Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fleece Artist - My latest project

This is lovely yarn to work with. It is Merino fingering weight from the Fleece Artist, Nova Scotia, Canada, on US 2 needles. I'm making two-at-a-time, toe-up socks with a simple 2x2 ribbing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Santana was at the Excel Center this evening. We were in row 38 left on the floor, seats 5 and 6. Pretty good, actually. The stage wasn't up as high above the floor as it was when Manilow was here so when people stood up, which they did often, it was much more difficult to see. I'm not the tallest person who was there, by any means. Saw a friend from tai chi there. Small world.

The opening act had the unlikely name of The Derek Trucks Band. Derek Trucks is a pretty good guitar player and definitely liked by Carlos Santana himself. Santana came on stage during the opening act to play with Derek and also had Derek come out during Santana's show.

It's difficult taking photos in low light. I didn't have my "new" camera because I just didn't want to carry such a large thing. So my older little one sufficed. David had the great idea of setting it on "museum" so it opened up and did better. Still blurry but everyone was moving.

And here's a blurry shot of Carlos Santana playing. What I really liked about him this evening is that he didn't steal the show from the other players in the band. He'd stand in the back and let different people take the spot light. Great bone player (trombone, for those of you who don't know that slang word). Two great conga drummers. Great guitar, keyboard, and base players, too.

Santana's primary theme for this tour is peace. Stop shouting my religion is the only one, stop the war, struggle for peace. Let's all get along.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Spring Somewhere...

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park in St. Paul is a great place to take flower photos.

The Sleeping Sloth


There's a spider here.



Friday, April 11, 2008

Knitting in the Snow (warning: photo intense blog)

Those of you who know who the Yarn Harlot is will understand why so many people came out on the windy, showy, icy evening to hear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee speak. For those of you who don't know who she is, click here to read her blog.

Here we are at the University of St. Thomas waiting in line for the event to start.

The Yarnery put on the event, scheduled and rented the space, advertised, gave away door prizes, raised money for Knitters without Borders. To help pay for the event, they also sold books that Stephanie was kind enough to sign, as well as miles (kilometers?) of lovely yarn.

This is my friend Betty.

And my friend Ann.

I "Kineared" a gorgeous shawl. I'm not showing her face because she had no idea I was taking her picture. Isn't that beautiful work?

Of course, we started the event with the Canadian national anthem, Oh Canada. Stephanie is from Toronto.

Periodically, the Yarnery lady would draw for door prizes. Pattern books, yarn, you name it. We all got lovely bags that work like little backpacks to put our prizes in.

And, of course, the event wouldn't be complete without some "roasting" in the form of music. I apologize, I can't remember the name of the Yarnery's group! I'm sure some wonderful person can put it into the Comments for me. Anyway, you can see the photo of Stephanie on the slide screen above that adorable young man. There were 4 who played and sang: The adorable young man, the two ladies singing (one of whom played guitar as well), and the piano player. They were very, very good. My next blog may well have a brief video, assuming they don't put a comment in here asking me not to. Of course, they will have to find my blog to do that.

Finally, Stephanie came out to begin her talk.

But first she had to take "sock" pictures of us all.

As always, her comedic presentation had us all in stitches.... (sorry)

Mixed in with her humor was some serious information about knitters entering the "theta brain state" and becoming healthier, calmer, more alert people, who are more aware of our surroundings and able to learn and remember more than those who don't knit. (And did you know knitters outnumber golfers, 2 to 1?)

She was very validating.

After a brief question-and-answer period where she elaborated on her walk to the store for toilet paper and beer (see March 18), we politely ordered ourselves numerically (we were given numbers as we arrived), and lined up to have a brief moment with our hero and have our books signed.

This is Betty again; we're waiting in the line. I was #58.

Ann was number 61.

I "Kineared" a gorgeous, lacy sweater while we waited.

Just behind us was this amazing piece of knitted tapestry. She's doing a series of these.

Finally, Betty and the Harlot.

Me with the Harlot

And Ann and the Harlot.

