Friday, June 30, 2006

Knitting Updates

On occasion, I knit. It never really feels like I get enough time, what with the planting and the weeding, and the weeding (ad infinitum), but apparently I am knitting in my sleep because there is progress:
The left side of the Obnoxious Flower Sweater is done. I have started the right side which includes no intarsia, so that will either get done very quickly, or not at all (due to boredom). There are a heck of a lot of ends on the back side, I am trying to weave in a few every couple of nights. The green is not nearly so subtle, by the way: it is lime green in a 1980's sort of way.
Here is the finished Waving Laces sock and proof that I don't suffer from Second Sock Phobia (in this case, anyway). It isn't nearly as pretty off the foot as on (putting this sock gives me more pleasure than is really necessary).
I love the Louet Gems Pearl so much I decided to subject some to kool-aid (because what better way to show the love?) The colors are really much brighter than the picture shows. I used 4 packets each of orange, strawberry and lemonade in about 1/2 cup water for each skein. I had considered making these self-striping (for instructions, see Eunny), but I really like how the colors play together and thought making the color changes completely random would enhance the pretty effect. We'll see once I start knitting.
Here is my first attempt at Faye (a swatch, anyway). The yarn is Dale of Norway's Stork and the stitch pattern is based on a Jaeger baby sweater pattern (Debbie Bliss' Smock Jacket). I'll give the pattern a couple of repeats, but so far I'm not in love with the yarn (at least not for this purpose, it is otherwise lovely). I want something a little less crisp and shiny than this is turning out.

These are two EZ Baby Surprises, one finished, one in the works. These are for Len's sister Amy, who is have twins. The first is made with Mexican Wave. Apparently, if you buy yarn, hoping that one of your friends will have a girl so you can knit a pretty pink sweater, they will all have boys. Including the one with triplets (sorry about that C! My fault for buying the yarn!). When Len's sister got pregnant, I bugged him more often than was reasonable to find out what variety she would be having. Turned out to be one of each.
And finally. Daffodil. Looking sad and deflated.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Waving Laces - Under Construction

This is my favorite part of knitting a sock, when the foot is far enough along that you can try it on. With all the needles sticking out, the sock looks like it's under construction. This picture was taken sometime last week and the sock is done now; Len tells me it's "sexy". I don't think I'd go that far. Pretty, yes, but not sexy.

Big Dumb Guy

But very, very pretty!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bad Parenting

I don't have children and I try very hard not to judge people's parenting styles (and certainly not publicly). I'm pretty sure, though, the following falls squarely in the category of Bad Parenting:

If a non-custodial parent, who lives in another state, promises his 11 year-old daughter (who happens to be my darling niece) a plane ticket so she can come visit him on a particular weekend, he damn well better follow through. If for some reason he can't follow through, it is up to him to CALL her and tell her and NOT ignore her messages. He then must do everything in his power to find another weekend for her visit and send the damn ticket. If this child has pretty low self esteem as it is, he needs to be especially sensitive in his dealings with her.

For all of his other faults, I've always thought he was a good father. Now I'm not so sure.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

We Kill Mice

Simon, Gwen and Judy want it to be known that they do kill mice. The details are much to gruesome to share and are even worse if you have not had any caffeine (worse than mouse jerkey). And how is it, by the way, that it is always me who finds the corpses? I don't believe for a second that they respect me enough to leave tributes.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Vegetable Garden

I like that the dew on the long grass shows up in this picture (and that the big ugly house in the background is obliterated by the sun). Since my crummy camera doesn't do detail, the garden looks a lot nicer here than it does in reality.
Left to right: corn, green beans (didn't get many of those plants), sugar snap peas, Early Girl tomatoes, Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, miscellaneous heirloom tomatoes (started from seed, didn't label), 1/2 row leeks, 1/2 row pickling cucumbers, and a variety of peppers (habeneros, jalapenos, anchos and red bell). I've also planted marigolds and sunflowers in hopes of controlling pests. We'll see.

The grass is trying to take this plot back. This problem wasn't quite so bad last year because I had taken the sod off; this year, when Len doubled the size, he roto tilled the space. It was a lot easier, but we'll be battling the grass for a long time. We plan to cover the plot in newspaper and horse manure in the fall, but I expect it will take a few years to kill off the roots.

