Thursday, November 19, 2009

Making Progress...

Work continues on The Classic. It looks the same...just longer. The really cool thing is, I'm close to finishing it. Whew!!! That will be a relief. It's going to be a MONSTER blanket, very long. I shouldn't be surprised. I don't know how to make normal sized blankets...well, normal sized anything.

I do have pictures of the scarf I started on the way to see Kris. It's looking really nice.

And now it has a home. I was working on this at Creative Night last week (I meet with my scrapbooking friends on Thursdays) and my friend who LOVES lavender saw it and it was love.

I've also started a pair of booties that a lady at work asked me to make. I've never made booties before. This is only the bottom and then I work the design of the part that goes over te foot next. This looks small though...even for a newborn.

What do you think? Too small? I have LOTS of this thread left, I was thinking of making the 3-6 month size also to make sure that one pair would fit. It's a pretty simple pattern and shouldn't take too much time to make a second pair.

I'm still working on my socks and I'm doing pretty well. I've started the second one to try to avoid SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) and it's getting pretty close to time to work the heel.

I love socks! I found a website that has free patterns, Knitty, and a lot of them are socks and I'm anxious to start a new pair...always anxious to try new and better things. I need to focus on finishing some things first.

I've also been commissioned to make a scarf for a friend. My progress on that?

None. My next post will hopefully be titled "Finished."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Philadelphia was so awesome. I feel inspired to re-take American History after visiting Philly. There is so much to see there, so much to learn. We drove there Tuesday morning...

I love bridges so here is the George Washington Bridge as we went through New York

…and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge as we were coming into Philly.

We weren’t sure where we were going or where we should go to park. We drove in circles a little bit and found a parking garage with an all-day rate. We were hoping we could just leave the car there and then walk or take the subway anywhere else we wanted to go. The nice people at the Starbucks by the parking garage pointed us in the direction of the historical area we wanted to see and we were off.

Once again the weather cooperated and it was a beautiful day. We ended up on a double decker bus (on the top of course!! What’s the point of sitting on the bottom of a double decker bus?) getting a view of all of Philly. Here’s an artistic shot I took of Kris and me on the bus…

…and this is the piece of art we were reflected in.

There was an entertaining guide who gave us so much information and trivia about everything that we passed. We went all over the place…here are a few of the highlights.

When we got off the bus we went over to see the Liberty Bell. It’s pretty amazing to see it in person.

I saw National Treasure on TV when I got back and I kept looking over at my boyfriend and saying, “I was there. I was right there!”

Sister Hazel was the whole reason we were in Philly to begin with and pretty soon it was time to head back to the car to get ready for the concert. The club was on Walnut Street and we were parked just a couple blocks away from Walnut but we knew it was still quite a hike from there…not a problem on any other day. However, this day we had done a LOT of walking already and we knew we were going to be standing for several hours during the concert so we were hoping the subway might get us a little closer. We had parked the car on the very top level of the garage so on the elevator down, we discussed exactly how far away we might be. A guy got on the elevator about that time so I asked him if he knew where the club was, “Yes,” he said. I asked him if we were close. “No,” he said. The elevator doors dinged open and he walked away. My goodness, the New York cabby was friendlier. We got to the subway stop, walked down the stairs and stared at the map that shows the routes…and stared at it some more, it just didn’t make sense at all. We weren’t sure where we were on the map, much less where we needed to go. We talked to a very nice employee of the transit system and he didn’t know how to get us where we were going either. We should have taken that as a sign, walked back up to street level and waved down a cab but since I’m not very good at “sign” language, we made a go of it on our own. He called someone who told us what train to get on, said we’d need to change trains but I think something might have gotten lost in translation because when we got to the next platform, we were confused again. So we stopped to talk to a ticket lady in her booth with the microphone that worked only occasionally. She told us we’d have to go back where we started, take the train somewhere else and then transfer to another train. So, we did all that, got off where we thought she said, walked up to the street, and be still my beating heart, we were one block from…

Where. We. Started. I freaked out just a little bit and Cranky Drea made a frightful appearance. “We’re right where we started!” I cried to Kris. “No, we’re not,” she said. “Yes, we are, our car is a few blocks that way and we got on the subway right over there!” I exclaimed shrilly. She’s looking around thoughtfully, clearly not understanding the gravity of our situation. We’d been fighting the trains for 45 minutes and the concert was starting even as we stood there, dumbfounded. Suddenly she looks at me and says, “Oh my gosh, we’re right where we started!” And I said, “THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU!!” We hailed a cab, which it turns out I’m really good at doing, and we made it down Walnut in just a few minutes. There was another band opening up for Sister Hazel so we didn’t miss anything. We got a drink and listened to the other band play…they were pretty good…and I had mellowed out again by the time my guys came onstage. The show was awesome, I loved every minute of it and Kris did too! We WALKED back to the car, which gave me ample time to apologize to Kris for my meltdown then we drove to the hotel and collapsed.

