Monday, May 31, 2010

because I must keep knitting

and my knitting corner is a little too cluttery to find any the charts that go with the WIP's, I started Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante (rav link). It's another free pattern. It's another one of those patterns that I've tried to "mark as favorite" several times without realizing I was marking the same pattern over and over. It's really no surprise that I like this one because in terms of design element- knitting motif- it is much like the Wool Peddlar's Shawl. It also called for the exact amount of the STR (from February) that I have.

Regarding elements of knitting- the Barbara Walker Treasury of Knitted Stitches books came in the mail last week. Don't expect any finished object beautifully designed any time soon. I just like to look at the pictures. Have you seen this site- The Walker Treasury Project? It's a swatching of all those stitches done more recently, in color and photographed in a much more pleasing way. I dare you to take a peek at it and then not want to dig into some swatching.

Regarding gardening- I've never done it. Don't know the first thing about it. I DO know that you have to clear the beds of weeds and today I went to a box store, bought 2 little garden tools (a shovel and a cultivator?) and started clearing away the "stuff." Given that this area was once a flower bed, I'm no doubt clearing away the good with the bad. There will be photos and requests for assistance (though neighbor Marilynn helped the last owner do this so I've got some nearby help as well) in the coming weeks unless, of course, it becomes "another one of those things I'm never going to do."

If indeed I find myself with a patch of flowerless dirt, it will remind me of what I like best about blogland. Since there's no real time to have to make forced casual conversation, no one will ask me how my gardening is going. It just disappears into the annals of blogland!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shawl the third

Shawl the third- Nancy and Judy- is finished and skewedly blocking. Mr. Sophanne said "too bad it's not a triangle." I said "it kind of is". Aunt of Sophanne said (before it was off the needles) "It looks like a diaper." I said, "hmm." It's a horrible picture but I had to grab one quickly so as not to be disqualified again in the old 10 in 2010.

After our weekly trip to the grocery store I realized that today is indeed Sunday but that tomorrow is like Sunday and then some so it was a nice surprise.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

End of the year wisdom

Today in first grade we dance with abandon. At the end of dancing, in the last five minutes, we lay down, listen to ocean waves with tibetan bells and feel our breath. Caleb said "It feels like you're unleashing your body."

May we all unleash our bodies for a few minutes today.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

pretending is good

If I could pretend that finishing something is as much fun as casting on and figuring it out, I would be amazing.

Here's the lastest of 10 shawls in 2010 (I'm just going to bypass the details of everything else on the needles.)

This is Nancy & Judy (a FREE rav pattern by Heather Zoppetti). My new favorite shawl to knit. I'm using some malabrigo superwash sock yarn that I got from someone's destash and am hoping I won't notice that 5-7 yard discrepancy between the called for yardage and the actual amount of yarn I have.

And while I haven't purchased a big 'ole pile of yarn since the Mabley workshop, I couldn't resist Sharon's alpaca laceweight from That woman knows the colors in my head.

Speaking of fabulous women, let's talk about Ruth. Not only did she send me a kicka$$ workout cd (it starts with Queen's Fat-Bottomed Girls!), she made sure it got here safely by wrapping it in sock yarn.

I give puppy kisses to all of my friends!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Forever Done.

I sang. They clapped. Mamas sniffled but I'm pretty sure it was thanks to Bob Dylan's fabulous poetry and had little to do with my singing. What a relief. And it felt really good to do.

Nine, my friends, nine.

And while I know that I will try to catch up on knitting 10 shawls, it occurs to me that my summer schedule of events (excluding family visits) is pretty short. Maybe I'll spin. Maybe I'll paint the bedroom. I plan on extending the gym visits and moving on beyond cardio. I know I'll spend time with that fabulous dog. I'll visit Aunt of Sophanne and will definitely spend time with the new babybabies (that's what I like to call my friend's twins)

Sometimes it feels like cheating if I read,knit, and nap all day. Especially when Mr. Sophanne comes home and asks "what did you do today?"

Maybe if I actually prepare dinner every few days he will be fooled into thinking that I am a productive human being. But I don't remember "productive" being on the list of marriage vows. If that were the case I'm pretty sure I would have included "not being jealous of my teacher vacation" as a part of them.

So my bloggy friends- what would you do?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

checking in again

The evil Strep has struck again. It's on the downside but man do I hate strep.

