Monday, October 30, 2006

fiber art/needle work tag

    I'm home from Richmond and had a wonderful time, despite having some terrible things happen to me. But, there was nothing to be done to change things, so one must trudge along. Especially since some great things happened, too, not the least of which was getting the phone call offering me the job for which I interviewed the Friday morning before we left for Seminar! Job starts in a week -- am I crazy to be excited?? Probably.     I took the last spot in Rissa's challenge: "the first five people to respond to the challenge via comments on this blog will get a small piece of fiber art from me [...] The catch is, you also have to make the same sort of offer in a post on your own blog. That means, this is not an exchange, you do not have to send me anything in return, but you must try to pay it forward though your own blog."     My contribution to those who do the same in response to my challenge will either be something beaded or knitted, or something that is both! So give shout-out in my comments and then pass along the challenge on your blog.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

tail clippings

    Here's the first batch:
    The two red scarves and one pair of socks are officially Finished Objects! More would have been done today, but I had to tinker & reknit ™ the cuff on the socks -- all while battling warm temperatures. Okay. Hot flashes.     The double-rib cuff on size 2s (that the rest of the sock was knitted with) gaped badly. So out came the double-rib tubular cast-off, the ribbing, and the size 1 DPs. The result is much more pleasing to my eye and foot.     And since it is the first completed pair of hand-knitted socks I have made for myself, you get a goofy photo of said foots. Presenting my Jaywalker socks, knit with Sockotta by Plymouth (without a color number on the band):
    Because I made another pair of socks with this ball of yarn, I made them short socks. Actually, both pair are short; I like them that way.     And Brickle likes the red scarves; he's laying atop both of them!
B - U - S - Y     B - U - S - Y   day tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

tails and more tails!

    Here are some finished items which only need to have their tails buried in order to be truly finished: the two red scarves, two pairs of socks, and four pairs of short toe socks. I forgot to put the pair of my Knit-to-Fit Yoga Mitts (pattern to be posted soon, I hope) in the pile. Sorry.     The red scarves should be done by Friday, and the others will go along for the ride to Richmond. Maybe if I am only doing tails while talking I can keep from having to tinker & reknit ™ so much. Maybe, too, I'll have the Meditation Scarf knitting completed and the tails done by then.     Traveling with me will also be the Swallowtail Shawl, a couple pairs of socks, a book or three, my laptop . . . hope I remember to pack my embroidery supplies! Today I'm doing laundry, sorting clothes, organizing outfits with jewelry and other essentials. I'm very excited to be going to seminar again. It has been six years since I have been, and that long since I have seen some of my EGA friends. Oh! I have a job interview on Friday . . . please think good thoughts for me? The timing seems perfect.

