Monday, September 25, 2006

Down the homestretch

OK, I don't have much time because I need sleep. Tomorrow I'm going to be spending a bazillion a good 16 hours on the road. But I just gotta show you this.

Old Senate Chamber, Maryland State House
Where George Washington resigned his commission on December 23, 1783.

Can't see? Look a little closer...

It's a half finished object! While our guide was reciting the last few sentences of Washington's resignation speech, I was finishing the final row of the toe on this lovely sock. Talk about timing, huh? (I had hoped to finish the first sock before we returned to Boston.) The most amazing part of this sock--I completed it in 8 days! A record for me!!!

I just need to graft the toe and weave in the end and I'll have half a pair! Woo-Hoo!!!

OK, now that I've had a chance, to share it's off to bed for me. We've got a long day tomorrow...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

From Philly to Virginia--a brief synopsis

Since I seem to have temporarily lost my ability to proofread myself (thank you, Jess), I'll keep this brief. Just bullet points. Maybe fill it with some pictures.

  • Left Philadelphia this morning. (No pictures, was drinking much needed latte.)
  • Our bus driver took us on an unplanned brief tour of Washington D.C., with a stop near the White House.

Thuja sock posing in front of White House.

Thuja sock admiring Andrew Jackson Statue.

Note scary little green sniper guys on roof of the White House.

  • Group got to see a protest march.
  • Continued driving tour after protesters cleared.

WWII Memorial, Lincoln Monument

Swiss Chard in the kitchen garden.

The other picture looks about the same.

  • Drove on to Williamsburg, Virginia. Checked into hotel. Had dinner. Did laundry. Wrote this blog.
  • Went to sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Friday, September 22, 2006

Philadelphia Free-Day

[Edited 9/23 to fix glaringly bad (yet funny) typo.]

Knitting Thuja in front of a soldier hut at Valley Forge

Yesterday we toured Valley Forge and the Brandywine Battlefield. I made good progress on Thuja--most of the heel flap is done. I'm thinking that I just might come close to finishing the 1st sock before this trip is done.

Today, however, there wasn't any knitting to speak of. Jim and I had a relatively free day here in Philadelphia. This morning we brought the group over to Independence Hall for a 9:30 tour, but after that everyone went their separate ways.

Last year we tried to hit as many historic sites as we could. This year we decided to give ourselves a break and focused on the National Constitution Center and the gift shop at the Independence Visitor Center.

I think that a visit to the National Constitution Center should be mandatory for all visitors to Philadelphia. Your visit starts with a multimedia presentation which--unless you have ice water running through your veins--will bring a tear to your eye and a lump to your throat. After that your able to wander the interactive galleries that illustrate the role of our constitution throughout history. The final gallery we visited was the Signers' Hall exhibit, which is filled with life-sized bronze statues of the delegates who signed the Constitution (as well as the three who didn't). These statues aren't placed behind ropes--you're actually able to walk up to them and touch them or pose with them. Really very eerie how lifelike they are.

Here's Jim with George Washington:

And who knew that Ben Franklin was a sock knitter?

After spending sufficient time at the gift shops, we had lunch and then went our separate ways for a little individual freetime of our own. Jim went back to the hotel to make some calls and take a nap. I did what any traveling knitter would do--discovered a yarn store!

It turns out Rosie's Yarn Cellar was located not too far from my hotel. Although the store is in a small space, it is packed with an unbelievable amount of yarn! Just look at all this sock yarn.

Koigu, Regia, Fortissima, Trekking and more! Talk about being in a candy store!!!

This store has a really nice selection of all kinds of yarn--an amazing variety at good prices. Ed, who was working in the store this afternoon, was friendly and helpful. What more can you ask for in a yarn store! And will you look at my "souvenirs"?

The Fortissima's for Jim (socks), the Regia Silk's for me (socks), and the Rowan Tapestry is destined to be a hat... or maybe some wrist warmers. We'll see what it tells me it wants to be.

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And so marks the end of my visit to Philadelphia. Tomorrow, it's on to Virginia.

