Monday, November 20, 2006

Good Food, Good Beer, Good Friends

If you ever happen to be in the Exton area, I highly recommend The Drafting Room. Geek Boy and I ventured out there with friends on Saturday night. While the beer menu is not as extensive as Ludwig's or Eulogy, it is very respectable. I had a fabulous Belgian Brown and Rogue's Brutal Bitter. Both were incredibly tasty.

And to top it all off, the food was out of this world. All of us went nuts over our meals. I had the scallops special...diver scallops with a sweet potato blini over a blackberry marscapone sauce. Quite possibly the best meal I have ever had.

In knitting silliness...I needed a break from the tiny needles. The tip of my index finger keeps going numb, which I'm guessing might be due to the tiny needles. So, I knit this up for my mom. Quick, easy and worth some amusement on Thursday.

By then I should have my camera back and can liven this up a little bit.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hometown Socks

Well, I'm still camera-less, since the digital camera needin' cousin was on the other side of the state all week. I imagine I should have the camera back by Thursday. Anyway, I finally finished the socks made with Sundara Yarn. And I love how they turned out.

Bookwoman's Hometown Socks
Yarn: Sundara Yarn Sock Yarn in multicolor Leafy
Needles: US 0
Pattern: A combination of Wendy's Toe Up Sock Pattern and a stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's 2nd Treasury. I picked the pattern because it had been submitted by someone who lived in my little borough. She doesn't live here least she's not in the phonebook.

I love these socks! I have done laundry just so I can have the socks available to wear. A few weeks ago, we went on the Tippler's Tour in Philadelphia. Basically, it's a walking tour of pubs, with a little history thrown in. I t runs all summer, but we waited until October to go. And even though it's been 70 degrees in November around here, it was pretty chilly that night. But my feet were warm! I have some more of Sundara's sock yarn waiting. Plus, I signed up for the next half of her sock club.

In the meantime, I'm finishing my cousin's birthday socks. Her birthday was in July. Luckily she's patient. Plus, this is the cousin with digital camera issues, so I can buy time by saving her butt. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the second sock. My goal is to give them to her on Thursday.

Tonight, we're heading out with Max and Julia's mom and dad to drink beer and eat dinner! We haven't been here before, but Geek Boy's had it on his list since we took a beer appreciation class a few years back. I'm looking forward to it. And they sell carry-out bottles! Such a good thing because there's lots I'd like to try, but since I'll be driving, only one, maybe two will get tried.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

One of Those Question Things That I'd Never Do on E-mail

Well, it's been a while since I've done anything with this. Although I have been knitting away, drinking beer, baking and reading some great books. I have some, what I think are, cool knitting projects. However, my cousin had an emergency need for a digital camera last night (yes, in our family there can be an emergency need for a digital camera that involves meetings in dark parking lots) so I can't take any pictures. So, instead, I ripped this from another blog and figured it might be a good way to get back into things.



3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Does crying fron laughing count? While watching Over the Hedge. "But I like the cookie!"

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? It's not bad, but my printing is much better.





9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Absolutely not.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I'm with Mikey...Life!

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I mostly wear clogs, sandals and those slip on shoes from LLBean, but I rarely untie my sneakers.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not physically, no, not at all.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Anything with Heath bars in it, especially when I make it.

14. SHOE SIZE? 8

5. RED OR PINK? Red.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My desire to be and my complete inability to be organized.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? The trendy one. We talk, but not often enough. And we definitely don't see each other enough.


19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Black exercise pants, green t-shirt under grey sweatshirt, blue argyle socks and blue slipper clogs. It's mid-morning. I'm still in my "jammies."

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? The other half of last night's Italian Hoagie. Breakfast of Champions!



23. FAVORITE SMELL? Whatever's in the crock pot when I come home from work.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My cousin with the digital camera emergency.


26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? I like her blog. Don't know her personally, although she seems like a lot of fun.


28. FAVORITE SPORT? Volleyball, when one of my cousins is playing.

29. EYE COLOR? I say blue. Most everyone says blue. Deb says green.

30. HAT SIZE? Small.



33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Depends. If I want Geek Boy to sit and watch with me, happy endings are more likely to get him on the big comfy couch. When I'm watching by myself, scary is best.

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Neither. Fall is best.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs...I'm always amazed at the way they can get the two chocolates swirled in such a small piece of candy.

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything baked with apples. Especially my mom's Jewish Apple cake.



