Thursday, January 31, 2008


Life interfered with knit night.

The dog is interfering with knitting progress.
"Pick a Spot" has been replaced by "Drop it" and "Down" as words most likely heard in the House of Sophanne.

I taught a mom and her 13 yo son to knit after school today. He didn't bring any needles- he might have been spotted with them. He learned to knit on pencils. Freshly sharpened pencils are good at preventing slipping Noro. They don't keep their points quite as nice as addis though.

I've cast on and frogged 9 rows of the Lettuce Leaf Scarf twice so far. Wise lace-knitters are saying that it's like algebra. If that is the case, it makes perfect sense. I always understood the concepts- I just couldn't get past the details.

The Ice Storm Cometh- or so I'm hoping.

That's all I've got.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why yes, I DO knit

Amidst all of of this meme-ing and tagging and cmus-ing, it strikes me that a little knitting content would not be inappropriate.

First up- "The Grinch." My first designing attempt- the sleeves are on the needles. Ann Budd is guiding me through this.

I was tempted to change the name to "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie," as most of it has been finished after puppy is asleep on the lap. This is the tv/couch knit. Right now it's moved from process to product. I want to wear it and I'm still naive enough to believe I might make a sweater that looks the way it did in my head before it came into being.

Second- Wicked #2. This is the handspun I bought at the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival last summer. I believe it has committed itself to a pocketless long-sleeved Wicked and am hoping for the best.

The knitting in my head is much too vast for one post but:

After yet another 6 stitch error on the go at mangled joke, it returns to time out. Recognizing that I suck at reading charts I wrote out the row pattern. I felt a lot more relaxed while knitting it but the results were the same.

I bought some fingering weight hand-dyed "Dark and Divine" from ChickenLips/Stitchjones/Mymommadethis and am thinking about this pattern as recommended by Sharon but I believe it must simmer for a little longer.

There is some Lorna's Lace waiting to be frogged and tried again in the Print-o-the waves stole. The fearless knitter button on my sidebar is really there as a reminder saying "hey- you Can and Will read Lace Charts before the Year Ends."

I'm still frogging every sock I start for one reason or another. There must be a reason it's called the SUMMER of Socks.

And now back to our daily ridiculousness

Friday, January 25, 2008

Books? Who reads Books anymore?

O.k. not really but I've certainly decreased the number of books I make it through since this knitting obsession took hold. I used to devour them like a glutton at a buffet bar in P.K. (Pre Knit) Now they're the hors d'oeuvres that you eat when you're on a diet. I'll only indulge in the ones with cream cheese and don't bother with the chips and dip.

I've now been tagged twice for the page 161 sentence 5 meme that's going around. That means I get to give two page 161's. (though I guess I could have gone to page 322 instead.) I can't just have one thing at the bedside so I'm picking up the two most recent reads.

From Viktor E. Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning I was actually ON page 161 which was the afterword written by William J. Winslade.

"Frankl's comment hints at the reasons why Man's Search for Meaning has such a powerful impact on many readers"

The other comes from Pat Miller's book The Power of Positive Dog Training

"The target stick works really well in place of coddling."

The first book was a powerful read and one I would recommend to anyone-but especially to any blog friends who are a little more intimate with depression than they'd care to be.

The second one has offered some guidance but I was not able, as I had hoped, to give it to the dog to read so that she would know what to do and not to do. So it goes

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Full Moon Update

Signs that the full moon is having an effect on your husband. He chants "Purl and Puck, Purl and Puck" on the way to bed. When questioned about it he says, "Isn't that what you do with those two sticks? Purl and Puck." (Damn, why didn't I say Purl and Poke and let him have it?) I said "It's knit and purl. What is Puck? He said "I made it up."

I looked away for a second or two (to find that Yarnhog's jumped on the CPH train) and he calls my attention to him again with both hands nearly up one nostril saying "Uh, honey, can you help me?" and promptly pulls a giant chewed piece of nicorette gum from his nose.

That moon is beautiful but I'm glad it's waning.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's a double meaning abbreviation today.

No Nit Nite for me


No one Nearing Normal full moon.

Ice and snow and freezing rain kept us from venturing out to "Vice Alley" (also known as the LYS and the casino). The puppy was psychotic all evening. Kids were jumping out of their skin all day yesterday.

Three different bloggers either posted full moon pictures or reminded me of nature's way of saying don't take your bad self too seriously.

I'm just relieved to have it all explained.

ETA And I've picked up the mangled joke tangled yoke.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I humbly accept...

Suzanne a.k.a. Yarnhog was one of the earliest readers when I came to blogland- many great laughs were had at my continuing saga of the ill-fated messenger bag. She has awarded me the:

And now, as part of my award, I get to pass the award on to ten bloggers who make my day. According to the instructions, I am supposed to: "Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."

While the truth of the matter is, I'd be lost without my ever-growing list of favorite Google Reader blogs, these are 10 of the ones that I look forward to regularly (in no particular order and realizing that there could only be 10)

Penny Karma at Behold My Brilliance
Ruth at 5elementknitr
Joan the Fairy Godknitter
Jenn and Rufus a.k.a. WeirdyPants
Christine the Dark and Divine Flutter
Lydee my teaching friend
Carol at the knitting-knot
Sunflower Fairy

and of course...


Go forth fine Bloggers and share your friends with us.

Hooray to all of us who make Blogland real.


There's the Thorpe earflap hat, the mittens from an Ann Norling 4 needle pattern and a giant sweater made of Rowan Big Wool. This is the one with the elephant sleeves- note the power of a proper pose. Really I could just have put some knitted fabric over me and called it a sweater in this pose, but when Mr. Sophanne has agreed to snap pictures in single digits temperatures, it's best not to insist on the details.

The hat's a little big but will come in handy. I didn't use chunky yarn that was called for. I did use needles that were a little larger. I may frog a few rows or I may just leave it as is.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

knitday- hooray

It was a knitting machine demonstration at the Knit Shoppe. Mark loves his knitting machine because it makes quality knitted fabric quickly and creatively. I'm glad he loves it but I am not a convert. I love knitting because it makes my hands happy. The knitting machine reminds me of ironing. I might end up with not as many and not as high quality knitted items but it takes a different person than I to love a knitting machine and that's what makes the world an interesting place. The whole concept and mechanics of it were cool to see. If I had to knit for profit, it would be my tool of choice.

Also a part of the day was an extra few hours at the LYS. ( I offered to do a demonstration on green next Saturday but there didn't seem to be too many takers.) I started a top down lamb's Pride pistachio green earflap hat (called Thorpe from some undocumented blog) and it should be a quick knit. It will also match my mittens (which required moderately successful post dog-nip surgery)

One other lesson learned was that if you're not much of a meat eater because of the whole cow thing, veal parmesan might not be something to order for dinner no matter what the waitress says. Did you ever accidentally order crawdads (also known as crayfish, spoondogs, or yabbies if you're Australian) because you love seafood and you didn't know they would show up on your plate with their heads attached? That's kind of what the whole veal experience was for me. There weren't any signs of former life other than the pictures in my head but that was way too much. No veal for me.

Wednesday is the beckyknitstoo blog-o-versary. Reading Wendy Bernard's Knit and Tonic is what started it all and once was the only knitting blog I read until I figured out how to find the others through the comments- I give myself an "A" in Blogging Year One for the "must please the teacher" part of my personality.

Friday, January 18, 2008

hi it's me again

o.k. so when cmus blog fodder rains, it pours.

After feeling pictured alpaca (that would be the left front of the 65% finished Grinch Cardigan) Mr. Sophanne said, "Wow, I could live in this. Can you make alpaca underwear?"

I think he was humoring me but it cracked me up anyway. After asking him if he just wanted to get put on the blog he said, "yes" I'm guessing he made the fist to show you how strong he is.

be still my heart

The new student teacher paid a visit today. She starts on the 28th. After seeing a handmade crocheted scarf I said, "oh yeah, I knit." She said "Me Too! I have every size needle there is. My grandma taught me when I was 7! My fiance's mother made my scarf as a present"

I have yet to reveal the vastness of my addiction- but I'm pretty sure the squeal of glee gave a little bit of it away.

CMUS (once again posted on Friday)

Certainly everyone is familiar with the "dinnertime admonition"

There are people starving in _____________(name your third world country)who would be glad to eat your food."

This phrase has been amended in the Sophanne house specifically for the New Puppy.

There are plenty of people in ____________________(name your third world country) who would love to eat YOU for dinner.

Mr. Sophanne is a s funny as his name suggests.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dear Blog Friends,

Is it just me, or is this blogland a real place? Yesterday's knit night post was lame lame lame and yet my friends sensed the lack of excitement and made me laugh at the words Mr. Sophanne anyway.

I am not a comment 'ho. I leave comments if I have something to say- I don't expect them if I haven't written anything "commentable." But you come through like the good friends that you are, letting me know that everything's o.k. and life is good and none of us are really alone on the planet.

Hey Blog Friends,


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Ten Rows is Ten Rows. (circs or straights)

Jewelry from 1970 is not really antique.

