This morning I was enjoying the resolution of a serious knitting mistake- the purling when I should have knitted on an entire row, straight across the bust line of my Almost Cowl sweater. It took a grueling sweaty hour of frogging, but we are back on a roll. So I was in the kitchen admiring my progress when I noticed Mr. Doolittle, the neighbors’ puppy, outside my bay window.

He had climbed a table on the neighbors’ porch and was delighted by their enormous set of chimes hanging close by. Dooley was barking and wagging in excitement, as he had discovered he could tug at it with his tiny little nose, producing quite a racket. I read that racquets were first created in the 11th century by monks. Those crazy monks used to play some soulful handball games until they devised a ‘racquet’ with strings made from human gut! I was forced to take tennis lessons back in the 80’s when my parents thought it a proper sport to bring to CTY for my summer school with the rest of the country’s nerdy preppy students.

Unfortunately, my racquet was a hand-me-down from the early 70’s and weighed at least 5 or 6 pounds, causing me to swing my skinny little arms like a lumberjack and hit every teensy yellow ball out of the park. I can add that instructor to my long list of exasperated teachers and tutors like my Spanish teacher who politely told me after two years of study that I was never going to grasp the language and tacitly told me I was “a bit slow.” I was NOT slow! I didn’t speak anything but Spanish for the first four years of my life! I did, however, grasp German just fine. Germany is my favorite place on earth, Munchen, Germany to be exact. When I am old and senile I will sing Munchen’s praises and inform everyone that the city is extremely dog-friendly. I bought Phil a guide to dog-friendly places in New England- it’s a skinny book. New England stinks in that respect. But if it didn’t then it would be called England. That place does not stink. Genoa, Italy stinks like urine. It stunk everywhere except our hotel and the aquarium. I would have really enjoyed it, or at least given it a fair chance if it didn’t smell like the ladies room at The Harp.

Now you may understand why my projects take so long….

Knitting on the backburner..

There's a reason for the lack of knitting content this week. In a sudden burst of motivation I picked up my old guest-room project. I love fresh paint, and can't wait to finish this room. I'm thinking of giving it a rustic beach-house feel. Maybe our crazy velvet yellow chair will fit in here...
The sooner it is finished, the sooner we can get to the master-bedroom project (knocking down a wall-yay!) However, I picked out a color called 'Beeswax' yesterday, thinking it would be almost a putty-yellow and its quite a color! We get a lot of sun in our house, so its a little milder during the day, but last night it gave me a headache..or maybe it was the paint fumes. Hmm.

I would promise more knitting news, but I'm still crying over my screwup with the Almost Cowl sweater-got a little excited about separating the sleeves I guess. But more on that later, after some therapy.

I can tell you off the top of my head some of my shortcomings- I am terribly insensitive . I have a sense of humor that no one other than my immediate family may enjoy. I have the worst case of foot-in-mouth syndrome, along with the worst memory whatsoever. I am a horrible party-planner. There may be two months to get a cookout or wine-tasting together, but I will not have a single supply, spoon, or crudite until the day before. My in-laws are completely the opposite. They have every birthday down by heart, and coordinate weeks ahead on the who-brings-what by the fantastic Rand phone chain. They actually discuss at each birthday party what they are designated to bring at the NEXT party. I can't even think that far ahead, mostly because I'm too full (tipsy) to concentrate. After five years of trying to keep up with them, I have finally given up.

So it happens sunday that we are attending a 30th birthday for one of the Rands at the Firefighter's Hall in Brockton, and the first thing anyone can notice if the forementioned's wife, frenetically pacing by the grill, re-arranging sausage links and nervously sipping a beer with a look on her face that would indicate something has seriously gone wrong. And it has.

They need ice.

She swearing "jesus christ," waving a Motorola, and glaring at us as if we have purposefully brought the rain, melted all the ice, and drank her precious supply of shitty beer and white zin. I meekly smile and offer to run down the street for a few bags of ice, but am waved off quickly. This apparently would diffuse the drama. She prefers to scream into the phone to her sister as if the potato salad had suddenly gone bad, "We need four bags of ice! STAT! "

I know the only thing that would drive the Rands from a party would be a shortage of Budweiser (trust me, it happened at my wedding) so this really isn't such a big deal, and we all know she had this party planned down to every last single table confetti more than a week ago. So it cracks me up. I, on the other hand, have been known to shop at Costco for hamburgers and buns 30 minutes before my guests are due to arrive, and could give a s*#t if the food is served on the appropriate platters or squares of plywood. So I hereby appoint myself the worst, ever, hostess in the history of the Rand family. All in favor, say 'aye'.


