Thursday, September 07, 2006

Vacation All I Ever Wanted

Apparently Nina is sick of looking at the tattoo on my back, so she's advocating for a real post. Do you think a big-ass post filled with pictures and links will satisfy this woman?

Is it wrong that this was my crafts-to-pack pile?

The bulk of my vacation week was spent on a road trip to my Mom's house. Even though Little Man and I have done this road trip alone before, I was terrified about his meltdown potential of a 3 year old with new attitude and new tricks. I was pleasantly surprised by his ability to sit in the car seat for hours at a time, creating entire conversations between his Papo Queen and her pet zebra. And I'm simultaneously delighted and horrified that the Queen systematically smacked every other wild animal figurine onto the floor. Peace vs. Feminism. Oy.

Hurricane Ernesto made us virtually housebound, but we drove to Watkins Glen, NY for one afternoon. While there, we stumbled upon the amazing She-Qua-Ga waterfall. It normally looks like this, but was so huge that even the locals stopped to take pictures. Here's Mom and Little Man.

Isn't that insane? In describing it to Wifey on the phone, Little Man said "Mama, I saw water on hill. Scary, loud. Went down, down, down. Wow!" After giggling at this wonderful description, I taught him the word "waterfall."

Earlier this summer, Mom clipped an article from the local newspaper about a brand new yarn shop in Watkins: Finger Lakes Fibers. Yep, we stopped there.

The store was amazing! It specializes in Schaefer Yarns, because Schaefer is only 20 miles away. While my lovely Mother sat in the car with Little Man, I spent nearly an hour wandering around, petting everything and chatting with Susan, who was knitting a beautiful fair isle sweater. For many months, I've been looking for a perfect Clapotis yarn, and I think I found it. I feel deeply in love with a Great Adirondack Yarn Company skein of Sierra in Blueberry. But it was $50, so I'm still denying myself.

We also dodged the pouring rains to swing through The Windmill Farm & Craft Market. When I was a teenager, my Mom forced me to go with her to The Windmill and I hated it. But things are very different now. It was amazing. The Amish. The baked goods. The homemade pierogies. The Amish quilts. The Amish furniture.

I spent another afternoon at my Gram's house. She loves her faux chenille blanket, and offered me two huge tubs of vintage fabric "in case I want to make more chenille blankets." As if I'd intentionally shred vintage fabric? The horrors. Needless to say, I nearly fell over a chair, tripped over a cat, broke a handpainted "country" knick-knack from 1982, before diving head-first into the bins. I escaped with a garbage bag stuffed with insanely weird fabric, and crammed it into my teeny rental tin box with wheels. Here's the screwed up (but much loved) faux chenille blanket. Photos of the fabric are forthcoming.

I've made progress on my Mom's poncho, but I tried it on her and despite meeting her specific measurements, she still feels that it's too small. She wants a long poncho. This is poised to be the never-ending project.

After considering frogging the center piece and knitting it much larger, or frogging the lace panels and knitting them much larger, I decided to find a nice lace pattern that would transition from the closed stockinette stitch to the very open vertical lace pattern. Last night, I found 6 patterns in the library's copies of BG's masterpieces (some day I'll buy them), and settled on the Open Honeycomb Stitch.


In answer to a question posed by Beth, the spiral tattoo on my back is brand new. The flower tattoo on my ankle is 13 years old. If you're interested in the stories, you can find them here and here.

I finally boxed up Nina's wrist cuff and gave it to her. She loved it, and I was happy with that.

I had so much fun making the box, which is why it took so long to give to Nina. It featured a huge red foam hand that popped out of the box when you opened the lid. Of course I finished it in the wee hours of the night, so I woke Wifey up and scared her with it. tee-hee. Since Nina and I spend precious little time together, spending two consequetive days with her and her beautiful wee ones was a highlight of my vacation. We're pledging to set aside no-kid crafty time in the very near future.

We had a lovely dinner with "the blogger formerly known as M." and her family, which now includes Roo, a most adorable newborn. 'Member that blob of orange I posted? It's a baby hat for Roo, intentionally designed to grow with his head. There's nothing as perfect as a newborn sleeping on your chest. I love having a new little guy around to corrupt play with.

My next door knitter Danielle gave me two LOVELY sculpy-covered baby food jars. If you scoot over to her blog, you can swap for one too. And because she's just that amazing, Danielle also brought me black/grey fabric scraps after I mentioned my plan to do a Herb Ritts black-and-white mini-quilt.


