Saturday, February 23, 2008

Garlic and Chocolates

My Spring Surprise Shawl is coming along. Unfortunately, the last time I was in the grocery store, I spied a garlic press that looked just like the image on the scarf. Though, I didn't walk over to make sure it was a garlic press. It might have been some other kind of kitchen gadget -- since I really don't know what one looks like since I've never owned or used a garlic press in my life. So, now, when I look at the scarf, I see cloves of garlic -- which is all right with me. I'll think of the shawl as protection from vampires. ;)

And speaking of shawl KALs..... The Secret of Bad Nauheim KAL is closing to new members in just under a week. The Mystic Light KAL is scheduled to begin around the end of March. It's by the same person who did the Mystic Waters KAL and is done with fingering weight yarn. The Slow Bee Mystery KAL will be starting this summer but is now taking members and votes as to the shape of the shawl.

In other knitting, I've finished the February dishcloth from the Monthly Dishcloth group. It's a chocolate candy box for Valentine's Day and hence the second part of the title to this post -- chocolate.

I haven't been working on my navy-v sweater much recently -- even though there isn't much left to do. I obviously didn't get it done by the end of the past year. But, it's a summer top in CotLin and so I don't have much incentive to finish it up yet. My biggest incentive is that I want to finish it before beginning another Tubey clone -- which I do want to do once I find where the yarn I'd chosen for it is packed.

I've gone one Errant Lace sock done and have started work on the other one. And, I like Andi's idea about using scrap yarn for the mid-February Dishcloth KAL. I think I'll do the contrast stripes as a prism.

Finally, yesterday was Washington's birthday. I baked a cherry pie in honor of the day. It was good to have home-made pie again. -- Even though the cherries came from a can, the crust was made from scratch.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

London in January

This is a long overdue post about our trip to London over the last weekend in January. We had a wonderful time. And the weather was perfect. But, the best thing of all was that we were all together. The reason for the trip was the graduation ceremony for our DS1. So, of course, he and Liz were there. They flew in from California. We (my DH and I) and DS2 were there. We flew in from Chicago. And, DD was there along with Chris. They both live in London. She is in her last year of university there. The picture is of DS1 and Liz.

The ceremony was fun. The officials even let people cheer for the graduates. (Though, it sounded to me as if the word was graduants.) -- We just politely clapped for our DS1.

We arrived in London on Thursday and left on Sunday. But, we packed a lot into the trip. The graduation ceremony was Friday morning. In the evening we went to Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall. DS1 had to spend a lot of time on line and on the telephone to get us tickets at the last minute. In the end, we had some wonderful tickets. The performance was wonderful, as well. I had never seen anything like it before.

(I also took some time that afternoon to get a bit of yarn at John Lewis.)

The following evening we went to a play, "The Sound of Music". We were wondering how we'd like it and how it would compare to the movie. It was like the movie but different. There were a few songs in the play that weren't in the movie. The play was, of course, done quite well. It was, after all, the West End.

Saturday morning, DD, DS2, and I went to the British Museum. The rest of the crew were out doing other things. I was worried that I might not get to see it this visit. So, I'm glad that I was able to fit it in. This visit we spent most of the time admiring the Elgin Marbles. The statue in the picture is near the entrance to the Marbles. It was on loan.

Saturday afternoon, DS1 and Liz went to see Arsenal. She's a big Arsenal fan. They had bought the tickets way ahead of time and had really good seats.

The rest of us (except Chris, who had to work) decided to go to a Wycombe Wanderer's game. We used to go there often when my DH worked near there (on the same street as the stadium). Here is a picture of the stadium from the parking lot as we waited to leave. We just barely made it back to London in time for the play.

The only thing bad about the trip was trying to get on an American Airlines flight back to the States. We had to wait at the check-in desk for a long time while the clerk there, her supervisor, and finally someone else (either security or her supervisor's supervisor) try to sort out why the names on our passports were different from the names on the computer screen. After what must have been at least a quarter hour, they finally discovered that the screen truncated last names to 10 letters. (Our last name has more than 10 letters in it.) The supervisor said that that was the second time that had happened that morning. You'd think they'd catch on after the first time. But, the flight crew was nice and apologized for the check-in desk.

The trip to London was sort of like a trip to a tropical destination for us (now living in Chicago). The temperature when we left Chicago was 10F, and the temperature when we arrived in London was 10C.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Spring Shawl Surprise - Clues 3 & 4

I almost frogged the shawl. I'd been thinking that it might look better if the yo paths continued to the edge -- which would involve changing the first few pattern lines. But, luckily, I slept on it and decided not to frog.

My general rule on frogging is that I'll frog if there are 3 things that are "wrong" or if there is no way I'd wear it as it is. This shawl almost got frogged due to the "3" rule. One of the bird's eyes (or, as I like to call them, wind flowers) is a mutant. It's a double eye. Plus, one of the circles suffers from my doing m2's instead of m1's at the side, resulting in the k5tog in the row after the row after being surrounded by k3tog's instead of k2tog's/ssk's.

I wish I had time to make all the shawls that are on Yahoo right now. The lady who designed Chrysopolis has a Faroe Island lace shawl KAL going. It's beautiful. Plus, the Secret of the Stole II KAL is also going. It's even nicer than the previous one. I'll have to make these 2 shawls after this one is finished.

Monday, February 04, 2008

January Dishcloths

Here are the 2 January dishcloths from the Monthly Dishcloth Yahoo group. I didn't do the best job of blocking the dishcloths -- and the color for the first one is well off (It's supposed to be caramel.) -- but, oh well.

There's still a lot of work to do around the house. But, it's starting to be livable.

My main goal, knitting-wise, was to finish the football dishcloth before the Super Bowl. And I did get it done before then -- along with the mid-January lacy dishcloth.

My mom got here last Wednesday to live with us again. I'm surprised how frail she's gotten in just a month's time -- especially since my sister had said that our mom had been going up and down stairs in the month she spent with my sister. Maybe I just don't remember how frail she had gotten.

But, I'm more worried about one of our 2 cats. She's been ill since the week we packed up to move here. For the longest time, she wouldn't eat or drink. The vet had to hydrate her. She's now on steroids, which seem to help both with her eating and drinking and her asthma-like wheezing.