Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Looks like you're skinny dipping! ;-)

By Blogger Mary, at 10:53 PM  

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Sunday, September 30, 2007  

At Robert's Landing

BD up on the bank.

Last swim of the year.

posted by Bess | 5:11 PM


Getting rid of stash that doesn't suit anymore is liberating. I'm facing the reality that I can't work with 100% cotton now, it aggravates my tendonitis something fierce. We learn from things and then we move on from them - much of my stash was a learning experience, and my life and my tastes have changed, and it's time to move on. I can't believe tomorrow is October.

By Blogger Catherine, at 9:40 AM  

You and your rust-colored yarn -- you're like me and my teal-colored yarns. We like what we like, don't we?

That roving is GORGEOUS!

By Blogger Mary, at 2:53 PM  

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Somewhat cranky post about stash, with a happy ending
(and photos)

Thank you Mr.Horoscope. It is fortunate that I don't have a criminal bent, I suppose. It is doubly fortunate that I could probably come up with a list of wants which not only pleases me but enhances the lives of those around me. Or at least, I can imagine they would. After all, even if we are one is only Like the Queen, we do one does set the tone for our one's environment, no? (insert giggling smiley face here)
No knitting has been done for days, but I certainly spent yesterday with my stash. A good thing, since I'll be spending the next two weekends with yarn, fiber and fleece sellers' stashes at FFF and Stitches East. It's good to know that boxes and tubs and bags of the stuff are already insulating my house from the cold winter winds. I do NOT (not not not not) need any more stuff in my house.

Usually rearranging my stash is a pleasurable, if somewhat daunting, task but it was extraordinarily difficult yesterday. There was a crankiness about TheCastle to begin with, I am sure caused by the loneliness of knowing LD isn't living near by anymore. It had the familiar feeling and unwelcome effect of making TheQueen and her consort flirt with squabbling all day. Fortunately, I recognized that pattern and was able to do my part to circumvent unproductive arguments, though I'll admit, I grimaced in the kitchen a few times. Couple that with a wretched lack of sleep the night before and just the hint of a flu-like malaise to which yrs.trly. had had ample exposure last week. (I work with the public and it looks like flu is coming early this year) So, with 2 strikes already I tackled the great Partial&TemporaryPutBack. Yes. I am sure that was the real reason I couldn't get into that delicious "shopping your stash" mode that usually makes rearranging stash so much fun. I not only couldn't put it all back, but I know much of what I did yesterday will have to be undone whenever the carpenter shows up to build the shelves where it will go back after he builds the shelves on which I'll store it.

Okay. That is the point where you are supposed to be laughing at with me.
Because part of me is thinking “Oh law – I'm waiting for a carpenter who won't show up till it suits him.” and this, in itself, is a strange and uncomfortable feeling because I married a carpenter!!! I don't think I could have married a man who was not a carpenter. (Hum that old '60's tune, now.) So there's aNOTHer change I'm having to squeak myself into. BD's eyesight is so bad now he wisely refuses to play with tools with sharp cutting edges. Happily, cataract surgery is on the near horizon, so in the springtime, when I have asked the universe to start construction on my studio, he ought to be able to set his hand to tools and leave that patina of his personality, which I love so much, on the woodwork. Like a signature, his carpentry is so distinctive I believe I could recognize it wherever I saw it.

So. Knowing that I couldn't really finish the task made it particularly difficult to start. Not that I am a finisher, of course. But the possibility of completion must always be there at the beginning and I had a difficult time tossing my mind over any temporary solutions to some future, but not too distant future, permanent one. (A very far distant future has no influence over present day solutions – one hardly ever really believes in a far distant future. It's more of a fantasy)

I did get all sorts of things stowed away. The 6 big blue tubs will go upstairs when we get the bookshelves finished down here, remove the bookshelves upstairs, move the bed, and set the desk in place. Sort of a knee-bone connected to the thigh-bone thing. I also threw away some beautiful, butterscotch handpainted and felted roving I bought years ago. There was an epiphanal moment when the spinning angel choir sang to me Queenie baby, you've already learned so much from this stuff. It will never spin into a yarn you like. Let it go now.”

And so it had. I had learned several different ways of stripping and attenuating felted roving, but I'd also learned that, no matter how beautiuful a colorway is, overly felted roving will make my hands hurt when I try to spin it and painful hands ruin the spinning experience. And so I did. Pitch it.

I made no real discoveries but I did a bit more consolidation. AND I labled the contents of the sideboard that now houses much of what used to be in the old blue wardrobe. I also found the content lables for the big blue tubs, which I could apply, should I be so moved today. I put together a more concise Teacher's Kit and Story Telling Kit and I also found that bag of single balls of worsted weight yarn that I'll be taking with me to Stitches East. That's the only homework I have. It's a design inspiration class -6 hours long!- and I'm to bring graph paper, colored pencils, needles, and lots of different colored yarn bits.

