Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo!

Happy Halloween!

Just in case you, like me, live in a place where you don't get trick-or-treaters, here's someone in costume for you.


Please don't forget my friends and their pets who are about to be homeless. Any help you can give will be appreciated.

Have a great Halloween and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mischief Night

The wimple I'm making as a Christmas present is doing very well. It's about an inch or two from the top edging, so I expect to finish it tonight. Here's what it looked like a little earlier today. This was taken in some sunlight, and has made the colors much warmer than they really are.


Continuing in knitting news, my late birthday present from Holly arrived today!

It's a set of Knit Picks Options nickel needles! I am sooooo excited. I love the options nickel needles. I ordered one pair of Options Harmony needle tips to try them out. So many people on Ravelry keep saying that they like them better. I find that difficult to imagine, but I haven't tried them, so I shouldn't say things until I know.

I have been corresponding with a person on Etsy who makes cases for these. Check it out here. I'm hoping that when you look at her store you'll actually be able to see some of the beautiful cases she makes. There were a bunch a few days ago, and they're almost gone. But she's going to make one for me with white stars on a navy background with a grosgrain ribbon fastened with a couple of D-rings (I think). I told here to take her time, but I can hardly wait!

Once I get my sewing machine set up, I'm thinking of seeing if I can get some ultrasuede scraps and make a better bag for myself. I think I want to use the one that someone else has perfected before I do that, though. She uses Options needles and made these cases specifically for them, so I tend to think she knows what she's doing.

I was surprised at how compact the whole set is. It took up less than 1/2 an inch in height in the bottom of the box! Even with the addition of a bunch of cables and end caps, safety pins (to use instead of the keys provided), rubber grippers (for tightening the tips) and a set of label tags for using the tips elsewhere, it's still not very thick. I love the set the way it is, but I'm going to love the new case for it even more.

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John and I have continued working on the Steve Canyon on TV Volume 1 DVD. Well, I've been doing a little. John has been going crazy putting together extras for it. Interviewing people, and just assembling lots of information. He and others helping him find even more photos every so often.

Find out more about it here, here, and at the link above.

I'm in the enviable position to hear all about it as it happens, and it's exciting. He just finished interviewing Marion Ross, and some others, and I get to hear him bubbling over about how wonderful they all are.

I feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride, and this is only the first one.

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So, I'm going to be doing a lot of knitting tonight during all the fun stuff on TV.

First of all, the best horror show ever on TV, Supernatural will have a new episode on tonight, and although their general quality is excellent, I suspect that they'll have something special planned for mischief night.

There's also Eleventh Hour and Life on Mars. Check your local listings and enjoy. I will!

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Here's a warning for tomorrow night. Watch and learn!


Good luck! Don't let them soap up your car!

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Addition:

Some friends of mine are having their own private "trick or treat" this Halloween. They are doing everything to avoid losing their home. They have until the end of the month to come up with money, and they are short at this point. If you want to help them and all the animals they've rescued from shelters avoid becoming homeless, you can visit here and donate. Please click on the link and see what you'll be contributing to before you decide.

We're all in this economy together, and we need to help each other. Tell your friends!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not Enough Time

There are a ton of things I should be doing today instead of writing this, so I'll try to be quick.

Yesterday, disaster struck my Celtic sweater. 

I was nearly out of stuff to drink, and pulled a 20 ounce Coke bottle out of the refrigerator to take some pills with. I set it on the coffee table without it's cap. Then, I went to pick it up and put the cap on, and bumped it instead of picking it up. It fell over sideways with it's open top directly above the sweater which was waiting for me to continue knitting.

I mopped it up pretty quickly, but there were big, brown marks directly across the cross on the back and one shoulder.

It's now washed (circular needle and all) and drying in my bathroom. It smells like wet sheep.

So, I was looking around for another project to knit while it dries.

Fortunately, I had just come across some yarn I bought about a year ago, made a poncho from, and forgot about the rest.

I had been looking for some nice, natural fiber yarn to make a Christmas present from for two people on my list without success. I can find some beautiful natural fiber yarns, but not in lavender. At least, not a nice lavender. Most of them look almost pink.

So, I started the first of two wimples which will be Christmas presents last night at about 7 pm. Here's what it looks like this morning:


So, the stain from the Coke seems to have washed out, and I have a wonderful project while it dries. There may be other accessories to go with the wimple. We'll see how much yarn is left.

And my friend James, over at his blog, is showing off one project he made from one of my patterns:


He also has another post showing off what he did with my mitts pattern. I love his yarns and the things he does with them!

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After the general unpacking surge that went on here recently, I've found some things that I want to sell, so I'm telling you about them first.

There's a really cute little loom. This is an older loom, and no longer really sturdy. It folds flat, and would be a wonderful decoration, or an actual, workable loom, if you don't feel that you need lots of tension to weave. If you're interested, make an offer in the comments.


I also have a distaff for sale. Made by Ashford, this was intended to be used on an Ashford Traditional wheel, but could be attached to any upright, 1 inch thick piece of wood (table leg, whatever). I have a photo of it somewhere, but have misplaced it. If you're interested, leave a comment.

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Reading other blogs today, I was confronted with this photo:


Which is titled "Famous Steve's balls."  You can see why. Read the whole article at Turtlegirl's Bloggy Thing, and read Famous Steve's blog for more info on the creator of the hat.

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There is a rerun on Fringe this evening, but a brand-new The Mentalist tonight. Sorry about the lack of links. I have to go and get some things done before it rains again.

Have a great evening!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Psychedelic Sunday

After a hiatus of about a year, my migraines came back with a vengeance yesterday.

For those of you who didn't know, it's possible to have a migraine with little or no pain. Yesterday, I was innocently watching TV, when I began to notice that when I looked at a face, their right eye was missing. There was a blind spot instead of an eye. This was different. Usually, there is a blind spot right in the middle.

