Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Buggy Florida Progress Report

We have returned!

Florida was lovely. Well, somewhat lovely, as there was this utterly bizarre infestation of something called "love bugs" or "lover bugs" that were literally EVERYWHERE. (And the images in the pics I link to here are nothing even remotely clos
e to the nastiness that we saw!!!) They were mashed all over the cars like sprinkles on a super-fancy cupcake......clustered in huge mounds at the bases of picnic tables and wadded in big lumps all around the spokes of our beach umbrellas. Every morning Mom would wake up and go to the front door of their rental place and see that overnight the Icky Bugs (as I have officially renamed them) had broken into the place and had advanced all the way past the dining area and had made it halfway into the living room.

It was that bad - apparently the worst that any local h
ad ever seen before - bar none. And our luck? They're normally not out & swarming until June/July - but our luck, there came out early this year!!!

So other than the Icky Bugs we had a very nice time. I got to see my wonderful grandmother again (and at 85 years old, every visit with her is a very important & treasured one) and even better she got to spend time with the Munchkin - as I've said before, someone she's not seen since he was a mere 6 weeks old. The two of them were quite taken with each other........

Which was - of course - heartwarming and absolutely wonderful for me to see. Munch and my four younger siblings (ages 4-9) also got along fabulously as well, minus the normal small child squabbles and pushings and arguments over whose toy was whose.

Our days were filled with beach & sand (and bugs) and walks and swimming pool trips - plus a trip to the aquarium for all and a trip to a state park for Mom & the four little ones while the Munch took a much-needed 2 1/2 hour nap one afternoon back in our room. After dinner was over & we had gone back to our room and the Munch was safely bathed, pj'd, and put to sleep (how those little guys can SQUIRM, huh?)

I got in some very relaxing & therapeutic knitting time. Despite the very very annoying and pretty much constant ads for some stupid sort of "meet interesting singles over the phone" scam, I had a wonderful knitting time every evening with some inexpensive yet entirely drinkable merlot (in a coffee cup - my apartment setup was minus any wine glasses), a bag of microwave popcorn, my new comfy pj's, and.................

Ms. Carrie Bradshaw, a.k.a. Sarah Jessica Parker and friends in SATC...

It was really funny to watch the normal broadcast TV version of SATC as I have the 'original' version on DVD. To see how they had changed it so that it was a bit tamer & less provocative was incredibly entertaining.............plus the episode that I got to see was FANTASTIC - the one where Carrie & Mr. Big break up for the first time. I love Mr. Big. Good thing he's a television persona and not a real person, or else I could have ended up with a stalking charge on my up-until-now empty police record......................

During those evenings I was able to chip away at Icarus such that now I am on row 19 of the fourth chart (note to everyone who is keeping score - that is about where Sandy was last Thursday!!! She's well finished now with the entire thing and has a lovely picture on her blog of it blocking........I can hardly wait to see a pic of the finished product in place - especially with that incredible shawl pin she just got!) and the end is approaching with joyful.............well, I can't say that it's approaching with any rapidity, but at least the end is approaching joyfully. I still like this knit, but it's a wee bit long - and a crap one to choose if you've got any sort of a deadline attached to it. So for those who are looking to do a shawl, keep that in mind - the Shetland Triangle is much MUCH faster and a totally mindless knit & pattern repeat every single row while Icarus is more demanding and requires you to actually pay attention once you get to the bottom of it.... Still, because of that increased demand in attention and (dare I say it?) skill, I think the payoff is going to be that much better.......... I showed the shawl-in-progress to Grams and while you guys know that unblocked knitted lace looks like a total "bucket of boiled sh*t" (a phrase that apparently Rabbitch coined in slightly different form) she was nonetheless thrilled with the ongoing progress. Said that she could certainly use it, as the constant AC of Florida just freezes her to the bone, that the colour is just perfect, and that it's so beautiful and soft that she'll treasure it forever. She also said how amazed she was that I could knit something so detailed and intricate.....................this from a woman who knows how to tat lace. Right. Because knitting is so much more detailed and intricate compared to something like this.

So that's good news on the Icarus - I'm trying very very hard to get this finished, as it's such a big project that I feel a bit weighted by it at the moment - plus now that I've shown it to Grams I really really want to get it to her. Especially before the truly cruel heat of summer kicks in and the AC's all over the state of Florida go into overdrive & correspondingly freeze my Grams to a human popsicle.

I brought Jay's Screw-y sock along for the plane ride (a query to the security guy at the airport brought the wonderful news that knitting needles have never EVER been officially banned from carry-on luggage!!!) and for my knitting times when all 5 of the kids were present. While I had to rip out about 2 inches of the cuff because I had managed to screw up the incredibly simple pattern, I nonetheless got that much back during the vacation itself and then in the airport was about at the 5" cuff mark and quite pleased with myself

when something unexpected happened on the last flight home yesterday during liftoff:

He's actually sleeping in both of these pictures.
How anyone can sleep like that for more than a second or two is beyond me.

So between a full hour and half flight where I didn't have to "Play Playdough" or read 'One Fish Two Fish' and a small wait at the airport I not only finished the entire cuff but also the heel flap and turned the heel of the sock. I'm particularly proud of this last accomplishment, as I turned the heel without reading directions on how to do it first. Before I've always very carefully read the Harlot's directions on how to do this, but apparently three is my magic number - for on my 4th heel-flap heel I had it memorized and could do it properly on my own. Then last night I picked up stiches for the gusset and started decreasing back down for the foot. I'm a bit worried that I'm going to run out of yarn (a bit of a puzzle for me, as I had two small balls of yarn and knit the first sock from the smaller ball & had plenty that time around! Maybe a yarn-wound-tightly versus yarn-wound-loosely issue???) but still I'm making visible progress which is just lovely. This is why I think it's absolutely crucial to knit a sock or something similar while you're also knitting a huge project like a shawl or a sweater. They really do help to balance each other out.

So look for more progress pictures scattered throughout the week - tomorrow I'm home w/ Munch as daycare is closed, which means a lovely whopping knitting chunk during his nap (gotta' love those 2 hour naps!) plus some sporadic knitting time in the evenings. I'm thinking the sock will be finished this week as long as I don't run out of yarn (!) and that Icarus will be finished sometime next week.

Ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! I forgot!!!!!!!!!!

CAR KNITTING!!!!!!!!!!!!

My ducks, we're heading up to Northern VA this weekend to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday - and in keeping with tradition Peggers will be driving for the majority of the trip as he usually does which will leave me free to knit! So yipee! We might see some major major Icarus progress this week after all!!!

p.s. To those of you who like Jessie's yarn so much, check out her post where she details what her recent customers - myself included! - have been doing lately with her fiber offerings!

1 comment:

Emily said...

Oh, I should have warned you about the lovebugs! THey are just starting to come out here - they are every bit as disgusting (and simply SCANDALOUS) as you described. Grams sounds like the BEST - and I am glad that you had a great time in spite of the creepy crawly nastiness.

Three cheers for travel knitting!