There's little worse than having a great night out spoiled. Having your plans spoiled twice? Well, then you know it really wasn't meant to be.

I was supposed to go to the salsa club with my best bud Karen last night. I've been away from it for too long, and I had been promising her for weeks. I really really want to go, but one huge tummyache at 5PM spoiled it all. The result of a late lunch (huge grilled chicken wrap) and a going away party for my friend Nikki (slice of ice cream cake), it felt like I had ingested a grapefruit whole. Sadly, I drove home and gently walked it off at the beach, collected a few pretty stones, and turned home before the sun went down.

Now in Plymouth during the summertime thursdays and fridays are never spent indoors-you can enjoy a walk through town, take in the view from one of the open-air bars at the harbor, or walk along the brook path. Last night I thought it would be a hoot to listen to the german band scheduled to play at the bandstand near Plymouth Rock (and get some knitting done).

Unfortunately, this year a striped kitty dropped a litter of stinky young-uns that have been roaming the neighborhood during the late afternoon. Scout had a nasty encounter with one after our beach walk, so instead of a relaxing picnic on the grass with live music, we got this:

Scout the Wonder Dog

Most people carry a picture or two of their kids, grandkids, godchildren. Their desks boast at least one photo of a toothy child hugging Mickey Mouse, or a big-headed baby looking shocked or annoyed by the camera's flash. I, however, being a DINK (dual-income, no kids) have pictures of my dog. I also foolishly believe he has more personality, charm, and manners than the average toddler, even if this is only exhibited by tail-wagging, drooling, and slight cocking of the head at the sound of my voice.

Don't dare tell me I'm wrong, or you'll only get the silent treatment. Saying anything of the sort to Phil is grounds for dismemberment. You have been warned. Besides, Scout is pretty big- you don't walk up to the biggest guy at the bar and tell him he's a pansy, do you? Well, you don't mock a big dog either.

Down on the farm..

I still get homesick all the time-I really do. I have to visit the homestead at least once a week or I go nuts.

Growing up on a farm meant I had a great deal of chores and responsibilities, but I also had a world of experiences that most people never have. After all, who else by age twelve knows the difference between a holstein and a hereford? Can clean and filet a fish? Can deliver lambs? Can discern between strawberry plants, potatoes, and weeds? Knows the benefits or organic fertilizer and which animals leave behind the most nitrogen in their droppings?
I got mad skills..manure-shoveling skills, lambing skills, egg-collecting skills, weeding skills..

Take a peek at the new 'talent'. We're still expecting one more, but this is the latest. Sooo cute.

And from Foxfire Fiber at Springdelle Farm my mother picked up this lovely sparkly batt and is spinning about 4oz for me. Its 50/50 Blue Face Leicester/Tencel in "Summer Berries" so its soft AND sturdy. Perfecto. Despite the summer theme, I think it will make a great cowl to keep me warm in the fall.


I don't know what happened. I woke up Saturday morning like Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde" with the song "Perfect Day" running through my head. I stretched, smiled, took a long shower, painted my toenails pink, and shimmied into a cute strapless pink dress and heels. Still humming, I picked up a pink cup of iced coffee at Mary Lou's and zipped to my LYS in my Jeep with the windows down. On my way I laughed at the sunbathers at Long Beach, already turning tomato-red from the sudden exposure to harsh sunlight.

In Duxbury, I stopped by Wool Basket Yarns on Depot Street. Not only are they next door to the funky shop Octavia's, but they carry a huge selection of Noro, Cherry Tree Hill, Rowan, Classic Elite, and Lorna's Laces. I also noted she received a big shipment of Koigu, but alas, with two projects still on the needles, I was just there to browse.

I coasted to EarthTones, and two hours later emerged radiantly re-blonded. Assured that every ray of sunlight was reflecting off me and my super blondissimo head like a halo, I sailed home, bought the makings of a red-leaf walnut and pear salad with grilled chicken and raspberry vinaigrette, and prepped the house for mister's return. I didn't even bat an eyelash when he announced his best friend would be joining us for dinner.

Fresh peonies on the table, me smiling and arranged like a barbie-doll-he must have thought I had lost my mind.

