29 October 2008

I'm (not so) famous!

Two weeks ago today I was winging my way to Washington DC for business. I always make sure my iPod is full of new episodes of my favorite podcasts when I’m traveling. They are my preferred method of passing the time. On the flight to DC, I first listened to Answer Me This! (which, by the way, is the funniest freakin’ podcast ever), and then Stash and Burn. The topic of episode 63 was Socktober. Jenny and Nicole, the hosts, talked about knitting socks, things they like about it, things they hate, and whatnot.

One of the things that Nicole mentioned she didn’t like about knitting socks is swatching. I completely understand this, as I hate swatching of any kind, but particularly for socks. So, I went to the show’s website and commented with a tip about swatching: If you knit a sock toe-up, then the toe can serve as your swatch.

Today, I was on a plane to San Diego (again, for business), and turned on the latest episode of Stash and Burn (episode 64). And guess what? They read my comment on the show and discussed my tip! So if you listen to the episode and they mention Beverly – that’s me!

I feel so famous. Okay, not really, but it was pretty cool to hear my name on a podcast that I regularly listen to.

Yes, I'm a dork. So?

25 October 2008


Thank you all for the kind words about Bob.

Wendy found out something pretty special today. She received a letter from the veterinary school at Kansas State University, explaining that the two veterinarians at the animal hospital where Bob was a patient (and where I also take Abbey) made a "generous donation" to the vet school in Bob's name. His name, along with Wendy's and Pete's, will appear on a plaque at the school. Wow. I must have said that a dozen times when Wendy told me. I'm really blown away. I've never heard of vets doing that kind of thing before. Bob must have made an impression on them. He was quite a special kitty.


22 October 2008

The worst day

It's fitting that it has rained all day long, because sun on such a crappy day would would feel mocking. I went with my sister this morning to put down her cat, Bob.

Bob came into our lives when I bought my house. He had lived in the garage for years, and the woman from whom I bought the house could not find anyone to adopt him. She called me one day a couple of weeks before closing and asked if I would take him.

He lived in the garage until a year or two ago, when Wendy and Pete asked if they could take him home with them. Bob was an old cat (+13 years) and Wendy and Pete didn't like the idea of him living in the garage anymore. Frankly, I didn't like it either, but I couldn't bring him indoors - The Evil One would never had adjusted.

So The Bob went to live with them and it was a match made in heaven. He was very happy. Wendy and Pete really enjoyed having him around.

Then, over the summer, Bob's health started to decline. I won't go into the details, but there were a few times when they were certain he was at death's door. Thankfully, he got a bit better and seemed happy.

His decline continued a couple of days ago, and after a rough night, Pete made the decision that it was time. Because he was so distraught, he couldn't go with Wendy to the vet, so I went instead. Bob was my cat at one time in his life, so I guess it was fitting that I was there.

I will spare you a description of what happened. I'll just say that it was horrible. I cried. Wendy cried. We cried together. As terrible as I feel now, I'm glad that I was there for her.

I take a little comfort in knowing that our beautiful, sweet, loving boy is no longer suffering. Somewhere in the beyond, he is curled up on a flannel blanket on a big comfy couch. I'm just glad that we had him in our lives for last 5 years.

If you're so inclined, say a small, healing prayer for Wendy and Pete. Bob was like a child to them, and his death will be felt for a long time.

Rest in peace, dear boy. I miss you.


18 October 2008

Adventures in plane knitting

I returned from a short business trip to DC on Wednesday night. My seat on the small commuter plane was in the very last row. As usual when I fly, I sat down, took out my iPod and purse knitting, and stowed my purse under the seat. After getting settled, I took out the sock I'm working on started knitting while waiting for the plane to take off. The man sitting next to me looked to be about my age, mid-30s. He was fiddling with his Blackberry in the few minutes we had before the plane started taxiing.

Then, "You're very patient," he said looking down at my hands.

"Not really. The fact that I have to do this [knit] while waiting is proof that I'm not patient enough to just sit quietly."



Have you ever watched yourself knitting from a different angle? Because my flight from DC was at night, the plane was dark except for the individual reading lights that shined like little spotlights throughout the interior of the plane. I was in the window seat, and the shade on the window was up ("for your safety" according to the flight attendant). The reading light shining on my lap lit up my knitting in such a way that my glowing, knitting hands were the only things reflected in the surface of the window. I could see myself knitting as if I were sitting next to myself. It was a little surreal. I was knitting, could feel myself kitting, but the motions I was making didn't seem to correspond to what I was seeing in my reflection.



