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"

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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.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Where did the weekend go?

I went to my usual knitting group this week and it ended up being a group of two. My cohort in knitting gave me a copy of a free pattern for a "Blanket Buddy" and here's my progress on it so far. I'm making it out of Red Heart Soft Baby. I've decided to do this for my co workers who are having babies in the "near" future. It's going very quickly so I can relax about having these gifts ready.

MFB received an invite from his friend for us to join him at a Minor League Single A ball game between the Spikes and the Doubledays. We'd never been to this ballfield and who wouldn't want to spend a hot evening watching a game, so we appreciated the invite. The local team the Spikes (mascot is the Deer - spikes being the small horns on a young buck) ended up loosing 4 - 3. The team's battle cry is Fear the Deer. That cracks me up. Ferocious deer? Not your usual impression, but when trapped they can be. It was a good time, we were in a private box and we ran into some other friends in the neighboring box as well. Here the sock takes in the game. We had perfect weather for a ball game.

This weekend we are continuing our foray into Faux (pardon my language) painting. Here is the stair well before and then after. We are very happy with the results.

I finally made it to my LYS for my pattern and wool for the Hedgehog I want to make. The store owner Molly was kind enough to gift me with 10 yards of extra wool the pattern calls for. I think she took pity on me for not knowing anything about feltable wool and gave me some pointers on what to look for and how to handle the wool. I'm excited to start this.

My progress on the Snakes Socks has slowed somewhat, but I am ready to turn the heel and will work on that a little this evening.

It seems the heat wave is breaking in California and thank goodness for that, but it's darn hot here in PA. Nonetheless, we were able to do some outside lawn maintenance. The grass is now cut and we dug up the Lilies that remind me of Thing. They had bloomed but they were even less attractive this year than last. They had so overcrowded themselves they were choking.

Update on my car. Have air conditioner, will travel.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A little afternoon irony

OK this is just too funny not to let you all in on this.

So for about 5mins I’m sitting in my office here at work and listening to thunder interrupt my AM listening pleasure. The dark clouds are moving in and the wind picks up. It just starts to rain, and I think maybe My Favorite Blogger, who you may have realized is the News Director at, may not have put the windows up on my car. (I still have his today.) He works on the operational floor where there are no windows, and he doesn’t keep his eye glued to the radar of the local weather.

I call him and suggest he check on my car as it is still recovering from its surgery. I step away from my desk and come back to a voice mail from him. He’s called on his cell phone from inside my car and the message goes something like “YOU couldn’t have called me ten minutes earlier? I got out here just in time to close the roof and now I’m sitting here waiting for it to stop so I don’t drown.”

Somehow this is my fault??? Anybody else see the irony here?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Snakes in the Grass

Back on July 13 I said I had some finished objects without proof. Here's some more evidence. What we have here is one and a half Snake Socks. It's taking me a while as life keeps interrupting hobby. I worked about 12 hours on Monday and was heard muttering "this is keeping me from my knitting, darn it." But I have my priorities - no job, no yarn.

I didn't make it to the yarn store on Saturday to pick up my next project - the Hedgehog, but maybe I can get out of work a little early on Thursday and pick up everything I need. I have to get started before co-workers babies get here.

My friend Peri was here on Sunday for diner, duck watching and blog sharing. She lives in town and we live in what MFB and I call "cottage country". On the menu was chicken breasts marinated with a mixture of diet Sierra Mist with 1/2 a package of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing done on the BBQ (trust me this is good). Fresh vegies and new potatoes with a key lime juice drizzled on them folded up in aluminum foil and grilled on the BBQ and some fresh mixed fruit. Here's the thing, with barbequing everything - less kitchen clean up more time for fun. Peri brought sugar free angel food cake, sugar free Cool Whip and fresh blueberries. I hardly ever eat blueberries, but these were delicious. We try to go low carb and no sugar other than natural ones whenever we can, and Peri is in training for the Nike Women's Half-Marathon in California in October so the menu suited us all.

