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.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Birthday and travel

Today is my favorite and only brother's birthday. A girl couldn't ask for a better brother. We had our share of sibling spats but when I needed a big brother he was there. Ranging from helping me bury my cat when it died and Mom and Dad were out of town to walking me home after I tried to catch a hardball with a mouth full of braces instead of my baseball glove and helping Dad teach me how to ski. Happy Birthday Big Brother, I miss you.

MFB is currently taxiing up to the gate at the airport in Raleigh NC. He is going to follow Tropical Storm Ernesto up the East Coast and file some stories. His flight from State College to Philadelphia was delayed and then his connection from Philadelphia to Raleigh was delayed. He arrived at the local airport here at 3:00pm and landed in Raleigh at about 11:20pm. Yep, he's a little tired. He hopes to be home on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Kitchen....and what it's for

Or....The Stove and how to use it

MFB and I work in a university town so when I say there are a few pizza places I'm sure you know that's an understatement. Even so, we decided to be adventurous and picked up a "It's Not Delivery" pizza on Friday as we knew we would be painting (yes still painting and it's trim...lots and lots of trim...we will never be finished with the pa - uh sorry) over the weekend and would want something easy to prepare.

So late Saturday afternoon we're debating over do we want the crispy crust (place directly on rack) or regular crust (place on cookie sheet). I love crispy crust and the oven is self cleaning so I say put it on the rack. We set the timer on the oven and go put our feet up and admire our progress in the Decade of Painting Dangerously. Before the timer goes off I remark "gee it smells like pizza" MFB say's "it smells like burning pizza". It's probably dripping on the oven element so no panic but we go right into the kitchen and open the oven. We get a face of smoke from the sauce and cheese on the element but the pizza itself is close to being burned. HUHHHH?? We wonder. MFB shuts the oven door while we grab the cookie sheet and a spatula and we open the oven door to get the pizza out and close the oven door again. Each time we open the oven door the convection fan turns off and when we close it the ... I'm sure the look on our faces was priceless when that registered. It's hard to eat nearly burned pizza when you're laughing at yourselves but we managed. BTW it's not half bad pizza.

On to some knitting news. In between painting myself the trim, watching the grass grow uncontrollably due to the rain over the last couple of weekends, and burning pizza I finished my first Feather and Fan Sock, sorry no picture yet and finishing one Fetching. I made this using a cable needle free cable technique that Ava suggested I check out. I think I was the guinea pig here. I didn't have too much trouble with it, the worst part was dealing with the nerves I got by seeing stitches hanging off the needle. If any of you haven't tried it and were wondering how it is, give it a try. I'm such a newbie to knitting that "if I can do it anyone can". I had some trouble around the thumb due to this being the first time I've used waste yarn in such a way that when I removed the waste yarn I had opposing live stitches. I must have inserted the needle in the unanchored stitches incorrectly because when I started knitting them they totally unraveled so I had to do a backward loop cast on to recover. It left a bit of a hole which I closed up with a couple of hand stitches. The other change I made was that I tried the picot bind off but found it too loose for my hands. I'm also not sure if I executed it correctly as it didn't look very neat. I'll have to practice that sometime.

What are your holiday weekend plans? MFB may possibly be traveling and I will be painting. I'll be staying away from the university town as it is move in week at Penn State and it's also the first home football game of the season for the Penn State Nittany Lions. I won't be cutting the grass again as this will be the third weekend in a row that we will have a significant amount of rain. Did I mention that I'll be painting?? Hope you and yours stay safe and happy on this busy weekend.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Progress and new wool

Here's my progress on my toe up Feather and Fan sock using Wendy's pattern. Feather and Fan is another first for me and it's a fun pattern and very easy to remember. I wasn't sure how this Knit Picks Dancing colorway would look in this stitch pattern but I didn't have to worry. I like it. I'm feeling the urge to make a scarf for the winter out of this pattern in maybe a silk wool blend. MFB would say "don't you have enough scarves?" Ahem...well...uh...see most of the ones I made are the standard garter stitch novelty yarn variety. And yes, I do have enough, but I think it's time for something more "sophisticated" maybe? I'll add it to my list of future projects, which seems to be growing.

