Monthly Archives: January 2008

Ways to Pass the Time

With the water not being safe to drink quite yet, I have had had to find ways to pass the time. After boiling water twice to use for hand washing my socks, I let the water sit. And after looking at it, I decided against using the water. I initially got the water from the faucet late Monday night and that water still had a lot of sediment in it. Actually it was probably mud. Turns out the the town almost ran out of water Monday night so I must have gotten my water around that time. And for those who were wondering, no, the guys on the town maintenance crews did not find anything odd about me asking about whether or not the water was safe for my to use for hand washing my socks. I am well known in town for knitting socks. I walk to the post office working on a sock if the weather is warm enough for bare fingers. I have gone to town meetings and knit. I go to the local sandwich shop and sit there and knit. I knit at fire company meetings. So everyone in town is pretty much used to seeing me knitting and wearing hand knits. If I am walking to the post office all bundled up, they know me by my hand knit scarves and hats.

I went over to town hall last night to pick up some bottled water that was donated by Wal-Mart and was talking to one of the guys on town maintenance crew. I asked if what type of cookies they wanted after this mess is over. I treat them to cookies several times a year just because. They are the ones who try not to pile too much snow up on my sidewalk or at the base of one of my drive ways. (I have a retaining wall in the front and my sidewalk and driveway are at the top of a side street where they need to push the snow.)

Now on to the knitting. Since I can’t really cook the way I am used to with the water issues, I have been knitting instead. I have been working on my Clapotis. But to be honest, I was side tracked by my new sock yarn. I started a new sock using Down by the Bay from the Harmony Semi-Solid Club I received last week. I am doing the Hedgerow Socks pattern that was offered featured in Knitter’s Review.


And last night, since I was trying to be creative and wanting to use up some blackberries that are in the freezer. (I only froze about 30 quarts.) I decided to make a clafouti. A clafouti is usually associated with cherries but you can use any fruit to make it. And since I know that I washed my berries before freezing them, I wouldn’t have to worry about washing them. I have made them before using plain soy milk but I actually made this one using regular milk. I kind of followed this recipe but blended everything but the berries in the blender. It was good last night but I ate a little bite of it for lunch and it was even better. I will be saving this recipe and making it again. I have some plums in the fruit bowl that aren’t quite ripe yet. Maybe I will try one with plums….


Over the past weekend, I went to my stitch group. This was the first time I had gone to the Westminster meet-up since the location was switched. The bakery where we are now meeting is fantastic. The vegan cupcake I had perfect. And of course, the company is always a delight. Suz was there and she had picked up Carla and brought her. Steph showed up and was working on a cabled project. And as is the norm for us, none of us wanted our time to end. So the four of us ended up going out for dinner. This group is always fun to hang out with is all I can say.


And just a quick note that I am way behind on my email but I am working through it slowly.


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Babysitting Duty

Well, there was a post planned for today but my SIL needed to run some things off for church and my youngest nephew came along with her to the office. I ended up playing with him instead of writing a post. One of the nice things about a family business is getting to put off work to play with an almost 3 year old.

I also spent an hour over at town hall this morning. Wal-Mart has donated water to the residents of the town and I walked over to get mine this morning. But the problem is that the truck was delayed by weather. I ended up helping out a member of the town council tell people that the truck was delayed and would be in later today until her husband showed up to help her. Her husband is a member of the fire company and he was down at the engine that is helping to pump the water into town.

A pipeline has been set up to hook us into the water system for the city of Frederick. The pumping station right next to the river broke down last night and the fire company has placed our engine tanker out of service to serve as a temporary pump until later today when the city pump will be fixed. The entire system has to still be sanitized but the town water department is hoping to have everything online by Friday.

While I was there, I did learn more details as to what has happened. But of course, I can’t say anything about it yet. There are more details in the article in today’s paper. All I can say is that we re going to be on city water for months this time and that the Maryland Department of the environment is still investigating. But all food places and dentists offices in town are closed until the health department is satisfied with the test results. Even the hair salons are sort of closed. They can cut hair but the town is recommended that they don’t do colors until next week due to the extra chemicals in the water right now.

I am boiling water for a third time before washing a few hand knit socks. The guys at the water plant in town said that should get the extra chemicals out of the water and be safe for my socks than. Once the water problem is resolved, I really need to bake them some cookies again. The guys at the water plant are the same ones who plow the streets.


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Do I? Or Don’t I?

Do I or don’t I? That is hand wash my socks. and the reason is that depending on which story you believe in the local paper, my town‘s water shed was contaminated by a manure spill late last week. The initial story as to what happened differs greatly from what is in today’s paper. The story keeps changing day to day as to what happened. But it put it in simple terms, the water is safe right now for bathing and washing cloths but it is not safe for drinking or cooking.

