Knitting in the Wee Hours

The house is quiet except for the hum of a gas-powered generator running in the back yard, keeping the refrigerator, freezer, hot water heater and a nearby lamp running. I am up working on this

and am now at the point before the last six rows of garter stitch before the final clue. The end is in sight, but it will have to wait for tomorrow evening. I’m bushed!
We are still without electricity because a tree went down in the storm early Sunday morning, taking out 3 electric poles with it about a quarter mile from where my neighbors and we live. John, Dan and Betsy walked into Old Ellicott (the road is still closed to cars) and Dan took these pics which he posted on Facebook.

I’m not holding my breath for BG&E to get here any time soon. At least it isn’t scorching hot- or freezing cold! Actually right now it actually is cold- who knew August would be so strange?
If any of you dear 2.5 use a generator for this reason, PLEASE don’t bring them into your home or attached garage. A family did that here with devastating consequences.
Well , gotta get up in a few hours!
God be with you ’til we meet again+


Quiet Aftermath

Well the electricity went off early this morning, so I’m listening to NPR on the battery-charged radio, typing this on my phone, sitting in my little knitting corner and knitting- because outside of doing the dishes and

rearranging the den to allow the lovely breeze in, there’s not much else I can do. Except for the electrical situation (and our neighbor’s water shortage- they use a well), it’s hard to believe that yesterday we were prepping for a hurricane!
So of course I started a new project- one in my list – Hawthorne. After the initial 311-stitch cast-on, it’s pretty clear sailing.

This evening, we have reservations to a local Residence Inn which will hopefully have electricity, so those of us working tomorrow will be able to get ready.
In the meantime, I get to hang out with these guys:

In the immortal words of Ina Garten: How bad can that be?
God be with you ’til we meet again- and thanks for your prayers and well wishes!

Hunker Hunker Hunker

Well, we have batteries, a lot of food in the freezer (which doesn’t help much, does it?) and plenty of cold cheese and cereal and canned goods.  We need to bring the garden furniture indoors so it won’t be a flying missile to the neighbors or ourselves. The winds for this area are not supposed to be so high that we need to tape the windows.  We are about three hours from Ocean City, in the center of Merlin. If Irene comes up the Chesapeake and is just a bit west of where she’s predicted to go, of course we’re screwed.  Needless to say, as long as we have power, the TV is on to MSNBC, we’re charging cellphones and Kindles and iPads and as the title of this post says, hunkering down. Hopefully we are prepared enough.  Ocean City was evacuated yesterday, which it darn well should have been – a thin strip of a peninsula dangling precariously between Assowoman Bay (yes, that is the name of the bay- good ole Merlin) and the Atlantic Ocean. The Weather Gurus are predicting 100 mph winds in O.C.; 50-70 mph winds on the Eastern Shore/DelMarVa peninsula (that bit of Maryland on a land mass shared by Delaware, Maryland and Virginia – hence “Del-Mar-Va”); and 30-50 mph winds where we are in central Merlin. One of the big worries with hurricanes is that they tend to spawn tornadoes.  And here is an example of what happened when a little baby twister hit our house-on-the-top-of-a-hill 13 months ago (lucky we were):

When I began typing this post, it was about 11:00 a.m. EDT.  A dear friend who had been in the hospital called and needed a ride home, so of course I left to do that and when I got home, I was a wee bit sidetracked. Now at 9:00 p.m., the winds have picked up, the rain has been constant.  As I type this I can hear the wind rising outside and reports from Ocean City on WJZ News in Bawlmer, which of course means we still have electricity.  In the middle of all this, we watched an HBO documentary, “Gloria Steinem, In Her Own Words.” Amazing how things have changed – and how they remain the same. She is one of my heroes.  It was rather gratifying that it was one of my daughters who chose the program.  I have a particularly nice memory of Gloria Steinem.  In the summer/early fall of 1976, I was in NYC with my (then) stepmother, planning my wedding and anticipating a move to Virginia.  We were at the NY Public Library and Bella Abzug was campaigning.  With her was Gloria Steinem – and Gloria asked me if they could count on my vote for Bella – had to tell her I was moving to VA and probably wouldn’t be voting in the NY elections. Boo.  Only in New York. Sigh….

