Friday, September 30, 2005

oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh

So I'm having the worst work week of the year, totally stressed to the MAX, and I come home to find the most gorgeous yarn of all time in my mail. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Pittsburgh Secret Pal. You MADE MY DAY!!! I will post photos tomorrow (the software doesn't work on my home computer) and show you this lovely hand dyed sport weight yarn that is going to be so perfect for my baby project. I wanted the perfect yarn and I GOT IT!!!!!!!! Can you tell I'm excited????


Ok...where was I when they were handing out normal jobs? Probably sitting in a corner feeding my face. In the real estate biz, every now and then you're going to have a bad one. People are emotional buying and selling houses. It's understandable. Sometimes people don't understand the program so it's your job to explain the program to them. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to explain the program, people just don't get the program. Sometimes people think they can "change" the program simply because they want the program to work they way they think it should. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love this job. I like people. I even like a challenge from time to time. But two "bad" ones, two days in a row, STRESSES ME THE HECK OUT!! They normally don't come in pairs. They sneak up on you from time to time when you least expect it. They don't normally hit you over the head and hog-tie you leaving you to wonder if there is any possibility of light at the end of the tunnel. I think the only thing more stressful than dealing with people who are negotiating one of the biggest financial transactions of their lives would be life and death situations in medicine. I would not want to be in those shoes. People might get upset in my business but nobody dies.

I just want to win the lottery and knit. Come to think of it, I have some lottery tickets in my purse that I haven't checked yet. Who knows. I could be a winner.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Do You Know Pittsburgh??

My niece sent this in an email yesterday. Since I have no knitting news I thought yunz Pittsburghers might enjoy it. I got a little over half correct but my husband really kicked butt!! (of course he's a lot older than me and can remember all this stuff :-) Actually, a lot of them are sports related and he knew all of those. Enjoy!

>Subject: What do you really know about Pittsburgh?>>Let's see who really knows Pittsburgh. The answers appear below, but don't>cheat and look ahead. If you have lived away from Pittsburgh give you self>extra points for each answer!!!>>REMEMBER: NO CHEATING!!!>>>>
1. Newscaster Bill Burns used to end his newscasts with this phrase:>_________, ____________ and _____________.>>
2. Name two members of the Rooney family._____________ and>_______________.>>
3. Pittsburgh once had a bridge to__________________.>>
4. What was Ricki Wertz dog's name?__________________>>
5. Famous Pittsburgh DJ Clark ___________.>>
6. What was Bill Cardille's nickname?_______________>>
7. Which pro wrestling champ was from Pittsburgh?_______________>>
8. Paul Long's news partner was Don ____________.>>
9. Name the parts of a Primanti's sandwich: _________________________>>
10. Bob Prince's nickname was:_____________________>>
11. Myron Cope invented the______________________>>
12. Which tunnels are on the Parkway West______________>>
13. What tunnels are on the Parkway East______________>>
14. What is the Pittsburgh subway system called?________________>>
15. Paul Shannon hosted:___________________________>>
16. Nosmo King was played by _____________________>>
17. In which famous Market Square restaurant can a street person eat atthe>same table as a business executive? __________________________________>>
18. Which part of Pittsburgh was Forbes Field in?________________>>
19. Which part of Pittsburgh was Three Rivers Stadium in? ________________>>
20. Name the three rivers in Pittsburgh: ___________, __________, and>___________>>
21. What number did Roberto Clemente wear? ________>>
22. What number did Joe Greene wear? _________>>
23. If you go up the Incline, where will it take you?_________________>>
24. Which state park is located in downtown Pittsburgh? ______________>>
25. Name the first radio station in Pittsburgh: _____________>>
26. During the 70's, what radio station encouraged listeners to answer>their phones with "I listen to the new sound of _______">>
27. The Host of Dialing for Dollars was Del___________>>
28. The host of Bowling for Dollars was Nick_________ _>>
29. The host of Popeye and Knish was Hank__________.>>
30. Jack Lambert said quarterbacks should____________.>>
31. A Saturday morning Tarzan Theater was hosted by Don _______________.>>
32. The minor league hockey team in Pittsburgh was _______________.>>
33. The Two ABA franchises in Pittsburgh were the _____________and>the____________.>>
34. Chicken on the Hill with ______________.>>
35. Who can? ________________.>>
36. Ring a ling a ling give ____________a ring.>>
37. Century Three Chevrolet________________________.>>
38. Eat and Park's the place for ______________.>>
39. What cabaret type showroom was located in Monroeville?______________.>>
40. Name four quarterbacks from the Pittsburgh area that played in the>Super Bowl (there are more than four) ___________ ___________ ___________>___________>>
41. Who played Handy Man Negri on Mister RogersNeighborhood?______________>>
42. What section of Pittsburgh would you go to buy fruits and>vegetables?___________>>
43. The Civic Arena is located just below what area of Pittsburgh?>__________________>>
44. Which 3 Pittsburgh Colleges play Division 1 basketball?_______________>_______________ _______________>>
45. Wholey's is known for:_________________.>>
46. What hotel is famous for it's dancers_______________>>
47. Pittsburgh railroad workers did a dance while they worked. It became>known as __________ __________>>
48. The first owner of the Steelers was:_________________>>
49. The paddle boats on the rivers are the ____________ _________ Fleet>>
50. The Pittsburgh USFL team was the _____________>>>> >