I love Fridays and I actually got away from work a little early, so I made it to my LYS to replace the wool that was sent to the land of frogged forever. I did look around a little but did go with the recommendation of my shop owner. Here is what I came home with. Isn't it beautiful? It's 50% Chinese Tussah silk and 50% fine Merino wool. The colors, Oh My Gosh, the colors but this light teal is what I chose. It feels even nicer than it looks. So as soon as the first sock is done I think I'll do a swatch and practice the cable sans cable needle technique and start to work on this. I'll see how my nerves hold up.

While at my LYS they received a phone call from my knitting group organizer who one 1st Place and Best of Show at the Grange County Fair for her entry!! Congrats Kim.

Have a great weekend all.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Kicked to the curb

My second ball of the Merino Wool was the same as the first. It is now residing in a container that will be placed by the curb on Monday morning. Sigh, I never thought I would kick merino wool to the curb. Neither LYS carries the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino the pattern calls for, but one has a silk wool blend called Zephyr they recommend so I'll be stopping in on the weekend to buy take a look and make an informed decision.

I made it to the other LYS (when I say Local that's a relative term - this one is 35 miles from home and about 5 miles from work, while the other is 8 miles from home and on my way home from work but I generally can't make it there by their 5:00pm closing time) and they were terrific about the snapped dpn. They gave me a whole new set; of course I had a sock on the needles so I had to do a quick needle swap. I saw a few things there that might work for the gloves but I want to take a look at the Zephyr first.

Thanks to commenter Ava, she posted a link in the comments about doing cables without a cable needle. I took a look and I think I'll have to give it a try. If you haven't visited her site go take a look, she has some beautiful finished projects.

A small feed lot that MFB and I pass on our daily commute has some baby pigs! They are totally cute and the first time I saw them they were playing, chasing each other and jumping around just like puppies do.

I'm almost embarrassed to say this but I've started watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels on A&E. This is one funny show with Gene Simmons big tough demon rock star persona in public and dealing with his family who seem to try to keep him down to earth. The look on his face when he finds a KISS t-shirt in a vintage clothing store and the price tag is $2.00 is priceless.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The sun is shining

When I drive to work in the morning the sun is behind me and so of course on the way home the same is true. I'm lucky that way as I don't have to worry about the sun blinding me the way drivers passing me do. But this morning was different. The sun shining in my rear view mirror blinded me, and it can only mean one thing, fall is fast approaching. I love the instensity of the light that comes from the changing angle of the sun. Everything the sunlight hit this morning seemed to reflect the light back like a mirror. The colors seem more intense and the air provides that strange feeling of energy mixed with relaxation. A few leaves have fallen but for the most part the colors are still green but this is definitely the time of year when you see the many shades of green in this world.

Saturday evening on our way into town for the Roast of the Coach, we passed by a whole group gaggle flock herd of turkeys and across the highway from them were three young deer. The turkeys are another sign that fall is around the corner. Perfect time to knit outside while relaxing on the deck.

On Saturday I was knitting away on my sock and one of my dpns snapped in half. In half I tell you. That never happened to me before. I just bought these bamboo needles and I swear I think I was shocked. Luckily the YS I bought them from will replace them. I just won't get there till later this week.

I started what a lot of others seem to be knitting right now, Fetching from Knitty. I'm using Filatura Di Crosa Zara Merino Wool color 1510 which is a light pink. Here is my progress but unfortunately I have a problem. In some places the wool is very thin or strands are ripped or maybe a little pest problem??? I am now examining the second ball; I'm afraid my progress is destined to be ripped out and pitched. Hopefully there's nothing wrong with the second ball. I did a gauge swatch (shocked myself too) but even though I was very close to gauge I think I'm going to do this on a larger needle as it seems too tight. It has been a decade and a half years since doing cables. I'm using a dpn in place of a cable needle and I'm learning that the dpn is so long it really slows me down. I'll need to pick up the cable needle when I replace the broken dpn.

I'm enjoying this pattern and will probably make a couple pairs in different colors. When I was a teenager living in Montana I had a case of frost nip on my hands when skiing and now I always have a problem keeping my hands warm when the weather gets cold. That includes my office in the summer as the air conditioning is always running and the vent is right over my desk.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Who called me a procrastinator?

Well you were right. My Huggable Hedgehog still isn't felted. Here are a couple of shots to let you see where it's been stalled for at least a week. I just need to fill in a couple of expected holes and weave in the ends - I should try to do that today. In between laundry, lawn mowing, more interior painting and keeping a guest entertained as MFB and said Guest plans for the weekend just had a 3 Iron thrown into it (more on that later) and a Roast to go to (roast is a continuation of MFB and Guest weekend itinerary.)