Here's my collection. A little redundant on the rust colored yarn but I'm sure there will be lots of blue and grey gals there and we can swap.

And here is a Stash Smiley - Isn't that the most gorgeous roving? I can't believe I forgot I had it!
Here's a close up of that nose - it's Merino/Tencel, hand painted, from Three Waters Farm.


posted by Bess | 8:17 AM


Have a great weekend sortin' and siftin', dear heart. May the weather co-operate, and give you a crisp, sunny, go-get-'em time of it. There's something very soul-satisfying about the process, doncha think?


By Anonymous Margaret, at 8:15 AM  

Oh, my, it is a great, great honor to be adopted by a cat (and what fool cat wouldn't want to live with you???)

I am a Sagittarius whose rising sign is....
Sagittarius. That doesn't seem fair.

("Happy and upbeat, you are always optimistic.
Even when you're in a bad mood, people find you friendly.

On the flip side, you're very restless and bored easily. You've been known to pick fights just for the fun of it.

You've got a great sense of humor and a quirky outlook on life. Aggressive, wild, and unconventional, no one knows what you're going to do next.")

By Blogger Amie, at 10:11 PM  

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Friday, September 28, 2007  

The house clutter has gotten to that stage where things have gotten worse before they get better. LD's furniture has been fitted into the nitches we'd prepared for it, but there are Other Things that will need to be tucked and stored and positioned. With FFF and Stitches East coming up on the following 2 weekends, I'll have to devote the entire weekend to stowing and shifting. A carpenter has been hired to build shelves (and more shelves) and he can't come soon enough. First of October, BD told him, and I hope he took us seriously. Thank goodness, way more than half of my stash is already in tubs and plastic containers.

This is probably the first time 80% of my stash – minus books, of course, has all been in the same room. Sheesh! I am a serious pack rat!

Woops. This is a dog who needs to learn furniture ettiquette.

There is now a CAT in our house too, and my dogs are having a fit. If you've ever read the book Angus and the Cat, by Marjorie Flack, just imagine that times 4. Of course, one of those dogs is already Rufus the Cat's sister, but Jack is beyond curious about this shadowy thing and his flapping tail is constantly knocking things over as he hunches his shoulders and stares Hard. Priss is worried and staying close to me, while Socks is mortified and has gone off to turn her face to the wall. Ahh well. My dogs are very kind dogs and will adjust, and Rufus the Cat is not a stranger – they've visited at his house before.

Cats are so territorial and RtC is such an outdoor animal – he walked up to LD's house and made himself at home – they didn't go out and get a cat – so I'm not all that sure he's going to stay with us. But if he goes back home, well, that's one farm over and I know the young man who will be moving into the house next week. He's a darling and if he ends up with a cat, I know he'll take good care of it. But RtC showed up last night, after spending the whole day SomewhereElse, so I am thinking he'll make his home here.

In the mean time, the younglings are off to explore the upper Midwest, where LD will be taking a new job in the power industry. It all happened in a short span of time, but I am glad for it – not a lot of time to fret about things. It is a very good move for them and good moves for children is truly what all parents want.

At one point, in all the moving and shifting and carting this week, I saw my current WIP dissappear beneath a stack of something; books or boxes or something, and so I am Not Knitting anything at all. Probably a good thing. I'm feeling too unsettled to concentrate on a project right now. And work is at a super duper fun, but superer duperer busy and complicated, stage. Several projects with Many Steps are on my desk and my only full time staff has been on vacation 2 weeks out of this month. Thank goodness she comes back on Monday.

Happy Friday to you all!

posted by Bess | 6:41 AM


Those are gorgeous sweaters. I recently discovered Knitters magazine and have fallen in love with it. Need to get my hands on the Winter issue!

By Blogger Mary, at 12:46 AM  

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Thursday, September 27, 2007  

“When I got old enough to date, Nana had the chimney in the parlor cleaned, the piano tuned and bought me a white Pendleton suit from Andertons.”
... quote from BH as we drove to Richmond yesterday.

Played hooky yesterday and went to the Ginter Park Womans Club Fall Pendleton Fashion Show. Is that cute, or what?

This was the fall version of the same fashion show I went to last March – where al(most) all the models were 70+. A few daughters stepped up to represent the family and show off some of the more youthful looks, but really, Pendleton aims for classic, not trendy. But they're trendy enough to spin a little lycra into their woolen trousers. They also put together a lot of silk/wool blends. Might be time to go shopping.

