28 December, 2005

The lilies are blooming.

My Christmas flowers are so beautiful! They arrived on Christmas Eve and here it is Wednesday and they are still perfect. The lilies are opening now and I could smell them last night while I was sitting in my chaise. Very nice. I love the smell of Stargazer lilies.

It is a nasty, cold and blustery day. My sister went back to California yesterday after arriving Saturday night with my nephew. He's still here. I wish the weather was a little better, but at least it's not freezing cold. I've got the rest of the week off. Don't have to be back to work until Tuesday. I plan on doing a little more reading. And knitting. I started a new project. Oh! And I got speakers for my iPod for Christmas so I can now listen to all of my good music through awesome speakers!

22 December, 2005


Finally! All my gifts are done. I am celebrating with an entire evening reading and listening to music, a glass of wine and no ch no ch


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21 December, 2005


I am a total zombie this morning. I went to bed about 10 or 10:30 last night - normal. But I woke up at 2:30 and I couldn't get back to sleep! That is so totally NOT normal. I tossed and turned until 3:30 and finally gave it up and turned on the light and read for a while. That got Tink awake and she wanted to eat and go outside. She must have figured it was morning. At about 4:30 I put the book down and gave sleep another try but no go. Couldn't shut off my brain ... there's just too much stuff going on right now. I have so much to do. The last time I looked at the clock it was 6 and I dozed for about 30 minutes until the alarm went off. I feel awful. I have to give an exam here at 9 am, then as soon as she's done I'm going to go shopping ONE LAST TIME - I swear!! - and then go home and take a nap. I hope.

19 December, 2005

What is that I hear??

It's the sound of panic is what it is. Because I was sick for so long I am way behind in all my holiday preparations. But .... but did I work on any projects this weekend? Hmmm?? Did I do any knitting? A bit of crochet on that scarf that needs to be done in a couple days? Nooooooooo, I did not. I guess I'm waiting for the panic to really get a grip on me. Then I'll be working like a crazy person.

It was a busy weekend in some ways ... I did get the tree after work on Friday and got it decorated. Minimalist. I like it. Then Saturday I got a manicure and ummm ... took a nap. Well, I was tired!! You can see it in this picture of Tinkerbell and me in front of the tree as I was getting ready for the party Saturday night. I still don't look 100% -- plus which the hair hanging in front of my face make me look cross eyed.

I had every intention of working on my projects Sunday. However, I had to take my nephew .... one of the grown-up (kinda) ones Christmas shopping. I was up early, picked him up by 10 am. He was rather hung over and needed to eat so we didn't get to the real business of shopping until nearly noon. I didn't get back home until 3:30. Nearly as exhausted as I was when I took PJ shopping. And I still had laundry to do, so I watched football and did laundry and assured myself that I would have plenty of time to finish things up.

The Seahawks won again. The Colts lost!! Colts 13-1, Seahawks 12-2 and still people don't take them as a serious threat. Ah well. It's just football. (joke)

16 December, 2005

It is really cold!!

I cannot believe how cold it still is! And with the inversion the air quality is very bad and I can't have fires in my fireplace until it gets better. I see that it is supposed to be clouding up, getting warmer and should be raining for Christmas week. Just in time for all the visitors.

Today I decided I would walk into work. I turned off my alarm at 5:30 this morning. It was just so cold in the house and Tinkerbell was all snuggly with me and I realized I didn't have anything pressing to attend to at work, so I slept in. I awoke at 7:45 and the sun was almost all the way up and I decided to walk. I just couldn't bear to get into my car again, having driven in every day so far this week. And, frankly, I didn't think it was safe to get on my bike. Now ... wait a minute ... those of you who know me, quit looking out of the window for those telltale flying pigs! I can be sensible sometimes!! After that bike accident this summer, I just didn't think it was prudent to risk it again, riding on the ice. Especially since I am still a bit congested and coughing. It was only about 28 degrees. I put all my stuff into my backpack, made myself a yummy eggnog latte, bundled up, plugged into my iPod and off I went. It was so nice!! I love to walk anyway, but there it was all sparkly with ice, nice music playing (don't you just LOVE the iPod whole collection shuffle??), cold and crisp. It was really really wonderful. My little Seattle winter wonderland.

15 December, 2005

Christmas shopping with a 10 year old

What was I thinking?!? Oh, I know ... I thought it would be lovely and fun and a little bit of Christmas magic to take my nephew downtown, take in the scene, look at the lights, do a little shopping and really get into the season. Okay, when you get done laughing .... I can wait .....

First he didn't want to go downtown after all but please could we go to the mall because there is a Toys 'R Us there and he needed to buy a present for his little friend. No, I explained, we were going to buy presents for his mom. Period. And he didn't want to look at the lights and okay he'd buy his mom something then with the rest of the money we'd go toy shopping. Pretty soon I just quit responding and parked the car and off we went in search of Christmas spirit. But not before a quick trip to the bathroom where, he tells me, there are televisions mounted above the urinals!! And we should go to the ladies room so that I can look and see if there are televisions for the ladies as well. Okay. I had to go anyway so we trooped upstairs in Macy's to visit the ladies room and no, there were no televisions.

Out we went into the cold night air, me looking for a little bit of that old Christmas magic and he looking for a jewelry store to buy something for his mother. But first ... let's eat. Key decision. Never shop on an empty stomach, especially if you're dragging a 10 year old behind you. He was a little more reasonable after eating even though we had to go one more round on why we weren't going to shop for toys. Somewhere lately I had read or seen something on TV about active listening so I gave it a go and it worked! Got him calmed down and reassured that he would indeed have time to get a present for his friend. Off we went then to Nordstrom to buy a few things, then back to Macy's for another, a bit of gift wrapping and I dropped him off by 7:30.

By the time I arrived at my house it was not yet 8 pm and I was so completely and utterly exhausted that I seriously considered going to bed. Tinkerbell had somehow managed to grab two skeins of yarn off the coffee table and got their labels off but didn't seem to have mangled the yarn much. I was sure that I had pushed them back far enough but she had been alone since noon - eight whole hours - and I guess the urge to make mischief was great. I had to stay up if there was going to be any chance of her sleeping through the night so I changed into jammies and just read. No knitting. No music. Just reading. What a luxury!! Before I started knitting I read all the time. Now I have 3 months worth of magazines sitting untouched, new books waiting to be read. I made myself a promise this morning that when I finish up these last three (or 4?) gifts I am going to do nothing but read for days and days. It was just so nice and peaceful there reading that I stayed up past 10. My exhaustion giving way to relaxed contentment.

14 December, 2005

Finally a good night's sleep!

Wow! I had a great sleep last night, finally. Which means I guess that I'm 100% at last. I did have some dreams, but not strange ones like I have been having, or very complicated ones. I only dreamed that I was running. In my dream I wanted to work out, to go for a run. That's obviously because I haven't been able to run or work out for nearly two weeks. So I just kept running everywhere I was going, in whatever shoes or clothes I was wearing. It was fun.

I spent my morning taking my Dad to the doctor. Got to work about 12:30 and I'll be leaving here in a few more hours to pick up PJ and head downtown to go Christmas shopping for his mother. It's very pretty downtown with all the lights. Since I essentially skipped Christmas last year it's going to be a real treat for me as well. Maybe I'll try to snap a picture with my camera phone.

13 December, 2005

A few pictures

I finally stopped being so lazy and took a few pictures with my camera. First here is a picture of the Peter Pan & Captain Hook Sericel I bought at the auction on the 2nd. Isn't it cool? I tried not to get too much glare on it, that's why it's taken a little to the side rather than straight on. I hung it over the fireplace downstairs. I just love it. Of course, it would have been better if Tinkerbell were in there as well, but I imagine those are very rare indeed.

