Saturday, May 31, 2008


In addition to the seasonally appropriate shrug, I also have an out-of-season finished project to share.

I was inspired to make this after trying on a sample at the Hub Mills Yarn Store. I bought the pattern book from that store but knew that the yarn (4 skeins of Nature Wool Chunky) was on sale at Webs so I waited until my trip to Webs to get the yarn.

The pattern was written by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton, is called Kotan Poncho and IT MADE ME SO MAD!! It was a one page, seemingly simple pattern except for the fact that the numbers were wrong at many parts of the pattern and the instructions for the decreases at the top of the pattern were awful. They were so awful that after following them once, I ripped back and did what made sense to me. My version looked a lot better and preserved the stitch pattern while also decreasing. I shouldn't have to rewrite the pattern especially not when it was a pattern that I paid for! I seriously want my $18 back. I bought the pattern book just for this pattern and it was definitely not worth the money.

Despite the badly written pattern, I am happy with the end result and can imagine this keeping me warm and cozy in the winter. However, I will not be buying any more patterns from this designer or from the publisher of the pattern book. Seriously people, test knit it before you slap the price tag on it, please!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


In honor of spring, I knit up a little shrug.

I bought this yarn to make a scarf. I had a specific pattern in mind (Garter Stitch Loop-Through Scarf from 101 Designers One Skein Wonders). After checking the gauge, I realized it wouldn't work for that pattern. I brought out my trusty stitch dictionary and tried a few options. I wasn't happy with any of those. So, I decided the yarn wasn't meant to be a scarf and that I would wait until the right project came along. The yarn has been stashed until I recently came across a simply constructed shrug. I heavily modified it and came up with this:

The shrug used 2.5 skeins of Tahki - Sky, which is an organic cotton. I think it is a relatively new yarn. I made up a combination of stitch patterns. The construction is simple: cast on, knit a tube, knit flat for a while, knit a tube to match the first tube, bind off.

(Thanks to Paul for taking the pictures.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


The long, glorious weekend has ended. But, at least I know we made the best of it.

On Sunday Paul and I ventured north to Amesbury for a day of frisbee golf/disc golf/frolf. You may remember this place from last year. As far as we know, this course is the only course within an hour of Boston. Good thing we enjoy it there.

I've got to work on my game, though. Paul is consistently a throw or two ahead of me on each hole.

Part of the course is a bit risky. A few holes go along or across the water. Last year Paul lost a disc in the pond so he was extra cautious about his throws. Me, not so much. I thought I was steering clear but one of mine ended up in the pond. It wasn't too far in so Paul was able to go in after it. If he develops any mysterious rashes on his legs from the skanky water, I take full responsibility.

Besides being home to many errant frisbees, the pond houses a gagillion tadpoles. This isn't the greatest picture but maybe you can spot them. They are the biggest tadpoles I have ever seen.

After we finished our game, we ate a picnic and spent some time in the shade set to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy. The music was provided courtesy of the ice cream truck that wouldn't leave.

After a few days of being outside in the nice, summery weather I finally had enough motivation to do the change over of seasons in my closet. I put away lots of bulky winter clothes and brought out the dresses and skirts. It required a full Sunday evening and a big glass of wine. Not only did I finish the changeover, I also purged things that don't fit my style or my body anymore. Sally would be proud of me. Fanny enjoyed napping atop the purge pile before I got around to bagging it up for donating.

We finished up the weekend with a Vegetarian BBQ at Beth's house.

What a refreshing weekend! I got spoiled by being able to sleep in every morning, which made this morning that much more of a rude awakening. As En Vogue would say, it's time to get "Back to Life, Back to Reality."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Around Town - Music, Swans and Zombies

There was a lot going on around town yesterday and much of it was FREE FREE FREE. Beth and I set out to experience as much of it as we could fit into an afternoon.