not sleepy yet

2AM and I'm not sleepy yet. Boy, I hate it when this happens. So, I'm reading blogs. Found this on ChicKnits: 48 Things You Could Care Less About 1. FIRST NAME? Cynthia Sue 2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My father's sister, Billy Sue. Like Bonne Marie, I was to have been named after Bonnie Blue Butler (Gone with the Wind--Mom had seen it about 20 times by the time I was born... that would be in the theater), i.e., Bonnie Sue. But my parents were worried it would up set my grandmother as her daughter, my father's sister, had recently died (through hospital negligence). So, my dad came up with Cynthia to go-with. 3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Beats me. I tend to forget those kinds of things... except when I wake up from a dream about my Mom and I'm crying. Now that's reall crying. Otherwise, I'm usually crying during movies or TV or sappy Hallmark commercials. 4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Most of the time. Except when I'm taking notes in class. My husband likes the way I make a 'star' with the T-Z of our last name. What amazes me is that sometimes my handwriting looks like my mom's and sometimes like my dad's. 5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? People still eat lunchmeat? Ewwww. 6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably not. I'm way too needy. 7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Sort of... but not online. My OneNote folder does keep growing and growing. 8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? No. Lost them when I was a litle girl, after many many bouts with tonsilitis. And I'm one of those weird cases who never got the promised ice cream cause I was so sick. 9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If I did, it would most likely be the last thing I did. 10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Sugar Pops, no, Captain Crunch. But I can't eat it now (and haven't for years anyway), so my new favorite is Basic 4. 11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Huh? You are supposed to tie shoes? 12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Only if I forget to use deodorant. 13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? French Vanilla. 14. SHOE SIZE? Six and a half, usually. And a little on the wide side. 15. RED OR PINK? Red... a "sea of red" 16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My chin. 17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Whom? My mom, of course. 18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Absofreakinglutely not. 19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Aqua, turquoise-yellow-pink striped, white. 20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Dry roasted peanuts. 21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? NYPD Blue, the external fan for my laptop and the A/C. 22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Periwinkle. 23. FAVORITE SMELL? Chocolate Chip Cookies baking. 24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Bellsouth DSL Fast Access Tech Support. 25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Everything in the face. 26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON YOU STOLE THIS FROM? Like the blog, like the patterns, probably would like the person in RL. 27. FAVORITE DRINK? Peach on the Beach (Appleton Rum) 28. FAVORITE SPORT? Drag Racing -- go John Force! 29. EYE COLOR? Blue 30. HAT SIZE? No idea and too lazy to measure. 31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Never been able to get a pair that work in both eyes, so only glasses for this ol' gal. 32. FAVORITE FOOD? All the carbs I can not longer eat?? Italian, Mexican, New Orleanian fares are favs, but sometimes nothing beats plain comfort food from a Mom's kitchen. 33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Neither; sad endings. 35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter in the south, spring everywhere else. 36. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses, if we are talking Hershey, hugs, if we are talking husbands -- which is no slight to his kisses, of course. 37. FAVORITE DESSERT? GOOD pecan pie,warm with French Vanilla ice cream, of course (that would be puh-KAHN, puh-leez-uh). 38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Rissa & Lisa. 39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? God. 40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? See the sidebar, it might be up-to-date. 41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A pen, three tiny batteries for my laser-pointer pen, and a 10-centavos coin from my trip to Mexico. 42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? CSI: Miami 43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My husband laughing, my son's laughing, bluebirds and mockingbirds. 44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Out-of-country: Puebla, Mexico; in-country, Kauai, Hawaii. 46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Failing to follow-through on my brillian ideas. 47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Florida -- unlike most of the people living there! 48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Snagged from Chicknits blog. Now I'm sleepy. Just have to get this yellow furball off my lap.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

10,000 blessings

    At about 4AM, I woke up with a compelling need to, well, okay, go to the bathroom, but also to get a specific yarn from my spare room and start another of the cabled scarves -- only with three cables instead of only two. Although I can't now remember, there was some reason why I needed to do this.     I grabbed the yarn and cast on, but it seemed much too loose and so I dropped down two needle sizes (US 7) and began again. I worked on it through the morning as we went to appointments, and as I knitted, I began to repeat the Great Mantra (calming when my DH is fussing about stupid drivers, highway construction, etc.) I started wondering what size a piece of knitting would have to be to make 10,000 repetitions. Thus was born my Meditation Scarf.

    Now, I can't share the pattern I use, because it is simply an adaptation of the cabled scarf in Leigh Radford's One Skein (pages 32, 35-36). Increasing the number of cables from two to three, for me, represents the Three Jewels (refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha), as well as the Three Poisons (greed, anger, ignorance) we all strive to overcome. However, all you need is a 40 stitch width for 250 rows to make your 10,000 stitches/repetitions. Every 25 rows will be 1000 stitches/repetitions.
The background on my laptop is a beautiful valley in Tibet.
    And speaking of Tibet, EVERYONE needs to see this short video of what Chinese soldiers are doing to Tibetans! How can our country continue to do business with this government?!? How can the world even consider taking the Olympics there in two years?!? How can we as a country justify not responding to this kind of atrocity?!?     I'm heading back to the scarf . . . a long nap as the consequence of my early morning compulsion, so I'll be awake awhile longer tonight.

Monday, October 16, 2006

the day flew by

    It is hard to believe that it is not even 6pm. I've had such a busy day. It didn't start out so well: I left the house with my hair still wet, planning to get a hair cut. But I forgot Jason takes off on Mondays. So I looked pretty scruffy all day. And OMG! It is so steamy-warm here in MS today! Stormy, overcast, and WIN-DEE! Which didn't help my unstyled hair.     Major event today was a doctor's appointment. He wanted to follow up on the results of my blood tests from last month, specifically because, while my blood glucose seems to be in good control, my cholesterol has not come down like he had hope. The total was 231, the LDL was 160, and the HDL was 53. High cholesterol with diabetes increases my risk of heart complications, so he wants those high numbers lower. My HDL has always been good, but I worry about it now that I am pre-menopausal, so it was comforting to see that still in the good range. Other good news with regard to cholesterol, is that both kidney and liver functions are very good. So, he put me on Vytorin in a two-prong attack that is also less risky for side effects, and I'm to come back in three months. The office had a starter pack that got me a 30-day supply for free today from the pharmacy.     I actually didn't see him except when I was leaving. He has a new NP in the office, and she did the work up, consulting with him. I like her. It has been a while since he has had an NP. He had a really good PA for a while, but she left for other pastures. I have missed her.     I did my grocery shopping while waiting for the prescription, then went by the library, the bank and paid bills on my way home. I forgot to pick up the pictures before I left WM, and unfortunately there wasn't time for a pedicure/manicure. Perhaps tomorrow: dental appointments for us both, eye exam for DH.     The best news from the blood tests though was that my AC1 was 5.9% ! That is down from 8.7% in July. And my blood glucose this morning after eating was 95. He got me one of the Accu-Chek monitors the company provides and wrote me a script for the strips. I got home early enough to get the mail-order form and all my new/renewed scripts in the mail this afternoon.     DH arrived home just as I was walking back to the house from putting the mail out, we brought in the groceries and then, both of us hungry, headed to town. We had a quick and early dinner and are home, and it is not even 6pm. Sort of feels strange. Now, I hope to relax, watch a bit of TV, and work on my Swallowtail Shawl tonight.     I stitched on it driving to Bogalusa on Sunday for lunch, and tinked it on the ride home. I stitched while waiting to be called at the doctor's, then tinked it while I waited in the exam room! I just can't seem to make much progress with the Misti Alpace. I was zoomin' with the fingering weight wool, so it's frustrating.

red scarves

    The knitting on the two red scarves was finished yesterday; one on the ride to Jackson, the other on the ride home. It took all evening tonight to do the grafting. I had plenty of yarn, so it was a stupid idea waste of time to work both cable sections and then graft, especially since it wasn't simply stockinette, or k1p1 ribbing, but k2p2 ribbing joining the cable. I meant to do one row of k2p2 at the end of the cable, but forgot, so the grafting as "wonky." Fortunately, ribbing is very forgiving as it pulls together the knit stitches and hides the purls.
    The detail of the cable pattern shows up best with the solid red one:
    (This one may go to a Tibetan monk who will be visiting one of my professors in November.)     The weekend was wonderful. Good food, good friends, and good shopping! Not as exciting, however, as my sister's weekend on the Big Island of Hawaii -- she got a bit shook up today, but is okay and I think had her lights and water back by this afternoon.

Friday, October 13, 2006


    I forgot to make my BCA post last Saturday, and will be out of town tomorrow, so I'm posting a double-header now (and photos of my red scarves later tonight, promise!). Somewhere I came across, on someone's blog probably, a link to Lisa Loyd's Sister Scarves. These are really beautiful, and I hope to make them soon, keeping one for myself and giving one away.
    Though I have highlighted a couple of organizations/companies with special promotions for BCA in past posts, I thought I would just point you to the whole list at the Susan G. Komen Foundation site: October Partner Programs. Something there for every interest and pocketbook.     And, of course, I am again reminding myself to call the clinic for a mammogram. I am overdue.

you know you've been

knitting too much...     when the only reason you watch "Judging Amy" is to see what Maxine (Tyne Daly) is going to be knitting during each episode. (She's a thrower, by the way.)     At the end of one episode today, Maxine and Amy are sitting in the back yard at night and Amy asks, "You can see to do that in the dark?" "As long as I don't look at it in the light" she replies. Later she remarks that she "knits badly."     The two red scarves are half-finished. Photos tomorrow, er, later today. And speaking of scarves, go see this one Stephanie just finished from her handspun.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Yikes!     I've come down with a severe case of startitis. In the past 24 hours, I cast-on for
a scarf in the same yarns I made the pink hat for Think Pink (though I might get it finished by the deadline, it won't be in Sydney's hands by the 15th). a 5-hour baby sweater for a young friend in other pink yarns, and two Wool-Ease scarves for the Red Scarf Project.
    This is in addition to the wool scarf I have started on some size 10s in Debbie Bliss Merino Aran to use as a practice piece to teach knitting,     And the Swallowtail Shawl, which I cast-on the day after the MistiAlpaca arrived. I would be half-way through the pattern repeats of the Lace Bud pattern 2, but I foolishly tried to knit on it while I was with #1Son at the bank and car dealership yesterday buying his new used car. Time to tinker & reknit™     I have knitted lace patterns often in the past, but I have never actually knitted with lace-weight yarn before. I am finding it a bit tricky. It is so light, it is still at the whim of the circular needle. I'm using bamboo, at least, so it isn't so slippery as if I was using metal. I have to pay just a bit more attention so the stitches don't slip away, but with every pattern repeat it gets better, and I get back into the swing of the pattern. I wish I had started the dark red one though, instead of the grey... and as much as I want to finish it and wear it, I dread the blocking.     That's all for now.. it's a cool, beautiful day. Well, okay, it's overcast, but that's why it's so cool. Fine with me. The birds are singing and I have a quiet house for stitching. I think the neighborhood dogs are all sleeping, and the trains have quite running until later in the day....... TV is off and I am content keeping my own self company.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