Green, I can't quit you.

that's all I got except I was so absorbed with knit night events, I missed the exit to pick up Mr. Sophanne and had to turn around a go back and get him.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Answers

1 alphabet
2 battle of Troy
3 democracy "invented"
4 great wall of china
5 Jesus
6 gunpowder
7 vikings
8 christopher columbus
9 American Revolution
10 Light bulb invented (as opposed to when electricity was discovered)
11 Civil War
12 WW I
14 Vietnam War
15 Mrs. Sophannes b-day
16 Disco (some of you were too kind)
17 Internet in schools
18. Iraq War
Crate in the van.
Emergency bag packed including
-puppy pad
-interesting puppy toys

Thoughts to self. This looks like packing when mamas take babies somewhere.

Notice anything missing?

Change of clothes after puppy gets car sick. I was holding her on my lap. Just 20 minutes earlier (before the pit stop) I had been protected by the fleece jacket on my lap. When we returned to the car, I knew there was a good reason for that, but not knowing what it was, decided it was too warm.

Puppy has good taste- pukes only on the best- that would be the Malabrigo Wicked worn to show off knitting skills to temporarily disabled aunt.

Lost? The L.L. bean jeans that are my "comfort jeans". Well not really lost just bi-colored thanks to well-meaning Mr. Sophanne who thought the easiest way to clean the pants was with a window squeegee at the gas station. Come to find that seems to rub it in. I did not let him go this route on Wicked and it is blocking now. It needed to be blocked anyway.

Won? The hearts of the nursing home/rehab residents. Lil Liza was on her best behavior and one wheelchair bound woman who appeared to suffer from delirum just petted and laughed and petted and laughed. I think I know what our summer plans should be.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A New Game

I'll post my answers (not guaranteed correct as they came from some goofy internet timeline) to yesterdays Smarter than a 5th Grader on Sunday night in case any of you are wondering how you did.

Today however, is a new game I made up for myself. Remember the song "Man of Constant Sorrow" from O Brother Where Art Thou? (most recently that is) If I were going to write my own theme songs, one would definitely be "Sophanne of Constant Worry." So I made up a game called "Before I can do that."

Good reason says, don't worry about what's going to happen because it never turns out that way anyway blah blah blah. BUT, actually moving from out there to now is not always so easy. "Before I can do That" helps that process for me.

A mental example- "oh man- I'm the chair of a safe schools meeting on Tuesday morning and I don't know what we have to talk about. Before I can do thatI have to go to school on Monday. Before I can do that I have to go to the grocery store on Sunday. Before I can do thatI have to finish this blog post. Before I can do that I have to finish this sentence." You get the idea.

Today it's an adventure to visit the Aunt who broke both her shoulders. Puppykins is going with us. Let the adventure begin.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Smarter than a 5th grader? CMUS

My favorite "theme" to take on with 5th graders in January is the story of Ulysses. We make up dances that go with the stories and play and listen to music to accompany them. There are obviously many life lessons learned from these stories as well and there is just enough of a suggestion of battle and adventure to lure in even the coolest of 5th graders.

To begin this unit, I want to make sure that they have some concept of a timeline of the History of the World. Much as I'd like to watch Mel Brooks and his version- totally not appropriate for school.

Instead, I gave them the following list of events and asked them to put them in order. Do the best you can without cheating- no google help (if you care to) and see how close you come. I'll post the answers in a later post.

As to whether you are smarter than a 5th graders, I will only say that if you are aware of the fact that I, Sophanne, was born AFTER Christopher Columbus, and you recognize that the Viet Nam war (at least the one most often spoken of) did NOT happen immediately after the Battle of Troy, then you are smarter than Monday's 5th grade.

1. Battle of Troy
2. Alphabet invented
3. U.S. Civil War
4. American Revolution
5. World War II
6. Viet Nam War
7. Birth of Jesus
8. Vikings (not the Minnesota kind)
9. Gunpowder invented
10. Great Wall of China built
11. Christopher Columbus voyage to North America
12. Disco
13. Mrs. Sophanne's Birthday
14. Schools have internet access
15. Iraq War
16. Concept of Democracy "invented"
17. Invention of the Electric Light Bulb
18. World War II

p.s. on knit night--- Mr. Knit Night is going to demonstrate his knitting machine at The Knit Shoppe in Canonsburg from 10:00-4:00 if you are interested and nearby!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

kkkkkkknnnnnniiiiittttt nnnnniiiiitttttteeeee

I have no creative compositional technique for this knit night post. But it was great and then a little bit better.

Claire and I have made plans to go to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. If you check out the link, tell me what saturday a.m. thing to go to. If you're going, I'll have my Ravelry button that says "Sophanne."

There was also some discussion of getting a Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival posse together. Woo hoo!

KNQ Debbie Cut. Her. Steeks. RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! I watched someone cut a sweater. A very colorful stranded knitting sweater. When she finished I shouted "What They Say is True!" Nothing unravelled.

In just the way they say you can't hold space, you can't find the Buddha, so it is with knit night. Once you put words to it, it becomes something else.

ALSO!!!!!! Hooray for SnuffyWump and her Beautiful Smelling Soap that was a Prize. (Capitol Letters are my NEW favorite thing.) It is delicious. If you haven't before, do go visit her blog. She posted about high school freshman Kyrin (DD?) who wrote a letter to the author Tom Robbins AND he wrote back. Thanks Snuffywump!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

D.O.N.T. C.R.Y.

Don't Cry Don't Cry DON'T CRY DoNt cRy.

Nothing sad to report. Just a vent of sorts.

To Whom It May Concern-

If I want to whimper, weep, sob, wail, mew, or bark when something happens in this thing called Life, I will be doing it.

If my favorite cook, who has fed me for the last Ten Years, is retiring, I am ALLOWED to have a tear or two because I'll miss her. She Fed me whenever I was Hungry. She Knew whether or not I needed to Eat before I did. This does not mean I am not happy for her. I am. You Smarty-Pa-Tarties who go 'round sayin' "d--'- c--," can do whatever you want. I'm guessing she knows how I FEEL about it.

Furthermore, if there is additional change that may or may not take place in my Life that either makes me Really Happy or Really Sad, I reserve the right to Bawl My Eyes out at the Beauty and the Sorrow.

P.S. I don't walk around and tell you "Hey you Thoughtless Moron, How Come You Aren't Crying?"

We now return to our regularly scheduled blog.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

an adventure?

Not so much. I was going to make up a story about how we went to an exotic land where we couldn't understand the language. Husband wanted me to put a freak snowstorm in it. It also involved a bazaar haggling over mysterious bargains with peculiar merchants.

What we really did was go to Gabes for some shopping and a late lunch at Old Mexico.

I appreciated the suggestions that I go yarn shopping. Options are limited when you live in the 'burg, so I did the next best thing. I found "The.Perfect.Bag" for my dpns and short needles. Mind you I have the really cool needle holders from Joannes but they're so organized and cumbersome. I present to you this week's Perfect.Bag.

There's a post a-brewing on the very concept of The.Perfect.Bag, but I have still to gather my thoughts. Is this quest a terminal condition experienced only by travelers and knitters I wonder? Oh the bags I have to share.

Puppy news- today she joined me in the shower. Is this gross? Is it an opportunity for puppy wash time? What's the appropriate etiquette? Should I have asked these questions prior to fessing up? Also the latest keep puppy occupied trick is a thin layer peanut butter spread along the inside of the plastic peanut butter jar. (realized after giving her the last of the peanut butter.) ONLY if this causes certain death do I want any warnings. This gave me 45 minutes of quality blog time.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

looking for fodder

I'm in the middle of three not so small projects and when you're there it feels like you're not really knitting anything. I'm on the brink of making mistakes on sleeves and shoulders but only close enough to dread it rather than deal with it. Someone (something) has put a voodoo hex on my sock mojo. Every time I get about 2.5 inches into the sock I drop a stitch that can't be found.

Also there have been few adventures around here. Puppy was 5lbs on the first vet visit and is 13.2 lbs now and doesn't have worms. That's all the news that is the news.

I told husband we have to go do something tomorrow so that there's something to post about. He said he was glad he was good for something. He must have forgotten that he gave the puppy a bath.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

puppy woes

Someone please tell me that there is an end to this constant need for attention, nipping at the hands (stopped only by household members baring their teeth and growling) and general mischievousness. Also making up songs and singing them to the pets is not abnormal behavior and happens here quite often.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Three Cheers!

One Cheer for anyone who did the snow dance yesterday. It worked and vacation has been exteneded.

A second cheer for TCM on comcast that has the goofiest creepiest collection of black and white movies on this morning.

A final cheer for the glass head that models my stocking cap knitting skills. I could wait no longer for the actual recipient! What appears to be yellow is actually overexposed lime green.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mysteries solved and unsolved

Mystery #1 Why I'll never run out of blog material-
Yesterday with puppy and husband in the passenger seat, husband was talking to the puppy.

There's a gray truck. There's another black car like mine. There's Burger King- you remember Burger King- you've seen the commercials.

Mystery #2 What to do about stinky boy bedtime farts. Lots of Burt's Bee's hand lotion and put your hands near your head as you try to go to sleep. Note: this does nothing to quiet snoring.

Mystery #3 (as yet unsolved) How to properly knit a thumb on a mitten. Aargh. Any tips would be welcome. I'm hating those big honkin holes.