We started at Eathfest, a big festival along the Esplanade. We set up our blanket near the water which was pretty but cold! We were there to hear the BoDeans play, which was towards the beginning of the festival. Getting there early meant that we were there for some of the good freebies that people were handing out. Beth and I each got free herbs and flower plants from Home Depot.

After the festival, we headed to the Public Garden/Common. We saw a swan sitting on her nest near the pond with all the swan boats. I'd seen the boats from afar but yesterday was the first time I was close enough to notice that they are paddle boats! The paddlers must have some massive leg muscles!

The Public Garden is a beautiful and fun place to be on a spring day, but the real reason we were there was to wait for the zombies. Paul and I had seen a zombie parade a few years ago when it was held in Somerville/Cambridge. This year's march went through much busier and posher surroundings.

We caught up with them at the edge of the public garden, which was supposed to have been the end of the route. Plans must have changed because they seemed to be going reverse route, coming from the garden and heading to Newbury Street.

The Zombie March/Parade is an informal event. The marchers pick a place to gather and then walk down the sidewalk together. The result is pretty hilarious. Passersby find themselves mixed in with a group of bloody, groaning, lurching zombies some of which are holding signs with thoughtful comments like "Zombies are people too" and "Brains not Bombs".

For those not familiar with Newbury Street, it is the street in Boston where the Burberry and Chanel types go to shop. After the zombie parade passed Beth and I, we discussed how to get home and decided walking down Newbury Street to the bus would be the best route. Little did we know, we were making a choice that would up the hilarious quotient of our day immensely. Our route home meant that we were walking on the same street as the zombies were. We walked on the opposite side and heard many amusing comments from the confused shoppers on Newbury Street.

Many people noticed the spectacle because of the costumes but the zombies were also chanting as they walked. A common call and response was used:

Lead Zombie: "What do we want?"
Zombie Crowd: "BRAINS!"
Lead Zombie: "When do we want it?"
Zombie Crowd (mixed response): "NOW!" and "BRAINS!"

Beth and I kept pace with the zombies so we heard the reactions all down Newbury Street. The most common response was, "I don't get it." Some people made that comment in disgust while others said it in pure dumbfounded confusion.

Others were more decisive in their reactions. Two girls were discussing it in great detail and quite earnestly trying to decipher the point of it. The conclusion of their discussion was, "Well. I feel like if you are going to protest, you should make your point clearer."

A little girl asked her mom, "Is it halloween?" Her mom had a hard time explaining what was going on.

The zombie parade that Paul and I saw in Somerville was much more of a family affair. We saw kids in stroller whose parents had put them in zombie makeup, senior citizen zombies and full zombie families. This parade was more limited in age, but it definitely made up for it with the route they chose. Newbury Street was left thoroughly baffled with a smattering of mildly amused.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Have you noticed that my blog operates in a different time zone? It has been operating on a week delay. Think of it like a delay between the live event and the broadcast so that I can edit out the swear words and make sure nobody decides to expose a nipple. Or, think of it as me being too busy and/or tired to get things posted lately. Anyway, let's ketchup (do you know that joke?).

Last weekend the library girls officially were commenced/graduated/became library scientists. Beth's generous parents treated us all to a great lunch at Z Square to celebrate the event.

The graduates: Ann, Allison and Beth

I've also been keeping up with my new year's resolution to cook three new recipes a month. Last weekend Paul and I had a delicious dinner of roasted tomatillo tacos.

This dinner elicited high praise from Paul, which is an event in and of itself.

Knitting has really reduced my interest in making jewelry, but last weekend I felt the urge to make some jewelry. I think it is due to the change of seasons. I tend to wear lots of scarves in the winter indoors and outdoors, which means any jewelry I might be wearing would be buried under layers. When the weather gets warmer and I can take off some layers, my interest in jewelry gets renewed.

I ended up making a bunch of things, but just photographed a few of them. I've appreciated having the new adornment choices throughout the past week.

