Friday, August 31, 2007

A Long, and Much Needed, Long Weekend

It's been a pretty crappy week here. The headaches, the thing with the car, and now the job thing. Yea - the job thing. Jon's company was bought-out a while ago and the deal closed this this morning. Jon will not be working for the new organization. This is not an un-planned for situation. There are plans and contingencies for these types of events in the lives of grown-ups.

For instance, since the weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend, I plan to spend it on the porch with Babette: Or perhaps my Baby Cable socks knit in Koigu or reading one of the two books I have in progress right now.Or playing "Stare Down" with Tigger who is guarding Babette because he still believes that it will be his blanket when it is all done.
Jon plans to mow the lawn and go the Minnesota State Fair with Kathryn and her friend. And that's just Saturday.
There are big plans, which can not be revealed yet, that will set all things right. One of the many changes mentioned earlier this week. A good one, a very good one for all of us, especially my best guy ever.
To Jon: I know this is a really tough day, you did great work there. Be proud of what you have done. Remember what your co-workers and peers have been telling you. And then, turn off the light but don't shut the door. I am proud of you and I love you. Oh, the places you'll go.....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I've Seen Better Days

Two days in bed with migriane and then this:

From this. In the the school parking lot this morning. It's gonna be a great year.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Despite the long drive and the rainy days, Rapid City and the Black Hills of South Dakota was a great vacation. Being the patriotic freak that I am, Mt. Rushmore was by far my favorite place. I loved walking all the trails and listened with fascination to all the "extra stuff" on the audio tour - unlike my traveling companions who skipped ahead to see if they were going to get to climb in someone's nose or something fun like that.There was a Naturalization Ceremony on the day of our visit. Sixty people, many of them servicemen and women, were sworn in as American citizens that day, under the watchful gazes of George, Thomas, Theodore and Abe. I cried. It's not an unexpected response at moments like those. The Crazy Horse Memorial - well c'mon, let's get movin'. It's been sixty years in the making and this is how much is left to go. Yes, it's significantly bigger than Mt. Rushmore but, ....'nuff said.This guy walked along side our car for a while, sort of like an escort, while at Bear Country, USA. (Remember - traveling with a 10-year old means only so much historical stuff and the rest is touristy stuff!!), Then, I guess he just got tired. Truth be told, Bear Country was my second favorite place. A zoo that you drive through. The animals get really close to your car, stop in the middle of the road, walk along side your car, follow your car, etc. Your totally safe (if you follow the rules!) and you still get to see them up close and personal and running free (sort of).Then there was this wiener guy, not Jon, the one in the bun. Jon's afraid the wiener might go blind doing this. It's rare when you get an autograph of a president. Rarer still when you get one from a dead president. Rapid City is staking a claim as the City of Presidents by placing bronze statues of presidents on the street corners throughout the city. You can run into John Quincy Adams on one Corner and Jimmy Carter on another. "To Jon: Dude you saved my butt with that awesome opening to the Declaration of Independence. "We the people in order to for a more perfect union ... blah, blah, blah." I mean, that rocked!" Thanks again, Thom."

Sometimes, the best faces are the ones that don't know you're watching. I'm so glad to have had this time with my family. It's the end of the summer and there are big changes brewing here. Not just the usual end-of-summer changes but big ones and they have me, out of sorts and full of anxiety and woe.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Trip Planning

Travelling with Jon can evoke memories of a Griswold vacation. Especially when we travel by car. All the electronic gadgets and their adaptors, the mini car refrigerator, the two GPS devices (apparently we'll need them!). You get the picture. I prefer to be in my own little world and make my own little simple travel list.
1. Clothes
2. Toiletries
3. iPod
4. Book
5. Knitting project
6. List of local yarn stores at destination

I knew this book would come in handy for item number six. It was in our goody bags at Stitch 'n Pitch in July and it's quite handy indeed: A quick check on the first leg of the trip:We are heading south out of the Twin Cities so it seems only natural that we would be heading away from most of the yarn stores. We plan to leave at 0:dark hundred hours tomorrow morning so I'm fairly certain the one in Owatonna won't be open plus I'd be hard pressed to get my travel companions to stop this early in the trip anyway. As we cross the border in to South Dakota:Um. This is quite unacceptable. Sioux Falls is not scheduled until the return trip home. Aberdeen looks a little bit out of the way. Spearfish - not on the schedule at all. Really, is this it?? Someone please tell me this spending money in my pocket won't have to go to a casino!

