February in May

February Lady Sweater is done and I really like it; I like how it knits up and how it wears.  Fun knit.  I might just have to make more of these.

Pattern: February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne (free download through Ravelry)
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease
Needles: US 6 (4 mm)

I went for my second round of fingerprint scans at Homeland Security this morning, and it was a bit more hopeful.  At least this time, I didn’t see little red boxes all over my fingerprint scans on the scanning machine monitor.  Last month, the agent pronounced my fingerprint scans done after I watched little red boxes appear all over my scans on the monitor, only to receive a notice in the mail a week later telling me that my scans weren’t good enough and that I would have to go back today for the re-scan.  So my husband and I did some homework and we asked professional fingerprint technicians about getting good fingerprints.  We talked to a private fingerprinting business, Kirkland Police and Seattle Police and they all said to use a little bit of Corn Huskers Lotion and that that is what they use when someone has dry hands.  The trick, they told us, is not too apply too much lotion because it will fill the ridges of the fingerprints.  So today, although the agent observed that I have really dry hands, it seemed like it went better because I didn’t see the red boxes on the scans on the monitor.  So, now we wait to see if we get another notice in the mail next week.

I’ll have you know…

That I did not go to the Fiber Frenzy stash-busting event at the Seattle Knitters Guild.  I thought hard about going, but I didn’t go.  I figured that I would just end up with more yarn than I already have and, since I was recovering from a really bad cold, I could use the rest.  So I stayed home.  Ordered gluten-free pizza for me and regular pizza for everyone else and watched WALL-E for the gazillionth time (my son’s current favorite).  Just so you know….

Fading Spring Beauties

I haven’t posted any photos of anything pretty in a bit, and looking at some tulips from a 4 year old’s perspective the other day gave me some inspiration, so I thought I’d share. These were taken with my old Casio Exilim (point-and-shoot) and not my fancy new Nikon DSLR.

And now for some knitting-related content—

On the way back from Seabrook a few weeks ago, I went past a few yarn stores and my husband was successful in keeping it that way, until we passed through the town of Allyn and stopped for gas along the highway.  I got out of the car to stretch my legs and, bingo, there was a yarn store right across the street!  Allyn Knit Shop is a very unassuming yarn store on the outside, but walking in, I think I heard angels sing—it’s filled to every corner with yarn.  Not wanting to leave empty-handed, especially having finished Wine and Roses Mitts for my mom, I was feeling pretty virtuous, so I bought two skeins of super soft Sugar Rush (100% sugar rush viscose) from Queenland Collection in a juicy red.

By the way, I gave Wine and Roses to Mom yesterday and she was so delighted with them she asked for another pair—cheeky! 😉

Star Trek: The next location for knitting.

Yes, that was me in Lincoln Square Cinemas last night attempting to knit a few rows of my black February Lady Sweater in a darkened theater. I gave up after 1.5 rows. It is doable, I knitted quite a bit when I went to see latest James Bond movie last fall, and that was with dark green yarn, but last night it was just too hard keep track of what I was doing. The movie? It is excellent!

February is a Lion

Having finished Wine and Roses Mitts for my mother, I have resumed work on February Lady Sweater, which I actually just barely started on April 1, the same day I started Wine and Roses. When it took 11 days of swatching to get gauge on Wine and Roses, I decided that if I was going to finish them for my mother by Mother’s Day, I’d better focus on them solely. Now that they are out of the way, I’m making lots of progress really quickly on February Lady.

I want to have this as my wear-around-the-house sweater when we bring our daughter home from South Korea in the few months. For this reason, I am using Lion Brand Wool-Ease, so that I do not freak when it gets some form of something burped-up on it and just throw it in the washer and dryer to be worn again soon.  While making Nantucket Jacket a short time ago, it occurred to me that black would be a refreshing color to knit something in, so I chose black for this project.  I love natural fibers, especially wool, but there are times when a project calls for something more practical, and this is one of those. I do miss the smell of pure wool, and this stuff has a slightly, um, hard to describe smell, but it smells just a bit like plastic or something manufactured—I just try to push through and concentrate on the finished item.

Making progress at Pacific Beach, Washington from our trip in April.

Because of the Lion Brand yarn, I’ve decided to call it “February is a Lion Sweater”.

Progress, as of today.

This is a nice pattern, and the designer, Pamela Wynne, has put a relaxed feel in it by incorporating phrases like “…when you try on the sweater, the sleeves stitches almost meet under your arms,” and “Continue until the body is 1.5″ shorter than the desired length.”  Along with such a relaxed feel, all the information I need to successfully knit the sweater is there for me, and I find such non-specifics a relaxing tone to set; just what I need for my less-than-relaxed nature.