This is a picture of a felted hat I made for one of my nephews for Christmas. I crocheted it and it went very quickly. I am very pleased with the way it turned out, although I wouldn't have chosen those colors. He specifically said he wanted red if I were going to make him a hat, so that's what we ended up with. I have some pretty teal colors to make another one for one of the other children and I think it'll be nicer.

And finally, I finished up the hat and scarf set I was making for the exchange here at work today. These things go very quickly. I just made up the pattern for the hat. It didn't turn out exactly as I wanted - it more beret-ish than cloche-like but it looks okay on. And then I added a little ruffle flower to tie it in with the scarf.

I have to finish Ruth's little sweater first and then a couple more little things to make before Christmas and then I can start on some fun things for myself. I got the yarn for that complicated cabled shrug from Autumn IK and I am just itching to start on that but don't dare until I get a few things finished up. Plus I've still got to rip out that bottom of that UGLY peplum sweater and try to remake that into something I can wear. It would be a shame to waste all that lovely alpaca.

12 December, 2005

It lives!!

Wow! I can't believe a whole week went by. Here it is the 12th and I'm finally finally feeling normal! I guess I had the flu, huh? After I quit trying to come to work and just gave up and admitted that I was indeed sick I just rested. No knitting. No reading. No watching TV. Just sleeping. I can't believe how much I slept! I got out of the house on Saturday because I needed to get my sister's birthday present. I got up and got going early be cause I knew the traffic was going to be awful and it was, but I was home by 1 having purchased, wrapped and sent her gift! I didn't do much of anything else that day but work on a ruffled scarf and hat for the gift exchange at work for tomorrow. I had to finally give up on finishing that blankie for work. I may pick it up again or I may just chuck the whole thing. I also managed to make the cutest felted ear flap hat for one of my little nephews! I crocheted it up when I was getting sick - must have been last Tuesday or Wednesday. It went quickly and it looks awesome! I should take pictures. Maybe tonight if I'm not too exhausted from a real day at work. Nope - I wasn't that crazy - I didn't ride my bike. I'm still coughing.

I hate to rub it in to my Eagles fan .... especially after that butt kicking last Monday night - but I went to the Seahawks game on Sunday and they totally dominated the 49ers. In fact the 49ers only ONCE in the whole game got past the 50 yard line. One time. It was incredible. I am SO looking forward to the play offs. Maybe this year the Seahawks will actually win one!

I got a last gift from the BEST Secret Pal in the whole world! And now I know her name since it's the end of Secret Pal six. So thank you for being just the very very nicest secret pal, Shannon! She blogs at alittleloopy.blogspot.com as 'Nonnahs'. I am very happy to have gotten to know such an awesome knitter/football lover/ AND greeting card designer. They are very cute - I've gotten a few.

That's it for today. I must remember to take a picture of the Peter Pan Sericel that I bought at the auction last Friday as well as my few FOs of late. My digital camera is such a dinosaur. I bought it right before I moved to Paris - so that was December of 1999!! And it was THE thing then. Now it's just a huge, clunky piece of junk that it a hassle to download picture from. Oh well -- it works and that's the important thing. Plus of course, there is always the trusty picture phone.

07 December, 2005

Will it ever end?

Oh now, I don't want to sound like a whiney baby but here it is Wednesday and I had to make myself come to work. I stayed home yesterday after bailing early on Monday. Man, this thing is kicking my behind!! I guess it's been so long since I've had a proper cold that I've forgotten how debilitating they can be. I didn't do much of anything yesterday but sleep and read. I did a bit of perfuctory knitting - these deadlines are looming, I know. Had a lovely telephone conversation which perked up my spirits, even though I was told that I "sound awful!!". Ah well ... that's the way it goes sometimes. As long as I am not awful, I can stand sounding awful.

05 December, 2005

I thought right

I did get a cold. A bad one. And here it is Monday and I'm still sniffly but I'm up and about anyway. Friday evening I had a social commitment - one that I look forward to annually. I stayed in bed all day Friday and got up a few hours before I was due to go out and got myself cleaned up and ready. Took a stiff dose of cold medicine, called a cab and headed out. All in all it was a successful evening. I liberally dosed myself with Manhattans throughout the evening to keep that "I'm not really sick" feeling alive. I managed to acquire a wonderful piece of art at the auction - a "sericel" from the Disney animated Peter Pan of Peter and Captain Hook fighting. It's very cool.

But I paid a price for going out Friday - I was just down for the count on Saturday. Fever and all. I couldn't even knit or read - I just wallowed in my misery. Thankfully I had a great chef come over to cook curry for me. That was marvelous. Yesterday again I was very low energy but made myself work on that darned blanket. I only have a week and a few days to get it done. I also started a little bit of lace scarf with the pink yarn my Secret Pal sent. I'm not 100% committed to it yet - I think it will be pretty but the thing about knitting a pattern is that there is a right side and a wrong side which I don't like with a scarf. I don't know .... it's not that big of a deal but anyway ... I'll figure it out.

01 December, 2005

Well well

It snows.

I think I'm getting a cold

I have a massive sore throat. I dragged myself into work today since I had worked at home yesterday. I drove though, didn't bike. It's only 37 degrees now and again they're predicting snow. yeah yeah

I finished "The Lighthouse" yesterday evening. Good book. I made it last as long as I could. And I worked on the Booga Bag-ish thing. I love Kureyon. You never know what you're going to get but it's always beautiful. It reminds me a bit of that candy when I was a kid. Just a round piece of sugar - stupid really - but all different colors. So every minute or so you were taking it out of your mouth to see what color it had turned. The Kureyon is like that - knit just one more round, what color is going to come up next?

The fares to France are fluctuating nearly every day. I am going to wait until January to book. I still need to hear from a certain someone (ahem) about schedules in January. My friend Emma is living in Luxembourg now and she is available those two weeks to get together. I am also trying to convince my sister to come along, at least for one of the two weeks I have planned to take off. She hasn't been to Europe for years and years - like 20 or more. It all depends on if her gallery gets sold in time. Fingers crossed.

30 November, 2005

It's a dark and cold day

NOT raining ... no, not snowing either. Just dark and cloudy and dreary. I'm working from home today. Last night I didn't work on that blanket, like I had promised myself. Instead I started a modified Booda Bag with the leftover Noro Kureyon from the tea cozy and the full skein that my Secret Pal sent me. If I find that it's not enough I'll just get a third skein. But the pattern seems like it would make a larger bag and I only want a small one so I'm figuring it should work out just right. Yeah ... well .. there ya go.

29 November, 2005

So what do you think happened?

On Monday evenings I pick up my nephew from school and take him for an hour or so, letting his mother work. He was very excited yesterday about the news that there was a 90% chance of snow. Oh boy!! The guy on the radio was saying that in his opinion, if the meteorologists were predicting a 90% chance of snow you could bet that we wouldn't get any. And he was right on. I awoke to the sound of pouring rain in the middle of the night and this morning it was blowing and a little rainy. Thankfully also, a bit warmer. While I had to wrap my face yesterday for protection, I didn't need it this morning. It is very dark and I can see that it is going to most likely rain again soon, (hopefully while I am at the gym and not en route) I am quite sure it's too warm for snow. Probably up north they got some, and in the higher elevations. But not here. All those poor children waking this morning, running to the windows expecting a winter wonderland and just getting good ol' soggy Seattle.

I have got to kick myself into gear and get that mohair blanket done. I have two weeks to finish it. It's not difficult. In fact, it's mindless. It's boring, quite frankly. But I always like to have a project like that sitting around - something that I can knit on while I watch a movie or the game. But I'm right in the middle of a purl stripe and it's getting big and I don't like to purl. Oh well, I just have to make myself tackle it. Perhaps if I just assign myself so many rows an evening and then have another fun project to work on. I haven't started frogging that sweater yet. I want to wait for the weekend so I can do it at the dining table in good light. It's not going to be easy. I am just hoping it's going to be worth it.

