Saturday, December 06, 2008

Paperback book swap

Have you seen I actually came across it on Ravelry because they have a group. It's pretty cool, and I received my first book today! If you have piles of books around and don't know what to do with them, here's an option. Load your titles-it's easy, you just enter the ISBN-and start swapping. I had two requests w/in the first 5 days.

Check it out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am not a joiner, but...

Here's some progress on Hey, Teach. I have figured out how to read a chart, but that doesn't mean I am not knitting each row 1 and a half times! Grrrr. But I HAVE figured out where I have made my error so I don't have to frog the entire row. There I go, looking at the positive.

I also joined Ravelry yesterday. So visit me there. I was resistant at first because I am not a joiner. In fact, I am usually repelled by the trends. But I was tired of being sent to Ravelry by bloggers that I read to see patterns, finished projects, and the like , only be blocked because I was not a member.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Will I ever finish this project

I gave myself the deadline of last weekend to finish the Auburn Jacket because I was going to NH to see my college friends to celebrate our 40th birthday. I bought the yarn at Charlotte's Web on my last trip there, in the spring. But I was one sleeve short of finishing. And it was only a short-sleeve! I am kind of mad at myself. I just want to be done with it already!

So now I have no motivation to finish a spring-ish sweater as winter approaches.

The weekend was fun, it was great to get away. We went to Boston and did some shopping at Downtown Crossing and some eating in the North End.

My next project is a cute cardigan w/o buttons. And I am chipping away at this, from Knitty, in a dark gray heather silk blend:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Election Levity

I have been politics-free for the past month or so now. Living in Washington, D.C. probably does not help. Life is so nice with out all of that ridiculousness. I highly recommend it.

But this could not go by without sharing - McCain and Obama fingerpuppets.

Pattern is at

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Effing Twitter

Rant warning: I am not usually a complainer, well not out loud anyway. But my recent experience with effing Twitter has to be shared as a warning.

These new features pop up weekly and they claim to be the greatest thing ever, until there is a problem. And then they turn into the worst thing ever because customer service does not exist on the Internet. You think the cashier at Macy’s is rude, but at least there is a breathing person there. With the Internet, there isn’t anyone there. Just some self-serving FAQs that help no one and a HELP screen that is just the opposite.

I am attending a conference this week, my peers in the association world. Trying to keep up with the latest in technology, I decided to play along with the effing Twitter group that was set up for attendees. I followed the instructions and bingo, I start getting text messages.

So it’s fun for about half a day when I decide, ‘OK, I tried it, not for me.’ I don’t really like texting, I don’t know any of these people (there I just outted myself, I am not a Millennial), but now I understand how this service works. I log onto effing Twitter to turn off my device (read: cell phone) to make it stop. But no, they just keep coming.

Cripes, what do I do now? And to make matters worse, I am blocked at work from entering the site so I have to wait until I get home to figure this out. As the messages keep on coming. And I am paying for every last one of them.

Next I block all of the people who are following me and stop following the meeting that was set up. And I reply with “off” as effing Twitter has suggested somewhere on the site. I am frantically trying to get it to stop. And then I try making it stop my replying “Stop.” All the while I am getting replying to the effect of you, “You have requested messaging to stop.”

Well, yes effing Twitter I have, but you don’t seem to understand STOP.

This has been going on for 4 days now and my level of frustration is off the charts. In my Google-searching for help from someone else who may have had this problem, I find this site Get Satisfaction. Have you seen this? Users can post questions, ideas, problems, and supposedly an employee from said company will help you out. I will try anything at this point (Sat. night at about 12:30). I pound out my question.

Next stop, I wonder if my carrier be of any help here. Miracle, they can block text messages. I am ready to cry. I love Sprint. I love Sprint. I love Sprint. Problem solved, no more messages from effing Twitter.

To follow up on Get Satisfaction: I had a response to my query this AM from “Mark.”

Whatever. I hate Twitter.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hey, Teach

I received the sale email today, one of my favorites I have to say. Even if I am not too tempted, I like to see the yarns that are out there and ON SALE!

But I have had this sweater on my mind (Hey, Teach from the summer Knitty) for a few weeks now.

