Friday, May 29, 2009


Ok, I will admit to being on a sort of a rant. Most of you know that I cross post here and on Blogger (Fiberaddikt) because I have friends and readers in both places. I also have a small version on my Ravelry site (I'm Gator on Ravelry). I usually try to keep things relevant to each or to the relatives that read my blog looking for pictures, but this time this is a site-specific rant.

OK, Multiply...what was wrong with the old version? I'm not at all computer phobic and not always adverse to change, but honestly, I don't like the new version. The old one was set up the way I liked it with the calendar on the side, the responses and new entries grouped the way I wanted them, and I'm frankly not happy that they decided to change it. I'm a paying member as I know many of you are, and I don't recall them asking anyone if we wanted any changes to take place. Ok. That said, just know that I'll probably blog from Blogger now, and might not be around on Multiply as much as before. I'm sorry, I'll miss reading many of my friends' posts, but honestly I don't have the time to reconfigure or (figure out) the new product.

I'm taking a big deep breath now and moving on to the next thing to do in my computer time...checking facebook. lol

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day parades

We had quite a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, starting quietly and then ending with friends and activity. Our morning on Monday, Memorial Day, started early as we met up with some members of our reenacting group for the Hanover, PA Memorial Parade. Our "brother" unit is based up there and the head of that unit is quite involved with civic affairs so we marched to support their unit and their town. This is a cropped shot of my favorite guy.
There were very few of our members that were able to show up for the parade, some had illness issues and some had family issues. It's too bad because it was really nice. The core group was here and they marched in front with another Southern unit, and with the 16th PA. My dear friend Linda has a painful ankle right now so even though I dressed in CW attire, I opted to sit on the sidelines with her and watch the parade. It was wonderful and we both really enjoyed it. It was an absolute slice of small town Americana.
This is a shot of our guys with our "Brother" unit behind us. We have an event in 2 weeks in Pennsylvania and the 16th PA Volunteers will be there skirmishing along with our group, we're the Maryland 1st Cavalry, CSA. The two groups have fun together teaching living history and we're all friends.
After Mark and I left Hanover, we went to Gettysburg and met up with friends at O'Rourkes for lunch. We were all dressed for Civil War and waiting for the Gettysburg parade to start. We enjoy our friends in G'burg and we're so close (right down the road) that we're considered as locals, especially with me being up there working a day a week for the Park Service. We also ran into another friend from my sewing classes and chatted for awhile before the parade.
The parade was fantastic with lots of veterans honored, and reenactors from every war from the Revolution through Viet Nam represented. There were historic vehicles with appropriately dressed soldiers (male and female representatives of all branches of the military) as well as modern ACU's, Marching bands, a few floats, and I was lucky enough to have joined up again with my friend that knew everyone from town so I had a running commentary on who everyone was. She's on the chamber of commerce and so she knows who everyone is. Then after the parade was over, we gathered again for some much needed water and other food and drink. It was a very nice day, though hot to be in 7 layers of cotton and a corset. lol. And the guys were in wool all day but as us reenactors know, natural fibers are the best.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Knitterly Things

I've actually been doing a bit of knitting these days despite being back to flying a full schedule. I finished one of each pairs of socks I've been actively working on. It's hard for me to work on more than one thing at the same time but this one (Central Air pattern) is hard to work on unless I'm able to concentrate on the pattern which doesn't happen much at work. This has been the home project lately. I've always been a process rather than a progress knitter, enjoying doing the project even if I don't always finish. But lately, with putting my projects up on my Ravelry Page and looking at all the great projects out there I'd like to do, I'm feeling internal pressure to pick up and finish some of my long dormant ones.
This one is called Cedar Creek and it's much easier to work on for just a row here or there so I've been taking it to work. The second one of this pair is about an inch from starting the heel. I've picked up a project that was in hibernation, a plain seed stitch scarf that was on top of the TV cabinet for a couple of months. It's too big to take with me to work now but it's really close to being done so I'm going to get it done and off the needles. I have lots of great projects in my queue so I always want to enjoy knitting as much as I can. I should have another Socks that Rock kit on it's way, so I feel like I want to get these two pairs done and off the needles!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The girls, the sock, and spring flowers