28 November, 2005


The weather report is for a 9O% chance tonight and in the morning. Guess I am walking to work tomorrow.


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A very nice, long weekend

Wow! What a great weekend!! I cooked on Thursday, but I was very well organized and it was an early dinner so I had my house back to myself and all cleaned up by 6 o'clock. Nice. Friday it *poured* rain and I didn't leave the house except to walk the dog and send my Noro Felted Bag to someone in New York. Somebody bought something from my Etsy Shop again! I put up a couple more scarves - cashmere and mohair ruffled ones. Anyway, it was fabulous to just laze around the rest of the day!! I got a good bit done on Ruth's sweater and watched a movie and got a little more done on the mohair blanket. Saturday was a gorgeous day - all clear and crisp. Tink got a longer walk and I got to finish up Ruth's sweater body and get a whole sleeve done! Now I've only got to make one more sleeve and it's finished. The latest P.D. James novel arrived from Amazon on Saturday - "The Lighthouse" - so I put down the sweater and started that book. At 10:30 I made myself put it down so that I could make it last. I love her stuff and I could have easily just kept reading into the night and finished it up. I will now just read a little bit before bed for a few night to make it last. Oh, and yesterday. W-O-W! It was a incredible football game. I must say probably the best game I've ever been to. The Seahawks won it in overtime after the Giants kicker (who, incidentally, used to be a Seahawk) missed not one but two attempts to end it. Our kicker came on and we won, 24 to 21. I can barely talk this morning. It was just almost too exciting.

I'm going to put the alpaca lace peplum sweater back on the projects list, since I'm going to be frogging the peplum part of it and re-doing the body. Good thing for me I didn't use up those two and a half skeins I have left over. I was thinking last night that maybe I'll (obviously) extend the plain body part down to the waist and then put about an inch or just one repeat of the lace pattern instead of a band. I think that might look good and it would kind of bring it all together. We'll see. I am NOT looking forward to frogging that lace. I think it's going to be tough. Plus which, to add to it, it's been sewn together and blocked so the seams are going to be awfully hard to get undone. It'll be a challenge.

23 November, 2005

Th UGLIEST picture of me in the UGLIEST sweater

I don't usually let ugly pictures of me out in the public domain but since I've been talking about this sweater for so long and I am going to rip the bottom part of it off and make it into a NOT ugly sweater, I'm going to put it up. Well ... hmmm, that's weird. It won't upload the picture. Maybe because it's so freakin' UGLY!!! I guess we'll just have to wait until Monday when I can do it from work. I've had this problem before where it wouldn't let me upload a picture. Oh .. .I could put in a link. http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/sgolard/uglysweater.jpg Just a warning -- I look like I weight about 200 pounds. When in fact, I wear a size 4. I swear. Plus which it makes me look like I've got a double chin. The sweater is the single most unflattering garment I have ever owned Bar none. I am going to frog the bottom lace part and just knit a regular bottom and I think that will make it into a wearable garment. Now I'm going to bake pies.

A lesson learned

The lesson: Just because you like the sweater in the magazine does NOT mean that it's going to be suitable for you.

The sweater in question is the alpaca lace peplum from Vogue Knits. I had decided to wear it this morning with a certain skirt and take pictures. Okay - I got into the skirt, boots, tank top -- nice looking outfit. On goes the sweater. YUK. The skirt is slim fitting with a flippy, tulip like bottom. It did not look good with the sweater. What it needs is a slim fitting, plain short black skirt, which I don't have. Fine. So I got out of that and put on a pair of black jeans. It looked OK. Just OK. Not the most flattering fit, actually. And if I had tried this on in the store, I wouldn't have purchased it. That's what I must get into my head!! Although frankly it's a bit hard to know if a certain style is going to look good on you until you try it on and when you're knitting a garment ... well, you can't try it on until you've put all the work into it! Is that paradoxical? Anyway - so I set up my digital camera and took a few pictures and to add insult to injury, the sweater makes me look fat!!! I promised to post pictures so I will probably Friday. I need to download them onto my computer. But seriously -- I just wasn't comfortable with it so after 15 minutes of fussing and taking pictures I tore it off, tossed it on a chair and threw on a cardigan. Now I must decide if I should give it to someone or frog the damned thing and knit something else. You know ... it just occurred to me ... I could frog away the peplum bottom, which is mostly the problem, and just continue knitting in SSt, put a band on it and that might work. Hmmmm ....

Anyway - I'm getting all amped up about Thanksgiving. I'm baking pies tonight. Short day at work.

22 November, 2005

What a GREAT Secret Pal I have!!

Not only is she a football fan, but she sends me the best goodies!! Here's a (bad) picture I snapped this morning on the way out the door. A cute little book called "Kniticisms", some lovely pink Rowan Kid Classic, a skein of some Rowan Cotton in a great loden color, some sweeeeeet smelly stuff, lip balm, chocolates, a handmade card AND a beautiful pink latte bowl, which I will use Thursday morning for the first eggnog latte of the season!! Thanks SO MUCH, Secret Pal. You are the BEST!

She sent me before a skein of Noro Kuryeon and I am going to use that and these great ones as well for things for ME. I tend to knit mostly for others these days, but I am saving these for something nice for me.

Speaking of knitting for others -- I have a gift list that keeps on growing so I am very glad that I finished the alpaca sweater because it's going to be weeks and weeks before I can start on anything else for me. The weekend I spent using up some recycled cashmere and I made two more of those ruffled scarves. They turn out so lovely in cashmere (well, really, what doesn't?). The recycled stuff is tricky. It's all curly when you use it and doesn't look or feel much like what you'd expect. But as soon as you wash it, it straightens out, blooms and it's just fabulous! I had been working with some orange stuff - I got a lot of it and it is 3-ply where they are usually only 1 or 2 - trying out making a raglan little sweater out of it. But I realized that I really didn't care for the color and I surely wouldn't wear it if I did finish it, so I used three strands, making it 9-ply, and crocheted one of the ruffled scarves and it is warm and really really nice. I shall certainly use that for a gift as well as a smaller pink one I made with 3-ply. I have lots of the pink left as well as some yellow. I don't think I'm up to socks, but maybe some mittens. I'll have to think about it. But first I have to finish that blankie. Shouldn't take too much longer. It's mindless knitting and I just need to make myself have it in my lap at all times, except when eating.

21 November, 2005


I love podcasts!! And there are tons and tons of them! I found some sport ones and, of course, a knitting.. I listened to the knitting show last night while I was sewing the last of the buttons on the tea cozy. I didn't put as many on it as the picture on the book cover, but plenty and it looks very cute. I'm happy with it. I just hope that Kate likes it as well. So that's finished. And my alpaca sweater? Oh it is beautiful! It washed up so nice, and blocked out to look just like the picture! I'm going to wear it Wednesday so maybe I can get it together to take a picture. I tried it on and it doesn't feel quite so itchy. Only time will tell. I am figuring that it's still going to itch a bit, but it's so pretty. If it bothers me too much I can always gift it, but I don't know to whom.

The Huskies lost the Apple Cup but they played well. The Seahawks beat the 49ers, but everyone thought they would. Actually, it was a closer game than I thought it would be. They are now 8 and 2, best record in their division.

