Monday, December 19, 2005

Brewgal has a birthday...sort of...

Last week Brewgal turned 40. That’s 4-0. Many special events were planned in her honor. Alas, the week turned out to be quite a saga.

Erik Njofi, son of Frothgar, leaves his home to seek Hangar the EIder at the home of Thorvald Nlodvisson, the son of Gudleif, half brother of Thorgier, the priest of Ljosa water, who took to wife Thurunn, the mother of Thorkel Braggart, the slayer of Cudround the powerful, who knew Howal, son of Geernon, son of Erik from Valdalesc, son of Arval Gristlebeard, son of Harken…

Oops, wrong saga.


Sunday 12/11
11:00am. Brewgal gets a facial, manicure and makeup to look beautiful for dinner at the Four Seasons. Babysitting for the little brewers is arranged.
11:45am. Little Brewer #1 runs a fever of 102. Dinner plans are cancelled.

On the plus side, the little brewers sang a wonderful rendition of Happy Birthday in cherubic voices.

Monday 12/12
Brewgal’s birthday. She receives present of two lovely hanks of New Zealand wool, a subscription to Interweave Knits, and a pair of pajamas with pink dogs on them. Brewgal is more of a cat person, but Little Brewer #1 picked them out so, of course, I love them.

Wednesday 12/14
Consolation birthday celebration planned. Brewgal convinces Mr. Brewguy to accompany her on Thursday to lunch at Mon Ami Gabi and a showing of Pride and Prejudice. Costumes! Drama! Romance! Sweeping shots of the English countryside!
3:30pm. Little Brewer #2 runs a fever of 102. Lunch/movie plans for Thursday are cancelled.

Except for a rather bizarre tendency to refer to myself in the third person, Brewgal has had a pretty good 40 years. And so, a birthday Haiku for me.

Turn to face the wind,
Feeling the thrill of seeing
My life reach forward.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bad blogger. No cookie.

Where the heck has the time gone? Clearly Brewgal needs to devote more energy to this incredibly useful and life-changing activity known as blogging. *kidding-- I'm kidding!*

Here are my dilemmas:
1. I need more photos
2. I can't post photos of my projects because they are gifts and the gift recipients read the blog
3. I can't take photos because my digital camera is dead from Mr. Brewguy constantly using it and not charging the battery
4. I spend all my blog time removing spam posts *you know who you are*

So in honor of the cold weather, a winter haiku.

Car lights show the trees
Stretching slender branches up
To catch fading sky

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Seedy Border Town Scarf

It's holiday time so that means... last minute scarf mania! I was stash diving and came up with two balls of Jiffy in a lovely plum color. Well, after two days I've come to the conclusion that it looks nice but it is hard on your hands. After a while it feels scratchy. Oh well. One scarf down, six to go!

This is the pattern for the scarf. It's stockinette with a seed stitch border around all the edges. You will probably have to block when you're done. Mine rolled like a stack of quarters.

Seedy Border Town Scarf
Cast on 21
Row 1 Knit
Rows 2-4 Seed stitch (knit purl knit purl to end, end with knit stitch)
Row 5 Seed stitch first three stitches (knit purl knit), then knit across to last three stitches in row, seed stitch last three stitches.
Row 6 K P K, purl across to last three, K P K
Rows 7 --> continue w/rows 5/6 (stockinette with seed stitch border) until desired length
End with a repeat of rows 2-4
Last row K
Bind off

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Knitting + Beer

I was just thinking I needed a beer-related post. Check out the following article about a knitting group that meets in a pub. What a great idea! Goodbye, cruel job. I'm getting on a plane right now. I'm sure this idea would have been a hit in the old Gettysburg Brewing Company. *sigh... mope mope mope*

On a related note, Dogfish Head Alehouse now has a restaurant in
Gaithersburg Maryland. Yeah Baby! No more driving to Delaware for fresh Raison D'Etre!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Nerd, Geek or Dork?