14 October 2008


Shane, BB, and I came home from dinner out last Friday to discover that our cable and internet was out. I called the cable company and they were unable to determine the problem remotely. They set me up for a "service call" which meant that a technician would call me sometime the next day and set up a time to come over. I waited at home all day Saturday and got no phone call. We had to go to my parents' house to watch the NASCAR race that night.

Figuring that since the cable company is closed on Sundays, we wouldn't hear from anyone until Monday, we rented a bunch of DVDs to watch Saturday night and Sunday. Then, to my surprise, a tech called us Sunday morning. Seems there was an outage on the other side of town on Saturday that tied up all of their techs for most of the day Saturday, so they were doing service calls on Sunday. A couple of hours later, and the cable and internet were back. Turns out that the cable that runs from the house to the power line out back was unplugged from the power line.

What a pathetic bunch of people we were without cable and internet. You don't realize how much time you spend watching tv or surfing the net until neither are there to entertain you. I pretty much decided that I could live without tv, but not the internet. It really sucked not being connected.


I'm off to DC this afternoon. I have a client meeting tomorrow morning. I'm glad this trip will be a quick one - I come home tomorrow evening. Then no more business trips until the end of the month. Yay. I can't remember a time when I've traveled so much for work.

06 October 2008

Peacock Feathers Shawl FO

My mom has always used a fountain pen. Since her high school years, an old fashioned fountain pen has been her weapon of choice for all non--check writing purposes. When I was a little girl, her favorite ink color was peacock blue. For years, there was a pot of peacock blue ink in one of the drawers of the ugly green chest that was in the kitchen. She would tip the closed jar slightly so that ink would collect in the reservoir near the top. Then she would dip the nib of the pen into the reservoir and pull the little lever-thingy on the side of the pen, drawing the ink into the barrel. Eventually, she discovered fountain pens that used cartridges filled with ink.

But always there was the peacock blue ink - kind of teal, kind of turquoise. That color will always be associated with my mother's steady, beautiful hand.

So when I first saw the Peacock Feather's Shawl pattern from Fiddlesticks Knitting, I knew I had to make it for her. And since her 60th birthday was a couple of weeks ago, I had the perfect excuse.

PF shawl blocking

I ordered the yarn (Jagger Spun Merino laceweight in... get this... "Peacock"!!) and pattern from Sarah's Yarns. She just happened to be having a sale on Fiddlesticks patterns at just the right time. I started the shawl on 1 July.

PF shawl modeled front
"I Pledge Allegiance..."

I have worked on other things since then, so I figure I spent about 2 months knitting on it. It's one of those patterns that starts in the center of the top of the shawl and gets wider with each right side row. There were 495 stitches on the last row. 495!!

PF shawl modeled

The final width ended up being roughly 72 inches, which was a big surprise. As written, the pattern is supposed to give you a 80-something inch shawl. I used the recommended size 4 needles. But, I didn't do a swatch, and since I am such a tight knitter, I ended up with a smaller shawl.

PF shawl detail

The smaller size worked out really well because my mom is a small woman. I was a bit worried that it would end up too large for her. The final size is just right for her.

I really liked this pattern. I didn't run into any problems with it. There are a ton of charts (9 altogether, I think), which I much prefer to written-out directions. And the charts are only for the first half of the shawl. Once you pass the halfway point, you knit the same charted row again, reversing all of the k2togs and ssks to slant in the opposite directions. Sounds complicated, but it wasn't too hard to follow. It's actually really intuitive. I would definitely knit another Fiddlesticks pattern. They're really well written.

Here's the wrap-up:
Pattern: Peacock Feather's Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting
Yarn: JaggerSpun Super Fine Merino Laceweight, in Peacock
Needles: size 4 29" and 32" Addi Turbo Lace needles
Started: 7/1/08
Finished: 10/3/08
Mods: none. This pattern is not one that you can alter. It pretty much needs to be knitted as written.

And mom? She loved it. (And so did Grandma. I think I'm going to have to make a shawl for her sometime soon.)

PF shawl hanging

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