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.