Monday, June 30, 2008

addicted you say?

So while at the LYS there was a namaste "pocketbook" thing. No one was admiring it other than myself and yet as I perused the addi turbo laceweights, I kept my eye on it making sure no one picked it up. I also did this as the other customers looked at the needles I wanted (which they had plenty of.) These things were not on sale. There were only 2 other customers there. The odds of them purchasing the last thing of everything I wanted was minimal. And yet... I'm pretty sure this is a sign of some sort of addiction.

I came home with the bag, some needles and one of those groovy cool magnetic things to keep track of charts. How could I possibly buy yarn with at least 6 projects on the needles and as many as 3 in my head. How could I possibly leave the LYS without a purchase? Fortunately one can never have too many accessories (though I ask you, what do you consider an excessive number of additurbo laceweight #7 24" needles?)

Friday, June 27, 2008

just pretend it's Thursday.

No 8th grade day would be complete without a visit to some puppies.


An update on my 8th grade adventures.

I picked up MissMags from a softball game on Wednesday Night.

Thursday began with a trip to the grocery store to purchase Diet Coke and Mentos. We dropped these off with The Claw (Mr. Sophanne wanted us to have adult supervision. Claw was the closest I could come) and headed to a Chinese Buffet for lunch.

Then we saw "The Love Guru." It might have been funnier if there were other people in the theater. Not too many takers at a 12:30 showing.

Return to the Claw. Mentos experiment complete. Not quite as nice as this one but amazing nonetheless. The Claw beat MissMags to the first bottle. My favorite line of the day was when he said "It won't happen right aw...phphphphphphphphphphphtttttttt."

This was followed by a trip to the grocery store to purchase taco stuff to make for dinner. Made only slightly annoying by the discovery of a laser pointer by the real eighth grader.

The late afternoon was spent with video games, the dog, and making tacos. The evening was topped off by the Last Comic Standing.

I think I'm done being an 8th grader for a while. I'm glad other people have kids.

Whispering update- I discovered that my problem with me as the chew toy was that I didn't have the strength to really subdue her with just my hands. She thought I was playing. A gentle and calm body slam around 8:00 pm has been settling everything down.

Other good news on the dog front is that we've found a lovely and kind vacation home as we travel acroos the country. While I know I will whimper at our departure, I feel really happy that she will be extremely loved while we're gone.

Knitting update- all train projects have been started. At least that's my excuse for startitis. I have some skeins to wind for the journey. I think I may be able to bring everything that I'm working on except Medallion. After all, who needs clothes?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ah and did I mention...

While I was distracting you with adventures, I cast on for yet another project (see this post if you need a refresher) and wound some 100% silk laceweight which might become Icarus on the Train if I can find my Best of Interweave book.

Yes, I am the knitter who is working on an alpaca sweater in the summer. It was crying from the stash saying, "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? YOU LOVE ME!!" What's a girl to do? I'm going with that I Knit What I Want philosophy.

Mr. Sophanne calls the bone in yesterday's post Liza's dinosaur bone. I'm preferring to ignore what it might actually be. In other summer projects, there is an ongoing quest to photograph decent roadkill for Yarny Old Kim. After missing several opportunities of rare and exotic exhibits, the camera is now essential to each walk. This morning we saw a live fox (as opposed to Thursday's dead one)

I must say that while I haven't been able to get Liza to cooperate in the 10 minutes that Cesar would be able to, there is a new pecking order here in House of Sophanne and it's been much more pleasant. That guy is brilliant.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vanfox23 Visits Vanquishes Vexing Socks

Vanfox23 came over with the kids today and learned how to assemble a sock. Wanting to get "the basics" we skipped most of the leg and the foot. It looks like the dinosaur mistake sock for the club footed person.

Meanwhile her two girls showed Liza the time of her life and when they got tired of that, took some awesome pictures!

Congrats to Vanfox23 and thanks so much for the sleepy puppy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Adventure Update

My efforts at magically becoming the Dog Whisperer Pack Leader have been met with mixed results. In spite of this picture, "the walk" is going relatively well. This one was taken at the end of a second walk of the day and enough was enough. We have our nightly battles as to whether I will be the chew toy. They've become a little shorter. This is definitely a worthwhile summer adventure. There has been progress.

I think Mr. Sophanne looks like he's fighting hazardous waste. Really he's just pimped out for weed eating. What a guy.

The adventure to the big 'burg was a moderate success. We caught the trolley in South Hills Village and rode it to Gateway Center. As Magalena pointed out, the science center looked a lot closer on the map. Here I am on the Ft. Duquesne Bridge. The Science Center and Heinz Field are off in the distance. The Titanic exhibit was good if you like that sort of thing. I would have been fine watching the whole business on a Discovery Channel special.

