My Grandpa…

Loves mashed potatoes and chocolate cake.

Dad and Kara

When I was a kid, he used to make me eat as many mashed potatoes as I could, and then a few more.  I think he’d get downright concerned if I didn’t eat a large pile of them every time I visited.  He was right though, there was a family resemblance, and I loved them as much as he did.

He grew his own potatoes, and this is what we often had when we went to visit.  When I was about 10 or 11, he got this wise idea that I should help him harvest his crop of potatoes.  This would require that he teach me to drive the tractor, which he did.  Then he hooked the plow to the back of the tractor and told me to drive slowly through the field.  It was one big disaster let me tell you!  I could not work the clutch smoothly, and would get scared every time the tractor took off.  I couldn’t help but look behind me, and would see him being yanked forward by the plow, desperately hanging on and trying to plow the ground at the same time.  I was too disturbed by the sight of those potatoes being cut in two, their white insides exposed to the mud, to concentrate on looking ahead and driving.  It is no wonder that he never asked me to help again! But I thought it was a wonderful and fun experience.

My grandpa didn’t just grow potatoes, he was quite a residential farmer. He had fruit trees, and he grew grapes, rhubarb, squash, cantelope, watermelon, horseradish, tomatoes, and I can’t remember what all else.  In the early spring when we’d visit, I remember the kitchen counters all lined up with small seedlings ready to be planted. In the summer I’ll never forget how neat and tidy his garden looked to me. He used black plastic to keep the weeds down, and my favorite thing was to run across the black plastic on a hot day after the rain.  There was just something about that crunchy dirt under my feet that felt so strange and alien to me.  Not to mention the hot water puddles!

Grandpa and Grandma used to take us camping when we were kids. This was a great deal of fun for us and Grandma would let us stay up so late that we’d exhaust ourselves completely during the week. We’d go back to their house for an afternoon to enjoy the AC and rest.  Even though we didn’t want to rest all that much, there was something special about that lazy, nap filled cool afternoon.

Grandpa had a subaru for a many years and I thought it was the coolest car ever. It had a digital speedometer before many cars did and I could actually tell how fast we were going. I was amazed and every time we were in the car I’d spend that time watching the speedometer and telling him when he was going over the speed limit.  If my daughter did this to me I think I would end up yelling. I cannot imagine the amount of patience he must have had for me to not say a word!

My Bug is named after my grandpa. My grandpa loves mashed potatoes and chocolate cake. And I love my grandpa.


Sock addictions

I must be struggling with another phase of sock addictions. Because  I just finished another sock. I started these for my Mom as her Christmas socks. Bug picked out the color when last we were out there. The yarn is crazy zauberball.  I suggest winding this yarn onto a ball winder before using it, even though it looks deceivingly like it should work fine in its balled form.  When you pull on the skein, entire sections of color fall off the ball at once, which then tangle as you are knitting with it. This causes me time and frustration!

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The resulting sock though, is quite lovely.  And it has a nice high nylon count for sturdiness.

What a day.

So, I woke up this morning to a laptop that had died a horrible death.  Did I lose a lot?  I am choosing not to think about it.  I knew the thing was old and going to go soon, but I didn’t expect it to go yet.

So, instead of having a relaxing day of small duties and a birthday party for Bug to attend, I spent my day looking at laptop choices and speaking to sales guys.  And seriously….some of the sales guys at best buy?  Well, the one we got I couldn’t even look at due to the greasy hair, dandruff in hair AND beard, and not looking wasn’t much better due to the smell of his breath.

Anyhow, I spent the day looking for a new laptop. But I didn’t purchase.  Because what I WANT and what I can afford are two entirely different things.  So instead I got home, pulled out my geriatric desktop which really doesn’t work, and tried to get it started.  Mind you we’d already been out and about for 7 hours of our day, but since I couldn’t find the power cord, this necessitated one more trip to radio shack before they closed.  I wasn’t even sure if I could get it up and running.  But…I did.  Just barely, as it often freezes upon booting it up, and lasts only about 5 minutes before it crashes, but I have a semi working computer and that will do for now.

Getting out this old desktop has shown me just how on its last legs the old lappy was though, as this old desktop now runs a thousand times faster than the laptop did.  And the laptop felt speedy when I got it!

All that computer shopping not only about blew my mind, but it severely cut into the time I spent knitting this weekend.  Or rather spinning, as that is what really missed out.  I finished the math nerd socks late Saturday evening so at least I wasn’t stressing over those as well today.

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The pattern on these is fantastic. I love how gentle it is, and how it really broke up the variegation.  It isn’t a slip stitch pattern, but it rather looks like it has done the same thing to the finished product.

I suspect these will fit really well too, since I currently have them on and though large on my feet, I don’t really want to take them off.

Weekend goals

I have two goals this weekend.  Three if you could cleaning up my bedroom.  But I won’t be blogging about that one.

The first is to finish the pair of math nerd socks I’ve been working on. And since I am past the heel on the second pair, I think it can be done.

