Things that I like:

Tea. Flowers. This teacup, which is special to me. The saucer is, too - Mom and I found a whole box of old diner china at a garage sale last summer, when I was preparing to set up house. Once I moved in, we used them for our first breakfasts here, and then I used them for getting acquainted teaparties with my new friends.

The Space Program and spaceshuttles. My name. Family vacations. Coffee. The word "shuttle."
This teapot, which was my Great-grandmother's. Double Bergamot Earl Grey. Fiber.


Whistling in the dark

Two little projects that have happily arrived at their new home - a fuzzy Ipod cozy for Carl, and a baby hat for the wee one-to-be. I started the hat on the train in Maryland, and had it finished and bound off by the time I got off in Chicago.


I must have really liked it!

I've been eating a lot of eggs in the last few days. Scrambling them with vidalia onions, cherry tomatos, bacon, and cheese, frying them up gently and eating them with lots of salt and pepper. Lunch today is egg salad, by itself because I don't have anything flat and breadlike to put it on, and I'm ok with that. I am eating the eggs like there's no tomorrow. Yesterday, I even bought a little egg cup so that I could eat eggs in yet another way (and also knit them a bunch of little minisweater cozies).

Yes, I am loving the eggs, which is strange. I don't, usually. There was a day when I would run gagging from the room if someone began to crack one into a bowl. But now, I'm eating them. With relish. A lot.

Is it because it's hot, and they are a nutritious, self-contained little package of food that's easy and fast to prepare? Is it because they're cheap? Why am I suddenly fixated on all things ovoi-



Oh dear.

My subconscious is weird.


And, my momma's good-looking.

Things I secretly like about late summer:

sweating until you're dripping.
The word "sultry."
ditch flowers.
not needing to use lotion 3x a day.
the hum of fans at night.
festivals in parks.
washing sandal-dirty feet before bed.
potato salad and berries.
pop-up thunderstorms.
this dense, hazy, visibly thick humidity (see "sweat", "lotion", and "sultry" above).


Lord of the Wrings

I've refined the formula. Size 8s and working to 44 stitches before beginning to decrease means I get two dishcloths from one Lily Sugarn'Cream skein with very little remaining. At this point, after 7 or 8 months of this I have finished sets of matching dishcloths stashed all over the apartment, ready for foisting on unsuspecting visitors. Here you can see three lifestages of the standard dishcloth: larva-like, the dishcloth gathers strength by consuming yarn as its stitches paradoxically dwindle in number. Then, it is cut loose from its skein, and revels in its plump, cushy, thick-stranded potential, until it finally meets soapy water for the first time and begins its career as a Dishcare Professional. It is a good life, filled with lots of exciting meetings (Hullo, dirty plate! Hello, glass!), similar-minded coworkers like the Sponge and Scrubbie, periods of relaxation spent draped over the faucet, and regular laundering.

Yesterday for dinner I made 2 little yellow cakes with black raspberry whipped cream. Yum.


Tanks for the memories

One half of one blue tanktop. I'm sort of improvising this one as I go along, but I started out using the Mudflap tank for SnB Nation for it's schematics, but took the arm binding off and neckline from a different pattern. I'm expecting this to shrink in on itself and tighten up a bit when I wetblock it, but I'm waiting until I get the second half done so I can make sure they are more or less the same.
The yarn is Patagonia Nature Cotton, from Araucania Yarns (not to be confused with these araucanas). I like this yarn a lot. It's a thick-and-thin bulky, so it's knitting up quickly. I bought three skeins of it, which should be just enough for the tank itself. The plan is to apply some sort of edging along the, er, edges, to neaten things up, and provide a little bit more stability. I don't think I'll have enough of this left over, so will have to go get a little bit of something cottony to finish this off.


The Living is Easy

Prettiness on the Porch

Still-Life in Flowered Blue, with Dishcloths.


Dishcloths of Disquietude

Nothing too exciting happening around here, so here's a picture from my last Time Away. The Alleghenies are as picturesque as their name is difficult to spell.