Almost two years ago, I had a round of problems with retinal detachment, and I was worried at first that something like that might be happening.

The blind spot looks like the effect you get when you happen to look at a camera just as it's flash goes off. 

Anyway, it was followed by a dimming of all sight, almost like coming into a dark room from a bright, sunlit day.

Eventually, the blind spot spread and worked itself into a crescent on the left side. The Wikipedia entry calls it "scintillating scotoma." It moves around and gets bigger as it goes in my experience.

Eventually, after one long, intense psychedelic round, it all died down and then started all over again. This time, the scotoma included colors, which has never happened to me before. Bright yellows, reds, and turquoises in zigzag lines that move and seem to include prisms that distort sight, and they move, too. And I've never gotten two of them in quick succession before.

I had a mild headache with all this, but luckily sidestepped most of the pain phase. I usually don't get the migraine pain with the visual effects. When I get migraine pain, it's usually a separate thing. Usually, I get either a migraine headache or a visual migraine. I have gotten both, but usually not at the same time.

I was thinking that this may be nature's way of punishing me for never taking drugs during the 60s and 70s.

So, a lot of yesterday was bad. The visual effects kept me from being able to watch TV, read or knit for most of the evening. Actually, I could do these things, but couldn't see well to do them.

I'm thinking that all this may have had to do with the fact that they turned on the heat in my apartment building on Thursday. In spite of the fact that the heat is on, I haven't turned on the heat in my apartment yet. Actually, I've never turned on the heat in the two years I've been here. I suspect that the people in the apartment below me turn on the heat until it's 120 degrees or more in their apartment. My kitchen floor feels so warm it's almost uncomfortably hot if I walk there with bare feet. Even with the window open, it was well over 80 degrees in here yesterday afternoon. But I left the window open all night, and it's now about 65 degrees in here. I'm not sure I want to turn the heat on because it will warm up this afternoon, although maybe not as much as I think because there's no sun out. The forecast was for "partly cloudy." I've seen the "cloudy" part and am ready for the "partly" part.

So, the windows have been open and letting in the ragweed and grass pollen. Ragweed has caused painful migraines before, but never visual ones, although I have been dislexic (another ragweed symptom) all day today. And the medicine the doctor prescribed should have made it impossible to get allergy symptoms for the next month.

So, I don't know what's happening.

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I've been working diligently on the Celtic sweater, and in spite of lots of knitting, there're so many stitches in each row that it takes a lot of knitting to see any visible progress. So, a photo isn't really going to show anything noticeable.

Parts that are done include the hood, shoulders, sleeves (including the I-cord), the entire cross on the back and the body to within an inch of the waist.

Pockets will be coming up soon, and the bottom shaping has begun on the sides, so the knots in that space will be happening soon, too. Lots of nice, restful knitting happening soon.

I think I'd rather do a braid on the pocket edge this time instead of the cable I did before. Which means I'll have to invent one. The braid on the front is just too wide for the edge of the pocket. Oh, well, I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Tonight we have our usual line-up of Chuck, Heroes and My Own Worst Enemy on NBC, and Lost running for four hours on SciFi.

This should be enough to keep anyone busy.

Here's something pretty to enjoy:



Have a great day!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Don't Blink!

The episode of Doctor Who entitled Blink will be on BBC in America later today and sometime tomorrow. This usually means that it will be on at least once next weekend, too.

This may be the best Doctor Who episode ever, even though the doctor only appears as a peripheral character. It's a little horror story, perfect for the Halloween season, and it stands on it's own, even if you're not interested in the Doctor.

Check your TV schedules, and don't miss it!

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Back last summer, Holly and I went to see Stephanie Pearl McPhee at Borders nearby, and while we were there, we met a wonderful woman named Tonks. There is a newspaper story out about her, and it tells a lot that I was completely unaware of. She's a great lady that you will be enriched by reading about. If you're a member of Ravelry, check out her projects from the first link.

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It's a rainy, chilly Saturday, and I'm not going to bother to do much of anything today except knit and watch TV. I had planned to go to the grocery store, but today is one of those days that make retirement worthwhile. You can look out the window at how dreary it looks and just not go out at all.

It's not raining, but otherwise, this is a very appropriate photo for your enjoyment.


Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Medicare!

Today, the place I live in had a special presentation of information on Medicare.

Well, that's what the information posted about it lead me to believe, anyway.

In reality, it turned out to be a sign-over-the-money-you're-already-paying-to-Medicare-to-us,-give-us-some-extra,-too,-and-we'll-improve-your-coverage event.

I have Medicare at this point, and I can't get much info about it from anyone.

Oh, sure, they sent me a whole book to explain the coverage, but everything that actually says something is followed by a note explaining that this may or may not apply to you, and may be different from the description if it does apply to you due to circumstances too numerous to mention. So, it really doesn't tell me anything. 

And calling them up doesn't help. Everything they tell me is preceded  or followed by a disclaimer that this may not apply to me. So, why did I have to give you my Social Security number, name, address and phone number before you could tell me all this stunning information that "may not apply to me?"

The meeting started at 2 pm, and I managed to escape at just after 4 pm. The gentleman who made the presentation was a very nice person, but he had a style that was as fascinating as Grunthos the Flatulent. I was considering gnawing off my own leg in an attempt to survive! I'm thankful I took along my knitting!

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I had planned to go to the grocery store after the meeting, but it was late, and there was a drizzle outside with a prediction of more rain possible off and on. So, I decided to do it tomorrow.

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Tonight, there will be Ghost Whisperer, and on SciFi, Stargate Atlantis, and Sanctuary!

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Here's a little something to make you happy:


Have a great weekend!

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PS

You have to see these great Halloween Pumpkins on io9!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tales from the Bus

I've spent a good proportion of the day on the bus on four of the last eight days. And that's without counting in the crazy, robbing lady who is making it her life's work to abandon her kids.