HA! Not!

I just moved my stash, preparatory to getting in Large Furniture and was once again reminded that I Do Not Need Yarn or Fiber or Fleece. Just in time for FFF and guess what! I am also going to Stitches East this year. Yes yes yes. My dear friend Beth has reserved a room and is driving and I get to go along. In fact, I knew about this soon enough to register for A Class!! In design. Taught by Fiona Ellis.

And so. Back to back fiber weekends for me. What a treat.

And thank goodness, the stars and LD's pending move to points mid and west forced me to look that stash in the eye and tell it “No. You may not grow any larger.”

While in the city yesterday, though, I did pick up the autumn edition of Knitters Magazine. Picked it up and paid for it, actually. All because of this:
and this:

I could so totally wear that white lace sweater. The red one – I really like it a lot, but I am not sure if it would look all that good on me. Maybe. Have to think on that one a while. There were several other projects I really liked in this issue: a shawl, a bag, a jacket and another cardigan.

Not knitting, not reading, just moving furniture, books and other possessions.

posted by Bess | 7:18 AM


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Wednesday, September 26, 2007  

"I just loved the Great Falls Ribbed Sock (deserving of capitalization!)! What wool did you use and where did you find it? The wool is glorious and so is the pattern. Thanks! RosysMom"

Thank you for the compliment. The yarn can be ordered from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, which does limited editions of unique colorways. Though she will repeat certain color themes, every dye lot is different. I know there will be more of this type of colorway but not this exact mechanical sequence of greys with tiny bits of tan and teal. Serendipity is always a part of an order from STF. If you are ever at Virginia's Fall Fiber Festival, Rhinebeck, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival you can purchase at her booth. I know she does one other show out in the Midwest and another New England one but you have to check her website to see the schedule.

No decision on the stitch pattern for the CTH yarn. No knitting at all, in fact. Too busy yesterday. I'm back on WW again, which meets on Tuesday nights. Back with my BH, who makes it twice as fun. It's not easy to stay within the healthy eating parameters of WW when it's your Birthday Week but I managed to squeeze down half a pound, which, considering I was dined and dined and dined, was not bad. Besides, I've always said, “Down is down.”

I did finish the pattern for the Great Falls Rib socks, but I was so frustrated with writing it in Microsoft Word. I have some publishing software at work but I can't really use them unless it's after hours and I just don't have that many after hours to spend at the library. It's very hard to play in your place of work.

If all publishing software cost the same, I'd just bite the bullet and get one – but the range in prices is more than $100!! And TopTenReviews picks the $30 one as #2!! I'm really having a hard time deciding on which one to buy. So. I'd like you're opinions and I've created another 3 question survey. Pretty Please click on the button below and let me know what you use and what you like/dislike about it.

Thanks a million, y'all. I'll share the results.

posted by Bess | 6:57 AM


How about WendyKnits' basic feather-and-fan sock? That's horizontal and chevron-like. And perhaps instead of yarn-overs for the increases, you could do a KFBs?

By Blogger Mary, at 11:58 AM  

How about Grumperina's Jaywalker socks that everyone (including me) was doing a while ago. It works great with stripey yarn.

By Anonymous Joan in Reno, at 7:57 PM  

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007  

I've been fiddling with this sock yarn for a long time. I am determined to match the stitch to the yarn. I am also determined to knit it now. I've had it a year. It was a gift from a special friend. I want to dance in socks that give me happy thoughts of someone who cares for me.

This is a nice springy yarn, though not the most tightly springy of them all. Just politely springy. And it is silky. But that makes it slippery and soft too – one of the reason's it's not springy to the max.

It is also a dark yarn with a black stripe to it; one that slopes just a little when you knit a tube with it using 60 stitches. On size 2 needles. Addis.

The moment I saw this yarn I thought it ought to be knit into a textured pattern. Easypeasy. Lots of textured patterns out there. But it also has to be simple to memorize. I don't like having to carry a pattern along with me when I knit. I don't even like having to check back with a pattern when I'm at home. I like clutter free knitting.

This yarn would love to be cables. 4 stitch cables traveling about the place. Alas. This dye pattern does NOT want to be cabled. That black stripe interrupts the vertical lines of cables in a manner that won't be ignored.

Huh. digital color is so strange. that sock was on a piece of white typing paper - not some pretty blue background. Weird.

I love this cable, though – It's a 5 stitch cable with a purl line growing up between the twisting K2's. I'm going to use it on a more subtly dyed yarn from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. But I am not going to ask this colorway to play nicely with cables.