There's little to report but I love blogland and want to stay connected.

There are 10 teaching days left. I like it when I can count it on 2 hands.

I voted last week. Apparently in Pennsylvania campaigners must only stay 10 feet away from the door. I like West Virginia where it's more like 50 yards. It was all I could do not to say Leave Me T F alone! Mr. Sophanne's much more cheerful about it. If someone asks him to vote for their candidate he says, "I don't like him." (whether he does or not.)

Last night began MaggieMay's softball season. Her younger sister is playing as well and I sat with G-mal (grandma as they call her) and we went out to eat afterwards. Nothing like surrogate children that you can do for but aren't responsible for. Makes me happy.

So there's a child management technique that I observed last week when the family was here. The Mama, in a wise attempt to give choices rather than an opportunity for kids to say "I don't want to," phrases her requests like so- "Do you want to put on your pajamas or brush your teeth first?" It works pretty well but I imagine those kidlets will eventually get wise to it. Or else it will come back to haunt mama in her later years- "Do you want to go the the rest home or would you like Dr. Kevorkian to visit?"

Tomorrow is my singing debut at the Wadestown Baptist Church. As 4th and 5th grade classes came to my room this week I asked them to be the practice audience. I knew I was good when I could give the hairy eyeball to misbehaving kids and still keep singing. That's how I determine whether I know the song well enough or not. Too bad they weren't around in college. I would have aced every jury!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

House of Sophanne- better than an amusement park

Little Liza Jane was SOOOOO very happy to have kids to play with. Hazel liked her because she was a "girl" dog. She also declared the house that our house was mine and not Grandfather's because I was the girl.

Next on the agenda was to paint the bird houses which are now hanging in the backyard. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have gone wrong if I had purchased a bird house for everyone. Several rocks are now painted and in place.

Taking a break from painting adults and kids alike took turns with the hula hoop. There's really no need to see the adult pictures of this. Really.

Grandfather took them to a train where they got to blow the whistle and wear the gloves. And unlike amusement parks, there was no waiting in line.

The Waynesburg Sheep and Fiber festival took place on Saturday. They were attending a graduation and missed out on the 5 or 6 booths the organizers managed to round up but I scored some nice souvenirs. The yarn is handspun by a woman who I purchase yarn from each year. At first I bought 750 yards. Then I wound it, tried it out and went back for another 750. The picture doesn't capture it's depth of color but it reminds me of tigers eye gem stones and will (so far) be a giant and simple Praire Shawl from Folk Knits.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh yea, now I remember

Now I remember why I don't join groups or engage in "official" knitting things.

I finally got a picture of Kilkenny finished.

I went to edit my FO April post in the group 10 shawls in 2010 and I found this on my post.

**ETA BY PILLEN: This shawl does not count due to no finished picture...**

When I signed up I don't think I realized it was a follow the rule sort of thing. I thought it was a "hey let's do this" sort of thing. I understand why Pillen had to edit my post. She needed to make it clear to all of the contestants (which I didn't really know I was) that as I had not followed the rules by posting a picture of the finished object, I would not qualify for any of the prizes randomly drawn in April. Seriously, I understand how people are when it comes to prizes and I'd be CYAing if I were in the same position.

Still and all, it does not do a body good to complete a 1540 yard shawl and read on a post "does not count." The situation was remedied by posting it in the May FO thread - so I guess now it counts.

Lesson learned- read the fine print- make sure it's not a contest-knit for fun.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

oh and did I mention...

I agreed to stupid SING that Forever Young song at a church dinner for seniors graduating from high school. Granted they are kids I've known since kindergarten but I'm used to them singing with me.

It's that librarian that wrangles me into these things. I agreed to do it because I wrangle her into a fair share of disorganization which I am certain often unnerves her.

I am no American Idol. I figure it's a good thing to do and if it's really really awful they won't have to ask me to do it again.

Here are a couple of pictures that didn't make it to the last post.

Mr. Sophanne is heading to the airport to get son daughter-in-law and grandchildren (2 sweet girls) of Sophanne. The sheets are clean, the beds are made, dinner is pre- prepared for tomorrow, there is plenty of sliced fruit and apple juice in the fridge and Ben and Jerry's for the grown ups in the freezer...and still I walk around feeling incompetent. Go figure.

continuing on...

