You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em

Yesterday was an interesting day. I went to the Sox game, a make-up from Sunday's rained out game. On Sunday I will admit I was a little bummed, since it didn't actually rain much after 2 or 3, and it was a 2:00 game. A delay would have probably made more sense. At any rate, Monday ended up being gorgeous, so now I'm okay with the decision. Plus it was the first weekday where I didn't have to go to work, so this was a nice way to celebrate that.

It ended up being a great game. It was a little boring at first, with nothing on the board until the bottom of the sixth, but that's where it really took off. I won't give you the play-by-play. If you're that interested, you've probably heard/seen it already. But it ended in the twelfth inning at 8-7 Sox. Really fun and exciting game. Way to go boys! So the "know when to hold 'em" part of this post is about knowing when to stick it out until the end rather than getting frustrated and leaving early, like many fans did. And like I considered doing. I'm really glad I stayed.

Then there's the "know when to fold 'em" part. I had a first date. 'Nuff said? Maybe not. It wasn't horrible, but the conversation was a little stiff and hard to maintain. I was really looking forward to meeting this guy, so it was a little disappointing. Ah, well, you never know unless you give it a shot. At one point we were talking about the Al Gore movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." He said he doesn't really believe that global warming is happening or that it's a problem. Seriously? I'm thinking there will be no second date.

Want to hear about some knitting stuff?

I keep meaning to show off this fun bag I got from my secret pal. Isn't it the cutest?

Check out what's hiding inside of it:

It's not your imagination, the Tropicana socks have changed colors! I finally gave up on trying to make them using my Lorna's Laces watercolors yarn. Instead, it's "Girls Night Out" from Sunshine Yarns that I showed you in the last post. It definately works better in this yarn since now the socks aren't too big AND there's no weird pooling going on. I'm not totally in love with them, but I think I'm just tired of the pink already. What do you think?

And look what else I made! It's not from the Mason-Dixon book, but it was kind of inspired by it in terms of the yarn choice. I was thinking about using this as my sock pal bag, or a gift for my secret pal, but I'm not sure yet. I may need to keep it for myself. I think most likely though, it will go to my secret pal, filled with some handy knitting goodies.

Pattern: "GIve It a Whirl Bag" by Amy Polcyn, from Creative Knitting July 2006
Needles: US 7 dpns
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream in color 19181, variegated blues
Pattern Notes: The pattern is really easy to follow and was a wicked fast knit. I only used dpns because my circular needles in size 7 were too long. The bag is knit from the top down. At the bottom, the decreases are done with a row of knit stitches between decrease rows. After about half of the decrease rows, I eliminated the knitted row in between. It just seemed like I'd end up with a bottom that didn't sit very flat, but I didn't try it so I couldn't swear to that.

Working with bigger needles was a nice break. I think I'll continue that break by starting on a Cleo Clutch. Size 10s here we come! Yay!

Previous title: The Verve Pipe, "Colorful"


The show is over close the storybook

School's out for summer! Today was the last day - hooray! I still have to go back tomorrow for some cleaning up and a faculty meeting, but that's ok, it'll still be pretty relaxed and low-key. I really enjoyed my class this year. I got a little choked up a few times today. I know they will visit all the time, but it's hard to let them go. It's funny how the kids that were the most challenging are often the ones you really want to hold on to at the end of the year. Or maybe it's because the one I'm thinking of has a knitting mommy . . .

I got some terrific prezzies, but I'm just going to share the knitting ones for now. Maybe some other day I could be persuaded to tell about the others too.

That mom I was talking about wrote me the nicest note and then handed me two packages. Then she said, "You have to open them right now." A woman after my own heart.

As she put it, "We knitters have to stick together." Sounds like a plan to me, especially if it leads to goodies like these. I've been wanting this book for a while. I can't wait to read through it! The washcloth is really cute too!

