Wednesday, December 30, 2009

shawl collared vest again

Eco-Wool stretched as it should when blocking.

I think I need smaller buttonhole loops. Or maybe less of a tab. I might redo them later.

Liza sneaks in just to let you know she's paying attention

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One less sheep to count

Maybe this will mean better night's sleep and less A.D.D.

Monday, December 28, 2009

If cooking were involved

I'd lead a one-car parade down a dead end street.


This recipe COULD NOT be any easier.

1. Melt chocolate, butter, sweetened condensed milk.

2. Add vanilla and nuts.

3. Spread mixture over frozen cookie dough. Top with remaining cookie dough.

My alleged "chocolate revel bars" will be vanilla-free and have the nuts sprinkled on top.

And I was so proud of myself for taking out the recipe book just in case because I've seen my friend Laura do it and it works. I was following the recipe

Attention Deficit Adults were not meant to be cooks.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

as seen on t.v.

I have one of these now. It's pretty slick. The first household appliance that doesn't take up more room than it's worth and requires less clean up than the traditional way of doing things. Eggs, here I come.

I found a home for the giant hat. I think I'll spare the recipient the exposure of her giant noggin but in truth- it's a little big on her too.

I'm about 2/3's of the way through another shawl collared vest in Cascade EcoWool w/size 10 needles. When I was at this point last time I thought I was 90% of the way through. That shawl collar takes some time to knit. I have my fingers crossed. Things are gong much smoother this time.

That's what I know. Egg salad anyone?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

more bad knitting and other stuff

My lack of gauge checking continues to confirm my stupidity. Just in case anyone was wondering.

You've already read about this one. The shawl-collared vest that was too small. Going to Ms. Deb in the morning. FairyGodKnitter mentioned trimming the steeks in her vest on her blog and I had an "aha" moment and the inside looks much better.

New in the Gauge Fiasco of 2009-

The Lusekofte Cap that's me underneath it.

from this book-

This terrible rendition is by no means the fault of Charlene Schurch. She said to use size 6 needles with worsted weight. The Encore that I knitted with read 5 stitche to the inch with 8 inch needles. Rather than actually checking for gauge, I knit the extra large with size 7 needles, as the hat was intended for Mr. Sophanne and he has a very big brain-surrounded by and even bigger skull.

This version is the "check for gauge" and more willl follow. It's just so lovely. When I looked through the book I felt like knitting each one. How often does that happen?

For you fixers out there, it's 75% nylon and 25% wool. I don't think there's enough there to felt though I'll probably try it. What posessed me to buy acrylic?

In more news, I believe that LizaJane was probably the dog of Captain Bluebeard in a former life. Do you remember reading about his trusty canine pal "BlueFoot?"

Someone around here (some DOG around here) has been getting just a little antsy with the weather and the lack of w-a-l-k-s (I'm even afraid to type that word without spelling it lest she go into convulsions) In protest she's taken to vandalizing the house while we're away. Today it was the blue printer cartridge on the shelf. Can I just say how glad I am when it's something that Mr. Sophanne has "left out" and not me?

And finally- you know they're good slippers when you can remember and imagine what they'll feel like on your feet before they even arrive. I'm not one to promote products but this was the best $50 I've spent in a long time. They've reinforced the back of the heel where the last pair blew out on me so as long as Bluefoot keeps away from them, just call me Happy Feet.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nature is Having A Party!

And the decorations are AWESOME!

There are even games- this one's called "Find the snowball in the snowpile." It's Liza's favorite.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If at first...

Yea, so the steeked vest is too small. It's what you get when you think-"gauge? What gauge?" I sort of knew it would be so. There is a lovely smaller person at school that it will be going to as long as the crochet edging holds. I'm hoping the blocking sort of settles it all.

Let me just say I would like to marry the shawl collar. I've cast on another one in Cascade eco-wool. It's marled and I know the cables won't pop but maybe I just like to know as many flaws ahead of time as I can. How else can I explain it? Also I'm happy to be working from the stash.

As the leader of the holiday program, this year's show was no disappointment.

Act I Choir- Sing to yourself the last line of "Have yourself a Merry LIttle Christmas." Here I'll help ...and have yourself a merry little Christmas now.....", Now at the end add a fifth grade boy barfing down the back of a 5th grade girl, respectfully trying to hold it in his hands. He later told me he waited until the song was over because he didn't want to stop singing.

Add the Bob Newhart microphone moments by me announcing there would be a slight delay (followed by the custodian on clean up crew who deserved a standing ovation as far as I was concerned. Also worthy of recognition was the art teacher who wisely suggested to me that we clean it up BEFORE Pre-K comes out.) This was followed by an announcement asking for the 5th grade boy's mother please report to his classroom. Poor 5th grade boy no one was there.

Act II Pre-K- I don't teach these darlings. Their Pre-K teacher prepares them for the show but at one moment there was a 4 year old with his shirt up, going to town on his newly discovered belly button and balancing between the space between two unconnected risers. Disaster was averted as he was engaged by the motions of their second song.

