Monday, October 30, 2006

At Long Last...

My write-up of our trip to Pennsylvania!

Grandmom and Grandpop's House

The Good
The lenghty car trip to Honesdale went by without much note. I still hate driving through tunnels since they remind me too much of my poor driving in tunnels in Gran Turismo. No minivans going the wrong way on the interstate this year either. I did all the driving for the trip there and teased Kris about it the whole 12 hour drive :)

Sunday, my aunt cooked a full Thanksgiving spread for us to partake. Mmmm...turkey and mashed potatoes! I completely crashed afterwards, guess all the driving wore me out!

The Project
Kris and Grandpop Working

This year, Kris helped Grandpop put up a gorgeous wood ceiling in his workshop. They started Sunday night and worked pretty much all day, everyday while we were visiting. It was finished by Friday afternoon, much to the relief of Grandpop's back and Kris' shoulders :)

Close-up of the Ceiling

Grandmom and I agreed that Grandpop has a much fancier ceiling in his workshop than any of the ceilings or floors in our homes :)

Last Ceiling Board

Kris and I are thinking of finding a room in our home that we could put up a similar ceiling. Just such a pretty look!!

Kris and Grandpop Afterwards

Pretty Fall Colors
We were in Pennsylvania for the peak of leaf season. Boy, did we see some pretty mountains!

Tree in Grandpop's Orchard

80 pound pumpkin Chelsea grew that we brought with us for Grandmom and Grandpop

Rock wall by the back porch

Natural spring

The Fam
I'm really happy that we got the opportunity to meet up with all of my family that lives near Honesdale. On our last night of the trip, we joined Grandmom, Grandpop, Aunt Dar, Uncle Mike, my cousin Meghan, Uncle Dean, and Aunt Sue for dinner at a local Italian restaurant.

From the front going clockwise: Aunt Dar, part of Grandmom's head, Grandpop, me, Kris, part of Mike's head, Meg, Aunt Sue, and Uncle Dean. Yeah, no clue where I got the red hair from :)

The Bust
After dinner Friday night, we all headed up to Grandmom and Grandpop's house to chit-chat and watch Battlestar Galactica. (Kris and I have to have our weekly BSG fix!) Their house is located at the end of a gravel road past two other homes. Now, I'm VERY pleased to say that their evil vile horrible mean bitchy neighbors have moved out. *insert big cheers from me here* So, it was a bit odd to see all the lights on, no cars in the driveway, and a HUGE pile of teenagers hanging about the house. We all called the local cops to see what was going on. Turns out, a party was starting up after one of the old neighbors' kids broke in through a window. Brilliant, always have to have some neighborly drama when we visit :)

Overall, it was a wonderful trip that went by much too fast. I'm hoping to get out there next year earlier in the fall since it got pretty darned cold in late October!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Spooky SP Strikes Again!

Hubs greeted me yesterday morning with a package from my Spooky Secret Pal. Wow, what a haul, too!

Most of the Haul Plus...

New Halloween-Themed Knitting Bag

Spooky SP sent me a set of fall-themed gel window clings, a multi-colored pen with a black cat on it, a cute skully Pez dispenser, blocking pins, skully stitch markers, M&Ms, Twizzlers, and another fab card.

There were also FOUR beautiful hanks of Knitpicks lace weight yarn in my package. Two skeins of Shadow in Jewels colorway, a skein of Shimmer in Morning Mist colorway, and a skein of Alpaca Cloud in Horizon. The Alpaca Cloud is sooooo soft and pettable :) *swoon*

Two skeins of heathery Shadow

Zoomed in view of the Shadow

Close-up of the skein of Shimmer

Close-up of the delicate blue colors in the skein of Alpaca Cloud

Skull stitch markers, I can't wait to use these!!

Gorgeous card from my Spooky SP

Ok, consider me dense if I didn't get any hints at your identity, but who are you Spooky SP? :) Thank you VERY VERY much for your spoilage of me these past few weeks; you're a fab SP!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Yeah, I was hoping to post my PA trip recap post tonight. My gallbladder had other plans and decided to act up an hour before I came home. :-/ Hopefully, I'll get to write up that post this weekend and not spend all my time in bed sleeping wanting to feel better.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Holy SP, Batman! And Some FOs, Too!

Tonight, I was met by two packages from online secret pal exchanges. Do I feel spoiled or what tonight! It was so exciting to see a mailbox stuffed with packages and not with bills or junk mail :)

First off, I received my package from the Knitted Thing Swap from Celtic Coyote. She knitted me a fabulous Booga Bag from Noro.