Another fun little online test.

Modern, Cool Nerd
86 % Nerd, 65% Geek, 21% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Apparently I scored higher than 96% of test takers on nerdiness, higher than 89% on geekosity (is that really a word?), and higher than 28% on dorkiness. I wonder if I get points just for taking the test. Am I another victim of the Hawthorne effect?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Dancing Sharks

That's what I think the design on this hat looks like, but that name is a little scary for a baby hat. I love the addition of the crab stitch border on the bottom. I made this one for a friend at work. You know the best thing about a baby shower? No, not the silly games. It's the way everyone goes "oooo!" when the baby clothes are opened. There's a collective mind that takes hold, forcing all within viewing distance to coo over teeny onesies.

"Oh look! It has bunnies!"

Resistance is futile.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Before and After

Photo 1: September 9, 2001. LittleBrewer #1 and Brewgal watching planes at Gravelly Point Park in Washington DC.

Photo 2: September 11, 2001. Our plane (US Airways Flight 29, on the left in back) and others grounded at Garden City Airport, Garden City Kansas.

What a difference 48 hours can make. Many, many thanks to the kind folks in Dodge City KS who took care of us during that time.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Another Heirloom Pattern- Baby Bonnet

More fun stuff from the family archives! This is a pattern for a knitted baby bonnet, mailed to my great-grandmother in 1940 by a Mrs. Olivia Weker. I have transcribed it below just as written.

Standard pattern use rules apply. Credit the mysterious Olivia!

Cast on 96 stitches.
Work ribbing K2P2 for 1/2 inch.
Work stockinette stitch for 5 inches.
Bind off 32 stitches at each end.
Work on 32 stitches in center for 3 1/2 inches (stockinette stitch).
Pick up 30 stitches on each side, and work in ribbing K2P2 for 2 rows (on bottom of cap).
Next make beading - K2* yarn over, K2 stiches together.
Repeat from * to within 2 stitches of end of row K last two stitches.
Work 4 rows of K2, P2, and bind off, knitting the knit stitches and purling the purled.
Join seams.

And a little note at the bottom of the letter,
"Hope your mother can follow this. I certainly do think she is a remarkable old lady- you must get your energy from her!"


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wish it ran in the family...

Check it out! My cousin is going to release a record. Doesn't she look FABulous? And she can sing, too! :-)
She's the sister of the Engineering Goddess. Gosh that family is talented.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Heirloom Cape Pattern

Brewgal has inherited a box full of her Grandmother’s crochet and knitting patterns. There are some very cool patterns from the 1960’s and 1970’s (I see some of Smarty McYarnpants’ relatives in there). I’ve just come across a crochet pattern for a cape.

The handwritten date on the envelope is 12/26/79, but I believe the pattern is older than that. In the notes on the outside she has written Brewgal’s waistline measurement (27”- geez!) and IBM, EXXON and Coca-Cola. Grandma was a stock market guru in her spare time.

Grandma D’s Heirloom Cape Crochet Pattern

Starting at the neck, chain 72 loose stitches. Make 1 double crochet in 3 stitches from hook, *3 DC in next st, 1 DC in next 4 stitches; repeat from * across row, ending with 3 DC in next stitch.
1 DC in last 2 stitches. Note: hereafter when working do pick up the back loop of the stitches, and when increasing use both loops of the st. on the row below.
Chain 3, turn.
Row 2: Skip 2 stitches, 1 DC in next st., 5 DC in next st., 1 Dc in next 2 st, *skip 2 sts, 1 DC in next 2 sts., 5 DC in next st., 1 DC in next 2 sts,* repeat from * 12 times. Chain 3, turn. You now have 14 sections or pattern.
Row 3: Skip 2 st., 1 DC in next 2 st., 3 DC in next st., 1 DC in next 3 sts., *skip 2 st, 1 DC in next 3 sts, 3 DC in next st., 1 DC in next 3 st, Repeat from the star 12 times. Chain 3, * turn. [Brewgal’s note- I believe the star in this sentence should go after the 1 DC in next 3 sts, not after the Chain 3]
This just repeats itself, as you can see on the sample. Your chain 3 counts as a DC.
Row 4 would be 3 DC in 3 DC, 5 DC in next DC, 3 DC in next 3 DC. Skip 2 in next DC; 3 DC in next 3 DC. Skip 2 DC and repeat.
Then it’s 4 Dc in next 4 DC. Skip 2 DC and repeat.
Do this until you make 11 DC in 11 DC, 3 in next DC, 11 in next 11 DC. Make as many rows as you like, with no increase till you have cape as long as you want it.
To make arm holes, start about 20th row.

