Monday, April 30, 2007

Rainy Weekend

So what did the Celtic Clan do this weekend? Well we spent most of our Saturday running around in the rain. Early on we ran to soccer. Never let it be said that Elder Celting doesn't take his soccer seriously. This was his shirt afterwards. He was also playing "Iron Goalie" and stopped two goals back to back so just imagine the front. It was so rainy I couldn't get any knitting done at the game. I was too busy holding the umbrella and making sure Younger Celting was staying dry enough. I took the same mudcovered child home after for a quick shower, blowdry and uniform change to go to baseball pics.
From there we rushed off to McD's to grab some food before heading directly to the baseball game.... in the rain. But while we were in the drive thru I saw these lovely flowers and snapped a shot for Heather. The colors were beautiful and made me think of sunny days and my favorite new socks.
All day I was seeing colors I would love to include as part of a colorway in some handdyed yarn. I tried to get a shot of Younger Celting's eye with all these beautiful greens and hazels but none did it justice. So where's the knitting? Here. I made it out into the sunshine and got a shot of the finished product. I can't wait to wear it in MD, I just hope it's sunny. If you're there and you see me say hello. Should I be too distracted by yarn or fiber, funnel cake should help grab my attention. :)
So here's the funny thing about the latest project. I had remembered a mesh market bag pattern from my knitting calendar two years ago and had some hemp to start it with. I started working the pattern and realized that it was the same stitch I'd been using on the shawl. At least I'm in the rhythm right?
BTW, spoke to the principal today and I'm still mulling over Laurie's idea for an email campaign. At this point it's a he said she said game of EXACTLY what was said ("Lesbians hug each other." vs. "They're hugging which means they're lesbians.") One is a statement of fact not referring to the girls involved as lesbians. The other is saying that they are. Fine distinction but big difference in the cult of conformity called elementary school.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Let Me Get Out the Soapbox

Today's post was going to be about how I finished my shawl and how pretty it was. This was until I came home to find the Celtic Consort seething and was asked to talk to Elder Celting about what he said in school. So I asked. I was promptly told the story of how two girls in his class had been startled yesterday and jumped together hugging. Elder Celting rather matter of factly that "Lesbians hug each other." He knows this because we have several friends who are gay or lesbian. We teach both Celtings to accept people for who they are and respect the fact that they pick the things which are right for them and may not be something you like. This means that both boys understand that to be a lesbian is to be a girl who loves another girl. So imagine my surprise to hear him tell me that using the word lesbian is bad.

The story gets worse. I talk to Celtic Consort about how this fell out with school. The principal said that this was not like calling someone four-eyes because this is a choice these people make. This is a lifestyle that people choose to live. Ummmm, okay, so does that mean if I call this woman a witch that I'll have to write an apology? After all, it was my choice to be wiccan. Celtic Consort pointed out to the principal that Elder Celting's godmother is a lesbian. This woman would not be swayed away from the idea that my child must be assimilated to the conformity of what seems to be passing as "acceptable" school behavior. What happened to love thy neighbor? It's not love they neighbor if they happen to be like you. Monday out comes the can of "Whoop-Ass" for the principal. I'm not backing down on this one because part of the reason that kids get upset when called gay or lesbian is due to the reactions of people like her.

Monday, April 23, 2007

In The Groove

Well as you can see, I've made a lot of progress on my shawl. I would say I worked on it enough that 1/2 an evening of knitting will finish it off. This includes the likely frogging to get a couple rows of garter as the finishing edge. I was just in the groove yesterday. So much so that when it was time to put it down and go to bed, this is what I saw.
That's right, Dear Reader, that's a groove in my index finger. Before you think that color is bruising, it's just rub off from the yarn. It all happens due to the fact that I'm a "picker" and wrap my yarn in my left hand. Why I've started causing this groove due to tension these days, I don't know. You would think I'd have tight knitting but I'm a loose knitter. I have to go down 2 needles sizes on average to get gauge. Oh well, at least I'm enjoying myself.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

No Pics Today

Well I don't have any pics today as I've been in a holding pattern with the knitting and spinning. Not sure why except all the running I've been doing over the weekend. I plan on watching some spinning videos that Laurie loaned me. (I know I'm so wild and crazy, go ahead ask me about my body art.)

