Monthly Archives: September 2008

Knitting Time – I Think

The orange flowers int he garden are reminders of cooler nights.

The orange flowers int he garden are reminders of cooler nights.

First of all an ankle update. The ankle was started to hurt pretty bad Saturday even though all I did was to sit at the LYS and knit all day. So I went to urgent care and this time it was x-rayed. The doctor saw what looked like a small fracture but he wasn’t sure if it was the old break that had failed to heal or a new one. So he requested that the radiologist at the hospital look at the x-rays. The radiologist said that it was a new fracture. Since it is a bone you don’t need to have and it is at the top of the bone, my ankle is wrapped and I have an air brace on it. Given that I have broken this ankle before, I have an appointment with an orthopedist on Wednesday morning. Hopefully they will fit me with an air brace that fits better. Apparently the treatment for a fracture is the same as the treatment for a sprain.

One bit of news that I was given is that because of the repeated sprains to this ankle and the previous fractures, the nerves are not as sensitive as they should be. Repeated strains and sprains stretch out the ligaments and tendons making them slower to heal. And the nerves stretch as well but they lose their sensitivity. But giving the way the ankle has been hurting, I seriously doubt the loss of sensitivity. It hurts now. I can’t wait to hear what the orthopedist has to say on Wednesday. And one good thing about my breaking or spraining a joint is that it tends to make me get into shape. I will be signing up for yoga class as soon as I get the all clear.

The darker background makes the orange pop

The darker background makes the orange pop

On the knitting front, I have always wanting to knit myself A Cardigan for Arwen. Well I have finally found the yarn in Shepherd’s Wool. The LYS that carries it had enough in Pansy to knit this sweater so I bought it Friday evening. I have already finished my gauge swatch and I am dead on with the stitch gauge and only 1/2 row off with the row gauge. But I can live with the 1/2 row being off. Now to cast on. I was trying to stay away from purples and was hoping for a red. But I went with what was in stock. After looking at the color card, I may be ordering some of this fantastic yarn in at least two other color ways direct.

My plan was to not add any yarn to the stash until I had cleared out at least 2 sweater’s worth. Well, I am sending two sweater’s worth of yarn to a certain knitter I know in Chicago. And my SIL is looking at the cotton yarns that I have pulled out of the stash. I need to check with her and see what she thinks of some of the yarns. She is worse than I am about adding yarns to her stash and never using them. So I only gave her one skein of the cotton yarns to feel and look at. If she can’t tell me that she will be using them in the next 6 months, I am taking them back. My stitch group has cotton lovers. And the amount of cotton pulled from the stash was just about three sweaters worth. So I don’t feel too bad about adding sweater yarn back into the stash.

My goal for this winter is to knit myself at least two sweaters. And I have to finish off several socks that are on the needles. I counted and I have about 6 socks on the needles. Several of them are second socks. So the plan is to finish off two second socks before starting a new pair.

And since I have been lazy and not taken any yarn or knitting photos, today’s photos are signs of fall in the mid-Atlantic.

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Sad Day

Early this morning a Maryland State Police medivac helicopter crashed in route to a hospital carrying a victim of a car crash. The pilot, medic and a Charles County EMT were killed in the crash. The survivor was the victim in the car crash according to published reports. The MSP medivac helicopters are the only public medivacs in the county. The operating fees for the transorts are covered by state taxes and vehicle registration fees. This is the deadliest crash in MSP aviation history and the first accident in 22 years. MSP has had an aviation unit for 47 years.

Twenty two years ago, a helicopter went down i bad weather killing the pilot and the medic. As a result of that crash, changes were made and the helicopters did not transport in bad weather. They also made other changes including improving their fleet.

Trooper 2 which is the helicopter that crashed has been routinely been one of the busiest medivac units in the country over recent years. The entire fleet is currently grounded until the investigation is complete. The state police will rely on helicopters from neighboring states, Delaware and Pennsylvania, as well as US Park Service for medical transports. The Superintendent of the Maryland State Police also said the private medivac services will help fill in the gap. But the private medivac services are located in the heavily populated DC/Baltimore area. For those of us living in what is considered to be the more rural parts of the state, it will be the Park Service filling in.

Sadly, the past few years there has been a member of the state of delegates who has been arguing that the Maryland State Police should not be in the business of EMS. He has been arguing that private services should be doing this job. This particular individual has an interest in a private medivac service. Hopefully, he will not use this crash to further his case. For those who have never been transported by medivac, it will run your insurance company and you around $10,000 for the trip. In Maryland, you never see a bill for the transport by MSP. The MSP aviation division has saved thousands of lives over the years by taking a patient from the scene of an accident to the appropriate shock trauma center or burn unit or specialty hospital with in the golden hour of emergency medicine.

According to Chief Billy Goldfeder, the state legislature is in support of maintaining the MSP aviation division. here are more details on his site.

Because my brother is a Maryland State Trooper, I know more about the benefits of the MSP aviation unit than most. My brother’s job within MSP meant that he received an early morning call after the crash and he was called down to the crash site.