18 November, 2005

Tea Cozy In Progress

I have to put more buttons on, but here are pictures of both sides of the tea cozy as it looks now. Isn't it cute? I thought that was enough with the buttons, but when I stepped back away from it I could see that we need more. Other than that, I am very very pleased with the way it turned out. Very close to the way it looks in the book, which is always a bonus. And I did wash my alpaca sweater in delicate washing soap two nights ago and laid it out to dry. As of yesterday evening it was still damp but I must say, it looks a lot better now that it's been blocked. I think it's going to fit like it is supposed to. I am so lazy when it comes to blocking though and some sweaters I have made really didn't need it. But this one has benefited mightily. Now let's just hope it's not so itchy!!

I spent yesterday in bed with a muscle spasm in my back. I'm better today but no running, just to be on the safe side. Makes me crabby. To not be able to run, I mean. Oh well. I guess there's a good side and a bad side to living alone. At least I can just be crabby and not have to deal with trying to be nice. Tink won't notice. Oh, I'm never crabby with her anyway!!

16 November, 2005

Why oh why

didn't I take a picture of you at Lake Louise?


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The best of intentions

Okay, I really intended to wash that sweater and block it last night but I didn't. Nope. I walked the dog, poured myself a glass of Pinot Grigio and sat my little tushie down in my chaise lounge and read the newspaper and magazines and listened to music. I got through the newspaper, two Sunday supplements and 3 magazines. I'm just going to have to make myself do the sweater first thing tonight after walking Tinkerbell. I just HATE to hand wash things. My new washing machine has a great hand washing cycle that is great for delicates but not sweaters, obviously. So I'm just going to have to make myself do it. Funny thing about this alpaca (that had I known it beforehand I wouldn't have used it) is that it cannot be dry cleaned. I wonder why.

It was cloudy last night, obscuring the full moon. Good thing. Full moons make me sad. I wonder why.

15 November, 2005

Brr brr brrrr!!

Wow! Only 37 degrees this morning. Cold and clear. The skies were clear last night as well -- full moon. It's supposed to cloud up and rain the next couple of days, but it certainly is beautiful today. And I've got the blues big time. If I don't make some plans soon to get out of here I am going to go crazy!! I realized that with the exception of my little jaunt to Lake Louise, I haven't been anywhere since my vacation last winter -- February. No wonder I'm so antsy. I have kicked myself black and blue for agreeing -- no, volunteering -- to cook Thanksgiving. I could be flying to Paris for $316 rt! Instead I'll be chained to the kitchen. damndamndamndamn!!!

I put a few buttons on the tea cozy yesterday afternoon before I went to pick up my little nephew and then when I got home I had to watch the Eagles get beaten by the Cowboys. Boy, what a game! And what a devastating loss for the Eagles. The Cowboys must be feeling pretty good though. Anyway, putting the buttons on that cozy is going to be a hassle, but it sure will look cute. I am sure Kate's sister will like it. For tonight though, I'm taking a break from knitting. I've got to catch up on my reading, or at least make a dent in it. I'm getting way behind on my periodicals. I bought special soap to wash the alpaca sweater, so that's about all I'm going to do tonight. I would like to be able to wear that thing, considering all the work I put into it. Hopefully the special sweater wash will take the itch out of it.

I am having trouble thinking of a final gift for my Secret Pal. I've got to get on it pretty quick. Well, I'm sure something will come to me.

14 November, 2005

I llllove long weekends

And I hate coming back to work after them. It was a nice weekend. Although my massage was not what I had hoped. My back had been a bit tweak-y and I had hoped the massage would relax me. But I was carrying so much tension in my shoulders that when she got to my upper back and shoulders she really worked on them to get the knots out and it hurt! That usually doesn't happen but oh well, it sure did this time.

The weather cooperated Saturday morning and I was able to rake and pick up the leaves in the back yard before the rains came again. And then my nephew Omar came over and we hung out, had nachos for dinner and watched a football movie and then spent all Sunday watching football. The Seahawks were brilliant! They beat the Rams yet again, which was very satisfying. I wish I had been at that game. Next one I have is the Giants.

Knitting news -- well I got the whole of the tea cozy knitted while watching football on Sunday. And I felted it as well. It took about 3 cycles to get it felted and I thought it was still too big, so I tossed it in the dryer for a few minutes. Problem is I don't know how big Kate's sister's tea pot is. Mine is rather small but I used it to get an idea of size. It's dry now so this evening I shall start putting the buttons and ribbons on it. Oh! And I sold something from my Etsy store!! I was so amazed to get that email. Someone bought the cashmerino arm warmers. Of course, the price I had on them doesn't even cover the cost of the yarn ... but oh well.

10 November, 2005

What a lovely day for a bitch-a-thon

So hooray, today is the day that we get to meet with the students and listen to them tell us how to "improve" the learning experience. This is totally a rant -- I have such a hard time with these students who not only expect but demand to be spoon fed the information. What happened to learning? To exploring? To finding out the answer on your own, for crying out loud??!!! Here's the deal in a nutshell -- I have made a very large quiz bank for these students to use as a learning tool. With a total of over 1,200 questions, mind you, served up in 20 to 30 question chunks. They are further divided by subject to correspond with their lab sessions and syllabus chapters. After a student completes a quiz they can go back and review their answers and after it is submitted the tool will show the score and also show the question and the answer they chose and whether the answer is right or wrong. Every day or so someone of them emails to complain that they don't get the correct answers! Could we please have an answer key or could you just show us the correct answers when we're done. And what do I say? No. Sorry, no. This is a learning tool. If you don't know the answer, what about looking in your book? What about searching it out in the syllabus? What about asking your professor?? I mean!!! It might seem a small thing but it absolutely drives me crazy because how lazy is that? I could go on and on but I'm starting to get dizzy.

So - on to the knitting news. I had a lovely evening - had a glass or two (okay, 2) of wine, read the paper, listened to music [simultaneously - wow, what a multi-tasker] and then started on Kate's tea cozy. It's a strange pattern - Vogue is always weird though - worked in repeats of short row shaping. I had never done it before but it's easy. I got one 30 row repeat done and a couple rows on the second. The Kureyon I got for it is very bright - pinks, oranges, greens, purples - and I am excited to see how it turns out. It should be pretty cute. I hope to get some more done on it tonight, but I'm planning on going down to my neighborhood pub for Taco Thursday --- wheeeee ----- (Oh I DO live such an exciting life!! ) so it's going to depend on the company. If any of my pals are there I might not feel like knitting when I get home. If it's dead - no problem.

And tomorrow is a holiday. I need to get more leaves raked up and I'd like to plant some bulbs as well because I think it's going to freeze soon. My back has been getting kind of tweaky lately though. I don't know if it's because I've extended my running time to 45 minutes or if I over did it at the gym Tuesday or what, but it is going to be difficult to garden with a tweaky back. Luckily I've got a few massage gift certificates so I'm going to get a massage tomorrow at noon. That always helps. Plus I just like it.

09 November, 2005

It itches!!

I cannot believe it. I spent another two whole hours seaming that sweater and finishing the neck. Gorgeous. Although, in retrospect I should have blocked it but be honest, how many of you actually DO block every garment?? So I ran upstairs, put on the black tank I was planning to wear under it and slipped it over my head. Oh yeah ... well I could see how it would have been better if I had blocked it .... the sleeves were a little short, so I tugged a bit, the hem was a bit uneven, so I fussed with it, the waist was a teensie bit too high, so I shifted it around it some. Then decided to try it on with a cute new black flippy skirt I have. This all took ohhhh maybe 5 minutes, right? By the time I had the skirt on I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable. My arms were a bit itchy. Another few minutes after I had tried on a couple pairs of shoes and boots with the skirt and got around to trying pants on with it, it was really starting to bother me. Arrghghghg!! That alpaca is soooooo soft! I kept marveling how it was almost as soft as cashmere. But oh lord - it itches something awful. I finally just couldn't stand it any more and took it off and tossed it over a chair. No pictures. I think I'll get some special hand washing stuff this weekend and give it a wash, do a little blocking and then try it again. Maybe washing it will make it less itchy. I am bummed though! I kept thinking as I was knitting it that I would get some more alpaca and make a different, cozy sweater. Well ... perhaps not.

