Friday, April 25, 2008

To while away the time in a good cause and to improve one's vocabulary go here: donates 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Fund every time you correctly identify a vocabulary word. It is addictive, entertaining and educational. (Dad, you alone with your big bag of words could put a serious dent in world hunger.)

And now, because I don't have any knitting stuff to show you, here is a picture of my alternately-beloved-and-detested Mr. April Pat Burrell, who is currently batting .355 with a league-leading (and tied with teammate Chase Utley) 8 home runs*. Feel the love.

*Oops - as friend Kel pointed out, Utley actually has the league-leading 10 home runs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Election Day here in Pennsylvania - don't forget to vote!!!

Knitting news:

I have become obsessed with making hats to match all of my Momogus Knits samples. So I've knocked off these in the last couple of days:

Here is where I am on the Marianas Pullover. Finished collar, yoke and both sleeves - heading down the body. Coming down the home stretch.

Poking around on Ravelry I came across this, which I then had to order from Nordic Fiber Arts (the source of all that is good in the world) immediately. More Selbu madness!!!

It's actually in Norwegian with an English translation attached. Part of me (a big part of me) wants to see if I could knit a mitten without resorting to the translation. I'll keep you posted. The other book is a gorgeous and worthy contribution to Mighty Momogus Mitten Madness.

Doing some Knit-Along research for the Tangled Web fall season, I started the Calla Lily Bag from "The Knitter's Book of Yarn." It's designed by Cat Bordhi, who is a genius. Unfortunately, I am not a genius, and the twisty-turny directions wrestled me to the ground and had me in a headlock almost immediately. I sent a plaintive note to friend Anjeanette who has made a beautiful version of this bag. Funnily, just knowing that she would help me calmed me down and I figured out what was going on. Which was craziness. But I'm halfway through now and enjoying it rather than weeping in frustration. I'd post a picture but it's just a big red blob right now.

I wasn't liking how the Phillies were playing, so I took the spring flag down and put the Phillies flag up. They immediately won two games, including last night's in which Utley hit another home run (one in each of the last five games!!) and Werth had an inside-the-park home run, which is very cool. Now I hope they continue with their winning ways for a while, so I don't have to become the Mayor of Crazytown switching flags every other day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, most beloved cousin of all!! It's Beth's birthday!! Yippeeee!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Okay, I meant to do a post about what's going on with me knitting-wise these days, but it's sort of boring, so I keep putting it off. I'll try to get inspired in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, indulge me while I post again about baseball. Yesterday was Opening Day for the GYAC Cork Tavern Red Sox. Like last year, the Opening Day Parade was awesome, complete with:

fire engine!

and Mummers!

Here I captured the Cork Tavern Red Sox walking by the Cork Tavern itself (see yellow arrow)

Here's the sweet swinger (his coach told Matthew at practice the other day that Gus's hitting reminds him of Gary Matthews!) posing for his baseball card:

Third baseman anticipating the play (he never actually touched a ball in the field during the game, but he looked good):

Post-game pep talk from the coach:

Gus went 2-for-2, with 2 RBIs. The team "won" 7-6. Though they don't keep score, the kids know down to the very last ball and strike what the score is. Great day.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gus got his team uniform today. Of course we knew he was on the Red Sox and that was thrilling. Here he is in all his glory:

[Yes, that is a pitching mound in the middle of our backyard....]

But there was an awesome surprise in store for us - look at who's sponsoring his team!!!

Yep, the mighty Cork Tavern of Glenside (last year the team was sponsored by an attorney's office). Though I drive by it every day on the way to dropping Gus off at school, it's one of the few local pubs I haven't patronized.

Here's a review I found on Yahoo. Local: "While it can be intimidating sometimes for non-locals, The Cork is my alltime favorite bar. It's not the nicest or the cleanest or the best smelling, the menu's limited and the guy sitting next to you may be missing teeth/fingers/normal brain function but it still beats any place else to tie on a cheap load."

BWA HA HA HA HA!!! Okay, so I can't see taking the team there for a post-game celebration, but I think the parents definitely need to make a field trip.

Go Cork Tavern Red Sox!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang, Interweave Knits Fall 2007, Rowan Felted Tweed.

The experience of knitting this sweater boggled my mind. I knit this on #5s, which is the smallest size needle I've used for an adult sweater. It had crazy, mind-consuming stuff going on all the time. And yet this seemed like the quickest knit sweater I've ever done. What's up with that??

I made the body and the sleeves 2" longer than the pattern called for and that was just right. I sewed the collar down instead of doing the fussy 3-needle bind-off, I picked up 110 stitches for the button band instead of the 148 that the pattern called for (where would I have found those extra 38 stitches????); I made 6 k2og/yo buttonholes instead of the 9 bind-off/cast-on buttonholes that the pattern called for. I usually never block sweaters when I'm done, but this one needed it. I steam-ironed DIRECTLY on the sweater and it responded beautifully.