The second goal is to finish spinning this:

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Gorgeous merino roving dyed by bunkybobo.  It will be returning to her in the shape of a 2 ply fingering weight handspun.



This is all I’ve got.  And it is a poor picture because it has been raining and dark for days.   This is my stocking, which took a little longer than the first 3 due to being quite bored of the pattern at this point.  I’ve Bug’s left to do, in green.  I’ve cast on but I am giving myself a free week before I start on it.


I am back and I have precious little to show for it except a relaxing vacation. I’ve frogged the spartan sweater, I frogged the sock I was working on, and I haven’t gotten to a point where I can post new pictures.  So, a quick update will have to do.

And just so I don’t bore you completely, I give you a conversation I had with Bug on the plane during our return trip. (She was feeling a bit motion sick).

Bug:  “Mom, Mom, I think I caught a bee.”

Me: “What?  What are you talking about?”

Bug: “I think I caught a bee.  Or a fly or something.”

Me: “I am not sure I understand…”

Bug: “I feel a little sick….”

An October Sock

I’ve been knitting the stockings for October as you all well know. but I also have a real honest to goodness regular sock in progress as well.  This is a vintage sock in ringwood pattern from Nancy Bush’s vintage socks.  The pattern itself is fun, but I am not really sure how I feel about all the leg shaping in these vintage socks. I’ll let you know after I complete this pair.  The yarn is yarn nerd math nerd and it is about time I used it as I purchased it almost 2 years ago now.

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Since I am on vacation, I decided to work on one sweater specifically and leave the rest at home.  I chose the spartan sweater for J.  It is working up almost too fast! I’ve divided for the armholes and am working on the back now.  The yarn may not be the best for the project, but I do hope it looks good in the end.

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A family weekend

Last weekend was a grand family gathering in Ocean City MD.  It was one of the best I think! We had a hotel on the boardwalk, with a balcony that looked out over the ocean.  We also had an event room for the entire family to gather near the pool.  It was so convenient and wonderful.  Bug had plenty of cousins to play with and was so entertained that she slept for hours and hours on the way back to Nana’s Sunday afternoon. I don’t blame her, I could hardly keep my eyes open either!

I finished a stocking for my brother:

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A couple of pictures:

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This was sunrise from my hotel balcony.

One of the highlights for me was seeing a pod of dolphins off the coast heading south.  This was a first for me and I was surprised at how fast they were moving!

It was also vintage car weekend in OCMD, so we had a parade of vintage cars running for 2 hours which we could watch from the balcony. This happened 2 mornings in a row.

I’ve never eaten crabs before, and so feeling adventurous joined a portion of the family and grabbed a mallet and learned.


(yes, that is a mystic waters shawl in action)

Not sure I’ll do crabs again, that is a lot of work for not so much food. I was much fonder of the claws than the actual crustacean itself. There was too much goo and I was afraid to ask what it actually was. Do you see the people sitting at the table behind us?  That is also our family, we sort of took over the balcony.

I did start on my spartan sweater.  I’ll show you tomorrow!

And another

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I’d have to say that these are somewhat addicting. Seriously.  I never thought I’d admit that, but they knit up so fast and look so pretty. What a satisfying knit! Next is blue and white.


I think there is a difference between handspun and homespun.   Handspun elicits pictures of something done well and with purpose, evenly spun, or not but always depending on how the spinner wanted to create yarn. Whereas homespun brings to mind something basic to me.  And I often strive to create handspun rather than homespun.

Unfortunately, sometimes despite ones best efforts, yarn becomes what it wants rather than what the spinner wants it to be.  And such was the case with this turquoise.  I had some beautiful batts with wool, silk, angora, and alpaca.  But it just wouldn’t spin into anything but thick and thin worsted. So not my best spinning efforts, but it still turned out awfully pretty!  I ended up with 318 yards.

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“Tis the season

Or rather, in preparation thereof.

I’ve completed the first of 5 stockings which I will work on in the next two months.  This one is red and white, I will be doing the second one in green and white.

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If I am really lucky, I’ll finish the green and white one on Wednesday before I head out on vacation. But I am not positive this can truly be achieved.

Fox Faces

My yellow mystery socks turned out to be called fox face socks, which is a surprising tongue twister let me tell you!

I ended up pulling out the toe of the first sock as I’d messed it up badly. After thinking it over for a week, I realized I just couldn’t live with it. I switched to a round toe which suits me better anyhow.

These are a fantastic pair of socks, they were great fun to knit and I suspect I’ll be doing so again.

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With Purple Socks

My dear friend Sav sent me a very tiny sock blocker keychain and tiny sock pattern quite some time ago.  I just had no cause to knit little tiny socks, so I didn’t use it.  But this year I got the idea to knit some itty bitty socks as holiday ornaments for Bug’s teachers.  So I set to work following the instructions to make itty bitty socks.  What ended up happening was quite unexpected.  I ended up with a sock about half the size of the itty bitty sock blocker.

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As cute as it is, I think I am going to go up a few needle sizes next time.

Stay tuned for 2 finished objects next week! (If I am truly lucky, maybe one tonight and one next week.)