Act III Kindergarten singing and clapping to a little ditty called "Angel Band." One over-enthusiastic clapper bonked another in the nose. The way he was holding it I thought he was bleeding. This K'er is notorious for demanding attention at socially inappropriate times, so when he was shouting "MRS. SOPHANNE! MRS. SOPHANNE!" all of the aides thought he was just doing a little acting out. Kids continue to sing, I continue to accompany on the piano and finally my favorite aide comes to the rescue. Little K'er suffered no blood loss and all was well.

The rest of the program was uneventful other than the fact that I clearly can not read music when I'm not distracted by a million different things. Give me a classroom full of kids, behavior, memorized piano accompaniments, watching the clock, listening to hear if they are singing rather than yelling and I'm full speed ahead. Give me the chance to just accompany and I have the concentration level of a belly-contemplating pre-K-er.

I'm guessing the audience is hoping that Santa brings me piano lessons for Christmas. And Miss Deb, the recipient of the shawl collared- steeked vest is hoping that a measuring tape NEVER crosses my path!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

hopefully the last lesson learned re steeking

So when you set up your steeking you knit 5 extra stitches and cut in the middle one. My newfound knowledge is that there is a reason you have 2 extra stitches. Therefore, when picking up for the edging, use the second one and not the one right next to the cut. Also be very careful. I think I avoided any major disasters but last night was not without some frustration. After finishing one vest armhole and shoulder seam I can say that this is by far the most "finished" looking item I've made in spite of the slips and slides.

more to follow

Saturday, December 12, 2009

more on steeking

Technical knitting stuff post ahead.

When steeking, Brooklyn Tweed said start the crocheting on the left side. Yarnhog taught me that when they say that, they mean the left side "AS YOU WEAR IT."

I followed BT's advice. I failed to follow Yarnhog's.

This means that the crocheted stitches on the cardigan opening were more on the outside of the cut than on the inside. Everything is holding- there's no crisis. The finishing shawl collar should disguise the fact that the cut edges do not gracefully fold inside.

I did follow the directions on the sleeves and they have turned more inward.

Last sleeve cut in 2 minutes. I'll be doing this again (I think) so Donna, you will get to see it some time before too long.

Friday, December 11, 2009

That's Frahnken-steek

My oh so favorite movie Young Frankenstein is on AMC at this very moment. Oh how that movie makes me laugh at every instant.

It's now been 2 work weeks that Mr. Sophanne has been w/out transmission in his vehicle. Dealership-GM rep negotiations continue. This evening I called my 9th grade buddy Miss Mags and told her "I got the car for tomorrow!" and we'll be going for a Red Lobster lunch and a Barnes and Noble Spree. Spree for her. Restraint for me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Let me tell you this about steeking. Practice steeking is MUCH more relaxing than "real steeking." Practice steeking right after going to the workshop to learn to do it is a laugh, a party, a victory, a dance with wolves (is that a good thing?)

Knitting for two weeks only to cut a column of stitches out is just a little scarier even if you've seen it work a bazillion times (or maybe just twice.)



No, it's pronounced Eyegore bwah hah hah hah....what hump.....walk this way I know you don't need a play by play but it's so so funny.

Anyway- the pictures suck but you can see that I took the plunge, cut the sweater and it seems to be staying in one piece. I've yet to cut the sleeves. Donna- I don't think I'll be able to wait until Wednesday.

I also need to read a little more and figure out how Meg Swanson and EZ put this thing together after the steeks. I spent some time mentally processing the steeks as well as the shawl collar but forgot that I'd be connecting the shoulder seams with an i-cord cast off of some sort. I've watched the video but think I better just slow this puppy down and contemplate it's assembly before moving any further ahead.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cats and Dogs living together

What is the world coming to? Other random signs of these strange times...

It's 5:15 am and I am awake.

This is thanks to the fact that I have to be at work 30 minutes early for a meeting. I don't really need the extra hour and a half that this early hour gives me but I do need Mr. Sophanne home to help me get up. Even Liza stayed under the covers when I got up yesterday so I couldn't count on her one bit.

I learned to change a .wav file to an .mp3 file on itunes

This may mean very little to most of you- as in who gives a rat's a$$- but it was a slightly larger than small victory over technology yesterday and also prevented me from spending another random $25-$50 on a downloadable program that would do it for me.

While I have, in fact, been feeling very weary of holiday hoopla, I watched the entire hour of Santa Claus is Coming to Town last night (the pre-claymation one with Fred Astaire and Mickey Rooney)

Watching it made me feel a little sad for the multi-media inundated youth of today. It was such a special day in childhood when that came on. There was no other way/time to see it other than when the ABC network declared it so. (same with The Wizard of Oz). It makes me wonder what has taken its place in the world of "special things to wait for when you are a kid."

In a matter of days-at least by the weekend- I will be steeking for real (instead of practice)

I had some fiber festival unnamed hand-dyed wool that was going to be an EZ fair isle sweater. In spite of valiant efforts, it was pre-Brooklyn Tweed workshop and I couldn't live with what I knew could be better. I frogged it this summer and even reskeined the yarn. Now I have 16" of Meg Swansons shawl collar vest. Tonight I remove the sleeves, add stitches to the arms for future steeking and begin to create the v-neck. As with most things knit- rushing through the project is for fools and I have thus far been able to avoid that.