Today, I went trucking over to Borders to get a copy of Welcome to the Jungle, only to discover when I got there that it is a graphic novel, not a book. I was very disappointed.

But, Backup will be out soon (Halloween), and while it's only a novella, it'll be something to get me through the withdrawal caused by having finished all the Dresden Files books (twice).

I did go across the street to Shoppers Food Warehouse and buy a dozen packs of Ramen noodles, so it wasn't a complete waste, although I wouldn't have chosen to pay $1 for the bus so that I could do a lot of walking to buy $3 worth of noodles. But then again, Safeway is no longer stocking Top Ramen in the Oriental flavor, so I wouldn't have gotten them any other way.

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Now that I'm back, I am just about ready to fall face first into my bed and take a nap. Whether I want to or not.

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Tonight, we have Supernatural, as usual on the CW, and they are very appropriate to the Halloween season, if you want to get in the mood.

Later, there's Eleventh Hour, Life on Mars, and a rerun of Burn Notice. Check your local listings.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quick Update

More news is out on the Steve Canyon blog! Read about it here!

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Welcome to the Jungle is out in the stores! I was asleep at the switch, and they sneaked the latest Dresden Files books out while I wasn't looking! And before I forget about it, Backup will be out on Halloween or the next day.

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I finished the first sleeve on the Celtic sweater completely (including the I-cord) and am nearly finished the first sleeve. There's about an inch to go plus the I-cord.

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Pushing Daisies will be on tonight at the same time as Knight Rider.

I have some errands to do, and am otherwise busy, but here's something you might enjoy.



Have a great evening!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Busy, Busy

Well, my conscience couldn't take it any more. I finally called Social Services and reported the woman who abandoned two kids twice yesterday. I don't know if it will help.

I had a nice relaxing night last night working on the second sleeve of the Celtic sweater and watching 4 hours of Lost, plus Chuck, Heroes, and My Own Worst Enemy.


The sleeve has a very Medieval shaping, and you can see the cabling at the bottom of the cross on the sleeve running off the surface and out as an I-cord which will be run through the eyelets along with the other one (I'll be picking up the cable from the other part of the cross, where the st. marker is) and tied in a bow. This is going to be so cool!

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I worked on the back cover for the first of the Steve Canyon DVD series last night until 5:30, when I gave up and went to sleep.

I thought I was going to be able to just start coloring the black-and-white photo, but when I looked at it, the scan was good, there was lots of resolution, but the original photo that was scanned was full of dust marks, scratches, and the emulsion had been cracked in one place. So, after putting in about 5 hours on it last night, I wound up being as far along as I had expected to be if I hadn't done anything. I just didn't realize that there would be that much to restore before I could even really start.

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There's lots to do today, so I have to get going.

Have a great evening!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Police Raid!

Yesterday, I foolishly promised John that I would work on the back cover for the first of the Steve Canyon DVDs this afternoon, without stopping to think that I needed to go to WalMart to get some necessary things.

When I realized my mistake late last night, I thought, well, I'll get up early, go do what I need to do, get out and get home. So, I armed myself with a list I could use to just sail through WalMart, grab what I need and split.

Things started going wrong early, when I missed waking up as early as I intended.

But I raced around and got out to the bus stop, where the bus had arrived early and was waiting.

I got on, said clearly to the bus driver that I had a Senior Pass, showed him a pass, asked for a day pass, and put my money in the container, he gave me the pass and I sat down.

A lady on the bus started yelling at the driver about how I had only paid a dollar and he had given me a day pass, and you can only do that if you have a Senior Pass, and that I hadn't shown it to the driver and he hadn't bothered to look at it.

I asked the driver if he wanted to see it again, and he said no, he'd already seen it. I asked the lady if she wanted to see it, and she said no. We left the bus stop and everything seemed to be OK.

A half an hour later, almost at WalMart, the bus stopped at the Prince William County Clinic, and the lady got off. I was sitting behind the driver, and there's a big partition behind him, so I didn't see part of what happened. But the lady who was making trouble earlier got off. 

She had two very small children with her, and she got up and got off as fast as she could go considering that she was using a walker. At no point did she glance behind to see if the children were still with her, or if she was abandoning them on the bus. One was about two and a half and the older one was about a year older. The little one was bringing up the rear, and he got to the bus door, and was confronted by a step down that was almost as high as he was tall. I felt so bad for him. But he took a couple of deep breaths and jumped.

In the meantime, the lady was steaming away at top speed (considering the walker), and had disappeared into the clinic.

The driver got off the bus with the cell phone mounted in the bus and made a phone call. Then he went in the clinic for a few minutes and came out again. Then he made another call.

Then there were sirens and flashing lights and the police arrived. They parked their cars in front of, beside, and behind the bus, blocking it in so it couldn't leave, and also blocking up the parking lot.

They went into the clinic, and a few minutes later, they came out followed by the annoying lady, who had, once again, walked away and left her children. A big, long conversation ensued, which ended with the police handcuffing her, and fastening some kind of restraints on her feet, although they let her keep her walker.

A representative from the bus company showed up and spoke with the driver and the police, and got started taking names and addresses of the people on the bus.

Finally, another woman, who worked at the clinic came out with the kids and made the annoying woman take them. I was a little relieved by that because I was afraid the cops were going to take her away and leave the kids without knowing that they were abandoning children.

So, it turns out that the lady had grabbed a book of transfers off the holder on the bus, which may have had something to do with why she was so keen to abandon her kids. A regular fare is about $2.50, so that represents a chunk of money.

I'll leave you to imagine the circus that developed from that point. Compared to the sirens, flashing lights, and handcuffs at the beginning, it got steadily more boring and time-consuming.

I haven't even started on the back cover yet.

I hope you're having a better day than I had.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Holy Cow! It's the Renfair!


Holy Cow! The Renfair was fun! Today is the last day, so if you haven't gone, it's too late. You'll have to wait until next year.

