Friday, August 25, 2006

Have You Seen Me? and a Famous Person Sighting

Name: Pluto
Age: Billions of years (when you get that old you stop counting)
Size: 2,320 kilometers in diameter
Last seen by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope .

Yes, my friends, we have lost a planet. Hail to thee, brave Pluto. Planet thou never wer't.

Farewell, Pluto. We hardly knew thee.

I have lived to see the number of planets in our solar system drop from 9 to 8. What's next? My favorite geology professor, Dr. Murphy, told us that when he started teaching the Earth was believed to be 2.6 billion years old. Then he said, "Now it's 4.2. I guess it's time to retire."

Now for the Rich and Famous sighting.

I followed author Nora Roberts into town this morning. When I pulled out of my driveway this morning I was behind a blue Mercedes Kompressor with the licence "BOOKSRI". I could see a woman wearing sun glasses reflected in her rearview mirror as we sat at a light. I've never actually seen her but I have seen her photos so I knew it was her. She lives down the road and has a bookstore in Boonsboro. A little later I pulled past her in a turning lane and took a glance. Sure enough, it was her. I have never read any of her books but I admire anyone who can make a good living as an author. She did a book signing at a Suns Game a few weeks ago but that was one of the few nights that we missed.
Her son, Dan, has a restaurant named Asaro's Pizza (name of former owner and founder) in Boonsboro that we go to at least once a week. FANTASTIC PIZZA!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A nearly finished object and "The Phone Call"

First the nearly finished object. It is the Moss Stitch Scarf by Cathy Payson, a simple, lovely little scarf. The pattern was in the little booklet that was included in the lastest IK.

See the label? Divine by Skacel. Have you touched this yarn? Have you knit with it? It was not idlely named "Divine". Take a look at the other side of the label.

Yes, that's 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere. It is like knitting with a warm, gentle breeze. This is a Christmas present for someone who, I hope, doesn't read my blog. I picked up the yarn at my lys, Y2Knit.

Now for the unpleasant part of this post. It's really a rant and I'm sorry but this has really bothered me and I need to talk about it.

"The Phone Call"

I work for a county IT Dept. We're a small operation of 11 talented people who handle all the technical aspects of county government. I am the web master (mistress, goddess). Since I am in the office almost all the time while my coworkers are often not, I usually answer the phone. We are so streamlined that we don't have a secretary or office associate. If the phone rings 3 times someone will pick it up.

My boss is a very busy man and I don't like to disturb him with annoying phone calls. Most of the calls for him are salesmen trying to pitch this, that or the other thing. I weed them out by asking a few questions.

Salesman: May I speak to (the boss)?
Me: I'll see if he is in. May I ask who is calling?
Salesman: My name is Joe Blow.
Me: ...and you are with...?
Salesman: Any Company
Me: ...and are you returning a call of his?
Salesman: Yes. (pause) Well, no I'm following up on an email I sent him.
Me: Is this a sales call?
Salesman: Well...I want to aquant him with our latest produ...
Me: I'm sorry. We don't take sales call. Please remove us from your calling list. Click

Blunt, I know. But I don't want to waste their time by letting them go into a long sales pitch. Better to cut them off at the pass so they can move on to some other unfortunate potential customer.

A couple weeks ago I answered the phone and started into this routine but things took a a strange turn.

Salesman (who will henceforth be referred to as A-hole): Let me speak to (the boss).
Me: I'll see if he is in. May I ask who is calling?
A-hole: Danny Something-mumbled
Me: ...and you are with...?
A-hole: Just put him on the phone.
Me: Not until you answer my question.
A-hole: Just transfer my call!
Me: Click

I told everyone about this strange call at lunch and we had a good laugh. I didn't think about it again until yesterday when he called again. I was getting ready to eat lunch so I put him on speakerphone.

A-hole: Let me speak to (the boss).
Me: I'll see if he is in. May I ask who is calling?
A-hole: Danny Something-mumbled
Me (with a feeling of deja vu): ...and you are with...?
A-hole: Just put him on the phone.
Me (sure now): That's not how it works.
A-hole: Go f**k yourself, C**t! Click

Unfornutately, his number was blocked. It is my fondest desire that he will call again. This time he will be transferred straight to the boss or any handy male posing as the boss, who will find out who he is, where he works, and what he wants. Then his ass is mine! Bwaahaha!