Revised travel list:

Suitcase 1:
1. Clothes
2. Toiletries
3. iPod
4. Book

Suitcase 2:
Knitting projects

I'm not sure if we're taking a computer with us or not so if I don't post from the road, I'll be back next week.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rain, Rain ...

... you can stay ...

... if I can work on Babette every day.

Sections 1, 2 and 3 are all done and the ends are all woven in. I spent some time reading other blogs on Babette this weekend. Many of them tell the same story of getting a false sense of how quickly this project will go after finishing sections 1, 2, 3, and 4. I think in order to avoid that I'll pick a few bigger sections to work on during the upcoming road trip. Side note on that - imagine Jon's surprise when he realized that Rapid City, SD was more than a 5 hour drive from Minneapolis (like say double).

Rain, rain go away! Our friends in southeastern Minnesota are not safe today.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Shocked and Awesome

If we take it as a given that there are about a million sock yarns out there, and an unlimited number of colors into which those sock yarns can be dyed, why then am I still so shocked when something new or so splendid catches my eye:

And that's just looking at at. Touching it is a whole new experience. Sqwooshy - yep. So sqwooshy! The put up is 50 gm / 1.75 oz / 191 yds / 175 m and the retail price (at least where I purchased it) is $10. It's a smidge thicker than Koigu.

The awesome - that with everything going on the past two weeks, I managed to finish my first ever STR socks. Toe-up to the leg, then a 3x1 rib to the cuff, which is a 1x1 twisted rib. The colorway is "Foo Foo" and I used just about half the skein to do these socks. I prefer shorty socks.

Please take note of the newly perfected short row heels! I cast on some Koigu for a pair of socks for my sister-in-law last night. I'll soon no longer be a Koigu virgin either!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's Good to Be Alone

One of us is moping around because her cousins left town after a twelve day visit. One of use is thankful for the return of her personal space. Although everything went better than any one's expectations with all the family celebrations, it's still nice to have some quiet before the school year starts and life begins again. My parent's 50th anniversary gala was wonderful; the pre-party at our house the night before, despite the rain and 45 people in my house was great fun; the pre-pre-party on Lake Minnetonka the night before that was probably the most fun. Great weather, food, beverages, company etc. But that's over and it's time to talk about new projects. I've been reading about her for a while and knew I would fall sooner or later. I also knew I couldn't spare the money to make it out the Koigu KPM so I'm subbing out one of my favorite light-weight cotton yarns, Nashua Creative Focus Cotton DK. This should make the blanket a bit bigger and keeps me from having to crochet with wool - which I really don't like to do at all.

Without further ado, I bring you, Babette, from the Spring 2006 Interweave Crochet.

As you can see, she's still in the planning stages. I have three more colors on order to round out the 17-color palate but I can start now with the colors I have. I'll be following the advice of Ann who followed the schematic and seams the sections as she goes along. I have one square already done and I love it already. Should be great fun for the car trip to the far end of the earth that was just announced last week. Yea - we're headed to Mt. Rushmore next week. With the dog.

"My chair, my yarn, my blanket - if and when you ever finish it!"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

We're all OK here and my Minneapolis-based family and loved ones are safe as well. Please keep those affected by this terrible event in your thoughts and prayers.

What a Heel

I can be very stubborn at times. For instance, not trying to find better light when taking these photos this morning and trying to execute a short-row heel on a toe-up sock. I've tried any number of times and had mixed results; the kind where it looks sloppy but you keep it because it's not bad enough to rip out and start over. Or they end up uneven because you've miscounted and shorted one end of the heel. So last night I sat down with the Summer 2007 Interweave Knits and the Toe-Up Socks tutorial and worked the short-row heel outlined in Ann Budd's excellent article (now torn out and stuffed in my sock bag thank you very much).
The heel is Priscilla A. Gibson-Robert's from Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy. It's a bit futsy in that you have to remember backwards yarn overs and regular yarn overs and purling three together through the back loops. However, once you get past those hurdles, it's very simple and the results are quite lovely.

In other heel news, yesterday I managed to crash both of the computers dedicated to humans in our house (there are numerous other computers in the house which have other functions but humans aren't allowed to play with them). Something with a recent McAfee download took us out of service. Sooooo, if you sent an e-mail, posted a blog, etc, I tried really hard to get back to you but to no avail. I even tried to use my PDA but it is painfully slow so at some point I gave up. There were some blogs I saw in passing and am going to try to find again today. The one that really comes to mind that I know I didn't get to say anything to was Carole's moving "moving away" post so I'll say it here:
Carole, you have given them everything they need; wings to fly and a place called "home" to which they can return from time to time.