Carnegie Science Center is just a little "young" for the 13 yo set. There was a Lionel Train exhibit that held our attention and a tour of the U.S.S. Requin which reaffirmed what I already suspected- submarine life would not be for me. The Three Rivers Arts Festival was going on but our dogs were tired and we headed home.

The best part of the adventure WAS adventuring and laughing with the eighth grade sense of humor. After seeing "How's My Driving?" bumper sticker things deteriorated into imagining kindergarteners with signs that said "How's my coloring? Call 1-800-BITEMEE" The worst part of the adventuring was watching her "shut down" as she saw the day coming to an end. Thus, there will be more adventures.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Meme Answers

Thanks for the funny guesses. Also, there is no story behind the tuna casserole except with lots of noodles and cheese, even tuna can be good and is something I can cook. We made it to the Big 'Burg today but I'm beat. A report and a few pix tomorrow. As for now, the "answers" to the meme and the pictures that accompany them.

1. What is your first name? Becky- the name of the dog, bottom right
2. What is your favorite food? ice cream
3. What high school did you go to? Wheeling Park - the car wreck- how appropriate
4. What is your favorite color? green frog and the leaf photo
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Mr. Rogers
6. Favorite drink? The clock says "Bromo Seltzer" We love seltzer at The House of Sophanne
7. Dream vacation? Peru
8. Favorite dessert? Boston Creme Pie
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Buddhist nun
10. What do you love most in life? nature
11. One Word to describe you. The bird's came up with the keyword grace. Not being willing to describe myself, I used the word I would hope to describe me
12. Your flickr name. Nothing came up for sophieannabelle so I just used annabelle and that's the cow's name.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My creation

My creation
Originally uploaded by sophieannabelle

I saw this meme today on byflutter. I've seen it before and wanted to try it with flickr. I don't have it exactly right and the pictures aren't in order but I like the collage it made. That being said, it might be funny to try to figure out which picture goes with which question! But only if you're bored and with nothing to do.

What is your first name?
What is your favorite food?
What high school did you attend?
What is your favorite color?
Who is your celebrity crush?
Favorite drink?
Dream vacation?
Favorite dessert?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do you love most in life?
One word to describe you.
Your Flickr name.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

another summer blog post- just because I can

Lorna's Lace scarf has 61 stitches instead of 60. Montego Bay stole has 44 instead of 43. I hate it when that happens.

Another summer plan that I failed to mention was that each day I have set myself the goal of doing something that I either really hate to do or that I haven't done either at all or in a long time.

I went to a new yarn store, took Liza on a new trail, had company at my house, bought clothes for myself, drove to South Hills Village before going to knit night, and made tuna noodle casserole. I also ended 2 months worth of procrastinating and got my car inspected. I swear my therapist must have called the car inspection guy to tell him to make it as pleasant as possible. He didn't even check the lights! We talked politics instead. What a trip.

Having managed such greatness with only 6 actual days of vacation, I'm moving on to a bigger risk. Tomorrow night I'm picking up Magalena (a former student going into 8th grade with a crappy-ass life history-none of it her own fault) after a softball game in the 'burg. She'll stay the night here and early Friday morning we're going to catch the Trolley in South Hills Village, take it to the Gateway Center stop, WALK across the Ft. Duquesne Bridge and go see the Titanic Artifact Exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center. She saw the tv ad for the exhibit and said it was something she'd like to see. Go figure. It fit in with the whole "do new stuff" business, so I've committed myself. Just another small step into the land of "grown-up-ville." Hope I remember my camera.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

oh yeah, it's summer vacation.

I'm trying not to embrace it too too much because as one blogger pointed out, it's only 90 days (more like 70 for us.)

The summer plan as I've set it this year involves a daily routine of doing one thing I don't like that makes our lives better (laundry dishes etc), one thing that Mr. Sophanne needs done so he won't be jealous of summer vacation, one thing for the dog and then knit. The details are not worth writing about but it's been pleasant thus far.

I've watched one episode of the Dog Whisperer and now delusionally confidently believe that I will be able to wean Liza of her little annoying habits (primarily the one where I am the chew toy-come to find it's the way pack mates play together. ) I'm going to work on being leader of the pack. The click training is awesome for teaching new things. This morning I bought a "choke" collar (I hate that name) to correct bad habits. She's a smart smart dog so if it doesn't work, it's not her who's to blame.

Part of the summer knitting includes making use of the many resources I have at home and perusing my knitting library. Last night I picked up Mindful Knitting by Tara Jon Manning.