Subtle puns

The headline on the front of yesterday's Philadelphia Enquirer:

Slow fight to build an army
U.S. troops try to knit disparate militias into a national Afghan force.

And I thought these guys only worked for the New York Post.

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We've got the afternoon free today and I'm going to try and get to a yarn store. Wish me luck!

More travel adventures later!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Go Army... and sockie

This morning we left Albany and headed south. Our first stop--a tour of West Point. The Thuja sock enjoyed the view along with the Elderhostelers.

Here's what they were all looking at:

Breathtaking, isn't it?

I didn't take many other pictures because I spent most of the tour knitting, as well as checking my e-mail on the CrackBlackBerry. (I know, I know, I should stop the work stuff on vacation.) I've got about another inch to go before I do the heel flap.

FYI... the pinks and browns on the Thuja sock seem to be drifting, so I'm not so worried about them looking really odd. See?

Pay no attention to that goofy big stitch in the picture on the right. I'll try to do something to minimize it.

Anyway, after West Point we stopped at Monmouth Battlefield for an hour (no pictures, I was doing tour work) and arrived in Philadelphia this evening.

Tomorrow... Valley Forge, Brandywine, and hopefully a heel flap!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

If it's Tuesday, this must be Albany

Greetings from the capital of the Empire State! I've finally finished (for now) the work I had to get done over the last few days, and now I'm free to blog in the evenings. You see, on this vacation the days are way too busy for daytime blogging. This vacation involves lots of stops at lots of historic places, all following the trail of the continental army. Besides, the bus doesn't have wi-fi.

Where have I been so far? I'm glad you asked...

Saturday was spent in Lexington, Concord, and touring Boston.

Sunday we traveled through New Hampshire to a French and Indian War fort, and then on to a lovely inn in Vermont.

Monday morning was spent on a boat ride on Lake Champlain.

Jim's sock enjoyed the boat ride very much.

From there we went on to Fort Ticonderoga, where I continued to work on his sock--and be mistaken for a Ticonderoga employee.

Tuesday we started the day at the Hubbardton Battlefield, site of the only Revolutionary Battle held on Vermont soil (the Battle of Bennington actually occurred in New York).

After that we visited the Saratoga Battlefield and then traveled on to our hotel in Albany. Along the way, I finally finished Jim's socks!

This afternoon I worked on the first Thuja sock. However, I think the colors are pooling a little on the wonky side. Here are front and back views of the sock:

This is Art Yarns Supermerino, being knit on Size 5's. I'm not sure why this is happening, but I'm going to keep going and see what happens.

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Ok, now I could use some advice. I'm about 80% positive that I'm going to Rhinebeck this year. And I'm intrigued by the prospect of playing Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo. But the shy side of me is hesitant. Should I play? Should I be a square? Should I do both???

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Well, all this traveling has me totally exhausted. Time to go to bed. Tomorrow we hit the road for... Philadelphia.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Elderhostel--Day 3--Brandon, Vermont

Howdy! I'm finishing up Day 3 of my Elderhostel trip with Jim. We're at the Brandon Inn tonight. So far it's been great! There have been a few minor glitches along the way, but nothing to put a damper on things. We've got 25 participants on this tour and so far they have been a pleasure to be with, we've got a really good bus driver, and the schedule has run very smoothly.

Unfortunately, I don't have much to show you in the way of pictures yet. In my off time (which there hasn't been much of) I've been working on a manuscript for work. (Yes, I know, I'm on vacation but still working.) But now I'm getting ready to package it up for FedEx and tomorrow I should be able to post a decent blog entry.

So, since we're leaving for a boat ride tomorrow at 7:30, I've got to cut this short tonight. However, I will leave you with these...

The pink and blue sock enjoying the satelite TV on JetBlue.

Jim and me dressed in colonial attire outstide the Vermont Constitution House in Windsor, Vermont

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gettin' ready to hit the road

I've been knocking myself out at work trying to get ready for my upcoming vacation. Now normally we're unbelievably busy this time of year, but the last two weeks have been so much worse. But regardless, I'll be done (for the most part) with work Thursday evening and on Friday morning I'll be heading up to Boston for the start of my vacation--as a tour guide for Elderhostel with Jim on a 12-day bus tour tracing key events of the American Revolution.