Answers:> >> >
1. Good night, Good Luck and Good News Tomorrow> >
2. Art and Dan> >
3. Nowhere> >
4. Copper> >
5. Race> >
6. Chilly Billy> >
7. Bruno Sammartino> >
8. Cannon> >
9. Italian Bread, meat, cheese, tomato, coleslaw, french fries> >
10. The Gunner> >
11. Terrible Towel> >
12. Fort Pitt> >
13. Squirrel Hill> >
14. T> >
15. Adventure Time> >
16. Paul Shannon> >
17. The Oyster House> >
18. Oakland> >
19. North Side> >
20. Allegheny, Monongahela, Ohio> >
21. 21> >
22. 75> >
23. Mt. Washington> >
24. Point State Park> >
25. KDKA> >
26. 13Q> >
27. Taylor> >
28. Perry> >
29. Stohl> >
30. Wear Dresses> >
31. Riggs> >
32. Hornets> >
33. Pipers-Condors> >
34. Will> >
35. American> >
36. Roth> >
37. Lebanon Church Road Pittsburgh> >
38. Smiles> >
39. Holiday House> >
40. Johnny Unitas, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Terry Hanratty, Jim Kelly,>George Blanda, Scott Zolak, Joe Namath> >
41. Joe Negri> >
42. The Strip> >
43. The Hill District> >
44. Pitt, Duquesne and Robert Morris> >
45. Seafood> >
46. Edison> >
47. Gandy Dancing> >
48. Art Rooney> >
49. Gateway Clipper> >
50. Maulers>

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Word Verification for Comments

Just so you know, I finally had to bite the bullet and change my setting for comments. I was getting unwanted comments (spam) with every post. I guess it only takes a second for someone to do the word verification so it isn't too much of an inconvenience, but isn't it too bad that you have to stoop to that?

Clapotis III Progress and Other Stuff

As Bonnie stated in her comment, this IS some seriously beautiful yarn! I'm totally loving the colors. But what a mistake to turn this into Clapotis. You won't believe what I have to go through to get the runners to run.

I have to painstakingly untangle every "runner" stitch from the one above it. The fibers tangle like mad. But on the other hand, it's going to be gorgeous when it's finished so it will be worth the extra effort. As much fun as this pattern is, I'm pretty sure that 3 is enough.

