus DUH," but he rather quickly declared himself to be a velociraptor with especially pointy claws. The partnership, while strange, seems to work for us. (Besides, all I have to do is remind him what happened at the end of the first
Jurassic Park movie, and he straightens right up.)

Back to the children's museum. There were dinosaurs. They have a permanent dinosaur exhibit called the
Dinosphere, with a lot of art work and sculptures and vintage collectibles, along with quite a few real-sized dinosaur skeletons and a ton of hands-on paleontology-type stuff for the kidlets.

This little guy is a bambiraptor. Awwwww. Gotta love the scavengers.

Shockingly enough, there were some other exhibits at the museum. Our other favorite was the forty foot tower of glass. The exhibit was called "Fireworks of Glass" and the main part was this tower made up of many many many of these shaped tubes of glass. You'd think that I'd remember more about it from the dozens of little displays we stopped to read, but clearly I don't. I do remember that the glass was blown and shaped in Seattle, then shipped to Indianapolis where it was assembled into this very tall tower. I'm quite impressed with the result of my taking two pictures and sticking them together.

This picture was taken looking down at the base (without throwing the camera over the side, also impressive). You could actually go to the bottom floor of the museum where this tower's base was the ceiling. The whole enclosed ceiling was filled with those colorful glass pieces so that you could see them up close and see the different shapes and designs.

We went through the trains exhibit and the Magic School Bus weather exhibit and the exploring mummies exhibit and the around the world thing and the history stuff and some other things. Can you tell what we liked the best?

Anyway, we had fun. There were a ton of kids there and we walked around for three or four hours trying to see everything. We both had trouble staying awake on the drive back, so we stopped at Waffle House for a couple plates of hashbrowns and some Cokes. That seemed to help, and we made it back without further trouble. I would go back (if I had better directions to the yarn shop!)


Today's memory of my dad should have been posted along with the project update post, but I forgot, so I'm posting it today instead.

This is the shoulder sweater I made for my dad for a Christmas present this past year. The reason I think this "sweater" is significant is because it's the one thing that my dad specifically requested. About a year ago we were talking on the phone and he was asking me about designing knitted stuff, which until then hadn't necessarily been of interest to him. I figured it meant he wanted something, so I pursued it further and found out that he was having trouble keeping his shoulder warm ever since he had broken it. He wanted something that would go over his neck and shoulder and arm and stay on to keep him warm. While it's a bummer that it took me so long to finish it, I'm really glad I did. He wore it a lot, so I think it must have helped. And you know, all that extra love that gets knitted into garments for friends and family probably made it extra warm.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Miss Me?

Hey, few and faithful, thanks for checking back. Since it's been a while since I've posted, I thought I'd give you a project update. As always, click the picture for a bigger version.


These are the Raindrop Lace Socks using Lorna's Laces in the Seaside colorway. I mostly save these socks for sock club, since both the pattern and yarn came from the store. It doesn't look like a lot of progress has been made, but the exciting thing is that I'm less than an inch away from starting the heel of sock 2.

Here's my version of the Jaywalker in Socks That Rock Red Rock Canyon. There hasn't been much progress on this sock, either, even though it went with me to see the Yarn Harlot at the end of last month.

Morgan's Pomatomus socks are not growing, because I haven't been working on them. This pattern takes concentration, and I haven't had a lot of that lately. That's okay. Morgan's birthday isn't until November. Heh.

The good news is, Calvin's socks are done! See, one sock in the top of the picture, one sock in the bottom of the picture. Okay, you caught me in a lie. I still only have one of Calvin's socks done. What are the chances they'll fit him in June? Who knows. I mean, now that he's eating solids, he'll probably be as tall as me next week.

It may look like I've started another sock, but rest assured that's not possible. Why would I start yet another pair of socks when I have four(plus) pair already on the needles? It wouldn't be because Nicole is teaching a sock class and because I wanted to go hang out with her and the class. I fear I won't finish the cuff by next week's second part, though. (It's a cabled toe sock using Trekking.)