We drove back the next day to do a little more sight seeing. We walked around some, found Walnut Street again, ah memories.

We walked through Betsy Ross’s house. What an amazing woman she was, and it’s amazing what she had been through by the time she was in her early 30’s. I cannot imagine being widowed twice with three children to raise at my age.

We tried to leave Philly early enough that we wouldn’t have to fight the rush hour traffic leaving New York but we still got slowed down quite a bit. It took almost twice as long to get home as it did to get there.

We saw the Tappan Zee Bridge coming home.

It was Kris’s birthday that day so we went out for dinner with her parents and had a great evening.

I flew home the next day. It was an amazing trip and we had so much fun. I can’t thank Kris and her parents enough for everything. And truth be told, we could have stayed home the whole time and played Yahtzee and it still would have been a blast. But then I wouldn’t have gotten the yummy yarn!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New York Day 2

Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Wow, Monday was amazing!! We decided to take the train into the city (New York City!!) Monday morning, hoping the weather would be at least decent. Well, it was above and beyond what we could have expected based on Sunday's brilliant display of...gloom. Monday was beautiful! It was sunny and warm. The morning was brisk and chilly but the sun was shining and it was so gorgeous out. By the afternoon, I had shed my winter coat and was pretty warm in my sweater. (BTW, Mom, I took your advice on the thin tank underneath to add a layer and it made all the difference in the world!) Kris and I took the train into the city which was part of the adventure for me.

Kris had friends in town from California for a wedding so we hung out with them for a little bit until they had to go to the airport.

We all went to Ground Zero which was a pretty moving experience. All I could think about was where I was that day when I saw the footage of the towers. And it's hard to believe that two buildings the size of the towers actually stood in that small space. There are buildings all around and I could only imagine what the people who lived/worked in those buildings experienced that horrible day. It was very sobering and it’s just not possible to fully explain the feeling you get when you stand there.

Kris's friends had to leave pretty soon after that so we said our good-byes and amazingly enough we just happened to be right across the street from a yarn store! It was my first LYS other than a big box store. I got some sock yarn in beautiful colors and a lecture on buying nice yarn. The lady was so funny. We chatted a little when Kris and I first walked in and she asked Kris if she'd been to Rhinebeck. Poor Kris, she knows almost nothing about knitting or crocheting and had no idea what the lady was talking about. Later she said, "Rhinebeck? I thought the lady was talking about a ski place or something." She called it a "knitter language." So we shopped around a little and I found some sock yarn to give me inspiration to stick with this boring learner sock pattern I'm on right now. I took it to the front and the owner was telling me that maybe I wanted to buy cheaper sock yarn since I was a newer knitter because I wouldn't want to use the stuff I picked out on my first pair since I'd probably be frogging a lot and that wears out the fiber. I'm holding my little selection and she's giving me some good info about using wooden needles and how that's what she prefers but she refused to sell her needles to someone one time because she was sure they weren't going to use them. I said, “Well, are you going to sell me this yarn?” I started to think that since I wasn't a tried and true sock knitter yet she wasn't going to let me buy her sock yarn. She did but it was touch and go for a minute. And thank goodness she did because it is yummy. It’s my first nice yarn and I just want to carry it with me everywhere and pet it.

After that we walked over to get tickets to ride the ferry out to see the Statue of Liberty. I just wanted to get some good pictures. I was still getting over the chest cold that tried to kill me so just thinking about walking up a gazillion stairs made my lungs wheeze. I sounded like a man for a couple days and lost the lung capacity to even laugh, which is a really awful thing for me. I love to laugh and I'm on vacation. Double whammy. So something funny would happen and I'd open my mouth to laugh and my lungs would squeeze shut and no sound would come out. Ugh. By Monday, I sounded like a girl again...a wheezy girl. Anyway, we made it through the ticket line and went to get in line to get on the ferry. We're walking to the back of the line...and we're walking...and we round a corner and we're walking...and we round another corner get the idea. Kris, my patience-challenged friend kept saying, "Oh no, I'm not waiting in that line...oh, no. Look it keeps going!" But we found the back of the line (eventually) and stuck it out. The line was so long, we passed a couple different street performers...a man playing a steel drum and another man playing a trumpet.

It didn't take as long as we were afraid it would. The line moved very quickly. It took less than an hour to wind all the way around. We both had books (the train ride is about an hour) so we were shuffling through the line reading. You can see the line behind Kris and me in the picture…

And the line in front of us in this one. It was crazy.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. Have I said that before? :-) I just stood at the back of the boat looking at the Lady Liberty and soaking up the sun. It was absolutely wonderful.

I took no less than 20 pictures of her. She was standing there so beautifully.

I also got a great shot of the skyline from the boat.