Hope everyone is staying cool. Special thoughts going out to my family in Arizona!! I sure hope this heat wave breaks soon for everyone hard hit.

And finally...
MFB took my Volvo S80 (shown here at it's favorite shoe store on our way home from South Dakota) to the specialist in Harrisburg where it is scheduled to go under the knife tomorrow for the air conditioner injury it suffered in Canada a couple weeks ago. We received the diagnosis today and found out it wasn't terminal after all.

We had some scary moments when we were told that the timing belt might also be involved as it was 20,000 miles past recommended replacement. But when we confirmed with our local General Practitioner that we replaced the belt before our sojurn to South Dakota we were doing a happy dance.

The diagnosis was blown hose rather than blown compressor. This compares to blown ligament rather than full knee replacement. Like the ligament the hose is in a place(where we can't even see it) that would take us at least two hours to replace with skinned knuckles and colorful language. The Freon needing to be replaced like saline solution and in Canada can only be done by the professionals due to the hazardous materials so we decided to leave it with the professionals for the op. They were kind enough to give MFB a loaner of a new S40. Nice car but it's not the S80 which is very well appointed. So far I'm two days without my XM. Withdrawals - Oh the Humanity!

In a nutshell, I don't have to shop for a new car, which I hate because I have very expensive tastes in fast cars. MFB does not provide the necessary grounding in this matter because I love cars, but he is a true sports car enthusiast and he LOVES to shop for cars.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Super Hero returns

MFB made it home at around one this morning, and it seems that his Super Hero Cape stayed safely tucked in the suitcase. Tropical Storm Beryl as far as Hurricanes go, was pretty much a non event, but it was a pain in the tush as it sounds like the rain, lightning and wind hit some areas pretty hard. Yesterday evening I was speaking with a business acquaintance who is in West Chester PA, he said they still had around 30,000 people without power and I saw some pictures on the internet of flooding. Last night my satellite TV signal went out at the same time I heard a loud clap of thunder and the skies opened for about 10 minutes. The satellite signal was out for about 5 minutes, and I never lost power so I'm pretty lucky. It rained on and off all night and stopped around 9:00am. When the sun comes out today it will be hot and steamy.

We interrupt this post for a bit of a rant re: television from the Chez Accident perspective. We have over 300 channels of satellite (only local cable we have here is 30 channels and you have to sign up for it at the local barbershop, yes it's a small town) TV and still there is nothing to watch at this time of year. I just worked about 50 hours this week, turn the TV on at 8:00pm and even resorted to try the Lifetime and Oxygen channels (poke my brain with a sharp stick please to watch those) and there was nothing.
On primetime there was choice 1: "The Unit", great mid season replacement show, saw everyone one of those, but it's like 24, heavy and it's good the first time but I don't want to watch its repeats.
Choice 2: "Las Vegas", I won't call it great, it's fun but I can only take so much gratuitous T&A (note to costumer: The female leads are gorgeous yes, but having to look at "the girls" after the second episode of the first season was only interesting to the male viewers. Last night's episode was one of the 4 that I watched during the normal season.
Choice 3: "Numbers", I like this show it's intelligent, crime drama and good acting. Wouldn't you know it? I had watched it during the normal season.
That was strike three so I tuned into a design channel and they said something about "Faux painting technique". Picked up my trusty laptop to bang out an email to the FCC with a complaint about "can they really say Faux on TV it's such a four letter word?" and then I realized it only was to this household. When I was tempted to throw things at the TV I realized I needed to get a grip, and resorted to the standby Fox News Channel which appeals to this households news junkies interest in current news.

Seems like my evenings have been consumed with things channel surfing other than knitting but I have managed to do about 2 1/2 pattern repeats on my second Snake Sock. I know I've said this before, but I have to say again how much I enjoy this pattern and this yarn. I don't knit as fast as others do, not sure why and I wish I could produce as fast as others do, but for now I'll have to be happy with my speed. It's relaxing and cathartic for me.

