Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Look What We Got!

We found out this afternoon that Durwood's trusty 1997 Dodge Caravan was leaking vital fluids from every possible orrifice and needed replacement. I got to know the used car dealer up on the corner across from Atlanta Bread when I sold him DS's pickup a couple summers ago, so we swung by on our way to pick up the leaker. Long story short, this little beauty was sitting there waiting for us. It's a 2004 Chevy Malibu, 4 cyl., 4-door, Burgundy (red!), with 90k miles. It's in excellent shape; it started its life as a rental and moved here from CA. I love it. It gets over 30 mpg. and it's red. Even better Joe gave us $500 for the leaker! Can you believe it? DIL, he said he's got a friend with a lot in Shawano who can sell it for twice that in a heartbeat, so Durwood's rusty, leaking van is headed there. Unusual folk out there on the banks of the Wolf River. Maybe someone will use it for a summer home? (Not your family, of course)

Back To Progress Reports

It occurred to me this morning that I've lost the habit of doing weekly progress reports on how I'm measuring up to the Finished 2009 challenge flung by Julie over at Samurai Knitter earlier this year. I got up to Week #11 before I faded away into casting on new projects and veered off into book rewriting, thoroughbred racing, and gallbladder removal. But now that I've been without narcotics for 2 whole days and intend to drive away all by myself as soon as I've posted this, I solemnly swear that I will get back to filing Progress Reports. Soon. This weekend. Cross my heart.

In the meantime, here's what I knit on while I was under the influence of several quality chemicals. I made Swifies, those dandy, clever, Swiffer covers from MDK's Knitting Outside the Lines. What I like most about it is that I can use any two cotton yarns--solids, stripes, variegates--and it looks fabulous. Today I go in search of buttons to finish them up.

I finished my first Hers Candy Cane sock. I decided on the spur of the moment to do the toe in the ribbing color. Now I wish I had done Durwood's like that. Am I going to pick out the toes of his socks and redo them? No.

I also knit a bit on the Peruvian Shawl. It is wearing on me right now and so is in danger of being frogged. Don't know why. I'll ignore it for a few days and see what happens.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Almost Forgot

I meant to show you all the gorgeous flowers my DD sent me. They arrived this morning with a lovely heartfelt card. When I called to thank her for them she said she's almost gotten over the feeling that Lexington made me sick and I'll never come back. I assured her that all the docs told me that this had been coming on for weeks and I just hadn't recognized the symptoms. I'll be back in Lexington as soon as I can get there. There's DD, and yarn shops, and betting on thoroughbreds, and bourbon distillery tours for Durwood. Who wouldn't want to be there?

See my pretty carnations? Thanks again, honey, I love them, and you. You're my best daughter.

A Change of Plans

I took a few photos at Keeneland but was really too busy having a great time. We got there after post time of the first race and plunged into the teeming masses. All the reserved seats (in the shade) were sold out so we skulked around for a while trying to find a place to lean. Finally DD went and weaseled her way to one ticket that we shared. Actually we sat in seats that were empty around it but agreed with the dragon lady usher that we'd leave if the people came. (How rude did she think we were? Just because we're Yankees doesn't mean we're philistines, although I will say that those people were, en masse, the most polite I have been among in years.) I discovered a gift for the ability to choose and bet on the horse guaranteed to come in dead last. I flung my hopes, and $2, to the wind in 9 out of the 10 races. In only one did I choose the winner and reaped a tidy profit of $7.20. We were able to get down to the rail for the final race to see the horses flash past. It was a ton of fun and not terribly expensive.

That was Friday. On Saturday I felt a bit under the weather so after having a traditional Hot Brown Sandwich (toast covered with sliced turkey, ham, white sauce [mornay?], shredded cheddar, crispy bacon, sliced tomatoes, and then broiled) for lunch (Durwood and I split one or we'd both be in the grave), I napped while Durwood and DD went to Woodford Reserve distillery for a tour. They brought back bourbon chocolates and bourbon caramels. I highly recommend each. We met DD's friend and her mom for a Japanese hibachi/sushi supper which was excellent. Around 10 PM I got a pain under my ribs that wouldn't go away. Fearing food poisoning I spent 4 hours in the bathroom with no relief. We finally concluded that it was time for a trip to the ER. Durwood studied the map and phone book, plotted a route and got us there by 2:30 AM. It's good to marry an Eagle Scout. The doc said I was having a gall bladder attack, hooked me to an IV, and gave me some lovely drug that felt like ants were crawling in my veins but I didn't mind because they took all the pain away with them. Ahhh. And when the ants thinned out and the pain came back, they brought more ants so the pain went away again. Wasn't that nice of them? I had a CT scan and they said I had gallstones. The only thing to do is take out my gall bladder. They wouldn't do it then, I had to go home and get it done, so they gave me lots of nice pills (I think some have the same ants that were in the shots) and sent me away. I knit on Swifty on Sunday while the ants played pinochle on my snout.

I called my nice doc once we were through Louisville on Monday morning and got an appointment for Tuesday morning. Knitting on Thuja got me home. She got me a Tuesday afternoon appointment with the surgeon, and yesterday morning at 9 AM I had my gall bladder taken out. As easy as that. I was the star patient because I had to pee right away, didn't have much pain, and campaigned from the beginning to get the hell out of there. I won't horrify you with the photos of my bandaided belly and my sealed up bellybutton but I will show you the sock I cast on in the prep room and knit on whenever I had a chance. I finished the last row of the 2nd ribbing just as they said I could leave.

