Sunday, July 30, 2006

Excitement 'round here (with photos!)

Look what I did on Friday!

That's right - I hung out with my nephews and made "woogles". They even let me have some of the ones they made. The new woogle colony lives on top on my monitor.

Every year there is a hot air balloon festival at a local airport. If the wind is just right the balloons lift off and fly over my place. This hasn't happened in 3 or 4 years. The start of the festival was Friday night and I didn't think the balloons would lift off because we had a nasty storm from about 3 - 5 in the afternoon and drizzle after that. It did clear up enough for them to have their fireworks. I don't live close enough to see the fireworks from the airport, but I did hear them and the sky was lighting up over the rooftops.

The balloons also lift off every morning during the festival, so I got up early, made coffee and was out on my deck yesterday by 7:15 AM waiting for them to appear over the rooftops...

Maybe they went the other way. So I puttered around my place and then went outside and knitted and listened to podcasts for a good portion of the afternoon.

Between 6:30 and 7 PM I kept looking out to see if the balloons were going to lift off. It's been really humid here and not ideal ballooning weather. Then I saw one pop up and go back down again. Then another one. Then there was one right behind that house there so I ran to get my camera.

If flew over my place...

Before I knew it...

This balloon always cracks me up. I had to share...

Ummm - it doesn't look like this one is going to make it too far...

Yeah - it didn't. Two of the balloons landed on across the street.

Most of them landed in the field and school yard about 100 yards to the right of this photo. If the balloons come this way, they usually try and make it to another small airfield that is about 2 miles further away and they drift past my brother and sister-in-law's place. They sure didn't make it that far this year.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


I knew it was coming. The new job wasn't working out at all. In fact, I started looking for something new over a month ago. It's very weird not having to do all the networking and resume posting and job board trolling that I think I should be doing because I already have done it.

So - I have the summer off and more time to knit.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I've started three different entries the last couple of weeks. I wanted to talk about the state of NJ being closed, but then the governor signed the budget and re-opened everything. It was a stupid move on his part and I'm glad I didn't vote for him. But the entry wasn't timely any more.

Then I started my Amazing Lace challange #4 and I noticed a huge error a few rows back, for an entire row and I was so annoyed that I pulled it off the needles and cut the yarn. I cast on for the third time and hopefully I have a system in place now where I won't mess up any more.

The other thing I wanted to talk about was my chair at work. They're the big fancy executive kind (even tho I'm in a cube) and well - there are sweat issues. Too gross to talk about really.

So, I'll just give ya'll the low down on what I've been knitting. Besides the shawl for The Amazing Lace, I've pulled out the Viking Costumes again. I know it's shocking. My nephews asked about them, unprompted by any side discussion of knitting, and that completely guilted me into working on them.

They're going much faster than I thought they would. I have some sewing and felting to do and then I'll be done with the helmets. I made the band for the bottom of the helmet and the strips for the shaping, but they don't fit the hat part pre-felting. So what I'm thinking is I won't felt them till after I do the helmets and see if they need to be felted at all. I'm sure my SIL will love me for making these out of yarn that can't be washed and dried. Oh well.

I've been working on the jerkins and the front strips are done! I used Berocco Suede and I found that after I knit with it - my hands smell like diesel fuel. I can't wait to get back to using the Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks. I'm even looking forward to the bit of fun fur I need to put the finishing touches on the shoulders.

With all the good karma I built up with knitting the Viking costumes, I broke down and started the Storm Water Shawl. The pattern came with the Sea Silk and it's a lot of fun to do. You use two strands of the sea silk at the same time... but not held together. You knit across in the pattern with skein 1 and then push the stitches to the other end of a circular needle and knit across again with skein 2, then you purl back the same way. It's very cool and I'm really enjoying it.

I'll be getting to the sewing on the Viking costumes soon. I don't want to ruin the good karma.

And I promise - next time - pictures!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Celebrating National Holidays...

In my opinion the best way to celebrate a national holiday is to attempt to boost the economy. Friday my friend and yarn shopping enabler Jen, e-mailed me asking if I wanted to meet her for lunch and to check out a new yarn shop in the area. I couldn't reply "yes" fast enough.

Saturday before heading out, I tried to find the store listed in the yellow pages so I could look at a map and know pretty much where it was located. It wasn't coming up at all, but I did find another shop not too far away and they had a website. I clicked. I shouldn't have. They carried Koigu, which I've been wanting to try for a while now. I called Jen to find out the name of shop #1 and if she wanted to check out the second shop I found. Yes! We had the afternoon planed.

I finished my errands and then headed to the new yarn shop. I parked just up the street from the store so I could window shop on my way to meet Jen. From the window display alone I knew we were in trouble. We decided lunch could wait while we shopped.

The store has only been there 2 months. They carry some really beautiful yarns. Alchmey yarns was what drew us there, but they also carry Lobster Pot, Art Yarns, Handmaiden and Manos, among others. This is what I got...

Yes - Sea silk. It is everything everyone says it is. Soft, mucho yardage, beautiful colors and WOW!

But look at that hand dyed Manos! It was the last two skeins of that colorway. How could I have left it in the store? I couldn't. I have no idea what to make out of it but I'm sure something will come to light.

I did get one other thing at this shop. Jen picked up one of those sheep tape measures for me. Now we both have one and I'll think of her every time I use it. Which I already have and is why there is no picture of it because it's in my stitching bag.

When that was done we went to lunch and showed off our knitting. Jen finished a beautiful shawl from Exquisite Little Knits. She used the Merino/Silk blend from Cherry Tree Hill and was disappointed that there were spots where the dye didn't quite take. Has anyone out there had this problem? I don't think it would have been so noticable if the color was lighter than the deep jewel tones she chose. It is still a beautiful shawl.

Off we went to shop #2 and what an odd little shop it is. It's a yarn shop, but also a pottery studio. Never would have thought those two would mix, but there it was. I found the Koigu which wasn't exactly the huge collection I had envisioned in my mind. One cubby hole full. That was it. Not that it stopped me from buying any...

The pink and beigy-yellow and white are the Koigu. The blue under the white is some yarn that the shop owner hand dyed. She swears the yarn is the same as Koigu. The price was right and the colors are really pretty so it came home with me. The Pink/green is from Artyarns and finally... I got caught up in Jen's boucle yearning and I had to buy the teal/green/yellow Lorna's Laces. She bought the same but in colors more like my Sea Silk.

So - I bought Canadian yarn on Canada Day and helped the American economy on Independance Weekend. Yeah North America!