Unfortunately, Everett couldn't come along. He just got out of the hospital where they finally determined that he didn't have pneumonia. I'm glad about that, but he's still pretty sick.

Holly said she had a phone call from him yesterday morning. It started with a lot of coughing, followed by "Does that answer your question?"

Holly ordered a custom-made guitar strap for Robin, and tried to get them to commit to making a sheath for her dagger (the one with the heart cut into the blade), but the woman who actually would make it wasn't there.

She bought an incredible mask! If I'd been thinking at all, I would have taken a photo of it while it was in the store, but I was asleep at the switch. It's got a very spooky, long angular face when you see it from one side (as I did when I first looked at it). But if you walk to the other side, there's another face. It's outrageous! I told her that once Robin sees it, she's going to have to fight him for it.

We walked until we didn't want to walk anymore.

They had a showing of something called "MacBeth in 20 Minutes" which was hilarious, Holly said. I missed it.

And we got some JERSEY TOMATOES! I am so happy. I had a tomato sandwich this morning!

Yes, I know I reported that there had been a frost up there, but apparently not. I got an email from Lynn yesterday which said, in part: 

"I need to correct myself. We have not had temps lower than the high 30s one night. Sorry, it's hard to think it's not colder when you haven't turned your heater on yet. Billy hasn't cleaned the heater yet. He's only had all spring and summer to get that chore out of the way. He says "Sometime this week". I even told him about the noise I heard in the house. I listened closely and followed the sounds. I found myself in the basement standing next to the heater when I perked my ears to faintly hear the whispers. "You must gather your husband to perform the yearly cleaning of my innards so you can have heat in your home emitting from other than your stove burners."  

"Obviously, Billy was listening quite keenly till the heater started whispering to me."

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In knitting news, I found some beautiful Red Heart Symphony yarn in my stash that had been earmarked for a couple of ponchos, and started one of them yesterday morning so I would have something to knit on the ride to and from the Renfair, and while I was there. It's a beautiful lavender, and I think the color has been discontinued, which is unfortunate, because it's beautiful!

I didn't want to drag the Celtic sweater (in progress) around with me yesterday. I was at a point where there was some cabling going on, and I lose cable needles around the house all the time. That means that I find them again within a few hours, but if I lose one at the Renfair, it's gone forever.


Last night and earlier today, I did some more on it, and I'm almost at the bottom of the sleeve. It's turning out very nicely! The cables are crossed at the bottom of the cross, and will (later) be continued as I-cord that will be threaded through the row of eyelets. This can be left almost as a surface design to have a sleeve with a belled shape, or pulled tighter to make a bloused sleeve with a ruffle around the bottom. This is going to be so cool!

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Today, I checked my email and there was a special offer from a clothing company. I wanted to buy a nightgown/dress that I had been discussing with Fibermom on my other blog. I tend to buy/make clothes to wear around the house that are comfortable enough to sleep in, but look nice enough that I don't mind stepping out the door or answering it. Clothes that look good and don't really look like nightgowns. Something perfect if I ever get to go to Pennsic again.

Anyway, there's one I had planned to buy so that I would have something pretty to wear at Stitches East in the hotel (I don't actually plant to wear it at Stitches).

Anyway, the place that has it for sale had it on sale, and not only is the price reduced, but they're throwing in express shipping and they're giving me a cabled cotton knit blanket! 

I snapped that one up right away!

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I watched Tomb Raider on TNT earlier today, and I want to get off so I can finish watching Cradle of Life, which is on now. If you're disappointed you missed it, set your VCR or DVR. It's on again late tonight (early tomorrow morning).

I found a ton of really neat stuff on the Joss Whedon website today.

Dollhouse won't be ready in time to be a midseason replacement, so we may have to wait until next Fall. You can find the information here, scroll down the page a bit.

The cutest thing is about to be available. A maquette of Kaylee! She is just so adorable!

And Firefly has added a new word to the dictionary: Browncoat! I don't know how many Firefly fans there are out there, but they sure are vocal and sincere! And now Firefly, like the Yarn Harlot, has added a word to the language.

And I found a photo of James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) wearing a Jayne hat!

I want to get back to Cradle of Life, and finishing the sleeve so I can start the other one.

I hope you had as great a weekend as I did!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Found a Good Doctor!

I went (after a little searching) to an almost brand new clinic in Woodbridge. I had a little trouble finding it. but once I did, the rest of the experience went very well!

The doctor not only gave me a 6 month prescription for thyroid medicine, but quizzed me on my hearing problem and the problems I'm having with my bones, and gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and a Medrol dosepack to clear up my ear. 

I could weep from happiness!

Then, I went over to CVS to get my prescriptions filled, and they told me that all of it was going to cost nothing!

I came home about an hour ago, and have loaded up on all the prescriptions, and plan to feel very well real soon now.

For those of you who have never had steroids (which is what the dosepack is), it's not really good for you, but it will make you feel soooo good, soooo fast you wouldn't believe it. At least if it's something that you really need to take.

The good thing about the dosepack is that they give you a heavy dose the first day, and a bit less each succeeding day for a week. Because it's done that way, you get the same benefit you would if you took a decent dose every day for a month, but you take a lot less actual medicine. 

The goal is to clear out all the inflammation and blockage in my ear, hopefully permanently. If it does that, I will be so happy about it!

I expect to feel very well tomorrow.

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I got a copy of the confirmation for the room in Baltimore for Stitches East yesterday, and an email from Lynn. I'm starting to get really excited about it!

I'm going to get to go to Stitches East!

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Tonight, we have all the usual Friday night stuff on TV: Ghost Whisperer, Stargate Atlantis, and Sanctuary.

Tomorrow sometime, Dragon Sword will be on SciFi again. I really love that movie!

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And tomorrow, I'll be getting some Jersey tomatoes for the first time in about three years!