I was knitting away on my Feather and Fan socks and all of a sudden discovered that they would be way too big so I frogged it and started over. Here is my current progress. This is with Knit Picks Dancing color 23593 which I picked up at MDSW. Of course as with Sockotta when I did it with one number of stitches the color patterning was totally different than it is this way. I love this color pooling though. The yarn feels a lot like Sockotta.

The weekend Guest is MFB's broadcast partner for the hockey team he does play by play for. Guest lives and works in Philadelphia and drives about 4 hours every weekend during hockey season to be part of the broadcast. The team's long time coach went on to a new position with Penn State and so this weekend is the final farewell for Coach.

Today is a casual golf outing at 9:00am at one of the golf courses then a dinner and Roast for Coach and tomorrow is the annual charity golf tournament to benefit the team and booster club. MFB and Guest are golfing and I am one of the course volunteers during the tournament tomorrow.

The monkey wrench 3 Iron for the weekend is this. MFB and Guest just called and upon arrival at the casual golf outing they discovered the outing had been switched to another course and delayed until noon. So they head off to the other course and find out the cost is almost three times as much as the first course (y'all golf is not cheap to begin with). So they decide to hit a bucket of balls on the driving range before heading back home and Guest's 3 Iron club head decided to separate from the shaft and flew about 80 yards down range. Guest retrieved the club head and assures me that his 3 Iron shot normally goes much further than 80 yards. Guest is not a happy golfer right now as he bought the whole set of clubs in Philly two months ago.

Rain is predicted for later this afternoon and for tomorrow. I have a nice comfy camp chair for tomorrow, a golf umbrella, cooler and knitting projects. I'm good. I'll leave the frustration that normally comes along with a round of golf to the guys.

Edited: Almost forgot - update on the Volvo. Luckily the injury didn't require a visit to the doctor. MFB called the doctor who said we could order just a piece of mirror to replace the cracked one for a small amount of money or order the OEM heated mirror replacement for about $40 more. We decided to order the OEM as the heated mirrors are one of the many reasons why I like the car. MFB did the replacement himself and it works great. If we had just bought the mirror replacement I could have used the extra money it cost to buy a couple of real nice skeins of handpainted sock yarn. I know, I know - Bad Knitter. More yarn or creature comfort in the winter? I'm all about comfort.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Catching up

I just realized how busy we've been around here by seeing that I haven't posted for a week. But part of that is also because I have been doing more knitting than bloging. This is just a quick post before MFB and I head out of town for some mall shopping.

I have the knitting done on my Huggable Hedgehog. The pattern says to look for expected holes where I may need to add some individual knitted stitches and then have to weave in the ends - lots of ends. At that point I will be ready to felt. (If anyone reading this knows me personally they will tell you, yeah Accident Prone Knitter is putting this felting thing off, because she's never done it before and doesn't want to have another Accident.)

I started a toe up sock and am using Wendy's Toe Up Feather and Fan pattern. I'm using Knit Picks Dancing yarn with size 1 needles. Oh my gosh are they ever small needles. My friend Lori from my Thursday night knitting group showed me a different way to cast on toe up socks so that you don't need to use a provisional cast on and after a couple of trial and errors, it's working out great. Thanks Lori!

MFB used his new gas powered pressure washer to clean the deck and boardwalk yesterday and I was painting the trim inside the house. When MFB took a quick trip into town to pick up lumber for reworking the handrails on the boardwalk, a car in front of him kicked up part of a downed tree and it cracked the side view mirror on the Volvo. The mirror is still useable but it's shattered. Not looking forward to that estimate.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Another FO

My Snake Socks are done. I just checked my blog and I started these on June 25th and I just finished on August 5, am I ever slow. But as these socks were growing into adult hood they experienced a family reunion, border crossings, dehydration due to failure of air conditioning, a couple of visits to a library, a baseball game, and some adventures in painting to name a few.

The pattern is by Joanne Conklin and I used Froehlich-Wolle color 7629 which is a pale green with a small smattering of other colors. I used size 2 bamboo dpns (I think I knit tight). So much fun and did I ever learn a few things about knitting with these socks. I've never done anything resembling lace before so it was a fun new experience for me. I of course have a lot of other sock patterns in the lineup (who doesn't), but I plan on coming back to this pattern in the future and make it out of some other color. The picture doesn't show the detail that this pattern has.