40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? In the car, I'm listening to Heat by Bill Buford. On my nightstand is Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore. I'm also reading Gimp by Mark Zupan. And I'm carrying around Nick Hornby's Polysyllabic Spree for when I have to wait somewhere.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Winnie the Pooh

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Dr. Who, Battlestar Gallactica, The Daily Show, The Cobert Report and NCIS (we're big fans of DVR and On Demand). I was up late finishing a scarf for Geek Boy.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Geek Boy's voice on the other end of the phone when I'm at work. My niece laughing.



46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I can figure out what book you're talking about with only a small amount of information, even if that information isn't exactly correct.


48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Copied and pasted from someone's blog.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Gratuitous Fiber Shots

Okay, now I finally get to do some of the gratuitous fiber porn shots that are the basis of knitting blogs.

On Wednesday, I got to spend the day with the Trendy One from Anchorage. She just started knitting, so I thought it would be fun to take her to a yarn shop and treat her to something fun. So we headed to a local shop I had not yet explored. It's a great little shop. And Kathy, the owner, is lovely. (Kathy is actually the sister-in-law of someone I used to work with, and I had been meaning to check her shop out since she opened.) She's got yarn for every price range. And, best of all, she has a lending library of books. As a librarian, even though this represents competition (especially considering she's just across the street from the local library), this made my heart go pitty-pat. What a great service to offer her customers!

Anyway, the Trendy One picked up some Encore, which I assured her would be great "practice" yarn, and also some Crystal Palace Taos. Later in the day, we camped out at Borders with some icy drinks and knit. The Trendy One purled. She hadn't been able to figure it out on her own, so I spent some time teaching her. She caught on pretty quick too, although her actual response was "Why would I want to do this?" So, I grabbed a bunch of knitting books off the shelf with really cool patterns and said, here's why.

I'm supposed to be on a self-imposed yarn diet, but I found Kathy's sale bin and had to get me some of this
That's Berroco Denim Silk (pardon the cruddy table...we're in the process of fixing up our porch and haven't refinished the captain's table yet, but it's the best lit place around the house). It was half price. And the Trendy One helped me decide that the two colors would look nice striped. It's for yet another Picovoli. Okay, I lied when I said I didn't like to knit the same thing twice. I fear I am becoming the January One of Picovoli (do we need a support group for people who become addicted to Grumperina patterns). This will be my third Picovoli. I made one with some Cascade Sierra Quatro. When I tried it on, I loved the way it fit, so I immediately cast on another using Noro Lily (which is still on the needles, and the colors are doing some weird pooly-thing). Last week I was wearing the first one when I stopped by my folks' house and my mom went nuts over it. Then she asked if I had lost weight. I guess it's a very flattering style for me. So, Picovoli #3 is in the future projects pile now.

Also in the new projects pile
My Lean to Spin kit from The Bellweather. The booklet is very well written. I haven't had a chance to practice yet, since it's been too stinkin' hot to play with wool. But, since the weather broke and it's now down to the upper-80s, I think I may play around with it tonight.

With the break in the weather I can knit and watch movies again. Since I had to pop into work for an hour this morning, I picked up two movies, Howl's Moving Castle and The Matador. And we still have Good Night and Good Luck from Netflix. Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Now for the Beer

It's too hot to use the oven in our lovely, but un-air-conditioned house (we do have window units in the bedrooms). So, we're eating out a lot, because it's even too hot to eat. So, last night, it was a trip to our favorite local brewpub. They're having the "Summer of Weiss--Wheat, Drink and Be Merry"--good for Geek Boy who loves wheat beers. Bad for Bookwoman who doesn't. The chocolate cherry stout was kicked, but I had had it before, and it was okay but nothing great. However, they did have a wonderful Nut Brown on tap, just the right blend of hops and malt. Yumm-O. And we made a respectable showing at Quizzo...we at least got all the state capital questions right.

And, as if I don't spend enough already on yarn, two blogs got me interested in this, which arrived yesterday.

Tomorrow, it's around and about with my best friend, in from Anchorage, Alaska. She's just learning to knit. If she doesn't melt in the heat, I'll take her to some fun local stores and try to teach her to purl.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Tale of Two Gardens

Okay, so yesterday, Geek Boy was up early and being productive. So when I finally rolled out of bed (at 7.30, just to put "early" in context) he was already making improvements on the porch and getting ready to start doing some weeding in our vegetable garden. So, I went out to help him. Despite the presence of weed block fabric, the weeds have totally taken over the vegetable patch and shredded the fabric. We managed to get everything cleared out while still in the shade and I couldn't help by compare our patch with the neighbor's. First, our cucumber plants:

Yes, there are two plants there. Originally there were three. The middle one has done okay. We've actually gotten 5 cucumbers off of it. The two on either side of it, for some reason shriveled and more or less died. I'm thinking I might be able to salvage the one on the left. We won't even talk about what happened to the zucchini.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, my neighbor's garden looks like this:

My Pop-pop had the greenest thumb ever. I apparently have not inherited this gift of his. Not even close. However, there's still some hope for the eggplant and the melons. We'll see.

Aside from mourning my "garden," I spent most of the weekend being Geek Knitting Girl, testing some pretty fun knitting software. I've never tried knitting software before. And I've never done beta testing before. Pretty interesting. But I feel like I have major carpal tunnel syndrome from playing with software and typing corrections, and no knitting to show for it. But I did learn some stuff. And gained enormous respect for those who write software.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lightning Never Strikes Twice

Or how I learned to let go and love the sock.

I've just been watching the most amazing thing. There's a massive thunderstorm going on somewere a little ways away from here. I was going out to the porch to collect the cats before closing up for the night. And the sky was just lighting up. I could see forks of lightning through breaks in the clouds. Other times the clouds were just lighting up from behind. The thunder was a constant low rumble. It was just phenomenal to watch.

And appropriate. I was thinking today about knitting socks. The first time I tried knitting socks, I had a ball of Magic Stripes from Lion Brand and was just using the ball band pattern. I got the leg done, turned the heel, picked up the gusset stitches, and started on the foot. I was about half way through the foot when I looked at what I was doing, pulled out my needles and frogged the whole thing. Geek Boy just watched in amazement.

"Are you pulling that out?"
"Because it's boring and I was just thinking...when I'm done, I have to do this all over again. Forget it. I'm not meant to knit socks."

With the exception of a few quick baby hats, I had discovered I don't like to knit the same thing twice. So, socks were probably not going to be part of my knitting portfolio...ever.

Then I started finding socks with interesting patterns. And a friend offered to teach me two at once using magic loop. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. Well, from the time she taught me how to cast on, until I got around to actually trying it, I couldn't remember how to do the two at once thing. But by this time, I had promised my sister a pair of socks. And low and behold, I was able to knit the same thing twice and stay interested.

So, then it was a quick foray into the Jaywalker phenomenon.

Mostly because I had just been to Boston, and there was something to it. So, Crazy Chrissy's Jaywalkers... A birthday present for my cousin. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Rainbow. (This was my first attempt at photographing socks...not an easy task, but highly amusing to Geek Boy.)

And now I'm on my "own design," using Wendy's toe-up pattern and a stitch pattern I found in Barbara Walker's Second Treasury that was submitted by someone in the tiny little borough where I live. I have the first one done.

The yarn for this is Sundara's hand-dyed Leafy colorway. (I am in love with this yarn.) I'll have a close up of the stitch pattern when the pair is done. In the meantime, marvel at how the color works

So, although I can apparently knit the same thing twice in order to finish a sock, I don't know that I'll be able to do the same pair of socks twice. But that's not such a bad thing, right? And it's a myth that lightning can't strike twice in the same place..

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Alpha Post

Many years aggo my family got together to celebrate my grandparents' impending 50th anniversary. Of course, in the course of the night, many group pictures had to be taken. One was of my grandparents and all of my cousins. My cousin Emily sat on my lap for the picture, and we were seated right next to our Grandpop. He looked at us and said, "The alpha and the omega." That was about 15 years ago. Now, there's a new omega. And, come February, another new cousin will come along to claim the title of omega. I however, always get to be the Alpha! Thus, the alpha post.

I don't really think I have anything earth shattering to share. Like it says at the top, I'm passionate about beer, yarn, baking (which uses ovens) and books (as if you couldn't guess that from the name). But I want to run a blog on my work website later in the fall, so I figure I should try this out.

I live in a lovely old house with my very own Geek Boy, who has shared wonder-twin powers with me for going on five years next week. He cooks, does laundry, brings me operating systems, and downloads R.E.M.-Sesame Street songs for my amusement. He also shows appropriate excitement for me whenever I finish a knitting project.

We are allowed to co-exist with two very freaky, but very affectionate cats.

So that's it for the alpha post.