Wednesday, April 30, 2008

F is for Football and our Fair Weather Fowl Friends

If nothing else this al-fa-bet-along makes for good titles.

Meanwhile back at the ranch... Last night Mr. Sophanne and I noticed a speedy driver on a rural-ish road. This was the conversation:

mrs- Hey he should slow down. that's dangerous
mr- yea, there are deer out here.
mrs- and turkeys. Now that it's turkey hunting season in WV all of the turkeys have been coming to PA
mr- yea because they don't have a pro football team.

It doesn't really mean anything. It just makes me laugh the stuff that makes for surreal conversation. (my favorite kind)

At knit night last night J's mom talked about a spinner she knew retiring her last sheep. That made me (and really not many others) laugh like crazy. Does the sheep get social security? How about a gold watch? Is it engraved with Baa-aa? I can so entertain myself.

During a discussion on appropriate baby colors when you don't know the sex of the newborn to be, I said, "the yellow I knit for a baby with was pretty girly-" She said, "you have to be careful of yellow, they can make a baby looked jaundiced." I said, "and the greens because then they make them look like aliens."

KNQD had a "magic marble" kaleidoscopey sort of contraption. I've always loved those but if you've never played with one in a yarn store, you are so missing out on the magic. Get thee to a thrift store and then to the LYS and enter the psychedelic world of yarn through a marble.

More colors for Babette. That Mr. Sophanne is starting to catch on. Last night he asked- "Aren't you going to a yarn festival? Why did you buy more yarn now?" I cleverly said, "Oh yeah, oh well."

Monday, April 28, 2008

E is for Everything from the last post in pictures.

Extra Secret Birthday Surprise Doily (should have put something in the picture for scale- it's too big to fit on a 12"x12" cork square. It's maybe 16" in diameter- is that the right word?)

My new best friend- Babette- won't it be fun to watch her grow? These are slightly overexposed and not indicative of the vibrancy of the yarn. The light color is a fluorescent green and not the yellow it appears to be. There will be much more dark purple- that's sort of the main color and it won't be so orangey. Tomorrow at knit night I'll figure out some additional colors. I must say that taking a picture and looking at it makes it easier to see what I "need" colorwise than actually looking at it in real life. That's strange.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

D is for Dining out and Desperate Measures

Anyone with Deductive reasoning skills can figure out that Mr. Sophanne inDulgeD in McDonalD's tonight. That is a Desperate measure. While observing the local MickeyD culture he suggested that with prices the way they've been going, soon brides and the bereaved will look to fast food for their catering needs. That cracked me up.

What didn't crack me up so much were the side effects of him having a tooth pulled at the Dentist. With blood thinning Drugs it took forever to clot and we had several hours of cold chills. He's better now but it was really weird. Anyone have a similar experience?

In the fiber front, I believe I've gone over the edge. Why is it that it never occurred to me to crochet with GOOD YARN? There has always been this formula in my head that goes Crochet=RedHeart. Big old "Doh" for me. Granny squaring with good yarn is like crack cocaine to this fiber lover cause I'm a speed demon natural.

I pulled this picture from the Interweave site (hoping they won't mind) but it was this one on Ravelry that made me say Let's Go!

I'm using the colors from:

but I've added a smoky lavender and a darker and dustier blue to the mix. I am in love. Given that the pattern calls for Koigu and I'm using Cascade I may end up with the king-size version. It's the perfect project to compliment some of the harder things I have on the needles. And woe is me, I'll have to pick some more colors on Tuesday.

I didn't complete the whole doily pattern but it looks like a doily. No need to go overboard on something he might not want.

But Sophanne, where are the pictures?

all in good time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

C is for crafty mr. sophanne

This morning as I woke up Mr. Sophanne said, "Hey honey, I got you a present yesterday."

Usually this means that Norfolk Southern (he's a railroad conductor) has given away another trinket to prevent employees from reporting safety concerns. safety incentive. So I was expecting a ball cap, key chain, or travel mug.

Instead he walked down the hall with the gem you see above. I was sure it was worth a fortune but after a quick ebay/amazon search I found that the only bargain he got was paying $3 instead of the $5 asking price. Just another instance of the trash vs. treasure phenomena

The title page says that Alice Carroll was a consultant on the American Red Cross Knitting Manual- it's published in 1947. Under the picture reads

This attractive suit represents the versatility of modern knitting, a far cry from the days when knit garments were intended to keep one warm but not necessarily attractive

What I couldn't capture were the pages of the Three-piece Cape suit. Cape, jacket, and skirt knit on size 1 needles at 8 stitches to the inch. Also missing are the men's swim trunks. All will be revealed in good time (which means when I get to the scanner or figure out how to photograph documents)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

B is for Bags at Knit Night

After discovering that I was traveling with no less than 11 projects (3 socks, forest canopy shawl, Christmas stocking, Holiday knits Pillow, crochet doily, and I accidentally forget the rest), I realized that a smaller bag to put in my knitting bag was a must.

