Wednesday, August 16, 2006

dispatch from week three: vacation 2006

It's over. The fat lady has sung, and all I have left to remind me of the sweet, sweet time off are an incredible air of relaxation, several FO's, and 1,457 itchy red chigger bites.

Last year was the first time we had ever taken two whole weeks off at once - we went to Maine and visited Acadia National Park. Afterwards we realized, two weeks off is fabulous! Three weeks off would be even better! Considering that HWWLLB and I both have vacation and comp time coming out our ears, it seemed like a great idea.

The truth is, it was a great idea! People, if you can take a big long chunk of time off (four weeks! five weeks!), and for some lame reason you haven't done it, I urge you to block out the time now and just do it! We didn't take any fabulous far-flung trips, but we sure did come back to work relaxed, wanting to be here, and ready to take on some serious challenges.

During week three we spent a lot of time at home, gardening, cooking, visiting the library and the new downtown farmer's market (woo-hooo!) and generally basking in beautiful, breezy, 70-degree temperatures. We took one side trip to Virginia, to visit and hike around the Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Park. That's where I got all the chiggers, and about a dozen ticks for good measure. [Informative side note: Contrary to popular belief, chiggers do not burrow into your skin. It's actually the larvae of the chigger that bites, inserting its feeding tube into your skin and injecting an enzyme that dissolves a bit of your flesh so that the chigger larvae can slurp it up like a milkshake. Yum! The blisters they cause are an allergic reaction to the enzyme, not a little chigger hillock in your skin. If (like me) you are struggling to keep from killing yourself thanks to having become a chigger milkshake, I encourage you to read all about it at Wikipedia or the National Library of Medicine.]


Secure in the knowledge that my legs have not become a halfway-house for homeless chiggers, I am free to enjoy these two beautiful teacups that I bought from a potter in Appomattox who was working behind the counter at a little bookstore/cafe in town (I wish I could remember the name). The potter is Katherine Antis, and she just finished a residency program in pottery at the Cub Creek Foundation. If you live in central Virginia, head over to Appomattox this Saturday (it's just a short drive from Richmond or Lynchburg) and come to Katherine's Kiln Fest! She's hoping to raise enough money to build her own wood-fired kiln. While you're there you can pick up some chiggers on the hiking trails and become liquified like me.

So I mentioned FO's... there are a bunch, thanks to all the relaxing spare knitting time over the last few weeks, but especially this last weekend.

The raging purple fingerless gloves for Marge (pattern coming soon):


The Baby Om sweater (finished except for the button on the back collar):


The top-down top, whose name has officially been changed to Oliveta:


...and the Colorbox Sweater. Remember this thing from months and months ago? All I had left to do was sew the buttons on. The yellow yarn was so insanely bright that I used a color wheel to pick the colors to go with it, but I am afraid the green buttons were a fugly disaster. I've decided to rip them off and get some pink buttons, but here it is for good measure anyway, just to prove that I don't hide the fugs from y'all:

eeeeeeek! run! hide!

That's it for the FO Show & Tell, though it seems I'm not the only one who got a lot of projects finished up this weekend. Look for a new Free Pattern this Friday!


  1. I definitely need the pattern for those fingerless gloves. I love them.

  2. i am a current experiment in flea bites ... and i don't even have pets! and the other itchy creepy crawlies? ... something feasted on me a couple of years ago while camping around the white mountains ... something (or an army of something) traveled across my shoulders from fingertip to fingertip, and left a lumpy bumpy fest of itchy welts that wouldn't calm down for almost a week!
    oliveta is mighty pretty!

  3. Wow - you were busy on your vacation! Glad you and HWWLLB enjoyed it.

    Thanks for the chigger info - now I need to follow the links to find out what chiggers are! :-)

  4. Olivetta is so pretty! I love the necckline.

    I cannot wait for friday - those "gloves" are really cute.

  5. I'm so, so glad that you two had a wonderful vacation. You certainly deserved it. Your FO's are beautiful! Looking forward to Friday's pattern! Tell Grady we said hello.

    P.S. Alex starts high school next Friday. I am scared silly and she's way, way excited!

  6. Olivetta is beautiful! The Baby Om sweater is sooo sweet.

  7. yikes!
    i hate chiggers.
    i itch them like crazy-
    until they are
    all scabby
    and gross.
    hate 'em.
    man, are your friends
    popping babies
    out like there
    are no tomorrow.
    i seem to be friends
    with a lot
    of the


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