This experience also reinforced my love for the Tangled Web Knit-Along. Usually I've knit the project ahead of time as a sample, but this time I knit along with everyone else. And the advice I got and the camaraderie of the other folks was really wonderful. It would have been much sloggier going without my fellow Knit-Alongers.

As part of my Journey To The Center of the Core Of The Stash, I started the Mariannas Pullover in some old old old Jaeger Chamonix that I had bought at the Tangled Web on sale many years ago. [I'm too lazy to get up and take a picture, but will in the next day or so. It's aat a boring-looking point right now anyway....] Interestingly, because blue is not one of my favorite colors, the Chamonix, like the Felted Tweed I used in the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, is a steely grey-blue. So two blue sweaters in a row. The Chamonix is yummy - thick and soft - I'm glad that I made the Journey.

I spent 2 hours at the dentist this morning, having a procedure done that I've put off for many many years. I can only eat soft foods for the next 24 hours. Soft foods like, say, melted cheese? Or Choco-Marshmallow S'Mores Dessert Option?? I wonder if I could persuade Matthew to go back to the Melting Pot after a one-day interval.....

I watched "Master and Commander" on yesterday. I was avoiding it because I thought it might give away something about the books, but I decided I was far enough along to risk it. And I really wanted to see the ships and the rigging and the cannons and everything on screen. It was great - Russell Crowe was a great Jack Aubrey; Paul Bettany (though a great-looking guy in real life) made a creditable showing as the scrawny, plain Stephen Maturin. I highly recommend.

I forgot to take the spring flag down and the Phillies won anyway. Now I'm stymied. Matthew said that I should let the flags work their mojo over a few days and not immediately take them up or down. I guess he's right. We'll see how they do today.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I forgot to take the winning/spring flag down when the Phillies lost and so they lost again yesterday. My bad. Matthew says I shouldn't be concerned with switching the flags as soon as the Phillies lose, but I'm not so sure. I'm going to put the Phillies flag back up this morning and see what happens. What's up with Myers anyway??

Some cultural notes (warning: these are pretty highbrow - the air is mighty rarified up at the level of sophistication that I inhabit):

1. In cinema: "Horton Hears a Who" gets the MM thumbs-up. It was G-rated, and pleasant and funny and true to the spirit of Dr. Seuss. I think that Jim Carrey and Steve Carrell should have switched their roles, but that's splitting hairs.

What I was most excited about was the preview for "Speed Racer". The preview was full of mind-boggling action and hyper-saturated color. What cracked me up was when the preview was over I was sitting with eyes bugging out of my head and my jaw on the floor, and I look over , wild-eyed, at the three 8-yr-old boys with me, and they are practically asleep they're so unimpressed. They said they were excited to see "Speed Racer" but I think they were just humoring me.

2. In television: I have become a Bravo junkie. It started with "Top Chef", and then because I would be too lazy to change the channel and would be mentally bludgeoned by all of their preview commercials, I began to love "The Real Housewives of New York City" and "Make Me A Supermodel." At least "Top Chef" has a whiff of legitimacy and is genuinely interesting, but "TRHONYC" and "MMAS" are just like candy-coated car crashes - you cannot look away. Of course, when I saw that the season finale of "TRHONYC" was next week I almost cried from abject sadness. Fortunately, Bravo reruns their shows without pause, so maybe that will tide me over till next season.

3. In the world of letters: I am finishing up "The Surgeon's Mate", which is Book 7 of the Aubrey-Maturin series. I am still looking for someone to chat about these with. I browbeat (in a nice way!) Dad into starting the series again, but he is bailing after Book 2, because he has other books to read. Hrmph. I ask almost every customer who comes into the store if they've read them (which is a fine sales technique, by the way), and only got one hit. One woman said she listened to them on tape in the car, but it was so long ago that she didn't remember anything about it. What??

4. In fine dining: Let me tell you of the most yummerific cuisine-ery delight I just discovered. It is the cheesy, chocolatey, dippy world of FONDUE!!! The three of us went to dinner at The Melting Pot in Chestnut Hill last night, and my world was ROCKED. I wish I could eat there every day of my ever-living life!!! You can keep your molecular cuisine, your foams, your reductions, your ras al hanout - I'm going with the Choco-Marshmallow S'More Dessert Dipping Option!! I think my eyes literally rolled back into my head at one point. Plus I could actually feel my arteries clogging up. But in a good way!!

So that's all for now from the highbrow world of culture from yours truly.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I made the Phillies win!!!

I changed the flag this morning and they won their first game this afternoon. Now to use my powers for good and not evil......