Use hook 5 or F- or 8.
Takes about 5 skeins 4oz 4-ply yarn.

Then on the next page there was a very interesting transcription of this pattern done in my Grandmother’s crochet shorthand:

Row 2 2-5-2 skip 2
Row 3 3-3-3 “
Row 4 3-5-3 “
Row 5 4-3-4 “
Row 6 4-5-4 “
Row 7 5-3-5 “
Row 8 5-5-5 “
Row 9 6-3-6 “
Row 10 6-5-6 “
Row 11 7-3-7 “
Row 12 7-5-7 “
Row 13 8-3-8 “
Row 14 8-5-8 “
Row 15 9-3-9 “
Row 16 9-5-9 “
Row 17 10-3-10 “
Row 18 10-5-10 “
Row 19 11-3-11 “
Use 11-3-11 until desired cape length.
Standard pattern use rules apply (see Brewgal’s hat pattern). Grandma would have been happy for other people to use the pattern provided she got appropriate credit for it. I haven’t tried to make this cape pattern yet. If any of you do try it, post me a comment and let me know how it turns out.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Field vs. Asphalt

There was a story in yesterday's Washington Post about development encroachment on the corridor between Gettysburg PA and Monticello VA.

Read the whole story at

Development has become sort of a fact of life here in Maryland, but I still cling to the hope that something of the historical character of the area can be saved for my children.

Then I read quotes like this...

Joe Paciulli, whose land surveying and engineering firm, Paciulli, Simmons & Associates Ltd., is involved with many projects in Loudoun County, had the following to say: "I understand historic sites, and I understand natural beauty and all those things, but when you are dealing basically just with endless fields and endless terrain, it's hard for me to relate to a statement like that. It sounds rather extreme," he said.

Endless fields and endless terrian-- that's the POINT! UNDEVELOPED! When you put a shopping mall or a road or a housing development on a battlefield, you can't get it back.

Sometimes I think I live on a different planet.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Photos of DW

For your enjoyment, some photos of Disney World.

While we were there, we were visited by some of the seven dwarves. Here we see Sleepy...


and Doc.

And of course, some royalty.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Have a Magical Day!

Ah, Walt Disney World. Brewgal and family have just returned from a week in Orlando. This was the first trip for Mr. Brewguy and the Little Brewers. Brewgal hasn't been since Epcot was new.

Parks visited = 3
We went to Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Disney is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of DisneyLand, so they had set up some new attractions. The Little Brewers are still a bit young for MGM so we skipped that park.

We started in the Magic Kingdom. Cindarella's castle has been spruced up for the occasion, with golden wrappings and character statuary in flight above the turrets. There is now a stage set up in front of the castle for the production of the Cindarellabration, a show about the coronation of Cindarella attended by all the Princesses in the land (Jasmine, Belle, Snow White, and Aurora). When we saw this, Little Brewer #1 was entranced. What better way to start the day than a calvalclade of princesses!

Mr. Brewguy loved Epcot, especially the fact that it had good food. We ate lunch in France (with wine- I had a Vouvray) and had a swifty in Germany (Mr. Brewguy had a weissbier).