I did a little bit on Ruth's sweater (Colorwaves Topper) and then it was time for bed. I found out from Kate yesterday that she's leaving a few days after Thanksgiving so I must start her tea cozy this weekend. This is a picture of what it's supposed to look like. It's done in Noro Kureyon, one of my favorites. It's somewhat precious, I know. But it's what she wants for her sister. Hopefully I can do it justice.

08 November, 2005

I have a funny feeling .....

that Seattle is going to get a REAL winter this year. We essentially had no winter at all last year. I don't even think it snowed once -- or maybe just a teensie bit. And it wasn't below freezing much, if at all. But this year .... already the ski season has started. And my friendly backyard squirrel has been building the most exotic and comfy nest in the big tree. There was an old pillow I had on the deck - Tinkerbell would lay on it in the sunshine after a bath sometimes. I just left it out there because it got rained on and I was going to toss it, but the squirrel started ripping the batting out of it and making the fluffy nest. It's very obvious in the crook of the tree. I am going to take pictures of it this weekend with my real camera (as opposed to the camera phone) ... IF it ever stops raining.

Well it certainly was a good football game last night. The Colts put a licking on the Patriots, AT HOME! So I didn't get my sweater put together. Tonight I should be able to get it done if I don't get too caught up in rearranging things. I am feeling domestic. Must be the weather. ;-) BUT I am so very keen to get going on Ruth's sweater because I know that will go quickly. And then I have to make two things for Kate - I think I will probably have to put them at the front of the line since she wants to give them as gifts and she's taking off for Australia at the beginning of December. And then ...? Well I don't have to decide right now, do I? I have plenty of time.

07 November, 2005

It's getting colder

Wow! It was a chilly ride in this morning. I kept wishing I had put on an additional sweat shirt. At least it wasn't raining. The rain woke me last night, but I don't mind. I love the sound of the rain.

I finished my lace peplum sweater this weekend and now I'm putting it together. It just amazes me how much time it takes to put these things together! I always get so excited when I finish all the pieces and then I start weaving in the ends and sewing seams and that's always like another two days! I got the ends woven in, the shoulders seamed and one of the sleeves set it. I think this pattern could have easily been done in the round but I'm always too lazy to do all the math and figure it out. So anyway, I pinned the second sleeve in and tonight, if the Monday night game isn't too exciting [and actually it could be a real exciting game - Patriots and Colts, with the Colts undefeated] I may be able to get it all done. I can't wait to wear it. And I'll take pictures. I think you might actually want to make this one, Sylv. Didn't you say you were looking at it? It actually goes quite quickly. Only four pieces and mostly lace and very little shaping. It didn't take nearly what it called for. I have two whole skeins of the Alpaca left over and most of another one. It is so soft -- I think I'm going to use it to make a nice cuddly scarf for my friend Pat. She broke her coffee pot so doesn't need a cozy any longer, which is what she asked me to make her. She had admired that green curly scarf.

04 November, 2005

Are you getting this?

My horoscope says true love will prevail. What are you waiting for?


Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer http://www.cingular.com

02 November, 2005

I did it!

Wow! I can't believe it but it's been one whole week since I've been on my bike. Dang! Well I rode in today and it was a lovely ride, if a bit cold. At least it wasn't pouring rain like it was yesterday. I must say I feel 100% today, finally. I'm even going to run. Woohoo!! And everywhere as I was coming into the building this morning people were buzzing about the local ski areas. On the front page of the morning paper it announced that two of the local areas are opening this weekend. That is really early, but considering that we didn't even have a ski season last year, to speak of, I would imagine that people are pretty happy about it up in the mountains. It will be two years since I've skied! The year before I didn't go because .... well, a whole lot of reasons I won't go into. And last year I didn't go because on Thanksgiving I torn up my ankle. So this year - man, I don't care if I have to live on Ramen, I am going skiing!! I have a whole brand new outfit that I've never even worn!! The tags are still on the pants and everything! Now if I can just find a ski buddy ...... [quick, count up how many exclamation marks]

I received the yarn for Ruth's wrap yesterday, so I started it last night, even though Tinkerbell insisted on playing fetch. It was rather annoying because this particular sweater is crocheted and even though the instructions say "Easy", the yarn is this yucky Lion Brand acrylic crap that's kind of a fake boucle so seeing the stitches is anything BUT easy. The pattern is rather nifty though - it's the crocheted version of a top-down cardigan. Here's a picture of four rows so far. I had to finally quit at that point because I was yelling at Tinkerbell and it isn't really her fault that she wants to play. And it was getting aggravating as well, not knowing if I was putting that silly hook into the right space. I figured out what to do this morning - I will put a marker into the increase space when I make it so that when I come to it, I will be able to see right where I should be. If that makes any sense ...... So even though the yarn is acrylic, it was still ridiculously expensive. On the other hand, the colors are lush and it is machine washable, so all in all I think she'll like it. I wanted to make that very complicated cabled shrug from the spring IK but she preferred this. That's fine, I'll make that thing for myself. When though, I don't know, since I have committed to making two projects for my friend Kate to give as gifts, and a coffee pot cozy for my friend Pat. Oh! And so after I got Tink all calmed down and the dinner cooking I cast on for the sleeves of the lace sweater I'm making myself and got a good bit done on them. I always do the sleeves at the same time and it goes pretty quickly. Hopefully I can put that thing away this weekend. I'd love to be able to wear it soon.

01 November, 2005


Oh my, this weather! It has been pouring rain for the last 12 hours, I swear! You can see from the picture below that my work on Sunday didn't last long. Since it rained all night Sunday, and was blowing as well, the yard is now covered with leaves again. It's hard to get a sense of size if you haven't been there in person. The cement on the left of the picture is a driveway, the hedge is ... oh gosh, maybe 12 feet high and the width of the grass (moss, I should say) part is probably 20 feet. Anyway, it's pretty large and now completely covered in wet leaves, since it's been raining, as I said, all night long. Discretion being the better part of valor, I decided I should drive in to work today rather than ride my bike since I have been so sick. This is the time of year that I envy those California dwellers. But only momentarily, because when the sun comes out and the sky is so blue and the air so sweet smelling, you can't beat it here. But if I hadn't been sick I would have biked in this morning and arrived all sopping wet, rain gear notwithstanding, hair dripping, makeup washed away. And that's when I hate living in Seattle.

I went home at 2:30 yesterday and slept for a couple of hours, got up to watch the football and was back in bed by 10. I am feeling pretty good today, though. Oh! And I got the front of the lace sweater done last night. I think this is going to be a really fabulous sweater! Definitely very different. And since it's lace on top, everything underneath will show, so I can change the look of the sweater from dressy to casual with the choice of undergarments. Sweeeeet.

Yeah, I am definitely feeling better.

31 October, 2005

More leaves

This was clean yesterday!

Back to work

I have been sick sick sick! I wasn't feeling too hot Tuesday, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I stayed home Wednesday and slept all day, Thursday felt even worse, and Friday still sick! What a drag! It seems like I lost a whole week. I didn't manage to do much this weekend but some housework and raking leaves in the back. Thankfully I got that done because it rained all night long last night. I won't be the only time I need to rake since the huge tree next door is still almost totally full and the largest portion of those leaves seem to end up in my yard. Ah well ... a little exercise never hurt anyone. I still feel terrible, only not so terrible as before. Hopefully I can get a decent night's sleep tonight and I'll start feeling better soooooooon.