For me it's like having food in the house after going to the grocery store. If I don't see it, we don't have it and I forget all about it. I probably have at least 6 months worth of knitting in that one bag, but what a relief. Might be time for a WIP post.

Conversation topics included pondering about the checking of $20 bills with highlighters. Why not check fives and tens-now there's a counterfeit market. Debbie decided she was just going to scribble on any bill anyone hands her. I suggested yellow crayon.

The other laughs came from imagining Debbie in the RV being circled by her husband on his Harley with Riley, the African parrot back seat driving from the passenger seat. An option much better than husband riding next to the driver's side with a bullhorn. This hasn't happened yet but we're expecting it.

Finally an episode in first grade at the end of my day cracked me up. Levi says (at the beginning of class) "Can we play xylophones today?" I say, "sure." Levi (not his real name) proceeds to act like a little squirt for the next 30 minutes. As we proceed to the xylophones, I am placing students where they need to be and turn around to see Levi practicing standing on his head.

As I pointed out at knit night, I'm not opposed to head standing. In fact I voted for it yesterday. But there's a time and a place.

I sent Levi to a little time out area (no xylophones for him)and, being the good teacher that I am, later went to him and suggested that maybe he shouldn't stand on his head in music class. He informed me that he "had one foot on the ground."

Monday, April 21, 2008

So glad for open blog letters

Dear immediate supervisor (for the sake of any potential recriminations, not MY immediate supervisor)

A surprise luncheon was scheduled on this 2 hour early dismissal day for the secretary that has to sit in this office with you all day long.

Ample time was given had you wanted to take the lead on this but as we are not ones to do things at the last minute, we did it ourselves.

That is was to be a surprise was indicated both verbally and in writing.

Is it because you're the boss that you feel you must ruin share this surprise with our administrative assistant 5 damn minutes before it was to take place?

Have you been watching "The Office" for ideas?

Are you related to Michael Scott?

Are you an Ignoranus (thanks Yvonne)- both stupid AND an a$$hole?

Again, not my boss. Or perhaps I should say "not the boss of me."

AND while we're at it...

Dear Mr. Sophanne,

How is it that 95% of the time you have no idea at all what I'm doing with sticks and strings on my end of the couch and yet yesterday you looked over and said, "Are you making doilies now honey? Did you ever get to see the doilies my mother made?"

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I can crochet the snot out of doilies when I feel like it.

Mr. Sophanne's birthday is in 2 weeks. I'm putting together a calendar of pictures and birthdays (at his request.) He was orphaned at age 13 but one thing that he remembers about his childhood were turquoise crocheted doilies.

This isn't really turquoise but I plan a little note that says it combines the turquoise of his mama's doilies with the purple that is me and the dark blue of the man he has become.

He doesn't accept gifts well and if it's not exactly the same as what he remembers, it may mean nothing to him so Claw, if he sniffs his nose at it, this one's yours. This is all assuming that I'll finish it in two weeks.

Off to do laundry and knock out some more dc's. Does it crack anyone else up that I'll be able to work on this while we watch t.v. together and he'll never even once wonder what I'm doing?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

You're All Celebrities!

So if I meet any of you at MDSW, please be warned that I will respond to finding out who you are as if I were a star-struck fan.

I met up with Knit'nat (Yvonne) -which was who I was expecting to meet and then Cheryl arrived and I learned she was none other than chezclutter and I was beside myself for a moment or five.

You know it's some good knitting when you start at 11:00 am and then suddenly it's 2:45 p.m. and you wonder where the time went.

I of course am much more fabulous on the blog than I am in real life so there was that hurdle to get over but I must say that I'm looking forward to having Yvonne as a traveling friend to MDSW and meeting Kim once we get there.

Knitters= Good Funny People

Come to find the dog did not eat last year's birthday present. One earring was in the clothes room, one earring was in the bedroom. I have shiny ears again.

Friday, April 18, 2008

CMUS(F) 13 yr old edition

These are the last names of people whose signs I have seen before elections:


I am so 13 in my head.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A is for Knit Night

(heh heh- twenty-five more knit night posts where I don't have to think of a title)

This post is humbly dedicated to Lisa and the other lurkers in the blood department at Mercy Hospital. Not because there's anything significantly relevant for you but just because it makes me smile hard when Gina comes to knit night bragging about my blog!

It was a night of knitted toys. Debbie was working on about the cutest knitted bunny I ever did see and Dee was stocking up on yarn for Tucker the Monkey.

