Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Evolution of a Hat

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. I think I did...but there were moments when I wasn't so sure.

My family drove to Connorsville, Indiana, to catch the Whitewater Valley Railroad's train to the Metamora Christmas walk. I had verified that the kids had appropriate winter apparel before leaving Lafayette, and had told them before leaving Lapel that now was the time to get out all the warm things. So I wasn't at all concerned about being caught unprepared for the cold weather. But of course these are *my* kids we're talking about. The same ones who argue with me over warm winter accessories at every turn. I should not have been surprised when we were waiting to get on the train to discover that neither of my daughters brought a hat and my son had valiantly tried to leave his mittens in the car (because who wears mittens or gloves?)! But I was rather furious that I had gone to such great lengths to make sure they were prepared only to be far from any hats and about to get on a barely heated train to walk around in 20-some degree weather for 3 hours before riding again on the barely heated train.

After many tears from my daughters who lost their computer privileges for not listening to their mother, we finally boarded the train. It was then that I remembered that I had *something* in my knitting bag... yes, an unfinished hat!
This hat was the 2nd of a set that was originally started for charity. I finished the first one that is already int he donation basket. But this one was started with the remaining yarn just to see if I could get another matching hat completed. I had already decided that I needed to use another yarn to finish it off and now I had a compelling reason to work on it.
I didn't really think I could finish it before we reached our destination, but it was therapeutic to knit on it in the train. At one point my mom said, "Now you're working on something else! What is that?" I couldn't help but enjoy the irony of it: "A hat."

Well, the 15 mph old train gave me more time than I thought I would have. But I began to lose light as we traveled and the overhead lights weren't working properly so it was quite dim. Nevertheless, by the time we disembarked this is what I had:

We had at least one warm head!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

And the winners are....

Thanks to all of you who participated in our very first Tales From the River trivia contest!

Here are your winners:

In 4th place, we have NATALIE KANABY. Natalie didn't get all of the answers right, but she did throw in a little sucking up by thanking us for the fun contest. :) For her efforts, Natalie wins the Elizabeth Austen glasses case.

Third place goes to LADONA SORENSON. Ladona wins a Sock Club T-shirt in recognition of one of the funniest answers we received. In answer to the question "What is Amanda referring to when she says she has gone over to the 'dark side'?", Ladona answered, "Knitting socks on two circular needles. She further went down that path by crocheting. If she ever crochets a sock on two circular crochet hooks, we may lose her forever."

Second place goes to SAM BLACKMON. Sam had all the correct answers! Congratulations, Sam, you win the Needlecrafters Travel Companion. If you only traveled more often, that might come in really handy. Oh well. :) (Sam actually travels all the time, and may be gone as we post this...)

And...the first place winner of the Tales From the River trivia contest and recipient of the super terrific cashmere prize package is...


Dana not only had all of the correct answers, but she made us laugh with almost each one of them. For example, to the question "Where did Heather lay out her 'show us your socks' picture?", Dana answered, "At Davidson Fields, on top of a pile of rocks that is guarded by a 'leave rocks alone' sign. My first thought was 'I wonder if any of those socks with rocks are made with Socks That Rock?'" Her answer to the question of who had provided surveillance during Boot Camp For Socks? Simply this: "Corporal Wenig, Sergeant Doggett and Sergeant Gill. I can't help imagining 'Mimi LaValley and 100 Nuns' knitting their way up to the School of Assassins."

Congratulations, Dana...and thanks for the fun answers.

Honorable Mention goes to...

LAURA SHUMAR, who wondered if you could use a felted clog as a bicycle seat cover.

ELIZABETH MILLS, for remembering details...even though the answer we were looking for with the question of how Fiona Ellis arrived in Lafayette was "in Sheryl's mustang convertible", Elizabeth remembered that they went the wrong way on the ramp during the trip.

MELISSA BISHOP, who is recognized for the following questionable pun: Who provided surveillance during Boot Camp for Socks? "Corporal Wenig and Sergeants Doggett and Gill--they did a great job to boot." :)

Congratulations, winners! And thanks to all who played. I can hardly wait to do it again!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

One Finished Object!

Sound the trumpets! I have finished Michelle's socks!!

While doing so I wrote a little song. I'll have to share that with you later too.

But I do have something that is not TOP SECRET that is coming along nicely.

Colleen's Wallaby! I know the hood always takes longer than you think it's going to, but with any luck I can work through that still this weekend.