I've swatched, measured, washed and re-measured in preparation for knitting a v-neck fitted pull-over vest for myself. The yarn is Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed, which I got from Christine at a bargain basement price. Yes! Here's the vest-in-progress:

I've also been dilligently working away at the Icarus shawl for Wifey. I've completed the 4th repeat of chart #4, which means I'm a reasonable distance from the fun part.

While watching Braveheart with my Mom until 2am (why? I have no earthly idea), I found a mistake 5-6 rows back. So I held on tight, let about 8 stitches drop down those 5-6 rows, and spent an hour trying to fix the mistake. Here's the money shot. Do you think the wonkiness will block out?

I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming holidays, as well as the new and pending babies in my world. Since everyone in my family is too bored by knitting to actually read the blog (even Wifey), it's safe to post my current Knit Gift List, in order of anticipated deadlines:

Roo: Sweater (1824 cotton from Christine)
Clancey: the Lotorp bag from Noro Revisited in a blue-green-purple Kureyon
Gramma: Wedge Hat from IK Winter '05 (in some tweedy wool)
London baby-to-be: ? sweater
Little Man: basic raglan sweater (cornflower School Products yarn)
Little Man: requested new socks


You will soon see a "Cast of Characters" on my sidebar. It's a pain to constantly explain all the monikers, and since I won't stop talking about my peeps, I'm trying to make reading easier.

I created a survey to determine how I'll proceed with the blog, and would love to hear from as many people as possible. It'll take about 2 minutes to complete and I'll post it tomorrow.

Please, please, please ... if you comment to a post, please include your email address. I try to reply to everyone, especially new people. It might take a bit, but eventually I write back. And for the most part, if you read mine, I read yours. [I'll show you mine if you show me yours] If it's a substantive response, I'll send an email, but I won't generally reply with "thanks" or "you're so right." Instead I prefer to post a comment to your blog. Circulate the love, yo. So if you're asking me a question, be sure to include your email.

Happy Thursday! It's almost the weekend!


M. said...

Wow, that's a post with a capital P.

Did I tell you how much I LOVE the hat you made for Roo? I'm so excited to get him in it this fall.

wenders said...

I adore, adore, adore the picture of your Mom and Little Man. Adore it. It's just perfect, with his little feets showing. :)

And I couldn't find the survey - am I a goon?

AND, I'm glad that someone else is moving at the same pace as me on Icarus! I'm just about to start the last repeat of Chart #4, and then...on to my first 'real' lace!

Engranon said...

It's about time! (As if I can complain about lack of posts from anyone.) All the pictures and progress made me dizzy!

Anonymous said...

Whew! I'm out of breath from just reading that post ;)

Watkins Glen! My partner is from the Fingerlakes area. I love visting her P's, cuz it's so beautiful there. In fact, we'll be driving cross-country to the Ithaca area in a month (and then heading over to Rhinebeck, WOOT!). Thanks for the great waterfall pic!

Cheryl said...

Now that's a post! Sounds like a great vacation, glad you're back!

nina beana said...

FInally! just kidding :) what a whirlwind of a post- and seriously, could you find any more hideous photos of me to post....puhlease? love the cuff, love your trip post, and your knitting makes me knittingenvious. miss you and little man and our craftytime. feel free to cook and take caramel and make tea for me any time :)

wenders said...

Ugh re: scrap yarn? blocking lace twice?! I'm more of a let's take a risk knitter, I think... or a lazy one. I think I'm going to knit the extra repeat, as I have the yarn for it, and can't imagine being sad that it's too big, but can imagine being sad that it's too small. and it's not like I would rip back all the lace to add the extra repeat later, ya know?

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

(Think Crocodile Dundee) Now, THAT'S a post! I'd say you are being a smart alec. See you on the 24th!

Hannah said...

You certainly get credit for a nice long post to carry us through the weekend. Sounds like a terrific vacation. I LOVE Little Man's description of the waterfall!

Son sends many many thank-yous for your comment on his blog!

Anonymous said...

Icarus is looking great! As for wonkiness: 1) I do not see the wonkiness, and 2) I just blocked my Icarus this week and all sorts of crazy, lumpy knitting turned into a beautiful shawl. So I'm sure blocking will fix it.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Wow, there's been a lot of knitting & sewing going on at your house. Even on vacation, you've been a wirlwind. I absolutely LOVE the pic of you & LM under the umbrella in front of the Falls. How cute is that!