Well, back to action central here (right…). It looks as if Irene will not be heading up

the Chesapeake Bay, which is a very good thing, so we will just stay here and wait her out.  Even my dear St. John’s decided to call off the services for tomorrow morning – and I realized too late that I had missed the 5 pm service – DOH! Whatever the weather, I am prepared:

As if I didn’t have enough outstanding projects, I decided to ADD some more to my pile.  That’s because I also decided to have FUN with my knitting and not wait until I’m done with the ones I’m bored with.  I may have to finish this another time since the lights just flickered.  We shall see.

The projects I’m working on currently are:

Dan’s Aranmor in the Red Heart Yarn (sorry Alice!), Susan Pandorf’s Mehndi wrap in Jojoland Tonic; the Westknits Mystery KAL shawl, Eadon by Susanna IC in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (currant colorway) (pictured in previous posts – haven’t made additional progress in any of those in the past two crazy weeks). I’m also going to be starting the Hawthorne shawl (also by Susanna IC) in a dark green multi Jojoland Tonic.

Irish Coffee and the Dark and Stormy, both by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails, the Dark and Stormy in Cascade 220 Heathers and the Irish Coffee in Lion Brand’s Amazing (Wildflowers colorway). I also want to start Cassis – also by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails – Deco by Kate Davies, Leaving by Anne Hanson of Knitspot fame; Eala Bhan (and this time Ms. Starmore, I promise to use REAL wool); at least one or two pairs of Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks and EZ’s Norwegian Lusekofte pullover.  I call this last one my “Norwegian Sweater of Hope,” as I am knitting this and all the other sweaters in this list ten inches less than my current circumference. Believe it or not, I have yarn and needles (once they are done with a project, LOL) set aside for them.  In the past month or so, I have frogged a few projects here and there, mainly because it became clear that my size would be changing.  I don’t think a ten-inch reduction is that far off base, so I am acting on faith.

LIFE in General

This week has been NUTS at work.

  Correction, the past two MONTHS and the one coming up have been, are, and will be, NUTS.  I really cannot write about why that is without saying more than is ethical, so let’s just leave it at that.  In terms of time, I’ve been in court or on the road visiting clients with two exceptions: this weekend and last Tuesday, i.e. the Earthquake.  I was in the ladies’ room in the Baltimore City Courthouse and yes, I was at the point of washing my hands (the other would have been hilarious, LOL!!) and was talking with another woman who was doing the same. Suddenly, the floor shook and a sound like a large truck roaring by hit our ears. We stepped outside of the bathroom to Sheriff’s deputies telling everyone to vacate the building.   We all walked outside, not really knowing what had happened.  No one could get through on their cellphones and law enforcement wasn’t sure it wasn’t a blast or something, so they would not let anyone back into the buildings until an hour later, when we were told to “get your stuff and go home.” The last three hours of the trial in which I was involved resumed the next day, which meant all my client visits for that day and the afternoon of the earthquake had to be rescheduled.  It took me 2 hours to get home because traffic was understandably heavier than usual.

Western Merlin felt it, as did D.C.(causing the bells to ring and fineal stones to break at the National Cathedral), Chicago, Georgia, and Toronto for that matter. There were aftershocks some 35 hours later, but I didn’t feel them.  Friends visiting Ocean City and the Eastern Shore didn’t feel it, either.

Friday, I got up early to visit a client 2.5 hours away in Garrett County, Merlin – practically to Ohio!

This is in Allegany County, Merlin, on Rte 68, headed west.  This doesn’t even begin to show some of the lovely views I had of the Appalachian Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains and nearby farmland.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, but not too humid or hot.  Hard to believe it was still August. Saw my client and the client of one of my colleagues, then back on the road to visit a client East of Bawlmer.  Needless to say, I used a LOT of gas that day, but also caught up on some knitting podcasts, LOL:)!

When I finally headed for good ole Ellicott City, I realized I was on time to go to dinner that friends of mine had planned and to which I had been invited but had declined due to my work schedule. I called one of them to ask if it was still on.  Finding out it was, I headed to the restaurant.  For some reason I checked my cellphone (the ringer had been off) and found a voicemail and two text messages from the friend with whom I had just spoken. One of our bunch had had a low blood sugar incident and was in the ER, having banged up his head pretty badly, and in the process, stressed out his dear wife (another one of the “gang”) to the point of raising HER blood sugar. So our evening was spent in the ER. I told him I wasn’t going to let one democrat leave this earth while an election was pending (a bit of an ongoing joke between us).  He was finally released and some of us went to grab a quick bite .  Thus the week which started in a growl, ended up in the silence of a quiet meal.  Thank God for that – or as my wonderful stepmom Maureen would say, “Thank the Myth!”