In other news, I have completed a couple little knitting projects, but they're on their way out as gifts right now so pictures will have to wait (Hi Carl, Hi Katie! Watch your mailbox!). I'm in the doldrums between larger projects right now, which means knitting energy has been focused soley on the Dishcloths of Disquietude that I have been knitting compulsively for 7 or 8 months now. This time around, I considered briefly using a different pattern than the old K2, yo, k - but I couldn't do it. Apparently, the sameness, the rhythm, the nonthinking of simple old pattern combined with chewed up old size 8s and smooth pleasantly variegated cotton is enough.

Here's more of the Trip East. Cue the patriotic music, please.

This was George's cabin when he was a young man. Itsy bitsy flags for the itsy bitsy cottage! Er, headquarters.

Speaking of headquarters, here are the kitties in their Cat-estoga for the move out. The kitties were ok in their little temporary mobile home, although it took them a little while to get used to it. You should have seen them kissing the solid ground with their little kitty lips when we let them out.


Howards End

I knew it was familiar:

Like many others who had lived long in a great capital, she had strong feelings about the various railway termini. They are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them; alas! we return. In Paddington all Cornwall is latent and the remoter west; down the inclines of Liverpool Street lie fenlands and the illimitable Broads; Scotland is through the pylons of Euston; Wessex behind the poised chaos of Waterloo. . .

To Margaret - I hope that it will not set the reader against her - the station of King's Cross had always suggested infinity. Its very situation - withdrawn a little behind the facile splendors of St Pancras - implied a comment on the materialism of life. Thos two great arches, colourless, indifferent, shouldering between them an unlovely clock, were fit portals for some eternal adventure, whose issue might be prosperous, but would certainly not be expressed in the ordinary language of prosperity. If you think this is ridiculous, remember that it is not Margaret who is telling you about it; and let me hasten to add that they were in plenty of time for the train. . .

E.M. Forster, Howards End


The not-so-Iron Chef

A recipe and a discovery, from Chez Gwen:

First of all, my new favorite way of making dinner! Take a pot. Put 1 cup of water in it and start heating it. Open the freezer, pull out a bag or two of veggies and that bag of frozen cooked turkey bits. Put some of each in the pot with the water, add salt and pepper. Look around the kitchen/fridge for other yummies to toss in. (Tonight I added a little pesto, also courtesy of the freezer). When it's boiling, add 1 cup of instant rice and remove from the burner (at least, that's what my instant rice says it wants - I don't know if they're all the same or not). Let it sit the requisite five minutes, then fluff. Add cheese at this point, if you want, to make a gooey risotto-type thing - by this point, the thing has enough thermal mass to melt shredded cheese within a few seconds without turning a burner back on. Eat half, and save the other half for tomorrow. Or, eat half, try to save the other half for tomorrow, then decide you're still hungry and eat the rest of it which wouldn't really be enough for tomorrow anyways.

At least three good things are happening here, as I count them. First, I get to eat the water that the veggies are cooked in, thus scoring bonus kitchen points. Second, it takes about 7 minutes from start to finish. Third are the endless possibilities of combinations of veggies, tidbits of cooked meats, and other things. So far I've had turkey/peas/cheddar, and turkey/broccoli/pesto/mozzerella.

Also, I make my french toast in the George Foreman. It's a little weird, but it works very well, and I like the tidy little efficient feeling of having both sides cook simultaenously.


FO Happy Together!

I spent most of yesterday on the porch, because the weather was too nice to stay inside. I drank ice tea, knit with a book on my lap, smiled at passersby, sat out a little pop-up thunderstorm, and generally just had a Really Nice Afternoon. I finished binding off the last stitches of the shawl at 8pm. I opted to block it right away even though the only blocking space I have is my bed, figuring I could always sleep on the couch if the shawl wasn't quite dry by the time I wanted to go to sleep. I pinned it out, then danced around with glee. I love this shawl.

