me, Mavis

I knit. I garden. I co-manage an eclectic shop. I sometimes work in real estate. I sometimes swing a hammer. I always volunteer in my community. I live in an old house with my nice family of one husband and three beastly cats. I have great friends. These are the things that matter to me, Mavis.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Green is made for Irish Lasses!

Remember a while back when I was going on about how clever I was to have finished that "Becky" top? Yep, I was all pumped up about my knitting and finishing prowess.

But, the top looked like crapola on me ... shoulders falling off my wimpy shoulders ... neckline too low ... the color? Oh it was not too pretty on me, Mavis.

So, I finally broke down and decided it should go to a better place. Like a revelation, I thought of pal, Gretchen! Duh, she lives less than 100 yards from me and I see her all the time, but it took a while to put two and two together.

So, I offered what is now taking on the personality (from my description) of a Very Vile Garment. Gretch is a very positive gal. Not only did she take it, but looky here:
Don't she look too cute?? Huh, huh?? She paired it with a black cami and capris along with sleek black toe-loop sandals -- PERFECT! I'll bet those little third grade boys she hangs with every day got their crushes all worked up on this.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Girls' Day with Heather

What a lovely day we had, me and my pal Heather.

We started by unloading a Subaru full of plants, from my garden to hers. (I had not counted the pots during loading, but I hear today that she transplanted 17 yesterday and has 7 more to go. Granted, some were tiny-barely more-than-seedlings, but still a heck of a lot of work to set out!)
After unloading and admiring her garden, we set out!

First stop was Yarns International. I receive e-mail notifications from this shop and was eager to see it first-hand. They have loads of nice stuff, but only a fair amount of non-animal fibers. We stayed not too long as we were both hungry and a cute little sushi place is in the same mini-mall.

YUM! Heath did the ordering for us which worked out great as I've never done sushi before, and we are both vegetarians. We started with surprisingly stout miso soup, then went to California Rolls, and another roll with asparagus. There was a neat side sauce of pungent horesradish to clear things up a bit.

Next, we went deeper into Bethesda and the home of Knit and Stitch = Bliss. Here's another shop that I have followed in the mags. It was quite large, with a quiet, private area for the requisite "back table" and the main shopping area was multi-level and laid out with plenty of room to browse. Here I came across a lovely new yarn:

The softness, and silkiness of this yarn is quite surprising particularly when you look at the fiber content: 100% Bamboo! Let me tell you that this is miles away from SWTC's bamboo -- a completely different (non)animal!

My one complaint about Knit and Stitch is that they plaster great big labels on the ball band, but after a bit of scraping, I can tell you that it comes from Plymouth Yarn Company's Italian Collection and is called "Royal Bamboo." No pattern in mind yet, but I am seeing a sleeveless summer shell with some detail. The roundness and sheen of the yarn should make for excellent stitch definition! I checked the color against both me and Heath, as I'm already sure whatever the finished product, it will be for one of us.

Here we took a tiny break from yarn stores. Did I tell you that Heather is not a knitter? How's that for a pal to schlep around with me?

OK, next we visited the Montgomery Farm Women's Cooperative Market which is a feast for all the senses, not to mention an interesting historic location. We bought herb plants and baklava and a tiny pie, but the pinnacle was a marble Budda statute for Heath (which she had been watching for some time).

After lugging the Budda back to the car, we traveled just a few short minutes into DC and the Chevy Chase Stitch DC. This is the newest of their 3 locations ... and I'm pretty sure the Capitol Hill location is LYS home to pal GG.

At last, this store had a particular item from my list -- Cascade Fixation!:

How's THAT for color? I've been watching as the Vegan Knitter worked this ribbed sock pattern from Anna at Finally Waking Up and, you know, it was time. I got started yesterday afternoon to make sure it will be a suitable travel project. More on that later.

Our last stop was just a few doors down. I don't remember the name, but it's a real old-time diner! We splurged on fabulous chocolate malts to end a perfect day.

Heather and I have been friends for 20+ years and have enjoyed lots of lunches and long phone talks and too-many-e-mails to count, and of course, Hen Parties, but this was the first long afternoon of just doing whatever struck us. . I can't understand why we waited so long.


Last now, because it's been so damn long since I even mentioned Aran Rose, I want you to see that I am still working it! Here's the front ... up into the armholes. I have finished the decreases and will work straight until the neck bind-off. I still LOVE the Calmer! In my MerryLand, it is still quite cool, but I know it will be damned hot before I get this baby finished. So ... I'm setting my sights on fall!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Lithuanian Festival

The "Vytis", the White Knight on a charging stallion is the state symbol of Lithuania. Yesterday, at the 34th Annual Lithuanian Festival in Catonsville, he seemed to be leading the merriment!

