Quick post for poochie cuteness

How cute is our boy?!

Sleeping cuteness


Fun stuff all around

As you know, Nerdy Hubby & I went to his 20th high school reunion not too long ago. Well, we left our camera behind (by choice), and then regretted not having any photos. Someone sent this to me after the fact. Here we are--so grown up and mature. Nerdy Knitter, Nerdy Hubby, and a friend--20 years after graduation (well, for the boys...it's only 19 for me).

Me, Mark, & Greg

We had a nice time catching up with past friends & acquaintances. It's surprising how many people have barely changed, but then again--some people had change beyond recognition. Genes are amazing things.

And another really, really fun thing: I got my Mystery Theme Swap presents yesterday!

Yup, Geraldine, my swap partner, sent me an amazing package of things all the way from Ireland. I have photos of the stuff, but most of them are too dark to really showcase the good stuff I got. I'll showcase a few:

New additions to my stash
This is the yarn that came with the rest of my goodies. Some of it is cotton (the multi-colored Tivoli brand, and the red), while some of it is wool (the blue is merino(!!) and the Regia is superwash for socks). The colors are all great--the sock yarn is bright and silly (what? I'm not silly---stop smirking). The others are just right, too.

Geraldine included a pattern for a tea cozy (the theme of my gift was "tea," you see), and for a scarf.

But the gifts didn't stop there--no siree bob! I got a RED whistle with a sheet of practice music, tea towels with teapots & cute tea art on them, chocolates, treats for the Beast (he LOVES them), an adorable cloth with a paw print knit into it (here it is:)
notepads, bookmarks that are also calendars (how smart is that?), postcards of artwork held in the Irish Museum of Modern Art (I think I got the name right--I don't have the brochure with me), a sampler of teas from Revolution Teas (I love them!), tea biscuits (delicious dunked in tea...trust me, I know), and (phew--that's a lot) a special face mask with tea tree oil in it to make my face glow.

All of that came accompanied by a lovely note from Geraldine. I love it--I'm so glad we were paired for this swap!

Thank you Geraldine! I love it all!


three guesses

What do you think this is?

Everlasting Bagstopper inside detail

If you guessed a lacy hat for spring, you're wrong. Try again.

If you guessed a flirty lace skirt, you're oh so wrong!

What's that? You're guessing an Everlasting Bagstopper? Ding! Ding! Ding! You are correct! Well, mostly correct. You see, I used freebie yarn with no label, so I wasn't sure how much of it I had...that meant I made my bag a lot shorter than the one in the pattern, which also meant that I didn't use the drawstring & toggle used in the pattern.

But I did add cute handles:

Everlasting Bagstopper handle detail

Wanna see the whole thing? Unfortunately, the photo is a little blurry because the bag was swinging back and forth when I took the photo. It might look perfect if you squint just a bit when you look at the photo...give it a try.

Everlasting Bagstopper (blurry)

I'm really thrilled with this little project. I have another "cake" of this yarn in a cream color; I think I'm going to make the very same project, complete with the same handles. Although this time, I really will use the sewing machine to sew the ribbon to the webbing (provided I can thread the machine...).

I don't have any other knitting-related news--I'm working away on Clue 3 of the Secret of the Stole mystery knitalong. I'm still in love with my yarn. Not so sure about the pattern yet. I'm reserving judgement until the whole thing is complete. I wasn't sure about the MS3 stole, and I ended up really liking it. So who knows? I might love the finished thing. I looove my yarn--have I mentioned that?

Before I go, a "before" photo of the Beast Who Ran Away (not forever, "just" for 10 minutes):

When will someone love me?

