Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday Sky

Attempting my first Pomatomus!

On Sunday I got up at 2 a.m. to put on a pot of coffee. The plan for the day was to wake up and get on the road for a two and a half hour drive to the lake where mom & dad were camping. It was to be their last day on Seboomook Lake and if we wanted to get there before they packed it up and left early, we needed to get started really early ourselves.

We were on the road by 3:30 a.m. and got there at 6. Just in time for a breakfast of bacon & eggs, which was already cooking.

This was to be a sit in the sun at the side of the lake day and knit. While the men went off fishing Mom and I would take a walk or two along the causeway and then sit and knit some more. She worked on a Grammie Sock and I decided to attempt the Pomatomus.

That's right. I have no clue how to read a knitting chart, but this pattern (written only in chart form) . . . This is the one I decide to try. I didn't want to take the library's copy of the Treasury of Knitting Patterns on the road so I loaded my totebag with 2 sets of different sized needles and a couple of sock patterns I've been wanting to try. (Printed out from Knitty.) I figured I would probably just start another pair of Old Shale socks because I can do them without the pattern and even traveling down bumpy roads. (5 pair completed since Memorial Day!) But I packed to cover several choices rather than decide ahead of time.

It was COLD. If you can believe it!

I cast on and did the 10 rows of Knit 1, Purl 1 rib wearing Dad's THICK flannel lined jacket. Sleeves rolled up so the needles would stop getting hung up on the cuffs. The wind was coming in off the lake and it was freezing until after 10 in the morning. By the time the winter coat came off I was ready to try to interpret a knitting chart. I wrote out each line of the chart in long form and painstakingly went from line to line.

Thankfully mom had a clue what to do when the very first sentence said to [YO, k2tog, (p1, k1 tbl) five times] WHICH PART happens five times? She concluded it was the (p1, k1 tbl) part that repeats 5 times. But she had no idea what tbl meant. Luckily I had consulted Knitty's definition section and knew it was THE BACK LOOP. Whatever that meant as I had never actually tried it. Until now.

Let me just say knitting in the back loop did not come easily at first! Some of my Yarn Overs may have been a little too long. But by the time the guys got back with a few fish and it was time to pack it in I had completed 2 inches of my first Pomatomus!

Mom nearly finished an entire Grammie Sock. Only about 2 inches left to do.

NOTE: Sunrise photo is over Moosehead Lake. Mt Kineo on the right, taken from the road on the way to King's High Landing. Which is where the traveling sock photo is gazing out over.

UPDATE: I'm stuck on my Pomatomus so have posted this in designer's comment section of her blog. If anyone happens by that can help me out, I would be ever so grateful!
I need a support group for my Pomatomus.

Row 12 of the first 1-22 repeat ends in a YO? How do you YO on the end of a row?

There's an * that says to move stitches around on the needles but I'm not sure when?

UPDATE 2: I'll be starting over now. The knit in the back loop instruction actually started with the very first stitch of the Ribbing. NOT 10 rows later as I did the cuff.

What CAN be fixed MUST be fixed. More UNknitting ahead.
I believe it's back to the drawing board with my Sunday creation by the lake. Most of it being wrong.

At least one of my faithful readers will now utter phrase, "You're such a... ?" in that tone of voice.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Mixed & Random


I found the Barbara Walker 1st Treasury of Patterns book. So I'm pretending I might be able to design holy socks. Socks with lace holes. Holes on purpose!

I'm trying the Diamond Lace Chain with a Cloverleaf Eyelet Rib on either side. Sara thinks it needs to be put down so the Yikes yellow socks get finished first. Silly child doesn't understand the difference between "I'm working on them" and UFO. Not sure how long an item has to go untouched before it qualifies as a UFO but these are WIP - work in progress baby!

Mt. Katahdin

And that plant in the sugar bowl? Meet Dolly Dimples.
In May, this african violet came cross-country from California to Maine in a box. I've craved owning this variety for 2 years, since I first saw a black & white picture of her sitting in an antique sugar bowl, in a very old AV book A wonderful lady sent it to me and I want her to do well. Her outer leaves are looking a little peckish, so if anyone from the forums I've asked for help stop by with advice. PLEASE! Leave a comment. :)

The Pine Tree Quilters Guild newsletter I volunteer to edit 6 times a year is nearly done; 28 pages this issue and the reason not much knitting has taken place for the last couple of days. Deadline! Waiting on one last item before I can pronounce it done.

Some progress has been made on the Plant Pot Cozy Socks.

One grew by three inches waiting for VIP to adjust the headlight on the Wrangler. Thought while the fool and I had traded jeeps for the day I could have a spare key made. Perhaps have a CD player installed - because the cassette radio sucks! And have the headlight that points straight down in the dark ...Fixed.

Another one of those things repaired by the Spousal Unit.
6 months ago: headlight is crooked, son!

No CD player because VIP took forever with the headlight. My appointment was for 11 am.
So at 1 pm - when a dozen others had come and gone - I thought perhaps I might see where I was in their rotation. I'm next? Yeah, sure! Another 15 minutes went by before I said give me my key back and I'll just go.