First, we had to gather a few Lithuanians. The DH and I (each 1/2 stock), took off with Honorary Lithuanians Gretchen and James, toward the home of our pals, John and Ann, where we caught sight of their groovy new bamboo fence, complete with a hand-worked copper rainguard top:

Ann is also 1/2 Lithuanian, and John joined the Honoraries, so we were 3 and 3.

Small world that it is, when I first told Annie that my father's family settled in a Lithuanian community in Brockton, Mass., she immediately started rattling off names of roads and stores and the like. Though I've never visited the area, she remembered clearly the Moneikis Bakery (which was owned by my uncle) from her childhood visits. Annie's Grands were in the same neighborhood and might well have been friends of my Grands.

So it seemed appropriate that we should celebrate the ancestry together. We started out with shopping the tables. I came away with a lovely pair of Baltic amber earrings set in silver -- my first amber!

The festival was held at the Catonsville Armory which contains a Lithuanian "Militaria Exhibit," which we missed, but we did take a minute to check out a proud militia couple, caught in time way before my camera's lens cap even came off!:

I also chatted briefly with the proprietess at Maridana who posed with two real dolls, all three in traditional dress.

At the Maridana booth, I was able to see in person the mittens that caught my eye on-line some months ago:
At that time, I wrote to ask if there were patterns available. First, you know I don't do wool, and secondly, it would be a great experience to try to knit them myself. Sadly, there was nothing available. However, the next table over at the Festival was full of books on many aspects of Lithuanian culture. There I found a historical anthology of Lithuanian "gloves" -- which seems to be the generic name for any hand covering, with fingers or without. The book includes charted design patterns, so I'm hoping to combine them with a generic mitten pattern and come up with a masterpiece! Now I need to search out suitable yarn.
Of course, we had to sample the refreshments. NO! Not the sausage ... the LIQUID refreshment. Here's the group with a teensy, yet potently powerful bottle of viryta, the spicey honey liquor that is synonymous with these gatherings.

Amply warmed by friendship (and the viryta!) we settled in for the dancing. What a show! Eight couples make up the Malunas Folk Dance Ensemble of Baltimore, but only six couples were performing this day. Energetic, spirited, and joyful they were, and we truly enjoyed the show.

A highlight for me was the men's dance in wooden clogs. Since I have a pretty large collection of wooden shoes of various cultures, and a supply of my own homemade viryta, I think we need to plan another gathering and form our own dance group!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Rain on Poppies

F I N A L L Y .... we received some much needed rain here in my little section of MerryLand. It came in the form of a dousing storm -- two nights in a row -- but it was rain nonetheless.

As I have been thinning and moving stuff over the past weeks, the soil is like powder -- painfully dry. Today in the garden, everything is clean and bright and oh so happy to have had a sip of the wet stuff.

Three more Oriental Poppies have performed:


Garden Glory:

and Raspberry Queen:

Out in the Back 40, the lovely Japanese Snowbell is a showstopper. It stands at about 8 feet now, with the lowest branches only about 3 feet off the ground. I'm dreaming of the day to come when it is large enough to sit fully under. Here's what it will look like up above as I sip a cocktail under the branches:

And here's a close-up of those magical blooms ... first they look like little eggs, then open to pure white bells with yellow clappers:

We hit a few yard sales this morning and I bought a tiny two-spouted ceramic vase (actually, porcelain I think) that will be perfect for violets. During my garden tour, however, there was nary a purple violet to be found. However, still blooming strong is this beauty:

Mom called it the "Maryland Violet" cuz she found it while wandering around a creek where my brothers were fishing as little lads. She had never seen it before in her native Virginia, hence it must be a "Maryland Violet." It is unusual in its branching habit, which none of my other violets follow.

So, we're off now to the Lithuanian Festival ... pictures coming soon!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Baby Arrived; Sweater DONE!

Sweet Niece Michelle's babe arrived Saturday evening. He was delivered by c-section, weighed 8 pounds and his Mom and Dad are delighted.

So I had to get his welcome sweater finished. Here it is:

Aiding the finishing process was a new gadget. This was my first opportunity to use Knit Klips and they were quite helpful. This is an ingeniuous little helper, kind of like a hair clip but with only a single spike. You can match up rows before sewing to see what you're gonna get and to keep things on track. They don't fall out nor distort the work like straight pins can do. I'm happy with the purchase.