This looks really cute, wearable for multi-seasons, can be dressed up or down. Living in the mid-Atlantic, I am always looking for something lightweight to wear outside when it is just a little cool. And it doesn't have loooong sleeves to knit. I get so bored with sleeves!!

I chose this tweedy silk in granite

I also came across their list of free patterns I thought I would share. Like recipes, I have a little obsession with free knitting patterns. I have a hard time organizing them, outside of a 3-ring binder.

Still plugging away on the Auburn Camp Shirt. Watching the Olympics is a great reason to sit there and knit. Or is it the other way around?

Monday, August 11, 2008

working the brain cells

1. Soda and Lemon Anyone?, 2. green eggs & ham, 3. Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker, 4. One with nature, 5. KATerpillar, Konverter, Konquerer, Klown, Kryptik, Kone, King, Kreep, Kommunikator, Krane, Konnoisseur ... whatever you want, yet I don´t like Kats - namly Kartoon-Kats! -, you know I´m too much a Naturefriend, a Realist, for such plushy Surfaces!, 6. All-Star Women Team @ Tuxpan de BolaƱos, Jalisco, 7. profiteroles, 8. Mirror Lake . Fiordland . New Zealand, 9. Untitled, 10. Branches, 11. Algida Luxor Cruiser ; ))), 12. Before the world was made… the innerlight of Sarah.K was!!! :)))
This was kind of fun, kind of challenging. It took me way longer than it probably should have, but with the learning curve and all... Plus, I don't think Blogger was the easiest way to do this. (Can anyone offer any suggestions on using code in the body of the blog? I could not figure out how to add the graphic once it was complete. The were a few options for sharing in Big Huge Lab's Mosaic Maker but none were for the graphic. I though using the HTML code was by best option but I don't know how to get Blogger to read the code in body of the post. Am I making any sense?)

I saw this on myafinari posts and thought it looked like fun. So I memed myself. Can you do that??

Here are the questions with my answers in parenthesis. (I couldn't change the order of the pics in Big Labs either. I am a dinosaur!!)

1. Favorite drink? (lemon soda)
2. What is your favorite color? (green)
3. Your flickr name (Advancing the Plot)
4. One Word to describe you. (Independent)
5. What do you love most in life? (my freedom)
6. What you want to be when you grow up? (be well known for what I do)
7. Favorite dessert? (profiteroles)
8. Dream vacation? (New Zealand)
9. Who is your celebrity crush? (George)
10. What high school did you go to? (Cumberland HS)
11. What is your favorite food? (ice cream)
12. What is your first name? (Sarah)

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I found a new use for knitting needles

There is a pigeon, or more specifically a Mourning Dove, who is trying to build a nest among my herbs. I scared her off the other day and dismantled the start of the nest. But she came back! So I stuck a few pencils in the area near the lemon basil that she was nesting.

And she came back again, resting near the oregano and sage.

So I was thinking, What will repel the bird?

Knitting needles of course!

I quit my community garden plot a few years ago because I was tired of fighting the deer because they won every time. Now I am fighting off birds in the window boxes! Sheesh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Democracy for D.C. Soldiers

Bluegrass at the Birchmere

I saw a great show last night at the Birchmere in Alexandria.

Chatham County Line, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Crooked Still formed the the pseudo-Folk Festival. It was great fun! I love bluegrass, surprising for a northerner, and these 3 bands were fabulous.

Chatham County Line was the closest thing to old fashioned bluegrass so they were my favorite. They are good looking, young, very talented guys who are having a lot of fun. "One More Minute" is a beautiful song.

The Stringdusters was another bunch of good looking, talented guys, a whole bunch of them, but they were more country-pop. Enjoyable but not really my kind of music. Many of the band members play other types of music and play in other bands, including a gospel singer, so they had tremendous range in style.

Rounding out the bill was Crooked Still, yet another bunch of good looking people, girls included, talented musicians. I would characterize them as contemporary bluegrass. The cello was a big surprise and added a hint of meloncholy to the music.

Wonderful live music. They are in Philadelphia tonight and then on to NYC.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Turkey was amazing

I am back from my 2-week tour of Turkey. It was amazing, I recommend it to everyone I talk to. We all (the tour group, mostly Americans, a few Canadians) agreed that Americans don't know squat about Turkey. We lump it into the "Islamic World," along with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and get all nervous.