Doesn't he look calm and happy? What a charade! Less than 24 hours later, he was running through the woods, wearing a 25-foot-long leash, fording a stream, chasing who knows what smell...finally returning, soaked from head to toe. The worst part of all of that is forcing oneself to be cheerful & excited when he returns (so as to avoid teaching him that returning home is bad). Meanwhile, we're muttering bad things under our breath. (What would we do if we couldn't talk to ourselves?) Needless to say, the Beast had a good bath, leaving silt, burrs, and more than a few hairs, in our tub. But he's happy as a clam, completely unaware his behavior caused any concern whatsoever. What a beast! I'm sure he's doing his best to keep Big Mean Doggy Daddy on his toes today. If you get a second, send some good behavior vibes to Nerdy House. Thanks.


Things I've learned

For your own education, here are a few "public service announcements" from the Nerdy Household:

1. Habenero=pits of Hell hot!
2. Don't attempt to hold a conversation while also trying desperately to claw your way out of the pits of Hell (see #1).
3. One good ride in the car does not mean freedom from beastly car behavior.
4. Bringing the Beast to play with another doggy friend sounds good, but actually doing it might be something you'll live to regret (see #3).
5. One good, tiring doggy play date does not mean a carefree trip home in the car.
6. While it sounds nice and relaxing, hand-sewing ribbon to belt webbing takes too long to be fun, relaxing, or anything that might be interpreted as a positive feeling.
7. Cute, striped ribbon sewn onto belt webbing makes for an incredibly adorable bag handle.
8. The sewing machine is our friend (see #6).
9. There is no such thing as a casual change to policy in a bureaucracy.
10. Keeping my mouth shut when I have a "great" idea is a good idea on its own (see #9).
11. The anticipation of teaching a brand-new class is worse than the actual event.
12. Knitters are nice (see #11).
13. Teaching knitting is fun, even when one of your "novices" has already taken a class & knows how to knit (see #12).

So there you have it folks--words to live by. No charge for the advice, but I will expect acknowledgement when you learn on your very own how true it is (kind of like when you learn your mother really does know everything).

Knitting? Oh, yes, I've been knitting. No photos, though. Nerdy Hubby had the camera and he was gone for days and days and days (he's back now). I'll try to get the photos up this week.

Meanwhile, in my bachelorette time, I made a newsboy cap (haven't inserted the stiffening for the brim yet), and most of an Everlasting Bagstopper bag (hence the comments about bag handles and hand sewing). I'm quite proud of myself--I almost (I was "this close") bought new yarn for these projects, but first went to my stash, where I was able to find very nice yarns for both projects. In fact, I have enough other yarns to make another cap (which is good because they're intended for 2 sisters, so similar might be good), and another bag (which is also good because I want these to be my "go-to" Christmas presents). Hooray for shopping in my stash!

My very first knitting class was Saturday, and I'd say it was a success. I had 5 people even though I was supposed to have 7, but it was a nice group with similar levels of experience, I'd say, except for the one absolute beginner who'd never held needles. 4 of them have basic experience, but no purling, so starting next week, they'll all be learning something new. I'm following a suggested course outline from last year's Stitches East workshop. I think everyone will be okay moving on to learning purling so quickly--the newbie might need some help with the knit stitch, but that's okay--the more experienced students can practice purling while I work with the "young one."

Hooray for Knitting for Novices!

And now it's on to working on my Secret of the Stole clue. The clue (#2) came out on Friday, but I've been busy on other little things. I wasn't in the mood for fiddling with charts & all. Now I am--bring it on!

Happy back-to-work day.


So much to say--so little time

Hi everyone--boy, have I been a busy little nerd!

More than a week ago, we spent a lovely evening with our friends, J & K. We opted to leave the Beast home, which was great for us--oh, the freedom of being dog-free for just a few hours. We ate yummy food, had nice conversation (not all about knitting, even--who knew we could do that?), and watched the hosts' beasts play and pounce and purr and growl (dogs & cats).

Then, after a week of work, we left for our big trip Up North. Yup, 10 hours in the car--WITH the beast--to get to my friend, Darci's house. Darci just bought her very first house, and we were lucky enough to be her very first house guests. It was great--the house is adorable and perfect for Darci--and the yard was suburban heaven, just the right size for a beast we know to play and play and play.