Not Socks

Remember this one? Hey! It's an entrelac bag. Not much progress because it hasn't seen much action. If it was a 7th grade basketball player and I was the coach, this bag's parents would stop me in the hallway after a game and demand to know why their kid wasn't playing. I'm going to be teaching this bag at the end of the summer. I better get a move on. If only this bag had a better percentage from the free throw line.

This is my Lilac Garden sweater. See how close I am to being finished? The top half of the picture is the back of the sweater, and the bottom half is the front. All I have to finish is one sleeve on the back and sewing the seams.

Here's a close-up of the three needle bind off on the right shoulder. Mmm, three needle bind off.

Lastly (of the current projects), this is the Print O' The Wave Stole that I'm making for my mom. (Hi, Mom!) She knows about it already, so I'm allowed to post it here. I have 8 (of 40 total) repeats finished. It's made from Knitpicks Shadow in Jewel.

If there are other projects that you've been eagerly waiting to hear/see/squander, they probably aren't finished. In fact, they've probably graduated to a plastic bag in a box in a remote corner of my apartment. Shout out in the comments if I missed something.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for being patient with me.

Friday, May 5, 2006

In a Flash

There are only two things of distinguishable importance on this Friday afternoon.

1. Kimmie has a blog. Go check it out.

2. There are a number of blogs that I try to read each day, and every now and then there's a post that really stands out. I read one such post this morning and would love to share it with you all, if you haven't already seen it. It's a loving remembrance story about a blanket. I loved it. It counts for my memory of my dad today, too. Check it out at The Seated View.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Should Have Been A Tulip

Okay, so it's a tulip. (No prizes on this one, Joyer.) But how come its petals are all pointy, when all of the other tulips in the bed look like this:
I'm just curious. I think the one I posted yesterday looks like a star, and it makes me happy. I guess I could just look on the front of the seed packets or bulb packages to know what I'm getting if I ever had some place to plant them.

So what do you do when you have a night to yourself and you find a new, fancy lace stitch pattern in your Knitting-Pattern-a-Day Calendar? You cast on a new project, of course! The stitch pattern is called Arches and Pillars, and the yarn is Catania Color in purples, greens, and white. (I'm going to need to take more pictures in better light. This one doesn't do it justice.) I love it. I'm calling the sweater "Lilac Garden." The pattern is my favorite pullover baby sweater from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies by Erika Knight. It's typically knit all in one piece, but since the lace is clearly one-directional, I'm going to knit the front and the back separately. I even started off with a great picot edge! I love it so far. I may have to add this one to the hope chest of stuff for my babies, if I ever have some.

Sorry Brenda, these baby socks are intended for my nephew, who has already grown out of his Valentine's socks. However, if he grows out of these before I get the other one finished, you've got first dibs. It seemed only fitting to photograph the first sock with the Yarn Harlot's new book, since I finished the sock in her presence.


Yesterday I considered looking up the
Pro Football Hall of Fame so that I could link to it, but decided against it because I was feeling lazy. Perhaps if I had, I would have remembered that it's located in Canton, Ohio, not Akron. Thanks, Sean. (Nice new layout, btw. You're going to need to teach me some of these things.)

Today's memory is brought to you by the Toby Keith song "Should Have Been a Cowboy."

I should've been a cowboy
I should've learned to rope and ride
Wearing my six-shooter riding my pony on a cattle drive
Stealing the young girl's hearts
Just like Gene and Roy
Singing those campfire songs
Oh I should've been a cowboy

I'm fairly certain that it was the end of my brother's freshman year in college (I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong) at
Milligan College (Go Buffs!), when my dad and I spent a day in the van to go pick up Sean and all of his belongings and bring them home for the summer. It was approximately 8 hours one way, and we managed the whole trip, there and back, in one day. My dad listened to country music constantly, so we likely would have spent the entire 16 hours listening to country music if not for the hours between 4 and 6am, when we had the pleasure of listening to the farm report.

If any of you have ever been on a car trip through multiple states while trying to listen to the radio, you know that you have to change the station every once in a while to avoid static and try to get a good signal. (This was before satellite radio.) Radio stations have limited playlists anyway, and when you're switching stations every hour or two, you really only get to listen to about six songs, over and over again. (This is especially true when you are driving southward and listening to country music.) (This is even more true when you are a teenage girl who absolutely despises country music.)