The other issue we are having is something is killing our tomato plants. Most of them seem to be doing well, but several have been eaten down to nothing, and others have wilted and died. No evidence of that horrible Tomato Horn Worm, and according to some research I've done, it's early for their appearance. Baby rabbits are a possibility (Len put up a fence, but babies are small enough to slip through).

In another spot we put in asparagus, which seems to be doing well and strawberries, which all got eaten. Several times.

Destruction Continues

Aside from the waste (and the dust) involved, I think building demolition could be a really fun job. Cathartic.
The Business School has had several additions over the years. It appears they are tearing down the original building and two of the older additions. The addition behind the view in my original post about this is gone now. I'm pretty nervous about what will be going up in it's place. I wonder if someone with $100 million dollars and the desire to dictate building has the taste to fit in with the neighborhood (which includes the Oxford-inspired Law School). Or will it be something like the new Biomedical Science building?

Simon the Lush

Monday, June 12, 2006


I finished reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith a while ago (long enough ago that I have finished another book and started a new one). It's a wonderful debut by a major new voice in literature. Getting into the book wasn't easy -- it is very dense -- but Smith is so funny and fresh, I really wanted to keep going. Eventually I was hooked. Two of the most important factors in novels for me are dialogue and endings; the book can have a compelling story and great characters, but if the author screws up the dialogue or the ending, it's all over for me. Smith's story took some time getting started, the characters took awhile to get to know and like, but the language was usually spot on (one family introduced mid-novel rings a bit tinny) and the ending was as close to perfect as there is.

I also finished Anne Lamott's Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. This is a collection of essays on using her (very progressive) Christian faith to survive parenting a teenager, aging, grief and the Bush administration. Read Traveling Mercies first, so you have an idea of how she got to where she is.

And I've started Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. Most excellent.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Now I Get It!

Yesterday I started a post on how mortifying it is that with a never-ending war in Iraq, genocide in Darfur (and various other places around the world), New Orleans, and a new study showing that none of our states are prepared for a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11, much less a natural disaster, two wings of our government have decided what's really important is gay marriage.

Today I discover that it isn't just pandering to mid-term elections. They have a sense of irony: June is Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride month.

De Colores.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Summer Knitting

I tend not to knit wool in the Summer -- I just hate how it feels in my sweaty hands. We have central air in our house, but it doesn't work very well and, let's face it, Len and I are both much too cheap to run it all that often. I suppose one could ascribe somewhat more saintly motivations -- i.e., we don't like to waste the earth's resources on our comfort, which is true, but really just happens to fit in with our being cheap. At least as far as electricity goes.

When the temperature rises above 70 degrees, I turn to cotton. And I happen to have a few summer projects desperate to see the light of needles:

1. Daffodil. I actually only started this last summer, but I have high hopes of finishing this summer. Hah! Just wait until I get to the knit one into front and back, knit 2 together section. That section probably has 1000 stitches per row. I don't want to think about it.

This is the front of a v-neck t-shirt I started a couple of years ago. The back is done, and better yet, the sleeves are included in the shaping, so once I finish this piece, I have a little seaming to do and it will be done. This is knitted in Jaeger 4-ply at something like 25 stitches to 4 inches and will be car pool knitting.

This one is called "Phoebe". I don't know why. It's lime green with a big purple flower that wraps around one side. This is the left front, once I finish this side I'll be done with the intarsia. Unless I go crazy and put a smaller flower on a sleeve. Except I hate knitting instarsia, so I probably won't.
This is why I hate intarsia. It's very, very messy. No matter how often I untangle the mess, by the next row, it looks like this again. Feh.

Until it gets to 90 degrees, I can usually stand to knit lace or sock weight wool. Since I knit on this when Phoebe makes me want to scream, I have made significant progress on one Waving Lace sock. This is 10 rounds away from the heel.

Will I finish any of these? Personally, I wouldn't bet on me.

Oh yeah, let's not forget about Faye! I will certainly be making some progress towards Faye.