I've also finished a few knitting projects that need to be photographed. This weekend the weather is supposed to be nice and sunny so maybe you'll see some of those up here soon.

Have a great (and hopefully long) weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cupcake Delivery

Following a hiatus during the last month of the semester, our Veggie Dinner Club is back in session. On Monday we were hosted by Miriam and Sylvie. As usual, we feasted on a variety of tasty vegetarian goods.

Sylvie is modeling her platter of broiled veggies. They are beautiful and good for you.

It was at veggie dinner that we heard about this awesome cupcake delivery service. Lee rides around on his moped delivering Ann's homemade cupcakes. I signed up for a Tuesday evening delivery.

Lee is still perfecting the details, like how to not have the cupcakes topple over en route. They were delicious just the same. You should contact him to schedule a delivery.

Just kidding. They were graduation party leftovers. But, wouldn't it be awesome if it WAS true!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lilac Sunday

I couldn't be with my mom on this mother's day, but I was able to honor the day by doing something I know she would have loved doing with me: Looking at flowers!

Sunday was the 100th anniversary of the Arnold Arboretum's Lilac Sunday. It is a day long festival that includes lots of Lilac sniffing:

watching Morris dancers:

and picnicking. It is the only day of the year where picnicking is allowed in the Arboretum so there were lots and lots of people taking advantage of the opportunity.

Sam, Paul, Beth, Arturo and I enjoyed a picnic and some photo taking (notice Paul and Beth refusing to make a nice face for Sam!). We had a perfect day for it and Paul and I got our first sunburned noses of the year.

The Good Sport Award goes to seasonal allergy sufferer Arturo. When I invited him to join us for this pollen filled day, I failed to realize the hell he endures at this time of the year. He took it like a champ....a very sniffly, drippy champ!

This weekend I also enjoyed an Anne of Green Gables movie marathon with the knitters from my library knitting group. Thanks to Maggie for hosting us. And, continuing the Ann/e theme of the day, I also went to Ann's KickAss Cupcake Graduation Party. Yum Yum Yum. Congrats Library-Ann! I've been fairly lazy on the picture taking front as of lately, so I have nothing to show from either of these events, but trust me, a good time was had by all.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

F.O., F.O., F.O.

I have a parade of finished objects to share.

I made a few Mason Dixon Washcloths as my mindless knitting project during my trip to MN. Somehow I don't seem to tire of making these. I've made at least 10-15 of them over the past year. I have some recipients in mind for these lime green ones. But, next I plan to make a few for myself.

Fanny likes her other toys, but nothing seems to get her as excited as her mouse does. The first one has to be confiscated due to extreme wear and tear, so last Friday night, while Paul and I watched a movie, I knit her up a new one. It was totally instant gratification because as soon as I finished it, I gave it to her and she went crazy. She played with it obsessively until Paul took it away from her as he was heading to bed at 2am. Now that is a good use of leftover yarn!

The pattern is the Catwarming Set from Stitch n Bitch Nation.

While in MN, I once again made use of Jamie's washing machine to felt something. I made two bowls out of Twilley's of Stamford - Freedom Spirit yarn. The pattern is the Fuchsia Felted Bowl from 101 Designers One Skein Wonders.

Bowl - prefelting

Felted bowl

And last but not least, my purple magic socks. I didn't follow a pattern for these socks. Instead I compiled various resources to suit my yarn while also allowing me to try a new technique: Magic Loop! The magic loop technique means that these socks were knit using one long circular needle. Also, I knit both socks at the same time. Knitting two socks at the same time works well with designing-as-you-go since it eliminates the need to track each step. And...NO SECOND SOCK SYNDROME! I used short row for the heels and toes. The stitch pattern was a beaded rib stitch pattern. I acquired this yarn 2 years ago from a Yankee Swap at one of the knitting groups I attend. It is Aarlan - Royal. I only used half of what I had so you may see this yarn again.

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