At the beginning of this blog entry I mentioned the snow. When I left my office in Anoka at 4 p.m., it was just very, very windy. I had to struggle to keep my car in my lane. By the time I reached St. Paul it was snowing heavily. It felt like God was throwing snowballs at me.

After the event was done it was just raining (albeit freezing rain). The drive wasn't too bad. There was a lot of slush on the road but driving up Snelling Avenue at 35-40 mph didn't feel too scary.

But I realized, as I was getting close to home on County Road E, that it was ice, not dirt, that was blocking the light.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blog Concerns, Food, and Movie Error

I've gotten two Comments on my blog from people I've never heard of before. I was dumb enough to click on the first one (see my own comment to the 4/2/8 entry). It took me to another website and started scanning my hard drive. It could have been a benign activity by a helpful website. However, I sincerely doubt it. I stopped it as soon as I realized what was happening, just a matter of seconds. But what harm it could have caused!

I discovered I could delete comments and did so, leaving the commenter's name and my own comment saying never to click on the "click here" message. A day later, there was a comment from someone else (perhaps--different sign-in name anyway) with a similar "click here" message. I have now completely deleted these comments.

What I haven't figured out is how to contact the Blogger people to let them know about this. There is an online forum but it doesn't have anything about this type of problem in it.

In the meantime, I just want to share some photos from our weekend repast.

My company cafeteria sometimes has meat sales and this past week they sold t-bone steaks by the case. They are really quite tasty and David is a master chef with his (George Foreman) gas grill.

We have also gone to a few wine tasting events and this is one of the wines I purchased.

My final note before getting ready for work (my "magic" self-setting clock got me up an hour early this morning). We went to see "Leatherheads" yesterday afternoon. I definitely enjoyed watching George Clooney's antics on screen (he really is an adorable young man). Zellwegger gives a believable performance. Krasinski was rather lackluster but passable. But then, Clooney was definitely the star of the show.

Clooney was also the director and made a big editorial error: Zellwegger was shown smoking filtered cigarettes in 1925.

Although cigarette filters were invented in 1925 by a Hungarian named Ayvazh and patented at that time, they weren't in even limited production until 1927 in Europe. In 1935, in England, a machine that produced a cigarette with a filter was invented.

It wasn't until the 1950s or 1960s, depending on your source (I used Wikipedia, too), that filtered cigarettes became the norm.

Sorry, George. You need to do your homework a bit more carefully.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Knitting is usually a clean activity

This yarn colorway, from the "Raven" color group, is "Pallas Athena" from Blue Moon Fiber Arts and is a joy to work with, for the most part. In the words of Blue Moon, "What happens if you add a color or colors to black? Does it shade the colors or the black? This depends on the saturation of black in relation to the saturation level of the other colors."

Here I'm using a double strand to make a neck cozy on size 10 (US).

If you look closely at my index finger in this image, you might see a bit of a smudge at the first knuckle. The black is rubbing off. Hopefully, when the neck cozy is completed and I wash it to block it, I'll be able to get most of the excess dye out of it before giving the neck cozy away. (It's a gift but I'm not telling who I'm making it for.)

At any rate, go to Blue Moon Fiber Arts and check out the Raven group of colors.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another Birthday

Several years ago, David gave me this camera. It has been a great camera and still is.

However, David has decided he wants to get himself a new camera, so he gave me his:

I'm sure I'll have quite a time figuring out how to use it. That will be fun, especially after I get the book that goes with it. (This picture is a little wierd because I took it in a mirror and then flipped it.)

Betty made these lovely Celtic tatted earrings for me. They are wonderful. Thanks, Betty.

Ben and Stephanie gave me a $25 gift certificate to I have no idea what I'm getting from Think Geek but I'll post it when I do know. They have all sorts of fun stuff including a card you can plug into the back of someone's computer that adds random keystrokes to whatever they are doing.

And Ben gave me a framed print of this picture. Go look. It's gorgeous. It's Minnesota at its best.