Ten Things About Me

Things that make me a strange little bugger:

1. I don't eat ice cream. I don't even like it. Eating it feels more like punishment that a prize.
2. Watching TV is a sure way to put me to sleep.
3. I just learned that my favorite movie growing up was "The Last Unicorn." I watched it again just last week to discover its absolutely terrible. Even I can sing better than that unicorn/princess. I'm also upset about how mean she was to that prince.
4. I can't sing to save my life.
5. I'm learning to play the violin instead.
6. I make my dog wear sunglasses in the Jeep, not as much to protect his eyes, but just because Doggles are so damn cool.
7. I love to fish, hike, camp, and kayak. But I also love shoe shopping, facials and seaweed wraps. Just full of contradictions...
8. I have NEVER been to a Patriot's game (do ya' hear me, Phil??? Can you hear me?!).
9. I don't think I will ever knit socks. Unfortunately, I hardly ever wear socks. But I envy the colorful pairs I see online every day. Must learn to wear socks...
10. I'm not really blonde. I don't have a clue what my true color is, so don't ask.

New Fleecy Friends

I'm so excited to introduce the new members at the farm of Bogless Sharon and Big Al (known by me as Mum & Daddy). It was with a bit of trepidation that I went to meet the fleecy threesome, as it had been some time since my last unpleasant encounter with sheep. Flashback 20 years ago when our little flock of sheep doubled as lawnmowers, and one of my weekly chores was to herd them around our expansive yard. This was accomplished by dodging from tree to tree, often climbing above reach, as the ram Billy Boy had quite the hots for me, or rather for making my body hit the dirt. For kicks he used to walk up my back once or twice if he was in a really nasty mood..

These little guys are much gentler, however. As evidence I present their inquisitive, soft little noses.

Sheepy-nose number one belongs to the youngest, Lamb Chop. As about two feet high, he has the most personality, and loves kicking up his little hooves and jumping up on the hayrack.

In the center we have WhiteFace, who has a lovely choco-silver fleece. She's shy and reserved, and extremely gentle. Last but not least we have Big Boy, who just got a shearing, and has a lovely crimp to his coat. He's a Saggitarius who enjoys fields of clover and long walks in the pasture....

The Fab Five

Having your spouse serve overseas for over a year in a war-torn and shellacked country? Not good at all. Meeting four women who are going through the same ordeal and creating a FABulous circle of friends? Very very good. All of the infamous Fab Five (we even had t-shirts made) are in different stages of life; two newlywed couples, one couple with two fabulous children, one couple planning on fabulous children (moi), and one couple just taking the big step to begin it all.

This weekend was the celebration of that last couple, being joined in HOLY matrimony, batman! Dina and Matt began their engagement last year during his two-week leave, when they were reunited for a quick getaway in the Caribbean. It was the sweetest proposal I had ever heard, and I know we have all looked forward to the wedding event. I always cry at weddings now, right before the vows are read, because I find myself just gushing over with delight that another lovely couple will be finding out how wonderful it is to share a life together. Marriage has made me so happy, that I just want EVERYONE to have it (it may not be for everyone, but damn I wish it was! Just like chocolate-not everyone loves it, but I wish they did).

I truly feel bad that we didn't keep the ranks open for all the other spouses we met last year, but these four girls were so distinctly different:so honest & forthcoming, yet sharp, intelligent, and opinionated, that it was almost impossible with our strong personalities to even make room for more. Maybe it was possible, but why mess with something so perfect?

But I digress! The wedding was beautiful! The reception was a blast- and as usual, I laughed almost the entire time. Phil found some cheese that was really gum, Christie & Jen tried to snag the bridal bouquet from the horde of single gals, Matt lost the garter in the chandelier, I gazed longingly at the chocolate fountain for about 2 hours...

And here was the dowry:
JUST KIDDING! That's the latest addition at the home of blogless Sharon! Baby Moo!

This and That

I was sitting last night in front of the tube, watching the Sox and working on Phil's cable scarf when I got the sweetest phone call ever, well, actually two.

The first was a text from one of my best friends (who I actually see almost every day) just to say she was thinking of me and missing me. Its been a rough week, but I'll share the details at another time.

The second was a call from my mother (Blogless Sharon) who apparently was handed the phone by her darling (almost) 4 year old grand-daughter and ordered without further ado to call Auntie Heather. Little Miss Cassandra apparently decided she was ready to go the the beach and wanted to call ahead. She politely asked how Uncle Phil was doing, and then said her goodbye so she could go find her sweater (see earlier post) for the excursion. I was touched, speechless really. So maybe my niece just loves me for my beach? I doubt it. Either way, I foresee another day at the beach collecting seaglass for the mermaids real soon.
Oh, and for my friends, a quick shot from Dina's bachelorette a few weeks ago. Notice that neither your camera-shy bloghostess nore the bride are in sight. I think I was getting a drink with her-but yahoo for her lovely friends.