What I think would work would be chevron stripes made with decreases and increases and somewhere in my collection of stitch pattern books I know there is one. Or it's in a sock book or a magazine. I just can't find it. And I'm about done up looking for it too. But here are two more stitch patterns I'm considering and will try, just adding on to the sock I've knit so far.

There's lots I like about this stripe except I think it's too wide. Alas. I think the decrease section is too wide, not the garter stitch. I'll just have to try it, though, and see if I can make it work.
This is the width and depth I'd like, but I really wanted horizontal stripes. But my mind can be changed here - via empirical proof.

After that, I have one or two more places to look for that horizontal chevron stripe that's in my mind – that place of clutter. But if I am still unable to find it - after today - this sock is going to be knit up in a K3P2 rib and be done with it. It's too nice a yarn, to silky springy sweetly hugging a yarn to be separated from my feet any longer.

So There.
Vivid, exciting, challenging but fun stuff is going on at work. I'll write about that later this week.
Happy Happy Tuesday to you all.

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posted by Bess | 7:29 AM


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Sunday, September 23, 2007  

All Some Knitting Content

Oh la. Forgive me. Another long post

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about that Scandinavian Dress that turned out to be a Scandinavian tent – that mouse hotel up in my attic – that final disastrous knitting project that put me off the craft for 20 years. After all, a woman living on $40 a month who spends $30 of it on yarn that was supposed to knit into this:

But ended up knitting into a Norwegian tent! A thick, stranded colorwork tent in acrylic!! - can be forgiven for setting her needles aside for a while. Thank the stars someone put my address on the Patternworks mailing list 20 years later. I had no idea yarn had come so far.

But I had come even further. By then I'd made that all important shift from Hare to Tortoise. I had given myself up to the slow and patient, fiddly dedication one must commit to when it comes to finishing projects. Oh – I'm aware of those whiz kids (Eunny Jang, comes to mind here) who can zip through a project and finish it in a week, down to the darned in ends, sell it to a national publication and cast on their next project before the check arrives. But for most of us, and most of all, for me, there is the final 10% that takes as much devotion, as much dedication, and as much careful completion as the first easy 90%.

Time was when every skirt I owned was held together at the waist with a safety pin. Then, one day the thought hit me: If I was going to spend that much on beautiful fabric and fancy designer patterns, if I was going to sew that carefully – pad stitching the lapels of jackets, French seaming - I really ought to make that waistband button hole. From then on – all my clothes were completely finished. It was my first effort at 100%.

100% is a lofty goal. I don't actually do 100% all that often. I haven't put the buttons on the KipFee yet. But then, I'm not sure it needs buttons. It hangs so nicely as a Chanel type jacket and after all, I do live in the south. How often am I going to button it? That's one reason for lingering in the 90% zone. You might not need that final 10%

There's also the heavy burden of 100% - especially in areas where therecan be no completion. Love, for example. Do you love 100%? Couldn't you always love a little more? A little harder? A little better? If you visualize what you are doing – couldn't you just add one to that? And then one more? The trouble with 100% is the nagging notion of infinity. And if we have minds that can even conceive of infinity – how can there ever be 100%?

Oh la! I had intended to talk about that pattern and knitting patterns in general. Guess I'm still all hung up about why I quit working on projects I like. Knitting is harder than sewing. I can't just safety pin the sleeves into the armisches of a sweater. But it's really hard when the fashion editors and photographers conspire to mislead the poor knitter as badly as they did on this dress. The instructions have you cast on X stitches and at every band you increase stitches. Yet look at that model. Slim fitting sleeves, tapered waist, flared skirt. Wicked deceivers. You can see how I was misled into fiscal irresponsibility.

When I went hunting on-line for a photo of that dress I found the magazine for sale on e-bay from a nice woman in Nova Scotia who used to run a needlework shop. I had to own it. (I'd tossed my original in disgust somewhere in the 20 years between McCall's and Patternworks) It was my birthday present to myself. I still like the design. I'd do it in sport weight now – Lawsee – knit in worsted weight wool it would weigh a ton! I particularly like the black and white starry section. But I also like the juxtapositioning of the colored bands against the black and white ones. I still think it's a gorgeous dress and if only I too could be 19 feet tall with a 25 inch waist, and living above the arctic circle, I might consider making one.

The lesson learned, though, is Viewer Beware. If the model is wearing a belt – that knitted garment is waaaaaaay too big in the waist for you. If her arms are wide spread or clutched tight to her body, or hidden behind a handsome male model's broad shoulders, look for the seam line of sleeve and shoulder. I promise you – it'll be half way to her elbow and somewhere pinned behind her shoulder blades will be all the excess fabric you'll end up knitting if you cast on. Remember, no matter how perfectly you knit something, you'll never look like the model in the book. You don't get the figure when you buy the pattern.