When asked what she was knitting, Dee was heard to say "You remember that monkey I did before..." Maybe it's because I'm still a novice regarding my knitting vernacular but it Cracks Me the H-E- Double Hockey Sticks Up to put things I hear at work or play in the context of the real world.

This can be further evidenced by the fact that when Darla told Chris (who was doing some stranded sleeve knitting) that she needed to put her balls in separate baggies I said, (before I could consider the possible inappropriateness) "Yea, well Darla, you need to put your a$$ in a bucket!" I don't really think Darla (or anyone's) a$$ needs to go in a bucket but there it was.

Are there other professions that have the same sort of hystericalness of speech when it's removed from context and thrown into general reality? Is the sense of humor of a 13 year old boy mandatory to make it funny or is it just an added bonus for me?

Gold medal of Patient Teacher to KNQD. There is a knitter working on the "class sock" from a book. Each week she has come seeking guidance and admits herself that she's concerned about driving people crazy with her questions. She is plenty friendly but there is a certain helpless quality in her requests for assistance. I am NO GOOD with that. Can't. Won't. Do it. KNQD, on the other hand, was a paragon of patience. She repeated and rephrased all of her instructions as many times was necessary.

Three Cheers for a teacher that doesn't insist that her students learn as fast as she does.

And while we're at it, Three Cheers for Gina and the blog readers at Mercy for validating this blog for another week.

And why not Three Cheers for Darla for still not knitting a gauge swatch on her most recent knit.

Chris should have Three Cheers for picking up and redoing sleeves that I would have burned with glee as a sacrifice to that wily Knitting Goddess

Three Cheers to Dee for doing another monkey.

And Three Cheers for out of context speech that Cracks Me Up!

and.. lest I forget... Three Cheers to me for finishing a pair of socks.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monkey See Monkey Do

I am a tactile sort. When I go to knit night, I look at what everyone's doing when it's show and tell but afterwards I secretly imagine what it would feel like to knit/crochet what someone else is doing. If I like the way I think it feels I am the copycat girl. At least that's the reason I'm giving for crocheting a few warshrags this weekend. KNQ Debbie's looked so fabulous and I was jealous of her hands.

Also, does sewing on a button count as a finished object?

Mr. Sophanne was indeed the ho-ho-hoer in yesterday's post. He's such a sport.

Shortly after I finished the post I realized that there needed to be more said about The Claw. (In case you didn't read the comments Claw, there were multiple requests for more. You're a Star!)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Christmas in April

Back in October at a Harvest Festival I bought this box of sleighbells for $20.

I have a talented friend at the music store. I call him The Claw. He renovates toy pianos, plays with wood, and just "does stuff" with wood, metal, bamboo, light fixtures, whatever comes his way. He is also a master tailor and requires no patterns when sewing. Just look and cut. The Christmas in March stocking was a gift to him after he requested one on or about December 21st.

There's a whole lot more to say about The Claw (including the fact that his ENTIRE HOUSE is circa. 1950 with NO modern day aberrations other than a computer) but I must stay focused.

Several years ago, The Claw and I looked at sleigh bells in antiques places, marveling at the magical sounds and exorbitant prices. When I found this box of sorry-a$$ed bells I delivered them directly to him. They sounded great but had seen better days.

Last Thursday on my visit to the music store I received these:

And they sound like this:

Solvents would not clean them and his hands were wounded and chafed from the wire brush needed to make them happen but I think it was well worth it! What a great friend I have.

Friday, April 11, 2008

IWITTWFF (I Wish I Thought This Was Funny Friday)

Welcome to a new feature- "I wish I thought this was funny Friday." I'll wait and see if it catches on.

Yours truly has been the faculty senate president going on about 10 years now. I agree to this each year because I can keep the meetings down to 30 minutes (as opposed to 3 hours) without stepping on too many toes.

I may have failed in that mission today but sometimes toes just need to be stepped on.

Teacher: Why can't we make any copies on these machines? Why don't these other machines work? What are we supposed to do?

This would be a valid concern if not for the fact that we have this same conversation in one form or another at EVERY faculty senate meeting.

Sophanne: Here are the answers to your questions and the things that have been done to in an effort to solve these difficulties. If you have trouble with a specific machine, you really need to talk to Miss Parent Volunteer.

Miss Parent Volunteer is a priceless mainstay at the school. Always Always Always there to do whatever crap work needs to be done so that teachers can teach. You have to be pretty offensive to get her riled up.

Teacher: Some of us are afraid of getting our heads bit off because Miss Parent Volunteer goes into a rage if you ask her.