25 October, 2005

And the fog rolls in

Brrrr! It was spooky and cold and foggy this morning. I know it's dangerous to ride when it's like that, but I do have lights, unlike some people! Can you imagine?? I saw this woman biking down the street in the fog in traffic with not a SINGLE LIGHT on her bike!!

I feel like I'm coming down with a cold. Not good. I didn't get a cold or the flu all last year. In fact ... I can't remember the last time I had a cold or the flu. I guess I'd better start with the positive thinking.

24 October, 2005

What a game!!

Oh my goodness .... the football game on Sunday was THE most exciting game I've been to in a long time. The Seahawks pulled out a win on the last play! Beating the Cowboys. It was incredible! And raining the whole time, as well. Thankfully we were under cover although I think we would have stayed regardless. Not too many people left. It was totally sold out. Wow.

And knitting-wise I got the whole back of the lace sweater finished. Luckly it's the back too, because I made a little mistake on the peplum and it's not perfect. I don't know -- I might have to rip it out if it really bothers me. It is just so hard to fix mistakes when you're doing a lace pattern, even one as simple as this, which is basically eyelets. I thought I had fixed it correctly but when I got all finished I noticed that one of the eyelets is much larger than the rest. So we'll see. Here's a picture when I picked up the stitches to start on the bottom. I was so proud of myself to have gotten them all right on the first go - got all the stitches and they were all going in the right direction. Except -- my needle is pointing the the wrong way. No big deal though - it's easy enough to change directions. At least I didn't have to manufacture any stitches. The provisional cast on really worked.

21 October, 2005

It's a gorgeous day!

Wow! One of those beautiful, warm autumn days today. And I feel pretty good. I stayed home yesterday and basically just vegged out, napped and knit all day. I had such a nasty headache. But today, not so bad. It was also the annual (in Kate's words) boob squishing day today. So I had to get up early and go pick Kate up and we did the thing, and then had a lovely decadent breakfast. I got lots done on the back of the purple lace sweater. It is worked from the midriff up, and then when I'm done with the armhole shaping I bind off and then pick up stitches from the bottom (you can see the provisional cast on) and do a lace peplum. I only have a couple more inches to go on the top. I can easily get this finished this weekend if I don't do too much work around the house tomorrow. Sunday I'm going to the Seahawks game - it's going to be a good one - Dallas. It's going to be tough. AAAAAnyway - here's a picture of the sweater so far. The color is pretty true. I took it with my camera phone and then fiddled with the picture in Photoshop. The alpaca I am knitting it with is so soft. It's going to be a great sweater. Oh ... and here's a picture of the huge Basketcase Cardigan. For some reason I was unable to get the picture to load on the blog from my computer at home. Well now, back to work.

20 October, 2005

Cheap fares to Paris!!

Yay!! The fares to Paris finally have dropped! Now to decide when to go. I must get in touch with Emma and find out her schedule. Since I have already opened my big mouth and volunteered to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family, that week is out. Ideally, the week between Christmas and New Years would be the week, but I have a feeling that the one person I most want to see would not be available to see me. So. What to do...... Well, I'll just have to send some emails and find out what's up with everybody. But it's nice to have it to look forward to, whenever. It's out there. whew

One picture of the monster

I'm trying to post a picture of the finished cardigan but for some reason this isn't cooperating this morning. I'm posting from home. I'm not feeling 100%. I just need some down time I guess. But it won't let me put a picture in!! Well poo! Let's try this. Nope won't work. Oh well, I'll try later.

I am going to start my lacy purple sweater this morning. I swatched it last night. Not perfect but close enough. It's not crucial, I don't think, with this type of garment, to be spot on. I'll do some measuring when I get some of the body done. I have to do a provisional cast on to start.

Well I think I'll take some aspirin and a shower. My head is aching again. I do think I've got some little virus or other. It couldn't just be emotional.

19 October, 2005

Finally finally finally!!

I finished the Basketcase Cardigan! Woohoo! I worked yesterday evening for a couple hours and got everything done save sewing on the buttons. I have them pinned on but I was so tired and it was getting late, so I left it for tonight. It took a bit longer than I expected because I had to reinforce the buttonholes. I don't know how I could have done them any differently - I had to cast off two stitches in the purl part of a k2p2 rib, then next row cast ON two stitches. But instead of a nice neat bound button hole there was a loose stitch, kind of. I think maybe when I was binding off I should have left the yarn in the back, or when I cast on I should have used a different method. I really don't know - so I just stitched around them and they look fine. I will be able to sew those buttons on in a few minutes and then ...... I think I'll swatch for the Alpaca sweater from Vogue Knits -- The yarn I have for it is the Alpaca but it's a bit darker than this purple. It's going to be a beautiful sweater. And I also ordered yarn for a little cardigan for my friend Ruth, and my friend Pat has asked me to make a tea cozy for her coffee pot (she's an ex-pat living in England). AND I got the latest Vogue Knits yesterday and there is a cardigan in there that I am absolutely dying to make! I'll scan a picture. My only reluctance stems from the fact that it uses size 19(!) needles! The 15s that I used for this latest project just killed my hands. So it is a trade off - size 19s make the project go quickly but the pain .... hmmmm. Well, don't we all know that one must suffer for beauty? Rhetorical ...

Here we are midway through a positively BRUTAL week. I am just exhausted ..... Tink woke me up around 4:30am. She had to be sick. She threw up a piece of string! I don't know how she got it, but I had made lamb last night and the surloins were tied with string. I am pretty sure I wrapped mine in a paper towel and threw it away but I'm not so sure what happened to the other one, other than it ended up in my baby doggie's stomach. Thank goodness she threw it up, but I didn't sleep much after that - fitfully for another hour or so. Then the dentist first thing. Yeah. Look Ma, no cavities. Friday is another big day - the 2nd half of my annual physical at 8:15 in the morning. Then I'm done for a while.

18 October, 2005

Check out this poem

Just by the oddest happenstance, I came upon this poem yesterday. I just love it. The poet is a professor at Oxford and that's about all I know about him. I think I'm going to try to find some more of his poetry. Anyway, this is all I have to say today - and he says it ever so much better than I ever could.
in paris with you.

don't talk to me of love. i've had an earful
and i get tearful when i've downed a drink or two.
i'm one of your talking wounded.
i'm a hostage. i'm maroonded.
but i'm in paris with you.

yes i'm angry at the way i've been bamboozled
and resentful at the mess that i've been through
i admit i'm on the rebound
and i don't care where we are bound.
i'm in paris with you.

do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre,
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
If we skip the Champs Elysees
And remain here in this sleazy
Old hotel room
Doing this and that
To what and whom
Learning who you are,
Learning what I am.

Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris,
the little bit of Paris in our view.
There's that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I'm in Paris with you.

Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris.
I'm in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I'm in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
I'm in Paris with... all points south.
Am I embarrassing you?
I'm in Paris with you.
-- James Fenton

17 October, 2005


Well, I didn't get the Basketcase cardigan/jacket finished this weekend. It was put on the back burner, although I did buy the buttons for it and I think I'll finish it tonight. If not, definitely tomorrow because I only have the collar and one band to do.

It was a bad weekend -- with a little good thrown in. I had to give someone some pretty bad news Friday and so that colored the rest of the weekend, as one might imagine. I had big plans to clean up and winterize the lawn, but all I managed to do was help the delivery guy unload a delivery of wood and get it stacked in the garage. I cooked a lovely pot roast dinner for my dad and nephew Saturday night and Sunday was the Seahawks game. It was the ESPN game and we just kicked the tar out of the Texans. No big surprise there, since they were still looking for their first win. It was windy at the stadium but not too cold. No rain, thank goodness.

I must say, it's going to be a tough couple of weeks. I will be doing lots of running, I think. I wish I could just get on a plane and go away. That's not going to happen. It'll be fine, I know.