Any one of these items might suggest that there's something in the air. The fact that they are all existing together verifies it.

Cindy declared a surplus of exclamation points on her blog and I was able to afford some.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Adopt a sweater

Three cheers to finally admitting that a sweater was too small and finding a smaller person to put it on.

This CPH was the first sweater that actually had all the markings of a relatively decently made sweater- other than the fact that it didn't fit. That fact didn't stop me from wearing it. I have since made another that I have been wearing daily. When Mr. Sophanne's petite SIL came to visit this weekend and appeared to be chilly, it was time to turn a not success into a happy time. And so I did. Three cheers for being able to let go.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Owl Mitt

I has one.


Mr. Sophanne doesn't.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Whoo Whoo

The weeks adventure concluded with a trip to The Salty Sheep in Swansboro, N.C. It had some delicious yarn. Shelves and shelves of koigu and malabrigo. I picked up 2 skeins of Dream in Color Classy- in a color called Deep Sea Flower

photo from here

and promptly cast on for Sandy in Wonderland's Owl Mitts. They were a perfect accessory for reading Russian literature even if Crime and Punishment does happen in the summer. They only took half the day on Friday to finish so I began Noreen Hunter-Talbot's Owl Hat

I am grateful for free patterns. I should have probably skipped some of the plain knit rows when decreasing for the crown. It's a little pointy on the top but I think it will either block out or I'll work the crown again. Here's a crappy from the computer shot- not knowing when I'll be able to get a good one.

Nothing cures lace frustration like some yummy worsted on size 7 needles. Owl mitts seem to change my personality as well. Not sure if it's the owl factor or the mitt factor but I feel incredibly cool wearing them.

Lizzydoodle the travelin' dog was an angel on the way home. Though while I was the driver she tried her best to keep her head in my lap.

In an effort to maintain the beach feel, I took her for a walk and collected a pine cone instead of shells.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What I know

about knitting Juno Regina is that I can go for about one chart before my concentration wanes.

I also know that I regularly knit one chart and try another row of the next chart only to tink it out in the morning.

I've become a skilled tinker.

Some of you may notice a slight shift in the pattern between chart 2 and chart 3. This happened before I decided to get all perfectionist on my a$$.

Those of you with really keen lace vision will notice that my stitch count on the needles is off. I can't really tell you if it's by 1, 2 or 3 stitches. I haven't been able to get the same count yet this morning.

I set myself up for this crazy-making adventure by only bringing lace to knit. Isolation from easy knitting is the only way I'll ever actually focus my attention enough to attend to errors. Like I said, I can really outsmart myself. And Mr. Sophanne thought it was the rainy weather that was making me cranky.

If I can find my way out of this latest bungle, I'll begin chart 5A, go to chart 6 and have 200+ rows of relatively mindless knitting to go.

What I've learned is that in desperation I can find a way out of bungles. That's a decent lesson.

The other thing I realized (which was also coincidentally a little message in TNT's "The Closer" last night for anyone who watched it) was that wherever you go, you're still you. The clean and dirty clothes strewn in the extra bedroom, the corner of knitting, the dog bones on the floor, the spaghetti plate of computer cords. The ocean makes some of those quirks a little more palatable, but they travel with you. That may be something I'll look into when home for Christmas break. There's only so much one can learn in a week at the ocean.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Liza and the frisbee

This is LJ chasing a frisbee at the ocean. She is particularly proud of herself for going so close to the ocean to save the frisbee. True to form, she bypasses Mr. Sophanne and pretends to give it to me- which she inevitably does not.

A Road Trip

We went about 50 miles north to New Bern, NC. It's a cozy little place celebrating it's 300 year anniversary next year. There are painted bear statues throughout the city. Cute shops, a cupcake store, but this was my favorite part.

Good News

I found the camera cord in the "video bag" where I put it. I'm so clever I can trick myself.

Ready to go at 4:00 am

Mr. Sophanne making sure she's comfortable.

Cotton in the fields.

Doggie at the Ocean.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today, the ocean.

I am at the ocean today. The waves come in and the waves go out. They do not stop. I think that is amazing.

It was a 12 hour journey from home to here. LizaJane is a traveling dog. She is also a beach dog. Neither pictures nor words can accurately reveal the joy she expressed when she figured out it was the ocean and the beach.

Many birds are bigger than her and she leaves them alone. The ocean is bigger than her and she leaves it alone.

She is content to follow the many dog tracks in the sand. She is baffled by the vast number of times Mr. Sophanne or I say "wanna go for a walk?" I think the grand total yesterday was seven. happy dog.

There is a yarn store about 10 miles away called The Salty Sheep. I might feel like going there around Wednesday or so. For now I am happy to read, write, and knit.

Reading- KnitNightRuth gave me a book to read but I've yet to start it. Instead I am immersed in Russian Literature and rereading Crime and Punishment on the kindle. There is a newly published book of Russian short stories/fables/allegories called There once was a woman who tried to kill her neighbor's baby that I've been reading as well.

Writing- I also brought the book Writing Down The Bones and have, for at least the first beachday "freed the writer within."