It was a wonderful, beautiful, fascinating place. Language was not that big of an issue, the weather was gorgeous, the history breathtaking. And then there was the Turkish bath! I am melting just thinking about it.

We were constantly reminded that Turkey is a secular country, just like the U.S., it is just filled with mosques instead of churches. It was exotic for a while, but then we all got very comfortable with hearing the call the prayer, seeing covered women, and groups of men socializing.

I went on a tour with Rick Steves company and it was just what I was looking for. The pace was quick, lots of walking, carrying our own bags, fabulous out-of-the way pensions and inns, highly recommend it.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Here I Go!

I leave for Turkey on Saturday night. This trip is finally here! Paul, the new guy, offered to drive me to Dulles. Above and beyond the call of duty! I am traveling alone, meeting the tour in Istanbul on Monday afternoon, so being seen off by a friendly face means a lot to me.

I have gotten so many different reactions when I tell people I am taking a 2-week vacation in Turkey. All of the people who have been there are elated, telling me what a great time I am going to have, it’s so beautiful, the people are so nice, the culture if fascinating, and all the rest. Then there are the people who pause for a couple of seconds trying to compute “Turkey” and “vacation.” They are genuinely curious and interested but I can tell that they don’t really get why a person would go to Turkey, like what is there to see.

And then the reactions when I reveal I am traveling alone, although I am meeting a tour group in Istanbul.

Jonathan: So are you traveling with friends or family?

Me: No, I am going by myself.

Jonathan: Oh, wow.

Me: I am meeting a tour group in Istanbul.

Jonathan: Do you know anyone on tour?

Me: No, not yet.

Jonathan: Pause

Jonathan: Wow, that’s quite an adventure. Maybe you will meet the love your life.


Well, no, that’s not what I am looking to do. He is very excited to hear about the trip, but he is part of that (huge) segment of society that needs to put people together.

I am not thrilled to be going alone, but I am not letting that stop me from going. Part of the reason is that Turkey is not a place many of my family or friends would want to travel to. And I could not travel well with some of my closest friends.

I am in fact dreading the 12 hour flight through Madrid. I don’t do well on long flights. And I am going to feel totally isolated. So I know that I have to go out of my way to make connections with people. My introverted personality will serve me well, but only up to a point. Then I need to interact with other humans, even if they are strangers.

And then I will meet the other people on the tour, many of whom will look at me, and any of the other solo travelers, with some trepidation. I get it all the time.

Hmm, she is friendly, smart, interesting, attractive. Yet she is alone. There must be something wrong.

So I will have to break into those groups of couples and not threaten any insecure wives whose husbands might speak to me.

I sometimes feel like a stay single to carry the flag. It’s okay to be alone and do things on your own. Our society is so marriage and family focused that single people are marginalized most of the time. If I ever get married I will feel like I am abandoning my brethren as I moved to the dark side.

Bon voyage! See you when I get back.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The next level of blogging

My first meme, I am so flattered (thanks Deb!).

Ok, here goes. More about me than you ever wanted to know.

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer."

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was living in a group house in Glover Park, finding my way in my new life in D.C. I was having fun, hanging out with friends, doing happy hours, cook-outs, playing flag football and left field on the company softball team.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
I don't keep actual lists because I then forget to look at them! But rolling around in the back of my head: get in touch with Sophie to meet up for dinner Wed. or Thurs.; practice using the new camera; finish the left front of the Auburn Campshirt; set the alarm for 4:45 AM so I can get to the airport in time for my 7AM flight home from Austin; and decide whether to call Paul or not and then just stick to it.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Edamame; ice cream; cookies; Triscuits; dark chocolate.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
start a foundation.

5) Places I have lived: Rhode Island; Boston; Austria; Brookline.

6) Jobs I have had:
cashier; museum assistant; nanny; in the library during college.

7) Bloggers I am tagging who you will enjoy getting to know better:
Pink Monkey Knits
A Knitter in Queens
What Liz Said
Neophyte Knitter

Sunday, May 25, 2008


It's Artomatic season on DC again. It's a great event if you have never been. Lots of painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, ceramics, glass. 9 floors I think, music, poetry...and it's free. But only through June 15.