By the time I was ready to go to bed, it was dry and it was glorious. I danced around some more, and flounced around, and thought about waking up friends to come see it Right Now (but I didn't). Here are some pictures taken first light this morning, after a little more skipping about on the porch with it and startling the neighbor.

Hello, Parsley!

Hello, Geranium!

Then, this afternoon, we ventured farther afield.

I'm dancing on the inside.

Flower Basket Shawl, made using Schaefer Yarns' Anne from my secret pal.


The shawl looks out the window wistfully, dreaming of the first day when it will be Finished and Worn Outside.


Iowa had something we haven't for a while - rain.
Blue tank mid-frog.

Plague of Frogs

I've been stuck in a knit-n'-frog loop for the last couple weeks. I finished the Branching Out scarf I made Mom (belatedly) for Mother's Day. I have also been knitting on 3 projects simultaneousy: a sock, which, Harlot-style, I took on the little trip west I made last week, knit past turning the heel before deciding that smaller needles would have been better and that maybe I want to use this yarn for something else after all; the flower basket shawl, the back half of which keeps loosing stitches mysteriously despite careful counting and even the presence of lifelines; and a tanktop of blue cotton, which I knit half way up the back before realizing I was making holes with the increases and which I ripped back last night. I've also been sewing more, trying to finish things I started and abandoned a while ago. While home last week, I found a little mini-ironing board in my closet, which has made it a lot more convenient to iron things since I don't have to haul out the full-sized ironing board from the closet each time a pressing need arises. A wee little ironing board for my wee little apartment, and my wee little life. . . Off to a sleepover tonight, and a visit away this weekend!


Pretty colors!


The Rubaiyat of Gwendolina Ann
(with apologies to Omar)

A book of blank underneath the geranium,
some Treats for feet, some bath salts -- and Thou,
sock yarn, calling to me with your colorfulness --
And stitch markers! Such Paradise enow!

Oh my goodness, my secret pal has sent some marvelous things! You can't smell it, but the bathing salts smell tremendous - something like fruit salad mixed with a blossoming tree floating on a May spring breeze! The little bag contains some very timely pampering supplies for my isn't-it-still-winter? feet (mmm, vanilla mint!) . A set of wordy stitch markers so cute, so concisely and positively directive. Love! Live! Trust! Laugh! I will enjoy these little upbeat thoughts every time I use them. In fact, I think I may start marking stitches that don't strictly require marking, just so I can break out these little puppies. Believe! Imagine!

And you will have to just Imagine how soft the yarn is, and Believe that it is the most beautiful skein of yarn I have ever met. I am swooning over the clear cool colors, and holding it on my lap right now, softly petting it as if it were a pet. And, this thing of beauty's name is Anne, which is my middle name - clearly this relationship is meant to be. Last but not least, a little blank book, perfect for jotting down all sorts of things, with the characters for "happiness" on the cover. Happiness, indeed! Thank you, my pal! I'm off to rustle through my sock patterns, and pamper my feet!
My Secret Pal Strikes!
Stitch markers! With words!


Hey, sailor.

FO Shizzle

Pattern: A Good Bias, Interweave Knits Spring 2005.

Shrug! It's done.

Actually, I am more excited about this than a simple shoulder wiggle can convey. Initially when I seamed it up, I was concerned about the back laying flat on my back - it wanted to fold under. With some firm blocking, and a little talkin' to, however, the fold became a lovely curve! It fits pretty well, although I might lengthen the underarm seams just a wee bit on each side, so it hugs my shoulders just a little more.

I hope that we have a few unseasonably cool nights left this spring, so I can wear it before wool season rolls around again. Now I kind of wish I had made it out of cotton or a blend. Oh well! *Shrug.*


Learning Curve

I'm still figuring this out. I have some specific format-type goals for this page that I'd like to figure out. Progress was made today, however, when the Muse handed me a great rhyme for my tagline. Naming anything takes time; coming up with a knitting pun that hasn't been already used takes an eternity.


First post

one lonely little first post.