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Bad Kitty

The pretty kitty in the post earlier this week has been a bad girl. No, she did not attack my knitting. Although she likes to play with circular needles. She escaped out the front door last night just before 8 pm. My dad called me to say that she had escaped and that he could not find her. It had just started to rain but I grabbed a flashlight and headed over. Since we knew she had headed up the street, I went into the neighbors’ backyards looking for. I caught her eyes with the flash light two houses up but she ignored me. I had just called my brother to come help find her. He was on his way home from working late so he swung by. He did find her and she came in on her own. But only when your brother is a trooper will you get another trooper, on duty no less, to stop by and help find your missing cat.

She stopped moving long enough to capture her

She stopped moving long enough to capture her

The scary part is that we were all out in our neighbors’ yards with flash light in the dark and yet no one noticed!!! Our friendly resident trooper will be making a few house calls here soon as a result. The one neighbor’s yard where I first spotted Mimi has quite a bit of bushes and shrubbery right next to the house and covering windows. I was able to get right next to the house and a window and was never noticed. That is not a good thing. Because there is barely any crime in the neighborhood, no one has a security system like you will find in more urban areas. The resident troopers will be using the hunt for Mimi as a lesson for crime prevention and cutting back shrubs and bushes right next to the houses.

And when I called my brother, I knew he would come regardless of how much he complains about not liking her. They have a mutual love/hate relationship. But on the rare occasions when she escapes out the front door, he is always the one who can find her.

And the reason she escaped was a bad daddy. He opened the front door to check on something and forgot to check and see if she was near the door. She was a little bit wet when she came back inside but otherwise okay. She does a stunt like this about once a year. I personally think it is her way to get my brother to admit he likes her since he is always the one who finds her. And the funny thing is that every time she escapes, it is raining!

I started a yet another cowl last night. But this time it is for me. I am trying to finish up a few things that have been laying around in baskets now so I can finish them for holiday gifts. My SIL is allergic to wool and I need to go through the stash to see what I have that is 100% alpaca so I knit her a cowl. Plus she is going to help me out by taking the odds and ends of my wools and cast offs and knit hats for kids at church. Cleaning out the stash means I can buy more yarn. Doesn’t it? Last night, I bought a sweater’s worth for a sweater for me. And I just placed an order from Webs for two sweaters worth. Okay, one of the sweaters is for my nephew. I saw the pattern for Bang and P and I both think it would suit my nephew perfectly. The only problem is that finding a super bulky yarn that won’t cost an arm and leg is not easy locally. So Webs offered up the answer with Valley Yarns. And since I was placing an order, it made perfect sense to order enough to get the good discount. I will be cleaning out enough yarn this weekend for about 3 sweaters. I have gone through the stash and pulled out all of the cotton yarns and will be sharing them with two members of my knitting group. Plus I have some bulky yarn that I will never knit up that I am offering up to them. Steph, you had better let your husband know that I bringing yarn Sunday.

Fall leaves in black & white

Fall leaves in black & white

Hopefully my model will co-operate tonight and I can take a photo or two of her wearing the cowls. I am taking Chinese up to my brother’s house for dinner. The kids are busy all weekend and my SIL is trying to finish baking for the church German dinner tomorrow. And I am going to be on the lookout for fall leaves this weekend. The weather is cool and damp so ti feels like fall.

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Ring Around the Rosy

Strange title, I know but it has to do with something I was reading in a book last night. I managed to finish yet another cowl last night. I was making one for P out of some Malabrigo in Stone Chat. She wanted it to be at least 10 inches long and I managed to make it 12 inches before I decided to bind it off. I need to wash it before mailing it to her. She will block it out to lengthen it if needed. The pattern for her cowl was the traditional feather and fan lace pattern. And yes, I have started another cowl. This time it is the Seaweed Cowl in yet another color of Malabrigo that is in the stash. I am fast running though my Malabrigo stash though since it was very tiny to start with. But I love the feel of the yarn.

I have been reading Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchine: The Secret Female Pope by Eleanor Herman for the past several weeks. I have read the previous books by this author so I did not hesitate to spend the money on a hard back book. If Olimpia Maidalchine was born today she would be a woman to be admired. But she was born in a time when women not allowed to do anything without the approval of the males in their family. She found a way to work the system in her favor. Actually, I think there may be one or two female politicians who may have taken lessons from her. Even today, this woman would have been called a few unfavorable names. From the facts available to us, she came from a relatively poor background and rose to power. She was the force behind her brother-in-law becoming Pope Innocent X and in the manner of the time, she became an extremely wealthy woman through marriages, bribes, theft, crop speculation, shrewd business deals, and plain old greed. Wait, she sounds like some of the people in power now. And yet despite all of her riches and family connections through marriages, she died alone. During her lifetime, and through the centuries, the bubonic plague aka the Black Death killed many. It struck every one equally. The nursery rhyme Ring Around the Rosy has been said to have come from medieval times although there are many folklorists who say otherwise. I am need to hit the bookshelves tonight in search of another book that will keep me going for a week or two.