Knitting- at the last minute I threw in an almost finished Noro BrooklynTweed scarf but other than that I brought only 2 lace knitting projects. Both are in Lorna's Helen's Lace. One is a cotton candy forest canopy shawl that is easily done without a pattern on size 2 needles.

The other is one that Margene at Zeneedle blogged about last week. The Juno Regina wrap. While the pattern for this can be found for free on, I am glad to have purchased the version that includes written directions- these directions mean I can go back and forth from the chart to the written directions and do not have to count the number of little knit boxes between the juicier bits.

Why yes, I did bring the camera and I have taken a few pictures- the coolest one so far (other than the happy dog photo) being of cotton on cotton plants. I hope believe however that the camera cord is on the dining room table at home. So much attention to detail nipped in the bud.

What I am not doing is- worrying about what's for dinner on Thursday, wondering how my elementary school holiday program will work itself out when I return, feeling guilty about everything I'm not doing in my home.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chain Gang

There's a crack me up knit night post coming sooner (or later) but until then, my blog reading led me to this etsy site. I'm going to post the picture and hope that celapiu from Etsy will consider it free advertising.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I was reading a cookbook in bed last night

... and when I woke up I was a little chili. Bwah hah hah hah.

Actually- Sophanne The Delusional Cook had some success with white chili (chicken, Great White Northern Beans in a chicken broth base) in the crock pot yesterday.

I also attempted Chocolate Revel Bars (for those of you literate in actual recipe names). These were made with a store bought refrigerated cookie dough on the bottom, a middle layer of melted semisweet chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in the and another layer (but not complete covering) of cookie dough on top. They sort of tasted like chocolate chip cookie brownies. They have some potential as soon as I can get it so that the bottom layer cooks at the same speed as the top layer.

Mr. Sophanne declared success for both which is all a delusional cook needs to try again.

There is some errant knitting to show.

The glow in this picture is as much "cashmere glow" as it is poor lighting. I finally busted out the cashmere and having nothing I wanted to risk with it am doing a scarf like something.

Here we've got another attempt at a bear and some malabrigo mittens. The bear seemed easier to do than the last ones. I still need work on the embroidered face and the ear placement.

And a gratuitous Liza picture from my birthday last week.

Friday, November 13, 2009

updates on chicken and cookery

After a little consulting I was informed that chickens, even when they get really good at laying eggs, cackle afterwards as if to say "Look! Idid it again!"

With all of that egg production/release it makes me wonder if chickens are in a constant state of PM$.

I purchased this book at our school book fair (Fast Fix One Dish Meals : More Than 350 Comforting Casseroles and One Pan Recipes in case you don't feel like looking at the link)

Bloggers will be excited to know that Sophanne, the Delusional Cook (sounds like a superhoero a little bit)is making a reappearance. When I told Mr. Sophanne that I would be going to the grocery store today after school his only words of advice were "Be Careful."

On the other hand, short of getting friends and colleagues to bless the book with sacred karma, I'm having them autograph it so I won't be so alone in the kitchen when I try things. Just a little something to crack them up during the day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

crackmeup because what else can you do?

Other things that have had me laughing lately-

In a recent post, Gayle at Mangofeet was writing about her pullets laying eggs for the first time. She wrote-

I always picture that first egg as quite the surprise - the little hen spinning around to look, with an exclamation of "What the hell was that?!?"

That is hysterical.

Also knitnightJen wrote me a Ravelry message that said,

you left a big gaping yo at knit night.

I've had to miss a couple of weeks thanks to some bone fragments floating around in the Mr. Sophanne's knee. As I pointed out to her, I've made dinner twice in a row this week. This demonstrates just how out of kilter things are here at House of Sophanne.

And for the first time since I started this blog I have some stealth knitting. Yes, I am knitting for one of the 5 or 6 regular (or irregular- who am I to say) readers. It's actually stealth crocheting. And usually I hate it when people announce that but since this is the first time it's ever happened, I think I should get a pass.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Any predictions?

So this morning I arrived at school at the regular time to find that I was 15 minutes late for a faculty meeting. No biggie with the new boss but it still throws a girl off for a minute or two.

Then as one of my most favorite angelic-voiced 5th graders sauntered smiling into school she said, "Good Morning Miss Sophanne. Did you dye your hair white?"

um. no.

Any predictions as to what the rest of the day will bring?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Happy Birthday to me.

It's Mitten City around here. Mittens are my new socks. I'll be happy when the pattern is completely memorized. Almost there.

My birthday sharing friend got me a book called Loose Leashes that I had been admiring at a scholastic bookfair. HOLY ANN GEDDES OF DOG PHOTOS. My new favorite thing.

I picked up my balloons and birthday cake today. Mr. Sophanne's knee is once again under the weather. The pick-up could have been the most pathetic thing I ever did until I saw a favorite student and had her help me put 24 purple and lime helium balloons in the car and then put some on her mamaw's car. That was some fun. She wondered what I could possibly do with 24 balloons not understanding the man ordering world of "more is better."

Also now that I think about it, one birthday I was doing laundry and went to dinner with a guy doing laundry. Not in a Meg Ryan-Tom Hanks kind of way. More in a Helen Hunt-Jack Nicholson kind of way.