A pipe line is being installed by the county to hook us up to water from the City of Frederick. The line should be finished today but the pipes all need to be flushed out afterwards before we will have safe water. Right now, you have to boil water or use bottled water. I have boiled some water but am using bottled water for drinking and cooking. It is a pain in the rear when it is time to brush your teeth though to remember that the water is not potable.

You can tell by the smell of the water that extra chemicals such as chlorine are being added to the water. And some of the minerals that are normally filtered out of the water are not being filtered out right now. We have really hard water to start with so there is plenty of lime in the water.

My house gets it water straight from the main water pipe running through town. So I can tell when there are problems with the water before my parents would notice them. Late Sunday, we almost ran out of water in the town system. The county has been bringing in water tankers to the treatment plant to help flush out the system. And the smell of the chemicals is really strong right now in the water.

And the problem is that I am out of clean hand knit socks to wear. But I am leery of hand washing them in this water with the extra chemicals in it right now. Almost every single pair of hand knit socks that I own are made from hand dyed yarns.

And there is actual knitting going on. The other three who were at knit group Saturday actually saw me knitting. My Clapotis 4.1 is almost ready for the decrease rows. I have one more straight repeat left to go. And I actually did start a new pair of socks using the new yarn from the Semi-Solid Club from Zen Yarn Garden. And surprise, surprise!!! I am doing it top down and on dpns!!! Photos shortly. I want to get a little bit more of the leg finished first.

And stop over to Roxanne’s blog or her Ravelry page and wish her happy birthday today!!!!


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Photo Friday

Okay, time for more exploration of downtown Frederick. Last week, I showed off St John’s Cemetery and today, we will look at a school associated with the parish. The Visitation Academy has been a part of Frederick since 1846. If you were to look at the school from the street, you would only see the brick walls. I have been lucky enough to go into the chapel associated with the academy for a mass. I am hoping to make arrangements to see the inner courtyards and photograph them at some point. But the outside is a series of beautiful buildings.



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Sheep Circles?

I just saw a funny article over on the Daily Mail’s website about sheep circles. I know that I had heard of crop circles before but never sheep circles. And if you read the article, you will see that the sheep formed the circle themselves. Wool on the hoof is smart.

(Photo is from the Daily Mail website.)

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Still Knitting

Okay, I think I have most of my computer issues solved with the simple solution of moving quite a bit over to the external drive. I did take the time to go through my old photos and clean them up some. I had several folders that were empty or only had one or two photos in them. And when I went to upload my photos for today’s post, I realized that I need to do a little bit of folder clean up and sort them into folders by years to make it easier for me.

I am still knitting though. My Clapotis 4.1 is coming along. I am headed towards repeat 6 on the straight section. I think I am going to be able to get it done with the 3 skeins. The other one I have on the needles will probably be frogged and the yarn turned into something else. I have been looking at Jeanie from the latest issue of Knitty. Over on Ravelry, I have noticed a few people doing it out of a DK weight yarn so that is one very good possible pattern.


I am so trying to be good and finish at least one sock on the needles before I start a new one. I have reduced the number of sock clubs I am in this year and my favorite one is the semi-solid one from Zen Yarn Garden. We received the first shipment for the new club and the name of the yarn is enough for me – Down By The Bay. The colors remind me of the water and water is something I love. I keep looking at the skein and petting it and petting it some more. I keep reviewing sock patterns in my mind that will suit the yarn. But so far I have been good and just pet it. But it has motivated me to pick up on of the two pairs that only need second socks. And I should be turning the heel of one of them tonight. If I finish one, I can start something with this yarn. I seriously doubt Roxanne could dye something that I won’t like.

dsc_0060.jpgdsc_0061.jpg (The color is hard to photograph and the second photo is closer to the true colors.)

Right now I am trying to finish going through the book that was the last item in my wonderful gift box from P earlier this month. I still need to photograph the mitten kits and the book. The book is feminin strikk. This is a book that P and I saw on a Fleegle‘s blog back in July of last year and it struck both of us as one that we wanted to check out. And P is such a wonderful friend that she ordered a copy of this book for me and is waiting on my reading it so I can give her my opinion of it before she buys herself a copy. So far I am in love with the designs. Norwegian is not a language I speak or read. I am strictly a Latin based language girl but this book is making Norwegian something I may want to learn.