After 9 days of straight rain, we finally had some sunny days. Being the lover of sunbeams that Gracie is, I caught her here taking a nice nap right in the sun on the window ledge. The cat pad is on a drawer unit in my office, and it's a favorite of all the cats on a sunny day, but Grace was first to it that day.
This is a picture of one of Aidan's socks. Aidan and Jenn must have left it behind when they were here in April, and all of a sudden it appeared in the hallway between our bedroom and the bathroom. I figured that one of the cats (probably Rosie) had been carrying it around because it smelled of Aidan so I left it there for her. For a couple of days it appeared in various places including the living room and the basement, and it disappeared from time to time as well. Here it is on the blanket at the end of our bed that the kittens enjoy sleeping on. Ever since I took the picture, the sock has been missing, I'm sure that Rosie took it somewhere safe that she has stashed other items that we've been looking for.
And here's the lovable thief now, viewing life from the top of my chest of drawers. I'm not absolutely convinced that she's the only one that takes things, since I've not seen her with the sock in her mouth, I suppose it could be either of the girls. I finished a sock the other day and left it on the table in the living room while we went out and it ended up being moved too. :) I have a feeling that Rosie has a big stash behind the TV center because we can't get back there and the younger cats can.
Here's a shot of Belle on the bed. She has been underfoot a lot lately, following us from room to room. Rosie prefersto lie on the sheets and not on the quilt, she's far better trained in terms of not stressing the seams or the fabric by sitting or lying on the quilt.
We did some work in the garden last weekend and this week we are enjoying the beautiful blooms of our Iris gardens. As I've mentioned, I buy my Iris plants from a lovely lady that runs which is on the web and ships if you might be interested. The plants have really done well where they're planted and they're beginning to bloom. I have quite a collection of different varieties, and I've decided to let them go another year and hopefully spread out a bit before enlarging the garden any to plant more. I wanted to get a good feel for what colors I want to add to the existing collection.
This shot is to the other direction showing the blooms in the garden. I do so enjoy the plants and the early spring blooms. All the rain we had this season as well as the strange warm winter helped everything really look nice this year. We had a lot of rain yesterday and are expecting more today so they'll probably get soaked again. My herbs and lettuce are doing well on the back deck too. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Beautiful Spring Morning!

It had rained every day for 8 or 9 days in a row which really helped our gardens come up nicely. We decided not to go to the Landis Valley Plant Faire this year since our front gardens were doing so well, and I want to let them fill in some more before I put more plants into it. I like the English Garden concept, groupings of plants that are right up against other plants too. I have a good assortment of different time of the growing season flowering plants so that I'll have some color most of the season. The gardens are on the north side of the house and under trees so it's always a challenge to find shade or part shade plants that can handle the hot afternoon temperatures as well.
The azaleas are in full bloom and some of the earlier blooming Iris are waiting to open. I have buds on most of the Iris plants already, with a few that were added last spring not yet flowering. I decided not to add anymore this year, I want what I have to flower and spread a bit before I think about putting in another one or two. I can always go up to Stoney Creek Iris's farm and get a couple directly. They're fantastic for having different and beautiful varieties.
Here's a view of the entire front yard, we do have room to expand the gardens but I think this year we're going to focus more on growing veggies in the back and filling in. After I took these shots, we got going to downtown Baltimore to the farmer's market.
This farmer's market is held under the highway right where the highway ends into the downtown area. There are food vendors, coffee, homemade doughnuts, crepes, breakfast burritos, plants, herbs, milk (glass bottles!) eggs, pickles and olives, and we love going there. It's open May-December on Sunday mornings and we had a shopping list in mind. First we stopped and got herbs and lettuce plants, I got a nice large assortment of herbs that I enjoy cooking with fresh. I also got 2 salvia plants for the garden, I'm going to put them in between the iris plants for some greenery and color as the Iris's aren't too pretty come the summer after they've bloomed.
Then it was off to the coffee line and to get freshly made mini-doughnuts which are absolutely to die for. I got fresh asparagus and spring onions, yams, and lettuce for tonight and some for the week, and then we went to the fish guys for a nice piece of Wild King Salmon. It was less expensive than Whole Foods (we call it Whole Paycheck!) and I like supporting local farmers and businesses. It's already marinating in the fridge and we're going to grill it outside this afternoon. Now we're getting ready to go to the local plant mart for some tomato and pepper plants, as well as one fuschia phlox to match the one on the other side of the front garden. We'll be planting this afternoon and enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. :)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sleepy day

Today is another of many overcast days in a row. I got home from flying late last night and the cats woke me up this morning again for an early breakfast. It was two late nights in a row, and I just never could get going so I decided to work on my Ravelry site. It's neat because it has a place for your knit, crochet, and spinning projects, both completed and in progress, and I have many. Here you see Belle, who was being a bit needy today and hanging out with me as I worked on organizing and listing some of the stash of yarn I have. I have a couple of drawer units that have yarn in them and honestly I don't have a good handle on what is in my stash anymore so it was great to get started on posting my yarns on Ravelry. You can even sell or trade yarns from your stash on that website. I got only one drawer finished and cleaned out, but it's a start. I had to take pictures of all the yarn, it was very slow going.
I also posted information about various projects that are in progress on my Ravelry site so I had to take pictures of them. This pair of socks is in a pattern called "Central Air" which is a very easy lace pattern and I'm using a Socks that Rock Colorway called "Lucy". I have to pay attention while I'm doing this pattern and I haven't been flying any trips that give me a moment to sit in the gateroom between flights to knit, so I haven't made much progress. Hopefully eventually I'll have some quality knitting time. I started this one right after getting home from vacation at the end of April.
This sock is called "Cedar Creek" and it's in the "Rooster Rock" colorway, again by Socks that Rock which is my favorite sock yarn. I have made socks from other yarns, but I love theirs the best. I like the yarn itself, and the colors are beautiful. This is one of my favorite colorways so far. I've been going back and trying to do the older Socks that Rock club patterns from when I was not yet a member. I've been doing them mostly in the recommended or pictured color for the particular color (except the first one above, that color wasn't available-they rotate their colors) so that I expand my horizons and don't end up with a lot of similarly colored projects. I probably wouldn't have chosen this color from the swatches on their yarn site, but I love it in person.
This project is the March package for this year's Socks that Rock club, the pattern is called "Rogue Roses" and the colorway is "Gertrude Skein". I have been working it a little bit but I keep getting distracted by other things because I'm very much not impressed with this colorway. The pattern is not the most fun to knit either, combining cables with a traveling panel on a perl ground on the front and back for the pattern. The two socks will be mirror images of each other so they have to be done on different and opposite patterns. I will finish this but so far it's not my favorite.
I pulled out some of the "hibernating" projects that I've started in the past and it was a very good idea to go through the works in progress pile. This is my "Rosemarkie" vest from Alice Starmore's Celtic Knitting book. I really love the colors and it'll be my first priority when the above socks are finished to work on. I had to look for the book again to get the pattern from as I'd lost one of the sheets I'd copied it to (I don't want to carry and ruin the book while I'm working on the project) and took that opportunity to perch on the back of the sofa in front of the bookshelves and list my entire library of knitting books on my bookshelf on Ravelry. I had books that I'd forgotten, so, again, it was good that I spent the morning working on my Ravelry site.
This next hibernating project is a baby sweater that I'd started when Jenn found out she was pregnant with Aidan. It was also before they found out that they'd be having the baby and living in Hawaii so they weren't going to need a sweater. The pattern is free on and is very easy, I just have to get back into it and get moving. You do the front and back in a round and that is nearly finished. I have to get the sleeves going and finish the neck. I love doing fair isles knitting, it's so much fun! This one might get done by when grandson #2 and the family moves stateside and has cold weather again. No promises. Just "might get done".
This project is a bit problematic. I started it years ago when I was not at all familiar with cables. It gave me some much needed practice doing the cables, but it was much too complicated of a project for me to start for a first experience with a new technique, plus to experience having several different patterns rotating on different number of row repeats all at the same time. I have the front nearly completed, though there are some errors that are making me nuts because I can see them clearly now that I've been knitting more. I don't know how to take out cables, but I do know that there are places where the yarn is split and probably won't frog out very well so I'm thinking I might just leave it and do better on the other pieces and move on. I love the yarn which my husband picked out, but I really haven't decided if I'm going to work towards finishing the sweater yet. I'll leave it in hibernation for now. I'm not going to make a decision today.

Finally updated Ravelry

We went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival for just a short amount of time on Sunday morning. It was pouring down rain and quite miserable to be out. I scored a tee shirt and a tote bag and a hat with this year's adorable logo, and took a couple of fleeces that I found in the basement in to McClellan's Frankenmuth Woolen Mill's truck to be taken back to Michigan to be made into quilt batts. I love their work both with making batts and rovings. Then I found a few skeins of mill ends of the Socks that Rock yarns. Mill ends are ok for me since I'm hand knitting, the knots aren't too big of a problem, and heck, I've found slubs and knots in the non-mill ends full priced yarns too, so no problem. The only thing is that there is no colorway notated on the wrapper so I have no idea what to call the colors.

There were quite a few members walking around at the Festival so I decided to work on my own ravelry site. It's a place for knitters, crocheters, and fiber people to keep records of their stash (yeah right, it would take me years to list it all) and projects both in progress and finished. There is a way to try to sell or trade stash yarns and there are lots of free patterns. You can also see all the people that are working on a project, it's amazing. My name there is Gator, so if you're on Ravelry, do stop by. I'm still working on getting my blog to post there and to find the various interest groups, but I'm up and running.

I hope to have more pictures of my wip's (works in progress) up on the site soon. Maybe I'll even get a bit of knitting done today. :) Have a great day!