I'm still struggling with a stitch pattern for that gorgeous sock yarn. The yarn is dark and its silky texture also makes it slippery. The stitch pattern can't be too complicated because while I'm manipulating the stitches - the dark, hard to see stitches - they slide right off my needles. I'm also looking for a stitch that's easy to memorize – which means under 10 rows. The cabled basket weave I'd picked didn't play nicely on the needles. I've found a slipped stitch cable – that might work – I'll give it a go later today. If it fights me I think I may just knit a plain old sock. I want this yarn on my feet before Fall Fiber Festival.

Mr.Horoscope promises us all that this coming week will be easier than last and that Monday is a good day to have those serious conversations you have been avoiding.

Will do.

Happy Sunday

posted by Bess | 5:58 AM


Yes. It's Cherry Tree Hill. And it is springy. Not as springy as Koigu, more like Jitterbug. So glad you had a great birthday. The shoes are definitely more than "Yes" and they're not blue. Enjoy your weekend. Rain sounds good. We're getting a bit but not what we were promised.

By Blogger Larry, at 8:39 AM  

Ahhh yes. But it's silkier than Jitterbug.

thank you again for this lovely yarn.

By Blogger Bess, at 8:45 AM  

Glad your birthday was happy! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 12:03 PM  

Love those shoes! I'm glad you had a delightful birthday. :-)

By Blogger Catherine, at 12:59 PM  

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Saturday, September 22, 2007  

Birthday Report

Thank you everyone, for the happy birthday wishes. It was a perfectly perfect happy birthday. It began happy it continued happy and it ended so as well.

There were presents

A bit of back story about Gift Shoes. About a month ago BD and I were walking down Caroline St. in Fredericksburg, after dark, after the shops had all closed up. F'burg is fairly trendy for a small Virginia city and what isn't chic and expensive is antiques and collectibles. In the window of a shoe shop that looked to be filled with foreign (expensive) stuff, was a pair of the most comfortable looking shoes. Usually if they look comfortable they also look either clunky or ugly or athletic. These, though, looked like you might be able to wear them with a skirt that is not flounced, ruffled, and well below shin level. I don't usually discuss fashion with BD. I have decidedly strong, eclectically classic taste and he likes blue. What's the point? But I did comment on these shoes, made a mental note to come back one day and try them on, promptly forgot where I put the mental note and strolled on down the street. This is a man whose only clothing opinion is that the legs must be 30 inches long; whose, to the best of my memory (which I shan't claim is perfect on this count), sole fashion compliment is “Yes” - as in: Sample questions - “Do I look good in this? Do you like this? Isn't this pretty?” Actual answer - “Yes”.

Who'da thought he'd go buy those shoes for me!? And lawsee they are comfortable. Orthopedic slippers. Yep. That's how I'd describe them. Decidedly European, though they are actually made in Israel. So comfortable I thought I might like to sleep in them.

He dun' good.

There was also pampering

(Mama! Get your feet offa me!

and feasting (didn't get any photos there, but I did get to eat out for both lunch and dinner and though I really splurged at dinner I'm still good WW-wise for the week.)

and no real work that demanded concentration or even much thought.

It was Friday to boot! Which means I get to stay home for 2 glorious days and play with toys. And this is the birthday toy I plan to play with.
Yeah - I'll take a better photo when the sun comes up.

Last year – when I could have NoNewYarn (Jan. 13 post)– at least, not purchased by me – several loving friends gave me yarn for my birthday. This came from L. I'm embarrassed that I can't remember what it is, but I think it's Cherry Tree Hill Yarn and it is the silkiest springy sock yarn I've ever knit with. I cast on a sock with it last year but wasn't happy with how it was turning out. Frogged, wet-set, and re-skeined, I let it languish in the SheepBasket for months. I've cast on a different sock – but I'm not satisfied with it either – because this yarn says it wants to be cables – 3x3 cables of some sort - even if it is a dark, multi-colored yarn. I believe Barbara Walker has the stitch this yarn wants to be knit into and I'll give it a try later today. In fact – I'm thinking of just switching the pattern where I am and trying it out. If it turns out I don't like that one, I'll try another till I find one I'm satisfied with. Then I'll rip back to the ribbing with confidence. This is a sock pour moi, merci.

Happy Saturday. I smell rain.

Labels: ,

posted by Bess | 7:35 AM


May you have the happiest of birthdays, Dear Bess!
Double nickels, good for you! I'll be a nickel and a penny in November!
Much happiness,
Meredith in Maryland

By Anonymous Meredith, at 7:17 AM  

Or maybe that's "I can't drive/ 55"?

Happy birthday to you.

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 8:10 AM  

Have a wonderful and happy birthday!