I finally got this yesterday after waiting for it for a while:

After reading the instructions, it's pretty obvious that I could have and should have waited for it forever! It's way over my head. But it's so "me". It has little shells and starfish designs in it. If anyone should have a beach shawl, it should be me! And I do have the perfect yarn for it. I think it might be a "dead of winter" pattern for me with a lot of help from the LYS!!!

I'm so excited to have heard from my Pittsburgh Secret Pal the other day. I think she really is going to spoil me!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Catie and Michael in Central Park

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

New York City

Made a whirlwind trip to New York City yesterday for my niece's wedding... got home late this afternoon. My niece Erin, who designed my little Finnegan Purl blog button, got married at The Mark hotel in Manhattan and while we hanging out outside waiting for the ceremony, a very important guest of the hotel arrived with his very extensive entourage and police escort. He got out of his car about 15 feet from me.
My friend Helen is going to DIE when she hears I saw him because she is into his teachings and wisdom. I, on the other hand, did not know much about him until I did some reading when I got home. I saw the Dalai Lama.

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My daughter, Kelly, the history teacher, is also a little perturbed that she did not accompany us to the hotel early and missed the opportunity to see him.

The wedding was beautiful, the bride was gorgeous, the groom was handsome and a good time was had by all. We went to Ground Zero at 2:00am after the reception just to see it. My son said he wasn't leaving without seeing it so we hopped in a cab and went downtown. Needless to say, it's an emotional place.

And, yes, there is knitting news. I got about 6 hours worth of knitting completed on Clapostis III on the drive. The hand painted yarn from MS&W is nice to work with but it's a tiny bit fuzzy and it's hard to get those dropped stiches to run without the fibers getting tangled. I never gave that a thought. And it sheds a tiny bit too. I'm going to have to be careful what I wear it with.

I was just sitting here thinking, I'm so exhausted that half of this probably doesn't make any sense. I'll probably be editing it tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I've Been A Bad, Bad Girl

Remember all that Christmas knitting I was supposed to be doing?? Well I started another Clapotis for MYSELF instead! I got this yarn at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival and the fall colors just jumped out at me over the weekend and made me want to whip up another clapotis. This one will be far heavier than the others I made. This yarn is on the verge of bulky (although it says worsted) so I'm not quite sure how this is going to turn out. We'll see.

And the daily RANT is that I got a manicure and pedicure over the weekend that cost a small fortune and my 6 year old grand niece could have done a better job. You think I might be exaggerating? Nope, I'm not. It is pathetic. And why did I walk out of there without asking for my money back? Your guess is as good as mine. I need some assertiveness training and I need it soon. You would laugh if you saw my nails. Ugh!

What city do I belong in???

You Belong in Paris

Stylish and a little sassy, you were meant for Paris.
The art, the fashion, the wine, the men!
Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...
You'll love living in the most chic place on earth
What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)
Find the Love of Your Life (and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Wow... how crazy is this?? I've always dreamed of going to Paris!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Knitting for Kids

Wow.. the patterns in this book are ADORABLE. I can't wait to dig into some of these. Beautiful aran knits which I just love. I'm glad I came across it at my LYS the other day. I can envision myself using this book dozens of times in years to come.

The alpaca scarf is blocking. I'm disappointed with it. Love the pattern, love the yarn, but it's the wrong yarn for a scarf and it doesn't do that pattern justice. The scarf turned out limp and flimsy. I may keep it for myself because I'm not happy enough with it to give it as a gift. That yarn would have made a great, soft sweater. Live and learn.

Next up on the needles are another pair of socks for Miss Cate for Christmas. She picked some nice yarn out at the last sale at the LYS and I want to get them finished. I still have those grey socks on the needles (almost finished) so I'll get them done first.

I still haven't heard from my Pittsburgh Secret Pal so I have a feeling she/he may be traveling??
In any case, hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

knitting boredom

I wish I had some exciting knitting news to report but the truth is that I'm still plugging away at the alpaca scarf. It's almost finished and then I'll move on to the next Christmas project. I can't wait to get them all out of the way. (are you supposed to feel like that about Christmas gifts???) I think I have 4 pairs of socks to knit and a few felted purses and then I can move onto the baby things which I AM looking forward to. When all that is finished, I'll start a big sweater.