It prompted some reflection on the "kinds" of knitting (insert your favorite fiber-related activity here) there are. I'm thinking it goes on beyond the standard process vs. product. Actually I think there are likely some subdivisions in the process category.

The book encourages mindful knitting; embracing each stitch, living in the now of each stitch and very likely as a result living more mindfully outside of the knitting space. I've gotten to that place maybe once while knitting.

Usually though I am "frantically knitting" (monkey mind knitting) hoping that mindfulness (and ease of mind) will magically appear. Sometimes it does sometimes it doesn't.

Compulsive knitting is one I do now and again. Knitting because I feel I have to. I have a slightly compulsive personality and have to keep this one in check every now and again. I can tell when I'm in that zone when I find myself pretending that I'm paying attention to some comment Mr. Sophanne has made about something on t.v.

Avoidance knitting occurs when there are things on my "must do" list that I don't want to do. This one has a partner called "Reward Knitting" which is what I do when I've actually accomplished something on the "must do" list.

Knit Night knitting has less to do with knitting than with the people I'm knitting with. It's also a good time to learn new stuff. Progress on any given project is less important than the forward progress of the community.

Having only given this idea an hour or so worth of thinking, I'm sure I'm missing some. What say you?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

WIPS to KIP- an Inventory

Lest you think there has been no knitting in these parts, I thought it was time for a photo session and a WIP update.

First up- the pattern is Montego Bay Scarf from IK (summer 2007 I think). The yarn is a silk/merino handspun from the Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber festival 2 summers ago.

My knitting modus operandi is to buy the yarn I love and hope that the pattern will come. Of late I've also been trying to realize that keeping it simple is not always wrong. Although it's amazing how easy it is to turn 43 stitches into 42 when working a K2tog yo pattern.

Next- My first attempt at a basic EZ EPS system pullover with some colorwork. The yarn is from MDSW. The coloring above is what I hope to be the yoke pattern when I get brave enough to move on.

The pillow (Royal or Regal something) from Holiday knits is slowly making progress. I bought some reading glasses (argh) this weekend to aid progress. This chart is so itty bitty and I've not really mastered the enlarge button on the xerox machines. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the chart.

This is the Lettuce Leaf scarf in Lorna's Lace. I've made it through 6 repeats of the pattern and it's been getting easier as I go thanks to index cards. Again- I think it's all about finding the right pattern to match the fiber. We won't talk about those 8 stitches that slipped off about 10 minutes ago that may not have been returned to the needles exactly so. We also won't talk about the dog thinking that Lorna's Lace was "a crime" and taking a bite out of it, requiring me to bring in yarn in the middle of the row.

Now it's time for "true confessions." I really didn't think I was going to win Ruth's Medallion contest. I had already decided that I was going to make that bag and was not willing to wait. Then I won so I have a green one started and enough yarn to do a dark blue/light blue one (thanks to Ruth) Honestly I think this was why I haven't posted knitting pictures. I've felt guilty that I started it and then won enough for another. The truth has set me free.

And finally. I'm thinking I've found the pattern for this alpaca from MDSW.

The February Lady Sweater -raverly link- (EZ's baby jacket for grown ups) I hate that name. Maybe I'll call it the "Febulady Sprize" I need something with some holes in it for this heavy alpaca and the pattern recommends a 2 color sort of fiber for good effect.

We will not discuss the many socks that are on the needles. There is an internal struggle to do magic loop (or at least socks on 2 circs) that has left me in limbo in the sock world for the time being. Babette has 2 more panels that need to be sewn together. One of these days there's going to be a Big Ole FO Bonanza.

Friday, June 13, 2008


It was in the car.

Right next to where I took the lunamoth picture.

Thanks for the finding thoughts.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Uh. Oh.

Can't. Find. The. Camera.

It. Was. Expensive.

Send. Finding. Thoughts. PLEASE.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Really, what is enough?

My BuddhaNature tells me I have enough. The bins of yarn from MDSW suggest I have enough.

And Yet.

Bought 12 skeins of Cascade, 800 yards of some gorgeous laceweight, and some sock yarn at a LYS that I had never been to before. (We won't talk about books or addi turbo laceweight needles)

Now it's enough. I'm sure of it.

Maybe I just need to use skeins of yarn as home decor. And needles as hair accessories. It's not like I do great things regularly with them. I just like having them.

I know. Preaching to the choir.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Chicken Bob or Maybe it's the heat. (cmus friday edition)

So I'm not going to say anything bad about our physical education teacher. He's not one of those cocky jock-types. He's not the kind and nurturing type (much anyway). He gives out more discipline slips than anyone else in the school. He was a substitute teacher for about 15 years before he got this job. Those of you with good line-in-between-reading skills probably have an accurate portrait.