My LYS ordered a pattern of a stuffed Hedgehog for me and it's in. I have to try to get there today to pick it up. Two of my coworkers are having babies and I thought it would be fun to make. The store owner told me that it's a felted pattern. GULP. I've never done that before. Another learning experience is in store.

The British Open is on and my favorite PGA golfer Ernie Els is in the top five. Go Ernie! It looks like Liverpool is as dry as California and Arizona.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

And yet another road trip

MFB is on the road with his sidekick. This time of year if he is on the road for work it's with a Super Hero Cape. Although I personally think a Super Hero Wet Suit would be more in order as he travels to provide on scene reporting of Hurricanes. Last season he was away alot but this will be the first this hurricane season as currently there is a Tropical Storm about 160 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras NC. MFB enjoys his job and he loves these assignments, and yet all of us involved in this way are mindful that people and property are in harms way.

I pray for everyones safety.

Reunion Memories Part Deux

Another day, another road trip. In this case it was also another family reunion. This past weekend MFB and I traveled up to for his.

Saturday morning was the family traveling to the Albion Hills Conservation Area for a gathering of the clan. Relatives from as far away as South Africa (who just moved to Canada two months ago) were in attendance including the oldest family member who I believe is quite proud of her age but I will give an age range of 90-94. As I told one of MFB's uncle's the last time I'd had this much fun was in South Dakota at my reunion. We reconnected with family we hadn't seen in years and met some we'd never met before. This family reminds me of my own, rock solid, with the family as priority over anything else.

I promised proof of a FO and here it is. My Topi hat, but it's not mine any longer. One of the problems with family is that they are honest. So every time I modeled Topi, there were snickers and sometimes outright laughter. I'm sure it was meant kindly My charming and intelligent niece modeled the hat and the compliments flew. I was talented, such nice detail, it looked so nice on her, I have a round face she does not. See how nice it looks on her? My niece is now the proud owner of the hat. The hat is American, so I think I have to get Landed Knitted Status for it as it stayed with the Canadian.

All too soon the reunion was over. As we were driving our son home, we heard a muffled explosion. We looked at each other wondering what it was, nothing seemed wrong, must have been another car, right?

Wrong! Sunday morning was the hottest day on the hottest weekend of the summer, heading home with only hot air from the air conditioner. Reports that the muffled explosion we heard was the air conditioner compressor blowing it's working parts to smithereens are as yet unconfirmed, but the fact that we drove from Port Perry Ontario to Central PA sweating our tushies off in a car with black leather interior, are a pretty good indication that my cars air conditioner is FUBAR. (sorry Mom)

The traveling sock was a little grouchy with this, heah who can blame a wool sock when it's dehydrated? So we stopped at one of our favorite places for a quick chicken dinner. Go figure, their air conditioner wasn't working either. The sock and a stock of Timmy's made it back across the border with no problems. We were welcomed back to the by a US Customs and Border Protection officer with a personality who agreed, that Timmy's is definitely worth brining into the US.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

FO Sighting without proof

I finished my Topi hat, pattern compliments of Jenn. I like it and what a fun pattern to knit. Will probably make it again in a bright summer color or maybe one with wool in colors for one of my hockey teams. Might be fun to wear it in the arena to help keep warm.

I also finished my first Snake Sock, pattern compliments of Joanne and I'm working on the ribbing for the second sock. This is my first try at a lacey pattern and I never realized the detail in the individual stitches of k2tog or PSSO. Now I'm planning my next projects and can't wait to get the 2nd sock done to move on to the next lace pattern to try.

No pictures of either of this since when I got home I wanted to pack for our road trip, so you'll have to take my word.