14 October, 2005

Could the lighting have been any worse??

Sorry about that horrible picture -- I got a NEW camera phone but I think I need to fiddle a bit with the controls when I'm going to take a picture in the house. Obviously it could have been a bit lighter. Next time I get a camera phone I'm going to get one with a flash.

Anyway, I got home from the dentist yesterday afternoon (yes, crown all done and looking great and feeling fantastical) and there was a package in my mailbox. Yay! Goodies from my Secret Pal. Just in time to brighten my week. It's hard to see in the picture, but she sent me a skein of Noro Kureyon in a gorgeous purple/green colorway. I can't decide what to do with it - I am leaning toward a little felted, drawstring pouch, but I may do another pair of armwarmers or even a little scarf. Don't know. I may just swatch it and see how it speaks to me. She also sent me some individual Belgian chocolates and my very favorite Altoids Sours - raspberry! A cute pair of flower earrings - very 60's and too hip! And some pillow mist in my favorite scent and yummy massage oil. I'll just tuck that away for a special occasion, shall I? A handwritten note is the only clue to her identity. She has the most beautiful handwriting!! So okay, we know for certain she's NOT a doctor. The only other person I know who had handwriting even approaching this was a lawyer. Hmmmmmmmmm ...... Oh dang! Silly me, I didn't check the postmark on the package. What a doofus! Next time for sure.

So tell me - am I alone in this weirdness? Every time I come home from the dentist and I'm numb, I worry and fret until I start getting feeling back in my face. I worry .... I worry that it's going to stay that way!! I know that's crazy but honestly ... every single time I am just not able to relax until the feeling starts come back. I guess it's a harmless enough quirk.

Knitting news -- I got that jacket put together and the band for the right side done! Oh my, it truly does look nice. As much as I hate picking up stitches, the result is always so beautiful. Tonight hopefully I can finish - or at least get the left band done and then all I'll have to do is the collar and sew buttons. Hooo-freakin'-ray is all I have to say about that!!

13 October, 2005

Thanks SP!!

Look at the sweet Secret Pal goodies I got today!

Somebody needs a spanking

And that would be me. It could be because of the clouds and lack of sunshine (inside and out), but I just simply turned my clock O-F-F this morning. And pulled the covers over my head. Unfortunately I woke up anyway. Is that a sign of age or maturity? I couldn't sleep past 7:30!! Oh well. So I made the most of it - put on my sexy black stretchy boots, and headed out into the day. Got about a block and a half and turned around to get what I had left behind, completely confusing Tink, and ... and headed out AGAIN into the day. The good news is that I get my final crown fitted this afternoon. That'll be a huge relief. And more good news - if I am diligent I can get that sweater jacket monkey off my back this weekend as well. AND ... there's a football game Sunday night - the ESPN game and the Seahawks are playing one of the worst teams in the league, Houston. They haven't won one yet. Oh heavens - I hope I didn't just jinx it!! No, we need Sports Illustrated for that.

Gee ... I only need one thing to make my life perfect.

12 October, 2005

I'm trying ....

trying VERY hard not to be such a cynic, but it is oh so difficult at this particular time of year. The first week or two of the new quarter and new academic year is such a trial. All of the freshmen still all very eager and naive, hustling to get to their 8:30 class on time. It won't be long, I know, before they start foregoing that early class for some more sleep. But for now, they just get in my way as I'm trying to cross campus on my bike. It's a little game - weaving in and out of their bodies. Not a very nice game because I am sure I startle a few now and again but we take our sport where we can get it, right? And then of course the gym, full of these kids all earnestly working out on their breaks, when I can say with certainty that in another month or so most of them won't have even had their second latte by noon. So I try not to get too exercised about it -- deep breaths and all that.

I actually did some knitting last night! I finished up the sleeve for that sweater jacket and sewed up one sleeve and armpit. Tonight I hope to finish sewing it up and start picking up the stitches for the bands. I oh so sincerely want and need to get this finished for a number of reasons. And I have so many projects I am just itching to start. I am nothing if not disciplined though [oh! who is that laughing out there!!??!]

11 October, 2005

It feels like Monday

Ah but the good news is that it's Tuesday. Why does it feel like Monday, I wonder? Maybe because I was still in such a fog yesterday. The fog is lifting and I'm sad I'm not still on vacation. What a HUGE big baby I am. I think I'm going to telephone my friend, Emma (who is now living in Luxembourg) and maybe she can cheer me up a bit. Anyway, just hearing her voice is always good.

While I was gone I had an eBay bid out for some kettle-dyed recycled cashmere yarn. As fate would have it, the color of that particular yarn is somewhat like the color of Lake Louise. Coincidence? You decide. [Cue spooky music. It is getting on for Halloween.] Anyway -- I was bidding on it for my Secret Pal. She likes to knit lace scarves - living in California I guess that's makes sense. And she seems to favor these types of colors so I thought I'd try to get it for her. I may keep half and send her half. It looks to be quite a large amount of yarn. I could make another of those little ruffled scarves.

10 October, 2005

Too perfect

I just can't even talk about my weekend. It was most glorious. And the scenery was so beautiful. The photo from yesterday doesn't do it justice - you can't even begin to imagine the color of the water. It was aqua, but not like in the tropics. Just astonishing. As was the whole weekend. Relaxing and stimulating at the same time. That mountain air - it sure does make you feel all atingle. (Is that a word?) And a marvelous football weekend as well! I'll never look at a college game in the same way again. Now when I hear those old college announcers it will always and forever evoke an intense feeling of ... relaxation and well being. Ahhhhhhh ... touchdown!

07 October, 2005

At the airport

Waiting for lunch.

What did you say????

Okay ... this makes me absolutely NUTS! People mispronouncing "coupon". If it's someone I am speaking with, then I'll tell them (nicely), but it's when it's on the radio or TV that it really grates. Because it's not just the talent that is an idiot, but one must then assume that the director and the sound engineer at the very least are also so stupid that they don't know it's not pronounced "kewpon". Good lord! It's almost as bad as those other idiots out there who can't negotiate a 4-way stop.

Nevermind. Deep breaths. I am going away in just a few hours. Ahhhhhhh Relaxing weekend. I didn't even bring knitting. No knitting. Reading. Relaxing. Sleeping. Eating. Drinking. Lather, rinse, repeat. Shelley is a very happy girl.

06 October, 2005

Let me tell you about 4 gigs

Well, it's not what it used to be, that's for sure! I figured -- wow! 4 gigs! I'll never fill that up. Hah! It's a slow process but I got about 4 or 5 hundred songs downloaded to the iPod last night but I realized that it's not even half of what I wanted to put on there. I guess I'm going to have to be a little more selective than I had originally planned. No matter - it's hours and hours and HOURS of music.

No knitting - I was busy with the new toy so I was just crocheting another ruffled scarf to keep my hands busy as the songs were slllloooooowwwllly moving. I couldn't knit - too much concentration involved. And tonight - well, I'll be packing. Maybe knit some if I can get all my chores done early enough. But I'm not taking any knitting with me on my vacation. A) I don't have room since I'm carrying-on and B) I'm going to give my poor left hand a break. Come back next week and finish that sweater jacket if it's the last thing I do!!!

05 October, 2005

Blogging from Proctor-land

I can think of few things more boring than proctering an exam. On the plus side, this is only 3 hours. On the minus side ... it's hard to work because I can't really concentrate since I have to maintain a presence and keep raising my eyes. Oh who am I trying to kid? It's hard for me to concentrate on anything other than getting out of here and going on my little vacation!! In two days, at this time, I will be at the airport, having lunch and a nice cocktail and waiting to get on the plane. Relaaaaaaxxxxxing. Oh. I. Can't. Wait. No, seriously.

