Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WiP It Wednesday

I had to start a new pair of socks right after I finished my Kermit the Frog socks last week - and for the first time in my life I had a pattern picked out, but knit a swatch out of 4 different sock yarns before I found the perfect one (and in the process decided I need to get two 16" size 2.75mm circulars).

What did I decide to knit this time? Ampersand!

Ampersand A

I loved my Jaywalkers, but the constant chevrons made it so I couldn't get the socks over my cankles - and I think I have found a pattern in Ampersand that gives visual interest, but is still a simple pattern.

I have to re-purpose my sock form here to show you the more interesting part of the pattern - the section that will go down the front of your foot:

Ampersand B

Isn't that pretty? The sock is zipping away as well - it's been less than a week and this first sock is nearly done.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thank You


We just came back from a whirlwind weekend at Rehoboth Beach, and we couldn't have asked for a nicer weekend. With all the sweltering 85+ 'F weather on the eastern seaboard this weekend, the beach was the best place to be. And due to the wonders of 50 and 70spf sunscreen, I managed to come home unburned!

We stayed at the Atlantic Sands Hotel, which is right on the boardwalk in Rehoboth. How close?

Here is our hotel:


And there is the boardwalk and the beach:


And this was the view from our hotel room:


We had so much fun - we played on the beach:


We walked the boardwalk (**) and Rehoboth's main drag:


We visited a few of Rehoboth's fine brew pubs:


(That's my Aprihop on the left, Andrew's Lawnmower on the right.)

We had a wonderful time - and Andrew? Next time I promise to bring my sneakers.

Thank you, Mom and Dad! I know this was supposed to be your trip, but thank you for giving it to us (and taking care of Lucky!)

(** Why the jackets? The first night we were there it was only in the 50s - the temperature jumped Saturday morning.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WiP It Wednesday...

... Damn!

Make that finished object Wednesday! I finished my Kermit The Frog Socks last night, and I have known since I started on the second sock that these socks were not destined for me.

Kermit The Frog socks finished

Don't get me wrong, I love the colours, the size is right, and I love the style - but these socks told me they belonged to someone else. I will be giving them to the lucky recipient next week - we will have to see if she is surprised or not!

And, because I finished these socks, I can buy more yarn at MDSW! Who am I kidding? I would probably have bought more anyway - at this point I am considering yarn to be soft and colourful home insulation. A while ago I was looking through my stash, trying to decide what to make next, and I came to the decision that I needed to make something with the yarn I bought at last year's MDSW before buying anything new.

The Particulars:

Yarn: Puckerbrush Farms Superwash Merino (no colourway listed)
Pattern: Ann Budd's basic sock pattern in Ladies M
Needles: 2 - 24" Addi circulars in size 2

I've come to the conclusion that I prefer to knit socks with two 16" circulars rather than 24" ones - I was constantly annoyed by the extra length of needles.

Here is a garden update - my pilfered squash!

Cheddar spaghetti squash

I bought a Cheddar Spaghetti Squash from Linvilla Orchards last year - it looked just like a normal one, but the flesh was bright orange. It tasted like normal squash as well, but I liked the novelty of the orange "noodles." So, I saved some of the seeds and planted them about 10 days ago - this is the only one of the four that took. Now I need to figure out where to plant it outside.

I need to get off the computer - this is what the sky looks like right now:

April stormy sky


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sunny Day in Philadelphia

This weekend was the last weekend for the Narnia exhibit at the Franklin Institute, so we woke up early and headed out to Philadelphia. I would have loved to take pictures of the exhibit - there was knitwear, even! They had many original costumes on display, including the Ice Queen's gown and the sweaters the children were wearing. I have to admit that I teared up in the beginning of the exhibit, because they had a real-life historical section about the children who were sent out of London during the Blitz. Do you know they managed to move over a million children out of London in just three days? My grandmother and her older sister were two of these children, and this really hit home.

After seeing this exhibit, checking out the Amazing Machines exhibit (I think maybe I had more fun than Willow here) and then an IMAX movie called Grand Canyon Adventure about the Grand Canyon and water conservation, we headed out into the city to find something to eat and walk around.

I was entranced by the Swann Fountain in the middle of Logan Square - I had never seen it up close before and it was beautiful.


The four figures are supposed to be Native American river god representations of the three main rivers in the area, and I have to say, they are rather comely:

Logan Square Fountain C

Wissahickon Girl's backside

Logan Square Fountain B

and her front!

Here's a picture of me and Willow:

Jo and Willow at Logan Square Fountain

And a self-portrait of me:

Self portait

Who says I never give you anything?!!?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We went back to Josephine Gardens this weekend for an Easter picnic under the cherry trees, which were in full bloom this weekend.