Beautiful Booga Bag, but what's inside you ask?

Packets of hot chocolate and unscented Heal'em Balm for my hands

Thanks, Celtic Coyote!!

The second package was from my Spooky Secret Pal. I have to say that I am in awe of her card making skills; both I've received are clever and beautifully made. Spooky, I aspire to be half as good of an upstream SP as you've been!!

The Haul: Beautiful Card, blocking pins, Magic Stripes Sock Yarn, fall-themed Post-its, Hershey's chocolate marshmellow pumpkin, and a new Dick Francis book!!

Close up of the vampire themed card

Close up of the book mark which has a quote from William Butler Yates "When you are old and grey and nodding by the fire, take down this book and slowly read".

On to some finished objects!

About a month ago, I finished a pair of Bluebell Rib socks from Sensational Knitted Socks for the Knitted Thing secret pal swap. They had a long journey from Indiana to northwest Canada to Midnight Farm, during which I though the postal service may have pocketed the socks! They arrived safely this week, so I can post a FO picture now :)

Bluebell Rib socks

These were made using two skeins of Knitpicks Gloss (merino and silk blend) in burgundy. I absolutely LOVED working with this yarn. Very soft, smooth, and non-splitty.

Finished item number two is the recently salvaged Clapotis. I used four skeins of Koigu KPPM, and it's a Christmas present for my see-ster :)

Obligatory finished Clapotis with poochie-pie picture

I am so glad that I was able to save her Clapotis. :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Knitting Dunce

That's how I've felt for the past few days. I didn't follow directions, so I've placed the proverbial pointy hat on my head and sent myself in the corner. As identified by my grade school teachers long ago, I haphazardly breeze through driections unless a task challenges me. My second go around with the Clapotis pattern is a textbook example of my stubbornness regarding my skimming of directions. For reference....

See the glaring mistake in the almost finished Clappy?

That solid section that the arrow's pointing to is supposed to have dropped stitches like the rest of the pattern. Crap!!

After scrutinizing the pattern for hours Sunday night trying to work out how the dropped stitches were supposed to miraculously appear, I finally carefully read the decrease section directions. There it calls for 2 dropped stitches per repeat and not the 1 per repeat that I did. Heartsick with the realization that I'd royally screwed it up, I had very fitful sleep.

My two choices to fic it are to rip out the whole blasted thing and start over from scratch or...cut the dropped stitches after it's finished being knitted. I hope I have the mental and physical fortitude to cut my knitting again after my last disasterous attempt.

In other news, Kris and I went shopping last night. Our intentions were to get Kris a new game with a gift card. Instead, we walked out of Best Buy with two video games for Kris and a new cell phone for me. Mine's been dying a slow death for the past 6 months or so as it decided to not charge normally. Charging a cell phone shouldn't include a heavy KitchenAid mixer and my purse as a counter balance. I was completely sold on the model on its branding along, and it was a really good deal, too. Now, it wasn't the cute pink color, I fell for the brand name, Katana.

Meet Rose the Katana (as in Rose Tyler from Dr Who!)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Happy Birthday and Such

Today is Hub's 28th birthday. Not too much celebrating was had since we're still a bit groggy following the looooong road trip yesterday and due to the fact that I have no patience for keeping presents from him. He's had his birthday iPod since the second or third week of September, and he received an FM transmitter for it today. :) We also met up with my dad and stepmom for hers and Kris' birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Yummeh!

When I asked for a birthday photo-op, all I received in reply was "You have plenty of pictures of me all ready." So I snapped a pic of the back of his head doing some beta testing this evening.

Back of birthday boy's head

This afternoon, we finally were able to pick Bandit up from the kennel. After giving the kennel owner Bandit's name, we were waiting for someone to bring him out to us. After a minute or so, we heard a loud THUD on a door and said "That's gotta be Bandit". Is it odd that we can recognize the slamming noise of our poochie-pie jumping up on a door?

Bandit was as receptive as his father to the camera tonight *sigh*

He was due some spoilage, so I just had to buy him a little devil head squeaky toy in addition to the cookies from Day's Bakery that we brought from Honesdale.

"The devil made me to it, Mom"

Bandit giving the devil hell

Trip pics and wrap-up will be forthcoming later on in the week. I'm trying to Photoshop a few pics and use Flickr, but they both keep barfing tonight. Fiber related content is coming soon, too!

Tales from the Road

We're back home again in Indiana. (Yes, too little sleep makes me quote corny songs!) Quick highlights tonight from the road, more tales later after mucho sleep.

