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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Letter for Today is H

Some of you have done this, already I really enjoyed reading this at Keep Talking. So I asked her to send me a letter. The idea is to use the letter and list 10 things, theories or themes in your life that start with that letter. My letter is "H" at first I thought "how in the world am I going to do this" but I think I'm ok.

#1. Hockey - my favorite sport. It's fast paced, extremely physical, and in my opinion more draining on the athletes body than most other sports. Some may not agree, but the season lasts longer than football, most teams play two - three games a week, and by the time a team has made it to the first round of the playoffs in the NHL they have played 82 games! By the time a team has reached the start of the championship game they have played three playoff series each one the best of seven games so they may have played 21 more games and then the championship game is again the best of seven. That's a lot of banging into the glass, falling on the ice, getting cross checked, slashed and tripped. Ahhh, it's a beautiful sport. If you are not a fan, maybe someday you'll get a chance to see a game where you see a beautiful series of passes and a goal where the puck goes "top shelf". Nothing in the world like it.

#2. Handcuffs, Handguns and the Hoosegow. I know this is three things but it's all related to my career in law enforcement. MFB and I are both retired cops. We spent a lot of years handling the first two and then placing people in the Hoosegow to enjoy the hospitality of the tax payers. We both have several members of our respective families who are or were similarly employed.

#3. Hospitality is the industry I currently work in. I work for a company whose roots are in the ownership and management of hotels. I enjoy where I work and I'm lucky for that. I know there are a lot of people who work at a job that maybe they don't enjoy and I think life is too short for that. On the personal side of hospitality our door is always open to our friends and we have some friends who when we first started working here but were commuting a LONG distance when the roads were bad they always opened their door to us. Friends like this are a blessing.

#4. Humor is what helps get me through anything and everything. Usually I crack myself up over something that I find completely funny and my friends might not. My humor is usually a little dark which comes from my years as a cop. If you have friends who work in any type of emergency services their probably a little like me. I love politics and current events and I listen to talk radio a lot during the day so you can imagine I'm very amused. I poke a lot of fun at myself here and so I appreciate you putting up with me.

#5. Hurricanes have had a huge impact on my life in the last couple of years. Not from personal tragedies, thank goodness, but if you were my thoughts and best wishes for you. MFB travels during the summer reporting on the hurricanes.

#6. Home as in "there's no place like". There's no place I'd rather be. It's a safe comforting place. We've been fixing it up over the last couple of years and in fact have another project slated for this Sunday. We've used a lot of color in this house and it's really the first one we've put this much effort into.

#7. Health is something I have and I'm thankful for that. I have to work on weight loss. Big time. I'm struggling with that. Have been struggling with that for years. Sigh. Need to start eating better and cut out the junk and exercise.

#8. Hospital (like you knew this was coming, eh?) OK I've never actually stayed in a hospital overnight. I've also never just gone to the hospital because I wasn't feeling well. It's usually accident related. Like the last time when I was walking around on a broken foot for two days and was sent for X-rays. How many times to the hospital I'm - why don't you go get yourself a coffee while I figure this out. Really 10 times? That's more pathetic than I originally thought.

Yes moving along, anyone still awake out there?

#9. Husband who is referred to here as MFB. A better guy you won't find and luckily has a sense of humor. He kind of has to being married to me. He's in the media obviously, travels a lot which works for us. You name a sport and most he's probably played. You have a sports trivia question you need answered, he probably knows it. Something broken in the house he can probably fix it. Does he spoil me - Oh Yeah. He's Canadian so you can imagine what it's like in this house when it comes to the Olympics and such. Chants of "USA - USA - USA" to "Go Canada Go". A little competitive maybe? No, a lot competitive.

#10. Heaven is where I hope to end up when my time comes. My Faith is what I rely on to get me through the tough times, and what I rejoice in for the good times. It's hard for me to discuss some things because I don't know how to put it into words, but I have Peace, Faith and Happiness in my life and I wish the same for all of you.

Now for any of you who are still awake, if you want a letter just let me know and I will pass one on to you.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Allow me to suggest...

Thanks for all your compliments about my Branching Out Scarf. I just discovered that I can't work on it while at the ice arena waiting for a game to start. Having to refer to a pattern and not having anyplace to put it other than on the bench next to me gave me a stiff neck. But since I have a couple of other WIPs in my knitting bag, I just picked up one of my other scarves where I have the pattern memorized.

I mentioned in my last post that I had an interesting shopping experience. I found this store on one of my infamous internet queries. What intrigued me was when I moved the mouse over the "K" just to the left of the "X", I saw the words Lornas Laces. Not available at my LYS or any store I've happened upon. Everyone writes about it, needed to touch it. I called the owner Jody to see if she was open on a Saturday, and she said she was but was difficult to find. I also asked her if she was open on Sunday in case I decided to go by then and she said she was but only by appointment to locals. I told her I was traveling and wasn't planning to spend enough money to make it worth her while for her to come in and open her store on a day off. She said not a problem and that she could promise to be there till about 3:00pm. I just couldn't do that to someone though with how little I planned on spending. Through a circuitous (more about this later because you all want to know about this yarn store) route we finally arrived at

My friends this is not a store front. This is a dot com and Jody warmly welcomed five unknown women into her very comfortably beautiful home and showed us to her brightly lit basement room where she had shelves and shelves of beautiful yarns packaged in clear plastic bags. For my three friends who were not into yarn they went back outside and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, my fourth friend is a knitter and stayed in the company of the fiber. Jody explained to us that she is a dot com and that's why she is open by appointment only. Because of how I located her on the internet I just assumed this was a retail establishment. I told Jody that I was interested in the Lornas Laces and she showed us her supply. Wow. Then I saw some wool that turned out to be Malabrigo. Again something I hadn't touched but had wanted to. Jody took some out of the bag and oh my goodness, this is soft. For me it is much softer than Manos. In the end I came home with a skein of Lornas Laces in the Georgetown colorway for a narrow scarf for the summer. My office gets too cold in the summer from the air conditioning. (I told myself no more sock yarn until I use some of my stash up, but I knew if I found some Lornas Laces I would pick some up, and it's for a scarf so that's OK) I think her prices are very reasonable. If there is something I need and can't find it locally, this will be my first internet stop.