Animal Kingdom is a bit like having an amusement park inside the National Zoo. The Kali River ride will get you wet. Disney does a big business in dry towels and t-shirts. A word of advice to those who plan to ride Dinosaur: bring earplugs. The warning about loud noises is seriously underplayed. I am still a little deaf in my right ear.

Miles walked = 42
Average temperature = 82 degrees F
Average humidity = 90%

I love Florida!

High speed chases and police shootings = 1
Police gave chase to a speeding car which led to a "controlled crash" on Central Florida Parkway. We passed by just at the moment they were leading one person to a patrol car in handcuffs. A man lay on the ground, half-out of the driver's side of the car. The wheels of the car were still spinning in the air. I found out the next day that the man on the ground died of gunshot wounds.

Disney dollars received = 2
You get a Disney dollar back when you return your rented stroller. This is not publicized in the Magic Kingdom, nor is it practical given the mass rush for the exit at closing time. At the Animal Kingdom they tried to guilt me into giving up my dollar in exchange for a contribution to the animal fund, but I prefer to contribute to causes separately.

Merchandise purchased = $150
I admit it, I'm a sucker. How could I take the Little Brewers to Disney World and not buy them stuff? Because Little Brewers 1 and 2 have to have everything the same, we came home with two battery powered magic wands, two light-up princess crowns, two dinosaur grabber thingys, two t-shirts, and a package of Chip - n - Dale cookies. Personally, I like the light up crowns. I wear one when I'm blogging at night. It lights my words like a deep coal miner.

Parades = 2
The SpectraVision parade in the Magic Kingdom is amazing! The gender-ambiguous characters at the beginning are a little creepy, though. If you don't mind sitting on the ground, a good viewing spot is just to the side of the Liberty Bell in Liberty Bell Square (across from the Haunted Mansion). There you can see the floats as the turn the corner.

The parade through Africa in the Animal Kingdom was lower tech but just as creative. It featured actors on stilts and others walking inside contraptions designed to represent large animal shapes. A good viewing spot is in the cafe across from the marketplace. Once the parade passes by, stay put. It will come back through going the other way about 10 minutes- you'll be able to see it twice.

SPF = 45
Brewgal is a fair-skinned lass.

Photos to follow!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Help! I'm Sinking!

Toooo many projects! What is it that makes me start a new project before the last one is done? I am currently working on the following:

1. Shawl for myself (99% finished). This project has taken up permanent residence in my office. "finish me.... finish meeeeeee"
2. Sweater for myself (50% finished). This project hides behind the TV chair.
3. Baby sweater for friend (2% finished). Baby is due in July.
4. Scarf for friend (50% finished). This project travels with me everywhere but can't seem to get my attention. Friend's birthday was last February.
5. Baby blanket (2% finished). Baby is due in June. I started this one last week and have already frogged it once. If I can't get this one done I'll switch to a hat.

I was hoping that completing all these projects would reduce my stash but Maryland Sheep and Wool is coming!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Temporary Singularity

I've been alone with the Little Brewers for the last four days. Mr. Brewguy is off in Arizona with friends from graduate school. This is only the second time he's been away from the LB's since they were born.

I was envisioning all sorts of disasters. I'm great at multitasking but I wasn't sure how well I'd handle work/laundry/dishes/meals/preschool/baths/play all by myself. Granted, I did let them have chocolate granola bars for breakfast, they've been staying up WAY past their bedtimes and I haven't had a shower in two days. Bad Mother. On the other hand, letting them stay up late means they're still asleep, giving me time to blog.

My respect for single parents has increased ten-fold.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Pink Sweater

My mother-in-law is neither a knitter nor a crocheter. Her talent lies in "fixing" things. She can repair, resurrect, and/or reinvent almost anything. For the last 20 years she has made her living selling items she has repaired or refinished. Pretty darn good for a woman of 86.

I do not have this talent. If I can't fix it with duct tape, glue or a swift hammer strike it goes into the Goodwill pile.