I started a second project last night and it's going fast. This is the start of my Huggable Hedgehog pattern by Fiber Trends which my LYS ordered in for me. As you can tell from the picture I think I'm going to have alot of ends to tie in.

Saturday at Chez Accident was spent with MFB washing and detailing the two cars. Yes, I believe we have thunderstorms predicted for tomorrow. I cut the grass and used the weed whacker in spots then settled in on the covered deck to finish up the Snake Socks. Afterwards we headed into town for dinner and grocery shopping.

Today was pruning a lilac bush which may have a hornet infestation. When I was done, again I relaxed in the breeze on the covered deck. I finished listening to Janet Evanovich's Twelve Sharp while knitting away on the hedgehog and MFB painted the upstairs door to the upstairs deck and attic window trim.

Uhhh Yes, the door was open for part of the day. Did a bat come in? That's yet to be determined. Dinner preparations begin shortly, that's when I found out the last time.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Finished Woobie

This is a Blanket Buddy for my co-worker who is expecting her first-born in four weeks. Two weeks from now, she plans to be out mowing the lawn and whatever else she can think of to hurry the birth of her daughter along. For this bunny I used two strands of Red Heart Soft Baby and a contrasting dark blue yarn from the stash for the back stitching of the face. The face area is filled with fiberfill and the smallest bag of fiberfill I could find is enough for about 30 of these. Such a quick knit, even for me. This pattern has a slight modification to make ears for a bear rather than a bunny. That will be my next one. The other co-worker's little boy is due in October.

I'm still working on Snake Socks but hope to finish this weekend. I probably said that last week. Hopefully this will be the last time I say it. Last night I finished the heel and gusset shaping and started the foot. I hoped to be further along as I had a doctor's appointment yesterday at noon and when I scheduled it they lead me to believe that I would be spending a lot of time between multiple blood pressure checks. I thought "perfect time to indulge in knitting in the middle of a work day" right? Wrong. My blood pressure was normal and so no further testing needed. Good news but not a single knit stitch made so I'm not as far along as I hoped.

If they had taken my blood pressure today at 4:00pm it probably would have been a lot higher slightly elevated due to a frustrating experience. MFB listened to me vent on the drive home then we went for a short walk after dinner tonight where we did some duck watching and that's all it took to put life back on its axis.

The heat is starting to break and we hope to do some more home improvements that will probably include the weekly lawn mowing, power washing the deck to get it ready to stain, painting the trim in the living room and whatever else comes to mind. Ah yes, the joys of home ownership.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's the heat I tell you

I received a couple of comments asking what a Blanket Buddy is from my previous post. Here is the link to the pattern on the Lion Brand site. See here's the thing; I wasn't sure what it was either because the picture didn't show up on my zerox copy. And uh I really don't know much about babies, so I didn't know but thanks to my gal pal Peri, when I described it to her she said " Now that you've described its decoration, I get it much clearer -- it's a "woobie," or "bankey" or whatever else kids call their favorite "blanket buddies," hence the name. " I think the heat is keeping me from thinking and describing things enough for others to see what I see.

I know y'all know it's hot; you don't need me or MFB to tell you how hot it is - because we are all feeling it. Allow me to share this with you though. The last couple of days, I think Pennsylvania has slid into Tennessee because the heat haze here looks like we're in the Great Smoky Mountains.

I feel a quick little rant or two coming on because if you can't indulge in one in this heat when can you?

#1 Memo to the genius who decides what will be shown on TV during prime time during the summer:
Can you pick one evening a week where you could program one show that would keep my interest? Please.

#2 Seen during dinner in a restaurant tonight was a lady probably 8 years or so younger than I with (I assume her children) a daughter (maybe around 12) and a son probably about 16. The sports bar restaurant is downstairs but this family was sitting up in the nicer restaurant area. The son was sitting at the table with a baseball hat on. Are baseball hats now considered society's "dressing up for dinner"? I don't get this. Don't get me wrong I am not from the age when a man would take off his hat when a lady passed by, but MFB and I were raised with certain manners i.e. men open doors for ladies and men don't wear hats at the dinner table.

On the other hand - why do I care? He's not my son, and none of the men in my family would do such a thing and that includes when they have helmet head from wearing a motorcycle helmet all day.

It's gotta be the heat.