On to the explanation of circuitous route. This weekend had three of my friends staying at my hotel while MFB stayed with the hockey team at their hotel. One of my other friends also stayed at the team hotel. On the way to the team hotel, I discovered I missed a turn when staring me right in the face was a sign that said "Welcome to Maryland". Now I don't have anything against Maryland, it's not like it is Rhode Island or anything. But still. We made it to the team hotel picked up our other friend and headed out for the day. On our way to the yarn store I started doubting we were on the right road just moments before the sign saying "Welcome to Pennsylvania" showed up on the roadside. Granted Newark DE is only a few miles from either PA or MD. Heavy Sigh. This is not the first time I have steered these friends wrong. It happened last March in Westchester. I'm not usually directionally challenged; I was a cop after all. My friends and I think that what happened was when I input the starting name of the road we were on the dreaded G##g!% software which changed Way to Drive and thus showed us as about 11 miles south of where we truly were. Two of my friends had that happen to them when they printed out directions the week before to the hotel. As it turns out was less than 2 miles away from my hotel. Can I pick 'em or what?


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Home Again

Thanks so much to everyone for leaving advice on my lace problem from my last post. This is a terrific community of knitters who are so helpful. When I first started here, I had no idea. You all are very much appreciated. I decided to rip the lace out and start over and over, and over, and over again. It looks better, finally. My center stitch does go a little wonky (that's my technical term for it), but it makes sense to me that it has to. With ripping it out a dozen times a couple times, I now understand how I need to count to ensure I have the right number of stitches.

Fluffbuff had this post where she described how she is working on her first lace project and put the instruction of each row on a card. What a fantastic idea. I probably did mine a little differently as I did the old fashioned cut and paste - scissors and tape. This helped me track the stitches and all of a sudden the knitting went, dare I say, smoothly. I was even able to participate in conversations, when knitting, on our trip to Scranton PA and Newark DE .

The trip was to watch our Penn State Icers play some hockey. I didn't make it to the game in Westchester PA as that was the middle of the week. They lost that game in a shootout, but it was a team they should not have lost to. They won both their games that I attended and the second game in Newark was the best I've seen them play this year. For those of you who only hear "WAH WAH WAH" when I go on about hockey here is a picture of some little tykes who played during the intermission in Newark. Even though they're from Delaware the Penn State fans in attendance gave them a standing ovation. Too cute.

I had a small stash enhancement on this trip. It was also the most unique shopping experience for yarn I've had. But that's a story for another day.

I work in payroll. Those of you who are not self employed know what you're waiting on from your payroll department at this time of year, eh? W-2's for us Americans and if I remember correctly T-4's in Canada. Some longer work days than normal and probably a Saturday or two are staring me and my coworkers in the face. If you think of me and anyone else who does payroll, think kindly.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Lace Problems?

These two items showed up at my house right before Christmas, and yesterday was my first time using them. Anyone else think they could get hooked on playing with a new toy utilizing a very necessary tool for knitters? I wonder how many relationships these have saved? I'm sure many a spouse are thankful their knitter has these. We'll see what MFB thinks the first time he's home when I'm using them. I had no idea the swift was that big! I sure could have used these back in May when I brought this home from Maryland Sheep and Wool.

I used these yesterday to wind the EL Silky Wool and then started working on my lace project. My center stitch looks like it's wandering to the right and left and I'm not sure if it's going to straighten out with blocking or if I need to rip it out. Hmmm. Anyone with ideas?


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Amateur Status

When I first discovered the world of knit blogs I saw pictures on my new friends' sites which I thought were pictures of yarn stores. When I realized it was personal stash - I thought "damn - I am such an amateur." I had a small stash back then. I added to it with a trip to Maryland Sheep & Wool and with a few other trips, and the occasional trip to my LYS. Here's a shot of my stash at the end of 2006.

My friend Lori and I went on what I refer to as a yarn crawl on Saturday. We had hoped two more of our friends would join us but Kim was busy at the Capital and our other friend had domestic duties to attend to. Although she did surprise us and showed up on one leg of the crawl. I had a great time and this what I came home with.

After working with bamboo needles this past year on socks, I have fallen in love with bamboo. I dream of replacing my Inox needles with them, so here is a start and they go with the two projects you see. That's Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for a lace project Zarzuela was kind enough to recommend to me. It's Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence. Then I have two skeins of Tweedy Cotton Classic to make the Shopping Bag by Oat Couture. I picked up a plastic case to stow my dpns and then a book that has intrigued me for months is Shadow Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro.

Even though I have Amateur Status I'm happy with what I have. My plan for knitting from my stash is making a dent (I'm not saying use it all) in my sock yarn before buying more. I do plan on buying more yarn for lace knitting and for some items out of Shadow Knitting.

I had hoped to have one of my scarves finished this weekend, but I didn't quite make it. Should have one done this week.