Some 3rd graders were making jokes about being birthday paddled 44 times. One kid very innocently said "We'll need a bigger paddle." You got that right. My 44 yr. old a$$ is likely twice the size of my 22 yr. old one.

Liza the Dog has been with us for two years now. Whatever did we do pre-Liza?

There were many thoughtful cards and gifts. I am a lucky dog.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Today I wish that lettuce tasted more like french fries and that my bicycle seat on the trek trainer didn't feel like sitting on a desk corner.

Also Mr. Sophanne possibly wishes he could be age 9 again so that when one of his brothers said "I'm telling mom," he could say "yea, well I'm telling Jesus." Except his upbringing didn't really make that much of a threat and while I may not know everything about being Christian, I'm pretty sure there are some problems with that.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


the most ideal photo-ops occur when the camera rests happily at school.

The first picture is of the birthday-buddy mittens made for my birthday sharing friend at school.

The second and third are the "Let's Go Mountaineers!" sweater made top down from cascade. I've been chatting it up so much I thought I'd share a crappy picture of it. It's going to be a good fit and was the easiest sweater I've ever made. Although with the way the Mountaineers played football on Friday night, maybe I should rename the sweater.

I don't own any "be true to your school" clothes. This is as close as it gets. I'm not terribly fond of yellow gold in any articles of clothing. As I told the knitnighters- it's just enogh gold to say "go team" and the blue and brown are hanging out to say "shhh yellow gold- be QUIET!"

I "horsed up" (thanks knotmuchofaknitter for a great phrase) the decreases on the first sleeve preferring to think my brain knew what to do without looking to see which way the decreases were actually leaning. It was a mistake I could live with.

2/3's of a sleeve and a collar to go!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

This must be my yearly treat

because usually any baking attempt of late is a "trick."

It's some mundlebread- a jewish version of biscotti is as close as I can describe it.

It's not burned. It appears edible. I might have something to make for the next faculty breakfast!

Maybe it's time to get some almond paste, almonds, and dried cranberries and fancy it up next time.

Why, yes, sometimes I am delusional.

in the interest of full disclosure-in desperation and appreciation of this rare event I used the video camera camera to snap the picture

Friday, October 30, 2009

Here's a cute puppy you haven't seen yet. Aunt's dog- Mac. I think he looks like Yankee Doodle so sometimes I call him Macadoodle. Except sometimes I call Liza Jane Lizadoodle and she looks nothing like Yankee Doodle. Doodle must be my dog suffix. I never call the cat Annabelledoodle. Inquiring minds want to know.

Aunt's face doesn't look like that. She has regular human features- it's just not the best picture I've seen of her so I didn't want it to be her blog debut.

The top down sweater has 2/3's of a sleeve but is on short-term hold so that I can whip up some mittens for my birthday sharing friend.

I conveniently left the camera at school so don't count on any pictures from the puppy parade at the fairgrounds tomorrow. I'm such a forgetful flibberty-jibbet.

But... if you go here you can see what it looked like at school today. I'm the webmaster and also the photographer so you'll kind of get to see what kids look like when they're looking at me. The first picture is actually my birthday buddy in her washing machine costume. The guy in the Yankees uniform is the new and awesome principal leading the parade.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

housewarming gift extraordinaire

It was a nice Steubyville getaway though I am so regularly torn. I need to spend a weekend at home with husband and dog but my heart just wants to keep going back.

While asking questions about Uncle's family I learned of a peculiar housewarming gift Aunt received from an in-law on his side.

A cousin's wife brought her a bag of wishbones- real wishbones-and told her that if she painted them gold they would make for nice name tag holders at the dinner table.

Picture the thank you card. Dear ---, Thank you so much for the lovely turkey wishbones.

Crack-ed Me Up.

Still knitting on the top down plain old sweater. Ready for some ribbing on the bottom and some sleeves. Crossing my fingers that the amount of yarn I have will equal the amount of yarn I need.

Friday, October 23, 2009

All good things must come to an end...

and that's o.k. NYS (naive young student) finished his placement today. All was very quiet on the candy front. Perhaps he was waiting for someone to be thrilled at their not free candy. Didn't happen.

I am not terribly sad at the ending of this chapter. For as much fun as the candy was, the rest- not so much. That's how it is with young men and women finding their way in life. What they think they want to do and what they really should be doing sometimes don't interface. I will be glad to be teaching again.

It's another trip to Steubyville on Saturday. Trying to get as many in as I can before El Niño arrives.

There's a top down sweater that has about 5 more inches on the body and some sleeves to go.

House of Sophanne now proudly owns a Heavy Duty ShopVac to suck up the swarms of lady-bug wannabe Japanese Beetles that tornadoed our house.

We also found that Heavy Duty ShopVacs do a great job on the crevices that collect animal fur and dust in the corners of our home.

Mr. Sophanne has decided to do something to make the house nice for an hour every day. Yay him. I'm a little slow to join him but think I'm safe as long as I keep expressing gratitude at our shining home and keep the dog occupied.