And, speaking of food, there's this:


Have a great weekend, and don't expect a post from me tomorrow!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rainy Thursday

I had planned to go to WalMart today to do my monthly large shopping trip, but the weather forecast said that it would be partly cloudy today and that there was a chance of thundershowers.

What I saw by looking out the window was about 5 minutes of sunshine around noon, and a cloudy, grey day otherwise. I haven't caught it actually raining yet, but every time I look out the window the ground looks wet, but starting to dry. 

So, although I wouldn't be overjoyed at being rained on, I do have an umbrella, and unless it really pours, it wouldn't be so bad. But I really don't like either alternative: standing under an umbrella during a thunderstorm or not using the umbrella and getting soaked during a thunderstorm.

But I used some of the time I was home today to find a doctor to see tomorrow. And the location is close enough that I can go there, and then continue on the bus to WalMart, drop off my Rx, get my shopping done and escape all in one trip. So, that's working out well. And the receptionist even knew what my medicine was, unlike the doctors, who usually say "You're taking what? What is that?"

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Work continues on the Celtic sweater. I have the fronts and back done to the bottom of the armhole, and have started the sleeve (about three inches done). I think the sleeves are going to come out really well this time.

They will be kind of a bell sleeve. I'm knitting from the shoulder down, and there will be decreases down to about the elbow, and then just a little increasing down to the cuff. There will be a small St. John's cross on the forearm, and the bottom of the cross will continue off the surface of the sleeve in two I-cords which will be threaded through a row of eyelets. It will be possible for the I-cords to be pulled up tight, closing up the wrist area a bit (for warmth) and creating bloused sleeves with a ruffle around the bottom. I think I'm going to really like this design!

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Lots to se on TV tonight! Supernatural (CW), Eleventh Hour (CBS), and Life on Mars (ABC). Later, the Doctor Who episode on SciFi will be The Fires of Pompeii.

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Here's another photo John sent me. I'd be happy to credit the photographer if I knew who it was.


Down in the right hand corner, it says http://www.funpic.hu

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another Wednesday

I spent about five hours of my day today paying my Comcast bill. Most of that time was spent riding on a bus or waiting for one of 4 different buses I needed to ride to get there.

But I did get to talk to one of the technical people at the office. He promised me he would look into the fact that there's no closed captioning on ABC Family, and hasn't been since early May.

In all fairness, I have to say that they have started (usually) to do their "weekly tests" by transmitting a ribbon across the top of the screen and they've been doing it at around 2 am, rather than showing a lime green screen that completely blocks out all the picture and sound during prime time on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday evenings. So, that's an improvement.

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Yesterday, I got all the way back to the start of the redo of the Saint John's cross on the back of the Celtic sweater. I love the St. John's cross with the interlaced ring that's in Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitting book, but it's much smaller than I wanted for the back of the sweater. 

I solved that originally by putting a "frame" around it to make it seem to take up more space.

But this time around, I was just really ticked off, and sat down with some graph paper and redid the cross a bit larger. I really think I'm going to like this SO much better than the way I did it originally.


Well, I didn't include the shoulders in the photo, so maybe you can't see how much bigger it is, but it is bigger, trust me. I like it so much better than the original.

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John says he can't see or smell smoke from his house anymore, so it looks like that's going to be alright for him.

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Pushing Daisies and Knight Rider will be on tonight! Presidential debate, too. But I can't watch the debate for long without getting completely upset, so, I'll probably miss part of it. 

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Marek Fire

This was the view from my window yesterday evening.


That's one thing I love about this place: the sunsets!

Inspection of the apartment was early today. They started at 1 pm, and they got to my apartment and were through (I passed) in about 5 minutes before 1:30.

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Here's something to get you in the mood for my trip to the Renfair on Saturday. We will be there on the next-to-the-last day. After Sunday, it will be over for this year.


I love this little cottage at the Renfair, and if it were possible, I'd like to live there. If I ever become a multi-millionaire in the lottery, I'm going to have one of these built for me. Or maybe a copy of the house I lived in when I lived in France. That house was a dead ringer for Snow White's cottage, except that it had a slate roof instead of thatch.

Since I can't do any of that, I have made this photo my desktop photo. It's very scenic.

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I'm still worried about John and the forest fire. They are calling the one near him the Marek fire. The firefighters have gotten close to having the fire under control and on the way out, but it's not over yet. The essentials are packed into two cars in case of evacuation, but I hope they don't have to do that. So far, it's taken out one home and an entire trailer park, and some other areas have been evacuated. Read Crazy Aunt Purl's take on Fire Season.

I have a hard time not crying when I read about it.

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But the voting is over for the covers for the first Steve Canyon DVD (not to be confused with the special edition DVD). Check out the winner and place your order!

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Fringe (Fox) is back tonight along with The Mentalist (CBS). Plus there is the season premier of Eli Stone (ABC).

Have a great evening!

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P.S.  Check out the listing at TiVo Shows on DVD for Steve Canyon!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Good News and Bad News

I'll start with the bad news first.


This is the view out my friend John's window. Yes, that's a fire you're seeing the smoke from. Part of a mountain is on fire. He's remarkably calm about it. He said that if worst comes to worst, they have marshmallows and weenies.

There's a major highway between his home and the fire, and he says they won't allow it to cross the highway.

But I don't think it's beyond possibility that the fire won't do what it's told. I'm worried, and I'll be checking the news periodically during the day.

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I had some good news in mind when I wrote that title, but I can't remember what it was, other than the fact that today is just jammed with good things on TV.

Friday the 13th is showing on the SciFi daytime rotation today, followed this evening by Lost.

NBC is giving us new episodes of Chuck and Heroes, followed by My Own Worst Enemy. I don't know enough about that last one to know if it's SF, but it's certainly action/adventure.

Lots of great stuff to watch while I get my apartment ready for inspection tomorrow.

So, here's another great photo from John for today.



Have a great week!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vote Now!

