Monday, April 28, 2008


The past two weeks have been full of them!

1. I enjoy baking my own bread. I'm fiddling with whole wheat recipes. It's so much more satisfying when you can bake something simple that tastes so much better (and costs significantly less) than store bought.

2. Pavé socks--my new favorites. Who knew? It took me three tries to get these socks going, but it turns out that they are the best fitting socks I've ever knit. Thanks Anne!

3. The Spring Fling. Wow. Looks like I missed a good time. I'll try to go next year.

4. Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place. That's right--a fiber festival in my own back yard!

There was a sheephearding demonstration by some phenomenal border collies:

I got uncomfortable when I saw how the guys manhandled the sheep. Here he's showing how he flips one. First he twists its head (Now that's gotta hurt) and has him sit on its rump.

Then we watched a shearing demonstration. I was a little amused that they called it a Sheepshearing Festival. I don't think more than a dozen sheep were shorn in the six hours it was open.

There were other animals such as miniature horses, and these llamas:

And there was yarn!

There was a "fiber tent" but it had only two exhibitors. An LYS which brought a strange assortment of yarn like Noro and Ranco, single magazine issues, books, etc. Nothing too interesting or unusual.

Bartlett Yarns from Maine was the other vendor. They had a huge assortment of their wool on cones, ready to sind it up into any yardage you wanted. There was also a few racks of this:

Nothing in my color palate though.

Then there was the craft fair, which is where I found Ellen Joseph of Ellie's Reclaimed Cashmere. Ellie doesn't have a website, but if you're interested in her stuff just drop me a comment--I have her email address.

Ellie recycles old cashmere sweaters into new fibers, often plying two different fibers together to create a new yarn. See that one at the top right? I bought one of those. It's a gentle sage green heathered with white.
Here's some more.

It was a pleasure to speak with her, and I'm happy to support such a great little business.

5. I could tell you I bought some more yarn, but that wouldn't be such a surprise now, would it?

Book #15 Stuffed: Advenures of a Restaurant Family

Book #16 She Got Up Off the Couch and Other Heroic Stories from Mooreland, Indiana

Book #17 The Handmaid and the Carpenter

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

100 Things About Me

1. I am left-handed
2. I have a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science
3. I like all nuts save for Pistachios
4. I make my own granola
5. I used to wear Prada shoes. Now I wear Birkenstocks and Crocs
6. I have marched in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
7. I am a third generation Italian-American
8. I don’t know how to pump gas
9. I’m not a pet person
10. I eat red meat
11. I vote
12. I am not allergic to any foods
13. The only foreign country I’ve been to is France
14. I played the clarinet for 12 years
15. I quit smoking on March 22, 2005 after smoking for 18 years
16. I met my husband in the personal ads of a free newspaper (he answered my ad)
17. I am afraid of the dentist
18. I don’t like most fruit, but I will eat most vegetables
19. One of my ears is slightly lower than the other, making it very difficult for me to get glasses to fit properly
20. I started watching the Young and the Restless last year, after taking a 23 year break from the show. Not much has changed.
21. I failed Biology in College
22. I am a compulsive email checker
23. I like Starbucks
24. I was once $13,000 in credit card debt. We now live debt free.
25. I am a conscientious recycler
26. I used to need 10 hours of sleep per night but now I’m fine with only 5.
27. My lips are perpetually chapped
28. I never learned Roman numerals in school
29. I am afraid of bridges and large bodies of water
30. I don’t do boats (see above)
31. I’m afraid to get on an elevator by myself
32. My parents tell me I was reading the newspaper at 4 years old but I don’t remember
33. I used to collect first edition Nancy Drew mysteries
34. I watch too much tv
35. I read every day, for at least one hour
36. I don’t like wearing hats
37. I have not worn machine-made socks in two years
38. I can wiggle my ears
39. Julia Child is one of my heroes
40. I read at least one newspaper every day
41. My favorite color is green
42. I like bad weather
43. I have a perfect driving record. Not even a parking ticket
44. I sometimes fantasize about living off the grid
45. My first computer was an Apple IIe
46. I can’t do math in my head
47. I love dark chocolate
48. I didn’t learn to parallel park until I was in my 30’s
49. I subscribe to too many magazines
50. I edited my high school yearbook
51. I took nine years of Spanish
52. I have never done an all-nighter for any reason
53. When I was 12 I broke my wrist in two places
54. I cannot sleep unless my shoulders are covered
55. I don’t enjoy seeing movies in theaters
56. I usually get out of bed before 5am
57. I am an impatient person
58. I would rather be indoors than out of doors
59. I am not a fan of Tom Cruise
60. I have lived in New England my whole life
61. I once baked 83 dozen Christmas cookies in one month
62. I listen to NPR
63. I don’t wear lipstick
64. I believe most of what people tell me
65. I despise fat free cheese
66. My husband and I placed the same order for Chinese food at the same restaurant nearly every Saturday for nearly 10 years
67. I would like to visit Japan some day
68. I read 59 books last year
69. We bought the fourth house the real estate agent showed us on our first day of looking
70. I have a cell phone but never use it
71. I attended a semifinal World Cup Match (Men’s)
72. I do not like Indian food
73. I drink my coffee with 1% milk, no sugar
74. I don’t like to speak in public
75. I don’t enjoy pedicures
76. I like predictability
77. I didn’t stop trick or treating until I was in high school
78. I can’t remember the last wedding I attended
79. My great-grandmother, Egidia Meraviglia, passed through Ellis Island in 1907. She was 16 years old.
80. I don’t like wearing open-toed shoes
81. I can’t drive a standard
82. I bring my own bags to the grocery store
83. I am terrible at remembering names
84. I love watching Top Chef
85. I am always early for appointments. Sometimes very early
86. I don’t often lose things, but when I do, it drives me mad
87. I think some of my neighbors are a little strange. I’m sure they think the same of me.
88. The smell of bananas makes me ill
89. I prefer wheat bread to white
90. My husband and I maintain separate bank accounts
91. I cannot tolerate an inefficient vacuum cleaner
92. If I had enough room in my house I would buy a loom
93. I can hold a grudge longer than I should
94. Lucille Ball still makes me laugh
95. I am a terrible photographer
96. I am successful in programming our VCR about half the time
97. I have never eaten a Krispy Kreme donut
98. I don’t like scary movies
99. My favorite season is fall
100. I have been summoned to jury duty twice in my life but I have never served.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Trystero: 3 Jenn: 0