I did manage to pick up a copy of the new Piecework which is the annual knitting issue. This year it is all about mittens. I was sad to see that they reprinted an article from an older issue about Poetry mittens without updating the article or make the graph easier to read. But I am still happy that the magazine is around. Interweave seems to be focusing on on Knits over the other magazines that they publish. I am happy that I have my older issues as I am starting to miss embroidery and needlework and keep thinking it is time to start working on a needle arts project.

I need to start my mittens for the No More Humdrum Mittens 2 swap. Because of the small size of the swap, I am not going to really posting about them here. I will post photos but they will be altered just to protect myself. I was able to remember to take out all of my info from my swap email address though.

And here are a hew photos from last week’s snow. I managed to catch the snowman my neighbor’s little boys made before it left for a colder climate.



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My Computer Hates Me!

Okay, maybe it doesn’t really hate me. It is just that I have so much on the computer. I installed an external drive yesterday and I need to move files over to it. I will not admit to how much space my photos take up. But I spent a good portion of yesterday moving files over to the new drive. I still need to move more photo files over there.

There is knitting going on but nothing worth showing off just yet. I am trying to finish up some UFOs. And this is the SMS I sent to someone last night – “Why do we need two hands? If I only had to knit one I would have a UFO done.” I am trying to finish up some mittens again.

And the contest is still open. It will close on my birthday which is Friday.


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My Frederick – Photo Friday

Today’s photos of Frederick are from a cemetery. Frederick has played an important role in the history of the state of Maryland. It was the birthplace or home of more than a few past governors and a judge or two on the federal level. So in order to understand part of the history of Frederick, a visit to a cemetery is a must. Since I started with the Clustered Spires, I am staying downtown for the cemetery right now. First a little bit of background information. Maryland was a colony that has always has strong Catholic ties and there are numerous historic Catholic churches scattered all over the state, including Frederick. The oldest Catholic church in Frederick is St. John the Evangelist and which was founded around 1800.


So it is not surprising that you will find many famous people buried in St. John’s Cemetery. Among them are Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, who is best remembered for the Dred Scott decision, and former Governor Enoch Louis Lowe. The parish of St John’s has long been associated with the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and there are many brothers or soldiers of Christ as they are known buried in the cemetery. There are several members of the parish who died during the War Between the States buried in the older section of the cemetery. Many of these graves are marked with a small round medalion with the initials G.A.R. on them. This indicates that they were members of the Grand Army of the Republic.


There are more photos up over on Flickr in the Frederick collection. Look for the St. John’s set.


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Snow Day

dsc_0020.jpg It is snowing!!!! Yeah!!! This is the first snow in over a month. Okay, those of you in New England can be quiet. Remember, technically I am blow the Mason-Dixon Line. The storm keeps changing but it is now looking like we might get measurable snow today and tonight. And snow the past few years has been on the light side. But the forecast keeps looking better as the ay goes on. And the snow is really falling right now. And I am far enough away from DC to avoid the heat island effect of the city.

And I just finished reading an article on using the weather to create moods in your photos. Of course, I am still trying to figure out some of the things and waiting for the appropriate weather to occur to try things out.


On the knitting front, the mystery project is not the Central Park Hoodie. It has to stay a mystery for awhile longer. And I haven’t even figured out what yarn I want for my Central Park Hoodie. Actually I have it narrowed down to two yarns but I need to figure out what color I want.

I am getting ready to swatch for a sweater for my nephew. I have some green yarn in my stash that would be perfect for him and he agreed to that color. But I was searching over on Ravelry and found the skull cable from Hello Yarn. And cable is so him. So I am switching his sweater to a cabled one with skulls. I sent him an SMS yesterday timing it for when he got out of school. He called me back right away and agreed to the change. The thing is that he wants the color to be gray instead of green. So I am going to be getting some more Eco-Wool in gray to make him his sweater. At least he is moving away from wanting black.

The green yarn will eventually turn into a basic men’s sweater for either my brother or father. They can both wear the color wear the same size. Plus the like the same styles in sweaters. I wonder if I could just do one seater for the two of them and they could share? It might actually work since they both actually share a few dress coats and jackets. Because of his job, my brother generally wears polos and dark pants since he is installing or working on computers. But he does on occasion have to travel for seminars and trade shows. So he just borrows dress coats and jackets for those occasions. My dad already has them and rarely wears them. So a shared sweater might work. I will have to think on that one more.


And today’s photos were from me playing with the telephoto lens and the macro settings. And yes I am having fun with my camera.


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I am busy finishing up stuff for last year’s accounting for the accountant today. So nothing to report today. So you get some pictures from the weekend instead. And can I just say that math is a four letter word? It really is. Can you guess what was my least favorite subject in school?


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