So did anyone else catch Yarn Harlot on Knitty Gritty today? I TIVOed it and thought it was good. Didn't pick up anything that I didn't already do but loved how she shared the demystification of the sock. I also LOVED the yarn when I saw it all over again. It was a beautiful green with some variegation in it. See Heather? No one likes GREEN. :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the Elder Celting! He's 9 on this lucky Friday the 13th. Before you think I'm cheap just getting one cupcake, I made two dozen and the big bash is tomorrow. We're cosmic bowling. As you can see, the cupcakes are tasty and made quite the mess. What do you expect with double chocolate.

Now on to the knitting! I know I've been promising pics of my latest project and I keep forgetting. So here it is. See this yarn? This is the sparkly stuff I fell in love with and then Laurie and Heather helped me pick a color. I've turned into this so far. Do you like? The plan is to keep knitting until I run out of yarn. I think it should work out perfectly. The sparklies just don't show well in either of these shots. It's like looking at sunshine glinting off tropical waters. I so need to finish in time to wear to MD.

I also stopped over to Julia's blog today and saw her Bohus stuff. Why am I not surprised that the colorway I've been leaning towards is the one she picked? Lucky girl. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You Spin Me

I spent the day playing with this. I wasn't originally going to do that but this morning I awoke with a splitting headache and knots all over. I promptly got the boys off to daycare, took some pain killers, and crawled back into bed. With the wonders of sleep and drugs, I managed to get up feeling like a normal person. Why waste an afternoon? I pulled out the wheel and started to work on expanding my skills.
This was what I ended up with after I got it going. I always hate to stop because it's harder to get back into the rhythm again but I suppose spinning for eternity just isn't going to work. I know the shot's a bit blurry but if you look, the stuff towards the ends is a little overspun but then I got the hang of it and had a decent spin with the stuff you see in the middle. I found the process to be helpful for my aches and pains. I wonder if this counts toward my calorie burning activities?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Flame On!

Hey look at that! I finished my socks. And they're really comfy! I feel so much cheerier when I wear them. I was just disppointed I couldn't get a finished shot with them with some actual sunshine. We've been grey here in the 'Burgh. I finished up on these Friday nite at Knit night despite a small run in with the staff. So now I'm working on a shawl based on this swatch with the second variation mirrored. I'm using my sparkly yarn I got at the Knit & Crochet Festival (shots tomorrow when I can get a decent one.)

So I came home today and guess what was waiting for me? Yep that's it the wheel!!!! I'm being cautious about setting up because I want to do this right. I had a ton of packing materials to move out of the way before I could get to all my goodies. I almost lost a whorl in all of that stuff but fortunately, I read the papers that come with this stuff and noticed it was missing. I ended up digging down into the bottom of the box again to find it. I even got two oil bottles and a free bag. It was much like the holidays here. To answer Rani's question, this is my first wheel but I have test driven. I opted for a wheel after having no luck keeping a rhythm with a drop spindle. I'm thinking of taking tomorrow off just to spend the day spinning. Off to play, more updates tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Birthday Post

Well Dear Reader, it's that time of year again. Birthday Season. It has officially kicked off today with my aunt Jane's birthday. She's 32 with some experience. :) Jane too loves my grandmother's apricot pie so it's appropriate that I posted it yesterday. Sorry that it wouldn't survive the mail Jane.

Next comes Elder Celting's bday. As I mentioned yesterday, I waited to have him until after the potato salad. He has now come to associate potato salad with his birthday in the same manner as I have done with apricot pie and Easter. Smart kid. This year we will be bowling with kids from school at the local cosmic bowl. This means time away from the new wheel on the first real weekend I'll have it. (UPS has it on time for Monday. Curses!)

I also went birthday shopping today for someone else. I found some things that I thought would be useful in her next projects. She's so hard to buy for because I see so many things that I know she would enjoy that it's hard to pick just a couple. Hopefully, I picked correctly today. If not, well I could bribe her with yarn.