In my infinite wisdom and the conceit of youth, I thought I had her completely figured out. She's the fixer; I'm the creator. She has to keep moving; I'm happy sitting with my knitting in front of a good movie. Then the sweater appeared, dug out from some hidden box. It was a peachy-pink cardigan done in 4 x 4 rib with a row of mother-of-pearl buttons.

"Wow, what a neat sweater!" I said. "Where did you get it?"
"I made this when I was first married." she answered. "My mother-in-law Louisa showed me how."
Here was a topic I could sink my teeth into: family history! "Really? How long did it take you?"
"Two weeks."
I was stunned. "Did you have a pattern?"
"No, I just kept knitting. Louisa would guide me at points and I just did what she told me to do and then it was done."

Then the stories started coming out. Louisa was a prolific knitter and crocheter. She was never without a small piece of tatting to work on. When MIL and her husband were first married in 1943, she and Louisa sat in the house in Vancouver and did nothing but knit. Apparently this gave them something in common.

So far as I can tell, this is the only thing my MIL has ever knit. Louisa died around 1948. I have no idea what happened to Louisa's knitting and crocheting supplies. They probably went into one of MIL's yearly yard sales.

But she saved the sweater.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I'm a meme, you're a meme...

I love these cute little “Take a survey!” sites. I find the notion that my entire life's experience can be captured in 20 questions amusing and somewhat disconcerting. Here’s one I took recently.

You Know You're From Maryland When...

You know more than 10 people who own boats and they all park them at the same marina in Annapolis
• You can pronounce and spell "Pocomoke," "Mattaponi," "Accokeek," and "Havre de Grace" [and Chincoteaque and Monocacy too!]
• You prononce "Bowie" BOO-ie not BOW-ie or BAUW-ie
• 1 hour is an easy commute to work
• You have more than three recipies for crabcakes
• French fries just don't taste right without Old Bay [or an ocean view]
• There are more than two crab places in your town
• Even your high school cafeteria made good crabcakes
• You got your first lacrosse stick before you were six years old
• You call all turtles "terrapins"
• You refer to your state as "Merlind"
• Your mother shops at Hecht's
• You still call Six Flags America "Adventure World", or even "Wild World"
• You still remember the Wild World commercial (Wild World's the cure for the summertime blues!)
• You can tell the difference between the smells of septic and marsh.
• You not only know how to eat hard crabs but you also know how to catch them, cook them and tell the males from the females.
• You don't think that Assawoman Bay is a strange name for a body of water.
• You know perfectly well why Rehoboth is called "Little San Francisco"
• M R Ducks makes perfect sense.
• So does C M Wangs.
• You think Salisbury is a big city.
• You think of dumplings as wet slippery squares of boiled dough.
• You think of "Dairy Queen" as a pageant title and not a place to get an ice cream.
• You still root for the Orioles even when they suck
• You'll never understand why tourists come to DC.
• When in Florida, you can only laugh when you see signs saying "Real Maryland Blue Crab Cakes!"
• Your whole family lives within a 200 mile radius of your town.
• You plan for "The Festival" a year in advance.
• During the summer, you spend more time in Ocean City than at home.
• Margret Heater, Hedspace, Jepetto, Outside Joke and Mary Prankster are people you think are "Famous"
• Your radio dial is stuck on 99.1
[alas,not anymore]

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Maryland.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Separated at birth?

I’ve discovered that Smarty McYarnpants and I have something in common.

Our cats were separated at birth.

This is Kiah (pronounced "kee-yah"). We took him home in a moment of weakness back in 1998. He was so small and so cute back then! Now he is 13 pounds of cranky. His hobbies are eating, sleeping, and nuzzling knitted blankets.

He also puts up with the attention of Little Brewers 1 and 2.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Camera Cozy

I think my digital camera needs a cozy. It looks so lonely, sitting there in its silvery nakedness without a coat. I want to create a felted bag for it, but I can’t decide if I should knit one or just felt an old wool sweater and sew one.