He'll "do you a solid" when you need it and I don't hate working with him- even when he does explain the Marmaduke cartoon to us in the teacher's lounge presuming that because we didn't laugh when he read it to us that we didn't get it.

Today in the teacher's lounge two other colleagues were talking about a construction tractor that was stolen from a site nearby. They were discussing crime (of the rural sort) in general and comparing notes.

Mr. Gym inserted himself into the conversation at a paused moment and said, "It doesn't matter how many times I tell those teachers not to do it, they still let kids into the equipment room to get things for recess. I have things on my desk and my records in there. Now if someone would have asked I would have probably given it to him but when I came back on Thursday the rubber chicken that's been in there for years and years was missing."

me- "someone stole your rubber chicken?"

him (reflecting and a little doleful)- "yea."

I was kind of waiting for him to add "It was my favorite chicken."

At that point I had to leave. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the anticipation of the school year ending. Maybe you have to know him. Maybe you had to hear my internal dialogue, but I was about ready to spit out my food and eat some more and spit it out again from trying not to laugh.

I went directly to the office and said "We need to call Sheriff Dare. Mr. Gym's rubber chicken is missing." (insert secretary spitting food here.)

I made two signs for him (as if I had nothing better to do on the last day of school but really, mostly I didn't.) One was a Wanted poster with Colonel Sanders' picture and another was of a rubber chicken asking "Have you seen me?"

I went in to make sure they didn't make him mad (you never know) and I was laughing laughing but never really said at what. I figured he knew. He laughed heartily with me and then said, "you should go look in my office, someone put up a wanted sign for Colonel Sanders." I wonder what he thought I was laughing at.

Later that day he went to the secretary (in all serious and I'm not even kidding-I kind of wish I was) and asked her to announce over the intercom that if anyone has seen "Chicken Bob" to please return him to the equipment room. I give the end of the day announcements and did as was requested. It may have also been me clucking on the intercom after the kids left and calling "there he goes...."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Z is for Zimmerman (however predictable)

I've read various accounts of those knitting with Elizabeth Zimmerman. My opinion is that if you started with her guidance and it's all you knew, you'd be a knitting genius. If you learned about knitting stuff in the more traditional learn to knit, make a scarf, learn to purl, learn to read a pattern sort of way, she can be a little intimidating.

Yesterday's comment about finding a series you love and watching it on DVD called to mind my EZ videos and books. I did begin working on the EPS sweater. I am a little nervous about it all working out. I feel good at the start but clearly as you work your way up the sweater, things get a little more complicated.

I think one summer goal will be to work my way through the two dvd's- particularly the knitting glossary one. Who knows what I might learn.

June of Spinning, July of Lace with EZ sprinkled throughout.

I cast on another lace-like thing last night- the Rose Lace Stole (Ravelry link) from Vogue Knitting Shawls on the Go in some cobweb misti alpaca. Steps I have taken to overcome obstacles-

1. I swatched a little bit with worsted weight to become acquainted with the pattern.

2. When I swatched I only put in one of the pattern repeats to ease my confusion.

3. I read and will continue to read Romi's tutorials of late.

4. I realized the advantage of stitch markers when it comes to pattern repeats.

I can't tell you how many times I've tried a provisional cast-on. I think I've got it (I put the provisional yarn where the "long tail" woudl be and the "real yarn" over my forefinger. What I don't know is what happens when you try to take it out because I have never gotten past three rows that far.

Hey kidz- it's the end of the alphabet- I wish I had taken it more seriously at the first letter. I could have won another one of Ruth's contests. As it is I'm sure I'm disqualified for the entry "A is for Knit Night" as well as the two posts in between A and B. It was a fun endeavor. My entries weren't nearly as profound as others I have seen but at least it gave me a goal in coming up with titles.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

y is for yo mama and yo mama and yo mama

Those are the folks that will be at the 5th grade graduation today.

The elements of a decent blog composition have escaped me lately as I have been busy breathing my way through the snits and snats of the last few days of school.

One thing to make me laugh is that at knit night last night Darla said, "Someone could fart crossways and Canonsburg would have a parade." Apparently the parade mania has been featured on Good Morning America but I have no time to find a suitable link.

Sheepish Annie describes using index cards as her summer organizational tool. I too think it's a good idea to have some summer goals-even if I don't meet them. Mr. Sophanne's latest idea was a "things we need to do around the house list." Number one on the list was to figure out what to put on the list.

That being said, I'm open to creative suggestions (as in stuff other than knitting and household chores-the former being obvious and the latter ridiculous) as to how to entertain myself this summer. Let your minds roam free. Just remember I don't love to drive-and thanks in advance.

Now, everyone quietly chant "go home with yo mama, go home with yo mama."