Tuesday, August 29, 2006

As you might have noticed, I spend a lot of time gazing out my back door. This morning I was on the phone making a doctor's appointment when I saw this:

[oops - after I wrote this and downloaded the bird picture, I realized it was comically horrible and blurry. I give you instead, James, the next-door neighbor, doing his Creepy-Upside-Down-Guy trick, which makes me howl with laughter. See the "eyes" on his neck? Get it? Get it?]

There were NINE finches, Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal, a woodpecker and two mourning doves on the feeder. What is going on in my backyard these days??? I actually forgot what I was saying to the doctor I was so startled. It's kind of like a scene from "The Birds", but in a good benign (I hope!) finch-y way.

In knitting news, I unbound-off the KP&S cardigan edge, unraveled out the offending STRIPE, put the stitches back on the needles and knit it again. Here it is in all its un-STRIPEY glory:

I have to weave in the myriad ends and then proceed to the neckband and button bands. I'm not quite sure how to proceed. I don't want it to have the same deep ribbing as the cuffs and hem, but am not quite sure what I do want. I shall ponder that for a while.

Why do I keep finding pictures of Pat Burrell gazing at me in a sultry fashion?

Oops - did I say "gazing at me"? I meant, uh, just gazing.....

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Back In The Saddle

Those of you who know me know the last couple of weeks have been the most difficult of my life; I've been hesitating about blogging again because I wasn't quite sure how to begin again but now I figure I'll just begin. Here we go!

First, some new creatures that have appeared in the Mighty Momogus National Nature Preserve (formerly known as "my backyard"). My dear dear cousin Beth found this on the wheel well of her car one day when she came to visit me. Gus christened him "Wheel". Here's Wheel:

He got a new home in our garden, where I hope he is feasting on the helicopter-sized mosquitoes in the backyard.

Then the other day I looked out my back door and saw this:

This gorgeous creature is a Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly. Look how you can see through his wings!! Man, nature's working overtime!!

I also looked out my back door the other day and saw a hummingbird about 12" away from the door, hovering and facing me. I have never ever seen a hummingbird in my yard....ever! It seems like every time I look out the window I see something new and exotic!

Okay, now on to knitting. It's somewhat ironic that I saw the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly, because that very same day I happily tossed my Swallowtail Shawl (the neon orange one) in the trash. It reminded me of a bad time and I hated that yarn and you know, life's too short to waste on something you don't love. I was glad to see it go. I liked the pattern and will definitely start it over, but in a yarn I love this time.

Then I decided to start the Knitting Pure and Simple Cardigan, which is the September/October Knit-Along at the Tangled Web. I found some deliciously bilious greeny/brown Mission Falls 1824 Wool in my stash and plunged in. I knit and knit and knit along happily and contentedly. The sweater is knit top-down, and this afternoon I finished the hem ribbing (in a super-cool baby cable), bound it off and ran upstairs to try it on in front of the mirror. While I was pondering the sweater in the mirror, Matthew, who was watching tv upstairs, remarked on the stylish STRIPE above the ribbing. STRIPE? STRIPE? Why, yes, lookee here:

Isn't that special?! There was one freaking ball in a different dye lot and in my dimly-lit house I never noticed it. Even the cat noticed it!

Let me just say....AAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH..........(sound of me pounding head against wall)

Well, I shall unbind it and put it back on the needles and hurl the offending off-lot ball into the trash.

Finally, the New Phillies have inched themselves within 1.5 games of the wild card lead. Poor crazy Aaron Rowand crashed into Chase Utley last week and broke his ankle. My friend Lisa saw it! This is for you, L (don't stare at it too long!!):

Friday, August 18, 2006


This is the true story of a very special tiger.

Once upon a time, there was a little boy who loved cats of all kinds. He had accumulated a lot of stuffed cat toys who all lived on his bed, including a tiger he named Singer. He decided that Singer was married to Snowball, the beautiful white snow leopard. Each time the little boy got a new cat, it became his favorite, because he is six years old and six-year-olds are a little fickle.

One day the little boy went to the zoo and got a new cheetah named Duma. When he went to bed that night the little boy declared that Snowball was now married to Duma. The little boy made Singer get into a fight with Duma and then banished him from the bed for his bad behavior. He was put into a permanent "time-out" on the toy chest, while the little boy snuggled with Duma and Snowball in his bed. The little boy's mother felt strangely sorry for poor Singer and even though he was just a stuffed toy, she gathered him up and took him into her room for the night.

Then the little boy's grandmother got sick, and when his mother left to stay at the hospital he gave her Singer to keep her company because he knew his mother liked him. When his mother proudly showed her mother the tiger and how her sweet son had sent him with her to keep her company, his grandmother asked if Singer could stay with her to keep her company.

So Singer sat on the little boy's grandmother's bed for days. Sometimes the grandmother would rest her hand on his soft head; sometimes she would smile at him. Sometimes Singer would fall over and caring hands would fix him so he was watching the boy's grandmother again. When the nurses came in to care for the grandmother and would have to move Singer, they would carefully replace him exactly where he was. He stayed with the little boy's grandmother until the very end.

The night that the little boy's mother finally came home for good, she wearily climbed the steps to her bedroom, pulled Singer from her suitcase and fell into a dazed sleep curled around his little soft body. She wanted to be touching something that her mother had touched.

A few nights later, the little boy asked if Singer could stay with him again. He pushed all the other animals off the bed onto the floor and fell asleep clutching Singer. So for that moment at least (because six-year-olds are fickle, after all), Singer was as beloved as a tiger could be.

And the little boy's mother and her sisters would always love Singer because, well, you can guess.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

With all the doves and raccoons and Hottie McHothots around here lately, I thought perhaps I was neglecting to document what's going on with me knitting-wise these days.

