Accident Prone Knitter

Here you will find musings about knitting, home renovation, travelling, sports and the myriad of things I delight in. "Out into the brimming, sun bathed world I sped"

My Photo
Location: Central Pennsylvania, United States

I've lived in California, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Toronto and Pennsylvania. I'm a retired police officer, and I've worked in accounting and payroll related fields for the last several years.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I think I'm gonna need a boat

I live in Central PA and to quote MFB, the Rain is a Pain. A major fishing creek is about 30 yards from our front door, and it's getting rather high fast and muddy. Even the ducks don't want to dip a toe, or is it web? Don't worry about the ducks though; they're in a neighbors yard, where some low lying ground has given the ducks a nice pond. If you can picture a happy duck, picture our local ducks, especially since all of a sudden a bunch of baby ducks have appeared.

On to the snakes, Snake Socks that is, pattern courtesy of Joanne. My nerves are ok now, thanks to Twig's suggestion of the vodka, and Kish and Michelle's suggestions of deep breaths and setting the needles down. I have to say, this is one fun pattern. It seems to be going very quickly, but maybe that's because it's not just a plain stockinette. Michelle has started hers and my friend; I think you're going to enjoy these.

Originally I was hoping there would be more "blobs" of color, but maybe the subtle colors will be better in the long run. I decided to use some stitch markers to mark the pattern repeat, it's helping this novice stay on track.

Oh Michelle, if you're reading this check out "Another Interesting Blog"'s posting here because I know how you love Chocolate.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I have one nerve left

Seventy seven stitches on the needles after two rows of a seventy stitch patern:
16 nerves
Discovering I'm a total knitting doofus novice because I think SSK means slip 1 slip 1 knit third stitch:
8 nerves (I'm used to being a doofus)
Frogging twice:
6 nerves
Twisting cast on stitches for socks:
12 nerves
Dropping a stitch when connecting cast on:
2 nerves (discovered it right away)
Finally knitting 22 rows of the sock with no problems:

UMMM Dropping a stitch down two rows when trying on the rows:
1263 nerves.
Finding instructions on the internet for and picking up said stitch then indulging in a coffee:


Saturday, June 24, 2006

It's a pair!!

Yippeee. This is my first completely finished item since starting my blog and my first pair of socks which did not succumb to the dreaded second sock syndrome. I still really like this cotton wool blend and plan on exploring it in different colorways.

I've started two new projects the first of which is the Ticker Tape Purse from Kish. I started both these new projects Thursday night with my knitting group. There were six of us there and thank goodness for L. and her book of knitting techniques, because I had to do a crochet cast on for the purse. Her book had directions and voila. I don't have a picture of either of these new projects but will next week. I love the rich colors of this yarn and the texture is great.

I also started Snake Socks from Joanne. I'm using the Froehlich wool I picked up from my LYS for the socks. This is a cuff down pattern and I finished the ribbing and worked the first two rows of the snake pattern twice. Looks like I need to do some more research before continuing because I've discovered I don't know what the h#!! enough about knitting to make what looks like a fairly easy lace pattern. I sure like this wool, springy and soft, very different feel from the socks I just finished. This yarn is a soft green and has sporadic little blobs of color and it's fun to watch where the blobs show up on the socks. You can just see the blobs on the end of the skein there.

The weather Thursday night chased us knitters home. We made it to our cars running through a vicious wind and sprinkles. Two miles down the road it was driving rain, thunderstorms and a hail storm to beat the band. We've had lots of rain since then, but today we had blue skies! Of course I picked today to go into the office and get some work done without interruption. It was a productive day, but I would have rather been sitting on the deck knitting and listening to a book on tape.

Have to get ready for some company on Thursday as our best friends are visiting from Canada. Just an overnight visit but it's long overdue as I haven't seen them in over a year. Domestic chores are on the agenda for tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Reunion Memories

Warning this is a long post about a family reunion, with brief mention of crafty things.

My Mom’s family reunion June 9-11 was a unique and joyous occasion for me as I live a great distance from my immediate family and have for the past 20 plus years. We sometimes go a couple of years without seeing one another, so you can imagine how often I might see aunts, uncles, cousins and greats. In addition, it was my Mom's birthday on June 10.

This past week we converged on the little town of Freeman South Dakota "The Right Place" approximately 30 miles West of Sioux Falls SD. My childhood memories were that of a fairly desolate and dusty area, not so reality. It was green fields of young corn stalks surrounding farms whose buildings were surrounded by huge trees which have been standing for years. How ones perspective changes with maturity.

Steve and I arrived in town at a cousin’s business and home for a hotdog picnic at noon. The cousins definition of hotdogs for about 20 people in the middle of a very busy work day for her was chicken in a vodka sauce, corn on the cob (of course), potatoes, 3 different kinds of salads, carrots, 3 different kinds of bread and strawberry shortcake with ice cream! Nicer hot dogs I’ve never had. My immediate family was on a timetable as my Dad’s family is from Menno, "The Place To Be" a town about 20 miles away, and arrangements had been made for us to meet up with them for pie and coffee at 1:30pm.

The little café we met up in Menno was spotless. Old, charming and I say spotless. Great pie and coffee, but they didn’t have enough rhubarb pie. My brother’s godmother was among those in attendance and what a treat that was for him. Showing up a few minutes late was a couple who are very strong in my memories. She is my mom’s cousin married to my dad’s cousin. I remember going shopping with her and she would dart from rack to rack having to touch absolutely everything. I tend to do the same. After a stop at the cemetery and nursing home (these can be difficult visits but are worth it in the long run) we popped over to the cousins house, and she showed me skeins of yarn for afghans she is crocheting.

Right next to our motel was one of three restaurants in town and because there were so many people to see, we met up with the majority there. For me and my cousins we had the joy of watching our parents reconnect with numerous childhood friends who never left their hometown. For me in particular was the connection with my aunt and uncle and cousin from Montana who I grew up with, and then my other aunts and uncles and cousins who we spent many family vacations with. Seeing my cousins as the wonderful adults they have become and their spouses and feeling the love and caring of my aunts and uncles is a memory I will cherish. Unfortunately some of the cousins couldn’t make the trip, but they were there in spirit.

A childhood memory for me in South Dakota was eating chizlik (not sure of the spelling). This is basically a lamb kabob that has been deep fried or grilled. It’s hard to find, but not in South Dakota and certainly not in Freeman. It was just as good at the reunion. I also had a small glass of Hooterite (colony similar to the Amish) rhubarb wine. I know it sounds like, and hear me, it feels like we ate every three hours.

Other than catching up with family, for me the most memorable thing we did was visit the farmhouse my mom and her siblings were born and where my grandfather died when Mom was 5 years old. We did this on my Mom's birthday. This home was built between 1898 and 1902 and has been vacant for several years. The land is still farmed and the barns used. All of us and I’d say that’s about 30 went into the house and even up to the second floor. I was amazed at the solid floors and the feeling that it will stand for years. As it was, it still felt like a home, a testament to my grandparents. Grammy never remarried, unusual for back then, and raised three daughters and one son on her own. They had to leave the farm and had a rough road but to a one, they never felt poor. Grammy was quite the lady, and that is such an understatement.

After that we went to the Heritage Hall Museum depicting the pioneer history of South Dakota. In addition, the Museum has the largest privately owned Indian artifact exhibit in South Dakota which is what really held my attention. There were examples of Indian beading, that’s right BEADING. Thousands of beads. I read about how porcupine quills were also used for decoration. Porcupine quills have a barb on the end and are filled with air. Indian women would flatten these quills with their teeth and then use herbs for dyeing them. Absolutely beautiful articles were made with the combination. Here you see items from a plains dentists office. Yikes! Take a look at the inside of this antique car and note the upholstery. This is a gray pinstripe flannel and the condition it was in was amazing.

Then, off for the evening meal, laughter over the family attempts to speak the German of their youth and lovely speeches by the elder generation of their memories as well as the current status of their offspring. Then off to a cousin’s beautiful home for desert. She’s a knitter and has a stunning antique spinning wheel that I was admiring.

Sunday morning we woke to a foggy day, so instead of leaving after lunch we decided to leave right after church. Before we left the church Mom and I went to see a tapestry she remembered of the Last Supper. I have never seen one this big. It must have been 10 feet wide by 6 feet tall. Made by hand. All I can say is WOW. While Mom and I were there, Dad and my sister in law joined us and it was a special moment.

We said goodbye, Dad and I always the most outwardly emotional – always difficult and headed home, most of the others were leaving Monday.

For Steve’s perspective of the reunion visit his post here. He’s a city boy, but he loves the mountains, so he’s not all bad. I have often envied my husband and his family for being as geographically close to one another as they are, they are so lucky.