After the picture, I treated the sweater to a little bath in an effort to shed at least a portion of the kitty fur. It is drying nicely now and should be ready to wrap up tomorrow. I sure don't want to barge in on them too soon, but I am looking forward to a trip across the Bay to meet Hunter.

Speaking of the furry ones,
Beau supervised the sewing process from on high. The loft ladder rises up over my back desk -- which is actually a cleverly designed sewing machine cabinet. I have the two desks in my Palace with my chair inbetween in an effort to have room to spread out. However, typically both surfaces are piled with crapola and I am scrinched off to one little corner no matter what I'm working on.

Certainly I am much too important to waste time clearing off my finished and half-finished projects ... or to read that big stack of mail ... or to file paperwork ...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Seals and Fluffy

My Number One Texas Nephew is off on a very big adventure. This courageous kid has set his sights on making himself a Navy SEAL. He left Monday afternoon for the start of his Navy training with the full support and pride of his family and friends. Here's the report of his arrival from Bro Joe:

Brian got to Great Lakes safely. He called Tuesday
night.........10:00 call ... I'm zonked out on the couch.....

phone: collect call to anyone from Brian...will you accept the

me: yes

Brian: I'm here.

me: Hey Brian, How's it goin?

Brian: That's it. gotta go.

telephone: Click......... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Amazing. Bro Joe says "The guys barking the commands must have told the boys, tell 'em you got here and hang up." I guess I can understand that they have a zillion things to do to get settled and organized and stuff, but cripes, doncha think he could have been given at least a few minutes for Dear Ole Dad? To me, it would have probably been better just to receive a recorded message or e-mail instead of hearing Bri's voice but not being able to talk.

In the Cute Department, here's one of the DH's second family members, the beautiful blue-eyed Fluffy, relaxing in the Iris bed.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Long Time No Post

Back again, we are, after a much too long silence.

What's been up?

* A "pay day" (a/k/a settlement - what a beautiful word!!) for me, Mavis
* "Christmas in April" volunteer day for Schavis Construction (it was delightful)
* the annual spring street festival here in my little MerryLand town (perfect!)
* gardening ... oh, how we love spring gardening ....

Here's a beautiful clematis - gift from my Mom 3 years ago -- sorry, I don't know the variety:
and False Indigo (Baptisia australis), also in its third year:

Knitting? This is supposed to be a knitting blog, so of course there is knitting:

The back is finished on "Aran Rose":

... and I started yet another new project:

This is a Fisherman's Rib baby sweater for my niece's babe -- who was due a week ago but has not yet emerged. Here's why I started this project:

Gretchen decided she was ready to try something new and came over to sift through my vast stack of magazines, books and leaflets. She had narrowed the search to a baby sweater and what eventually caught her eye was the very first baby sweater that I made! My notes in the margin remind me that I made this sweater and matching hat for TWO BABIES! Yes, my neighbor was pregnant with twins and I made two sets - one pink and one blue - for little Robbie and Cassidy. (Sadly, I never saw the babies wearing them, but that's another tale).

Anyway ... Gretchen went yarn shopping and came back with the only yarn that she liked ("off-white" color was the goal) but which was not the right gauge. I was out and about the next day and found Bernat's "Softee Chunky" in three terrific shades -- off white, pale grey, and "Medium Sea Green", so I bought them all! For the sake of nostalgia, I decided to knit it again, along with Gretchen.

The next night was Friday Night Pizza. Gretchen came over a little early and we knit together until the wine made her decide to stop. I am reckless and kept on! Since them I have manged to scrape together enough seconds to do the back up to the shoulder. I'm not sure how much progress my pal has made.

  • Yankee Knitter Designs "Aran Sweater" in Sirdar Supersoft Toddler Aran "Hyacinth"
  • Mark's "UT Afghan" in Red Heart Super Saver Carrot and White
  • COMPLETED! "Aran Rose" in Rowan Calmer "Powder Puff" (details in the Gallery soon!)

  • The Things I Get Into
  • Vegan Lunchbox

  • VEG WEB - YUM!
  • Customized T-Shirts at!

  • Previous | Next

    Previous | Next

    Email me!

    A Rainy Day with My Main Squeeze
    "Doggie Bag" becomes a Sweet Purse
    Off on an Adventure!
    School Daze?
    Knitting Knews
    Coming Up for Air
    Aran Rose is Done!

    Powered by Blogger

    Subscribe with Bloglines
    Dell Coupon Codes
    Web Counter