Sweater Method Pros:
Immediate felting gratification. Mmm. Felting.

Sweater Method Cons:
I would have to dig out the sewing machine
No knitting required

I just realized I've managed to use the words nakedness and felt in the same paragraph without being lewd. Hey! I used them again! My blog hit count is going up even as we speak. :-)

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Gates

I saw The Gates two weeks ago, just before they dismantled them. I thought it was very interesting, but I expected to feel more of an emotional punch. It was nice, it was pleasant, it made for a neat walk through Central Park. I would have loved to see it from above. I wonder what the view is from the apartments surrounding the park?

The impermanence of Christo’s work has generated a lot of discussion about the purpose and value of Christo’s works. I suspect its value is in getting people to discuss the nature of art – does art have to have a purpose or can it just “be?” How do you assess the meaning of transient art? Should we equate Cristo’s dismantlement of the work to works lost through time or war? Discuss amongst yourselves.

For many gazing
in orange there is no rhyme
and reason eludes.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Baby Sweater Set

At long last, photos of the sweater and hat set I made for Engineering Goddess' baby-to-be. This is a photo of the entire set. Photo size fixed, thanks to El Jefe!

This is a photo of the hat, showing the cute little curlicue topper.
The sweater is knit in straight stitches with a seed stitch bottom border and cuffs. The hat is crochet using Brewgal's hat pattern. The topper is one piece of macaroni fringe from the book Illustrated Patchwork Crochet by Bella Scharf.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


I finally have a digital camera! I chose the Nikon Coolpix 5200 with 5.1 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom. It was a toss-up between the Nikon and the Canon G6. The Canon has more manual settings - you can vary the F-stop, for instance. Mr. Brewguy preferred the Canon and claimed no ulterior motives. Yeah, uh huh. However Brewgal was just looking for a good point-and-shoot. I did briefly toy with the Elph but my hands are so big they covered the lens.

Look for project photos in the near future.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Brewgal 0 - Virus 1, or The Valentine's Day That Wasn't

"Where the heck has she been??" anxious bloggers wail. Brewgal and family have had a visit from the stomach flu, also known as Viral Gastroenteritis. Oh, man. What a nasty little bugger. Brewgal actually had to throw up on the side of the road on Saturday night. I felt like I was possessed by a frat boy. Needless to say, my Valentine's Day was less than stellar. I spent it on the couch watching reruns of Futurama and Project Runway while Mr. Brewguy fought his own viral version in the upstairs bathroom. The second worst part was going through caffeine withdrawal while waiting for it to pass. Brewgal likes her coffee.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Homebrew in the Funny Pages

This week's Get Fuzzy topic is homebrewing! Check it out here.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Medicine and Knitting Collide

I’m not the kind of person who has to have the correct box for everything. I make do with whatever is around. I love bookshelves for this reason. They hold my 10,000 books, my stereo, my photos, my tin canister collection… you get the idea. My steel crochet hooks are stored in a zippered cosmetics bag. My knitting needles are in a Fisher Price block container. I am the princess of make-do. But I have been surpassed.

I’m a sucker for knitting and crochet tools. I haunt yard sales and thrift shops. I buy all the needles I come across. I’m afraid to try Addi Turbos for fear I’ll have to get rid of all my beloved aluminum. Anyway, during my most recent bi-yearly pilgrimage back to Gettysburg to the Twin Oaks community yard sale, I came across a box of knitting supplies. Of course, I bought the whole box ($5!!). The previous owner had stored many of her sets in these lovely, form-fitting plastic tubes. “What a great idea,” I thought to myself. When I got home, I noticed that one tube still had its original label. I took a closer look at the tube…


“Aieee!” I yelped. *Ewww!* thought my brain. (for those of you who don’t know what a Foley catheter is, see description
here) Then I began to speculate about the former owner of these needles. She (I’m assuming it was a she) probably worked in the medical profession. She was probably a child of the depression and had been trained never to waste anything. She saw the cases being discarded and thought, “Those would be perfect for my knitting needles!” The needles were lovingly stored in their separate cases, carefully identified and protected from damage. So I applaud my unknown benefactor’s ingenuity.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog Day

Dragged from the burrow at the crack of dawn to face hordes of top-hatted Pennsylvanians to deliver the news that winter will be here for SIX MORE WEEKS! They need a rodent to tell me this?