In non-knitting news I have to report that I am extremely PO'd at QVC. I KNEW there was a reason I never watch that or ordered anything from them EVER. I happened to be flipping through the channels one night a few weeks ago and caught a segment on a hair product that looked like it just might be the answer to my fine, thin hair so I got totally sucked in and ordered it. $40.00 later I am stuck with a product that is the same as spraying water into my hair. (think of the yarn I could have purchased with that money!) If anyone has any experience using Nick Chavez's "flocker" hair spray, and knows some magic trick to get it to actually do something with hair, let me know. And, yes, I know I should send it back but I didn't keep any of the paperwork or stuff that would make it easy to do so I'll just consider it a loss. So, enough about hair!

I think I'll stop at the LYS today and browse around a little for my secret Pittsburgh pal. I like her already!

Saturday, September 10, 2005


1. Are you a yarn snob? Not really. Although I prefer to knit with natural fibers, I think there is a time and place for acrylics too. Some fun little projects call for acrylic yarn... like the little tiny Steeler hats I made last year.

2. Do you spin? Crochet? I do not and cannot spin. I can crochet but I prefer not to.

3. Do you have any allergies? Nope!

4. How long have you been knitting? Since elementary school and believe me, that was a LONG time ago. (but I didn't knit for years until just about a year ago.)

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, I have an Amazon wishlist.

6. What is your favorite scent? Lavender in general and "Clean Cotton" if we're talking Yankee Candles.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Oh yeah. Everything and anything sweet is fine by me.

8. What other crafts or do-it-yourself things do you like to do? For years I made cold process soaps from scratch and I enjoyed it. But I got away from it when my mother got sick and I didn't have time to do it any more. Now I like to play with melt and pour soaps from time to time.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer play MP3's? My computer cannot play MP3's. If my computer turns on in the morning it's a good day. I like almost anything BUT country. Soft rock, new age Celtic, classical, James Taylor, Sting, Dave Matthews, Nora Jones, oldies, almost anything.

10. Do you have a favorite color? I like blues and greens, earth tones... browns, tans. I do not like purple. I'll wear anything but purple or lavender.

11. What is your family situation? Dysfunctional. Oh, that's not what you meant, right? :-) Ok... I have a husband, one married daughter, one daughter in college living away and one son in college living at home. And a cute old dog.

12. What are your life's dreams? Wow... deep. I dream that when I die, I still have 3 happy, healthy adult children who are content with the paths they have chosen, are in love with the partners they have chosen, and have healthy, happy children of their own. That's all I want.

13. What is your favorite yarn to knit with? I really like Cascade 220. I like wool. I also like Kertzer Butterfly cotton, Lorna's Laces, Wool In The Woods, and Opal sock yarns.

14. What yarns do you not like to knit with? I do not like chenille and I don't like fun fur type stuff.

15. What are your current knitting obsessions? I obsess about "Rogue" and other sweaters with celtic braids, but they are on the back burner until I get some Christmas things and baby things finished.

16. What are your favorite items to knit? I still love sock knitting. It's fun to turn the heel. I think it's my favorite.

17. What are you knitting right now? A pair of socks in washable wool and a scarf in very nice, soft alpaca.

18. What do you think about ponchos? I prefer a rectangular wrap.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? I'll only use circs when I have no choice and the pattern calls for it. I like straight needles.

20. Bamboo? Aluminum? Plastic? Bamboo

21. Are you a sock knitter? Yes.

21. How did you learn to knit. My mother taught me the basics. She never really progressed beyond "straight" knitting like scarves and hats.

22. How old is your oldest unfinished object? This is a funny question. I finished an aran afghan for my mother last year that was 10 years old. Right now I have another one started that is about 1 year old.