The bug-catcher was purchased at the big box store that always makes you buy more stuff than you need. Liza got a frisbee. It's now chewed. Anybody have a recommended chew free frisbee source they want to share? I think we might be able to get her to do the BEST TRICK EVER in the doggie world if only we could find something that didn't taste so good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today at the candy machine....

before I even went in that direction he informed me that we weren't getting free candy but that someone was putting quarters into the machine. Imagine my surprise! I said "That's Hysterical!!! I wonder who's doing it?"

We questioned all of the likely suspects in the teachers lounge. He added up the amount of money someone must have spent to make it happen. We speculated that maybe it was the principal or the custodians. The mystery remained a mystery.

At the end of the day I confided in him (slightly fearful that he would be annoyed at being the brunt of it all but I can only hold a lie for about an hour or two before I fess up) that I indeed was the person who put the quarters in the machine. He asked me why and I said "Because I liked the idea of the magic candy machine." He said "I knew someone was doing it. It can be our little secret."

So he and I are tricking everyone into thinking that there is a little do-gooder in the building putting quarters in the machine and we aren't going to say who.

Shhh....mum's the word!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh the tangled web we weave...

Update on Candyland...

Machine refilled today. At first we thought there was no interest and the jig was up.

Then he revealed at lunchtime that he went in this morning and got a free KitKat bar.

Then he went to the custodian and told her he thought the candy machine was broken and that it was giving free candy.

Then, after seeing it's magic again at lunchtime when I got "free" M&M's, he later went to the secretary and said, "I think someone is playing a prank... I think there's money in there."

Secretary innocently replied, "Who would do such a thing?"

So now that it's taken this turn, I believe I will continue to be the "dupe" of the prank. I will fill it with money tomorrow once again and I can go in and get all of the "free" stuff and he'll think I really believe that it's free.

Bwah hah hah hah! Why does this make me laugh so much?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


In an attempt to continue the candy machine ruse, I put quarters in all of the slots of the vending machine today just before lunch. Secretary got a "freebie." I got a "freebie." Physed teacher (remember Chicken Bob?) got a "freebie." And, while my naive protégé looked longingly at the machine, he refrained. I was most disappointed, as yesterday he turned every knob when we walked in. I plan on refilling the slots again tomorrow- just in case. This will be the best $15 I'll have spent in quite some time.

Knit night tonight. I'm still mad at the chartreuse vest. Instead I am just past the break for the sleeves on a top down sweater ala Barbara Walker with some subtle college team colors. It's leftover Cascade from when I didn't make the EZ adult surprise jacket. I might be able to make six more.

Did I mention that last Sunday after returning home from my Steubyville visit, Mr. Sophanne made a Pot Roast in the Crock Pot and it was AweSome? I love that guy. I'm telling you because I think he is wondering if I blogged about it and I feel a little "oblogated."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

bloggy blogg blog

I still have not much to say but I do like to blog

What's made me laugh lately-

I'm thinking if I ever become a yarn producer I would call my company "Yahwn Yarn" then people from Boston or Brooklyn would sound like they're saying the same word twice.

Just a few minutes ago Mr. Sophanne used his nyah nyah boo boo voice and call Liza Jane "bone-eater."

We sang the theme from "Dallas" more than once at knit night on Tuesday. Also hummed quite nicely was the theme from the Andy Griffith show which I didn't recognize right away because none of us could whistle.

Finally- there is a naive young man under my tutelage who has been convinced (not by me) that the candy machine in the teacher's lounge sometimes magically dispenses candy if you just give the knob a turn. This illusion continued today when someone (not me) supplied the quarters to put in the slot ahead of time to dispense "free" candy. I think he's onto us but it's amazing what adults will do when surrounded by children.

I miscounted the number of stitches to divide in the neck of my chartreuse vest-to-be. Knit night Jennyfer offered a solution (making up the missed stitches in the middle thus creating a sort of not-v neck.) I finished it but am not in love and thus it rests in the "maybe next week" pile.

Finally- Country Music-I'm not a big fan of any kind. It's not my thing. And yet- while looking for angel songs to include in my upcoming holiday program I heard Alabama's "Angels Among Us." It might be my new secret favorite song-I'm looking forward to hearing 5th graders sing it- once I get past the narration/sort of singing at the beginning- I'll be adding a little melody and rhythm to that part.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

a feeling of accomplishment

The hat is Ysolda Teague's Urchin It's not exactly the type of yarn she called for so it looks more rasta-like and less urchin-like. The mitts are from Ann Budd's how to knit everything book.

Except It is completely incomprehensible to me why mitten pattern writers believe that it's reasonable to add only one stitch at the thumb gusset.

I said- break all the rules and I picked up and knit 4 (FOUR) that's right you read it here first 4Four stitches. At the next go across that part I k2'd tog and ssk-ed to get back to a sort of normal stitch count. So there.

For the first time in a month all of the clothes in my house are clean as is my dog and the dishes.

Here's to a week that isn't full of CrazyTown.

Friday, October 09, 2009

some knitting

There's been a little knitting here and there.