Darci was a gracious hostess, showing us a good time, but not holding it against us that we were there to attend Nerdy Hubby's high school reunion (20 years!). The reunion was interesting, but not thrilling. We had a nice time, and I even recognized a few people (I graduated in 1988--my reunion won't be until next year), but there weren't any big surprises like we'd hoped.

We also went into Albany to see our friend, John, and to get the tour of his house-to-be. He bought an old brownstone, and is fixing it up. Wow, am I impressed with his vision! I don't think I could look at 3-unit rental building and see the potential for 2-floor living and a rental unit. There was talk of moving doorways, tearing down walls, and moving plumbing. Yikes! But John's doing it, and it looks great. So impressive!

Then we spent the next day with Nerdy parents and Nerdy In-Laws and Nerdy Brother's family and a Nerdy Friend (hi Trish!).

We managed a relaxing weekend, with visits to friends and family, and the reunion--all in 3 1/2 days.

What made it so relaxing was that the 10-hour drive TO the North Country was incredibly relaxed. The beast behaved beautifully in the car--for the first time ever!--which meant I, Nerdy Doggy Mommy, got to sit in the front seat with Nerdy Hubby, just like other normal human beings. Starting a long trip with dog stress is no fun; it was really fun having it go so smoothly. Our boy is growing up. Finally!

And on the knitting front--I finished the Neverending Baby Blanket 2 days ago; steam ironed it this morning. It's going to its new home tomorrow. Talk about close to the wire!

I'll post photos this week. Now I'm deep into my 1st hint for the Secret of the Stole knitalong. I'm using Zephyr in a beautiful blue (named Indigo) that's almost like dark, weathered denim. I love the color! It's a good thing, too, since I have a full cone of it, which is thousands and thousands of yards. That's more than enough for 2-3 stoles/shawls. But I love it, so that's kind of fun to contemplate.

That's about it, I guess. Travel, knitting, cars, friends & family. All good.

This weekend begins my very first knitting class (as the teacher); cross your fingers & toes that my students are the novices they're supposed to be (the class is listed as "Knitting for Novices"). I've got 7 of them signed up to come for 4 Saturdays. I can't wait!

We have room for 3 more, so if you're in the Charlottesville area, and you don't know how to knit, sign up. See you in the library.


two weeks seems to be my best bet

So my dreams of posting every day are just that: dreams.

Meanwhile, here's what I've got to show:

I love Malabrigo!

That's a close-up of my newly-completed Swallowtail Shawl.

Here's the whole thing:

Swallowtail Shawl, part 2

And here's what I've done so far on the now-named "Never-Ending Baby Blanket" :

Never-ending baby blanket

I finished the Pinwheel Baby Blanket pattern, but knew going into it that I would want to do an edging of some sort. So I borrowed Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge (I'm a librarian, so I get to borrow anything I want from interlibrary loan--yahoo!). The edging I chose is Angel Wings (or Wings of an Angel...can't remember). It's very oldfashioned-looking, which I like. I'm really eager to finish it so I can see the whole thing. It's hard to judge right now, but I'm hoping the bizarre color choice will work with the old-fashioned style. We'll see.

Here's a close-up shot of the edge:

Angel Wings on a blankey

I'm finally at the stage where I can do the pattern repeats without looking at the pattern every row. That makes it easier to make a portable project.

Other non-knitting news: the Nerdy Knitter & her Nerdy Hubby went to the eye doctor today--very exciting for those of us who wear glasses & haven't had new prescriptions in years. And the great news is that my prescription has improved! I'm just sorry I waited this long for the appointment because it's going to be 2 weeks before the new-and-improved glasses arrive, and we're going to Nerdy Hubby's 20th high school reunion this weekend. It would have been nice to be sporting my new specs for that event. Oh well. No biggie.

The Never-Ending Baby Blanket isn't knitting itself--what is wrong with this picture? I only have a few minutes before I'm due back at work, and I need to give that baby (blanket) some attention.

Happy Monday, everyone!