Warning if you are traveling from NW DC, the directions are wrong. Turn right on M St. NW, not left. Follow the directions from the 14th Street Bridge.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A little of this...

In the knitting category, I recently joined the Auburn Camp Shirt KAL.

FilmFest DC continued last night with "Fados" and "Late Bloomers." These movies could not have been more different, but in a good way. "Fados" was a look at all of variations of the Fados tradition in Portugal, Brazil, and other Portuguese-speaking countries. It consisted of vignettes of singers and dancers performing. I enjoyed the singing, Fados is so melancholy, but live performing never translates fully to the screen, be it a movie or TV. It's like taking a picture of a sunset, unless you saw it yourself, it does not have the same impact on the viewer.

"Last Bloomers" was in the same tradition of "Calendar Girls," some older woman who are depressed with their lives buck up and make a change - one that shocks their friends and neighbors. Martha lost her husband and prays that God will take her, too, in her sleep. No such luck. But a conversation with her friends reveals that when she was much younger she was an accomplished lingerie designer and sewer. A trip to a fabric shop brings back the fire and she decides to make the sundries shop she and her husband had run for many years in their little town in the Swiss Alps into "Petit Paris," a lingerie shop. The town is scandalized but the women prevail. It was cute.

Before the movie, Carol and I ate at Poste, in the Hotel Monaco. Have you been?

It was the menu was what hung us up. It is categorized by where the food comes from (The Garden, The Pasture, etc.) which was clever but not very helpful. More importantly for me, The Washington Post's description of the prices at $$ is too low. The entrees were $23++. But the menu was mainly appetizer-type dishes, a ratio of at least 3 to 1, at $13-$24. Is the intent a tapas menu? And it was heavy on cheese. I love good cheese, but I am not going to order ricotta and goat for dinner. My friend and I got 2 apps for dinner (the squash blossoms were excellent), no drinks or dessert, and the bill was $51. A little steep for what we got. The food was fine, the ambiance, too, but I was a little let down. There are better places to eat in DC with more ambiance and more food for the $$.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Film Fest DC had better get better

I am 2 for 2 with the Film Fest DC movies I have picked. And it’s not in a good way.

Tonight’s movie, Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame, started out really well. An adorable little girl, probably 5 years old, decides she wants to go to school, like her neighbor, Abbas. She shows great tenacity to buy a notebook because that is what she thinks she needs to go to school. She resembles any little girl excited to go to school like all the other kids.

And then the movie takes a very twisted turn, with a bunch of boys playing Taliban, taking her captive, pretending to stone her, digging her grave. Yes, it was probably some big, giant metaphor, but it was taken a little far. Which is fine, but I felt duped by the description of the film:

Winner of the Crystal Bear for the best first feature and the Peace Film Award at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival, Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame possesses an innocent simplicity that belies the shrewd eloquence of its anti-war message. In March of 2001, the Taliban blew up a massive pair of fifth-century Buddhas carved into the side of a mountain in central Afghanistan’s Bamyan valley. Six-year-old Baktay lives with her family in the caves surrounding the gaping holes where the statues used to be. Determined to attend the girls' school across the river, the beautiful child must trade stolen eggs for pen and paper while enduring the cruel taunts of local boys. This debut feature from Hana Makhmalbaf, the younger sister of filmmaker Samir Makhmalbaf, is the follow-up to her documentary on the making of Samir's Afghan-set drama At Five in the Afternoon, called Joy of Madness. -Eddie Cockrell

Innocent? Not so much. It was so depressing, and from what I overheard leaving the theater, I was not alone in my funk. The movie was a movie, that’s not my problem so much as the description. The scenes in the schools were a blink of an eye. Stars awarded=1.

Last night’s film, In the Name of God, was simply poorly made. The theme was basically how Islam is misunderstood in many cultures, a very worthwhile movie idea. The dialog, story lines, acting, and music were so simplistic, predictable, and just plain poor, and everyone was strikingly beautiful. The stereotypes were stretched to their limits. For example, the main character’s father was Pakistani, living in London with a white British woman, of course! Being married to her would have been bad enough in the eyes of his family back home, but to be living together made the strike that much worse. And it was more than 2 1/2 hours, and it started 30 minutes late. I almost left after about 2 hours, but felt bad so I stayed. Ugh, what a waste. It felt like a bad Hollywood movie. Stars awarded=2.