I'm ranting today. I have been besiged by insane drivers over the last week. Allow me to vent.
  • When I leave a space for someone trying to pull out of a driveway, that is not an invitation for Mr. Insane Driver to pull around me into that space.
  • "Right turn on red" does not mean Mr. Insane Driver has the right of way.
  • Do not slam on your brakes in the middle of a bridge because you are yelling into your cell phone. It alarms the rest of us.
  • My hand-eye-foot coordination is circumscribed by the speed my brain's electrical impulses. I cannot start driving before the light turns green, no matter how much Mr. Insane Driver honks at me.

*cleansing breath* I feel much better now.

The baby sweater is done! It looks adorable, if I do say so. I will try to get a photo posted soon.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Hat pattern errata and baby sweater status

I keep forgetting you all can't read my mind. I completely forgot to give hook size and yarn suggestions for Brewgal's hat pattern. I typically use a size F hook and DK weight yarn. This combination makes a nice tight weave.

I've finished all the parts for Engineering Godesses' little boy sweater. Now I have to block and piece them together. I think I'll crochet a border in green around the front and incorporate the buttonholes into it. Blocking and piece-ing are my least favorite part. I find I'm drifting toward all my other unfinished objects... the shawl in seed stitch, the sweater for myself in dark sea blue, the baby blanket from stash yarn. They all have voices. And they speak in Haiku!

Needles, hook, bring thy
Magic to my eager heart,
The yarn beloved.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I can't follow a pattern

I can't follow a pattern. Rather, I can't _stand_ to follow a pattern. There is always something I want to change- buttons as opposed to ties, longer sleeves, different yarn, different hairstyle (oops! wrong blog). I use patterns as a guideline, not a set-in-stone instruction sheet. I feel all the pattern designers out there giving a collective *shudder* I'm not sure if this makes me a designer or an anarchist. Knitting Anarchy! What a great name for a band.

Right now I'm working on a baby sweater for my cousin, Engineering Goddess, who is due in March. Since she has never actually seen anything I've knitted, this is an act of familial love. Her only requirement is “not blue!” I’m using the layout from the Puppy Love pattern from MonkeySuits ( But not in Cascade 220 and not with dog-bone closures. I just can't see using wool yarn for a baby who will live in Atlanta, so I'm using Sirdar TinyTots in beige, with a border of forest green. I actually swatched this time! The yarn feels nice, although sometimes out of the corner of my eye it looks like it has worms in it. Apparently I have larvae issues.

I haven’t decided if I will use buttons, ties or frogs for the front closure. And of course, there will have to be a matching hat.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

What's in a name?

“So, what’s with the name? You really like Abraham Lincoln or something?”

Great question, astute blog reader! While Brewgal is partial to tall men in suits, Mr. Lincoln is not the source of the title. At least, not directly. Once upon a time, Mr. Brewguy and I used to live in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. During one of our many homebrewing sessions, we decided our little hobby needed a name. The name Gettysbrew was taken, as was Gettysburg Brewing Company (may it rest in peace). Lincoln Avenue Brew just didn't quite have the right ring so we chose Lincoln Street Brew. Lincoln Street Knitting is the extension of the franchise.

Ah, those were great times. There is nothing like the smell of hops in the afternoon, wafting up from the kitchen.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hats, Hats and more Hats

I’m on a hat binge. I’ve recently been brave enough to add colorwork to my crochet.