My dad's favorite song during that time period was the then-new, above-mentioned song, "Should Have Been A Cowboy." I don't even want to think about how many times we must have heard it that day.

This was also the trip where, on the way back as it was getting dark, we heard my dad say, "I can't see that guy! He doesn't have his lights on!"

Tuesday, May 2, 2006


You may notice that this post is happening later than usual (5:50EST as I start). This was a strategic tactic to show off the new high speed internet that I have at home as of this afternoon. I upgraded to a cable modem, digital cable, and (eventually) digital phone. My mom is doing the same, but apparently Time Warner isn't as busy (or has more employees) than Clear Picture, since she made her appointment before I did and isn't getting hooked up until next week. I'm enjoying it for you until then, Mom.

Chaka took great interest in the cable guys (who came separately from the Road Runner guy). I would have taken a picture to show you, but I didn't want to freak out the nice cable dudes.

Also somewhat related, my new work laptop has one of those nifty little slots on the side of it where you can put your camera memory card to get your pictures on the computer wicked fast. I never would have noticed this if I wasn't so enamored of the same sorts of slots on the front of Mom's new computer. (Picture courtesy of the flower beds in front of my parents' house. Anybody know what kind of flower this is?)


Anthony and I went out to a Chinese Buffet on Sunday for lunch. He came back with some angel hair pasta on his plate along with his choice of Chinese delights. That morning I had shown him some of the yarn I brought back from Wooster, so when he lifted his fork with some angel hair on it, he looked up at me and said, "Laceweight?" Hehe.

(I think angel hair might actually be closer to sock yarn. It's a close call.)


Saturday, I drove with Joy and Kimmie to go see the Yarn Harlot in Lexington, KY.

To get the story from our perspective,
go read Joy's post about the occasion.

To get the story from the Yarn Harlot's perspective,
go read her post about it. (You'll have to scroll down through the Nashville part of the story.)

There are a couple of notable things that I feel I must add to those two recollections.

* The Yarn Harlot recognized me. I asked a question at the _very_ end of her talk, and the first thing she said was, "It's good to see you again!" She almost remembered my name and did remember it started with a B. I was also reprimanded for not finishing the mittens I showed off last year.
Click here for her post from April 28, 2005.

* There was a T-rex and a baby t-rex made out of random metal things in the bottom of the Lexington Center. This is significant.

* I am a selfish and ridiculous girl. Joy and Kimmie were so generous to come with me and hang out and have a great time with me, and I failed to introduce them to the Harlot. I am SO sorry, ladies. Thanks so much for loving me anyway!!

* The Yarn Harlot told a story about a young man mistaking her words "Fiber Arts Conference" for a "MacGyver Arts Conference". She said they were both disappointed. This was intensely funny to me, as I would be the first to sign up for a MacGyver Arts conference. If anyone hears of this phenomenon taking place, please let me know immediately.

* When I told the Yarn Harlot that I'd had two patterns published on Knitty, she looked up from signing my books and said, "Oh, you're THAT Brooke." Not only that, but she clearly knew which two they are, since she posted links to them on her blog today.

* I feel special.


(My mom didn't particularly like the memory I shared about my Dad in the last post. She hates it when people undermine her authority. Remind me to tell you about the Nestle Crunch bars some time.)

My dad had some interesting rules which were caused by some interesting irritants. Once he took my brother and I to the Football Hall of Fame in Akron, OH. We were watching a movie of sorts in a big room, and all of the chairs in one row were connected to each other. He nearly lost it because some kid down the row kept kicking the chairs, and he could feel it. He didn't want anyone to kick or touch his seat while in the car, either.

The other thing I remember about being in the car with my dad was a time long, long ago when my legs were still short enough that my feet could go up on the dashboard. He told me once that if I ever... EVER put my feet up on the dashboard again, he'd cut them off. I believed him. My punishment is that now my legs are too long to even consider it.