MFB and I are headed up to my Country-In-Law tomorrow. We are going to Port Perry (north of Toronto) Ontario and then a conservation area near Bolton for his family reunion. He tells me we'll be up there for one of the hottest weekends so far this summer. It's supposed to be HOT and HUMID but he still has plans to golf with his brother on Sunday before we head back home.
So while he's golfing, I plan to introduce my SIL (she sells her scarves in a boutique during the winter) to the world of sock yarn. That's right, I'm going back to where it all started, the LYS where I bought my first ever sock yarn.. (Oh that's OK. MFB won't read this before we go away so he won't be...wait a second that's just asking for bad karma). It'll be a fast trip as usual, and of course a trip back to Canada wouldn't be a trip without picking up our Tim Horton's coffee.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Happy Birthday MFB

Only have a minute this morning before running off to work to wish MFB a very Happy Birthday, (and of course who just walked up behind me, Hi Ya Hon).

Darn not a surprise anymore. Drop him a line if you want at

Monday, July 10, 2006

Jumping the Shark?

This evening was some time for me to reconnect with a friend over dinner. We had a terrific time and lots of laughs.

As friends do conversation wanders all over the chart and we talked about the 4th of July celebrations. I mentioned that one of the strangest things I've seen lately was this years Boston Pops hosted by Dr Phil and his wife. I don't get that. If there was a green room can you imagine the conversation between Steven Tyler and Dr Phil? Yep the other strange thing was Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith performing with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. I have always liked Aerosmith and really enjoy the yearly Boston Pops Goes the Fourth, but I like them individually. As Peri said, you just don't picture them together. We agreed that it was kind of like having a glass of milk with a sour pickle.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Faux is a four letter word

Or the Summer of Painting Recklessly or maybe How I Ruined My Summer Vacation, except I'm not on vacation - just a gorgeous weekend.

That's my way of saying mostly off topic posting today. Oh wait, I turned the heel of my snake sock yesterday. Happy dance!! But then, when I was picking up stitches, I didn't put the right amount of stitches on needle one so when I started the decrease I knitted the wrong stitches together and didn't discover my operator error until after 10 rows or so. So I ripped it back to the start of the decrease, recovered from my error and progressed to working on the foot. A learning experience.

Moving on to today's topic. MFB and I decided it was time to faux our living room. We have always joked about how faux is a verb as we watch numerous home improvement shows and have dreamed about painting our white walled living room. I wanted it to look like it had (edited July 10 DOH!) sued suede or leather on the walls. The technique is called Frottage. The idea is to paint a light color base and let it dry. Then crumple drop sheets, mix a darker color with a glaze, roll the glaze mixture over the paint in sections the same size as the sheets, smooth the sheets over the paint, and when you remove the sheets, the voids and textures left over should look like suede. Except ours just looked like $&!!. The picture doesn't show the true extent of our handiwork, but pleased we were not!!

What's that you say? Did we try this technique on a piece of plywood or cardboard? Do I make a gauge when knitting? Now why would I or we do that? Yeah I know, operator error.

In an effort to recover, we tried spraying water on the wall and tried the ragging on and ragging off techniques in a small area. Didn't like that either. Then we tried our own version of colorwashing. What we did on another wall was put the glaze on the wall with kind of a dry brush technique in an X pattern. Now this we like. We did it around the room and for the most part are very pleased. The picture isn't terrific but you get the idea. The light color is called Bagel and the dark color is Peanut Butter. TASTY. In fact in the middle of this excursion we had peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. In a couple of weekends we have to do the same Faux (Pardon me! Where is that bar of soap to wash my mouth out with?) treatment to the STAIRWELL!! I never said we do things the easy way, just our way.

Just an hour ago, we were sitting out on the deck with a "refreshing beverage". I with my knitting (yeah I know surprise eh?) and MFB with his laptop, taking a break and congratulating ourselves on our home improvement recovery when a thunderstorm started. We scooped up our possesions and darted inside. Then we had Snow in July. Yep that's hail.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Knitting, hockey and a letter

I'm almost done with Topi from Jen. I think it's cute, but I probably could have made it about 1/2 inch smaller in diameter. Jen replied to an email I sent her about the (edited July 6 DOH!) wholes holes I have at the cast on in the previous post and she had a solution for me, so I'll see how that works.

