Monday, April 30, 2007

I used to be good at math

Well, I've been working & working along on the top-down Summer Cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple. I'm using the lovely green Ella Rae Shibu that I found on sale a couple of weeks ago. My gauge with this yarn is 1 st more over 4 in than the pattern's gauge, so after a mathmatical consultation with Cupcake, I went for the XL size, which would otherwise be a bit too big (this XL, anyway, most often I am wearing XL). (Note small fierce calico outside, guarding the house.) Yesterday at our Sunday knitting at La Tazza, I came near finishing the 5th ball of yarn, and had knitted a little over 12" of top-down sweater. I was noticing that the armholes seemed huge. In fact, I could easily fit my head through one of the armholes. Very easily. So I strung the live stitches onto waste yarn and was able to confirm that this sweater is way, way too big. So, more math computations later. In the meantime, I'm back to the backup project, the grey wrap.
And here is a more floral representation of spring at our house. The big forsythia in the far background is in a neighbor's yard. The little one in the foreground is one my mom brought from PA for our yard. There's a little, skinny stick of a lilac behind it, which is just starting to put out leaves, which mom also brought up last year. Most of what's in our garden is still a bit more like this:
This is one of the perennials I put in last year. It seems like all but one survived the winter. Day lillies are coming up, and some mystery items. I think a couple might be some bulbs I rescued from an archaeological site last fall. They had already lost their flowers at the time, so they'll be a surprise. Even the oregano has come up again. It's spring in upstate NY, and it's coming along nicely.
ps - the small fierce calico is one of our two metal dragons, here's a shot of the two metal dragons taking time out from their hard, hard lives. The fire ox is elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


OK, I'm a fan of winter, but several inches of snow the week after Easter? The daffodils are up! Time for spring already.
I'm doing my bit by starting this springy green short-sleeved cardigan from Knitting Pure & Simple. On a side trip to last weekend's baby shower, LC & I stopped by Patchwork Plus Quilt Shop in Marcellus, NY. In addition to a great selection of quilt fabrics, they have quite a nice selection of yarn. Ella Rae Shibu was on sale, so I picked up enough for this sweater. It's 90% silk, 10% viscose and just lovely to work with.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Three sweaters done, Two done well

So I finished a near slew of small sweaters this week. First, the heartbreakingly cute baby kimono from Mason Dixon Knitting. It's in Rowan Handknit Cotton, which feels just lovely and is machine-washable. For buying this at the local vacuum/yarn store, though, I got the comment "That's a lot of money for blue string." Yeah, thanks.
The buttons were washed out in every flash photo I took, and I probably won't get a chance to try natural light before heading to the shower tomorrow, so take my word for it that they're cute bunnies. After checking out the button selection at Joann's Fabric, I went with ribbon tie for the inside flap and (securely sewn on) bunny buttons for the outside.

I also finished the toddler-sized placket neck pullover from Last Minute Knits. This is last-minute in kind of a "this kid's birthday is in less than a month" fashion, not quite so precisely "last minute." I had some little square pearlized synthetic buttons, but then I came across the yellow striped glass beads. One interesting thing with this pattern is that there are no buttonholes, you're just supposed to push the buttons and/or beads through the seed stitch placket. It seems to work out all right. This one's in Plymouth Encore DK, which is a nice compromise for being wooly, machine-washable and coming in a bunch of colors. I was very happy with how this yarn knit up.
And then there's the sad little 6-12 mo size placket neck pullover, which was intended to go along with the baby kimono as a shower present. I finished it up, the Pure Soysilk feels lovely. Then I gave it a light rinse and blocked it.
Where stitches had been a little uneven, they became more so, as well as rather sad and sloppy. I picked up a couple of receiving blankets from the couple's registry to go with the baby kimono. Not sure what I'm going to do with this.
And, we're set on the pavilion at upper Robert H Treman for the wedding, just not sure which day now. Our first choice turned out to be Yom Kippur, which means no dear DF from college, which is not ideal.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Wedding Pavilion?

Well, we did make it out on Sunday to check out parks for wedding sites. We liked this pavilion at Robert H Treman State Park, south of Ithaca.
It has an indoors, a covered outdoors, and a good number of picnic tables. It's on a piece of land where two streams come together, so there's a pleasant sound of water all around (and bathrooms not too far away). There are bridges across the streams. Across one stream, there's a trail that leads down the gorge to the east end of the park. Across the other, there's a big field with more picnic tables. The park's also handy to Wegman's, so it should be fairly easy to bring food over. The pavilion's available in September, now we just have to get ahold of the park office sometime. They're closed for the season until 4/27, though someone did return my phone message yesterday.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Love is a Battlefield?

In the mornings, the plan is that I work on my dissertation. I started out well this morning, and then went to trawling for wedding spots on the internet. Today's supposed to be our day for scoping out a couple of state park possibilities, up near Ithaca (their public lands are much more scenic than ours down here), but there's snow on the ground and K's not out of bed yet.
So, I just found that people get married at the Newtown Battlefield State Park, out towards Elmira. The location would be handy, and they have a quite nice-looking rustic lodge constructed by the CCC in the 1930s where people hold receptions. Only thing is, the park is there to commemorate the Battle of Newtown, part of the Clinton-Sullivan campaign which aimed to (and largely suceeded) "remove" (i.e., kill, burn down the crops & villages) the Iroquois and open up their lands to colonization. We're both archaeologists, working in New York State, occassionally working with the modern Iroquois. So, not checking that wedding site out.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Two new projects

New projects? What am I, nuts?
Well, there's a baby shower coming up on April 14, and I decided that instead of the feather & fan baby blanket I've been making for friends & relatives since I was 18, I would make 2 little garments. The first one is the child's placket-neck pullover from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I'm making it in the 6-12 mo size, from Pure Soysilk purchased last weekend in Providence. Last night, I got to the point of setting the body aside & starting the sleeves, and found out I don't have size 5 dpns! That will soon be corrected.
Fortunately, I did not need to get twitchy for lack of knitting (aside from all the WIPs around the house), since I had purchased 3 skeins of Rowan handknit cotton earlier in the day for the Mason Dixon heartbreakingly cute baby kimono. I'm passingly familiar with newborns, but haven't had one of my own, and I keep thinking, "This is just so small!" The gauge is correct, though, so hopefully they're just that small.

Interesting how both these colors coordinate with my office wallhanging.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Good to get out of town

We got out of town for the weekend! With all the driving, to Providence, Newport, Boston, and back, I finished my first pair of socks (except for some ends that need to be sewn in). They're some kind of mainly blue wool. Can't say more, since I lost the ballband back on the first sock. (4/7 - I think it was Trekking.)
After finishing the socks, I picked up the Reid lacy kid's sweater in this peach-colored Patons cotton yarn. It's a 16-row repeat pattern, and a bit of a pain. Also picked up some gold Soysilk Pure from A Stitch Above, in Providence, on the store's last day. Three skeins will make a baby sweater for another one of this year's babies.

In Providence, we stopped by H.P. Lovecraft's grave, in Swan Point Cemetery, a lovely place.

This large marker is the monument for H.P.L. and his parents. Fans put in a smaller stone just for H.P., but the light was against me in getting a good shot of that one.

Another Swan Point monument.
And the ocean! So good to just sit with the sight, sound & smell of it.