The pink/green mitten is LanaGrossa merino using Ann Budd's formula. Two are done- one has a thumb that needs re-done. One is completely thumbless. Why is it that every mitten I knit feels like a swatch? The yarn was supposed to be felted clogs-a gift from Yarnhog but she understands that things change. I'm thinking about Ysolda's urchin as a matching hat.

The gray is LanArt alpaca- $5/skein on sale from the Waynesburg fiber festival. I wasn't going to post tonight because I can't find the pattern to tell you what it is but I'm thinking you won't mind. It's going to be a lace stole but with the knit side looking so much like the purl side I just spent the last hour tinking 4 rows. I've got a big ole pile of the yarn so I'll knit until I run out. I'm pretending it's going to look gorgeous once it is blocked-and I've planned for the alpaca halo so it won't make me mad.

The finished angoraish CPH that was finished last summer has been worn several times and wins the prize for the best knit ever when it comes to size, weight, and comfort.

Speaking of Yarnhog, her ringing endorsement of the kindle and the fact that she got it for her birthday led me down the path of gadget. I have to get used to the fact that unlike the itouch, there's no touch screen but I think it's going to be a good purchase. I have no room for shelves. I have no more room for books. I like to read. win. win. win.

Now I have a kindle and a spinning wheel because Yarnhog does. I hope she doesn't decide to jump off a bridge.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Mr. Sophanne

The best husband in the world is the one who, after spending several hours with your relatives says, "you're right honey, they are exactly the way you describe them."

Friday, October 02, 2009

moving on

Uncle died last night. He spent much of yesterday asking what time it was. I'm pretty sure he was trying to time his departure to make it easier for Aunt.

He visited today as Aunt tried to remember the name of the catering service she was trying to remember. She said, "I never remember the name, I always ask Uncle." I said, "Ask him now." Then she remembered.

Here's what I can tell you- when we were little he did magic tricks- when we went to the beach he bought squeaky bird puppets that made us laugh for hours- when he hid the afikomen at Passover it was always under his plate-when people needed a defense attorney in Steubenville, he was there and if they couldn't pay he would charge them less-

We are sad and going to miss him but that's the way life goes.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

What a nurse shouln't say...

no matter how well meaning she is-

"if he dies while you're at lunch, God meant for it to happen."

Thankfully we have left that part of the hospital and have moved to palliative care.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Have you seen


NPR story/picture on handwoven spider silk. Seriously no one could pay me enough to collect that!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Loretta Morgan

Yesterday was spent at the hospital. Uncle is refusing hospice believing that he will be walking out any day now. It's hard to watch aunt and uncle but knowing that so many of you have been through such times I know that this too shall pass.

I took a walk to the waiting room yesterday to call Mr. Sophanne and my weariness led to telephone tears. I pulled it somewhat together and hung up.

Loretta Morgan is the woman who empties the garbage and dust-mops the floor in his room. She was in the waiting room taking a break. I looked to her and said "can you hug me and help me?" and she did. Turns out uncle was her grandmother's attorney way back when.

The world is so connected.

There are good people in it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

time out

Favorite Uncle is heading to hospice- I've been busy- thanks for being blog friends. I'll be back later.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Health Care...

or things you would prefer not to hear on a visit to the local hospital.

"He's got good insurance, let's keep him for observation."

"He's probably allergic to food additives- we better not feed him."

"I never said that."

"If you leave now, your insurance won't pay for anything." (which was a lie.)

from the doctor at 6:30 PM-after waiting for 9 hours to be seen "I'm still on my morning rounds."

A swollen tongue, some steroids, and 12 hours later, and all is well with the Mr. Sophanne- I'm glad for that but a little peeved at missing the big Celebration Weenie Roast at school.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In Search Of...

a crack me up post. Maggie and I are adventuring this weekend so there may be that.

In the meantime here's a little story. It might be a "you had to be there" story- consider yourself forewarned.

They are reconstructing the entrance to the school where I work. Because it is the entrance, work takes place in the evening when there is less traffic. Essentially we don't know what it will look like when we arrive in the morning.

Discussing this at lunch today, my favorite kindergarten aide said that she imagines little trolls, 2 ft. tall, coming in at night in their elf-like costumes, standing on each others shoulders and deconstructing and reconstructing the doorways. The art teacher began to sing "Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go." When I, with my raspy-just-finished-having-a-cold-voice, began to sing the monkey song from the Wizard of Oz, the kindergarten aide laughed chocolate shake out her nose.

I consider the day a success.

I phoned her this evening and left a message on her answering machine singing the oompah loompah song.

It just goes to show you that not all teacher's lounges are full of cranky-a$$ed complaining teachers.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

You too...

could pay $20 to learn that the check engine soon light comes on if you haven't closed your gas cap with three clicks.

Or you could read it here first. But you'd still have to pay $20 to get them to turn the light off.

Cast on for chicknits mondo cable shell/vest in some Louet gems superwash willow. After you've knit on 1's and 2's for a while, 8's feel like some serious cheatermaneater.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway. I'll randomly select a winner on Monday!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

wave goes up?

There's a kid in kindergarten who I'm supposed to call "Pony."

ETA birth certificate middle name IS Pony. You'll understand that I've forgotten the first name. I was busy trying to call him Pony.