I tried to jazz up this progress shot, but instead hit the Trifecta of Doom again - cats and boring-looking projects (and some other bad thing I can't remember):

This is the Knitting Pure and Simple V-Neck Pullover that was a Knit-Along at the Tangled Web last summer. I knit along very enthusiastically while the Knit-Alongs were in progress, but then I put it down. The yarn is Tatamy Tweed, which I bought at Kraemer Textiles last summer while up in the Poconos. It's a great yarn and I really wanted a big baggy brown sweater to replace one I have that's disintegrating, but it is pretty boring to knit. I went all wacko and did one sleeve and then started the torso. Round and round and round I go.....

I'm cursed with loving the look of sweaters with miles and miles of plain stockinette, but not loving the actual knitting itself. Oh well, the mindlessness of it is very soothing right now.

Those who know me know I'm a true sock-knitting lover, and for my not-so-wee son I like to knit dk weight socks. In scavenging around the internet (only because there was none to be had at TW - support your LYS!!!), I found that Knitpicks had their dk weight sock yarn on sale for like a penny, so I grabbed that. And then I saw that Elann had Fortissima dk weight sock yarn on sale for cheap, so I grabbed some of that too, and then purchased some Encore DK from The Tangled Web for heels and toes. Now I shall proceed to knit dk weight socks for that boy until the cows come home.

Here's his first choice (I thought he'd pick the blue option, but he picked the one I would have chosen for myself - what good taste he has!):

The TW got Balene needles in recently, and I thought I'd take these out for a spin, magic-loop-wise. I've been using Crystal Palace 26" for magic loop lately, but I'm intrigued by the Balene.

No Phillies news, except that they won yesterday, stinkin' dreamy Burrell hit a home run, and they are 2 games out of the wild card lead. How can this be? New Phillies rule!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The World Gone Mad

I got an email yesterday from the Phillies promoting their calendar for charity, which is a worthy thing. What was extremely disturbing to me was this:

and more specifically, this:

Why, he looks positively dreamy! Oh yes he does!! Then why o why must he stink so bad????

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


This is Whitey, so dubbed by Gus. He's (she's?) come to the house every day since last Friday. Usually, he's in the pine tree by the house every morning. We leave seeds for him under the tree. This morning he wasn't there when I went out, but later when I was doing the dishes I saw him flutter by. And sure enough he came down for his daily seeds. He lets me get quite close. I talk to him and he looks at me and blinks like he listening. I think he is significant.

In non-significant things, Go here:

one of the most delightful videos I've ever seen - and done in one take. Good for what ails ya.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Koigu and Fauna

I finished the Koigu socks of flaming splendor today:

Since I don't much fancy wearing wool socks when it's 95 degrees out, I shall fold these away in my sock drawer where they will languish, forgotten, until mid-November when I first open my sock drawer and say, "HEY! Look at these!!" and happily don them.

This morning I arose at an ungodly hour and decided to have some soothing coffee on my back steps and enjoy the cooler morning. I was enjoying the quiet when I happened to glance up at one of the trees in our back yard and saw this:

I actually had a classic sitcom moment where I did a double-take, removed my glasses and cleaned them. WA HA.

Mr. Magoo-like, I thought maybe that it was just a knot in the tree. Then I got closer and saw this:

Yes, we have raccoons in the trees. Made me uneasy. Matthew's father says seeing a raccoon in the daytime is no good. This one behaved itself, but I do not like the idea of them looming over us in the trees. Matthew and Gus looked them up on the internet and found out that raccoons have so much manual dexterity that they can turn doorknobs, which made Gus get up and lock the doors.

Just as we were recovering from the shock of raccoons in the trees, I looked out the back window and saw this:

Apparently this pure white dove visited the yard yesterday while Matthew and Gus were out playing baseball. It was quite unfazed by them, rejecting the bread crumbs offered, but accepting a handful of safflower seeds. And then it came back this morning. It has a legband. I can only imagine where it came from, but it moved me to see it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Since the Great Tea-Dyeing Experiment failed so miserably, I looked around my house for something else to try and happened upon the home-dyer's best friend, Kool-Aid!

For some reason, I thought that the Lemon-Lime flavor would make my orange swatch brown. So I gave the swatch another bath, this time in exotic green liquid:

And, wonder of wonders, look how it turned out:

I don't know if you can tell on your monitor, but the Kool Aid greatly minimized the icky orangeness of the yarn. I decided to give the swatch another bath and see if that reduced the orangeness even further. Stay tuned!

In other Swallowtail news: I finished up the first section of Lilies of the Valley - it was Nupp City, baby! I never made nupps before [excuse me while I giggle maniacally]; they're a sort of mini-bobble that make the blossoms of the Lily of the Valley. I snagged Matthew to hold while I snapped:

(nuppy goodness)

Anyway, they're not difficult but they're somewhat time-consuming. I started the second and penultimate lace section, another set of LOTV* and realized after the first row that I had not done the first section in mirror image. All of my LOTV are swinging the same direction instead of opposite directions on either side of the center stitch.

This realization made me want to put my head down and cry and throw that freakin' fluorescent orange shawl in the trash. But after allowing some time to pass, I think I'll just make the second section of LOTV swing in the other direction. But maybe after a little break. I think we need some time apart.

*(Doesn't LOTV make you think of LOTR? I am a HUGE "Lord of The Rings" fan.)

And now, in obligatory Phillies news:

Au revoir, Rheal Cormier!

And YOU, Cory Lidle,

you better quit your whiny Yankee griping and get in The Mighty Momogus Doghouse with: