Sunday, September 25, 2005

I am losing patience!!!

I"m trying one more time to post some pictures then I'm going to the seafood festival and blowing the rest of my cash (don't worry, Wm has our $$ to get over the bridge) this officially SUCKS and I am not able to upload these photos. The screen just freezes when it's uploading

Mom and Dad, disregard this!

for the rest of you, OMG, wireless internet FINALLY!!!! It's just short of orgasmic! We're finally at the library with occasional power surgers and drops, but I can upload pictures!!! Flounders was GREAT today (thanks Dedrick!!!! lots of Champagne and a limited purchased to the credit card [btw, I am V. Leonard])

our pictures so far.

Did I mention how much I am dependent on high speed access? The current rental (ick) is a dial up only!!! So here we are at the library. Publishing pictures that have left me hanging for weeks. whew. here they are!!! Enjoy in all their vicarious thrills (there are no pics of me rescuing the shark, sorry!)
In order of appearance :
1. Katrina takes out the trash
2. my admirer's (what is it this this 40+ year old bodycomplete with saggy breasts [thanks Nana!] and these construction workers, you'd think they hadn't seen anything young and cute for months)
3. Ginger brings in the rope
4. Ginger's office

Friday, September 23, 2005

Beach bums and bummers

Yes, it's hurricane season so we're at the beach. Where else would we be? Most days the water has been wonderful, clear and great for snorkeling. The sandbar is maybe 50 yards from the beach and when it's clear and calm we swim out. Sharks lurk beyond that so we don't even venture toward the far side of it! And in case you didn't know, NEVER go in the water at dawn or dusk...unless you want to be shark bait.
Ginger has set up her "office" on the beach with her chair and canopy. You can find her there most mornings sipping coffee and reading. The afternoon winds (pre-Rita) usually mean the canopy comes down. The boys are enjoying kayaking, boogie boarding and snorkeling. There are lots of things to find along the beach and construction everywhere. Our Pensacola Unschoolers meet weekly at Bayview Community Center so we're hooking up with other homeschooled kids too. William's already found kids who play Runescape. Such the little social butterfly. Max met Tyler, another quiet introvert, and they enjoyed spending time together. If the connection were faster, I'd post pictures of resource day, but that will have to wait until I get home or have insomnia.
Rita is kicking up the waves and the beach is virtually closed unless you like to be dermabraded top to bottom (the sand is blowing in a straight line through everything). The giant sand dune that protects our property is being worn down and one side has been breeched so the water is running into the lagoon. The winds blow and make the hurricane straps hum on the roof. Not exactly a great lullabye, but hey, we're safe and dry! Now if the cable guy would only show up so we can join the weather channel obsession. I am seriously missing Jim Cantore'
We've taught the boys to play 5 card draw and Gin too. We're limiting their computer time since it's a dial up we can only get one person online at a time. We're started going to the library for an hour daily during the heat of the day and getting online there. It's very crowded with all terminals in use at all times. There are many evacuees from Katrina and now Rita staying in the area.
On the needles, chugging along on the Cozy shawl from Knitty, cast on for Mom's birthday purse. Making it bottom up in the round, it's an oval to her desired demensions and knit in seed stitch. I'm making it up as I go :) And Mikey's birthday hat, which is a seeminly never-ending Fair Isle stocking hat. If the man didn't want it to go to his waist, it would be done by now. I don't know if it will make it in time for his birthday party. Still to cast on, Kelly's birthday purse and William's sweater.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

latest finished object, the never-ending sock purse

I cast on for this purse months ago, honestly! I just discovered we're not much into wearing hand knit socks. I had this lovely KnitPicks yarn and knew it would never be the socks it was intended to be so I cast on for a purse on size 3 needles. Knitting insanity. Nothing special, but it's finally done. It's just a basic round bag with a draw string top. If you like it speak up, it could be your birthday present, LOL! You might consider wearing it as a hat like William and Ginger? If I weren't at the beach and on this infernally slow dial-up, I would edit this for better picture placement, but it took every bit of 15 minutes for these to upload, so deal with it! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

William and Harry at Paddy O'leary's

William made a friend at Paddy O'Leary's pub. It's a "real" pub, or as close to it as you can get around here. Food, drinks, darts and local Celtic musicians gather here every Thursday to drink and play. William "won" a shirt here at the Half way to St. Patty's day celebration. Though it advertises some Gay Rum (quiet, all of you) he loves the shirt because it's so soft. It's also pumpkin orange and a women's style, but that hasn't slowed him down any! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A reality check for the MS/AL/LA officials, PB one YEAR later

Our Laundry room, check out the water marks and still no machines
Regency Towers, a year later and you can still see through the building
this house was only a few years old when Ivan hit. It sits unrepaired
one of two cars still sitting on Ariola
This was once someone's home. It's a skeleton now.
Despite those who keep saying of the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina "six months, but it will take years before it's 'back'" here's a little up close and personal pic of what Pensacola Beach looks like one solid year after Ivan. Many homes sit unrepaired and even have their pre-hurricane contents in various stages of decomposition spilling out of them. There are two cars, one barely recognizable as a car, still on Ariola Drive (beach front street). Dennis laid yet another layer of sand and water on the already damaged island and it never stops. There are piles of debris at the side of all roads and the beach is only passable with shoes on. There are pieces from foundation to roof in the ocean itself. The residents and owners, for the most part, remain hopeful. Insurance companies, contractors and container companies are everywhere. Flounders fed the residents for a month and is rewarded by everyone with unfailing support. Quietwater Beach is there, but all the businesses are empty. We don't know the story on that. We suspect the property will come back. Thank heaven's Alvin's Island is still there and beautifully renovated. Once this island was the working person's beach getaway with small cinderblock homes and efficiency motels. It was affordable and accessible. With each successive building regulation the costs to build and rebuild push this island beyond our reach.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Pensacola Beach a year later

We made it. One year and a staggering gas bill later, we're at "our beach" (see post from August) This year we're staying in someone else's rental and (ick) it has it's strong points (it's standing) and it's weak points (the colors, no TV reception, no toilet paper, missing many light bulbs) and we'll work on that. As is our tradition. After the quick unload we whipped up a batch of margaritas (ala Molly's La Casita) and headed to the beach. The difference? This year heading to the beach required either traversing over a pile of sand as high as our former M/N unit or heading to the side of it. The beach, however, is the beach. Regardless of storms, the ocean has waves and the sand is there. There is an enormous about of flotsam and jetsam and the boys LOVED climbing the piles of (yet unsifted?) sand to find treasure. Here are a few of their finds: part of a sprinkler system, faucet from a shower including piping, PVC piping, plywood, a lottery ticket, a kitchen sponge, something that looked like bone, and 9 intact tiles from someone's condo! We salvaged them and we'll come up with a project for it later. Ginger found some fabric and said it was perfect to make a Katrina purse from. So I'll be washing and sewing it later. For now we're watching Shrek 2 thanks to Ginger who insisted on bringing darn near our entire DVD collection. Without her, and without TV, gee, where would this vacation be? So it's drinking, noshing and enjoying our little family. I'll post pictures tomorrow...right after I contact RMI about our concerns. Did I mention the A/C filter was loaded with asthma inducing dust/mold? Yeah, we've been through that before and our staggering medical bills can't handle another emergency this far from home!
If you're headed this direction, we traveled through Montgomery and had no real problems. Fuel is iffy some places, fill up when you're at 1/2 to 1/4 a tank depending on mileage. The fuel is cheaper as you head south. It was 2.55 or so in Cantonment! No road problems, but THREE major accidents that Alabama highway patrol handled beautifully. We left Memphis around 8, stopped to chat with a friend in Olive Branch (hi Aunt Pearl) and then
headed to Pensacola. We arrived about 4:30 at the grocery store, which is our usual first stop.
Another margarita is calling my name (thanks for the tip Kelly, Bar Supply came through!)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Shrug

This shrug is technically the first piece of (human) clothing I have knit. I found the pattern from the Knittingfiend's blog. It has a pattern generator in it. Now the generator is free, but I'm so happy with her generators in general that I'll toss her the $5 for the year and good Karma. I knit this in WoolEase sportweight and I swear the color is oatmeal, but they call it something like heather or bogs. The yarn was on closeout for cheap at Hancock's so I bought it without knowing what it was going to be. If I had it to do over I would be more meticulous in my measuring of my swatch. I suspect that rounding to 1/2 inch made the back too long and resulted in the wrinkling you see. If I were to do this again, I'd probably knit it from cuff to cuff in the round and add a cable along the sleeves. Though my next shrug will more than likely be one of the free staff project patterns from Interweave Summer 2005 issue

The Best Use for Kool-Aid

The best use for kool-aid is dying my parent's beige carpet, but since my brother did that when he was young, I thought I'd stick with smaller projects. Denise (from KnittingParents list) volunteered to shop for people on the list when she went to Nevada where Brown Sheep is headquartered. (We paid for the yarn by the pound because it was seconds.) Along with yarn for 2 other sweaters, she got Lamb's Pride in Winter Frost for a sweater for my youngest son. Since this child can't even keep a white undershirt clean, a crisp white aran sweater was out of the question for him. So the yarn has been turned into many other projects. Koolaid dying is it's main function. I haven't taken pictures of my other projects and even gave one or two away before taking pictures (sorry!), but I HAD to post this. Instead of winding the yarn loosly and then dying it. I dyed it intact. This created a very fun yarn that had color on the ends of the inner yarn and increasing shades towards the outside until the very outer layer had deep color, but because I didn't turn it as perfectly as I could have, even the outer yarn had some varigation. I did two skeins, used 3 packets of kool-aid and the crock pot on low for several hours. No vinegar, no mordant, and a pre-soak of the skeins in plain water. This purse is just past the 1st skein. I cast on with the inside yarn and after a while, switched to the outer layers, then when that skein was knitted up, I added from the inside of the second skein. Here is a picture of the purse in progress (pre-felting) and I've pulled back some of the yarn in the skein to show how the ends dyed and in the inside is still pure white.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Grandmother's sweater

Several months ago I was fortunate to have my mother come for a visit. My mother is a wonderful, dynamic, energetic individual. She always brings special little things for each of us, whether it's a book, article or, in this case, a piece of vintage clothing! Yes, this sweater was handknit by my grandmother (of blessed memory) for my mother! It happens to be my size and one of my favorite colors. As I write this tonight, months after getting it, I have a picture in my mind of this sweater in my mother's dresser drawer. All these months I couldn't remember ever seeing it before. I promise my knittingparents list (a Yahoo group created and moderated by Christine, it's a wonderful list!) that I would post a pic of this sweater and here it is. I'd like to knit a clone of it in a KnitPicks yarn. Possibly Wool of the Andes because it's just a great workhorse, but maybe something washable, which they haven't made yet. If I made it out of Merino Style it would show the cables nicely.

My first sweater!

You've read about this sweater, now see my version. This is the Lion Brand hoodie pattern that's listed in a post a few weeks ago. It is, as the other post said, knit in Brown Sheep (BS) superwash bulky and I do love it. I changed it to knit in-the-round. I didn't stop for the arms soon enough and ended up making it longer than the pattern called for, which cut my yarn supply. I had planned to steek the front and put in a zipper because our eldest son likes zippered hoodies. I don't have enough yarn to make any kind of placket so I am asking him to wear it "as is" this fall and if he must have a zipper, I'll get some more yarn, possibly a complimentary color and add a placket for the zipper as well as pockets. In the meantime our youngest son is attempting to lay claim to the same sweater. (note his "MINE" pose in the upper right corner) I admit to toying with knitting another one, but it just may be my excuse to get more of this yarn! I've also priced WoolEast Bulky, Patton's Wool and KnitPicks Sierra for the 2nd sweater. For price, KnitPicks is winning. Our youngest is the one modeling this sweater. It is heavy, it feels wonderful. Like being wrapped in a strong loving embrace.

First cabled project

Cables. I don't think I'm the only knitter who thought "cable" was a dirty word and far beyond my neophyte knitting reach. I was wrong. This pattern is from Bags a Knitter Dozen, published by xrx books. While I disagree with a few things in the pattern and did alter it a tad, it is practically brainless ONCE YOU GET THE HANG OF IT. I frogged this item four, that's 4 as in 1,2,3, FOUR times before I figured how to cable. My problem, and possibly yours too, was that I didn't use a cable needle and I had my yarn in front of the stitch to be knit or purled. Once I figured it out the main problem was enlarging the chart enough for my old eyes to read it. I scanned it in my computer and then enlarged it. Now I can print it out and mark off each row as I've completed it. I've died some more Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride with coffee and cinnamon to make another purse. I think I might use this same pattern. I felted this after I was done. I pondered what to do for a while and ultimately decided felting was the way to go. I might not felt the next one, but instead put in the recommended lining.