If you haven't yet voted for your favorite Steve Canyon cover, there are just a few more hours to do it! Go here to vote!

As if people aren't asking you to vote for enough things at this point, I have to come along and ask you to vote for another!

Lots of moving and heavy lifting happening around here.

Hope you've been having a great weekend!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

No Renfair for Me Today

And how, you may ask am I able to blog today from the Renfair?

Well, the answer is that we aren't going today. We'll be going next Saturday.

Holly called early this morning and let me know that some unavoidable disturbances at her apartment meant that she was able to get only a half hour sleep all night last night, and she didn't plan to go.

This was added to the last minute information that John and Malaia would not be able to go today due to last minute problems.

The two bright spots are that I will be able to do some more on the bedroom today and that I will be going next Saturday!

So, I'm blogging.

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Here's a peek at the cross from the  right sleeve of the Celtic sweater.


Looks nice, doesn't it?

Well, the sleeve looks awful, and there's no way in the world to fix the sleeve without fixing the shoulder.

And, of course, there's no way to fix the shoulder without ripping back to it.

So last night a took a deep breath and bit the bullet. I frogged all but the hood and the shoulder tops (which will have to be lengthened).

Frogging something like this is no joke.

It took about 3 hours and a lot of physical effort to frog about 3,000 yards of yarn!



I lengthened one shoulder strap this morning and have started on the left front. Again.

But look at all the fun knitting there is in front of me to do! It's all pretty and new again.

This time, I'm going to knit the sleeves when I get to the end of the sleeve opening in the body!

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There was an email in my inbox today from Amazon. There's a new Canon Camera out that they thought I would like to know about. They were right.

It's the brand new Canon Powershot SX10 IS! I haven't been able to find out yet about it's ability to use filters, but I can't imagine that they would make it impossible to use them.

I sent Canon an email asking about this, and I'll let you know.

Have a great weekend

Friday, October 10, 2008

Renfair Tomorrow!

Friday the Thirteenth is on the daytime rotation at SciFi today.

Tonight, they'll be having a new episode of Sanctuary, plus a new episode of Stargate Atlantis, preceeded by last week's episode, which was continued to this week, so if you missed it last week, you might want to watch it tonight.

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Renfair is tomorrow! Holly, Malaia and I will be going, and I assume that John, Everett, Jeff and Ashton will go, too. You can expect no post tomorrow.

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I have a lot of work to do on the bedroom today if I want to have any hope of being ready for inspection on Tuesday, so you may notice that this is a very short, quick post. So, here's another photo John sent me for your entertainment.


Have a great Friday and weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Options Needles

I was just over reading Crazy Aunt Purl's blog and she had a  problem with a scarf she's knitting and was thinking about frogging part of it. She's using Knit Picks new Harmony straight needles and loves them.

Oh, and she's giving away sets of the new Harmony straights, so get on over there and ask for a set!

Do it now!

There was a suggestion about using a life line in the future for just such disasters. Here's part of what I wrote:

Sherri had a good idea about a life line. Too late for that now, but here's a suggestion on how to do that easily (for the future).

If you use the Knit Picks Options (interchangeable) Harmony (or nickel plated) needles, there's a small hole at the end of the cable part (used to tighten the cable/needle tip combination). Thread a piece of dental floss through it and tie it on. Use a bow or half bow, so you can untie it easily. Then knit your row, and you have a perfectly placed life line to rip back to if you need to do it in the future. At the end of the row, untie the floss from the needle, and cut the other end leaving a bit extra on each side so it doesn't slide out of the end stitches.

I suggested dental floss because it's sturdy, slides easily, comes in an easy dispenser with a cutter (for once the floss is through
the row) and the dispenser closes up so it doesn't interfere with anything else in your knitting bag. AND, if you fly, they probably won't be upset about you carrying the cutter in the floss case, but you'll have something that will cut yarn.

Then again, there's always the solution of calling it a "design feature."

Then I started thinking that I love the interchangeable needles so much that I plan to buy a set of the nickel plated ones. Maybe the Harmony ones, too. So far, I have one set of needle tips in size 8 and several different length cables. And I thought you might be interested in all the things you can do with the interchangeable needles that you can't do with the others. So, here is a list of all the wonderful things you can do with Knit Picks interchangeable needles.

I'm challenging myself to make it a "top TEN" list. Let's see if I can think of that many.

1. Use a lifeline--described above.

2. Make knitting circularly easier--Ever knit circularly, and all the stitches pile up behind the left-hand needle and don't want to slide onto it? Put a needle tip that's a size smaller on the left-hand side, and your stitches will glide onto the let tip easily. Well, more easily than they did before. If you are a very tight knitter, you might be happier with a tip on the left that's two sizes smaller. Try this out for yourself. It won't change the gauge, as long as the right hand needle is the right size. Unless you're like my friend Madeline, who knits in either direction equally easily.

3. Make your stockinet stitch even--Even Elizabeth Zimmerman had trouble making stockinet stitch that was even. I think her purl rows were looser than her knit rows. Lots of people have this problem. If you're doing this flat (not knitting circularly), which is the only place it matters, go down a size on the needle tip that you knit the looser row with. This should compensate, and you should have marvelously even knitting.

4. Make your own condo needles--Condo needles are novelty needles that are used to knit flat in a way that will make unusual patterns with every other row a different tension than the intermediate ones. You can make an interesting scarf in garter stitch using one needle tip that's the right size for your yarn, and  another tip that's much bigger. You'll have alternating rows of normal knitting and stitches with very long, lacy loops. You can do this by using two different size straight needles, too, but some of us really like circulars.

5. Make frogging easy--Just take one of the needle tips off, and your stitches will just slide off the needle almost by themselves!