The coming week at work will be very busy, but the evenings will begin the year’s music, a fact for which I am eternally grateful:)!

And so I come full circle, picking up a lovely friend from the hospital this morning and getting her home safely.  She is supposed to be a “care receiver” in the Stephen Ministry, but I kid her that I get more out of hanging out with her than any help I’m supposed to be rendering. She’s really funny and upbeat and in spite of the rough time she’s had the past four years, she is irrepressible and energetic.

On the home front, our daughter, B, who had the “sleeve” weight loss surgery on 7/27, went through a horrible episode of dehydration, which caused nausea, which made her more dehydrated, which caused a potassium deficiency, and so on.  She was hospitalized for two days and after they finally got i.v. bags and bags of water, vitamins and potassium into  her, she was a new woman.  I’m glad I didn’t know at the time that a potassium shortfall can cause cardiac arrest!! Lesson learned: don’t let your adult kid play hero and politely wait on a doctor’s appointment.  Get thine ass and theirs to the ER! My Dad always said that it’s the polite quiet patients who often end up dead. Sadly true.

Before I sign off, dear 2.5, those of you who live in the areas affected by Irene, please don’t be a daredevil and try to play out in this weather.  You are not only putting your own life in jeopardy, but those of the people who would be rescuing you. Please have your fun another day, when you can live to talk about it.

Until next time, God be with you ’til we meet again.


Heresy!! Or WWAD?

Here I sit, (my newly trimmed-down behind exceedingly sore on the stone bench) near the lovely fountain outside the Baltimore County courthouse. I am waiting for the afternoon docket and it’s the loveliest August day I’ve ever seen! It has to be about 65 degrees F – glad to have my jacket on!

The morning’s docket was fairly uneventful except the Master (they preside over our hearings unless there’s a problem) seemed to be ill. Never saw so many recesses in my life. Poor guy!

This afternoon is anybody’s guess–sigh. Well I’m not talking about my cases- then I’d be down to .5 readers,LOL!
This morning was an early wake up- John and I took the grandgirls to a local Residence Inn for their last possible overnight of the summer. The idea was that they and John would head to the hotel pool this morning, their mom or dad would pick them up from our house at about midday, and then John would put the finishing touches on the house for our home inspection this evening. Hopefully I’ll get home in time to lend him a hand.

But I digress, dear 2.5. Yea verily I have committed heresy, yes heresy of the worst kind! And I am unrepentant!!
I am knitting a Starmore Sweater in (GASP!!) Acrylic!!!

Why oh why have I gone so far astray you might ask. And What Would Alice Do (WWAD)? I don’t know if the amazingly talented Ms. Starmore has a young adult son, but my dear only-begotten throws his sweaters in the wash. I am not about to make the effort to knit a lovely Starmore Aranmor only to have it turned into a doll’s sweater! Hence my unrepentant nature. But fear not, dear 2.5, I am doing penance nonetheless- by knitting with the stuff that is really better for afghans and the like.

Gotta go

God be with you’til we meet again+

Location:W Pennsylvania Ave,Towson,United States

Homage to Cat Bordhi

Cat Bordhi is one of those people who gives more than she gets. Her videos are worth their weight in gold, yet they are out there on YouTube free of charge. Here’s one of her Sweet Tomato Heel Socks. This technique is featured in her e-book of a similar name – it can be found on Ravelry or on her website.

  And here’s another version of that heel – the Padded Sweet Tomato Heel – also featured in her new e-book: 
  Thank you, Cat!  If you find this interesting, you should definitely get that e-book!

God be with you ’til we meet again! +

Keepin on keepin on

This has definitely been an interesting week.  We’ve been rearranging – well JOHN’s been rearranging a lot of furniture since S has moved into her own place and D is back into B’s room, who is now moving to D’s old room.  J still has her room…. and so do I, LOL:)!

Work has been crazy busy – have court all day, then off to do visits, so I’m home fairly late most evenings.  But it’s a good thing.  I want to be ready for all my hearings and I don’t want to fall behind on visits ever again! The system I have in place right now seems to be working – thanks to a lovely hardworking person at the office who keeps us all honest and organized.