Best Bumper Sticker Sighting: "I'm only speeding because I really have to poop." Potty humor gets my vote every time :)

Most Annoying Road Hazard: A convoy of 5 charter bus, 6 Indiana State trooper cars, and 2 sedans going under the speed limit in the fast lane for a huge stretch of highway around Dayton, Ohio today. As we finally passed them, we found what ranks such a high security patrol, the IU football team. :-/

Best Breakfast Stop: JP's Family Restaurant in Waymart, PA. We stop there every year for breakfast on the trip home.

Scariest Driving Moment: Going through the tunnels under mountains on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I felt like I was playing Gran Turismo. Then, I remembered how the electronic car I drove in that game always pinged off the sides of tunnels rapidly.

Iron Buttcheeks Award: Given to the license plates I saw from the furthest states. All these were spotted while in Pennsylvania - Oregon, New Mexico, and California. I will not complain about a ~700 mile drive ever again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Road Trippin'

Hubs and I are headed out Saturday morning for our annual trek to see my grandparents in Pennsylvania. Wooo for vacation! I'm really excited to have some time off, but it's been hectic and stressful getting arrangements and last minute things done.

I'm cooking up a huge pile of knitting projects for me to take along for the trip. My grandma also mentioned that she has a half finished afghan that she'd like me to take a look at. She's had it for years and wants to find out what can be done to finish it.

My hopes are to have a few more posts up here before Friday night. So much to say but so little time!


I've been spooked by my Spooky Secret Pal from the Knitty boards :D Perfect timing to get something fun in the mail.

The Haul

There's a CD of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "The Raven" - I'm a big Edgar Allan Poe fan :) A wonderful personalized card complete with spooky theme with mummy stamps! SP, I'm in awe of your card creativity. Pumchy pumpkin guy who I played with until the end of my thumb got sore after work :) A rat that gets ginormous in water. Yeah, I thought of all sorts of evil April Fool's Day pranks I can pull with that. The non-pictured Twizzlers were quickly gobbled by Hubs and I over a round of Magic.

Leaf Stitch Markers

Last but certainly not least, a set of byoo-tee-full fall themed stitch markers.

Thanks SP!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wooo for Weekend Knitting!

This past weekend held quite a few hours of knitting for me. Even if they weren't exactly normal circumstances to knit under. Clapotis 2.0 came with me to take care of my college roomie, Mary, after she had her wisdom teeth removed. It also saw some happier less painful knitting hours at a barbecue on Saturday.

Over half-way through Clapotis 2.0!

Close-up of dropped stitches

Sunday, Kris was off playing paintball with his SCA house all day. Granted, most of my day was spent with laundry, cleaning my hut-mobile for our road trip this weekend, and various housework. All work, no knit makes Christina a dull blogger though. In the afternoon, I set Joseph Arthur's CD, Nuclear Daydream, on repeat and dug out the Saffron Cables afghan. I only got through 7 rows of the cable charts, but definitely visible progress!

Up to row 11 on Saffron Cables charts

Zoomed in a bit, pay no attention to the doghouse roof background :)

On a seperate note, I announced this evening on my personal blog, Knotts Burrow, that I won't be updating it any longer. Too many time constraints to keep up with multiple blogs. So, be prepared for occasional jaunts into the non-knitting topics on this blog :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fishers Yarn Faire

Ok, technically, it wasn't a yarn fair. This past weekend was the Fishers Renaissance Faire. But, within three booths of entering, I spotted handspun for sale!

Purple Handspun Wool

Unfortunately, a bit sun bleached :(

I see yarn, I buy yarn. No questions asked. :) I bought 94 yards of worsted to bulky weight handspun. No idea what it will become.

A few booths later, I spotted Ursula's Alcove. Chok full of yarn (including tons of Zephyr!), textile books, patterns, and the like. But tucked away far in the back of the tent was something exquisite. Handspun camel yarn. Granted, one huge skein was around $200, but very pettable.

I spent a decent chunk of time at the renaissance textile demonstration area. Saw some beautifully naturally dyed yarns, more handspun, netting, and bobbin lace. I tried my hand at a wee bit of bobbin lace, but that required that I knew my left from my right. I was rather the class dunce.

As we were ending the day, we stopped back at Ursula's Alcove with the camel yarn whispering my name. I gave a small skein a new home :)

Extreme Close-up

Whole enchilada

It's 100 grams of handspun, non-dyed camel yarn from Mongolia. Again, no clue what I'll make with it. For the mean time, I shall love it, and pet it, and call it George.