Back in the Saddle – WARNING: Long Post with Pictures

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Hey there! Bet ya thought I was going to stop writing for good, huh? Here is the quick (okay, not so quick) and dirty lowdown of the long weekend for you all after we dropped off the bunnies at the petsitter. And on Friday, I received my Project Spectrum postcard from my partner at Matzah and Marinara. I really like her choice! My card was one I created after searching for spring like photos with orange and yellow. But her postcard is very cool!!

Friday was a frenzy because we had to pack and I was trying to seam up Simon’s sweater. After we picked up Rich’s suit at the dry cleaners, we left at 3PM on the nose. During the drive down to Virginia, I finished sewing up the sweater and began his Christening lap blanket. Inspired by the Pinwheel Blanket, I decided to play with a stitch pattern I found in an old afghan book of assorted crocheted and knitted blankets. Interestingly enough, a scarf named Twister in MagKnits uses the same technique. Unfortunately, I had a slight case of car-sickness when we hit the heavy traffic during rush hour in NYC. It finally did go away, but maybe knitting in the car isn’t for me. However a funny thing did happen in the home stretch of the drive. Instead of cutting through traffic and stopping at the bank before leaving Warwick, it was decided to run into the bank later. Well here it was Saturday around 12:30AM and we needed cash to pay for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel’s $12 toll. I was tired and cranky, not in a good mood for being talked out of getting cash when we had a chance, and my patient sister was staying up for our arrival to her home. We did the unexpected u-turn and found a Citgo with an ATM. Thank goodness, because if we had to travel further, Rich would have been a dead man!
Saturday was full in the knitting side because I was determined to finish Simon’s Christening blanket. The yarn used was Katia’s Alba in white combined with a white brushed acrylic. The softness of the resulting fabric was due to the US-13 needles. It was my first experience using Addi Turbos for a large project such as this; I started using the US-1s that Martha at Random Thoughts, my Secret Pal 7 spoiler, had sent me along with lots of sock yarn. I now understand what the raving over the needles is about, but I still prefer the grip that bamboo needles provide. I think it’s because I am a control-freak by nature, and I like feeling the pull of the fiber in my hands. The day ended with dinner at Captain George’s Seafood buffet. I would have taken pictures, but my hands were a little grimy from all the butter and crabmeat and the Greek desserts. 😉 Instead here is a quick WIP shot of the purling on the buttons for Simon’s sweater. I really love how the lamb buttons turned out!

Sunday was the Christening with reception, and Simon was asleep for most of the Catholic mass. My sister and BIL woke him up for the dipping part, and he was a bit irked. Not “screaming and howling” mad, but “grunting and gargled whining” irked. I was so worried that the sweater wouldn’t fit him and be too small or big. Actually, the sweater fit him exactly as expected, but the sleeves were an inch too long! In my shock, my sister assured me that all of his long-sleeved clothes were big. He has his father’s barrel-like chest, so he fills out the width of 6-month tops but not the arms or legs yet. Whew! I have included a shot of his getting dipped and if you click on it you will see a shot of me with my little boy (notice my giant Clapotis?). Also I wanted to show this great shot of him with Lew and his sister Karen.

I was able to catch a quick shot of Victor and his son Theodore. The last time we saw Victor and his wife Marisol, they were 8-and-a-half months pregnant at our wedding 2 years ago cutting the rug on the dance floor with some great jitterbugging. The social group joke now is that Marisol is not allowed anymore jigging because she ended up delivering Theodore 2 days after the wedding! Theo is so cool, and he has this great mathematics ability. Really, he does square roots and everything!

Monday was a sluggish relaxing day. We ate at IHOP for lunch/brunch with my mom, sister and Simon. Rich and I miss eating at IHOP. The only (and last) one in Rhode Island is in Middletown, but having to fight Newport traffic (and pay a toll) just to eat there turns you off when there are tons of breakfast places around you. After IHOP, Rich and I settled down and watched NASCAR Nextel Cup’s Talledega. If there is one race he MUST watch, it’s that one. And if he misses it, watch out! Dinner was at Abby and Lew’s with my parents. The NY strips were awesomely done, and the asparagus and potato salad my mom and dad brought was quickly eaten by everyone. I finished up a cotton shrug for my niece Gabby (baby Simon’s big sister) that I created free-hand without any pattern. I was experimenting with a way to create sleeves without any seaming, and it turned out pretty cool. Better yet, the yarn includes Project Spectrum’s color of May! Let me know what you think.

Since it was decided that Tuesday’s dinner would be at Anita and Michael’s, and the original item I was making for Aidan Michael was too girly, I did a quick search to make something for the little one-month guy. I found a baby socks pattern and started them Monday at 10PM. The yarn is Settembre’s 7 superwash new wool and is very soft. One of Abby’s cats Jake hung out with me while I knitted. Needless to say, I did finish the first sock at 1AM, and was set on finishing the second sock after some sleep.

Fortunately, I was able to get a head start when I awoke and adjusted the pattern from DPNs to using 2 circulars. I figured it would be easier to transport and knit the sock while watching the baseball game at Harbor Park. I finished all but the grafting which I quickly did back at the house. Sorry no more sock pictures. 🙁 But here is a shot of the ballpark with a closeup of the 4-star “Hits at the Park” restaurant when you click on the photo. And yes, that restaurant ROCKS when you go see a game. Just outside of it is the home team bullpen, so you can go outside and heckle the players if you are up to it.

Dinner at Anita and Michael’s felt like old times when Abby, Anita and I shared a townhouse together. Abby made a Filipino noodle dish called pansit, and our mom made a couple dozen lumpia for the appetizers. I brought some fried chicken and Anita made an awesome chocolate cake with a Kahlua glaze for dessert. Because the cake recipe uses 1/2 cup of the liquor, Gabby could not have any, but she was happy with ice cream in its place. Still I have to share Anita’s family recipe, and have permission to do so. Please note that I did not feel like writing it down, so photographing it seemed like the easiest choice. And, I also have a shot of Aidan and me.

Now on the trip back, Rich and I decided (well, okay… I decided) to take a couple of stops along the way from Virginia Beach at two yarn stores, The Weir Station and The Fine Needle. Actually, they were (mostly) quilting shops who carried a good amount of yarn. Both places are owned by friendly women who also sell their goods on eBay, and they also are KFI fans. I will write about them later, because each deserves its own post like Sakonnet Purls in Tiverton, RI. However, I will leave you with the 6 squares I knitted for Warming Grace. They will be sent out next week, because I was not able to get them done in time for the prizes. But then again, the prizes are not my motivation for making them, Grace is! =:8

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  1. Hi – thanks for visiting my site! Love all the knitting and your post about your trip to Virginia.

    This is my first Secret Pal, so I’m looking forward to it.

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