Monday, September 9, 2013

New Blog Location!

I've put my blog on it's own website so today's blog post is over there:

And don't forget to bookmark it!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Can’t Stop Starting

Help!  I can’t stop starting new knitting projects.

All of these have been started in the past week and a half.  Warning:  the pictures I took for this post are terrible.  Just letting you know.

The Ecuador, which you’ve seen already, but I made a little more progress: 001

I know this gives you no better idea of the construction.  I think it will be more clear when I turn the corner.  I’ll pin it out so you can see it better then.

The Windward scarf:004

And I realize that this picture is also terrible.  If you tilt your computer screen just so, you may be able to get an idea of the colors.  Click on the link up there to see the pattern pics and the interesting construction, which this picture does give you a good idea of.  This is the yarn that I was winding, getting ready for my vacation.  I love the colors.

Aaron’s Aran sweater, which I’m knitting for a doodlebug and to teach a class: 011

So incredibly adorable for a toddler, don’t you think?  I’m making this with Malabrigo worsted.  NOT a kid-friendly yarn I know, since it has to be hand-washed, but I love this yarn. It is so soft and will be nice and warm for a doodlebug.  And it will come with the following washing instructions: “Give back to Aunt Liz and she will wash it.” 

The Glitz at the Ritz beaded shawl: 003

I finally got the beads and so far (fingers crossed) all is going well.

Started and finished my next travelling socks: 008 019

Ok, so this is all great.  I’m loving everything I started.  And there is more I want to start.  BUT, I really need to start finishing projects that were started a long time ago.  Like my Bloody Mary Cardigan.  Remember that?  As a refresher, here are the pieces:


Hmmmm.  There is a sleeve missing in this picture.  I think I did both.  But I don’t remember.  And therein lies the problem with these unfinished things! To make things worse, and more urgent, it is now September, which in my mind means it is Fall (even though I know it’s not officially), and that means I’ll want that long sleeve cardigan soon because soon (not really) it is going to be freezing.  I need more hours in the day.

P.S.  I’m going to be moving my blog to an actual, official real life website of my own soon.  Just letting you know.  More to come.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pit Crew Chief-ing

Yesterday was Musclepalooza, a bi-annual drag racing event at Lebanon Valley Dragway.   It was a hot day with 150% humidity.  Pretty yucky weather for racing and watching racing.  Many people have asked me if I get bored while I’m at these events with Paul.  The answer is: Sometimes.  But mostly, no.   I am the Pit Crew Chief, so there are things that I need to do.   I am also the only member of the pit crew so I have to do all the things.  I don’t do well with humidity, so yesterday was a little challenging in that respect.

“All the things” starts with signing the waiver that I won’t hold them responsible if get injured while pit crewing at the track.  And once that is done, I get a wrist band saying I’ve done it:007

Then, we find our spot to set up.   I’m not going to get into how I am about making sure we get a good spot but I can tell you it’s pretty annoying to Paul (understandably).   You may have read somewhere in here how I am about going to the movies.  This is similar.

Next, I open up all the doors:

001 002 003

And set up our relaxing/waiting/eating area:


Sometimes there is a canopy, sometimes not.  Yesterday was cloudy for the morning so we didn’t put it up until after this picture.

And of course, set up my things-to-do-while-I-wait-to-do-my-other-pit-crew-duties:


All this while Paul gets the car ready:


Then, we wait for Paul’s bracket to be called.  He races in the 10 second bracket.  That means he gets to the finish line – 1/4 mile away – in 10-10.99 seconds.

My next duty is to write on the window the time he thinks he will get to the finish line under:


And change it when needed:


Yes, three hundredths of a second makes a difference.  Who knew it could be this precise?

It doesn’t end here.  Then I follow him to the staging lanes on the ATV to wait with him:


…and take his water and any other stuff from him before he races.  It can’t stay in the car with him because he goes so fast (122 mph) that when he brakes at the end, things will fly everywhere in the car.

Then I go sit here:


Or stand here:


…to watch him go down the track.  If I can see through the burn-out smoke.  Cough. Cough.  If I see that he has gotten down safely, and does not need me to tow him with the ATV – which would mean the car broke and would be bad - I head back to the pits to wait for the next round.

And knit.  Yesterday I worked on my next round of traveling socks. I was able to finish my section and they are ready to send on:


Somewhere in between rounds I cook lunch:


And knit some more.  Or read.  See?  Not boring.  I love to knit and read.

Then, when he gets out in the second round, losing by 14 thousandths – yes, thousandths - of a second, I put everything away and lock up all the doors and we go home.  Even though he was out early, it was a good day.  Except for the 150% humidity.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Book Reviews: The Book Thief and The Husband’s Secret

Finally!  Two books to tell you about.  Very different from each other but I loved both of them.  Ok, I loved The Book Thief a little bit more.
1) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Here is the blurb from GoodReads:
“It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.  Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.”
Excellent, excellent book.  Wonderful writing.  Great story, although the subject matter is horribly sad.  Interesting narrator – you’ll have to read it to see what I mean.

2) The Husband's Secretby Liane Moriarty.  Again, a GoodReads blurb:
“To be opened in the event of my death
With one swift, vicious movement, she sliced the envelope open, and pulled out a handwritten letter.
love you and the girls...
so sorry to leave you with this...
cannot bear

The Husband's Secret is a funny, heartbreaking novel of marriage, grief, love and secrets.”
I listened to this one through Audible.  The narrator was excellent  -  not dull and monotone like Molly Ringwald in The Middlestiens.  The story pulls you right along, with some twists and turns and wondering what will happen next when the secrets come out.  The author’s style includes leaving you cliff hanging at the end of a chapter,  to go to another part of the story.  I love that because it makes you want to keep listening (or turning pages).  But I also hate that, because I’m impatient!