in the pink

    It's just a little warm in the house today, but not so warm that I want to close the windows and turn on the A/C. So, as my hands tend to be the warmest part of my body, it's been less pleasant to knit today.     The project I have been working on for the last week or so has involved a good bit of Tubular cast-off, i.e, grafting, i.e., Kitchener Stitch -- due to having to rework some ending ribbing several times. (Removing grafting is a pain, isn't it??) So, before doing the last bit on this project, I decided this morning to graft the Sidewinder hat I finished before we went to Saint Augustine for our anniversary.     It is slow going. I'm reading blogs as I work it. My hands get sweaty, and I put it down. NOW, I have just realized that although the edge is stockinette (first six stitches) the rest is garter, and I've been grafting on the wrong side to boot! So, the fuzzy yarn I have used, which has been a pain every time I have had to tink'r & r'knit™ and while I was doing the short-rows, is now a blessing in disguise.     The hat is for me, the grafting row will be to the inside, and looks fine right-side out.... that's the rational part of me it trying to control the compulsive part of me that wants to tink'r & r'knit™ it by telling me, "One more stitch, keep stitching. One more stitch, keep stitching."     Doing this grafting, I have found a way to check my place. To make it more like the Tubular Cast-off which I have been doing for DAYS, I put all the live stitches for the seam onto one needle rather than two. So, if the second stitch on the left needle is from the "back needle" stitches, I know that I am in the purl-purl portion of the sequence. If the second stitch on the left needle is a "front needle" stitch, I know that I am in the knit-knit part of the sequence. If my sequence doesn't match up with the stitch placement, I know I made a mistake somewhere a few stitches back. This has been helpful working with this fuzzy, and flimsy yarn as the "back" stitch sometimes seems to disappear and I have actually worked the second and third stitches on the needle together by mistake.     Nice day, considering I've stayed in all day. Hubby is switching between the NASCAR race and XM radio on the dish, old country/western stuff. Windows are open, birds and critters making noise, cats are happy.    ETA: Seam is finished:
(I hate the way I look in hats.)
    I know the "sidewinder" pattern is lost in the fluff, and the novelty yarn I used in it too, but I had it, I wanted a pink hat, and viola!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

going pink

    Well, it's not a total conversion. In fact, it looks pretty sorry -- I'm not so good at deciphering CSS -- but I'm making an effort to go Pink for October. I tried to keep the pink moderate, so as not to make anyone ill looking at a Pepto-Bismol blog for 24 more days!     It was my intention to post a month's worth of little goodies, like I did in this post, but being in Florida for the first couple days of the month gave me a late start and I decided I would just "post pink" each Saturday. How fortuitous that I should stumble across Matthew's site, mentioned above, tonight!     Here's one even I can enjoy, at least a little:

Crunch for the Cure
    I love the Garden Salsa variety -- and a one-ounce portion is just perfect for a tuna & salad lunch. Satisfies my carb/fat craving at a small cost. Sasha loves to lick the seasoning off your fingers:

Our Sugar & Spice Princess

Friday, October 06, 2006

Saint Augustine Photos

I've put some of the photos I took with the digital in an album here. I don't know how to change the order, and they uploaded in the reverse order that I intended for them to be. I'll add more when we get DH's film developed. Here's the welcome sign, coming into Mississippi, that we saw on the way home: Part of me wonders about the person who came up with the slogan, another about the people who approved it. Cynthia

Thursday, October 05, 2006

tag, I'm it

5 Weird Things About Me

Rissa said, "That leaves me to tag someone, so I will tag those poor souls who know me in real life; Cynthia, Lisa, and Karin. I know you girls are reading this…so now you are tagged! I figure that if they are friends with me, you know they have to be a little off center." (Emphasis mine.)