After school and a fun lunch out with the teachers, it was off to the yarn store of course! No better way to celebrate the ending of school! Dani from Knitting Sunshine was holding some yarny yumminess for me.

Here we have "Girls Night Out" on the left and "Dragonfly" on the right. What patterns to choose . . . Suggestions are welcome!

Oh, and for Midnight Purls, I have looked at the Elfine pattern. They are really cute socks! I tried them once, but it was right after the baby blankets were finished, and they really bothered my wrist, so I frogged them. I'm thinking maybe I'll try again with "Girls Night Out."

Previous Title: Aretha Franklin, "Respect" - Yeah, like you didn't already know that!


Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me!

You knew it was coming one day, right? Sorry, lacking creativity today on account of the fact that summer has finally arrived in Boston. Not just summer, actually, but heat that we don't usually see even on the hottest days of August. It's ok though, I think the worst of it is over. There's nothing like it being 95 degrees outside and needing to take the kids out there to cool off. Yeah, I repeat: third floor classroom on the sunny side of the building.

Now back to the point of today's post. My questionnaire for the Knit Sock Kit Swap.

What are your favorite colors? I generally like darker colors, like deep reds and purples. However, I'm really not that picky. I prefer to stay away from pastels, primaries, and really bright stuff. Okay, maybe that is kinda picky.

Are you a new sock knitter? How long have you been knitting socks? I've been knitting socks for at least a year I think. I'm definately not new. The only problems I run into these days are things like size issues.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? I like both, but I'm not a fan of the kind that does some self-striping with checker boards, like Regia.

What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn? Generally I go for wool, something superwash.

Where do you usually knit socks? On my coach in front of the tv, but also on airplanes and at Starbucks.

How do you usually carry/store small projects? In ziploc bags, or in bigger knitting bags (like a French Market bag).

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns? I really liked pomatomus, and anything like that. I enjoy patterns that have a little challenge to them - something to keep me interested.

What are your favorite sock knitting techniques? Nothing in particular comes to mind.

What new techniques would you like to try? Knitting two socks on two circulars.

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting? I've been using dpns, but I want to start learning how to use circulars for socks.

What are some of your favorite yarns? Lorna's Laces and Koigu are the ones I use most of the time. I'd really like to try Socks that Rock, but haven't yet.

What yarn do you totally covet? Socks that Rock? Koigu?

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? Again, nothing comes to mind. Sorry! Well, actually, maybe some version of the Butterfly jacket from Noro, but I'm thinking this question is about socks.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? Generally I use anything bamboo. I like circs, straights, and dpns - so basically, all styles. I haven't tried those new sock circulars that stretch out as you go along. Sounds like an interesting concept.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Good question! Probably Socks that Rock, but maybe something from Artyarns. Oh, wait, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino!

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? Chocolate is good. Milk chocolate especially. M&Ms, 3 Musketeers, etc.

What’s your favorite animal? I love cats. And monkeys of course.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? I have no pets.

If you were a color what color would you be? Purple. Don't know why, just seemed like the right answer.

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s): It's a swirly kind of pattern in different shades of brown. It has a v-neck. Right at the v the fabric is gathered and there is a beaded patch that is mostly golds and greens, but in a completely not tacky kind of way. There is also some subtle beading up the side seams.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? Maybe an orchid? Not so sure.

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read. There are so many words of wisdom! How can I possibly be expected to decide? I guess it's, "Don't dream it, be it." It's from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Do you have a wishlist? No, but keep checking back because I've been thinking about getting one. Top of my list would be "Knitting on the Road."

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? I don't think so. Can you tell I'm a little indecisive?


In other news, I've just discovered this. What a great way to use up the stash! I'm totally in. Any other takers?

Also, I got another giftee that I'm assuming is from my secret pal. Pictures coming soon!

Yesterday's title: Joan Jett, "I Hate Myself For Loving You"


I hate myself for loving you

No folks, it's not your imagination. The socks are getting shorter! I promise I'm not knitting backward, and it's no bizarre new way to work the pattern, it just is what it is. Here's the full story:

There once was a beautiful princess.

You knew I'd make myself a beautiful princess one day, right?

She was getting a little bored in the land of the Eyelet Chemise, seeing as how she didn't really understand the language and all.

What's a chemise anyway?

So she decided to venture back into Sock Land for a short vacation. At first, things were just fine. Peachy, even. Things were going along swimmingly.

Pun intended. Check out those River Rapids (new picture on the last entry).

She managed to knit a whole river of socks, and a rapid one at that, without even getting her feet wet. After that, there was no stopping the beautiful princess. She continued on to the tropical jungles, otherwise known as the Jungle of Tropicana. She felt quite comfortable around the animals, the monkeys in particular.

Heehee. Get it? Stash Monkey?

And then the unthinkable happened! The jungle was overwhelmingly large! It just seemed way too big for her. It seems the Wicked Witch-frog has resized the jungle socks overnight. So the princess did what she must, and frogged the whole sock. Undaunted, she cast on with smaller needles. Sadly, she forgot that it was only the jungle that needed reknitting, not the ribbed pathway leading up to it.

Ribbit! Ribbit!

The sock was frogged again. This time, the princess recreated the ribbed path on size 2 needles, then took out her smaller needles as she returned to the jungle. The pointy sticks went round and round, fighting off the evil Witch-frog. While the princess thought she was defeating all enemies, she found that suddenly, before her very eyes, there appeared pools of color.

This is no rain forest! The socks were frogged a third time. Let's hear it,

Ribbit! Ribbit!

And so the trials of the princess and her jungle socks continued. They were ripped yet again after an attempt was made to alternate skeins. This one was a bloody battle.

Not literally, but the princess was seeing RED at this point.

The jungle was slowly and steadily returned to its natural state. Back to the original attempt, despite knowledge of the curse of the oversized Jungle of Tropicana.

Moral of the story: Hey, bigger socks are better than none at all!

I just have to have some Tropicana socks, so what if they're a little roomy? I give up already!

Previous title: Three Dog Night, "Joy to the World"


Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

So maybe I'm not as speedy as I promised, but you didn't think you could actually rely on that, did you? At long last:

Do you like those fishes in the deep blue sea?

Pattern: River Rapid Socks by Sockbug
Needles: US 2
Yarn: Atlantis from Sunshine Yarns
Pattern Notes: The pattern is well written and includes both a chart and line-by-line directions, for those of us out there who follow written directions better. I didn't make any changes to the pattern, but the socks are a little wide for me. If I decide to knit another pair for myself, I'll use size 1 needles, or cut out one of the purl stitches in between the designs (there are 2).

Upon finishing, I immediately felt myself in sock withdrawal. Weird, considering that before this pair I thought I needed a break from socks. I'm thinking it's just because these have a fun pattern that's not really mindless, but not so hard to follow. With this in mind, I have started a new pair.

They are, or will be, Tropicana socks in Lorna's Laces Watercolors. I hate socks with no ribbing at the top, so I've added a small section of ribbing. They're already a little wide (noticing a pattern here?), but I'm thinking I'll just keep going because I really like them. Also, I don't think I'll survive socks on size 1 for a while.

Also, I have new TV shows in the midst of rerun central. The first isn't really new, but I haven't seen it before. "Without a Trace" - it's like Law and Order but I haven't seen them all. The idea is that every episode someone goes missing and the detectives set out to find him or her. The other one I like is called "Saved." I didn't think it would be very good, but I watched the premiere Monday night (TNT at 10) and it was pretty good. It's possible that my taste is jaded by the lack of newness on television these days.

And, finally, the countdown has reached: SIX! Only six more school days left for the kiddos!

Previous Title: Good Charlotte, "The Anthem"


Don't wanna be just like you

Ever think you're being clever and at least somewhat original, only to find out someone else is doing it too? I was playing around on the web today and stumbled across this. What's funny is that I used to read this blog, but haven't in a really long time, like a year or more. I'm sure she didn't used to have song lyric titles, but maybe I'm wrong. I checked the archives just now, and it doesn't look like it's every day, just often. Oh well, so much for creativity.

This kind of reminds me of that movie "Garden State," when Natalie Portman talks about feeling the need to do something totally original and unique, then she makes this weird noise and moves all funny, just because noone else has ever done exactly that at exactly that place before. Interesting, but a little off. The movie was on this weekend, but it's also a favorite.

In other news, . . .
- I may have a date this week! Details to follow as they unfold.
- I signed up for a new knit-along; check the sidebar. It sounds like fun!
- This coming weekend is a summer holiday weekend, which means another wedding event! I don't think I've mentioned it, but every summer holiday weekend with the exception of Memorial Day is occupied by some wedding event. This one is a wedding shower for a childhood friend.
- Last weekend, though not a holiday weekend, was also occupied by a wedding event. A bachelorette party! Definately more fun than a wedding shower.
- I should have an FO to show off tomorrow - whaddaya think? Socks or eyelet chemise?

That's all for now. Sorry about the list; I'm just not feeling particularly prosaic today. Yes, I did have to look up "prosaic." Best I can tell, it's the word I want, meaning "consisting or characteristic of prose."

Until tomorrow!

Previous Title: Stevie Wonder, "Superstition"


Very superstitious, the devil's on his way

Some 6/6/06 tidbits, if you haven't heard enough of them yet:

- Slayer is beginning their Unholy Alliance Tour - Do people really listen to Slayer still? Maybe the world is really in trouble if there are actually Slayer fans around.

- The odds of the world ending today are apparently 100,000-to-1 - Someone really thought about that one?

- The sum of all of the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666 - Gambling is clearly evil!

- Hell, Michigan is having quite the celebration today - Sounds like fun!

- Many expectant mothers are doing their best to avoid giving birth today - Can you blame them?

In a quick Google search, here is my favorite find:
Still scared about the date 666? Jack Horkheimer of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium has a piece of advice: "If it really spooks you, you can stand on your head and it'll be 999."

Enough of that, I'm already bored of it. Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.

I've been holding out on you a little. I've been knitting and not sharing for a few days now. Here's the grand reveal, although nothing's finished yet so don't get too excited.

Some River Rapids socks. Well, really one River Rapid and one little Pond Rapid, soon to become a River Rapid.

I've also been knitting away on the Eyelet Chemise from the current Interweave. I'm using GGH Scarlett, and I guess I'm about 2/7ths of the way through since I've used 2 out of 7 balls of yarn. Can you tell we're studying fractions this week in third grade?

And speaking of third grade, one of my sweetie-pies brought me flowers again! It's actually the third time now. How cute! I gave the vase back to her father this morning, and he returned it in the afternoon with a refill. They are beautiful!

Do you think I should tell her that I've already finished the report cards?

Previous Title: Santana featuring Rob Thomas, "Smooth"


Man it's a hot one; like seven inches from the midday sun

Maybe it's time to get a fan . . .

If I haven't already told you, I teach twenty-two nine year-olds. On the third floor. On the sunny side of the building. With no air conditioning. It was 89 degrees today. It must have been 99 degrees in my classroom.

I've been home for an hour now, soaking in the AC and sucking up a mocha frappucino, and I swear I'm still sweating. And yes that was me just telling you the other day about how great summer is in Boston and how much I love it when the sun comes out. Stop laughing. Stop! It's not funny.

I love the summer and I love the sunshine, but it's really hot up there on the third floor on the sunny side with no air conditioning and way too many kids. I'll survive, but I reserve the right to complain. And don't think I won't complain tomorrow when it's cold and rainy and more like 65 degrees.

No knitting pictures today; it's just too hot!

Yesterday's title: Damien Rice, "The Blower's Daughter"