We’ve received notification that my fingerprints failed the ever-so-efficient biometric scanning machines at Homeland Security, and now I have to go for a re-do at the end of May (you get assigned appointment times, you can’t choose them). Frustrating, disappointing, heartbreaking, annoying, sad—words that float in my brain every day as I look at our little girl’s picture on my iPhone and I think of how being able to get her sooner has been pushed back because someone wasn’t doing their job carefully and really making sure my fingerprints were accurately scanned. Apparently this is really common. Next time I go, I will watch the screen closely as my prints appear on the machine, and when I see the red boxes appear in various places on the fingerprint scans (I believe they indicate undetected fingerprints), I won’t trust the agent when she says I am done. Next time, I will kindly request doing them again unless she can explain the red boxes, and if that doesn’t happen, I will respectfully request a meeting with a supervisor to make sure that I get good scans.

Playing Catch-Up

I guess this shows where my head is at these days.  Not only have I not been blogging much lately, but also I haven’t been reading my feeds or lurking much and until now totally missed the fact that Holli tagged me.

What are you wearing now? My usual home-wear: super baggy, poorly fitting olive sweatpants, a white Eddie Bauer v-neck longsleeve t-shirt, a green hoodie in bad need of replacement, white crew socks and Haflinger Wool Felt Grizzly Clogs (cork soles). I really like wearing Haflingers as my home slippers because they offer just the right amount of warmth and support for me as I track after my 4 year old around the house all day. They’re not cheap, but when you have bad feet and you stand a lot, you need good shoes.

How often do you blog? I used to blog a bit more often, but lately it’s more like once every 10-14 days. I have a feeling that once we bring home and adopt our 9 month old daughter from South Korea that blogging and knitting will take more of a back seat in my life.

Who was the last person you hugged? My son.

Which item from your closet are you wearing most lately? Jeans.  Growing up in the ’70s, jeans was what everyone wore and I just can’t seem to shake that; the style I wear changes with the times, but I always wear jeans when I leave the house.

What’s for dinner? Linguine with Peas, Proscuitto and Mint from the wonderful cookbook Pasta Harvest, by Janet Fletcher.

What’s the last thing you bought? A few grocery items:  a loaf of Dave’s Killer Blues Bread, a box of BioBag Kitcken Food Waste biodegradable bags, a cup of So Delicious Coconut Milk “yogurt” (it’s dairy-free and it sounded interesting so I thought I’d try it), Caffe Appassionato coffee beans (Emporer’s Blend and Appassionato Decaffeinated), some Muscat grapes (my son and l love these), two Pain au Chocolat croissants from The French Bakery in Kirkland, and a baguette (actually, I didn’t buy it, but the bakery gave it to me because they were closing for the day).

What are you listening to right now? Thomas the Tank Engine Read-Along stories on on CD on the baby monitor; my son’s favorite bedtime entertainment.

If you could have any super power what would it be? To help everyone who needed help.  And, like Holli, I wouldn’t mind the ability to stay up and never need sleep.  Also, I wouldn’t mind not needing to eat…I like food and all, but I don’t like spending time preparing it and sitting and eating it…bad, I know.

What is your favourite weather and why? Moderately warm and sunny weather.  It’s so positive and it brightens me up from the inside out.

What time do you usually get up? 6:30 a.m., although until a few months ago it was 5:30.  I’m finding it hard to get up so early now; this means that I don’t get any morning knitting done.

Detritus of a 4 year old's room.

What is your most challenging goal right now?
Trying to become organized. I don’t like to plan for just about anything. I am a huge procrastinator and a recovering pack-rat and I arrive late more often than I’d to admit.

Say something about the person who tagged you.
Holli is a very giving person and she sounds like she is spread pretty thinly with the many different hats that she wears, but that she enjoys everything she does.

Montecatini Alto, Italy --- not on the ocean, but it sure is lovely.

If you could have a house-totally paid for, fully furnished-anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? That’s hard to say. My automatic response is on Cape Cod (maybe Sandwich, Barnstable or Welfleet) in Massachusetts, but I really see myself living someplace warmer, so I could see myself living in Italy with a view of the Mediterranean somewhere. Wherever I’d end up, there would have to be ocean, swimmable ocean, as opposed to the Pacific Ocean on the U.S. coast, which is so cold I can’t even stick a toe into for five minutes.

Favourite vacation spot? Marco Island, Florida

Name the things you cannot live without. Chocolate, espresso, sugar, sushi, knitting, warmth, sun, the sound of water (an ocean, a river, a fountain) is very therapeutic to me, nature (I’m not a hiker or a camper, but I greatly appreciate nature, and it does me good when I know that nature still exists), my son’s laughter, family.

Ocean beautiful...Monterey Bay, California

What movies can you watch over and over again?
“The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!”, “The Quiet Man”, “Gone With The Wind”, “A Room With a View”, “It’s Wonderful Life”, “A Christmas Carol” (1938, starring Reginal Owen and Gene Lockhart), “National Velvet”, any Jane Austin movie, “Local Hero”, “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”, “The African Queen”, “Adam’s Rib”, “Pat and Mike”, “The Philadelphia Story” (1940), “Little Women” (1933), “Singing in the Rain”, “The Sound of Music”.

What is your favorite tea? Earl Grey, but not just any Earl Grey, it has to be one that actually tastes as good as it smells, which is hard to come by.

I’m tagging Tiennie Knits, Fleegle’s Blog, Super Eggplant, Taitai Knits, amimonogatari, and hakucho because inquiring minds want to know…