It cost way too much, so we won't speak of it again. Light's fixed.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The HOME DEPOT incident.

I have a new kitchen stove! Finally.

The deal was: Tom splurges on a plane ticket to Florida to visit his brother and I stay home. I spend the money my ticket would have cost to replace the 22 year old electric range. Yes. This would make me happy. DEAL!

Should probably admit it's a bit of a FALSE DEAL, as I will never fly and the only way I might suffer death by aircraft is when one falls on me. What with our house being under a direct flight path to Bangor International Airport, this can not be ruled out.

Except the bargain was struck a couple of years ago and there have been 2 flights to Florida now. And then things kept coming up that pushed my desire for a new stove to the back shelf. Like college tuition payments, broken septic system, worn out Jeep pickup replaced by a loan for a Wrangler. (Which I LOVE driving. Every other Wrangler driver waves to each other as they pass in the street. It seems to be an actual rule that every Wrangler driver knows.)

But, you know? More important things than replacing a crappy stove that still works.

ENOUGH. Off to Home Depot I go on the last day of their recent 10% off sale on ALL Appliances. Yes. I would have my new stove. This day. Screw the list of things trying to push my new appliance to the back of the line again.

Of course there were none in stock. No problem. I can wait a little longer. It took about a week and a half before the call to came to pick it up. The "free shipping" actually costs $60 and they rebate only $55 of it in 6-8 weeks. No thanks! Dad has a truck.

Dad also has a golf match, but says to take the truck and go get it yourself if you want. I want. Mom tags along for the ride.

So we wait. And wait. For someone from Appliances to fetch my new appliance. Finally out strolls a tall skinny man of retirement age pulling a trolley with a very large box marked RANGE. (And a number of other foreign words, which causes me to reflect that once again I have unthinkingly purchased a GE appliance, probably made in a third world country. By slave labor. I'm sorry. But not sorry enough to send it back and search for American made. If there is such a thing any more?)

For the record: The first words out of my mouth to the tall skinny man of retirement age pulling a trolley with a very large box marked RANGE was, "You ARE going to get some help?"

I think he may have said something like "I'll see" as I lead the way to dad's very tall truck. The next thing I knew the tall skinny man of retirement age pretends he's Superman and can lift really heavy stoves over his head.

All by himself.

As the trolley rolls and the box lists to the left I THROW MYSELF under the really heavy box to prevent it from hitting the ground. Too hard. One corner kind of clunks to the ground with a thud. I am NOT a happy shopper of appliances this day! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? I thought job safety was number one with this company. I've seen them wearing back braces for lifting watering the freaking plants for crying out loud.

Young buff man (who could have been hiding an S under his street clothes) witnesses the near destruction of my precious cargo. Talking on a cell phone, he tells his party to hold on a minute and helps put the box in the truck. He probably could have done it himself. I thanked him as he returned to his conversation about too much drama last weekend. Tall skinny man of retirement age assures me stove should be fine; just bring it back if there's a problem. Drama is not the half of it, if when I get home there is even one scratch on this sucker.

It's been two days now cooking on my wonderful new appliance. I think I've cooled off enough to have a little conversation about lifting/job safety with the manager now.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Oh, for goodness sakes...


I should start by pointing out that our house was built in 1951 or there abouts and many of it's working parts are originals. As soon as one thing gets replaced another is waiting in line to go downhill next. The fates are generally kind enough to spread things out and not to let everything go bad at once. We cope.

The water pressure had been a bit wonky for a few days. This usually means the lines need to be opened on the water pump and flushed clean.

I'm not sure what inspired the builders of this old house to drive the Water Well into a small hole at the far end of the basement. Inside the basement. Flooding during any rainy spell has been pretty consistent. It can be controlled with the sump pump. Usually.

When it's plugged in.

So when Spousal Unit declares we probably need a plumber I should know by now to call one. Immediately. Before he has time to take things apart, pretending a new occupation.

He is NOT a plumber.

7 pm on a Thursday night is not a good time to realize the fool has been missing for an hour or two and I have no idea what he's up to. A little like a toddler that's been quiet for way too long. It's not going to be good.

It wasn't.

"I'm fucked. There's water everywhere...(unintelligible utterings) ...well...broken..."

Yeah, not good.

Thank goodness we have wonderful neighbors. I bolt across street - speak to the wife, who opens door and yells: "Tom's in trouble." (again is left unsaid. It doesn't need to be ;)

Several hours later and a trip to town for more parts and all is back to normal. A new shut off valve has been installed at the source. Perhaps the cause for all the rainy-season flooding has been found, as there was a hole worn in the pipe going into the well big enough to fit a drinking straw through.

I picked up the phone and called across the street to thank them.

And to ask Marcia for joint custody of her husband.

When they first moved across the street (about 16 years ago) before a week was out, she had convinced me to babysit her boys: an 8 month old & a 4 year old. They also had a dog - part husky/shepard. It got in the habit of coming across with the boys; whenever the boys were here so was the dog. Eventually the boys grew up and stopped coming over. But not the dog :)

I got shared custody of their dog for most it's life, as she was left outside when nobody was home there. Whenever there was bad weather she knew that all she had to do was whine at my door to come in. Safe Haven. Often I would walk her home so she would remember where she really lived. Other times they would call and ask us to let their dog out, so they could call her home.