I am still 3 books behind schedule to reach my goal of 45 books by the end of this year. (I’ve read 26.)  I’m definitely staying away from Stephen King’s 11/22/63 for now.  At 849 pages, that’s like 3 books – sort of.  Isn’t that a great reason for not reading it yet?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cape Cod Vacation: Part II

Lots more fun was to be had during our vacation to Cape Cod!  If you missed the first part, go here.

Of course there was more eating…017 018

Mmmmm…..Arnold’s in Eastham.  Great fishwich’s, crabcake sandwiches and onion rings.  (We went here twice….)

We also took a bike ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail:photo (9)

Another day was a drive up to the very tip of Cape Cod, Race Point.  Gorgeous views: 039  046

We also went to the Wellfleet Drive-In!  So fun.  A double feature for only $9 each.  Of course, me being my usual hyper-about-getting-to the-movies-and-getting-a-good-seat-but-in-this-case-parking-spot self, I insisted we get there before the 7:00 box-office opening time (movie started at 7:50).  We got there at ten minutes to 7:00 and they were already letting people in.  So, of course I panicked more, thinking everyone else but us knew this and now there would be no good spots.  However, we spoke to the nice parking attendant who told us where the best place to park was, and we got a great spot!  The weather was nice, we brought sandwiches for dinner, and knitting of course, for while we waited:035

And the movies were funny:  We’re The Millers and The Heat.

So, that’s my Ecuador sweater that I mentioned starting in my last post.   Except you can’t really see it because it was getting dark and it’s curling up.  So here is a pinned out, further along version:013

This picture makes the colors look more stark and contrasting than I think it looks in real life.  And I know, it looks weird.  It is a very interesting construction.  The rectangle is the “back”, which actually is the upper back.   The part sticking out of the top is actually the left front.  Stay tuned.

The next day, there was a flea market at the drive-in, which we of course attended and of course did not leave empty-handed:075

1950’s step stool: $10    books: $8      socks: $5      paintbrushes: $1

And every day we went here:069

Every.  Day.  For my favorite Dirt Bombs (a plain donut tasting muffin, dipped in butter, then cinnamon/sugar ---- o.m.g.) and a danish for Paul.  Yes, the last post had a place for breakfast that we went to (twice) which would imply that some days we had two breakfasts, since we went to this bakery every day.  Not really.  Sometimes these were for breakfast dessert (or you may call it a midmorning snack) and sometimes they were for dinner dessert.   Everything at this bakery is yummy.  Everything.

You are probably saying, “You went to Cape Cod. Did you even go to the beach????”  We did.  On the morning we left.  We rode our bikes and sat with no one else there:056

Watched the waves:060

Looked for rocks and shells for our shelf at home:055 067

(You may now be saying, “Hey, that looks like Liz’s blocking towel." And you would be right.)

…and took the obligatory you-stand-in-front-of-the-pretty-water-and-clouds picture:


It was a great vacation…

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cape Cod Vacation: Part I

Our last vacation of the summer, we were off to Cape Cod for four days.  We crammed in a lot of activities  - which is why this is in two parts - and took a lot of naps.  Who knew we’d have time for naps?

Ok, but first, before we left, we had the usual hour-long how-the-heck-do-we-get-these-bikes-on-the-bike-rack session.  Ugh.  So frustrating.  We use the bike rack once or twice a year and we can NEVER remember how we did it.  Which bike went on first?  In which direction?  What position does the bike rack go in? Why is this pedal hitting the car?  It didn’t hit before.  How many bungee cords did we use? Where is the key to the bike lock?  Well, after this year’s hour-long session, Paul got smart and took a picture!  Then when we came home?


Easy peasy.

On the ride to the Cape there was, of course, knitting.  I worked on my basic socks (with my newly awesome knitting needle obsessions: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz) and got to the heel on both:


Next up for these is the new-to-me Sweet Tomato Heel, a short row heel designed by Cat Bordhi.  That was it for exciting stuff on the drive.

We had a gorgeous view from 2 sides of our room.


And from the deck outside of our room:


Where we sat and read and knit and had beverages:


We walked a lot.  And what do you know? One of the walks ended at A Stitch in Thyme Yarn Shop!  I’ve been there before and already had it in my mind that I wanted to go there to get some fingering weight yarn to start a new project (shocker), Ecuador, which is a swingy, drapey, sorta lacey, short sleeve cardi-type thing (click on that link to see the pattern picture).  So, I found this:


You’ll see my progress on it in the next post.  Ha!  How’s that for a hook to get you to read the next post?

Another one of our walks was to Rock Harbor and we walked out on “the flats” at low tide.  First, here is a picture at high tide:

049 050

And at low tide:


And we walked waaaaaaaaaay out there.  Here is the view looking back from where we went:


And this one is even further out – so far that we got to where the ocean actually started again:


On the way out we saw:

Thos things in the lower right corner are things that grow oysters.  They can only be checked on/harvested at low tide!  At high tide they are under many feet of water.

Oh, and there was breakfast:


The yummiest corned beef hash eggs benedict:


I kept it healthy with the fruit instead of hash browns.  (Ha!)  I’ve been on a benedict kick lately.  I also had eggs benedict on a cheesey bacon biscuit.  O.M.G.

Enough pretty pictures for today?  The rest of the trip will be in the next post.  You know you want to see how my Ecuador is coming…. (it’s actually not that far along, but don’t you want to see how that yarn is knitting up?)