Sophanne: I'm sure we're all adults here and can find ways to communicate with Miss Parent Volunteer in a respectful way so that we can all get what we need. We're all on the same side.

in my head: HEY A$$hole! If Miss Parent Volunteer loses it on you, it's time to do a little self-check to see what stupida$$ thing YOU did to make it happen. Also given that you are the COLLEGE EDUCATED TEACHER and not one of your first graders and not a volunteer who gets dumped on all of the time, why don't YOU do YOUR OWN conflict resolution. This is not in my hula hoop!

Some of you may see this post for what it really is- a chance to spout the in my head statements so that I don't break anyone's ankle (as opposed to stepping on their toes) What's that one Irish blessing about God breaking the ankles of our "enemies" so we can see them coming?

Really cool Christmas post coming soon! It pays to knit Christmas Stockings in March.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Phenomena of Five

I know some of you have kids this age, some don't. Maybe this happens at home, maybe not.

Picture a large room full of various musical instruments and a giant area carpet. There's a music teacher in there who has about 5 minutes between classes to put away materials from one class and get ready for the next. This music teacher doesn't fall high on the neatly put things away bell curve. In fact she's on the low end.

Also a factor is the fact that the students that filter in and out wear shoes. Shoes that they have worn outside to recess. Sometimes they get to dance on the area carpet.

Now imagine kids that are 5 come into the room. As they sit waiting to see what delights await them, they explore their immediate surroundings. Some of these kids (thanks to good parenting I'm assuming) score off the charts on the neatly put things away bell curve.

These children pick up any random object within the invisible force field that surrounds them, bring it up to said music teacher and announce "I found this."

In my head- You didn't FIND it! It was laying in a disorganized mess in our general area!

They "find" pebbles, erasers, pieces of sticks, earring backs, minute pieces of string. You name it, it's been found. Their finds are either artifacts left from a previous class or a random shaker or drum that I've failed to properly put away.

One time with a particularly clever student teacher, I "planted" things to be "found." They had a 100% success rate and found things that weren't even part of the experiment.

All I'm saying is if you've got kids that complain about not being able to find important things, just tell them to pretend they're in the music room.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Quit Quite (knit night)

A summary report-

Chris didn't bring any knitting. She just showed up for the entertainment.

Debbie crocheted a potholder

Darla worked on Calorimetry.

MaryMac MakeMeLaugh told of getting a thank you note from a shoe store (after purchasing 3 pairs of shoes, a purse and a bracelet) and a free shoe horn from another store. What is the protocol on shoe horns? Are they reusable or disposable. Was she treated to a special treat or do they do that for everyone?

I finished a sock.

I love knit night. Even in it's quieter moments. I've been quieter lately. I wonder if the two are related.

Interesting blog fodder has been elusive this past week. On Monday I was tempted to post a Seinfeld-esque diatribe on pillows. How many do you need to fall asleep? What's with the feather pieces sticking out? Why does the thought of having to put on clean pillow cases (the effort involved) make me think I don't really need to change the sheets- even with dog bone pieces in them? I also considered looking at the rest of the week through Jerry Seinfeld's filter. So far it hasn't happened other than the pillow talk.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are having a "bring your dog to the game" day on August 29. We are SO there. The "static" collar is doing it's job. Liza playfully romps outside and is never too far afield.

that's all I've got.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Removing the Funk

Hey thanks for making me laugh. Puberty=Poverty - too funny.

Things I've done this weekend to avoid being cranky-

1. Read Wicked. Not done yet. Some of you who asked me for a review will like it. Others won't.

2. Found a sock pattern that I like knitting (beaded rib from Sensational Knitted Socks) k2p2 then a K row.

3. Got 75% of a sock done in that pattern in some Koigu KPPMMMM

4. Mailed some yarn to Ruth

5. Started the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl in Cherry Tree Hill. The FairyGodknitter is such an inspiration. Think good post-op thoughts for her.

6. Laughed my a$$ off at Carol's idle musing.

7. Took the dog to Petco so she could get in some retail therapy. Also acquired the euphemistically named "static collar."

That's about it and now it's back to school Hooray that knit night is but 2 days away.

Friday, April 04, 2008

CMUS? Not so much

I've got my crank a crack-a-lackin'.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

snit snight

Bonnie said, "I spin."

This Cracked Sophanne Up.

UsAirMary asked Debbie if she needed any yarn. (scrap yarn to hold stitches).

In spite of knowing this, it also Cracked Me Up-given that we were in a yarn store.

Bonnie's got serious connections to the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber Festival- as in she's one of the "Sheep to Shawl" contest judges. She's connected. I'm hoping to get made. I hope there's no initiation.

I don't know who those Spinning Kids are- I just "you tubed" them. Crack a lacka me up. (By the way "get crack-a-lackin" is my new favorite thing to say to kids- thank you Yarny Old Kim.)