I have 4 more movies to attend through Sunday. Fingers are crossed that my choices get better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jury Duty … Again

Lock clockwork I got my jury duty summons in the mail a couple of months ago. Criticize DC government all you want, the court system works. Every other spring I get called, I can mark my calendar to it. And it is starting to suck.

This year, as I did 4 years ago, I am serving in the District Court. Which means I call in every evening for two weeks to see if they need me to report. I reported on Monday as required and about half a day later I am sitting on a jury for a trial that the judge estimates will run for the next 3 ½ weeks. It is so defeating knowing that my life if not my own, I have to find a way to keep up with work, and pay attention to the mind-numbing details of the trial. The only good thing I can say is that is not murder or drugs.

And I did see the DC Madame in the courthouse today! I just saw in the news that she was found guilty on all counts. I wonder if she knew that when I saw her this morning?

Send me your good thoughts and pray that these two morons settle out of court. I don’t think I can take 3+ weeks of this, on top of which the Pope is sleeping about a mile from where I live, at the Vatican Embassy, smack-dab between me and the Dupont Circle Metro. The traffic tomorrow and Thursday is going to be very bad. Maybe I will head for the Tenley Metro.

Do you think they would notice if I brought my knitting into the jury box?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Michael Palin knows how to travel

I just finished watching Sahara with Michael Palin. He has done some wonderful travel expeditions to remote and exotic places around the world and this is one of his best. The itinerary is a great geography lesson, and he, being British, offers an interesting commentary on world history.

I remember the first one I saw many years ago was Around the World in 80 Days and it was riveting. You would not expect the Michael Palin you know from Monty Python to lead these exciting adventures, but he is great. I highly recommend any of them if you are interested in seeing remote parts of the world.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Projects

I have a couple of projects I am working on.

The first is the Auburn Camp Shirt found in the Spring 2008 issue of Interweave Knits. I found this beautiful yarn (at left) at Charlotte’s Web in Epping, NH, a couple of weekends ago when I made a quick trip up north for my friend Heather’s 40th birthday (more on that later). The yarn is Olympic from Artful Yarns. It was the color range that caught me – deep pinks, a little purple, melon, and the strands are really different, too, giving the yarn a lot of texture. The pictures don’t do it justice, unfortunately.

The second is a simple pullover sweater from a pattern in Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns. I am adapting the pullover with a rollband color and cuffs, but I tried to give it a little shape at the waist. We’ll see how that worked. The yarn is TLC Cotton Plus, a cotton and acrylic blend that is really nice for inexpensive yarn. I like the stretch the acrylic gives this yarn because cotton can be so stiff to knit. I bought it quite a few years ago because I really liked the color combination, very springy, with blues, purples, greens, yellows, all tempered by white.

The big birthday

Most of my college crowd is turning 40 this year. Myself included, although I am the last to turn that corner because my birthday is in December. I guess that makes me the baby!

Heather’s birthday was supposed to be a surprise but her family had to tell her because they feared they would not get her over to the Inn. She did not know who was going to be there or any of the details so I think she was surprised. It was so much fun seeing my friends, yarn shopping with Deb, the complete change of scenery I needed so badly.

When the party was winding down, we got a group together to go to a small club nearby to hear some live music. Heather’s older brother was leading the charge as we were not that excited to go out, but out of support for Heather, Deb and I soldiered on. The club was jumping, surprising for a beach community in Maine in late March, packed with people. We squeezed our way through the crowded bar and dance floor to an open space to watch the band. And it slowly started to dawn on Heather, Deb, and I that we were in the movie “Cocoon.” Everybody, including the band, was 60+, dressed up, coiffed, metroed out, on the dance floor, singing along from their tables. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. God bless the baby boomers. It was poignant with Heather turning 40. I realized that age is relative and it was kind of fun looking like high school kids crashing the party. (And I met the mother of a blogger that Heather told me about a couple of years ago, so if you’re reading, HI!)

I truly believe that my life gets better as I get older, but there are some milestone birthdays that make me cringe. Well, maybe that word is too strong. They make me stop and think about where I am. (And then I cringe.) Twenty-five was the first one, then 30, and now 40. I surely don’t feel anywhere near 40. When I turned 39 in December I decided this was going to be the Year of Sarah. Nothing is holding me back, and it is all topped off with my trip to Turkey in June.

