Sue Knits

Adventures in knitting and other things

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hello Again!!

If you haven't given up on me - which, I have to say, I'd understand if you had... 
I am happily mostly-settled here in Philadelphia, and have been keeping extremely busy even without knitting much (sigh...). 
I laughed when I saw my last post, talking about quickly running out of furniture. I've just finished furnishing my new apartment, kind of the reverse process from the one I mentioned back in October! Ikea is my friend.

Here's the super-boring view out my kitchen window - if anything was ever asking for a mural or something, this is...
But here's the view from my balcony:

which I actually like a lot - it reminds me a little of Mary Poppins. Also one of the trees you can see is a holly tree!! And there's a cardinal I see a lot. I can't wait until it gets a little warmer (though yesterday was 70 degrees!! but that was weird, everyone says so) and I'm going to grow tomatoes in buckets. :)

Today I went to Chinatown and explored. Some things I found:
  • New Year money envelopes, for fun. Last night was Chinese New Year and they had dragons and firecrackers and all kinds of fun at midnight. It's in walking distance of my apartment, if I hadn't had an interview today at 10 I so would have gone!! But, this weekend D and I are going to New York, and we may well check out the Chinatown New Year scene there. So it's okay. 
  • Canned Vegetarian Mock Duck - need I say more?
  • A sesame ball like this one from an Asian Bakery. yummmm
  • whole water chestnuts! I bought four for 30 cents, and ate two just now. :) They are sweet, unlike their canned counterparts. Very fun. 
  • Scented red paper for making paper roses. Who knew there was a market for those?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

a cone of yarn

My friend K lives in New Hampshire, but was up last weekend (when I was out of town, of course...) and I told her about the sale at the store. She was excited, until she saw that it wasn't opening until 12 on Sunday and she had to head South before that. So she asked me to see if there was anything sort of earth-toned and nice for a shawl.

On Wednesday there wasn't a lot earth-toned left, but there was a lovely cone of a nice rich purple (rowan? I think? it's mislabeled... wool, anyway!) and I picked it up for her. This coincided nicely with the Yarn Harlot's tutorial on washing cone yarn (here and here), so I asked K if she minded me playing a little and she agreed. So, last night after doing lots of moving stuff, I skeined a little bit around my elbow, tied it off, gave it a bath in dish soap and baking soda, and let it dry. And Stephanie is right, it does come out so much softer and fluffier! I really wish my camera was here, I'd totally do a side-by-side comparison. :)

In moving news, I'm quickly running out of furniture!! My bed and desk are going today - my college-student cousin is adopting them. He's from CA but going to school here, and classes started at the usual time this fall, so when he expressed interest in the bed I asked what he'd been doing until now. The answer? "Well I have some couch cushions..." Poor guy, I'm glad the bed came up in conversation!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


All right, all right...
Here's the thing - I have not only been a bad blogger lately, but also a bad knitter!! And now that I'm actually knitting again, my camera is in Philly without me (I forgot it last time I was down there...). But I'll post an update on the life of Sue anyway!

My last day of work here is going to be next Friday, October 26. I've had two in-person interviews and one phone interview for jobs down that way, and I've heard back on one of them (the answer was no - but I didn't like that one that much anyway). I took my couch to a friend in RI last weekend, and my parents came and picked up the table and chairs and coffee table - the result of which is one seriously empty living room!! It still has a tv and a rocking chair, though, so I've been watching movies and knitting more the last few days.

More mittens - along the lines of the neverending mitten from a couple of months ago but easier - I admitted to myself that I would probably never actually make #2, that was one seriously annoying pattern for me! But I'm happy with my plan for these new ones. It's the boku yarn again, and they will still be flip-top, but no fingers and the pattern is a simple mitten one that I've had for a while and made several pairs from. Oh also I'm going to try using short rows to make the top instead of the normal start at the bottom and decrease method. We'll see how it goes, but I was really happy with my short row results when I made the ruby slippers for my sister, and I never really like the top of my mittens.

D is flying up on the evening of the 26th, and we're going to pack as much as we can fit in my car and drive down on the 28th and/or 29th. D told me a few weeks ago that after quitting a job it's important to do something fun, so on the 30th we're flying - together!! - out of Philly and heading to Miami for a week! Cool, no? We want to find a really good tour of the everglades, and spend a couple of days exploring the keys - I'm excited!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What to send

I heard from D again this morning and he's scheduled for surgery this afternoon and probably will be again in a few days. So the answer on what to send, I think, turns out to be myself. I had tickets to go down for the last half of next week anyway, but I'm changing my departure to this Friday instead. This also means I'm going to end up missing knit night this week, but please say hi to everyone for me!

In knitting-related news, there was an article in the Bangor Daily News today about a LYS in Hancock that's all knitting dolls to send to African AIDS orphans through a nonprofit called Children Affected by HIV-AIDS. An excellent cause, and I went to the website and downloaded a pattern. They look really simple, and also excellent for stash-reduction (lots of colors, and they don't need to match). I expect I'll have lots of knitting time next week, and that seems like a good way to spend it!

