Sunday, March 30, 2008

more opposites

Biking Dog

Sleeping Dog

this concludes the gratuitous cute dog posts.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

another Saturday afternoon of opposites

High Dog

Low Dog

Scouting Dog

Still Dog

Good Dog

Bad Dog

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day Five Spring Break

So, anybody that knows me will realize that I must be bored out of my gourd if I spent the afternoon at the mall.

I was able to score some short sleeve shirts in case it ever gets warm and the air conditioning at school doesn't work (a given)

I found something to read after I finish re-reading Atonement.

Just in case anybody tags me for the book meme again- here's page 123 sentence 5 and three more. (that's my only CMUS I've got for today)

And I got the Essential Illustrated History of World Art for only $9.99! I'll likely disassemble this book and brighten up my classroom with it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day Four Spring Break


This is what I'll play with today.

The only other thought I have to contribute is that as I ate a hard-boiled egg this week I wondered what would happen if a person tried to fry a hard boiled egg. I didn't try it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day Three Spring Break

What was I thinking? Running around in the windy cold or staying home watching movies and knitting. I can be so misguided sometimes. This time I came to my senses and the Pittsburgh adventure will wait for warmer weather and the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

I found a new project last night at knit night (much to the relief of everyone there who no doubt grew weary of me complaining about how boring the socks were.) I've now cast on for Regal Frost Cushions (ravelry link) from Handknit Holidays.

The bonus is that I'm using a book from my stash and I found a reason to use Elsebeth Lavold's silky tweed (another ravelry link.) It's a deep royal maroon for the background and a dark gold for the stranded pattern. Pictures once I charge the batteries on the camera.

The pattern has it knit in two pieces which means stranded purling and sewing the pieces together. Not my favorite thing to do. i'm doing the front and back at the same time and instead of a plain back I'm going to do the pattern on the back as well. Don't even ask me how long it took me to figure out that solution. Suffice it to say that I didn't cast on for it until this morning as my brain finally figured out what to do.

A relaxing knit night was had by all- the words "impacted bowels" came up twice on separate occasions (the second mention hadn't even known about the first) and therefor it seems something to report. I have a feeling that there was some entertainment value in my manic search for a project. I have to believe it was enjoyed particularly by Chris who is a much more plan ahead-er type than I am. If there's such a thing as opposite friends, we're it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day Two Spring Break

Yesterday went as described except for I managed to finish this long lingering ufo Cable Shell by Farmhouse Yarns out of a 75% cotton 25% rayon blend called "Allergic to Wool" (which I'm not but I liked the color.) It was a very easy knit and is a pretty good fit. Mr. Sophanne came home and took us for a walk and ice cream at the DQ. There are things you can do with a dog that you would look silly doing without one. Walking on a playground and eating ice cream from the back of the SUV in the cold are two of them.

Today's to do list-

Grocery Store

One would think the taxes would be something to dread but Mr. Sophanne found an error in the deductions of our local taxes and there's a windfall on the way (we may end up with matching furniture after all if we can find a way to get it from Big Lots to our house!)

Going to AAA is in preparation for an adventure if I don't chicken out. Pittsburgh's public transport train (The T) has a station in South Hills Village (a place I know how to get to.) I've been wanting to be in Pittsburgh (as opposed to just around it) but am not the most confident city driver. However, I do excel at public transportation involving trains. A little bit though I don't really know where to go once I get on said train so if your from Pgh and have some thoughts- put them out there (if you have thoughts on where NOT to go- they would be welcomed as well.) I'll do some research at knit night tonight. The adventure is on Wednesday so if you don't hear from me after that, likely I didn't get any advice on where not to go. I will listen to the news today and stay away from any areas where there have been shootings reported.

ETA I've been tagged twice for the book meme and haven't had a chance to bring the book from the bedside to the computer. Fortunately Paknitwit is reading the same thing!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day One Spring Break.

What this means for you- more Sophanne posts in your Google/Bloglines Reader

It's 10:20 a.m. and already I have done some laundry, blocked the stocking, run an errand, walked the dog in the park and read all of the new blogposts. I'm thinking other than another load or two of laundry, I'll call it a day.

Thought for this morning- why can't the rest of the world operate on a school schedule, summer's off and all-or at least a month or two off. It's not like we really get paid for the summer, they just take some money from the months I work and pay it to me later.

Come to think of it, wouldn't that improve employment statistics? Companies could hire more people to cover the months that others have off. You might have to take a slight pay cut but I think you should have that option.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Please consider this a CMUS public service announcement-

When you are working in the round of a long forgotten ufo and have a stitch marker before the first stitch, this also indicates where the last stitch is.