As a result…. not much knitting has crossed my lap in the last few days.  Monday evening, we were expecting a visit from the landlord’s agent – a normal yearly look through to be sure we aren’t manning a Meth lab in the basement (not).  Unfortunately, the poor lady got sick and you know how that can be.  So, we’re scheduled for next week same time.  No biggie.  Actually I was secretly glad that we waited for her a couple of hours.  I got to knit – so far the only knitting I’ve done this work week! Well, I wasn’t going to review confidential records just as she was arriving, was I? (insert evil chuckle here)

I’ve been working on Clue 3 of the Westknits Mystery KAL.  I posted some pictures and have not really gotten much further, so I figured why re-post them?

Oh OK…you twisted my arm:)

Those of you who are following/doing this KAL can see that I’ve made a mistake in the second big block of white.  This should have been a parallelogram rather than a wedge.  I figure since there was already one wedge, that another one wouldn’t hurt.  Plus, I’ve done the parallelograms correctly in the third clue and am to be adding two more, so there will be two wedges, then three parallelograms – my own version of the Fibonacci sequence… sort of.

I really love the vibrancy of these colors in St-Denis’ Boreale (fingering weight) yarn. it’s a lot of fun to knit as well.

As you can imagine, my other projects have not seen any progress since last I wrote you, dear 2.5.  However, I have organized my “current” projects a bit better in the living room.  They too, are being rearranged.  Michaels had a bunch of canvas box thingies on sale, so I got four of them.  They are a lot easier to work with when you’re knitting at home than a bag – and they sit better on a shelf for better organization.  I am also thinking about those organizer boxes that KnitPicks sells, but that will be in a long while, if ever.

One thing I did break down and get at KnitPicks: their interlocking blocking boards and some T-pins so I can really block my lace work. Usually, I hit them with a steam iron, but that doesn’t get those lovely points, nor does it completely block everything. First time I use them, I will report on how I do.

Now here’s something I can safely say points to my mental state regarding knitting:  I have some yarn that I think will look really really good as a sweater for our son, D.  I asked him to pick out a Starmore sweater from either her Aran Knitting or Fishermen’s Sweaters book.  I have his measurements, too:) So, he picked the Aranmor.  I am also considering knitting either an Eala Bhan or a Maidenhair, but I’m not willing to knit a Starmore sweater until I have a much better idea of what size I’m going to end up.  So in the interim, I’m going to knit a sweater for D because (1) I knit one for him about 24 years ago when he was 4 and he loved it; and (2) because I’ve been promising him one for years.  While I’m at it, I’ve been promising to knit my SIL (S) a Dr. Who scarf. Man, I’d better get cracking! I think I know why I start all these projects: so as to not have a Sable stash!

On the weight loss front, it’s continuing  – a pound every couple of days or so.  That’s actually a fairly fast weight loss, but it feels like tectonic plates shifting over eons to me, LOL! A few things that have happened: it’s a lot easier to take a shower because I can reach everything:); I was able to kneel in church last sunday because it didn’t hurt as badly as it used to; I am wearing clothes I haven’t worn since my last big weight loss in 2006 (I am about 7-10 pounds above that now as I type this and expect to be there before my next dr’s appointment in September.); Some of my clothes are just too big and need to be given away; my shoes even fit me better; I look older as more fat leaves my face; my figure looks a lot less “voluptuous” to me; my arms are flabbier.  Pretty soon, I’m going to have to get some new underwear so I can prevent everything from hitting my knees. Yes, folks, that’s one thing I will NOT buy second hand:) Today I wore to court a skirt and a jacket I haven’t been able to wear for years (no, it was not a calico gingham skirt with a sunbonnet, nor was it a mini skirt!) And as you can see from the above, there’s still plenty of “cheek” left:) Well that was TMI:)

God be with you ’til we meet again:)!+

Shoulda kind of day

 It’s very late and everyone is sleeping, except for John, I hope, LOL:) The silence is deafening save for the clicking of the keys on the keyboard as I type these words.  I’ve always been used to living with lots of people, so silence bothers me more than it should – not that noise doesn’t LOL:)!