We didn't get to see a Broadway show, the timing was just wrong, but we headed back home on the train and tried to crash early to be up early to head to Philly. The night owl in me comes out in the extreme on vacation so early didn't happen for me. But Philly is another post.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New York Day 1

So I went out of town to visit my friend, Kris.

This is how far White Plains is from Orlando.

We had the BEST time. The weather was pretty icky the first few days so we laid low. I was fighting a nasty cold, which now that I think about it happened the last time I was traveling. It started off the exact same way, a sore throat that was more bothersome than anything and just when I thought I was going to be fine, I was struck down to the point of not wanting to touch yarn. I was feeling better when I landed in New York. I’d realized that morning that I was probably going to live and decided that I was OK with that.

Saturday we rode into the city (New York City!!) with Kris’s friends and went to the MOMA. What an amazing museum. I don’t pretend to know anything about art, I’m pretty clueless. I mean, how can you paint a yellow stripe on a blank wall and call it art?? I can do that. Anyway, we saw some really questionable, intriguing, beautiful things. Even though I was walking around with a very quizzical look on my face most of the time, I really enjoyed taking everything in.

Kris’s cousin and his friend met us at the museum and we headed to lunch. If you ever get a chance to eat at Dallas BBQ, I highly recommend the wings.

We had to take a cab to the restaurant from the museum. I’ve been in cabs before but never a NYC cab and I’m all about capturing this trip on film so I climb in and take a picture of the cab, and there’s a TV in the back of the seat so you can check out the news or how expensive your ride is getting. So I had to take a picture of that too. Now, I wanted to ride the subway and it was on my list of things to do (yes, I know how silly that sounds) but there’s a reason riding in a cab wasn’t on that list. Those guys are CRAZY! They’re changing lanes, cutting people off, speeding up really fast and then slamming on the brakes. And you’re just sitting there in the back seat along for the ride. Our group was really quiet so I leaned up and asked the cabby how long he’d lived in New York. “Two days,” he replied. I didn’t believe him. “Where are you from?” I tried again. “New Jersey.” I didn’t believe him when he said that either. Kris laughed at me and told me to stop trying to chat up the oh-so-talkative driver. She said, “You can tell you’re not from here.” I said, “Of course I’m not from here. I’m taking pictures of the inside of the cab!” I guess you can take the girl out of Indiana…

We were planning to head back into New York Sunday afternoon, do some sightseeing, catch a Broadway show, stay overnight and then do a few little touristy things Monday but when we woke up Sunday morning, it was not only bitter cold, it was drizzling and it didn't let up all day long. It ended up being such a nice, relaxing day for us. We slept in, went and got a mani/pedi, relaxed around the house, and I also got to go to the biggest dairy store in the world, Stew Leonards!

Even though it was freezing and still raining a little bit, we got some of their soft serve ice cream and walked around their maze of a store. I could have taken a whole bunch of pictures of the fun, moving, singing, dancing displays but Kris rolled her eyes and laughed at me when I asked her to take this one...

so I decided that while I will never see these people again and could probably get away with thinking the singing chicken was photo-worthy, she might run into that lady over by the cheese counter who's giving me funny looks again, and maybe I should do my mama proud and be on my best behavior! I did have to take a picture of the pumpkins.

There were so MANY of them. It was an ocean of orange.

Once we got home, we played Yahtzee. I won one game. I actually got Yahtzee! This is my goober "I'm winning!" face.

Isn't that lovely. Thanks, Kris. hehe

This post is getting very long and picture heavy so I will post about our second day in New York tomorrow. And yarn…yummy yarn!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stalking My Favorite Band

For the longest time, I have been a HUGE fan of Sister Hazel. They are an amazing band and their music is amazing. It's poetic and beautiful and strong and they write their own lyrics and they have an incredible way of presenting their message. I've seen them several times at House of Blues in Orlando but as awesome as their CDs are, they are just so much MORE in concert. I highly recommend checking out their new album, Release, but all of their albums are fantastic. (I'm running out of adjectives here. hehe) Anyway, they were at Epcot during the Food & Wine festival so my friend, Kelly, was able to get me in.

There are a couple of really cool things about this particular concert.

1. Kelly is bold. We got there about ten minutes before the show started and we were able to snag seats five rows from the front. There was a space and Kelly just sat us down there. I would never have been able to get there. So I was sitting right in front of Jett Beres the entire concert.

Now, I don't know if he knew the girl who was dancing beside me or if he thought she was cute or maybe he just thought my goofy smile was funny but he was looking my way a lot. :-)

2. I was able to take pictures. Whenever they come to HOB, you are NOT allowed to take cameras in for some reason that I do not understand. Being at this concert to begin with and with the bonus of #1, I was able to get some great pictures of the guys.

It was a great show and I loved every minute of it.

