Friday, April 27, 2007

Chocolate standards

I just read a Washington Post article that the FDA might change the requirements for what can be called chocolate. It seems that they are thinking of relaxing the requirement that chocolate have cocoa butter in it to be called chocolate.

The Washington Post article has a link to DontMessWithOurChocolate.Guittard.com. Evidently, this company is leading the campaign against the change.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Trees

One of my favorite Clint Eastwood songs is "I talk to the trees." Well, it seems, in this case, that the trees were eavesdropping on a conversation my DH and I had about them. I was telling my DH that the 3 trees seen in the picture hadn't had more than 10 leaves at a time from when they suddenly dropped all their leaves last April and that, if they didn't get any leaves this spring, we'd have to cut them down. (I'm guessing that when the previous owners of the house had someone come in to kill termites that the poison affected the trees. I had trouble growing annuals next to the wood that was treated.) Well, it seems that the trees overheard the conversation and got scared that they might get cut down. They were some of the first trees to leaf out this year. I hope they don't mind being anthropomorphized. ;)

I've finished the mid-April KAL dishcloth with the Yahoo dishcloth group. It's done in hot pink in Sugar 'n Cream. It took a while to get it finished because I kept forgetting yo's.

I've started on the second sleeve on the basketweave pullover and hope to have it done in the next week or so -- just in time for the hot/warm weather. Maybe I'll have to use the rest of the yarn in a short-sleeve pullover.

I've put my second Baudelaire sock on hold since my DS2 said he wouldn't mind me knitting a pair of socks for him. I'm making him Thuja socks. He has big feet, but the socks are going along nicely since the Thuja pattern is so easy to knit up. I hope to have them finished by the time he returns to university.

We went to a Rockies-Mets game yesterday evening. It was a fun game. I even got some knitting done there. We've yet to see the Rockies win a game even though we used to go to approximately 1 Rockies game a year when my DS and her family lived in Denver.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tulip Bud dishcloth

This must be my year for joining KALs. The latest KAL I've joined is a Yahoo! group project of the month KAL. The first project is a dishcloth, the one at the left. It's done mostly in garter stitch. One unusual part to the pattern is that the tulip bud itself is raised. The dishcloth is on top of a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle that we recently completed.

I'm almost done with one of the sleeves of the basketweave sweater. I finished off the main part of the garment with 4 rows of garter stitch (the middle of which contains a decrease of about 10% spaced evenly around -- on a knit rnd) and then 10 rnds of k1p1 -- all in the main color. I'm planning on making the sleeve cuff match the neckline in some way.

I'm also continuing work on the Baudelaire socks. I've had to redo the heel a couple or more times because Fleegle's no-hassle sock heel doesn't come up high enough on the back of my ankle. (I have a high arch.)

I've finished off one ball of crochet thread for the curtain I'm still making and have started on another ball of thread. I'm glad it's for a small window. Though, by this time, the pattern is second-nature to me, and I can knit it even while watching tv. (I like to have several projects going at once. That way, if I need to stop and think about how to proceed with one project, I can work on another. Plus, it's nice to be able to switch from one needle size to another.)

On the weather front :) , we've had a nor'easter for the last couple of days (produced when a low forms off the New Jersey coast). We're fine. Though, a lot of people living in low-lying areas experienced flooding.

Finally, the picture on the right is of Mel Stottlemyre, a former Yankees pitcher. He was at the book store last Friday signing copies of his new book. He was there for a couple of hours. While waiting in line, my DH and I discovered that the person behind us in line works for the same company that my DH worked for -- though at a different location.

Monday, April 09, 2007

PT Cruiser

We learned a couple of miscellaneous things this long weekend. The first is that if you go to the car rental counter and say that you don't care what kind of car you get, prepare to be surprised. My DH and I did that and got a Chrysler PT Cruiser. From the outside, it looks like a London cab. It drove nicely; it had the first in-car analog clock I've seen in quite some time; plus we had no problem at all finding it in parking lots. It's the car in the picture. -- Colorado Springs is beautiful even in an ice storm.

Second, online motel reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt. We booked a motel using aol travel. Then a day later, I read reviews of the motel. They were a bit scary. The only consolation that I had was that although the reviews gave the motel a maximum of 3 stars, the average rating was 3 stars. We stayed there 2 nights (our entire stay in the town) and had no complaints at all about the motel. In fact, we liked the motel a lot. It was a pleasant surprise.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Lace curtain

I'm slowly making progress on the lace curtain for my DD's bathroom window. (I realize that I'm going to great efforts to get rid of the Venetian blinds there. But, right now I'm in the lace making mood.) I've frogged it several times so far -- once to change the pattern and to change from knitting from the top down to knitting from the bottom up; once to change the width and the edging. I've gotten far enough now that I probably won't do any more frogging. At least, I'm past the 4" mark, which seemed to be my favorite length to frog at. Though, it's still up in the air whether it will make it to the window. I'm using size 5 needles and size 10 crochet thread. (The thread plumps up a little when washed. -- I've washed it a couple of times on the needles to check washability.) The pattern is what Stanfield and Griffiths call "Candlelight." The edging is the wrong side of what they call "Shadow Rib." The bumps on the edge are created by ending each row with a purl st and starting each one with a slip (with yarn in front) st. (My other blog has details on the edging.) I'm hoping that I won't have to put a separate edging on it. My plan is eventually to have the Shadow Rib across the top and to fold it over to fit around a curtain rod. -- But, that's a long way off.

I've finished the main part of the garment for the basketweave pullover that I'm making and have started on a sleeve. It looks so weird with no sleeve on one side and part of a sleeve on the other that I'm going to wait to post a picture.

Finally, for my April socks, I've started on Baudelaire socks. I'm planning on using the heel from Fleegle's no-hassle sock pattern.