In the words of the Yarn Harlot, "ask me how I know."

Further Sophanne elaboration, "don't ask me how long it took me to figure that out." 4 days on and off

CMUS for those embracing irony

Ironic is all I can say about it being the first week of spring and I've finished the cashmere bird in hand mitts and a Christmas stocking (from a kit-Annie's Woolens-Holtsclaw-this has your name on it-not literally).

Both need blocking and clearly there are some ends to weave in on the mitts.

If you're thinking about this kit. Maybe not so much. The pattern is lovely- weird short-row after thought heel/toe construction that was new to me but I figured out. The wool in this kit felt like twine. Get a nice pattern, pick your own fiber. That's my plan next time.

If you're thinking about stranded knitting- this brain loved loved loved it. I have a little celebration in my head when the pattern comes out even on the needles every row. (there were 110 little celebrations on the stocking)

Sort of in the project lull. Kind of a nice place to be. I'm going to try to knit only socks until I get to the MDSW in May.

If you're looking for a way to add some sunshine to the world, visit Ruth and then send her some yarn for a fundraiser. Then click on over to Janet's and leave your favorite way to make/eat mac and cheese and make us laugh at all of the possibilities. Maybe I'll try some of those recipes already listed as something to keep me entertained during spring break!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cheesy crack me up contest

Hey Gang- Uber started it- it's totally her fault!

She bought some smack and cheez orange acrylic for a baby sweater- check out the post- it will crack you up.

Janet is making it an event! Go to her site and post your favorite mac and cheez recipe she'll send you a gift card if you're the random number and I'll send you some orange acrylic as a souvenir.

Let's make this another knit-blog event because Uber CRACKS ME UP and I do love my knit-blog community action.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

khnit nyhte

Note to self- don't eat fast food before going to knit night. Our knitnight friends were their usual delightful selves last night however I felt like I was in some sort of drugged semi-conscious state thanks to the BK BigFish I inhaled before arriving. I thought- gee I'll feel better if I eat a little something. BKBigfish does not equal a LITTLE something- FYI.

It is with regret that I must report that I have no recollection of interesting and engaging things discussed- though I'm sure they were there. One thing I do recall is a conversation on the price of gas and groceries. If knit night is a random sampling of the world out there (albeit not a very diverse one) we might again embrace the mantra "It's the economy, stupid."

One thing that struck me is how the same people are- Claire finished and gifted the baby blanket to her expecting daughter. Chris started her second sock. New sock knitter Connie was getting help from Miss MaryMac make me laugh. In between help, Miss Marymac make me laugh was working on a shawl to wear to the opera. Jennifer was weaving in the ends of an entrelac scarf. Darla was facing the ill effects of not knitting a gauge swatch. I was struggling with a little in-between projects- lost my mojo moment.

Remove the names and insert new ones and it's "Knit Night, Anytown, USA." There is some comfort in that.

And oh yeah- Happy Sophanniversary to Mr. Sophanne and I. We've been married for 4 years today. We wore our matching Carhart carpenter pants and went to Family Court to be married by Judge Culpepper and then honeymooned in Niagra Falls just so I could type that 4 years later.

Your task should you choose to accept it? Practice saying Judge Culpepper in your best Tennessee Williams sort of southern accent- that should crack you up and make up for any missing crack me up knit night moments you've come to expect here.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

the prizewinner and the bookfair

Random Integer Generator says 28 is my random number for the contest. Angela won a prize! woohoo! Thanks to everyone who entered and everyone who checks in and says "hey."

Today's adventure was a book event for our school in conjunction with Barnes and Noble. Mostly the librarian worked her a$$ off to have great goings on at Barnes and Noble, brought in a big crowd, and then the school gets a percentage of profit from the day's sales (if they mention the fair when they check out.)

I love our librarian. She loves books. She loves kids. I had to include this adorable picture of her reading The Greedy Python on the 100 acre wood stage.

I read/sang the book Summertime which is actually an illustrated version of Gershwin's classic. It's a beautiful book. Note the spring colored Flair Swing Coat. It's a little sloppy but it matched the hat and the mood.

No, no, I didn't buy any books huhuhn- have you seen my book stash? No way I could fit any more books in this house- except maybe a couple of the "necessities" as recommended in the book stash post. I have officially acquired enough knitting patterns for this life and the next.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Dog Happy Dog

Liza doesn't sit still for anything- Glad I found the "action/sports" setting on the camera.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What's better than a trip to the LYS?

When someone else goes to the LYS, buys the yarn, makes you a present and buys more yarn and a great pattern and sends it all to you!