After tinking both projects last weekend and writing songs of knitting frustration, it would feel like coming out of a very dark place to finish two projects in one weekend. So alright already; get off the computer and KNIT!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Tales from the River Trivia Contest #1

Faithful readers, take heart--this one is just for you! Answer the trivia questions below and you could win PRIZES!

Simply send an email to our special trivia mailbox with the answers to these trivia questions. Much like my favorite radio show, the questions have been painstakingly researched; the answers have not. All determinations of winners shall be final and in the event of a tie we will determine extra points for creativity, accuracy, or daring-do. If all else fails we'll use the time-honored technique of drawing names out of a hat. So turn on your thinking caps and send in your responses. We can't wait to see how much you remember.

1. Who are the Tales From the River contributors?
2. Name one rule of Sock Club.
3. Which contributor turned a heel in the middle of a scarf?
4. Which RK regular had to wear a pink shirt after a charity knitting challenge?
5. Which contributor worried her Shire Silk summer tee was turning into a tent?
6. What does SABLE stand for?
7. When is World Book & Copyright Day?
8. Where did Heather lay out her "show us your socks" picture?
9. Who won "Name That Yarn" at the RK retreat?
10. What position did Michelle play on her junior high softball team?
11. Who provided surveillance outside of RK during Boot Camp for Socks?
12. Elizabeth's husband could tell by sight that she had not knitted an item he was using. What was that item?
13. What is Amanda referring to when she says she has turned to the "dark side"?
14. How did Fiona Ellis arrive in Lafayette for her Jump Start Your Creativity workshop?
15. Who is the star of the "Boys Who Knit Are Awesome" post?
16. Which house scarf did Elizabeth knit for her daughter to wear to the Harry Potter book release?
17. Which contributor had to admit in July that Elizabeth had been right about Wildfoote sock yarn?
18. Which contributor started an elicit affair with Ultra Alpaca Light?
19. What is Amigurumi?
20. What was Rhianna wearing on her head in the August 14 post?
21. What did Sam and Elizabeth make for Heather's sock day?
22. It looked like a scepter or a head whacker, but what was it really?

Don't forget to send your answers to our special trivia mailbox Contest ends Monday, November 12th or whenever we get around to judging it, which ever comes later.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mental Clarity Somewhat Lacking

Like Heather, I haven't been finishing much. I'm not sure if this is due to lack of knitting, confusing patterns, or just my seemingly impaired mental condition. This week I:
1. forgot an appointment (which I had written on the calendar)
2. forgot to pay someone (who recently posted to this blog)
3. couldn't find my car in a parking lot--for more than just a minute. (I guess we're glad I don't have any pictures of that!)
4. lost Michelle's first sock (which was later found--joy!)
5. forgot how to do a technique on Michelle's second sock that I did quite nicely on the first sock. This is the one I find the most perplexing. How did it work out fine the first time if I can't seem to get it to work out now??? If I were knitting this sock for anyone else, who would I ask for help? Michelle! So now I guess I'll have to figure it out on my own. I have decided to put it away until Monday in the hopes that whatever phase of the moon or ill wind that has affected me this week will have passed.
And while I'd be glad to show you my 2nd sock and its problems, that is currently CLASSIFIED you'll just have to use your imagination!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hodge Podge

I had a very long and surely entertaining post all ready a couple of days ago, but time gets away from me at a quicker pace than I remember it having done a month or so ago. I hope you all had a fun Halloween. I have a lot of candy at my house, which is all I ask of the day. A week or so ago, Josie had her friends over after the KMS halloween party. When Curtis and I got home from the Purdue Jazz concert we had gone to that night, we discovered that the girls had been waiting and planning for Curtis's return, with a face painting design all ready to try out. Curtis was not in the mood and the girls were sorely disappointed. So Mom volunteered. In keeping with the tradition of Unflattering Pictures of Heather on the RK Blog (see posts "River Knits Retreat Recap" and "How do you solve a problem like Maria?") you go....

It has been slow knitting at my house lately...does one sock count as an FO, or does it have to be the pair to qualify? At any rate, I finished the first of 2 year old Emma's Iowa State Cyclone knee sock (yes, knee sock...Emma only has 7 inches between knee and heel...). It's the same Regia Nation sock yarn that Sam used for her Gryffindork socks...I like it. Can't wait to finish the second and send them on to Emma...