While it hasn't been written yet, I believe, for those of you who like to know what you're getting into, that this will be a random bullet sort of post.

The set up for the wireless fence/collar in Steubenville went fine on Sunday until it didn't. It seemed to be fine while we were there. Once we left, the charge was up too high and the perimeter was to small. This has made for several phone calls and a scottish terrier that is now terrified to go outside. Period. Accepting the fact that all dogs are not as smart as Liza and the fact that this may not be the dream solution everyone was hoping for is a little distressing.

The trip to the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh was delightful. I'm pretty sure these country kids were as impressed with the chartered bus as they were with the actual museum. Overheard several times was "This is the best day I've ever had!" Makes a body feel good knowing that I was the one who introduced the field trip organizers to the museum.

Visiting the new twins yesterday was Dee-Light-Ful. When there are two babies, there's never that awkward feeling of "Gee I'd like to hold the baby." There's always one that needs holding. I stuck around for 3 feedings, a bath and big brother and it was time well spent. No maternal instincts popping out. Just enough cuteness to make it a great day.

Tonight Mr. Sophanne's son, wife and 2 grandchildren get to the airport at 10:30 p.m. There is a little sheet-changing and grocery shopping to do but other than that, we are as ready as we can be for house guests. Is it just my selfish-a$$ self or does everyone feel (in spite of looking forward to an enjoyable family visit) just the teensiest bit resentful of space overtaken? I guess that's what comes from not having children. I'm just not used to it.

There are 17 teaching days- 3 1/2 weeks- until the start of the upcoming summer vacation. I keep saying "after this week it will go fast." I've been saying that since April. So far, not so much.

Although I'd much rather sit in this cozy chair all day, forward I must go.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Pete and Repete- I mean just Repeat

Here's why-

Last week I stumbled upon a children's picture book

based on Bob Dylan's song, Forever Young. It's been a little ribbon of a theme running through life these days as the school year ends and the summer begins. And while I've never been a big fan of the sound of his voice, that Bob Dylan can sure write some poetry.

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,

May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,

May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,

May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. Sophanne

Things went smoothly after I cried this morning when I was "busted" for taking a day off to prepare the festivities. I'm not sure it's because I thought he thought I was a liar or because the surprise was a little disrupted.

I just sat down to eat lunch and heard his car pull up (an early day on the railroad.) This was a good thing because I wasn't sure how I was going to be patient and wait for him to get home.

Yes my friends, that's the love of my life.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

slow progress

This is about 30 stitches worth of the Fassett patterns I am playing with. For the record the 5 stitches on either side ended up being stockinette rather than garter stitch because my brain can only hold so much.

Above the schoolhouses there is a quilt-like pattern that will be shades ofgreen that I am pretending are mountains. Above that a larger pattern that had a sunset/cloud feeling to me.

The colors aren't terribly accurate- apparently I own a vampire camera that only comes out in the evening when I'm by the computer.

The design sort of goes from smaller elements to larger ones- from cooler colors to warmer ones - with hints of warm at the beginning to tie it together. Believe me, it's simply fabulous in my head. No doubt a future Bobby.

Fortunately, Mr. Sophanne believes that he will be winning a red mustang at the casino this evening (they've called his name for various drawings at least 3 times last month) and I was able to get through the stickiest parts of my own stupid chart.

Today was a RedLobster kind of day with my NYC traveling pal Mags. She got her learner's permit last month and drove me to the pharmacy on the way to the "city." She likes the FAR right side of country roads better than the middle but I was pretty calm, she did a good job, and it was kind of cool. The bonus at the end of lunch was the LavaCookie with chocolate sauce and ice cream. It is decadent and I didn't eat all of my salad at the front of the meal so I would have room for that at the end. I'm pretty sure lunch wiped out all 4 visits I made to the gym this week.

Adventures are on the horizon- Mr. Sophanne's birthday is Tuesday- I'm going on a school field trip with my little school to the Children's Museum in Pittsburgh the following week (it is my favorite place)-I'm going to go visit the new twins on the day off we have that week-Mr. Sophanne's son, daughterinlaw and grandkids (2) will be paying a short visit before moving off to Switzerland for 2 years-and there are only about 25 actual kid-days left of the school year.

And yes, the passport is renewed and there may be a post or two from Geneva sometime in the next 2 years.