Monday, July 24, 2006

too tired

I was going to actually blog tonight, but I'm too tired. But I will share this with you...

I got a new camera! Look what it can do!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Busy Week

Soooo tired. I think I have had a whopping 10 hours of sleep all week long. I'm not sure what my problem is. I am so exhausted, but when I climb into bed I'm suddenly wide awake. It doesn't help that the Poodle keeps waking me up. Sleepy girl!!!

This week started out GREAT. Knit night this past Monday was awesome. I know I'm not the only one who had a total blast. We had many new people join the fray. (Including a very sweet woman who I found crocheting at a table near us, so I invited her to come hang out with us.) Laura did a nice write up of the evening if you would like to read more about us crazy knittin' fools.

Lisa sent me a comment asking if anyone can come to our knit nights and the answer is an emphatic YES! Here's the info:

1st Monday of every month we meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Border's on 175 in Columbia. (we meet in the cafe)

3rd Monday of every month we meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Panera on Dobbin (in the plaza across the street from where the Border's is)

It's only fair to warn the faint of heart that we can be a fairly rowdy group. We laugh, we call each other Dirty Whore, we tell each other that our knitting style sucks... All good crazy fun!! Definitely - the more the merrier!

Since Knit Night, this has been my view:

I've been stuck in tech for a teen camp production of Beauty and the Beast. This is the THIRD production of this show that I have done in a year and a half. I am so completely over this show. UGH! It was ok the first time, annoying the second time, and downright painful this time! I will be very happy to go back to my regular theatre next week and to NOT do B&B ever again.

I did manage to escape all manner of work last night and go to the Indigo Girls concert with my sister. This has become kind of a tradition for us. We've been going to see them every summer for many years now. Last night's concert was at Wolftrap which is a beautiful outdoor concert hall. They have both pavilion and lawn seating, but we always sit on the lawn.
Look!  It's a GUY and an Indigo Girls concert!
Look! There's a GUY at an Indigo Girls concert!

They open the lawn an hour and half before show time and everyone brings picnics. My sister and I got some great food and wine from Marvelous Market and just hung out and enjoyed the music and the night. Of course I did some knitting on my Jays!
Wine, cheese, yummy food, my sister, knitting and the Indigo Girls on a nice summer night. It was perfection.
Indigo Girls!
Teeny tiny Amy and Emily!

Here is a very important tip for anyone sitting on the lawn in the dark with 3000 other people:

If you have to leave your spot to go to the bathroom, be sure to put a bright green glowing necklace on your sister. Then you will be certain to find her in the dark when she is sitting in the middle of 3000 other people!
my big sister!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Something Sweet.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I'm starting to think that perhaps I am just not meant to finish a pair of Jaywalkers. I feel like I am totally messing up the heels on these. I'm doing what the toe up pattern says, but it just doesn't seem right. The sole seems to be getting too long. Maybe I made the sole too long before starting the heel, I don't know. As I've never done a heel like this before, I don't know if I'm doing it right. And, while working on them this afternoon, I dropped a whole bunch of stitches.
dropped stitches
I really don't feel like picking them back up again, so I think I'm going to rip back and do a short row heel. Stick with the familiar and I may actually get these done.

Yesterday, I got an email from a friend who suggested that I check out a podcast that she's been listening to. It's called Craft Sanity. I've only listened to one episode so far, but it seems pretty cool. For each episode, there is a craft project posted on the website, courtesy of the person being interviewed. So, I started poking around the website a bit, and there is an episode with the ever popular Brenda Dayne. (which I just decided to listen to while I blog...) The project for the Brenday Dayne episode is a pattern for socks! So, since I am completely frustrated with the damn Jaywalkers, I decided to immediately cast on. I am magic looping them and doing two at the same time using my very fabulous Pistachio Chip sock yarn from the very fabulous Mama E.
Mama E's Pistachio chip
Brenda's Socks

Aren't these colors AWESOME? I love how this is knitting up. And so far, the pattern is entertaining. I'm trying desperately to cable without a cable needle. It's slow going, but I'm hoping with practice I will get better at it. I keep dropping stitches.

Saturday I went to the Columbia International Festival. (I just searched for a website to link to, but oddly I cannot find one!) It was kind of disappointing. There were lots of vendors selling lots of jewelry. Nothing terribly interesting. I wasn't quite sure what made it an International festival, rather than just a craft show. I guess I expected some demonstrations of ethnic crafts or customs. There was none of that. The music was really good though. There was a salsa band playing while I was there that was very fun. I thought about camping out with my knitting and listening to the bands, but it was too HOT. I did take some pictures. The umbrellas were part of some art contest. I still haven't figured out - why umbrellas? But some of them were really cool.
African masks
umbrella art
umbrella art exhibit
around the world umbrella
around the world umbrella
extremely scary clown
pottery frog
when frogs attack

Friday, July 14, 2006

The new season of Project Runway started this week!! I missed season 1 entirely. Never saw a single episode. But then I got totally hooked on it last season. Every Thursday, I would have to sit down with one of the actors at the theatre so we could dish about the previous night's episode. (Loved Daniel, thought he should have won. Chloe was ok, but I didn't think she wanted it enough. Santino was like a car crash - you just can't keep yourself from rubber necking.) I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but I have the VCR set to tape Project Runway every Wednesday.