Just yesterday, a new colleague, Melanie, mentioned that she is turning 25 in October and she is a little bothered by it. I could so relate, I remember how hard it was to turn 25 because I did not feel as mature or accomplished as I thought I should be. I remember now how desperately I wanted to get away from my life at that time. I felt so trapped in my job that I loved but was going nowhere and trapped living with my parents in RI. And that winter was a record snowfall so that was making me miserable. Alas, there were lots of good things too, like I had room to quilt at my parents house, I really miss that, and I had a car so I drove all over to see my friends far and near. And it was that desperation that got me to move to D.C. and that is all good.

Around DC

It is Yoga Week in DC so here is your chance to try yoga for the first time or to take advantage of a bunch of free or $5 classes around the metro area.

FilmFest DC starts in a couple to weeks, too. I spend way too much time making a spreadsheet of the movies I want to see.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Brush with fame

Yesterday I was volunteering at the Constitution Ave. information desk at the Museum of Natural History. The place was mad, people, the tourists are back with a vengence.

But it is always fun to meet people from around the country and to help them enjoy the Smithsonian and their trip to DC. No, I really mean that.

At one poing there was a lull in the crowd pouring in the doors. I happened to look up and who was coming through security but Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck and their adorable daughter. (She is cute as a button.) I did a double take for sure when I saw Jennifer, who was looking straight at me. It took few seconds for me to put it all together - I looked at her, then I noticed hubby, and then I got all flustered. I made eye contact with Jennifer Garner!!

It was so exciting to see them, and I am not big on celebrities. She is very pretty, much cuter in real life than on the big screen, and not as tall as I thought. And Ben has mastered the art of hiding his face under his ball cap. I would not have even given him a second look had I not seen Jennifer. They completely blended in with all of the other families in their jeans and sneakers. Unfortunately they did not come to the desk to ask me any questions, like where the butterfly exhibit is or where could they buy IMAX tickets.

I did not blow their cover but I did tell the woman who was working the desk with me. She darted off to catch a glimpse and then returned to text her friends. We were grinning ear to ear the rest of the shift. They are in Washington, D.C. because Ben is shooting a movie. Word on the street is that Russell Crowe is in town, too. Now THAT would be cool to see him.

What is this fascination our society has with celebrity? I was surprised by my giddy reaction, even a little disturbed by it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baby sweater

I just finished knitting my first-ever baby sweater. It is so cute, I giggle every time I look at it. This is for my friend at work who is due in June with her first baby. Not knowing what the sex is, I chose this gender neutral and oh-so-hip Granny Smith apple green Lion Brand organic cotton. The pattern was free, too.

I see so much cute baby stuff to knit but I have not had the opportunity to make anything because no one in my close circle is having babies, I think they are all done with that! So this was really fun.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Don't miss the holiday tomorrow

Monday is National Napping Day. The first Monday after daylight savings starts is cause for cele-napping! So close the office door, curl up on your keyboard, and take a siesta.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Speed Cameras on Conn. in MD

Beware of the traffic cameras on Conn. Ave. coming in the District. I have gotten 2 speeding tickets the 2 times I was on that bloody stretch of road in the past 6 weeks. What gives? I am not a reckless driver, I am simply keeping up with the other cars. So if everyone around me is also getting these tickets, cha-ching Montgomery County, Maryland. Kripes. I am ticked off.

Here's where they all are.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Inspiration Found

I was browsing around the magazines at Border's while Madison was here and saw the Spring Interweave Knits on the shelf. I was psyched because I saw 2 projects that I really like. Just my speed: simple, little frill, fitted, minimal.

Here is Mirabella

I am picturing this in a heathered gray, silver if you will.

And Auburn Camp Shirt

I am picturing this in a sage green or a lavender purple with some texture. This is knit with a wool silk blend so I will check out my color options.

Like I have the money for this! Every week I remind myself how expensive this year is going to be - already! I have my trip to Turkey, Madison was just here, my 40th b'day in Charleston this fall, the annual pilgrimage to York Beach right after Labor Day, I would like to see my friend in NYC again. All wonderful reasons to spend money, and not a penny will be wasted, but this is all happening in one year. When it rains it pours in my life. Never fails.