About the joint custody request: Marcia has agreed.
And she promises not to call and ask that he be let out.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Super-Hero Day

Having a 5 year old nephew exhausts keeps me young. My brother lives an hour away so I don't get to see my boy more than a few times a month. Sunday Dinner or the occasional Kyle Day. Kyle Days with Aunt Laudie start at 7:45 am and last until well after 5 pm. By 2 pm I'm generally reminded how happy relieved I am that I get to spoil him rotten with adoring aunt-like attention he deserves . . . And then give him back!

Our latest day together thankfully landed on a day the sun decided to shine, allowing us to go outside and play. One of the many toys (most of them pink!) left over from the days when his cousins were young is a Pink Wand. Originally designed to spew velcro-backed Gems to the hair of a Princess (Gem?) Doll, it has now transformed itself into a magic wand to fight evil Shadow Villains. The villains our Super-Hero fought this day all lived in the Shadows and we Super Hero's lived only in the Sun.

So we ran from shade tree to shade tree slaying the bad guys.
Followed by Super-Dog sidekick and digital camera toting blogger/aunt. (I was told NO photo allowed on the swing but our hero relented with "Just one" when told how sad it would make Steph if she couldn't see pictures from home.

Yeah, playing the Steph card works every time and I'm not ashamed to use it!!

As a mom with two daughters 21 & 23, I fully understand the hard part is over. They are now wonderful additions to Womankind and I'm pretty proud to have had a hand in how they turned out!

And as for Sunday dinner at Gram's, it's a tradition my mother holds onto fiercely.
She cooks. We should come eat it. This has never been a problem:
A) I don't have to cook.
B) When the girls were little, they got to visit their Grandparents.
C) Their Dad gets the house to himself for a little while.

Sunday Lunch at Gram's has always worked out well.
A) being the overwhelming number-one reason I see for going . . . But there you go.

Lunch is pretty much always followed by a hard fought game of Scrabble.
Oldest daughter Sara tends to win the most these days, what with 4 years of high school Latin & a Chemical Engineering degree (suma cum laude, thank you very much! Currently working on the UMaine ethanol Research project to help save the world :) She's a self-confessed cut throat Scrabble player. (Consults with the official dictionary a little too often, if we don't keep our eye on her.)

Recent game:
Having just given away the fact that my 4 letters that were left spelled GETS - as in the person who goes out GETS a one-hundred point bonus! - she offered a little help. (I would be known for often trying to make up Laurie Rules to increase my score, but they never seem to go for it?) Sara not only pointed out a word I could make but where to put it in order to go out.
She confessed afterwards her help was based entirely on the desire to keep her Grandmother from having one last turn and possibly getting enough points to go ahead in the game. I told her she was going to hell for this latest and most extreme cut throat behavior.
Her grandmother didn't hear this confession, but what with our rolling on the floor laughing our asses off, explanations were due. The truth is out!

Steph is off following her dream to be writer/editor, Interning with Scholastic Books this summer in NY. This blog actually is (mostly) about keeping in touch with my youngest kid while she's away- so we call it the Mom Blog. She pointed out in a recent comment that to actually qualify as a Mom Blog (by her new Scholastic standards) I need to post embarrassing pictures of my children as tots and describe outrageous comments they may have made in public.

I could point out that most embarrassing or outrageous moments would have been Steph's doing as a child! She'll be back home for a last year of college at UMaine in the fall.
(And to help kick butt at Scrabble as well :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge 4

Are there points for being first? ;)
Double duty photo op!!

I knit this cuff up Sunday afternoon so I could enter it in the MSN Group Violet Voice virtual African Violet Show.

My actual entry shows the cuff holding a plant pot with a single leaf of the AV variety Rob's Argyle Socks rooting. (Some day mine might look like that, but for now it's one leaf trying very hard to reproduce!)

Since the sock is in it's early stage, as is the rooting leaf, I titled my entry: Propagating Socks!

And now the next Amazing Lace challenge has been posted:

Challenge #4:
Is your camera feeling abandoned, neglected, and ignored after the poetry challenge? Do you find bad pictures of yourself showing up all over the internet and wonder how they got there? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, Challenge #4 has just the answer. Get ready to take some photos!

Your question: If you bound off your lace RIGHT NOW - what could it be used for?

Your challenge: One photo of your lace in a reasonable approximation of its potential use at this very moment posted to your blog (or photohosting account) by midnight EDT (UTC -4:00), July 16. Post a comment on this entry with the link to officially enter.

Behold the Plant Pot Cozy!

I'm willing to buy another set of DPN's and sacrifice these as an artistic statement. Plant pictured is officially named a Persian Prince.
(The plant pot is making a lovely lace blocking tool!)

I'm NOT willing so much to rip them out/bind off the tiny little stitches.
Besides, Sara has already called dibs on this, my 5th pair of Amazing Lace Socks!
(Started before the 4th are quite finished, but there were photographic challenges to be met!!)