My family is spread out and yet we are so lucky too.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ticker Tape and Game 7

Thanks to all of you for leaving comments on my posts of the last two rants days. If any of you readers have a problem with a bat Twiggy left a fishing net comment. Sounds like a great solution. We're headed to a sporting goods store this week for one, as LB was not lying in the road this morning. MFB must have only stunned him. Hard to really crank a good home run swing with a five foot broom while trying to save the furniture.

On to some knitting stash plans. I'm totally psyched about Kish's Ticker Tape purse pattern. I bought this about 5 months ago. I was at our local big chain craft store, and was enabling one of my knitting friends when these colors started whispering "texture, texture". Well I had to touch it and it felt like suede. I kid you not, felt like suede but it is nylon. Nope, wasn't going to buy it even though the display swatch in stockinette was beautiful. Then the enabling tables turned and my friend said it's on sale 50% off. Whoa. Sale? 50% off? I had no idea what I was going to make with it, but bought it anyway. Then last night I'm surfing around the blogosphere and I found Kish's pattern. I have a feeling this will be cast on before I have the other purse lining done.

Game 7 is in progress. Wow this game is wide open, but what's up with Carolina leading 2 nothing? Back to the game!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The joy of living in the country?

We spent the weekend doing home improvements. MFB had a terrific idea on Friday when we went to our local home improvement store. Rather than buy a new front door to replace the scruffy looking one we have, he suggested we get paint to match the cranberry colored storm door he installed in December. Great idea as really the door just needed to be spruced up. It turned out great. Of course because he was also painting the door frame the doors were propped open for a time during the day. I was working in our jungle yard spraying weeds and laying paper to kill grass where we want some garden beds.

So tonight the coffee's on and I'm fixing a chicken stir fry for dinner and out of the corner of my eye I get the feeling that our ceiling fan just started. Only problem is, we haven't had a ceiling fan in the kitchen for several months. I know you're thinking it was a bird, right? No such luck, LB is back. LB stands for two different things. Little B@$!@%) or Le Bat, depending on my mood, tonight my mood was the first one.

I was a police officer, there's not a whole lot that scares me. Everyone has a "fight or flight instinct", the "fight instinct" is the dominate one in a police officer and mine never failed me. I haven't been a cop for several years and the only two times my "flight instinct" has kicked in was last year when LB showed up in the house (door was open during the day then too), and tonight when he returned.

Last year MFB used his best homerun swing, and he has a good one, with a broom and knocked LB out, then swept it towards the front door to get it out. Only problem was I was standing by the front door, so my first instinct was to step on it. When I did that, LB woke up and started making that little squeak. OK - EWWWW. MFB used the field goal kick method, my foot acting as the Quarterback's finger, and kicked it out the front door. I wanted it dead and told MFB I wanted it dead. He asked why and I said "because he's going to go tell all his friends how he got in" (insert petulant whiney tone). Well the little b______ flew away before MFB could comply with my request.

So tonight when I said "Oh no" when MFB was in the other room and shrieked, yes I did shriek last year I freely admit I shrieked and will admit to the day I die that when I see a bat in my house I shriek, "there's a bat in the house and this one's BIG." There were probably some colorful words used as well. Flight instinct you betcha - right into the bathroom and shut the door. I didn't even turn the heat off on the stove. MFB saved the dinner, and my sanity, he grabbed the broom and followed the bat upstairs, where he tells me he believes he killed it and threw it off the upstairs deck into the road. MY HERO!! I swoon. He came downstairs and asked if I was ready for my coffee and I said "NO, I WANT TEQUILA" Dinner was edible, and my pulse rate three hours later is back to normal.

Of course the two shots of tequila with orange juice might have something to do with that.

Now we have to hope there's no retribution from LB's friends.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Take my Orange Day Lilies, please

I love seeing these in the ditch along the side of the road or other people's yards. But once they stop blooming, in my yard they look like Thing from the Adams Family. So last summer I ripped out a garden full of these "ditch" Lilies but couldn't get them all out because of a chain link fence, rock wall and boardwalk. In an earlier post I wrote about how I came home from work on a Saturday and discovered, to my joy, MFB had removed the chain link fence. Now a month or so later, see that? Three feet high and looking like Thing again. See there on both sides of the steps? ARGGGHH I have, and love, a small yard and these just overpower it. Now granted the only curb appeal we have right now is hard scape, because our efforts have been on the interior, but still these things look like they want to attack me every time I leave or come home. I hate to tear up plants, but you know as soon as they stop blooming they'll be out. I hope to gift some coworkers with these.

On to my backyard and I have six lovely peonies plants, the flowers are this beautiful pink. But here is something that frustrates me (I should have started this post with I was cutting the grass today and rather than listening to a book on tape was contemplating Landscapers Challenge Chez Accident Prone) you see those plants under the beautiful shade tree? Those are the peonies plants staggered through the weeds? jungle? lawn. I'm a firm believer that you have a garden and you have a yard. What we have here is obstacle lawn mowing. One of these days we'll rent a roto tiller and put in some garden beds.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cotton and Lace

I made it to my LFS today and what I thought would take five minutes took an hour. This store has tons of material for quilting and yet I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. The very nice sales ladies were very helpful, discussing what material would hold up, what was washable, what was on sale. This is what I came home with. It's a tad loud don't you think. I did not find this but was directed to it by one sales lady. Another sales lady used the words nice complementary colors. I went in thinking I wanted something in a light color, and looked at solids, and looked at tiny patterns. Yet for some reason this spoke to me, loudly. I hope I don't regret it. That's the button I chose and it's right next to my first knitted buttonhole.

Here's a shot of my first try at grafting. If you can see it there left to right, it looks like I messed up the first four or five, but after that it looks like I have it down. I was working on this last night in low light and didn't notice the problem. I think I have everything I need now so hopefully I can finish this up over the weekend.

Mom sent my Grammy's antique sewing machine home with me from the family reunion. What a keepsake it is. It needs to be reassembled (had to take the legs off it to fit in the car) and refinished, so pictures on it later. I did purchase this lace table scarf in South Dakota and I think it will be perfect to set on top. And here's a close up of one of the corners.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


I had a productive evening of knitting and I'm doing a happy dance. I grafted the strap of my purse to it's body, picked up stitches and made a flap, and then found some instructions for a buttonhole and voila - the knitting is done. I have to weave in all the ends and then I want to line it. Because of all the junk necessary things I carry in my purse, I need to line the bottom of it with plastic canvas. A trip to my LFS is scheduled after work tomorrow. I hope to be home in time to take some pictures in natural light of the purse and liner.

Of course once I was finished with my knitting I went out to You Knit What and what do I see but a purple poodle masquerading as a purse. Great timing. It's enough to make anyone rethink the need for a knitted purse.

OH MY GOSH!! Edmonton just won Game 5 in overtime with a short handed breakaway goal by Pisani. This series is going back to Edmonton for Game 6. Guess I know what I'll be watching on TV Saturday night.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

That was a Road Trip

After 2500 and some miles, road construction areas, toll roads, one car punted into off roading, a tipped over transport truck, 7 tanks of gas, 9 states, 5 different hotel rooms, and numerous service centers for a plethora of both good and bad coffee MFB and I are finally home. I didn't mention the number of bad drivers because we lost count.

In the same vein as Stephanie keeping her sock and us entertained, here is my sock at the World's Largest Truck Stop in Iowa along I-80. The sock wanted ice cream.

I did make a fair amount of progress on most of the projects I took with me; I finished the scarf made with the souvenir yarn from Arizona, I'm almost ready to start the ribbing on the sock, and the thing I am most excited about is that I finished the monotonous strap on the purse and am ready to graft the end on to the body.

I am now at a stand still for the purse because I don't know how to graft. Yet. I see a visit to my online teacher in the near future, because now I'm anxious to get the purse finished.

I ran into some knitting frustration on the trip with the souvenir yarn from my trip to Westchester Arizona. I just can't find a stitch pattern that I like with this stuff. I keep knitting about 4 inches and ripping. I have a feeling this stuff may end up just being souvenir and not an item.

Here is a picture of my sock all the way in South Dakota. On Friday when we arrived the temperature was high 80's. On Saturday it didn't make it over 60, with rain, high winds and tornado warnings (or was it watches?) about 60 miles away in Mitchell. The sock was taking in a view of the corn field from our Motel parking lot. We stayed here Friday night and Saturday night.

Staying connected over the weekend was via landline, print media and television. Cell phone? No cell phone service for about 20 miles around in any direction. Internet? Uhhh, no. I'm sure this is not the only motel in existence without internet. So for a couple of days we were plugged in and connected to family, which was a far more satisfying connection than the internet.

We had an absolutely wonderful family reunion and will write about that in another post. My family is spread out across Montana, Arizona, Ohio, South Dakota, Florida, Texas, and California to name a few of the states. I believe the only ones who are still on the road headed home are my parents who are currently in New Mexico headed to Arizona. As happy to be together as we all were, I hope all are as happy as I to be home. I pray for the safe return of all.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Texture and Travel

A quick post before Road Trip 2006. One thing to make the trip easier is MFB just installed XM satellite radio in the Volvo. I've been test driving the XM on the daily commute and it's niiiiiice. We travel up to Canada at least 4 times a year and the price has come way down on this since it was first introduced so it was good timing. The car is packed except for dual laptops (ok so we're a little plugged in and turned on) and my knitting so at noon, we'll hop onto I-80 and brave the summer road construction er summer vacation travelers and set the cruise control.

I've been thinking about texture a lot lately. It started the other day when we had chicken salad melt sandwiches for a change. It had to be on TOASTED english muffin.

My name is Barbara and I am a Sheet and Towel Snob. Our bed linens are 400 thread count and they feel so nice. The sheets are bought only when we find them on sale and surprisingly enough we can generally find them on sale at least twice a year. The other day MFB saw some 500 thread count on sale and almost bought them but he restrained himself. (One has to draw the line somewhere, eh?) So it's not just me. The sheets don't pill and they wear much longer. The bath towels are Spa Towels. No big loop towels for us. Those long loops snag and pull, and after 3 months or so they start looking very worn. The spa towel has much shorter loops but they are very densely packed together. Necklaces and rings don't snag them and like the sheets they wear longer.

On to clothing, micro fiber and mercerized cotton for everything. MFB is the same. If it feels nice to the touch that's what we want.

So of course when it comes to knitting I am starting to really appreciate the nicer quality yarns over the "fun furs" etc. Granted there is definitely a time and place for the fun fur.

So I give you my travel bag for Road Trip 2006. I have four projects I'm taking with me.
#1 The toe up socks in progress with the Sockotta cotton wool blend - because it feels so good.
#2 The blue St Johns Wort pattern purse - because it feels so good and wants to go .
#3 The scarf with the souvenir yarn from Arizona - wants to meet family and knit for hockey
#4 A scarf from souvenir yarn from Westchester PA - hockey yarn to knit a win for the Oilers

Let's see we are leaving tomorrow at noon and I have to be back at work Tuesday morning at 7:00am. I hope this keeps me busy in the car.

I believe that XM might be broadcasting the NHL. Oilers have a job ahead of them. Go Oilers.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My kind of coffee

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated
You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys
Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.
And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

Stash and a WIP

My hands have been a little sore lately, so not much knitting, but I still had to play in the yarn so thought I'd look and see if there was anything worth sharing.

These two balls of yarn have been in my stash since last year when I was in a little yarn store North of Port Perry Ontario (the owner runs it out of her home and it was really very nice for the life of me I can't remember the name) with my SIL who gifted me with these. At that time all my knitting thoughts were for scarves and I was thinking that these would make a light weight summer scarf. Now I'm not sure what I'm going to make.

These two balls of yes, Sugar and Cream are ear marked for this cute hat pattern from Jennifer . I think the hat may look nice in this.

Here's a WIP that I need to get back to. This could almost be called souvenier yarn. Back in
March of this year I was in the Philadelphia area for the ACHA National Ice Hockey tournament. Our team came in second in a heartbreaker final. The action was teriffic and the team is a group of first class young men. But that's a story for another day. I picked up this yarn from Garden of Yarn (haven't been able to fine a web site for them), this store is one of the nicest merchandised yarn stores I've seen. I, of course, was still in my scarf knitting phase and headed to their sale room. The pink sparkly ribbon type is Plymouth Meteor and the furry stuff is called FFF Shadows. The shadows is blacks, golds and rusts, not really my combo but I thought it might look nice with the pink. The jury is still out on this and that's probably why I haven't finished it.

I'm making a road trip from PA to South Dakota this week and so need to plan what to take with me. Probably the scarf and my St Johns Wort Pattern Purse that I still have not been inspired to finish. The yarn for this is Berrocco Cotton Twist. I do love the colors.