And I have so much fun stuff to look forward to! Just no eating out this year and I have made a pact with myself not buy any clothes for 6 months.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

So side-tracked

Gosh, I get so side-tracked. I haven’t really been knitting in a couple of weeks mainly because I don’t have a new project to work on that excited me. I started a sweater that I am not all that thrilled with. Do you find starting a new project daunting? I have so many things I want to make I get overwhelmed with where to begin. And then finding the yarn. And then swatching.

I am so impressed and inspired by the knitting blogs I visit. Keep is going, knitters! I will back with you soon.

My niece Madison is coming to visit me today. She is flying here from Maine, all by herself, and we are going to do Washington, D.C. I love playing tourist in my hometown. I am blogging here.

And I booked my trip to Turkey! I am so excited. I am leaving on June 9 for 13 days with Rick Steves, to guy from PBS. The tour is just my speed, a little rugged, lots of walking, eating in local places, “through the back door” as Rick’s traveling style is.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Finished sweater and felted bags

As promised, some finished projects.

Here is the top down raglan. Came out great, I love the sweater and the yarn. It is a really nice fit, not bulky. And it was so easy to knit. This was my first sweater with buttonholes and they were not nearly as scary as I thought they would be. I started the holes a few inches from the neck.

And here is the after pic of the buttonhole bags I made for my cousins. (I had a before picture...somewhere. In my zeal to keep my computer free of extraneous files I must have deleted it. Ugh.) This is my second felted project and it was so very different than the french market bag. The buttonhole bag yarn is doubled so the felting took 2 wash cycles. I would guess that they shrunk about 25% during the felting process. The Lamb's Pride bulky has a fuzziness to it that I did not like in the finished bags. I have a feeling it will leave a lot of lint behind. But the bags are really cute and my cousins love them.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I fixed my laptop!

I am back among the living! I am so proud of myself, I fixed my laptop! Girls, the men in my life who know computers were so turned on by the fact that I removed the LCD. All by myself. (The directions on the Dell and Assetgenie sites were the real heroes here.) If you’re looking for a new angle, give it a try (wink wink).

After doing some trouble shooting on the Internet and talking to a few people I decided I would try to replace the LCD and see if that was the problem with monitor. After first getting a bad LCD and determining that the video card was working, I finally hit pay dirt. The replacement LCD that arrived today worked. Hallelujah! I was jumping up a down with gleeeeeeeeeeeeee.

It is such a relief to have access to the Internet at home again. I am planning my trip to Turkey so having the web when I want it, and not just at the office, makes life so much easier. It begs the question <>

So, yes, I booked my trip to Turkey. Another great moment this week. I am going with Rick Steves’ tour company. The speed of the tour, all of the warnings about each of us having to carry our own bags (meaning no infirm people or prima donnas), and the “through the back door” theme of his trips are what sold me. I have been watching Rick tromp through Europe on PBS for half my life!

I don’t leave until June, but I am thrilled that I finally have plans. I was waffling, complaining about not finding a tour company that suited me, cursing my friend who backed out of the trip last week for too long. So I finally just did it, jumped on the Internet and booked. In about 2 minutes I had dates and an itinerary. What a great weight lifted off my shoulders.

Now to find a plane ticket for under $1,200. Ugh.

I have some knitting projects to catch up on. Check back over the weekend.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Red Scarf Project update

I was so happy to finish my first Red Scarf Project scarf, all ready to squeeze the second one out before the Jan. deadline. But I just found out on the Web site that the project is closed for this year. Scarves will be accepted from Sept. 1 through Oct. 15, 2008. Oh well, I am glad the project is so successful.

Now I can start on a new project although I find starting something new daunting sometimes. So many ideas, where do I begin?

Other exciting news is that I hope to get the new LCD for my laptop today so I can try to replace it and get back online at home. I love when I can figure things out on my own -- and save myself $250!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy New Year

My home computer is down, I had a snail in my watercress salad at lunch, I saw some (freak) woman in flip-flops today…

But things are good. Once I replace my laptop monitor I will be back with pics of my new top down raglan that came out so excellent. The yarn is a great silk wool blend that has the stretchiness and body of wool but it is so light and springy.

Happy New Year!