One of my favorite things about Project Runway is reading Manolo Blahnik's blog the next day. Yes, Manolo Blahnik of shoe fame has a blog. If you like Project Runway, you must go read his blog. It's hysterical! I love his take on everything.

I can't believe it's Friday already. This week has gone by fast. I had a great Tuesday with my friend Mama E. We took her little Cowboy to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. I hadn't been there in ages. It is very fun (though ridiculously expensive.) I LOVE the sting rays. I could watch them forever. There is something so peaceful and graceful about them. Sadly, taking pictures in the aquarium was a bit of a challenge with my crappy camera. So here's a little collage of the pics that actually came out.
Day at the Aquarium
Lots of turtles!

After the aquarium, we met up with Amie and Cheryl for lunch. Then we headed over to Cloverhill Yarn. Mama E was very excited because her new wheel had come in!!! yay!!! One by one, all of my knitting pals are being sucked away into the land of Spinning! I fear I shall be the last hold out!

I am please to say that I managed to get out of Cloverhill without buying anything. I walked around with a skein of Trekking XXL in my hand for awhile, but I eventually put it back where I found it. I need to use the yarn I already have. I love a good stash enhancer, but I'm really trying to not spend so much right now! I think yarn purchases will be delayed until I go the beach in a few weeks.

My Jaywalkers are coming along slowly. I'm using the toe-up pattern I found here. I am so not sure about the heels on these. It is very strange, and I feel like the foot of the socks are going to be gigantic. I've reread the pattern several times to make sure I'm doing it right. Hopefully it will work out ok. If it doesn't, I'll rip back and do a plain old short row heel.

Jay progress

See, they don't look much different than the last time you saw them - just a little longer!

I leave you with a gratuitous Poodle picture. Please forgive her yellow demon eyes!
And yes, she really is the rattiest poodle in America.

Oh, almost forgot... side note to Mainiax - I found a "two at the same time, one long circular" tutorial here. Hope that helps!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Aaaaahhh.... Electricity!

It's kind of amazing how much we take electricity for granted. I never think much about it, until I don't have it! For 7 hours today, we were without power. And sadly, there is still one small chunk of our neighborhood that is still dark - almost 12 hours! Rumor has it that it's a blown transformer. It is midnight, and the poor BG&E guys are still outside desperately trying to fix it. It looks like they are having to replace the entire transformer. So not only are my poor neighbors still without power, they are have large and loud trucks and equipment digging up their backyards at midnight.

I'd like to say that I spent my electric-free hours knitting, but I didn't. I did finally clean the PIT that is my bedroom. I can see the floor again! After I cleaned it, I thought "I guess I'll vacuum now." Um... No. Need electricity for that! Then I changed the sheets on my bed and went downstairs to put them in the wash. Um... No. Need electricity for that too! I thought about cleaning the bathroom, but it has no windows so it was too dark. I kept looking at my clock to see if I had to leave for work, but of course it wasn't on. I finally gave up and read a book.

So, thank you BG&E guys for finally getting our power restored! Now I'll have to come up with other excuses for why I haven't vacuumed yet.


Ms. Sheep Puppet is finally done!!!

tada!  Ms. Sheep Puppet!
Pattern: Estonian Hand Puppet from Spin Off Magazine Summer 2006
Yarn: 2 Ply Jumper Yarn by Jamieson & Smith bought at The Mannings(I can't find the labels, so I can't tell you colors!)
Needles: US 1 Addis DPNs and US 1 Brittany DPNs
Magazine, yarn and Addis purchased at The Mannings

I'm not really happy with how this turned out. It's not nearly as cute as the ones in the magazine. I'm not so good at the embroidery. The eyes came out ok, but the mouth/nose will probably be yanked and re-sewn. I also sewed the ears on crooked, but I think it just adds charm! This pattern was a bitch. There were some mistakes in it, and it was generally confusing. I wish I had carried the bottom pattern up into the neck a little, instead of doing the neck all in brown. I also wish that I had done the paws in brown. Despite the problems with the patterns, I really did enjoy working the fair isle pattern at the bottom. It is so cool to knit carrying yarns in both hands. I may try making another one someday, but not soon.

Last night, I attended my friend Mike's wedding. In a moment of silliness, I got the sheep puppet out of the car and brought her into the reception. My friend Jill acted as puppeteer and we took a few silly sheep shots. The funny part was that the official wedding photographers were very excited to take stupid sheep pictures too. They were following me and Jill around and taking all the same pictures I did.

Jill and friend
Jill - who I think had more fun with the puppet than anyone!

The happy couple (and sheep)
mmm.... lamb!
The happy couple!
Mike (and a sheep)
The Groom, my pal Mike!

She really wanted a margarita, but she took what she could get.

caught the bouquet!
Catching the bouquet or stealing the bouquet?