I plan to get caught up on my blogging during this trip. I've got so much to talk about--the Columbia County Fair, getting to see Jess and R.R., some stash enhancment... I'll get to it.

So, have I pack for this trip yet? Well, sort of... if planning my knitting projects counts.

Here's whats coming with me (so far):

The long neglected pink sock #2 with the blue heel and toe.

Jim's Trekking sock.

A new project--Thuja!

And finally, I'd like to get a start on red sock #3. Popular opinion (in the office) is leaning towards a closer match to the darker sock.

There may be another skank skein or two of yarn that hops into my suitcase. We'll see...

Monday, September 11, 2006

In memoriam

Me and Jim's son, Stephen
June 2001

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Random thoughts for a holiday weekend

Friday morning I missed my train (I've had trouble making my train all week), so I decided to treat myself to a latte at the coffee shop in Babylon Village. As I pulled up in front of the shop, look what I saw across the street.

Can you read that sign?


I. am. psyched. Can you tell? ;-)

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Friday night I worked until 9, and Saturday I had to go back into the office again. What better way to celebrate labor day than to put in a 12-hour work day. Well, at least I got a Saturday Sky picture out of it.

Babylon LIRR station

Just another drizzly, wind swept day.

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I'm trying to decide on my next knitting project--definitely has to be one of my UFOs. I was going to get back to the cryptic "Christmas Gift #3" A.K.A "Bluefoot" (just a pair of basic 2x2 rib socks in Karabella's Majestic (knitting both at the same time)), but I can't tell where I am with them. It looks like I didn't quite finish the heel turn on one of them, and it looks like I picked up twice as many gusset stitches than I should have on the other. You know, I think it's been about nine months since I last touched them and looking at them now I can really see that I've learned a whole lot about sock knitting. What a difference a year makes!

So, do muddle through and try to figure out where I am and how to proceed, or should I pay a visit to Frog Pond? I have no idea what I should do.

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Well, later this morning (it is already Sunday morning), I'm heading up to the Columbia County Fair. First of all--my reenacting unit has a display set up, and Jim's been there since Tuesday. Secondly--Jim's giving the truck and gun to another member of the unit for the unit's next event, which Jim and I will miss because I'm going with him on one of his Elderhotel programs, so I have to give him a ride home from the fair. We won't get home until really, really late on Monday, so I'm going to work from the house (in Vermont) on Tuesday. And then drive home Tuesday night. (Can I do any more traveling this weekend???)

And the best part--there's really no place for me to change into period attire when I get to the fair, so I have to dress before I leave the house. Oh yeah, a 3-hour drive wearing a corset. Not a good thing--19th century undergarments and 21st century car seats are definitely not compatible. Of course, maybe a pit stop at Morehouse Merino will make it more tolerable. I just might have to see if it helps...

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Labor day weekend. The end of the summer. The beginning of our busy season at work. And a 12-day working vacation.

September's going to be an interesting month...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Finished object... puzzling

I have another finished object! My red socks!!!

However, do you notice something here? Look closely...

Yup. One sock is darker, the other is pinker. And the two skeins I used were from the same dye lot. WTF?!?!?!?

Claudia Hand Painted Fingering Yarn in Chocolate Cherry -- less than two skeins
Pattern: Four-Stitch Ribbing Pattern--Baby Cable Rib from
Sensational Knitted Socks
Needles: Addi Turbos Size 2.5 mm, length 100 cm (Magic Loop)
Started: April 8, 2006
Finished: August 28, 2006

I've got a third skein of this (same dye lot). I was afraid two wouldn't be enough, but I had leftover yarn from each skein. I was wondering what to do with the third skein. Looks like I'm going to have to knit a third sock and see which one it matches. I know, I'm assuming that there will be a match, and we all know what happens when we ass-u-me stuff... Then I'll frog the mismatch and maybe make a CrackBerry cozy for it. It's a plan.

Sadly, now I really can't wear these until the third sock is done. They'll show wear, and the third sock will still look different. Bummer...

Anybody out there have this same thing happen to them? What did you do???