Even better still when it's a Crack Me Up kind of present Suzanne (a.k.a Yarnhog) was around very soon after I first started knit-blogging. One of the first projects documented early on was the Messenger Bag in Knitting for Peace. After many fruitless and failed attempts, including references to being "dumber than a box of hair," I finished a messenger bag- it didn't turn out "like the picture" (does it ever?) and I called it a day. Yarnhog followed the trials and tribulations and in the end I sent her a copy of Knitting for Peace. It seemed the least I could do.

Today when I got home a "real" Knitting for Peace Messenger bag (meaning it DOES look like the one in the picture)was in a box on my porch for me along with the pattern to Fibertrends felted clogs and enough matching yarn (Lana Grossa!)to continue my felting saga. And it's green. And it's got some fuchsia. And the patch is on it (which I had no clue how to make happen).

Yarnhog, you are the best! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

This is the first time I've been the recipient of a knitted gift and man, did it feel great. I am completely overwhelmed with gratitude. As I say to my kids at school, "it made my heart feel so good."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

11-14-9-20 14-9-7-8-20

(secret elementary school code that spells “knit night.”)

Knit night was all about numbers last night.

Chris bought 66 skeins of yarn. While we are the same in that we both love and buy yarn, we are opposite in many ways- of which I believe we both embrace and appreciate about each other. Noted differences:

She had a shopping list of the exact yardage she would need for 3 different projects already planned in her head. I bought 3 skeins to start with.

She checked the Great American Afghan web-site to play with color combinations. I thought purple was talking to me.

Her final color choice- muted tans, browns, and blues.- likely to match furniture and other items in her home. Having no fine furniture to match, I can pick any color I want.

Dee was back and had a story about her lab who ate a size 13 men’s hand knitted sock that took 3 days to “pass through” and when it did, the lab promptly attempted to eat it again. I was thinking (hope you’re not eating lunch) that maybe a little string came out and she had to frog it.

I have nine rows of thumb left on the 2nd bird in hand mitten.

I have one size 2 needle that likes hanging out at the Knit Shoppe. Left it there last week-it tried to stay again this week.

Given my numbers, do you think I have enough delegates to win?

Monday, March 10, 2008


Click here for the Rowan Giveaway
Knitting- well I’m playing with the Great American Afghan. Too early for pictures.

The thumb on the left bird in hand mitten will happen tomorrow at knit night.

I’ve also been playing with mitered knitting and stash. Since all of my stash is generally green or green, it may match. Being the exploratory knitter that I am, I was not content to maintain a pile of perfect squares. I’ve been adding rows in between k2tog rows. I’m also planning on not doing it at the exact halfway point.

With the handspun Wicked done, it’s a relief to have some smaller things going on. It’s also a necessity if MaryBeth has her way and convinces me back to the sewing machine. Must. Stay. Focused.

Doginess- The puppy is recovering nicely. Mr. Sophanne took us for a Dairy Queen adventure today. Yum.

Dog story at school- PreK teacher has a young boxer who favors her Victoria Secret bras. I told her she needed to buy the Gabes $4 kind. She said “I do, but she only likes the Victoria’s Secret kind. I think it’s the padding.” To which the custodian said, “all we need to do is add a squeaky thing in them”. That CRACKED ME UP! Pre-K teachers are hug-central. You don’t have a chance at dodging those running arms. Can you imagine the surprise on the little one’s face if her hug was accompanied by a little “weewah” of a squeak toy? My Mommy’s don’t do that.

ETA apparently the above has already been marketed. click here for details

Friday, March 07, 2008

CMUS- a dog's life

Click here for the contest post

Hey gang- Liza is home and recovering. Vet instructions suggest that she not run- go up steps-etc. As if I could control that one bit. With the hopes of a speedy recovery I give you one of the favorite Mr. Sophanne dog stories.

Living in the Ohio Valley in the 70's meant hard times for a railroader in the Rust Belt and Mr. Sophanne was forced to drive a city bus on Wheeling Island He actually lived across the river in Bridgeport Ohio. There he was married to the z-wife (he opposes the use of the word ex- maybe he had a run-in with a xylophone) with 2 kids and a dog named Claudia.

There are many bizarre "it could only happen to Mr. Sophanne" stories connected to nearly every word in the description above but this one involves Claudia running away. Claudia ran away and was gone for a week. Hope was waning. He was on his daily route with a busload of Ohio Valley passengers when a dog crossed his path. You guessed it- It was Claudia. She hopped on the bus and got a ride home. Those familiar with the Ohio Valley and/or the definition of the word "Island" have figured out she had to cross the Ohio River to find him!