 Well, today was one of those “I was supposed to” kind of days.  But I did other things instead.I was supposed to review an entire file, but in the process of getting ready to do that, I organized my desk, which really wasn’t such a bad thing, but unfortunately, I’m now leaving that work for tomorrow and Monday and I won’t have as much time on those days to get it done. DRAT.

But at least the day was not a total loss.  In getting a lot of things cleaned up, I have a clearer view of what must be done.  I’ve gotten better organized.  Not as organized as I’d like to be, but better than I was.

As you can see from the pictures here, I have done a bit of  work on the Westknits Mystery KAL.  I like the colors I chose – in St-Denis Boreale, a fingering weight yarn in simple yet vibrant colors.  This is for me – it will match a sweater and skirt combo I have in mind.  I like the blocks of color in the pattern – they remind me of the brightly colored, geometrically patterned “mod” minidresses women used to wear in the mid-sixties.  And yes, it’s a mild form of intarsia (didn’t I just make that sound like a nasty skin rash or something equally odious?)

 Well yes, I did- because intarsia is not my favorite thing to do in knitting.  But Stephen West has very good and clear directions and the use of intarsia is not so difficult it would give you a migraine.  So I am being a big girl and finishing it.  Besides, I like the colors and the pattern is growing on me.  And it matches the skirt and sweater.  So why not….


The past week or so has been very busy and the next few weeks are looking to be wildly busy as

 well.  Next week and the week after I am to be

in a 5-day trial. I don’t think it will take that long, but you never know.  Because of that, my client visits will have to take place in the evenings after court is over.  I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot of protein shakes for lunch next week.

When that’s over, I have two more cases that will be demanding my attention.  I can’t even think forward to September yet, much as I’d like to.

As alluded to in a previous post, one of our many moved into her own place near the university.  She has a lovely place and should be doing just fine there.  Our third in the Many had surgery similar to mine seven weeks to the day after mine was done.  She is having a harder time healing for some reason. The type of surgery she had has its own challenges, but in the long run will be a good thing for her.  It’s the now part that’s difficult.

I have indeed started one additional project: The Hourglass Throw by Anne Hanson of Knitspot fame for Jared Flood’s Wool People collection.  It’s in the yarn that was initially going to be my EZ Green Sweater by Sunday Holm, and then was going to be an Adult Surprise Jacket also by EZ. The yarn is working out well for this throw.  It’s a wool acrylic mixture and will be machine washable, so it’s the right choice. I’ve gotten a bit further along in the pattern that this picture might suggest, and it’s really lovely.  I’m not using a cable needle for the cables, thanks to Meg Swanson and Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Glossary video:)! And what a great amount of time this saves! It’s like when I learned to knit “continentally,” I was kicking myself for not learning it earlier.

On the weight loss front, a visit to the doc on Friday confirmed that I have indeed taken off 40 pounds since surgery and a bit more than that since my top weight.  I’m still at the point where my own clothes fit me much better and are starting to get loose.  It will be awhile before people see serious weight loss.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, my dear friends and some not so dear have noticed and have complimented me on it, but it’s because they can tell I’ve lost weight.  The major change in size will take a long time – at least a year. It’s actually going very quickly, but it feels like slow motion to me.  It’s been a real trek mentally.  I still fill up bowls and plates in the amounts I used to eat, but of course never finish them! I have to stop myself from doing that.  I have to be a lot more careful about eating and pay attention to how much fat, carbs and protein are in any given thing. It’s crazy how something you could eat one day can get “stuck” the next if you don’t pay attention, take your time and CHEW, LOL! I think I must have virtually inhaled my food before this surgery.  It’s easier to move and it’s easier to mover more quickly than before. It’s still rough to lift anything horribly heavy (but then, that’s like the old violin joke – couldn’t really do that before the surgery, LOL!). As the weather cools down, I’ll be taking opportunities to walk a few miles.  And Nancy, bless her heart, is talking about weight training with a  friend who knows how to do this!

In the midst of all of this, I realize how very lucky I am.  John and I have been through some interesting times these past few months, mostly unrelated to this surgery.  I cannot imagine going through them without him. If such a thing is possible, I’ve appreciated my family more and more.

Well, I’d better get to bed – have to do a reading at the early service and unless I’m mistaken, I’m playing flute, too! Yikes! Don’t want to nod off at the podium!

God be with you ’til we meet again:)+