Josephine Gardens

I was reading a plaque at the park, and apparently the park was designed by Frederick Olmstead, the same man who designed Central Park in New York City. The Yoshino cherry trees were a later edition, and they are from the same stock as the cherry trees in the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC.

Here's a close up of one of the weeping cherry trees:

Weeping Cherry Blossom

The Yoshino cherry trees were planted in 1932, and have some wonderful twists and knots in the trunk, and every once in a while a new branch pops out and it looks like there are flowers growing off the trunk:

Yoshino Cherry Blossom

And another one:

Yoshino Cherry 2

The joys of trying to get three children to stand still for a picture!

Kids under cherry tree

As you can see from how we were bundled up, it was a little on the cool and breezy side - I would be shocked if it was above 50 - but it was just a glorious sunny day.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lent Came and Went

And I managed to exercise every single day!

In the last 46 days, I have:

- Rode my stationary bike for 10hr 40min
- Walked the treadmill for 6hr 10min
- Used the elliptical machine for 4hr 20min
- Walked for 3hr 10min
- Road the recumbant bike for 2hr 20min
- Did water aerobics for 1hr
- Swam for 40min
- Ice skated for 30min
- Shovelled snow for 30min

and lastly

- Gardened for 30min (since I was digging holes, I'm counting this!)

All for a grand total of 29 hours and 50 minutes of exercise. I have to say, I'm quite pleased with myself.

Yay me!

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's a Good Day

My tulips are coming up:

Tulips A

Tulips B

My pansies and dianthus look beautiful:

railing flowers

My child has her eyes open for the picture on the first try:


And a cute seventeen year old guy gave me a flower:

Latte Flower

Okay, so I paid for the coffee - but he did the flower all on his own!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

What I Love About Spring


Cherry Blossoms 2009

You know - normally I am not a pink person. Perhaps with the exception of the pajama bottoms I am wearing, I do not own any pink clothes. It is not the first colour I reach for when I knit, either. But there is something about that happy pink colour that bursts out in Spring that makes me smile.

Andrew, Willow, and I went down to the Brandywine Zoo and Josephine Gardens this morning for a long walk up and down the Brandywine River and to see all the cherry blossoms. They aren't at their peak yet - I hope the weather holds up through the week and we can go there again next weekend for a picnic. We would love to have a more traditional Hanami party, but the powers that be here tend to frown on massive amounts of public drinking here in Delaware. Ha! I just read over that Wikipedia entry - it doesn't mention the extreme drinking that goes with many Hanami parties!

Here are some more pictures of the trees:

Josephine Garden B

Josephine Gardens A

Willow at Josephine Gardens

As you can see, almost ready, but not quite.

As we walked up the river path, we saw some Wilmington fire trucks shooting water from their hoses into and over the water.


We weren't sure what they were doing at first - I've never seen them do this, and I thought they maybe had to drain the tanks of the firetruck. I'm showing my ignorance here - do firetrucks even have water tanks? We walked about a half mile past the trucks, crossed over and back on the other side. Andrew noticed they were actually *pulling* water from the river and shooting it out. The crane was going up and down and they were shooting water everywhere - so at that point we figured they must have been training or doing some sort of target practice.

Willow noticed the rainbow first, and insisted I take one more picture for all of you:

Water Rainbow


Friday, April 03, 2009

Wait - What day is it again?

Sorry - this whole week has been a bit of a blur.

I was all ready for WIP It Wednesday, had my picture for the blog post and everything...

Laptop bag to be

Here's my latest WIP (and no, Teri - I don't have any finished objects to show you). It's going to be a felted laptop bag for work in three shades of green. Let's see - it's Cascade 220 on size 9 Knitpick circulars. I'm not using a pattern and am making it up as I go along. I have to take my laptop to meetings on a frequent basis and I have a monstrous laptop rolling case. I am not kidding - I asked for a slim case, but apparently the manufacturer did not make that anymore so I got a frackin' behemoth that has a suitcase attached. I KID YOU NOT! I just want a bag to carry my laptop, the associated cords, and whatever file I need.

I also took some pictures of my nascent greenery outside before the rains came in at the end of the week.

Here is Willow with one of the daffodils. I am not sure what she is doing with her right hand.

Willow daffodil

My strawberry plants came back!


And here is my brand new rhubarb:

growing rhubarb

Someone at work was selling a few different varieties of fruits and bushes, and I picked up two different rhubarb plants from him. Now that I have a full-size freezer, I anticipate saving lots of rhubarb for when it is not in season!