I'm gloating over my little stash. It isn't much, just a few pieces I picked up in Connecticut at the Sheep & Wool. I must have been on a charcoal/grey kick that month, but what else is new. I buy something in color about as often as my father goes food shopping. Nil

1,330 yards of super SUPER soft sportweight Alpaca from Times Remembered. I originally bought this for a masculine sweater, but there's something so silky and soft about the fiber it just calls out to be a feminine wrap or capelet-something to set on my shoulders that brings out my blue eyes...hmm.

On a whim I also picked up 8 oz of Romney in natural gray twist from the Two Wool Crazy Ladies, even though I don't know how to spin yet. The time is right, however, to learn. Mom, you have any plans this weekend? Miss Heather is coming to visit!

Almost A Year Ago..

I have to admit, I get the travel bug often. I don't mean the bug you usually get after a long flight with a ton of sneezing strangers (ooh! alliteration!). I mean the wish to take a vacation to someplace that will significantly change the way you listen to voices, accents, music, or the way you dress or taste food, wine, coffee. Its starts with a few visits to the Virgin Vacations website to peruse the London specials, then progresses to scheming about how little could I spend and still get to Rome? It usually takes a year of obsessive planning, deliberating, and mind-changing (not to mention a second job!) before I set my sights on a location, but every now and then it actually happens. Maybe I just get bored with myself-we all run out of things to do sometimes. I don't think there's any sort of cultural void in the Boston area that causes this sense of suffocation-in fact quite the opposite. I just feel so fantastic when I'm in new surroundings, like I'm about to discover something that will change me forever. You probably don't notice anything different about me-but I do.

On that note I take you to Switzerland in August 2005. Wish I were still there....

Knitting By Candle Light

No good photos or news to report today. It was a DREADFUL weekend! We even lost power for two hours last night (Mr. & I missed Sopranos and Big Love!) and I had every candle in the house lit, in a vain attempt to push forward with my "Almost Cowl". Eventually, I gave up, but it just goes to show that nothing will deter an enthusiastic knitter. And Phil tactfully pointed out that was the way it used to be done anyways, by candle or firelight. Smartass.

Wait a second there- there was some great news in the Blogless Sharon and Big Al region. Their expanding family, er, farm had four additions over the weekend: three dark fluffy sheep (border leicesters) and one newborn moo. I visited saturday to be introduced to the new critters-all quite friendly, furry, and gentle. Nice job, Mom & Dad! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I'll be visiting again soon to get pictures for sharing with you...

I Love the Web for Free Patterns...

Its a real nasty day, so I pulled out my handmade anthropologie-inspired shrug to wear to work. I absolutely love this shrug, and it only took a few days to whip up. I found the pattern here:
This photo isn't my version, but it came out almost exactly the same. I used just Lamb's Pride Bulky, as this was a bit of an experiment. Love it, loooove it.

Progress and The Interpretation of Dreams

I am getting SO excited about my "Almost Cowl" sweater. Its great whipping up anything that involves a set of circulars and no seams. Its pure genius. Just two more inches on the raglan increases and I get to join the body. This pattern is uber-cute, I kid you not, and I've been dying to make it ever since I first started practicing on hats this winter. Thanks to Mom, a large contingent of friends and family were recipients of hats and beanies this spring. Lucky for them, I've moved onto sweaters. Someday soon, I will join the rest of you in making candy-colored fun socks.

Speaking of socks, I've been known to have some crazy dreams. I remember almost all of them, but can't figure out what any of them mean. There's the usual dream where I wake up and my teeth fall out-I've read that means something about stress and organization, but its scary enough. Then there's the more terrifying dreams, like the time the gypsies stole my underwear, but that's for another time.

Last night I dreamt of bloggers, yes bloggers! And we were at a picnic, showing off our accomplishments (I'm always amazed at the creativity of knitters and spinners), when my Mom (Blogless Sharon) and Carole pull out of their baskets these crazy knee-high socks. Now these were the epitomy of artsy, and please tell me if you have seen anything like it, because I have no freakin' idea how I dreamt this up: Carole's pair were in shades of green and brown (very autumny) with felted oak leaves all the way up to the knee. My mother had a pair of knee socks in christmas colors with felted holly leaves and little red berries covering them too. I woke up as I was rushing to grab my camera so I could blog the moment later...And believe it or not, if someone was crafty or crazy enough to make these, I would most definitely wear them. But what does it mean????