Game over.

On my third attempt I got all the way past the heel turn before I faced reality. It won't fit. I won't try a fourth time.

So there was another Wollmeise update on Friday, but I didn't guy anything.

Stop laughing!

Really, there were quite a few colors when I stopped in, but they were mainly brights, so I passed. Since I've bought so much over the past 6 months, I've become very selective in the more recent updates.

Here is a family photo of all my wollmeise:

Beautiful, aren't they?

I've started a new project--a scarf for my mom in ToastyBoo. I made the pattern up from one of my Harmony guides. I'm only 3 inches into it so the photo will have to wait, but it's looking gorgeous.

Book # 14 London is the Best City in America

Ravelry Stash Count: 115

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm ready to give up. Almost.

Here's what I did this weekend:

This is Socks that Rock Meiumweight in Backstabber. It's supposed to be Trystero. The pattern calls for STR lightweight with size 1 needles, but I used mediumweight because I thought it would be too small. Knitting mediumweight STR with size 1 needles is not fun. It makes a very dense fabric, and oy, the cables! So tight. I worked nearly to the heel flap and decided that it was just too small. Although it fit over my foot, it was quite stretched, and I was worried that it wouldn't be comfortable. Another time, another day, I may have continued. In cases like these, sometimes I just muscle through in denial. One explanation is that I just want to finish off another skein of yarn and cross it off the list so I can get to the next one. But this time I knew that if I went up a needle size I'd get a near perfect fit. So I ripped.

I started over with the larger needle and was feeling groovy. Until I finished the ribbing and was ready to start the first pattern repeat. It was then that I realized I did the ribbing wrong. Again, I considered ignoring the mistake and continuing. At this point it was late Sunday afternoon, and I really had made no knitting progress this weekend. But I stopped and ripped again. And started over. Again.

So it's Monday AM and I'm halfway through the first pattern repeat. It's looking good, and I've made no mistakes. If I have to rip this sucker again, I might just give in and start something else.

It's been 2 weeks since my last post. We've had two birthdays in the house, a number of parties, and far too much cake. Things will quiet down this week, except that My Favorite People are arriving this weekend.

So what have I done in two weeks?

Wollmeise socks:

This is the color Velichen. I haven't seen this colorway in any of the recent updates--I wonder if it's been retired. The pattern is Charlene Schurch's Grapevine. It's very subtle, and I like the way it works with the color, even though it doesn't really look like the pattern photo in the book.

And here we have some Monkeys in numma numma ToastyBoo, color Rhubarb. This yarn base has been discontinued, but will soon be replaced by something even better. These socks are a gift for my Mom for Mothers' Day, and are my first knitted gift of 2008.

Book #12 First Friends

Ravelry Stash Count: 110