(Your weekend plans sound lovely too!)

By Anonymous Diann, at 10:54 AM  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BESS!!!!!!! Here's to another wonderful 55 years!!!! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 11:57 AM  

Happy Birthday, almost twin!

By Blogger Catherine, at 12:49 PM  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I'm glad you're one of those people who enjoy their birthday, hope you had a great day and have a great weekend! Jane

By Blogger jane, at 5:50 AM  

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Friday, September 21, 2007  

What was that slogan? Stay alive 55

Yes, well. I stayed alive that long at least and it feels great!

Today is the Happy BirthdDAY and I plan to have funfunfun all day long. The whole week as been frivolous-feeling – skittery and unsettled. Finally, yesterday, I contented myself with clearing off my desk at work – and found that missing software the magazine jobber sent me – and found I Wouldn't load onto my computer – but did get a website where I am supposed to be able to download it. That may be the sum of my productivity today. I'll work the front desk and tell everybody who engages in conversation with me that it's my birthday and feel all shivery and happy when they say “Happy Birthday” to me.

I am so obedient.

But first I'll pick up BH and we shall go get manicures and pedicures and then we'll go to lunch, where we'll be joined by L. I don't plan to actually show up at work till opening time. And then it's dinner out with the family. And after that – it is a weekend in my wonderful home with maybe some knitting and LotsOfReading – because, all at the same time, I've launched upon a ReadNComment project with 2 friends who are also reading this:


This was delivered to the library on Wed – and of course I had to begin immediately. It's as well written as her blog.


This is the library's book club selection for September and I'm leading the discussion so, of course I have to read it too.

From not reading much of anything at all I'm multi-tasking like mad. Watch for reviews – coming soon to your favorite Castle.

Thank you, every loving one of you, for the happy birthday wishes.

posted by Bess | 5:41 AM


Gorgeous sock! And no, that isn't the aran sweater I started way back when. That one is still in sleeve one status somewhere around here.

By Blogger Larry, at 8:44 AM  

Love the socks! Happy-Almost-Birthday, VirgoSoulSis!


By Anonymous Margaret, at 8:58 AM  

I think my comment appeared down too far for you to find it. Let's try again. I just loved the Great Falls Ribbed Sock (deserving of capitalization!)! What wool did you use and where did you find it? The wool is glorious and so is the pattern. Thanks! RosysMom

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:42 PM  

Getting an early start on wishing you a happy birthday this year!! Have a great one.

By Blogger Carolyn, at 9:37 PM  

Hey Fabulous Aunt!

Happy Birthday!

I'll call this weekend.

By Blogger k., at 12:57 AM  

LOLearthquakes -- who'da thunk it?

By Blogger Mary, at 1:48 AM  

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007  

Photos at the end of this post

Oh la! I laughed so hard at I CAN HAS FAULTS, pointed out to me on E's Fillyjonk, I thought I'd ... well. I really laughed hard.

Thank you all for responding to the survey. The Library of VA sends out surveys all the time and I'm a good little soldier when it comes to data collection, so of course I filled it out. This time, though, I got directed to Survey Monkey and couldn't resist getting my own freebe membership. I'll use this for data collection on the library web page, but I wanted to practice first. It's lots of fun and it's very obvious that Better Surveys can be created when you pay $ for it. But the free sample version is very good.

And since so many of you took it – here are the results.

21 people responded to this poll and of them:

75% don't mind long posts
10% do
15% said it depended

Duh – well, this is a long posting blog so obviously if you still come here to read you can't really mind them too much, right?

90% said the length depends on the subject but nobody said I talked too much.

90% like pictures though remember, that means 10% said they don't matter at all

14.3% said they don't like to take polls, so thank you for taking this one.

It's Hump Day of the BIRTHDAY WEEK – with prime celebrations coming at the end. And the most difficult procrastination tempting part of the week is past. Now it's just a matter of chugging forward.

Here are some shots of the completed Great Falls Rib sock.

Great Falls Rib up close

Finished Sock

Proof it is a guy's sock - Kicking Tires

More Proof of Guy-ness - Sock In Big Pickup Truck

posted by Bess | 7:43 AM


Interesting survey; I assume it's a DIY...right? Do they send you updated results?

Love the 'Great Falls Socks' -- though for a moment I thought you were referring to a Montana City...till I saw there were photos of Great falls! LOL!

Have a grand week and a grander birthday; ignore Mr. H. and his gloomy forecasts!


By Anonymous Margaret, at 9:28 PM  

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Monday, September 17, 2007  

I'm experimenting with this survey creating program and I'd love it if you'd click the button below and take the short (4 question) survey that pops up.


posted by Bess | 3:24 PM


Happy Birthday Week! :-) Love the photos of Great Falls. Love the socks! (And the doggie is cute!)