This is Little Brewer #1’s hat (she loves purple).

I also made hats for myself and Little Brewer #2 (seen modeled here by Little Brewer #1).

The band design for the red and white hat is adapted from Marie-Christine Mahe’s Peruvian pattern at ( Here is the design in repeat.

The hat pattern itself is extremely simple (see below). It is single crochet worked in rounds, gradually increasing the diameter.

The Play Nice Credo: Free information is good. It keeps the promise of the Internet alive. In that spirit, I post this pattern for all to use. Feel free to use this pattern. Just don’t represent it as your own, sell it, etc. etc.

Brewgal’s Basic Cute Hat Pattern©
Row 1 Chain 5. Join.
Row 2 Chain 1. SC 8 in circle. Join with slip stitch to chain 1.
Row 3 Chain 1. *SC in first st, 2 SC in second st* Repeat until end. Skip last SC in circle. Join with slip stitch to ch 1.
Row 4 Chain 1. SC in each st around. Skip last SC. Join with slip st to ch1.
Row 5 Repeat Row 3.
Row 6 Repeat Row 4.
Row 7 Chain 1. *SC in first st, SC in second st, 2 SC in third st* Repeat until end. Skip last SC. Join with slip st to ch1.
Row 8 Repeat Row 4

Keep alternating Row 7 until you have approximately 86 sts around (for a child’s hat) or 104 sts around (for a small adult hat). If the crown is too wavy, alternate two Row 4’s between your increase rows.

Once you have reached the diameter you want, continue with Row 4 (SC around). The hat will gradually form a shape as you go. Continue Row 4 until hat reaches desired length. Join with slip st as before and break yarn.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Brewgal 1, HTML Problems 0

As you may have noticed, my sidebar was stuck at the bottom of the blog. Still readable, but supremely irritating. I knew I could fix it, I just needed to find out how to do so without resorting to begging. My HTML programming skills are rudimentary.

There have been a flurry of new bloggers on the Knitlist (you are all awesome!), so I've been checking out other blogs. Finally, I came across some programming that made sense. And lo and behold, it worked! I did it! I am so proud of myself.

I'm sure all you HTML gods are laughing, but small victories are good for one's soul.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Amsterdam photos

I am attempting to add photos to my blog. Here is a shot of an Amsterdam canal on my first day. Where exactly? I have no idea. I was wandering around in a jet-lag-induced haze. This was the only sunny day I encountered.

Picture of a canal

And here is a photo of my table at Cafe Belgique, showing the Karmeleit and my trusty Rough Guide.

Dinner at Cafe Belgique

Hats off to El Jefe for offering his website for my photo hosting! I owe you a brew, bro.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Beer Report: Amsterdam!

I love Belgian Beer! Save the IPA’s for someone else. I’m definitely on the malty side when it comes to taste. However, living in the States has seriously hampered my Belgian Beer tasting efforts. I’m stuck with whatever can be imported. I mean, I like Duvel and Stella Artois, but come on! Let's get some variety in here!

I was lucky enough to take a quick trip to Amsterdam in November. I was able to get out one evening and visited Café Belgique (Café Belgique’s website is here Beer Advocate has a review of Belgique here

I had a Karmeleit, an abbey-style trippel with a plate of fine Dutch cheese. Malty, sweet, with a nice balance of carbonation, 8% alcohol. Fabulous! You may ask yourself, did she only have cheese for dinner? Well yes, I love good food but I am a little intimidated by going to restaurants by myself in a foreign country when I’m jet-lagged. I'll post a photo of my table once I figure out how to do that.

On my last evening, I had a Barbar Winter Bok. This is a darker beer than the Karmeleit, brewed with honey, 8.8% alcohol. Yummy! It is served in a mug. I had the Barbar in a cute little eetcafe called Dwaze Zaken ( located near the Centraal Station. I had originally intended to go to Gollem, but try as I might, I couldn’t find the darn place!