Hmmm. I think that's a compliment. Not sure these are so very weird, but...

1. I have a bridge phobia which probably stems from recurring nightmares I had as a child of going off the end of a drawbridge in a car.

2. When I find an author I like, I want to read EVERYTHING they have written and order of publication.

3. I am too lazy to cook, but I collect cookbooks. This goes hand-in-hand with watching the Food Channel. Oddly, I also hate to clean house, but I don't collect books about that!

4. I love to buy gifts, but I hate to package them up to mail off. I have Christmas presents in my dining room from last year for relatives in MD.

5. I don't like long phone conversations any more. Used to talk for hours with friends and relatives. Now they probably all think I hate them cause I never call people unless I really need to talk to them about something. On the other hand, I can waste all day chatting online.

My blog-buddies have all been tagged except one, but if anyone reading this wants to play along, consider yourself tagged! Let me know in the comments, please. Cynthia

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

once a beadaholic

always a beadaholic.
    There were three listings for bead shops in the Saint Augustine yellow pages, only one of them still in business, Yo Ho Ho Beads, right in the Old Spanish Quarter. Really nice woman. I was sorely tempted by some of her finished pieces. But, only succumbed to the purchase pictured above. These treasures came from a shop by the center of town, Cool Beads. The shop was not listed in the yellow pages, but had ads in the tourist brochures. Poor man. The city is tearing up the street in front of his shop and his business was suffering already. They had only been working on the street for a week, but it will be at least three more weeks before the road is open again. Beadaholics will still search him out, but his curious foot traffic and impulse buyers has dried up for now. At least it is the slow, off-season -- then again, that actually makes it worse.     I believe most of the above are stone, not glass. The wavy purple and shell-shaped green are definitely glass. I usually buy odd numbers of beads, and only buy two of something when I am planning earrings, or end embellishment. The two silver items on the far left are end/bead caps. And the strand of turquoise is for a neckpiece to go with a pendant I bought in Mexico this summer.     If I could ever get myself organized, I could get some beading done! So many passions, so little time. Cynthia

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

25 & 5

    Yesterday was our 25th wedding anniversary. Today we returned home from a quick celebratory trip to one of our favorite places, Saint Augustine, FL.     It was supposed to be a surprise for my husband. We had talked several months ago about going, then dropped it. Last Thursday, I checked reservations again, and rooms were still available. I really wanted to suprise DH... but a series of interruptions (albeit pleasant) and delays on Friday kept me from getting everything done that needed to be done. So, later that evening, I had to tell him the plan. We finished packing, went to bed early and were on our way east by 8am on Saturday.     I am notorious for falling asleep on long drives, but I actually managed to stay awake for the trip. I knitted almost the entire way. We arrived early in the evening, before sunset. When it was time to leave this morning, we were both considering staying another day -- so we got on the road quickly! On the ride home, I slept more than knitted.     We had good food and good weather. We wandered through the historical district and drove along the ocean. We met wonderful peeople, both locals and visitors. We did a bit of sightseeing and some shopping, though not as much as we'd have liked as many of the stores and restaurants were closed on Monday. It is the "off" season, but there were still too many people around on Saturday night and Sunday morning to suit us!     The hotel where we stayed has been bought by the people who also own the Hilton just a block away, so we may not be able to afford to stay there next time. They are planning major renovations. We love it because it is right on the bay and very reasonably priced. A simple place, but convenient.     I'm a bit of a rare bird: a Florida native. My family moved to Maryland when I was 14, but part of me has always hoped to live there again. When I was a little girl, we sang this song in school: I want to wake up in the morning where the orange blossoms grow. Where the sun comes creepin' through my window peepin, and the songbirds sing "Hello!" I want to wander through the orange groves... (forget this line) so I'll make my home in Florida, where the orange blossoms grow.     The "&5" in the title? I gained five pounds. Oh, well. Back to work. Speaking of work. There's another library job posted. Won't get it, but I applied anyway. Cyn