Thursday, July 16, 2009

The wisdom of Bezzie...

From the comments on yesterday's post:

Maybe the goldfish was actually an Al-tuna? Ok, yeah that was bad.

Ya' think? Well, not so fast.

Meet Al Tuna.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thank you for ....

...indulging me for the last loony posting. I guess I'm tired of worrying myself to death about the great Cap and Trade con, that will probably drive my elderly mother from her home, which we probably won't be able to sell because it's over 40 years old and not energy efficient, and we do not have the resources to have it either inspected or upgraded... of course, we'll probably be too sick with no viable options to even worry about it, and on and on. In comparison, the Sportbeat "issue" seemed almost "solvable". I'm incredibly cheery am I not?

But on to knitting. Here's were I am on the Wrap Me Up shawl:

This has turned out to be a fun piece. And even though I still don't really feel the Noro love, it looks pretty cool. I can't imagine actually wearing it, but they'll be setting the building temps lower in order to save money this winter (it's much warmer in here now in the summer), and I might need it. The other fun thing is that this piece lends itself to lots of ad libbing. Don't like a color, instruction, pattern? Do something else. It's all good.

I may as well knit ahead, 'cause I won't be getting to my group this month. My Amish friend is coming to help "spring clean" that day, and though we'll be long done, I'll be a wet rag by evening. Last year I drove her home, stopped and got fresh corn from a farmer, cooked and ate it standing up in my freshly cleaned, yet disarrayed kitchen. I was just too mentally and physically tired to do anything else. Blah!

Here are two progress pictures of Girasole. When I took the first, I had just reknit it to the point you see. This was right after the July 4th weekend.

I had not paid attention and ended up with THREE more stitches after the first chart. One then knits six stockinette rows, and when I started the next sequence, I was shocked to find I had extras. I pulled it out to before the stockinette rows and started over.

This is almost through the third chart. I'm doing much better reading the lace, so I can see the errors before I get too far. You didn't think I stopped screwing up did you? I just know how to fix them better.

In this photo you can see the bits of silver in the Dream In Color Starry.

It's a little blurry because I'm struggling with my macro feature. Must. Read. Manual.

Still working on the cardigan too. Pretty boring photo fodder though.

I'll leave you with two cell phone photos from the Altoona Curve game. The ball park is a very nice place to attend a game. You will notice the roller coaster, Leap The Dips, in the background. That is a vintage wooden coaster which is classified as a National Historic Landmark. When the amusement park is open the cars have GO CURVE on the side as they climb the hill facing the ball park. The first photo, is so typical of a minor (AA) league team. There are all kinds of games and prizes and the "kids" run the bases after the game and are greeted by the bizarre array of mascots, including, this year, a goldfish!! No idea how the goldfish relates to the Curve in particular, or Altoona in general. I just thought the last photo was interesting as the fireworks lit up the coaster. (Which had just been doused in water by the fire department to make sure it didn't get set aflame.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When you wish....

....upon a star....yeah, no dreams comin' true here.

If you look through my postings, you'll probably notice that we here at Casa Black n' Gold are a little nuts for Pittsburgh sports. DH is a native, and once a 'Burgher, always a 'Burgher. I, though not a native, easily adopted this mindset. Though all of the teams wear black, for the most part, they are thought of as the "good guys" in a western. Back in the early 90's we left the Burgh, and thus left behind the local sports news. It was awful. No sports talk, no newspapers, nothin'. DH was devastated. Then a cable channel that catered to Burgh sports began. Mecca for displaced Pittsburgh fans. About 18 years ago a rinky dink sports talk show was produced by the original channel called Sportsbeat . As time wore on it turned into THE information conduit for all sports information, with an emphasis on Pittsburgh. The hosts changed over the years too, but primarily it was manned by Stan Savran and Guy Junker. Pittsburgh fans all over the country bought their sports tiers and packages just to be able to see Sportsbeat and get Steeler, Pirate, Pitt, Penguin,and even Penn State news. For us, I had to tape it every night for DH to watch. The station itself went through many modifications over the years, and lastly has morphed into a Fox Sports Affiliate. Sometime in the past 18 months, it was purchased by Liberty Media, who sometime in the past month decided that those five hours of Sportsbeat was too much locally produced regional programming - never mind that it was watched all over the country; never mind that the ratings didn't flag. They decided that broadcasting poker and the Top 32 Yo Yo Tricks was more cost effective. They had already, unceremoniously kicked Guy Junker off a few years ago. So after 18 years it was announced last week that Sportsbeat would be no more and last night was the final show.

OK, you're all thinkin' I've really gone round the bend. Why does this matter? Our country may be slowly imploding. We have nuts in other countries trying to figure out how to kill and maim our citizens. I have a friend who will soon be deployed (for the second time in two years) to Afghanistan. But all I can try and tell you is that it has something to do with the water/air/implanted microchip that you acquire living in Pittsburgh. There--it is a way of life. Where else can a gnome with a voice like a rusty gate be a beloved broadcaster. Where else will THOUSANDS of fans travel to sit in the hot sun and watch big men run around seemingly aimlessly. (And yes, we'll be there. I'll take pictures.) So this came as a blow. I didn't see the show, I taped it for my DH, but I had just gotten home from yoga, when Stan Savran (who is remaining with the station), did his final commentary, and I literally couldn't hold back my tears, and apparently neither could he. He said that he had to pre-tape his remarks because he was afraid he'd be too emotional.

Folks, I don't know this man from a cake of soap, but he has come into my home every night for 18 years, and shared a bit of what we still consider home.

Now, of course, I'm wondering how to find out about FCC licensing and how to complain that FSN isn't supporting the local community. (There is always some public comment period when a license is to be renewed.) It's not like there isn't enough evidence. I'm working up to ripping 'em a new one.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Finito #1

The Vanilla sock!!

Happy Birthday Mom....Basil (the bear) not included. I figured out that if I actually worked on the blasted thing I'd finally finish it.

Knit Picks Dancing, wool/cotton/nylon blend. It is rather thinnish and has quite a bit of give. They no longer have this yarn, but mom loves it, so I'll have to find a good sub. I'm thinking something with bamboo. Let me know if there are better options.
No idea what color. The way it knitted up reminds me of Sweet Tart candies. (Yes, I'm loony, why do you ask?)
Knit on two #1 circs.

Finito #2


Please, please, please, no mas!! Reverend King he is not! He was a sadly, self-destructed individual.

Finito #3

Finally, over the holiday, we got to one of the state parks we've been interested in for a long time. It is on the "endangered" parks list. PA, like so many other other states has a huge budget shortfall, and there are 20some odd state parks that may be closed due to the budget short fall. We have some glorious areas in PA, and it would be a shame!

This is Trough Creek State Park. It is over an hour south east of us. What I liked:

The Rainbow Falls. But I could have done without the felled tree down the middle.

The Falls stairs, which looked a heck of lot like Cirith Ungol for you Lord of the Rings geeks.

The Balanced Rock, a remnant from one of the ice ages. It is balanced precariously over Trough Creek. One of these days they expect it to tumble over the precipice. I hope the idiots who think it is the place to proclaim their love for each other with magic markers stop before it happens.

The cliff side view.

This is taken along one of the ridge trails. Only problem with this park is that most of the trails are up! Makes for tiring hiking. But the views are wonderful.

This is a suspension bridge. It is wonderfully swingy, and made me very nervous to cross. It felt like being in a ferris wheel.

What I didn't like were all the signs that reminded us that rattle snakes are protected, and there are lots of snakes in the park....Not a snake fan, alas, and I kept wondering who would protect me from snakes.......! Thank goodness I didn't meet any.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My knitting is surrounded by water.....

.... meaning I have islands of seemingly unending knitting with no rescue in sight.

I'm on the second sock of my mom's Very Vanilla pair (originally intended for Mother's Day, but now targeted for her birthday in August). I'm halfway down the foot, and I'm just not getting any love from it, so it's going very slowly. I'm envious of the knitters who one day are at the gusset and the next at the toe. Don't these people work? I mean really? Don't they have to shovel out their homes once in a while? Empty the fuzzy continers from the refrigerator? Well, never mind...... just sayin'.

There is my Oceania cardigan. It went like gangbusters while the hockey playoffs were on. Great knitting for when your attention is elsewhere..... (aside: how about that Marion Hossa! Twelve year contact with the Blackhawks!) However, I am on the second front side, and I seem to have picked up the habit of dropping stitches. Terribly hard to see in boucle yarn. I've dropped stitches, at least three times, in the past week. Sheesh! This is not a complex knit people!!

And finally, I'm not a joiner....not really. You may remember though, that I "accidentally" joined the Loopy Ewe sock club, and am now making a collection of sock yarn, that will remain as stash (which Sheri says doesn't count as stash) until my deeply depressed sock mojo (thanks, Vanilla sock) returns. But this probably won't happen until after I finish Girasole. Yes, I joined the Loopy Ewe KAL for Girasole and gosh it's a great knit. It is actually the only thing I feel like working on. I should have refrained, but I got Dream in Color Starry to work it in, and it speaks to the hidden exotic dancer in my soul. It is working up a little stiff, I think, but I'm guessing a good soak and blocking will take care of that.

Then there is my Wrap Me Up monthly knitting group ...I've slowed my pace so as not to make my fellow knitting group members want to throw me out. Actually, I'm the cautionary tale of the group. I make all the mistakes first. So I suppose I serve a purpose. Also it is Noro Kureyon, and it is a pretty heavy wrap at this point. Not exactly a summer knit. However, it is zipping right along. I'm about one block ahead at this point. I'm kind of comfortable with that.

As I look through all these projects I'm feeling very guilty that my beading is just languishing. There is a pearl bracelet that I've wanted to work for about a year, and several pieces, including sun glass leashes that need repair. But knitting boucle, and dropping stitches seems to take priority.

I'm hoping to take some WIP shots this weekend. I'm also hoping I can get DH to hold up the Wrap Me Up shawl so I can get a good shot. It is big enough that it doesn't lend itself to draping.

Finally, Happy 62nd 63rd (I stand corrected!) Anniversary (yes, that's sixty two three years!) to two people in my life that I dearly love and admire. I don't know how you've done it, but you're an inspiration. No kidding!!

Happy Anniversary Guys!

ETA: I was asked in the comments if these were my parents, but no, they are my in-laws. And as I've said in other venues...I won the in-law lottery, no kidding. I did pretty well in the parent category too, but my mom was widowed almost 9 years ago.

ETA2: They have got to be kidding! I am just stunned by this circus.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Well this proves it...

.... Minnesotans will vote for a brick if it runs on the Democratic ticket. (Remember Jessie Ventura?)