To keep myself busy, I'm working on some socks. See how pretty? (sorry it's blurry the other photo didn't capture the colors well) It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Sport in Flames. So not what I usually pick of the shelf but that's why I bought it (with a little push from Laurie.) I'm so glad she shoved me. I kept thinking about it while I made the Indecisive Socks. The siren call of the bright colors. So I cast on at Harlot's speech on Friday. As you can see, one sock is done, and I'm on the leg of the second. Nothing fancy. Just let the colors sing their siren song.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Beautiful Monday

So today was a day of distraction. Distractions were catching. Laurie emailed to say she kept thinking about dyeing fiber. I was thinking about dyeing fibers as well as the coming of my spinning wheel. It was also beautiful outside. How beautiful? Well look what Younger Celting pointed out when we got home this evening. My magnolia (at least I think it's a magnolia) tree is starting to bloom. To give you an idea what this is like when it's in FULL bloom, I like to describe the tree at the Charlie Brown tree that plans on eating my house. It's big.

In response to Julia's comment from yesterday, I whole heartedly agree that we need to corrupt more peeps to spin. This was part of my distraction today. I figure if I could start a rowdy knitting group at B&N, I could probably get a group of spinners together somewhere. Besides, it will only encourage me to A) get out in public more and B) stay faithful to my spinning. So any spinners out there who are reading this and are in the Greater Pittsburgh area and are interested, give me a holler will ya?

Now here's something that will really distract a girl at work. My exchange partner, Mary Pat, sent me this lovely box for our spring exchange. She nailed my spring outlook right on the head, folks. See that tea? It's APRICOT. What's the deal with apricot? Well my grandmother always made apricot pie and cookies for Easter. It always makes me think spring. She also made her potato salad with a mustard style dressing at Easter. It was so good, I waited an extra day to be induced with Elder Celting so as not to miss it. Now as for the rest of the package, those blue candies are dark chocolate. YUM!!! I'm a big fan of dark chocolate. And what to say about that yarn! I'm thinking purple pansies. The colorway is LimeNViolet in honor of the podcast. And it's so soft. I'm just trying to think of a project which will do it justice. So a big spring THANK YOU to Mary Pat for being so good to me just when I need it.

And since Heather asked and she's always so good to me, I'm sharing my grandmother's apricot pie recipe in honor of the season.

Grandma Bea's Apricot Pie
1lb dried apricots
double pie crust for a 9 or 10" pie
lemon juice
1/2 - 1 cup sugar (Splenda works too)
ginger (optional)

Put the apricots in a pot with enough water to cover them and let soak overnite. Recover apricots in morning with water and stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Place on medium to medium/low heat and cook until either the "juice" has thickened or the apricots have burst their jackets depending on your taste. Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice and ginger to taste. Use lemon juice and sugar to taste. I like mine tart, my mother likes her's sweet (that's another story). Mix a few tablespoons of the "juice" with 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and add to pot. Stir over heat to thicken. Place filling in the crust and put second crust on top. Seal crusts and pierce with fork. (I like to put an A into the crust because Grandma did.) Bake in 425 degree oven for 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

No Will Power

So where have I been? Well I was prepping for visit to see the Yarn Harlot. While I was prepping it seems that people I talk to happened into her both Julia and Steven. I'm a little jealous. However, my socks, wine and chocolate were warmly received and Laurie's Knit in Public Gloves were a hit. She took our picture with the Sock but we didn't make the site. I'm a little bummed. Thought for sure we'd be mentioned but no luck. She did mention bad pictures so I'll just assume that we're in the bunch. The visit was entertaining and it was great to talk to all the knitters who were there. I was surprised how many out of the crowd I had said hello to or knew or had seen. It was also fun to be able to hang out with Laurie and Heather afterwards. I never get girl nite.

So I broke down yesterday and bought my wheel. They say it will go out on Monday via UPS. So I'm sure I'll have it for the weekend. YAY! I went to Woodland Woolworks and called to order. They had the best overall deal. I had found the wheel at The Woolery for about $6 less but Woodland adds in value packs which gave me a lot more. With my value pack, I ended up with about $75 of extra stuff. I picked a set of half size combs, a spinner's control card, and a pretty diz. See? You can't say you're surprised by the style people. I mean LOOK at my super hero name over there. If that didn't give you a clue then perhaps you need another cup of coffee. I also order some Colonial Heather Top in a soft purple and some in Teal. I had liked the colors even before I talked to Laurie who pointed out the color blending would help show twist and angle. I didn't get a bunch because I'm planning on buying fiber in MD. In the meantime I'm sitting tight here waiting for the wheel.