Now I'm home for a week with my able chef and manservant making me yummy things to eat and fetching yarn. He'll drive me to Friday Night Knitting Club tomorrow at Harmony Cafe so I don't miss any more time with my peeps, and I've convinced him that I need to go back to work next Wednesday. I've got one dive guy who called today and volunteered to come carry heavy stuff for me so I can go back sooner. They love me, my little dive guys. I love them too.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kentucky Jackpot

Ooh, Ann took me to two yarn shops yesterday. Look what I found. So soft, so pretty. Some of it was even on sale! Not the sock yarn, though. The yarn cakes are Malabrigo silk & wool. It is to die for. I am helpless against those jewel colors and when I picked it up, so soft, it stuck to my fingers. It would have been shoplifting if I hadn't paid for it. Ann wound it for me, just in case I need to cast on a glove or something. I even bought a pair of HiyaHiya metal DPNs in size 3. I'd never seen them and want to try them. Tomorrow we're going back for Stitch 'n Bitch where there'll be more knitting than buying. I think.

That's my program from Keeneland races yesterday. I left most of my money there.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


There is absolutely no knitting content in this post at all. None. Not the teensiest bit. This afternoon when I got home from work I looked out at all the little hopeful spring things in the yard and took a few pictures. You get to see them here, just in case you don't have spring yet where you live or a yard to find it in.

The rhubarb is up, so are the chives,

the poppies, and the lilies.

There are teeny tiny pink buds on my blueberry bushes,

the daffodils and hyacinths are blooming.

But the biggest sign of spring is the nest of day-old baby bunnies I found last night under the kitchen window. The mama bunny moved the nest overnight and filled in the little depression she had dug.

Monday, April 13, 2009


That's how I'm feeling tonight. I finished the Super Simple Sleeping Socks, or the tube socks to use a simpler term, for Durwood. They'll keep his tootsies nice and warm.

I dug deep into my MIL's button bag and found a couple of 1" buttons to finish the Swifty. I see why Kay from Mason Dixon Knitting is so addicted to the ballband dishcloth/warshrags. The pattern is hypnotizing and you can put any 2 yarns together and it looks great, and it's easy to memorize.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I worked on DIL's Silk Road purse last weekend too. I'm getting closer to time to sew it together and knit the strap.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

True Progress

And, I confess, one new thing. Well, not really new. I did cast it on, knit 12 rows, frog it, recast on, and knit 6 rows before I went to bed Friday night. But it turns out there's a teensy little error in the pattern so I'm paying attention so it turns out right. It's the Swifty from MDK's second book. It tells you to start with a purl row, then a knit row, but that makes the purl bumps on the right side at the beginning and then twice again when you go back to the beginning for the second and third time. If you just knit first then purl, all is well. But I'm not going back and starting again. This one will be the practice one, the learning one. Besides it just for scrubbing floors, how perfect does it need to be? Sheesh.

I told you yesterday that I was working on the Candy Cane sock and Thuja, but I wanted to give actual photographic proof of that work. See? I didn't lie, not even a fib, it's the truth. Ta-da! Socking.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Can You Call It Progress...

when all the projects are new? I did knit on the Candy Cane Socks and Thuja last night at FNKC. I did. Really. Ask anybody. But I only have pictures of this stuff so that's what I'm putting on here.

First and foremost, I got to take the swift that Durwood is making for me for a test spin yesterday and caught the handsome and clever maker too. I can't wait until it's ready for regular use.

Felted Holder v. 5 turned out the way I envisioned them way back in the beginning when I came up with the idea. Or when I decided to take the idea off the 2009 Knitting Calendar and run with it in my own creative direction. I've liked all five versions, it's just that this one is most like my original idea. We all know I'll be making many more of these because I can't resist the crazy hairy top.

I paged through Mason-Dixon Knitting's second book the other day and they had another version of the Swiffer cover, this one with button tabs. I suspect that they'll stay in place better so I dug out all my already-used balls of dishcloth cotton and am giving it a whirl. This has already gotten to row 12 and been frogged. You'd think I could follow a simple ballband dishcloth pattern, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I just finished crocheting the last round of edging on the Fish Afghan and wove in all the tails and it's done. Finished. Complete. Woohoo! I never imagined in the summer of 2007 that the little fish blocks I used to learn to knit would end up making such a yummy afghan, but there it is. I luvs it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yarny Stuff Going On

I was so excited last night. I bore down and got the rest of the fish afghan blocks crocheted together. I'm going to finish the first round of edging before bed tonight. Ooh, it's going to look great! And it's warm on my lap.

I knitted a few rows on Durwood's Candy Cane Sox at work today and a few rows on Thuja over the weekend, but I spent most of my time rewriting my novel so I can fix up the synopsis, write a query letter, and email it off to the three (3!) agents who want to see it. Three! Wouldn't it be cool if one of them agreed to represent it?

Oh, yeah, and I'm knitting away on the Peruvian Shawl. Soon it'll be time to add on the next color. I love changing colors. I think all yarn should be variegated so I always have exciting color changes to entertain me. Well, maybe not all yarn, but most of it should be variegated. I sez.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Got A Package

I asked my DD if she had any of the yarn I'm using to knit the Peruvian Shawl, and she did. She sent it to me this week and today it arrived.

There was a surprise. It's gorgeous sock yarn with aloe. Very luxurious feeling. I can't wait to knit with it.

Thanks, DD! You're the best.