23. What is your favorite animated character or animal/bird? I've always had a thing for koala bears.

24. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas. And I like Halloween too.

25. Is there anything that you collect? I used to collect snow globes. I still like them but they were taking over my house so I stopped. I like jewelry with a nautical theme like sailboat charms or sand dollars.

26. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None. I buy them all though. My fear is that a magazine will appear on the newsstand and I won't have mine in the mail yet. That would make me unhappy and I know it happens.

27. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on? I like any knitting for kids books.
I figure I'm going to be knitting for grandchildren before too long. (hopefully!)

For more about me.. check out the 100 things about me in February's archives.

Friday, September 09, 2005 - Fall Edition

Wow... great stuff! This (in my humble opinion) is one of the better ones.

Arisaig - I love this. But I wouldn't knit it because I wouldn't wear it. For some reason, wrap around things and I don't get along. I'm uncomfortable in them. It seems like excess baggage wrapped around me. But this is a beautiful design.

Samus - She had me in mind when she designed this...whoever SHE is. I'm such a sucker for those celtic braids. I love this sweater. Zippers scare the bejesus out of me though. I probably won't attempt to go here. (orange is SO in, isn't it??)

Cinxia - I'd make this. I'd wear this. It's just plain cute and simple.

Josephine - I really, really like this. But I wouldn't ever go to the trouble to knit it because you can buy a sweater so completely similar to this that it wouldn't be worth the trouble. (to me, that is) I have some sweaters purchased from QVC that are so similar. I understand that it's the sense of accomplishment for some knitters. But for me, my motivation is more along the lines of making something that you could never buy and this isn't it.

Blackberry - Adorable. I'd love to put this in my line up...someday.

Revolution - Downright awesome... for the right person. That person isn't me!

Lacey - So not me. But really cute.

Leaves in Relief - Beautiful. Lovely. Not on my list of future projects but I admire the skill involved in designing it.

Bloom - cute. Once again, not me, but cute.

Ella - Now this I love. But looking at the pattern totally freaks me out. It's that pesky ADD thing again.

Flora - That's so cute I can't stand it. I will make myself one of these.

Hipster - I'm trying to think who would like this. Not coming up with anyone. But, hey, it's cute !

Falling Leaves - cute socks. I have some knitpicks sock yarn that would be good to use for these. But I have to have a 7 inch cuff on my socks. I don't like them that short.

Bubby - awe.... a great baby project.

Edgar - I wouldn't make edgar. I like a straight scarf. The word Edgar makes me think of the movie "Men in Black". I loved that movie.

Astrodome - like it. That would be a good project to re-acquaint myself with Fair Isle.

Multiple Sclerosis... allow me a few minutes on the soapbox please!!!

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The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is my charity of choice. My sister-in-law died from MS 6 years ago and her daughter (my niece) was diagnosed with the disease shortly before my sister-in-law died. MS is a disease of the central nervous system that attacks young adults in the prime of their lives. Teenagers are now being diagnosed at a higher rate than ever before. Central Pennsylvania has a higher population of people diagnosed with MS than most other parts of the country. Because this cause is so close to our hearts, my family does this:

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Every year we hold a charity golf tournament at the Iron Masters Country Club in Roaring Spring, PA to benefit the MS Society. Due to the hard work of my brother and the wonderful sponsorship of my sister and brother-in-law's company, our tournament is the most successful charity golf tournament in the area. It continues to get bigger and better every year while other local tournaments are suffering the effects of the economy and dwindling participation. We are thankful for this.

Our tournament yesterday was blessed with fabulous weather, generous people, good food, and good fun!

Oh, did I mention that I get to sit on a par 3 hole all day long on one of Central PA's most beautiful golf courses and KNIT???

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For more information about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, visit this website:
National MS Society Welcome

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

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Some better photos of the little purse. I just love that thing!