6. Easy frogging part 2--Before you slide all those stitches off the needle, Put a tip two or three sizes smaller than you're using on a cable (and a stopper on the other end) and run it through a row of stitches back where you want to stop. Then pull out the needle you were knitting with (see above) and let 'er rip! Use the correct size needle to tink back one row to check all the stitches and make sure you haven't dropped one and to ensure that the stitch mount is correct for each stitch. If you're ready to tink and you find you've put the needle tip on the wrong end, just put one on the other end to tink from. In effect, you're creating your own life line.

7. Change cable lengths--This should be pretty self-evident, but it has been really wonderful while knitting my Celtic sweater that I could change cable lengths as knitting progressed by taking a tip off the needle in use, replacing it with a stopper and putting that tip and a stopper on the new cable, and then just knitting onto the new cable with tip.

8. Create your own stitch holders--If you need to use the size tips you're using in your project on a different project, just take them off the cable and replace with stoppers. For two dollars, you can get a set of size tags from Knit Picks to put on your cable so that you'll remember what size tips you were using when you go back to the project. This was particularly helpful for me on the Celtic sweater. I put pockets in the front that slant, and that meant (since I was doing it in one piece) that there were three sections: the pocket opening on the right front, one on the left front, and the pocket lining and back, each on a separate cable. I could switch back and forth between them by just changing which cable had needle tips on it.

9. Pick up stitches easily--This will require a little work and craft on your part, but you can take a Harmony tip and whittle or file a notch in it to make a crochet hook for picking up stitches. Pick up the stitches using the hook and just change to a knitting needle tip and start knitting. Loads of knitters have implored Knit Picks to make a crochet hook tip for their interchangeables, and rumor has it that they may do that. They promised me that they are are considering the idea. In the meantime, you can make your own using a nail file, triangular needle file or Dremel tool. Once you've got the shape, polish with nail buffing equipment or a buffing wheel on the Dremel. I saw one that somebody made with a Dremel, and she filed off the point, too, but I think I'd rather leave the point on. Then I could use it more like a knitting needle, but it would be easier to pull the stitches through than using a knitting needle tip.

10. Add shaping to your knitting--Want to knit that sweater body straight, without having to resort to shaping, but it needs to be bigger on the bottom for fitting ease? If working top down, when you get near the waist, just switch the tips to the next larger size, and then possibly switch to the next larger size further down. If working from the bottom up, do it in reverse (switch to smaller needles). The interchangeable tips also make it easy to switch from one size for a rib edging to the other size for the body of the sweater or sleeve.

Wow! I actually made it to ten! I could do more if they're interested in taking my advice on other things that would be helpful, such as a connector. With a connector, you could just unfasten a tip, add the connector, and the size cable you're switching to, pull it through, and transfer the tips to the new cable. Well, I've suggested it. We'll see.

As wonderful as the Options needles are, some people have difficulties with fastening the joins properly. Here's what I do:

I bought a small, flat circle of rubber called a needle puller in a fabric store. They come in sets of three for almost nothing. I used a paper punch with a small diameter to punch a hole in it. Then I use a large, coiless safety pin to pin it to my knitting.

When I need to switch needle tips, I can use the safety pin instead of the tightening key they provide (which always gets lost even though the loop on the end is a good idea for fastening it to something) and use the rubber to hold the needle tip so it doesn't slip. Don't use excessive force while doing this. I'm sure that you could strip the threads if you work at it.

Here's what it looks like pinned to my knitting:


OptionsPin&Tightener

You can buy coiless safety pins and little rubber grippers in my Amazon store.

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Speaking of my Celtic sweater, I really don't like the set-in sleeves at all. I had originally planned to use dropped shoulders like they did in the Middle Ages, and like I did on my blue coat. The shoulder and sleeve fit beautifully, and it was a dream to knit. 

In contrast, the set-in sleeves are impossible to knit without holes in the knitting from the short rows, or disruption of the reverse stockinet stitch pattern. Yes, I can wrap stitches to eliminate holes. And it looks fine on the knit side, which is inside the sleeve. On the outside (where it shows), it looks messy. And the result is making me remember why I hated set-in sleeves from the standpoint of wearing them. The dropped shoulder from the blue coat is stylish, comfortable, and fits my shoulder and upper arm beautifully.

I'm thinking seriously of frogging it.

If I do that, though, I'll have to frog everything back to the shoulders in order to redo them.

Actually, I've been trying to convince myself that it'll be fun to reknit the whole thing (except for the hood and part of the shoulders). 

At any rate, I'm going to complete (or nearly complete) the sleeve before I decide.

The lower arm is working out nicely. Here's a photo.



When I get to where the two ribs meet at the bottom, instead of closing it off, I'll cross them, and they'll come off the surface and become I-cord at that point. I'll knit a row of picot holes every few stitches below, and thread the I-cord through it. Then I can knot it and leave the bottom of the sleeve full, or pull the I-cord tight and tie it in a bow for a more closed sleeve at the wrist.

Ripping it all out and redoing it will be fun! Really, it will. I'll keep telling myself that.

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Oh, I got a comment about the photo yesterday and why it's for my daughter, Holly. Here's why I said that.

When Holly was about four years old, the ice cream truck came around one day. I gave her some money, and she came in a few minutes later with a green popsicle in her hand and said "Look at my tongue!" sticking out her green tongue. My sister and I said, precisely together "Ooooh, it's purple with pink polka dots!" If we hadn't said it in perfect unison, she never would have believed us.

She got a stricken expression on her face and ran into the bathroom and pulled up a stool so she could see into the mirror.

Of course, she realized that her tongue was green, just like she expected, but we really got her on that one. Hence, the dedication to her.

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Don't forget to vote for your favorite Steve Canyon cover, if you haven't already! We have nearly 150 votes so far!

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There are just the usual things on TV tonight. Enjoy!

And have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meteor Shower!

We are over 140 votes for the cover of the first in the series of Steve Canyon DVDs! If you haven't already, vote now!

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Watch some Shooting Stars in October!

We have two, count 'em, two meteor showers in October! You can find out more about it here, and here; and discover more about the October night sky here. I love meteor showers!