By Blogger Mary, at 10:56 AM  

Happy happy happy happy birthday, Queen Bess!

By Blogger Nerdy Knitter, at 6:16 PM  

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Friday is my birthday and I intend to have fun all week long. In spite of what MrHoroscope had to say:
Your Week Ahead Forecast: What about the weather? How much longer do you think it will carry on like this? Never mind the zodiac forecast, let's just talk trivia instead. That's always much easier. Isn't it? Well, it may often seem to be. But, every so often, we have to look at life's challenges, answer its questions and face its facts. As Saturn now settles into your sign and the after-effects of the solar eclipse in Virgo arise, it's clear you are dealing with a situation that seems serious or difficult. You are likely to have to work very hard this week. But if you are brave and have faith, everything will have a happy (and easy) outcome... eventually.

Huh. Getting a little VirgoGloomy, isn't he? Fortunately, I knew I'd have to work very hard this week and I don't intend to get my knickers twisted either.

And, I seem to have hit a memory chord yesterday - so, for my Friends of Great Falls, here are a few more photos.
And More Rocks
Pretty canal walk.
At last I finished my Unisex/but knit for men sock I've been designing for J's Spirit Trail Booth.
I love this pattern – and I've named it the Great Falls Ribbed Sock, because it reminded me of this type of rock formation.

Okay, guys. Off to face TheWeek on Monday. But to make sure this post ends on an Awwww Moment – here is CuteDogPhoto.

posted by Bess | 7:47 AM


Yay for driving 695!

Of course, if it was Saturday that you drove through the glowing metropolis of Halethorpe, I was actually way closer to your usual haunts than my own, since I was teaching in Leonardtown at Crazy For Ewe... after dropping of the cat at his grandparents so they could keep up his feeding schedule.

So we must have just crossed paths!!

By Blogger Amie, at 10:23 AM  

What a fun travelogue! Love the pictures!

I seem to recall that we played at Great Falls when I was a kid, back when we lived in Falls Church, VA.

I happen to like the taste of Richmond municipal water, (it's all I drink all day long), but then I'm used to it, chlorine and all. Remember when they had the algae problems in the '80's?

By Blogger Mary, at 1:08 PM  

It was Agnes! I've been trying to remember which hurricane it was, when we dared to go to the Potomac just below Great Falls and stand on the footbridge as the water rose beneath our feet.

And hey -- you were all over my old stomping grounds, and even over on the E. S. where I'll be next week, at the end of my road trip!

What a wonderful trip you and BD had!

By Blogger Jane, at 1:26 PM  

Oh, that was a nostalgia blast for me. I remember climbing on the rocks at Great Falls - if I can get the scanner set up I'll have to scan a picture of me there as a teenager. sniff. What a great trip you had, and thanks for sharing all those photos!

By Blogger Catherine, at 6:58 PM  

I'm so jealous you had paw-paws! I had my first one just last year, and have been wanting another taste ever since. Yum!

Sounds like a great trip--and should be a fantastic book when it's all put together.

By Blogger Nerdy Knitter, at 6:24 PM  

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Sunday, September 16, 2007  

I'm back!

And I'll come again to fill in the missing destinations

The past few days I've been chauffeuring BD around the Chesapeake Bay – especially the Maryland parts – on a field expedition for his last John Smith book: a boater's guide to Smiths travels around the bay. Done on waterproof paper with charts and history, it will add just that much more fun and information for the folks who take their kayaks and canoes and sail boats and john boats out on the beautiful waters that define the eastern third of Virginia and half of Maryland. It ought to be quite popular, especially once the John Smith Water Trail bouys are up.

This trip was scheduled for last June but eye surgeries got in the way. In true silver lining fashion that meant I got to go and the weather was gorgeous. We headed off on Thursday morning and went straight to the head of navigation on the Potomac River.

When John Smith explored the Chesapeake Bay, he left crosses, 24 bronze and some wooden, at the furthest point of exploration. BD wanted to see those places – some of which are conjectural, some known, some on private property, and a good number of them on public lands. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to go by Great Falls – one of BD's favorite childhood playgrounds. Of course, he played there long before the safety requirements that pretty much keep you on straight, fenced walks and platforms. He even took me there on our first visit to Washington, way long ago in 1972 and I hopped about on those slippery stones - and did not fall. Back in the days before. Before Hurricane Agnes took out all the park and way, way before the LawSuitOgre made rock hopping a parental no-no. I have mixed feelings about it. I'm glad I got to play on those rocks, but I deal with the public every day and sometimes they're pretty stupid. If the consequences of their stupidity have to be paid for by me, I'm not all that sure I want to give them the opportunity to indulge.