Last night was our knitting guild night. I missed the first hour and a half. So I missed the starting of the chemocaps that we are donating to charity... I'll have to start that on my own, and I missed a spinning exhibition by Shelley (who recently found my blog) and now I can't find HER website to show you all her beautiful yarns... but I will direct you there when I find it again. I am definitely going to order some of her hand spun bulky yarn to make another rolled collar and sleeve sweater for my daughter, Kelly. She had some gorgeous yarn.

Carla, our LYS proprietor, said that there is a request to donate yarn and needles to the displaced victims of Katrina. Apparently knitting is good for stress relief and there is a movement to send this stuff down there to keep the people's hand busy and their minds off their problems. It makes sense. It helps my stress level, that's for sure. And speaking of stress, I'd be knitting up a storm if I was at home today.

One more vehicle problem and I'm going to SCREAM. My car is in the shop for the second day in a row after spending a few hundred dollars on it yesterday. The engine light came on AGAIN this morning on my way to work. So now we are down to one borrowed car. One stolen, one broken... one manic woman trying to remain sane. And at the same time, I'm telling myself....with everything that is going on down south you should be ashamed of yourself for wallowing in self pity over a few car problems.

Back to knitting... I'm in LOVE with another pattern that I found online. And it's totally FREE.
Check out this blog... and scroll down to the Kepler Post of August 17th. It's so totally me I can't stand it. Gotta have it. fathom

Monday, September 05, 2005

Weekend Stashbusting

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This Plymouth Yarn Co. Peruvian Alpaca has been begging to be used. So it will be Billy's (my son-in-law's) Christmas scarf. The pattern is from this blog: The Yarnpath It's easy to memorize and the design is a good, masculine pattern. I think he'll like it.

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Then, I decided to use up the left over Samoa and Kertzer cottons that I had purchased for socks and the Arlene sweater. I'll wear this scarf as an accessory with turtlenecks this winter to brighten up my wardrobe! It's cute and colorful.

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Housework Interrupted

My Friday night plan was to clean house while my husband went to the high school football game. But as I was walking past the blocking cable purse I just happened to put my hand down on it and I noticed something that needed attention...CONSTRUCTION!!! It was DRY! So, goodbye housework, hello little purse. I forgot to take a photo of the lining but it turned out so cute. I do have an intended recipient for this little number but since she may be lurking here from time to time I'm going to keep it a surprise.

So when I was finished with the purse, and felt like I was on a roll, I picked the sock back up and turned the heel on it. I love that process. People who don't knit socks don't know what they're missing. It's just plain fun.

Although the lovely Cate came home for the weekend for the Penn State game, she declined to model the big blue sweater (finally finished) and told me that she would take the photo of me in the sweater. Apparently she can't be photographed unless she is totally camera ready with make-up and hair done to perfection. So, anyhow, here's the sweater... notice the bright blue on the sleeve. I don't care. It's warm and cozy and will be great for the winter. And, in truth, it's not quite as noticable in real light as it is in this flash photo.

Friday, September 02, 2005


I thought I was over it. I tried to forget about it. But every day I see the yarn. I search for easier patterns for a first lace project. But I just keep coming back to this.

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It haunts me.

Maybe I could figure out a way to make the pattern easier for my ADD brain. I don't know... but I SO want that wrap!!!


Sometimes I'm so clueless I surprise even myself. Check out the purse handles I sent for:

Do you see anything wrong with this picture? I obviously didn't understand when I purchased them that they came individually and not in sets. So I need another round handle and another oval handle to complete a purse. And at $6.95 EACH might I say that it wasn't such a great deal. For some reason I just think that $13.90 plus shipping and handling is a lot for two small wooden rings. They ARE nice quality but I just think I can do better than that elsewhere.

In other knitting news, I have Richard's (my boss) scarf almost complete in Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino Aran. One Christmas gift down.


In watching the news this morning I am in shock over what is happening in New Orleans. Shock and disbelief. I'm going to stop here and not go into a political rant but what good is sending money if no one is going to use it to help those people?