She stopped moving long enough to capture her

She stopped moving long enough to capture her

And there has been quilting going on. I have a quilt that I need to go out and purchase some binding fabric for this weekend. I have been slowly working my way through the huge pile of UFO quilts. And the fabric used in this quilt was a special one but I do not have enough left over to bind the quilt. I think this one will look perfect in a friend’s lounge so I want to finish it and mail it to her before the cooler weather truly hits. I know she reads the blog so I don’t want to say who. But P, it is not you. Your quilts are almost ready.

This one needs binding still

This one needs binding still

The Japanese maples are showing their fall color

The Japanese maples are showing their fall color

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Cowls and More Cowls

Finally photos of the 3 finished cowls that I have kept. Okay they are not the greatest photos but my model is in school and if she sees the purple one, she will want it. I have enough left over from my purple one to knit a second one. I may just go ahead and knit a second one. Her birthday and Christmas are coming up.

I had a skein of Baby Alpaca Grande in my stash. I knit it up big enough to go over my nephew’s head. (He has a big head.) It is a simple 4 by 2 rib. I am not sure he will wear it but I am counting on the fact that he likes scarves but doesn’t like to wear them. If he doesn’t like it, I get to keep it. It is nice and soft and warm.


The second one is a “modeled” shot of the one that I knit for my LYS owner. We picked the Crofter’s Cowl pattern and I used up a skien of Malabrigo that was in my stash. I did not graft that pattern and I added extra repeats to the patterns since she doesn’t like anything tight around her neck. I like the way this turned out enough to want to make another one.

The blue cowl on top is Cathy's cowl

The blue cowl on top is Cathy's cowl

And the last finished one is a Pansy Sherbrooke Cowl by Lolly. My one LYS just started to carry Shepherd’s Wool by Stonehedge Fiber Mill. I liked the feel of the yarn and decided to buy a skein to see how it knit up. The yarn is extremely soft and a dream to knit with. I like it enough to be looking at buying enough for two sweaters worth. And maybe some roving. Okay, I don’t spin yet but that doesn’t mean I can’t built up a fiber stash.

And I have yet another cowl on the needles. I am knitting a cowl for P in Malabrigo. I was supposed to knit her a hat last winter but truthfully she never wears hats. So I am knitting her a cowl instead. She has said she will wear it. This one is my own pattern based on the traditional feather and fan lace pattern. She wants it long enough to pull up over her head. So I am going to just keep knitting it until I run out of yarn. That should be plenty long enough for her.

And the ankle is healing. The swelling is almost all the way down. It will be wrapped starting tomorrow for support. A bag of peas makes the best ice pak. The bruising is almost completely gone. Between icing and regular applications of arnica,I had very little bruising.

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Grace is Not My Name

The fair ended Saturday night. The sheep to shawl contest was canceled. The reason given did not really seem valid to any of us who were working in the tent. But the person who made the decision is the person who was in charge of the tent. I have tons of photos that need some editing but I will post a few here. The knit count for the week was five cowls with a sixth started. I need to photograph the 3 drying on top of my dryer.

One of the sheep who talked to me in the sheep barn

One of the sheep who talked to me in the sheep barn

If some one was to tell me that there were other animals there besides, the sheep, alpacas, llamas, goats and horses, I never saw those other animals. Some of the sheep were quite funny. The 4-Her’s raise market lambs not wool lambs so all of the sheep for the most part were naked. I wish I could have had some of the fleeces and I don’t even spin yet!!!

Yes, some one was brave enough to try it.

Yes, some one was brave enough to try it.

And I do have a lasting reminder of the fair though. Saturday night I was walking from the sheep barns to the midway to buy an apple dumpling. (The church that sells the best ones always has a line so I was hoping for a short line.) It was dark and let’s just say that the pathways at the fair leave something to be desired. Yes, they are very uneven and full of cracks and uneven. Guess who felt her foot roll and heard a pop? Yep, Grace is not always my name. I managed to sprain the ankle that I have broken before. Rather than call 911 on my cell and be transported up to the EMS station, I walked up there. I knew the medic on duty and we iced the ankle pretty good. He gave me a few more of the temporary ice paks to keep icing my ankle. It is still swollen and it hurts. But having your foot propped up and iced means you can watch plenty of tv, read, and knit. But I have to say that I am sick of Darkwing Duck. And after my ankle heals, I plan on talking to some one I know on the fair board about the state of the pavement there. Sometimes it is useful to know lots of people. Not sure if talking the people I know who are on the board will do anything but it can’t hurt.

These two were resting as they waited to go home

These two were resting as they waited to go home

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Friday!!!

Only one more day of the fair!!! There is supposed to be a sheep to shawl demo tomorrow but whether or not it happens is another story. But I will have some photos hopefully over the weekend of the monster tomato I just picked. I picked 9 pounds of tomatoes up in my neighbor’s garden in less than 10 minutes. Okay 6 minutes was spent playing with the dog. But one of the tomatoes weighted in at 2 pounds. Plus there was a small handful of the last of the blackberries. The air is feeling more and more like fall.

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