PRGE goodies and miscellany..

I got my package from Shannon this evening!

I don't recall saying that my fave color is purple.. love the wrapping. The buttons say "Knit Happens" and "Free to Stitch Free To Bitch"...And lookee! I have here: A kit for a cute lil felted horse (how'd you guess I liked the ponies? ha..), two bars of super duper smelling soaps from The Alchemic Dragon, a bar of dark chocolate (my fave again..), and...

Stitch markers that look suspiciously Sunne-made... Love em!

I got a bunch knitted on my Jaywalkers tonight.. I know, I started them ages ago. I'm a slow knitter. That, and I spent the weekend knitting the sleeves of TC's sweater. The neverending sweater. There's a nice little cafe the opened up recently near my house, with tables and umbrellas out front, so on a nice warm day (aka hot and humid), it's nice to sit out with my knitting and an iced coffee and watch the world go by. I actually get more done than if I was at home. And when I wasn't knitting, I was playing with this:

She's getting so big now... She's only a few inches shorter than mom. And she looooves to run around the pasture. She's really starting to look grown up now. Oh, and we've almost decided on a name. Can't give it away yet, not till it's official. I don't want to jinx it...

Now I've done it.

I just signed up for Secret Pal 11. I've only recently done swaps on PRGE, the last two rounds, this one still going..

Daunting. Should be fun, tho, doing a swap on such a large scale..

Back to reality..

How hard was it to come home from a tropical paradise?? Oy. The trip was wonderful. Bermuda is one of the most interesting places I've ever visited. The whole place was just unique. Very British, with an island flair. That, and the businessmen walking around in their shirts and ties, and Bermuda shorts and kneesocks, getting on their scooters to take lunch... it was great.

This is the only knitting you'll see from me. It was an interesting drive down to NJ to catch the boat (my father drove, and rather than watch ANY of the road, I knit in the backseat). My first Jaywalker was finished, and I had just cast on #2 and got going when we arrived at the ship terminal. The only other knitting was on the way home, I worked on Cozy most of that drive.

People in Bermuda have Hibiscus HEDGES. Everywhere. This one was my favorite variety. Hibiscus, Oleander, everywhere you looked. And they were fragrant. Everywhere you went, you could smell the flowers.

This is Elbow Beach, on the southern shore of the island. It was a 45 minute bus ride from the ship, and then another 3/4 mile walk down a long downhill path (The whole time knowing we'd have to hike back UP it on our way home...), but once you were there, it was all worth it. Warm water, good surf to swim around in, and powder fine sand. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of the pink sand beaches. But still. Just a beautiful day.

This is the smallest drawbridge ever. See the wood? That's all of it. I think the bus driver said it was 22 inches across. Just big enough to pilot a sailboat through and have the mast of the boat get through the bridge.

And there's me, reading some Chuck, catching some rays on the pool deck. This is the only picture I have of either me or TC from the whole trip. We're just not picture-taking folks. I got more pics of flowers and street signs and things like that than I did of people.
So, got home home just in time for a yarn sale at my LYS. All summer yarns were 30% off. NICE. I'd been looking for yarn to make my Mom a Clapotis, and I think I found what I was looking for. I got a bunch of Filatura Di Crosa Brilla, and started on the Clapotis this morning. The other stuff is Wick, by Knit One Crochet Too. That may be a Clap as well, they didn't have as much of it as they had of the Brilla, but the Brilla is knitting up a little stiff (It's cotton/viscose). I'm hoping it'll soften as I work with it.

I also got a couple of balls of Rowan Calmer. I've never worked with it before, but it looks and feels really nice. I got a greyish-sagey green, and will probably knit a Shedir with it to start. The previously started Shedir has been frogged.. I figure it'll turn out better with the appropriate yarn. One less UFO to look at, anyway..

TC and I went to see Order of the Phoenix last night. I kind of had high expectations for the movie, as the book was by far my favorite in the series. The movie was great, but I feel that there was a lot cut out of it that shouldn't have been. I wanted to see Prof. McGonagall throw down. We got the book as well, TC's got first dibs on it, so I'll have to wait a bit till he's done reading to dive in. Which is fine for me, I don't want it to all be over just yet. :)

AAh, back to the daily grind... maybe I'll sit out in the sun for today, and delay returning to the real world for one more day..

Bon Voyage...

So, I'm almost all packed up and ready to hit the high seas! Seriously, tomorrow can't come fast enough. Camera batteries are charged and ready, iPods are sync-ed and ready to roll, and I packed way too many pairs of shoes. As usual. It's a five day cruise, and I've got, like, 7 pairs of shoes. Well, at least I won't be wishing I had brought more..

Going to bring a little knitting along. The Jaywalkers are halfway done, so I'm thinking I'll take that and finish up the other sock, and bring along Cozy as well. Or maybe Shedir. It's smaller. I was going to start a new pair of socks, but I know I won't finish them, and then I'll have two pairs of unfinished socks. I like to have a few projects on the needles, but I usually like only one per genre, so to speak. One sock project. One lace project. One have-to-concentrate-really-hard project.