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I've been doing some more work on the bedroom. It now has a functional (horizontal) bed! And I found some sheets for it in some of the boxes I've unpacked!

The unpacking continues, and I need to start moving the bedroom furniture into the bedroom now that there's a little more room. Still lots of work and heavy lifting to do in the next week.

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It looks like we may have almost a duplicate of last weekend's perfect weather for our trip to the Renfair on Saturday! 

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John has been sending me funny photos, and I don't know where he got them, but I thought you might enjoy some of them, too.

This one is especially for Holly!



Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Beautiful Day!

this is what it looks like out my window right now.



This is what it looked like about this time yesterday.



I don't really have a lot going on today to talk about, so I thought I'd let you look at something really nice.

I did, however, manage to decide what to do with the sleeves on my Celtic sweater.

The choices were having the sleeve bell out a bit to look kind of Medieval, or to do something that would be close to the wrist, and therefore warmer.

Well, I suddenly realized that I can have both. I plan to put a partial Saint John's cross on the lower part of the sleeve as I did for the top of the hood, but instead of running into a cable around the cuff, I'm going to take two of the cable ends from the cross right off the surface and into two I-cords which I'm going to thread through some holes I'll put in the cuff. That way, I can have the loose sleeve I wanted, and pull the  I-cord tighter and knot it to make a more fitted cuff.

Wait until you see it! It's going to be neat!

Tonight, the most fun thing on is a rerun of Sanctuary on the SciFi Channel, starting in a couple of minutes.

Have to run!

Have a great evening!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Quiet Monday

I'm still recovering from all the walking around on Saturday.

While I'm doing this, I am amusing myself in part by checking out the voting status for the covers for the Steve Canyon DVD. There are 130 votes in so far (probably more by the time you check it). Add to the excitement, and vote if you haven't already. 

That includes you, Holly! I know you told John which one you liked, but he couldn't figure out if you actually voted for it or if you just told him.

It's an odd day. There are plenty of things that I have to do, but none of them involves a deadline (or at least not a deadline that's close). So, I have some freedom.

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I've been trying to get a start on the sleeves for the Celtic sweater. I can get the shape for the sleeve cap with no problem, but picking up stitches from the shoulder and adding the shaping is making the stitches on the cap look messy.

I've frogged it 4 or 5 times so far. It's very discouraging. I can get the knit side to look good, but the purl side looks like a mess! The only thing I can think of at this point is to go back and embroider some pretty stitches on in the same yarn.

And I'd really like to have this done for this weekend! But it's looking more and more like that isn't going to happen.

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Tonight is jam-packed with good stuff on TV! I'll be glued to the set after about 7 pm, trying to get a good start on the first sleeve of the Celtic sweater.

Once again, SciFi is showing four hours of Lost, starting at 7 pm. I'm really starting to get sucked into this.

Over on NBC, they're making me happy that I have a DVR by showing a new Chuck, and Heroes. It's not science fiction, but Life will be on after Heroes, and it's good.

Also not science fiction, but Bones will be on TNT after all that on NBC.

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

GREAT Fall Fiber Fest!

Here's a small glimpse of the Fall Fiber Fest on Saturday.


Spinning wheels and fiberarts everywhere!

Holly and I went by ourselves and had a great time. The weather was heavenly. It couldn't have been better if we had been able to plan it ourselves! It was sunny all day, and at no time was I too warm or too cold. And there was no mud! After the mud fest of 2006, this is always a concern. Who could ask for more?

Holly got a Christmas present for someone. I won't tell what the present is or who it's for, but she was very happy with it, and I think that the recipient will love it, too. She also bought some yarn for a scarf she plans to make. It's going to be really nice!

Now that I started making my own socks, I've found that it's much easier to do the kitchner stitch at the toe with a darning egg, and I've been thinking about getting one, which I actually did at the FFF. I got this from Knitting Notions, a very beautiful darning egg made from poplar. This feels so nice in your hand, like it just fits and belongs there. I love it!




I  looked around at everything else. I was hoping for some nice light blue wool yarn with some silk neps for a tweedy look to make a wimple to go with my new coat. But there was nothing of that description. I found some beautiful self-patterning sock yarn that was not what I had planned on, but would have made a beautiful wimple, but it would have cost $40 for enough yarn for the wimple, and after buying the egg, I just didn't have it.

I also found some beautiful light grey alpaca for $25 that was out of my league. I've seen some publicity photos of the making of the Half Blood Prince where Hermione is wearing a knitted cap in light grey, and I've been looking for something to make it in. So, that would have been perfect. Actually, she's wearing a knitted scarf in the photo that would be interesting to make, too.

I found some nice wool and tencel fiber that would have been perfect to spin to make a wimple. But I went back to get the egg, thinking that if it was there, I'd just buy 4 ounces of the merino/tencel, and if it wasn't, I'd buy 12 ounces. When I came back it was gone.

So, Holly and I left, and I was happy about the egg, but sad that I hadn't gotten some yarn or fiber for the wimple.

But the universe had other good things in store for me.

Holly wanted to stop to get something to eat, and we found a Carabbas Restaurant and had a great dinner. But the restaurant was just a few doors down from an AC Moore, and we stopped in and I bought some more of the beautiful tweed that I had used for the Celtic sweater, but now didn't have enough of. 

It turned out to be a really wonderful day!

Friday, I finished the poncho I was making, but didn't get around to taking a photo of it until today. So, here it is:


Over on the Steve Canyon blog, the votes are still poring in for the cover for the first of the Steve Canyon series DVDs. Go over there and vote, if you haven't already!

Life on Mars
is on the BBC in America today, and I want to take the day off and sit and watch it. It's already started, but I'm recording it. I have to go check it, though, because I don't think there's enough space on the disk to record all of it, so I have to get something off of there real soon.

Have a great time with what little weekend is left!

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