And now I have followed them out of state. I am currently in Connecticut visiting my friend, Kris. We've had a blast the past few days doing sight seeing in New York and Philly. There will be several posts to come on those outings. We've walked miles and miles and my feet are begging for a break.

Sister Hazel was in Philly last night and we were there!! Kris is not a fan. It's not that she's heard them and doesn't like them, it's that I have been a bad friend up to this point and haven't tied her to a chair and "encouraged" her to listen. *wink* When we left last night, she was converted. She's talking about when they will be back in the area again so she can go to another concert!

So, my stalking career is short and sweet. I'm flying home tomorrow afternoon but they're going to be at the casino close to here tomorrow evening. If I was going to be here one more day I would be able to see them once more. When I saw the tour schedule, I told Kris I could try going to the airline ticket counter Friday and pretend that I didn't realize I was trying to fly out one day later than I was supposed to. She didn't think that would work. I hope it doesn't make me less of a devoted fan that I wasn't willing to try.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hello, Dear Blog...I've Missed You

So, there for a while, I didn't write because there wasn't anything new to write about...and now all of a sudden there is so much to write about, I will have to stretch it out over a few days so as not to overwhelm you with all that has been happening.

First of all, I would just like to say how proud I am of my boyfriend's son (son of my heart). He is on the golf team for his school and I was able to go see him play last week. He did such a good job (the best on his team) and his school won the match! They've let me tag along when they've been to play golf for practice and instruction and I've seen his game improve by leaps and bounds. He's not only a good golfer, he is a good kid, er, I mean young man. I love him very much.

Secondly, I will be able to blog more regularly now because I have my own computer!!

My very cool roommate has been letting me use her computer to blog, surf the net, etc. but it was time for me to have my own "surfboard" so I shopped around, talked to a friend who knows something about computers (because I know nothing) and I'm so pleased with my little Acer...or the Drea-cer as I affectionately call it. It's super portable, light and it does everything I need it to do. I love it.

That's the news for now...yes, there's much more to tell but like I said, it's so nice to have blog fodder again that I'm going to stretch this out for a few days.

Here's a preview:

I'm stalking my favorite band.

I'm not in Orlando anymore...only temporarily. Where am I and what have I been up to?

New project? or two?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Found...and Finished

Last weekend was so much fun...well, not this past weekend but the weekend before. It was a long weekend and I slept and knitted and lifted very heavy things. Allow me to explain. My super-cool roommate, Diana, got me all set up with new shelves for my yarn. How cool is this?

I've got all my projects and yarn unloaded from the plastic tubs they were in and out on the shelves. Diana is going to be able to use the tubs to store Christmas decorations so it's a win-win! She had to work that day but her best friend came over with an idea. What if we surprise her and rearrange the living room! Fantastic! We tried several arrangements before we decided on a new layout. It's soooo different and she was very surprised when she got home. She really likes it but I don't think she'll leave us to our own devices on a long weekend again. Ha!

The shelves aren't very organized yet but it's sooooo much easier to find things. As a matter of fact, I found a couple scarves that I hadn't totally forgotten about but didn't know exactly where they were. This one was almost totally done so I just finished off the edging and it's all finished.

I love the popcorns on this scarf. I made a pink one recently in this pattern and I think I'm going to make it again. I love the edging on the end, it's really cool and it was fun.

I also found this scarf.

It's made with a thick crochet thread rather than yarn and it's pretty but it's rather tedious since there are so many color changes. I really like this thread and would like to use it again but maybe just have two color changes instead. I HATE weaving in the ends...although, I haven't run across a crafter yet who enjoys it. My only dilemma now is deciding how long to make it. I was thinking of keeping it short this time...haha!! Totally kidding. I asked Diana when I first discovered it in the stash and she suggested I just keep going until I run out of thread. They're small balls so I think I might do that. I still have several sections left so this could turn into another shawl incident. You'd think I'd learn.

The rats have gone back home now. They were really fun to have and highly amusing. They would run laps around their cage and they cracked me up. The cats never showed much more than a passing curiosity. As a matter of fact, I put the rats in their ball while I cleaned the cage and my cat gave them a wide berth when he walked by. It makes me wonder how he ever ate when he was a stray. He's such a scaredy-cat. Everything startles him, although, maybe that's left over from his stray days.

Well, before I start babbling, as I so often catch myself doing, I will close. I'm going to work on some knitting tonight. I've been going back and forth between The Classic, the Princesa and the sock. I've been using the Magic Loop technique for the sock and I like it pretty well but I think I might try using two circulars instead. I have another ball of the same sock yarn so I'm going to try to cast on and see which is easier. I was reading a site earlier where people were duking it out over their preference to use dpns, two circs or magic loop. I think it's only fair if I give all techniques a try. And I've got to learn something more difficult than just these simple patterns. I'm ready for a challenge. You hear me, Angi? :-)