I feel better just thinking about it. The "go f**k yourself" part of his statement was disturbing. I don't usually talk like that and I don't expect anyone to talk to me like that. But when he called me a c**t, that crossed a line that can never be uncrossed. In my opinion, that word is the ultimate bad word, it is unforgivable. No one has ever aimed that word at me (at least to my face). I was stunned, speachless. I turned to a coworker and asked if he heard what that "man" (term used loosely) just said to me. He couldn't believe it either.

The A-hole may never call back. Goodness knows he certainly burned that bridge, rickety as it was. But I sure hope he does. Man, do I hope he does!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tractor Pulling and Socks

I know, I know, I should be working on the Baudelaire Socks like a good girl but I promised these socks to a friend and he's been waiting and waiting. I must have tried 6 different sock patterns for this project but either they didn't suit the yarn or they didn't fit. I took his measurements and decided to use Melanie's Generic Sock Instructions to just wing it without a real pattern. Thanks, Melanie, for the great instructions.

But when the new IK came out and I saw the Father and Son Socks by Mona Schmidt I knew I had my pattern. The yarn is Trekking XXL #90. It is working good but a solid yarn would have shown the details much better. I think the size will be good as well.

My husband is away this weekend at the National Tractor Pull in Bowling Green, Ohio so I should be able to do lots of knitting. Not that I don't do lots of knitting when he's here, but we do tend to run around a lot on the weekends. I know he'll be having a good time and he deserves it. I'll miss him but I'll console myself with knitting.

Categories: knitting socks

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Finished Object

I finished the Shell Beach Shawl on Sunday. My friend and co-worker Karen modeled it so that I could take some pics.

Here is a closeup of the corner with the tassel:

Here is a closeup of the body of the shawl:

This was a delightful project. The yarn was yummy and fun to work with. God, the colors are so beautiful. The pattern was quick and easy and really shows off the yarn. Here are the stats:

Pattern: Shell Beach Shawl by Dawn Leeseman
Pattern available at: Y2Knit
Yarn: Blue Heron Yarns, 89% silk/12% rayon twist in Tulip
Started: August 5, 2006
Finished: August 13, 2006

I will probably make more of these, perhaps from Schaefer Yarn. Susan at Y2Knit has some lovely Laurel cottons in right now. I especially like the Shari Lewis and Empress Wu Zhao. I see that all the colors are available in a 100% cultivated silk lace weight called Andrea. Hummm, (sound of gears and wheels spinning)...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A New Project

I started the Shell Beach Shawl by Dawn Leeseman in a Blue Heron Yarns silk/rayon twist from Y2Knit. God, how I love this yarn! The colorway is Tulip and it is stunning. Susan, who owns Y2Knit, had the same shawl hanging in the store and I just had to make it for myself. It's going very fast on #15 US needles and I should have it finished in a couple hours.

If you asked me to review the yarn I would have to say that it wants to stick to itself a little. This pattern calls for 3 rows of k1, yo2 all the way across. When it's time to turn the work and go back it's a real struggle to get those stitches and wraps off the cable and onto the needle. I'm not a really tight knitter so that isn't the issue. The yarn is just "grippy". This is just a slight annoyance however, and definitely wouldn't stop me from using this beautiful yarn again in the future.

Work continues on the Baudelaire socks.

It is a little loose but I can live with it. As I said in an earlier post, this is my first toe-up sock and I'm working on the gusset.

I think it's looking pretty good. I just hope I didn't start the gusset too late. Only time and more knitting will tell.

As for the Baby Kimono from Interweave Knits, I've had to stop because we can't locate anymore of the yarn in that dye lot (Claudia Hand Paints, Fingering Wt., Dye Lot 004 - Freesia). I thought I might take it along with me to Stitches East and see if I can find some. Meanwhile I will start it again in a different colorway. And THIS TIME I will buy 3 skeins.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sockie Goodness

I started the Baudelaire sock from Knitty last night. This is my first toe-up sock and my first attempt at using two circular needles. I used the Magic cast-on following the directions from Knitty and it worked great. I measured my foot before starting and decided to make the largest size since my foot, at the ball, measured 8.5". Now I'm tinkking out the last few rows because it's fit for a hobbit WAY TOO BIG. So that was 68 stitches; I'll drop back to 60 (the smallest size) and see how it goes.

As far as the circulars go, I like the technique. I chose one Inox 24" #2 and one bamboo 24" #2 (not sure what brand) so that it would be easy to tell them apart. The bamboo needle is VERY catchy at the joins so I may have to get another Inox and mark it somehow (nail polish?). Both sets are very pointy. I wish I had points like that when I was working on Icarus.

I don't have the ball band but I think it's Fortissima Socka.