Anyway, here it was all gush and rush and magic sprays of water splashing all over the place.
Imagine all this underwater, though. That's what it was like the summer of 1972 when Hurricane Agnes flooded every river in eastern Virgina. The floods took out the water plant in the city of Richmond, which used to have the best tasting municipal water. Now it's all chlorine and pretty much undrinkable.

You can take a canal boat ride –

but we didn't have time.

We were on to Maryland's waters – with a stop at ___State Park, in ___ . I didn't take any photos because I'm still getting used to remembering I have a digital camera with me. And it was late in the day. And I was knitting on my sock, because the path up the hillside was too rocky for me, even if it was the favorite down hill ride of 3 dozen youthful guy bicyclists. No girls rocked and rocketed their way down that slope and of course, the park sighs said Absolutely No Bikes Ever Nada Don't Even Think It! Sort of makes you wonder about the literacy rate of 20 something bicycle guys.

We spent the night in ___, MD – I am sure only inches away from A's house because we drove through Halethorpe in the a.m. with 7Eleven coffee in our hands. Hi A! I waved! You will be impressed to hear that I drove on 695 around Baltimore and Did Not Have A Wreck. Of course, I used my driving-over-a-bridge technique where I got in the middle lane, hit cruise control at the speed limit, never looked outside those white lines, and let the rest of the traffic flow past me.

We were headed this time for Susquehanna state Park – where we trekked up mountains and ate pawpaw's – the Chesapeake's version of a mango.

which littered the forest floor.
At the top of the bluffs are huge meadows
and a Museum, open, alas, only on weekends – May – September.

I love the Susquehanna River.

It has a breadth and majesty that makes my heart sigh. Perhaps I lived along its banks in another life. Whenever I see it I feel at home. I've traveled it's length a couple of times and each time there's a sense of remembering that cuddles around me. I'm glad to think that John Smith climbed these bluffs and left a cross here.

Friday was a somewhat dank day, though also blessedly cool. All the photos had a grey cast to them. We did some more sleuthing up the ___Rivers but as the land was all private along it – at least where the bluffs were - I didn't photograph thes spots. But we met the nicest folk who were tickled to think they owned a spot Where John Smith Stood.
By the time we were ready to hunt down a place to get dinner and lay our heads, it was getting dark and had begun to drizzle. BD thought we'd spend the night in Easton, MD – though I thought it would be too expensive for him. I was right too. That's one pricey town. But all accommodations on the Eastern Shore are costly. That is – if you think $100 a night is high for a room at a Days Inn. We stayed, instead, in Cambridge, which put us closer to our Saturday destination, Deal Island.

Somewhere around here, on his second voyage, Smith claimed he found shallow pools of potable water – just in time, because there had been a screw up in provisioning the boat. We talked to a few old-timers on the island but nobody knew of any springs or artesian wells or natural ponds. It's low enough. But BD is not confident that Deal Island is the place. Yet.
It was quite picturesque, though, all marinas and fishing boats and sleepy little houses.

I missed one photo op and deeply regret it. Great chicken houses can be found dotted all about the Eastern Shore. It is, after all, the land of Perdu Chickens. On one quite road we found a Bad Dog with Chicken, on his way home. His tail wagging attempt at innocence couldn't disguise the evidence in his mouth. Immediately, BD and I said in unison “Jack's Friend”, and laughed.

With a final stop at the site of _____, we started making serious tracks for home. Virginia's side of the eastern shore always seems even sleepier than Maryland's. It also seems less prosperous. There's sure to be a lot of D. C. Cash bolstering the economy of the MD side while in Virginia, what's left of the great potato growing fortunes is mostly pretty Victorian houses

in towns threaded along rusty railroad tracks. Sleepy towns that have embraced multi-culturalism.

Honestly – this is the place to buy tacos. Yum!

The last leg of the journey was over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. Over and under, I suppose, but imagine our surprise when we got on that first straight-a-way and this enormous container ship, out of Baltimore, rode right through the intersection!

At least, that's what it looked like. It was actually floating over the tunnel portion.

Through the tunnel as fast as we could go. Headed home at last.

We stopped for dinner in Williamsburg and got in about 9 o'clock, to the joyful hopping, barking, and snuggling of Good Dogs who wish they had chickens in their mouths too, but were willing to settle for dog biscuits.

I got precious little knitting done on this trip, but it was a working trip, not a real vacation. I had a different job to do this time. So, I'm reeeeeealy glad to be home today. Glad glad glad, always to be home. East or West, Home is Best.


posted by Bess | 8:55 AM