The wedding, by the way, was beautiful. My favorite part was that all the bridesmaids were in these really pretty white and yellow gowns (surprisingly pretty, since most bridesmaids dresses are hideous!) and every single one of them (there were many) was wearing yellow flip flops. I speak from experience when I say that most brides I have known, have an evil desire to dress their bridesmaids in the most revolting combination of lace and satin that they can possibly find, complete with GIANT butt bow. And then they add injury to insult by making them wear painful strappy sandals with four inch heels that cut off all circulation to the foot - dyed to match the dress of course. So besides the humor factor, I think yellow flip flops were a fabulous idea!
I really wanted to take a picture of all the bridesmaids' feet, but as I didn't know any of them, I thought asking to take such a picture would make me seem a little scary!

I'm still knitting away on the purple jaywalkers. They are a good mindless lighting booth knit.
toe up jaywalkers in progress
purple jays in progress

Gotta say... loving the Koigu!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Red White and Rainy

(long non-knitting post!)

It started out as an ok day. Horribly hot, but ok. The plan was to go into Washington, DC, spend the day at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and then head to the Washington Monument to watch the fireworks. We took the subway in, which was surprisingly not too crowded.

The first thing we saw when we got off the subway was a high school band performing at the Navy Memorial.
high school band performing at the Navy Memorial
We got to hear them play the Star Spangled Banner, which, I gotta say, kinda choked me up a little. All the people in the crowd had their hands on their hearts and were singing along. Perfect patriotism for a July 4th.

Then we headed to the Mall. We had a good time wandering through all the Folklife exhibits. There was a very cool dance performance by Blackfoot Medicine Speaks. Sadly, my camera batteries died so I only got a few not so good pictures of their amazing costumes.
Blackfoot Medicine SpeaksBlackfoot Medicine Speaks
I was shocked when S. got up and joined the dance! Sadly, my camera batteries were completely dead at that point (I had extras in my bag, but couldn't find them quick enough), so I have no photo evidence. I think he planned it that way!

We decided to grab something to eat and found a bench under a tent to sit. We were soon joined by a group of S.'s friends. We were hanging out for awhile when we started to hear people talking about a storm coming through. The skies were starting to look a little scary, but we figured we would be nice and dry under the tent. Then I spotted this:
Heed the warning
Hmmm... Maybe staying under the tent wasn't such a great idea after all....

While we were contemplating this, a NPS cop car drove up with a bull horn: "You MUST evacuate the area immediately. There is a huge dangerous storm coming through the area. 50-70 mile an hour winds, large hail, much lightening! Please seek shelter in the museums!"

Ok, take a minute to picture this... (I don't have any actual pictures, so you'll have to imagine it)

THOUSANDS of people on the Mall for the fireworks and Folklife festival having to freaking EVACUATE. It was insane. We headed to the American History Museum with a few thousand other people. There was such a crush of people trying to get into the museum, that they gave up doing security checks and just let everyone in. Now, I gotta say - I am soo not comfortable in big pushing crowds. I was not a happy girl. We did manage to escape up to the upper floors of the museum where there weren't quite as many people, but it was still damn crowded. A guy came up to me and asked if there was some kind of event going on in the museum and why it had suddenly gotten so crowded. He had been in the museum all afternoon and had no idea of the incoming storm.

Needless to say, I was really happy when we escaped the museum. I never saw any of the storm, but the aftermath was impressive. Lots of tree branches on the ground, a few of the tents on the Mall took a hit, lots of overturned trash cans. I wish I had thought to keep my camera out.

We headed up to the Washington Monument to stake out our spot for the fireworks. But NPS wasn't letting anyone through. It totally sucked. We had already stood in line when we got to DC to get through security to get on the Mall. (The entire Mall is fenced off on the 4th of July and you have to go through a security check to get out on it.) Now, not only were we going have to wait in line just to get to the monument, we were going to have to go through security again. There was another huge crush of people. And the police kept trying to drive through the crowd, so we were having to squeeze together to get out of the way. By this point. I was DONE. I wanted to go home. I was tired of the waiting, all the people, the yucky weather and I had a huge headache. I gotta say, S. Was a prince about me being such a crab. He lead me out of the crowd, we got pretzels and water from a vendor, and we sat down, away from all the people and just waited it out. I felt a little better once we got away from the crowds. Still headachy and whiny, but at least willing to stay for the fireworks.

Finally, what felt like an hour later, they started letting people onto the mall again. We got through the security check fairly quickly and joined S's friends near the monument.
waiting for the fun to start
You can kind of see the Lincoln Memorial and the WWII Memorial off in the distance. This was the view around 7:00 p.m. By 9:00 p.m. the grass was completely covered in people. The most crowded I have ever seen it.

This was my view when I was lying down
Washington Memorial at night

Finally, finally, finally... What we came for...
My creation

Purple fireworks!
Note the Project Spectrum worthy fireworks above. PURPLE!

The fireworks were awesome. I'm not sure they were worth the day from hell, but still a good show.

I did actually do some knitting during the day from hell. I knitted on the subway and while we waited for the fireworks to start. But pictures of that will have to wait. Imagine purple koigu Jaywalkers!