D also doesn't get to argue, he's learning to play cribbage, like it or not. ;)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Being Mrs. Cratchit again

I said the new bag would be blue soon, right? Well here's what it looked like halfway:

sudsy because the dye package said to add a cup of salt and a tablespoon of laundry detergent (which I don't remember doing last time, I wonder if I was following directions carefully?)

and the most useful my pasta drainer has been since I've had it! :)

bad photo (no flash, and it's getting dark earlier now...) but still, look, it's me with a blue bag!

D called this afternoon from the hospital admissions waiting room. Poor guy. A random thing on his foot has turned out to be infected with this. I hate being 500 miles away. Any good ideas for stuff to send?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

finished things

Cake pictures coming soon, I promise! In the meantime, though, check out the latest knitting accomplishments -

ruby slippers for my sister (she was having fun posing!):

and another string bag (it'll be blue soon) - oh and I liked how at the end of the handle it looks a little like a white heart:

A friend has been getting into crocheting dishcloths lately, and asked if I had plans for that spool of cotton. The answer is largely not, although I was going to make one more of the bags, so I've expedited the process and will be able to give her the remainder soon.

D came up for a long weekend last week, and we had a great time. Sunday afternoon's random adventure, which turned out to be gold, was the Rufus Porter Museum in Bridgton, ME. Have you heard of Rufus Porter? We hadn't. But he was a traveling mural-painter (for room and board plus like $1/room, he'd stay with a family for a few weeks and paint murals on their walls), an inventor (he invented, among other things, the revolving rifle, the patent of which he sold to Mr. Colt for $100; also he designed and created a working miniature of what was essentially a blimp - in the 1840s!), and founder of the Scientific American Magazine. There were old issues on the walls, and D and I stayed so long reading them that I think the docents were a little confused... :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


So I mentioned earlier that I've been very lazy, knitting-wise. It's true. But I finally managed to finish mitten #1. And before starting #2 I decided a happy, quick and easy project was in order to bring back the joy (and make sure that #2 happens sometime in my lifetime...) So I made a pair of these, and finished them both in no time! However, they don't match. On the first one, I missed the line near the beginning where it says "Rows 3-11: K all sts". Sigh. But they're fast. And I got to learn how to do a provisional cast-on, a cable cast-on, and Left- and Right-Leaning Increases. Not so bad, really!

In non-knitting news... well, I had company for 10 whole days at the beginning of this month, and just got back from a weekend in Philly (traveling was good knitting time!). I had an amusing revelation - I actually do use a train, a plane, and an automobile to get there! Not in that order (from Augusta to Philly, it's automobile, plane, then train) but still it made me laugh. And now that I'm back, yes, there is more cake. I was surprised and happy to discover that a 14" cake would indeed fit in my freezer. :) For the next two weeks, if it's below 80 or so, I bake. The checklist:

14" chocolate - done
12" white - done
10" carrot - done
8" white - later
6" chocolate - later

Thursday, June 28, 2007

carrots and carrots and carrots

75 cupcakes and two cake cakes later...

no progress on the mittens. But it's okay. My house is (relatively) beautiful and I have company coming tomorrow night and I'm way excited! :)

No knitting tonight - but on my way to the shop, I noticed that there is once again ice cream for sale downtown. So when I saw the note on the door, I changed my destination and became a walking advertisement. Almost as soon as I walked away with my cone (it was strawberry ice cream - delicious) a guy stopped me and said "if you tell me where you got that, I know where I'm getting dessert!"

Oh other exciting news today, a coworker and I went for a walk down to the river this morning and saw a really really big fish jump way out of the water! It was very cool. I asked my boss (who is quite a fisherman) what it could have been, and the answer was a sturgeon. I looked them up then, and found out that they're older than dinosaurs. How nifty is that? Here's a quote I found here (the pictures there are exactly right, too, btw)

"But while looking at the rushing and rippling stream, I saw a great fish, some six feet long and thick in proportion, suddenly emerge at whole length, turn a somerset, and then vanish again beneath the water. It was a glistening, yellowish brown, with its fins all spread, and looking very strange and startling darting so life-like from the black water, throwing itself fully into the bright sunshine, and then lost to sight and pursuit."

- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Augusta, Maine, July 1837

Monday, June 18, 2007


Look how beautiful it is! :) :) :) I went to to Acadia this weekend with my siblings and parents and a cousin and an aunt and my grandmother, and I was not driving so I got to knit knit knit for lots of hours in the car. Perfect!

Otherwise the days are getting a little cakey. My mom and I are making wedding cakes for July 7 and for August 11. July's is actually a ton of cupcakes and just a little cake, an 8" and a 6" on top of each other. My fingernails are slightly orange from dealing with a lot of carrots haha... the August cake is the more conventional one and will seem like a break, I think. But something cool about the July one, she wants really pale green frosting with white filigree. I think it will be really cool! I love how every cake is an adventure. Much like every knitting project - hmm... I see a theme... :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Peer Pressure

Something I forgot to mention in my last post - on the Providence trip, I took a bus to Boston and a train from there to Providence (it comes out just about even money-wise, and I don't have to drive - woohoo!) and on the way home on the bus, I was sitting in a row with another woman beside me, and a couple across the aisle. And by the end of the bus ride, all three of the women in the row were knitting on something! It was great. I hadn't pulled mine out initially (I told you I've been lazy...), but when I saw that I could complete the trifecta as it were, I just had to!!