Monday, August 31, 2009

all about me.

I walked the dog and gave her a smelly-good bath.

I don't hate my job.

I don't hate my boss.

I have miles of lace knitting on size 3 needles- on three different projects. I have a second koigummmm sock to finish.

The most exhilarating thing I have to report is that the "Service Engine Soon" light came on in the car today.

Kindergarten starts tomorrow and knit night is tomorrow night so there might be an anecdote or five to relate.

In the crack me up sine wave of my existence, we seem to be in a valley and that's o.k. with me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It was the first day of school and I have no complaints. In fact I went to work with a smile and came home feeling the same way.

Last night Jen and Ursula brought me some lemon balm and white lavender. No sunlight for these photos but I told you I was going to play with the macro setting on the camera.

Of the other 10-15 pictures I took, the Queen Anne's Lace pleased me.

Chatting about imaginary friends last night, it dawned on me that blogging isn't the only place where there are imaginary friends. While I have met a few of them, I certainly wouldn't recognize any of Mr. Sophannes co-workers on the street but when he talks about them, I know them. He knows the whole knit night community, regularly asking who was there and fondly remembering that one who could do the killer Italian accents and tell hysterical jokes- he never even met her.

Rock on imaginary communities!

Monday, August 24, 2009

What's Wong with this Picture?

Dr. Harry K. Wong is an educator turned publisher embraced by our county school system. While I had never heard of him, his quotes seemed relevant (if not slightly commonsensical) and I have no real opinion of him one way or another.

What I do have is a quote from this afternoon's staff development session where our academic coach said- and I quote- I wrote it down word for word- "Who here has experienced Harry Wong?" I'm 12 in my head- what could I do?

Other than that 30 second quote, the rest of the day was full of what Mr. Sophanne called the Kumbyah of back-to-schoolness.

"Think back to your favorite teacher- what were the qualities that made him/her your favorite? Share them with the people at your table. Now think back to your least favorite teacher and do the same. What qualities do you want your students to remember you as having. Make a list- staple is shut- I'll give them back to you in January and you can check your progress."

This was a meaningful activity the first time I did it. I even remember reflecting a little the second time I was asked the same thing. Today I just reached back into the file folder of previous answers and watched everyone else reflect.

As I recall, "jaded" wasn't one of the redeeming qualities but brutally honest may have made the list. I scored a 50%.

That being said, I wanted to put a positive spin on the wasted day so I'm having a give-away. I like that better than the word "contest" Tell me a story in the comments about your best or worst teacher and I'll randomly draw on Labor Day. The prize? I like to make it easy on myself and fun for others so it will be a $25 gift card to my favorite crack Namaste dealer Scout's Swag

I can't really keep track of the "if you post it on your blog-send somebody-extra entry" business so everybody gets one chance but if you spread the word, there will be more stories and that might be nice.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Fresh Start

I may not be fresh and ready for the new school year to start but my fruits and vegetables will be.

Oh what a difference one leader can make. The thing about the Michael Scott that left that was unlike the "real" Michael Scott (as if there actually were a REAL Michael Scott) was that she lacked sincerity. The New Michael Scott did in 45 minutes worth of usually useless meeting time what she was unable to do in 4 years.

He said essentially "Hey- I'm here. I'll do my best. I care about you and the kids and the school and the community. Let's have a weenie roast! I don't like them steamed- I'll do the grilling. I like to cut grass- I'll take care of that. Help me learn what I don't know. I'll be here before you get here every day. You can count on me."

I Don't Have A Stomach Ache About My New Boss. That can always change but it's a seriously MUCH better way to start the year. (If you're reading, my condolences HRDL)

Helping the situation is some luxury yarn. This is trying to be the Lacy Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls- malabrigo lace-weight forest green. I also cast on for the same project in cascade marled eco-wool for something big and warm to do later this winter.

Hey kids- name this yarn- koigummmm- too easy. I just found the macro button on my camera. There's no real light this evening but consider yourself warned oh those afraid of closeups.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's a wonderful town...

This is what Coney Island looks like on a hot day in August. It took every bit of effort to remain vertical in the heat!

I highly recommend West Side Story. Tony was a bit of an acting/singing disappointment but Maria and the rest of the cast made it worthwhile.

I don't understand. The mom of 4 kids in front of us bought skittles- sour gummy drops etc. for her children to crackle throughout the first 40 minutes of the show, stopping only when the German man behind us said, "Can't you find another time to eat? Stop It." Yay for the German guy.

It also begs the question- why the hell do they sell such things at the theater? My theory? People believe that the movies are now like their living room at home and the theater is like the movies. Ugh. It was a similar experience at The Lion King only it was running commentary in Italian-even that was tolerable because it is a sort of "for kids" kind of event.

After the show we went to Maxies on 48th and 7th. We both ordered Maxie's Classic Rueben which was essentially a pound of corned beef smothered in sauerkraut and swiss cheese. There might have been some bread underneath. Neither of us really got that far. It was a little more than I was hoping for (and how often do you get to say that?)

Today I worked on the HP bag. It'll do. Tomorrow I'll attempt inserting a lining. Having never done that, I'm happy for any advice you might send my way.