I'm a first time blood donor as of today. That laying still for 10-15mins without anything to do nearly made me nuts. If anyone can come up with a way to knit while having a pint of blood removed let me know. I was doing fine all day, but I gotta say in the last 1/2 hour I have not been able to stop yawning. Time for a coffee or two.

I know it's summer but allow me to comment on hockey for a moment. Stevie Y retired this week. As a die hard Colorado Avalanche fan, which makes me really dislike the Red Wings, I now have a huge smile on my face. In my mind Colorado and Detroit are huge rivals. As a die hard hockey fan, seeing Steve Yzerman leave the ice after such a terrific career is tough. I imagine he'll be heading to the Wings front office or maybe he'll be going to a broadcast career of some kind. Either way, I think he'll be a good ambassador for the sport.

This is a very off topic rant ramble: Why is it when I'm driving to work at 7:00am and the rain is pouring down bad enough that drivers are going 10 mph under the speed limit, I will pass or come up behind 1 out of every 10 cars without their headlights on? I even had my car's rear fog light on this morning for extra visibility.

A note to the gentleman driving the pickup that was drifting over the center lane towards me: when I flash my headlights at you, the appropriate response would have been to take your cell phone out of your hand turn your headlights on and return to your own lane. Continuing your conversation and giving me the one fingered salute with the hand that had been loosely controlling your pickup made you more careless than when I first tried to communicate that you were in the lane that my vehicle occupied. Luckily I had a wide shoulder to escape onto rather than a ditch.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lost my mind sunglasses

I didn't mention this yesterday because I had to figure out how this happened.

Here in Central Pennsylvania we have had so much rain the last week I was looking for wood so I could make a boat or at least an oar! With so much rain, I didn't have much use for my sunglasses. About four days ago I started looking for my sunglasses. I couldn't find them. When I'm not wearing them they are supposed to be in their black case. I checked my office at work, all the countertops at home, the bathroom cabinet, both cars and their trunks. I checked my purse six times. Called the grocery store which was the last place I remember having them. Since I had been to the grocery store I looked inside the refrigerator and the pantry. So yesterday I took my house keys out of my purse and I had to move my sunglass case to get to them. Two conclusions
#1 I am blind as that bat that visited the house the other day - or
#2 Shopping at your local yarn store puts everything right with the world

Now that my eyes are no longer burning from the limited sunshine we've had this weekend, here is some knitting progress.

First off the top of the Topi hat

and second is my progress on the Snake Socks.

Excuse me while I surf the web for a GPS locator for my sunglasses.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day

I was adopted by Canada several years ago when I married. Happy Canada Day friends and family!!! You're a long way away but we're thinking of you and we'll see you in a couple of weeks.

On my way home from my LYS today I thought I would take some shots of the local celebrities. First off, a bunch of adults and then a family.

This was around 3:00 this afternoon, there was a deer that had just walked cautiously into the same creek for a drink but I wasn't fast enough on the trigger. This is less than two miles from home, and it definitely overran its banks during the storm we had this past week.

Some friends of ours from the Toronto area were here Thursday night and we had a terrific visit. Being friends and being from Toronto they brought a care package which consisted of Canadian beer, chocolate, and two large tins of coffee. Yes our supply of Tim Horton's coffee has been replenished. Now keep in mind they came down on a motorcycle pulling a small trailer, storage space is a premium. That is friendship. They made it back to the American side of Niagara Falls on Friday and thankfully were able to avoid the tornado that hit the Buffalo area. Thanks B&B for your care package, your time to visit us during very shaky weather conditions and most importantly your friendship.

I've made great headway on the Snake Socks but the picture I took today looks strange, so I'm not posting it. Instead here is a shot of the cast on from last week of the Ticker Tape Purse pattern courtesy of Kish.

I went to the LYS today for some circular needles for the Topi Hat from Pieknits, and am going to cast on for that as soon as I'm done here. Of course while I was there I bought one skein of Sockotta yarn. You see there's this punch card and you have to spend a minimum amount for the punch and the yarn put me over it. Wanting a really pretty colorway more yarn had nothing to do with it.