When I tell the story to kindergartners, I pretend that she actually knew it was his bus stop and she was hanging out waiting for him. Actually when I retell it to myself I do the same thing.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

some questions answered re: knit night and a contest!

I was writing answers in comments but you can never be sure if people go back and read them. So- if you're a new reader, find a better post to introduce me (unless you're just here for the contest)

Anonymous Bonnie (if you decide to have a blog, I think that would be a great name.): When you finish with this post, search my blog for "knit night" and you'll be up to date.

poly_dactyl: I do share the blog with knit nighters. I don't really say anything I wouldn't say while I was there. I'm pretty sure the less than favorite Mary doesn't read it but I did suggest as much as I wrote while I was there that night.

Kristin: A KAL support group- do I need this? Is this part of the whole KAL experience? This is my first one. Yes I'm a KALVIRGIN. Am I going to regret this decision?

Brain Attack follow-up: what I didn't tell you was that Gina was a little worried I was having one because I couldn't finish my Bird in Hand thumb and have a conversation at the same time.

Low-Grade Anxiety follow-up: I am so clearly not alone in this phenomena. In fact.... what say we have a contest.

I never did have the patience for that thin Rowan 4-ply. Check Sophanne on Ravelry to find out what's left. (you can also see the colors somewhere on this blog if you're not a Raveler) I think there's purple, midnight blue, and squirrel gray (Rowan had better names but they escape me at the moment)- many skeins of each- great for fair isle somethings or to pass on to some unsuspecting contest hungry blogger.

At any rate- share your low-grade anxiety moments and win a prize. Have someone mention your blog when entering and get another entry. Random number winner take all. Let's make this the best contest ever! (BCE), a delayed 1 year blogovorsory, an "I finished the second Wicked, "Liza gets spayed", "losing your KALVIRGINITY" contest. Number will be drawn after dark on the Ides of March.

What is the cure for low-grade anxiety?

Knit night of course.

For those of you not familiar with LGA (low-grade anxiety), it’s a condition that I’ve made up. Symptoms include-

Worrying about whether you should be doing something inside when you’re outside playing with the dog.

Worrying about whether you should be outside playing with the dog when you’re inside doing something

Reasons why knit night is the cure:

A chauffeur there and back. No driving except for one exit on 79N.
I know when to get there and when to leave.
I know what to do when I’m there.
I know that Mr. Sophanne is happy where he is and can relax.

Last night brought 3 new kn-er’s. Yippee. Some of the old standards haven’t been back since the mother goose and queen of Debbie episode.

Claire suggested a KAL a few weeks ago and I bought the Great American Afghan book and convinced at least Chris and Claire to play. I think it was when I said “I’m going to KAL this afghan whether anyone joins me or not,” that Chris felt sorry for me and bought the book.

I’ve also got some relationship news. Purple and I might be hooking up. It’s a little early to tell and, of course, quite overwhelming, but purple’s been making eyes at me for the past few weeks and we exchanged some ideas about the afghan last night. Blue stepped in suggesting a wider spectrum. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Chartreuse and orange seriously thought they’d make a nice splash but I think that might be a little risqué.

On the medical front, Gina told us that “brain attack” is the new word for “stroke” in the world of medicine. Strokes aren’t one bit funny but calling it a “brain attack” cracks me up just a little.

Pictures of purple patterns when the sun peers through and I have the persistence to potograph- I mean photograph.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Games We Play

This is a dog post.

I don't have a picture. The dog doesn't sit still until 9:30ish.

Right now she's entertaining herself with one of those cat toys where the ball is stuck inside a donut shaped plastic thing. We've put all of her toys in a container for her to pull out and "find." We've treated, chased, and frolicked in the sun.

And still- in an effort to be the perfect pet owner, I went on-line to see if there was more I could be doing. I googled Games for Dogs to Play. I found this site which includes a list of things that kids like to do with their dogs. I hope that I don't find myself resorting to what Gina (age 12) from New Mexico does:

Me and my dog, Snoopy, play a neat game. It's called 
'Round Them Up'. Here's what I do: I dress up like a cow, then I hide 
somewhere in the house. Next I say "Yahoo!". Snoopy will sniff for me and 
when he's just about to find me, I run down the hall mooing like a cow.
Snoopy will snap at my heels trying to put me in my room.Tip: It really only 
works with sheepdogs.

Plus Liza isn't really a sheep dog and I don't have a cow costume.

happy birthday!

Dr. Seuss

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Dear August Self,

I know as you endure temperatures of 90 degrees with 95% humidity, you are longing for the weather pictured below, imagining it to be comforting and cozy. Just so you know, this stuff makes your brain as foggy as excessive heat so picture spring, picture fall, but DO NOT picture THIS: