Monday, April 30, 2007

Knitting Knerd Returns

Well, it's been about a month and a half, so it's time to update the spreadsheet. Per Brenda's suggestion, I'm providing some pie charts for you to easily understand the status of my projects.

Status of All Projects Since October 2005

All Finished Objects Since October 2005 (Total: 56)

All Projects Currently On The Needles, But Not Abandoned (Total: 19)

In other news, my buttons arrived...

What do you think? (Sorry, Mom, they're 1.5 inches, not 2.5 inches.)

It's been a while since there's been a gratuitous sleepy kitty face on the blog, so here you go.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Fantasy Baseball

The Rookie
Due to a pretty slow work day at the yarn store, I was able to start and complete about three inches on this project today.

Up From The Minors
I'll be teaching a new round of entrelac bag classes starting in May, so this bag is back in the rotation.

All Star
Sleeve number two is up past my elbow. This sweater is definitely on the all star list. I ordered my buttons online last week.

Switch Hitter
Switching up your projects now and then can give you a new perspective and stronger focus.

Disabled List
This sock was going strong in my magic loop class. As you can see, I made it past the heel and even through the gusset decreases. I love this yarn, and I love how it's working up in the pattern (Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks). However, I followed the pattern in the book for the heel, and... I don't like it. It's just plain knit heel flap with a purl "seam" down the center. However, the purls don't look like a seem, they make it look like I have remedial knitting skills. And the heel turn is too pointy. I thought I was going to be able to get over it, but I can't. I'm going to have to rip it back to just before the heel. I need to rip it. Because I don't like it. I do like the magic loop method, though.

On Deck
My yarn store finally got all of the colors of this delicious sock yarn that I need for a
very special pair of socks. As soon as I get through some of the above projects, you better believe I'll be casting these on.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lexington Revisited*

Saturday morning, Lisa, Tobie, Nicole and myself piled into Nicole's Explorer and headed south to the Bluegrass Festival of Books in Lexington, Kentucky. Why? To see the Yarn Harlot, of course.

We arrived at the Lexington Convention Center shortly after noon, which gave us time to do a little book browsing and find a bit of lunch before heading into the banquet room where Stephanie would be speaking at 2:00. We found our seats around 1:00, which meant we were right up front. The great thing about being in the banquet room was that we were able to sit at big tables, which provided a lot of room for all of our knitting gear.

The host for the event came up to me a little before 2:00 and told me I looked familiar, and thought maybe she'd seen me on "the website". I told her I'd been on the Yarn Harlot's blog before, but she said she thought I was on the festival's website. That was news to me, and
Nicole and I laughed it off... Nicole had looked at the festival's website the night before and hadn't seen me, so we figured it must have been someone else. Not so! After we got home last night, Nicole sent me this link to the photos from last year's festival. If you look on the second page of photos, my picture is the first on the left in the middle row. Joy and Kimmie are there, too!

The talk was great. It was the same as in Pittsburgh, which was to be expected, but I still got goosebumps in all the appropriate places. This is, of course, the classic blog-the-bloggers shot.

Stephanie went back to the festival ballroom to sign books after the talk, and I went with Lisa to get a couple of books signed. I had to break all the rules and go around the table. She told us she was still free after the festival was over, that we shouldn't go anywhere.

Magpie Yarns, a yarn shop in Lexington, sponsored a "sit and knit" in the ballroom from 3-5, so we stayed and knitted for a while. The store also had a drawing for some gift certificates to their store. The first winner was a very sweet girl named Denise who had ridden a bus from Southeastern Georgia to be there. She had come over to talk to me before the first drawing to tell me that she recognized me from the internet, too, but she had seen me on this blog before. Hi Denise! Say hi in the comments if you get a chance.

A big hello to Penny and her sister Kathryn, as well. Penny and I got to knit together last year at the event, and we shared a table at this year's sit and knit, too.

A little later on, the name for the $50 gift certificate was drawn. You're never going to believe this. I know I didn't. Looks like I'll be headed back to Lexington again soon. Then I got to draw the name for the $100 winner, but it wasn't anybody in my group. That was disappointing, but I'm sure the winner will enjoy it anyway.

The convention center started shooing us out around 5:30, so we made plans to meet Steph outside her hotel to go to dinner. We ended up at Sawyer's Bar and Grille, right across the street from the convention center. Despite "table service" actually meaning "you can get that at the bar" and their significant lack of anything vegetarian on the menu, we still had a great time. We sat and talked for not quite two hours, with subjects ranging from health care to Canadian coins to knitting, with a number of other topics in between. Thanks, Steph. It was awesome to hang out and help you get your beer fix. :)

This picture is just for my mom... Stephanie is not the only one on Saturday who enjoyed the books about Knit Knack, the knitted turtle. They were a HIT! I can't wait for the next in the series... around July 4, maybe. Love you, Mom!

After dinner, we dropped Stephanie off at her hotel (How many blocks did we drive to end up across the street? I don't want to talk about it.) and headed to a different yarn shop. They had handed out coupons before the event that advertised they would be staying open until midnight, so we decided to stop by. ReBelle is a great little Bohemian shop that offers a lot of handpainted yarns, natural fibers, and recycled items. They had a lot of really neat things and we enjoyed browsing their yarn and patterns.

I picked up three skeins of Blue Sky Cotton in navy, orange, and chocolate. Yum, yum.

We piled back into the car around 8:45 to head back to Cincinnati. What a great day. Thanks again, Nicole, Tobie, and Lisa... it wouldn't have been the same without you!

*Click here for last year's Lexington trip.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's Funny What You Remember

My dad loved peanut butter. He'd eat peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, peanut butter and applesauce sandwiches, peanut butter and cucumber sandwiches, peanut butter and potato chip sandwiches, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I'm not sure I ever saw him eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My mom told me once when I was a kid that there always had to be peanut butter in the house. Once, apparently, they ran out, and it wasn't pretty.

My dad put chocolate syrup on his Cheerios.

My dad liked to drink Squirt and Vernors and various flavors of Diet Rite, but not generally the original flavor.

My dad liked drinking grapefruit juice. He also liked tomato juice. And one of his favorite dishes was macaroni and tomato juice.

My dad was not the one who taught me how to drive a stick shift. This was probably a very smart decision on his part.

Once, when I was little, my dad picked me up in his office and I told him that some day I was going to be as tall as he was without him having to pick me up. I ended up about three or four inches taller than him.

Once, when I was in high school or college (I can't remember which), I walked in the door and my dad was sitting in his recliner, and he called me over, and wanted me to sit on his lap, despite the fact that I was at least his size and probably bigger. He didn't want anything else... just to have me sit on his lap again.

I played the piano because Dad's mom had played the piano. When I was in school, I played the oboe because Dad's long-ago girlfriend had played the oboe. In marching band, I played the tenor saxophone because Dad had played the tenor saxophone.

My dad loved dogs and hated cats. He probably wondered where he went wrong, since both of his adult children have cats in their homes.

When my dad would meet somebody, if that somebody said, "Nice to meet you!" Dad would say, "You don't know that yet."

The very first pair of socks that I knitted was intended for my dad. Shockingly, that first pair never got completed, so he never received them. However, the very first pair of fuzzy feet that I knitted were completed and gifted to him for his birthday a few years ago.

My friend Kimmie came across a bunch of knitting images a while back, and I chose this one to make a card for my dad in January 2006. The inside read, "Dear Dad, Today, in honor of you, I put down my knitting and danced with a goat." It was one of his favorites.

I miss you, Dad.
November 2, 1945 - April 17, 2006

(Thanks, Mom.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

CPH Progress

...from this,

... to this.

We're making progress.

And not wasting time getting started on the second sleeve.

Thanks to Midgie for the help with the seaming instructions.

And my apologies to everyone who's already been forced to see and adore the sweater progress. But don't let that keep you from adoring it some more.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happy Easter!

A photodocumentary.

Monday, April 2, 2007

A Post-Pittsburgh Post

Nicole and I left Cincinnati around 10am Friday morning and hit the IKEA in Pittsburgh by 2:30pm. I'd never been to IKEA before, and it was a fascinating new experience. We only had about an hour and a half to browse, which wasn't nearly enough time. I sense an IKEA/yarn related field trip to Pittsburgh soon.

We met a high school friend of mine for dinner at
Primanti Brothers, a popular place to take visitors to the steel city. Their claim to fame is putting the coleslaw and french fries on the sandwiches, as opposed to on the side. Apparently you get in big trouble if you ask for them on the side. There are a lot of questions that you're not allowed to ask at Primanti Brothers.

From there we dropped Erlina's car off at her place, then the three of us went to
Joseph Beth Booksellers. We arrived around 6:30, only half an hour before the yarn harlot was supposed to speak, and about half an hour later than I'd hoped to arrive. Sure enough, they didn't have enough room or enough chairs, and although I'd promised not to complain about it anymore, the two empty chairs we found were right next to the rudest knitter I'd ever met. So Nicole and I stood behind the back row of chairs, and Erlina browsed the store during the talk.

She started out with the classic "blog the bloggers" shot, and I found out why most of the audience photos are blurry.

It's tough to get a good clear shot.

The talk was great, as expected, and I got goosebumps no less than four times. I worked on my orange toe-up sock, as it's just knitting round and round, and I didn't have to pay attention to any pattern.

Here's Nicole (left) and Erlina. Isn't it fun to introduce friends from different aspects of your life? We were in group C for the book signing line, so we had a little while to sit and talk with some nice knitters we found before getting in line. The line was filled with more nice knitters (I think there's really only that one cranky one), so the time passed relatively quickly.

After reaching the signing table, I earned the "very nice stalker" moniker of which I am exceedingly proud. When I told Stephanie I'd see her again in Lexington, she said, "You'd BETTER come see me in Lexington!" Oh yeah. Like I'd miss it. (I stole this picture from Nicole's blog, because I look like a big dork in the picture on my camera. Trust me, you like this one better.)

After much more frivolity and Erlina shouting,
"Brooke! You're holding up the line!" we finally headed out. She and I yukked it up on the sidewalk, and then we went on a mini-tour of Pittsburgh. We got to see quite a bit of the night life as we drove through the south side, and then saw the lights of the city at an overlook on Mt. Washington.

Pretty skyline, no? We finished up with a tour of Erlina's new duplex, and before we left we heard her say, "I'd like to learn how to knit a Pittsburgh Steelers hat." (Emphasis mine. I know a convert when I see one.) Nicole and I left Pittsburgh around 11:00pm. I dropped her off at home around 3:30am and walked into my apartment at 4:00am.

It was so worth it. I can't wait until Lexington. Make sure I know if you want to go with me.