So, I'm off. I'm going to finish getting things in order and head to bed. We're leaving town by 7AM so we can get to the cruise port around lunchtime (MA to Newark...) and get on board and start the pina colada sampling. See you in a week!
Aah, summer reading.. (would have been the title, but blogger won't let me type it. grr.)

Ransacked Barnes and Noble yesterday, and got me some books for the upcoming vacation.

This one was the one that I was intending to bring home. Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk. Author of Fight Club, amongst others. Currently one of my faves. I enjoy disturbing novels, and this guy knows what I like to read, evidently. He hits the spot every time. Excerpt from Publishers Weekly:
Buster Casey, destined to live fast, die young and murder as many people as he can, is the rotten seed at the core of Palahniuk's comically nasty eighth novel (after Haunted; Lullaby; Diary; etc.). Set in a future where urbanites are segregated by strict curfews into Daytimers and Nighttimers, the narrative unfolds as an oral history comprising contradictory accounts from people who knew Buster.


This one was a bonus. Chuck again, this time, Stranger Than Fiction. From

Chuck Palahniuk’s world has always been, well, different from yours and mine. In his first collection of nonfiction, Chuck Palahniuk brings us into this world, and gives us a glimpse of what inspires his fiction.

At the Rock Creek Lodge Testicle Festival in Missoula, Montana, average people perform public sex acts on an outdoor stage. In a mansion once occupied by The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson reads his own Tarot cards and talks sweetly to his beautiful actress girlfriend. Across the country, men build their own full-size castles and rocketships that will send them into space. Palahniuk himself experiments with steroids, works on an assembly line by day and as a hospice volunteer by night, and experiences the brutal murder of his father by a white supremacist. With this new direction, Chuck Palahniuk has proven he can do anything.

Aah, Chuck. How do I love thee? This one was on the "Buy two, get one free" table, and never one to turn down free anything, I had to pick two more.

Devil in the Details, by Jennifer Traig.
From Publishers Weekly:
In this 1970s memoir, Traig describes how, from the age of 12 until her freshman year at Brandeis, she suffered from various forms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), including anorexia and a rarer, "hyper-religious form" of OCD called scrupulosity, in which sanctified rituals such as hand washing and daily prayer are repeated in endless loops.

I love memoirs about people with screwy upbringings (a la "Running with Scissors" or "Me Talk Pretty One Day") and this sounds like it's right up my alley. When you flip open the book, and there's a list of "Diseases I have Self-Diagnosed", and it lists every major disease known to man, I'm hooked.

While You're Here, Doc, by Bradford B. Brown, DVM. From
Tales of animal doctoring in a small coastal town in 1950s Maine fill this new addition to the ranks of veterinary memoirs. Since he charged his clients by the miles that he had to drive to deliver his services, Brown often heard the "while you're here, Doc" line as farmers would add on "just one more" patient once the veterinarian had showed up. Whether chasing a stallion through a blizzard so his torn ear could be stitched--surgery done on the floor of the general store whose plate glass window the stallion had crashed through--or checking the sore tooth of a pet monkey after a merry chase in and out of the house (not to mention all the bite wounds), Brown pretty much saw it all in his years in practice. Full of laconic farmers, hysterical owners, and more feisty animal patients than one can imagine, these stories of backwoods veterinary care are sure to be popular...

That's the Pre-Vet major in me coming out. It just sounds interesting. I like the critters, what can I say?


Hello there! Summer's getting into full swing at Chez Stella. BBQs, day trips, and other assorted gatherings. There was knitting happening, so first, I give you some progress pics..

Jaywalker! I finally got around to this pattern. The yarn, Memories from Knit picks, in Morning Glory, was originally going to be BFF socks, but the colors obscured the cables, so it got frogged and here we have take two. It's a super easy pattern, too. TC (That'd be the DH) and I took a trip up to Maine this past weekend, met up with a friend of mine from high school, and we got to go to a Portland Sea Dogs game (AA minor league team for my beloved Red Sox). It was good times! Most of the sock was knit in the car ride up (which wasn't as long as it should have been, TC is quite the speed racer.) I still can't figure out how I can knit in the car, but under no circumstances can I read in the car. I'll barf.
This is the Shedir that I can stop knitting now. For good reason! I have a friend that was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and was going to be put through a round of chemotherapy prior to a double mastectomy. however, upon further testing, she has a tumor that feeds off hormones, so she'll be on oral medication to hopefully shrink the tumors. So no chemo, ergo, no hair loss. I might just make it for myself.
I love how this yarn feels and knits up, but I hate how it unrwinds from the ball. It's Lion Brand Microspun. It just feels so nice and soft, and I couldn't resist buying it at $2.50 per ball (I got two...) but it tangles like the dickens. Between that and the complex cable charts, I'm kind of happy I don't really have a deadline for this project. I might take my DPNs to my eyeballs.
This is my first housewarming gift.. a Gloxinia plant. It is the prettiest flower I've ever seen! I looked up online how to care for it, because it's finicky like African Violets are. I kill cacti, so I'm on a mission to keep this thing going. And so far, the cats haven't tried to eat it, so we're already doing well.

Getting ready to go on vacation soon, too! I can't wait. We're going on a cruise to Bermuda. And I have no idea what I'm going to pack for clothes, but the knitting's already set...

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