04 October, 2005

Kind of a boring day

Not much to talk about today .... I'm exhausted from getting up extra early to get Dad to the doctor by 8 am. I did have a pretty good run today though. It turned out super nice - blue skies, not too cold. Such a great change from just a few weeks ago. I didn't end up working on anything last night. I watched the football and it was kind of cold downstairs and I didn't want to turn the heat on yet and I was too lazy to build a fire, so I just cuddled under the blankie and vegged out. I'd like to knit tonight but first I have to download some more CDs onto my computer because my iPod comes tomorrow. Maybe I can get a little more done on the jacket tonight. I really really want to get it done and I am that close to being finished with the sleeves. I probably have about 8 hours left on it. Seems like a lot, doesn't it? I was going to keep track of the time I spent on this project but I forgot. Next one.

Only a few more days until my mini-vaca. wooooooooohooooo!!!

03 October, 2005

Sari Silk doesn't sssssuck after all

Well, I figured out what to do with Sari Silk! I made this cute little purse! I have a pattern for it on my pattern page. I basically just imagined it and then made it. The body is crochet and the handle and ruffle are knit. Crocheting is definitely a lot easier to do with this stuff than knitting - unless you're doing just plain stuff. No fancy stuff with the silk because it doesn't give at all! But I am really happy with the way this turned out. I won't actually use it, mind you, since I don't usually carry this type of bag, but I can probably gift it or sell it. There are more detailed pictures on the pattern site as well. I didn't do a very good job putting the lining in, unfortunately. It's a bit crooked at the peak of the flap. It kind of bothers me so I'll probably re-do it. Other than that, it's pretty nice.

I went, for the first time, to JoAnn's craft shop. I needed to get fabric for the lining and something to use as a backing for the back side of the purse so it wouldn't fold in on itself and also a button. Man, that place is something else! It was PACKED!! As I was wandering around I found some really soft yarn - a mohair blend in a lovely green (I love that color, for some reason) and I thought it would look nice for a ruffled scarf pattern on the cover of IK Crochet - so I bought some of it and made the scarf that evening as well! It's awfully cute, don't you think? I don't usually like crochet but I got on a roll this weekend. And not only that ... (but wait! there's more!) I got the stitches picked up for the other sleeve on the jacket and got about half of it done yesterday evening. Very busy, crafty weekend.

Football news - not so good this weekend. The Huskies played well but lost. The Seahawks gave the FREAKIN' GAME AWAY!!! Oh .. what a heartbreaker. Dang kicker! We could have won it but he missed the kick, it went into overtime, the Redskins won the toss and ... their kicker didn't miss. Oh ..... just makes my stomach hurt to think about it. Next week the Rams and we all know what happens when Seattle plays St. Louis, don't we?? The good news is that the Patriots lost!! Woohoo! And the Chargers were the ones to beat them. More better. So it wasn't a total loss of a football weekend.

Countdown to mini-break. How many more hours until I get on that plane? Oh too many to count now but close. The busy week will go by quickly.

30 September, 2005

Yay it's Friday!!

Woohoo!! Only one more week and I am going away for a lovely little mini-break. And boy do I need it. This next week is going to be brutal but it's sooooo nice to have something to look forward to, ya know?

AND I am feeling giddy because I just made another stellar eBay purchase .... I have been wanting an iPod but I honestly think the Nano is a bit too small. I found Mini iPods on eBay for a very reasonable price - actually about the same as the Nano but twice the storage. I know that it has a built-in battery but quite honestly I think it will take me a loooooong time to run it out. I don't run around with music plugged into my head all day long - just at the gym and maybe running. I have a little MP3 player but it's such a hassle to change out the music every weekend. This way I can just load that sucker up -- I mean .... 1,000 songs? That's plenty. Thank goodness for that lawyer guy here at the U that I do that consulting for. He and the scientist couldn't figure out how to integrate some of the images I had made for them into their final report, so they hired me for four hours to fix it up for them. Et voila! New iPod. Don't you just love how that works out??

I worked a bit more with that silly Sari Silk last night. I can't let it go. I started crocheting with it to make a small bag and wow! I think that's the key. It still hurts a bit to work with it but not nearly so much as knitting it. It's beautiful - the colors are so vibrant. I am thinking of putting a ruffle around the tab. It's going to be very very cute. Yes Sylv -- I should have done a bit more research before I bought it. I hadn't heard that it was so hard to work with. But anyway - happy ending after all.

And only more thing .... I think this Secret Pal thing is so much fun!! I get such nice feelings when I read on my Pal's blog that she got my card or gift. I sent her some chocolate and candles early this week and she got them just when she had had a bad day and needed chocolate. Bingo -- she gets home and there it is. Makes me feel all niiiiiiice.

29 September, 2005

My awesome purple cowboy boots!!

I finally got my new phone, the camera works great and I took a picture of my latest fantastic eBay purchase, a pair of purple Steve Madden slouch cowboy boots. I lllllllove these! They're showing a bit red on my monitor even though I tried to adjust the color. They're much more purple - like Welch's Grape Juice purple, or UW Huskies Purple and Gold purple. Just perfect. I'd wear them with everything if I could.

So ... knitting news ... hmmmm ... well, I got the first sleeve done on the basketweave jacket. I really really REALLY want to get that finished this weekend. I should be able to get a good start on the second sleeve tonight if a) the dog is not all wound up and b) my friend picks up her son early enough. Otherwise it's going to be a big push this weekend because I have about a bazillion other projects I need to get cracking on.

School is just about in session - for the regular students anyway - we've been going here at the Med School for a month now. But you can really tell it at the IMA (the gym). Last Tuesday was packed at 11:30 am!! Usually it's a very quiet time to go - that's why I go there on Tue and Thur - less traffic. But the kids don't have much to do now so they're hanging out in the gym making my workout an annoyance rather than a stress reliever. Oh well, it's only for a few weeks, then they'll stay away until right after the Christmas break when it'll get busy again for a few weeks. Like clock work.

28 September, 2005

Sari Silk Ssssssucks!

I was seduced by the romance of it all ... recycled silk from real Indian Saris worn by who knows who? And the colors .... gorgeous and rich and jewel-like. But the reality? It smells bad. It is scratchy and hard to work with. I tried two times last night to start a small drawstring bag with a very simple chevron lace pattern. But it didn't show the pattern at all and it's so hard to work with! No stretch! My hands are killing me. I don't know now what to do with it. Perhaps a simpler bag. Or maybe I'll crochet one. I saw a women with the cutest crocheted purse a few months ago here at work. Or maybe I'll use both colors and make another chain link scarf. That would probably be very cool looking. Whatever I make, it won't be something that is worn close to the skin. This is definitely NOT "soft as silk" silk.

My replacement phone should be coming today. If they don't take the signature I left on the door I guess I won't get it until tomorrow. I still want to put up a picture of my latest eBay score - the purple slouch cowboy boots. In fact, that's how I found that my camera wasn't working - when I went to take a picture of them at work. I want that Motorola Razr but not for $300 I don't.

Another gorgeous day. Can't believe our luck! I'm going to go out for a run here real soon. I have to leave early today to go to the dentist for appointment #2.

27 September, 2005

These are TOO funny!!

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again
asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it
by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a
new definition. Here are this year's {2005} winners:
1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you
realize it was your money to start with.
2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops
bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows
little sign of breaking down in the near future.
4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose
of getting laid.
5. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the
subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
7. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the
person who doesn't get it.
8. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late. 
9. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness. >
10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.
(This one got extra credit.) >
11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these
really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's
like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day
consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido: All talk and no action.
14. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter
when they come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after
you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into
your bedroom at night and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm
in the fruit you're eating.
And the pick of the literature: 
18. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an a**hole.

Another gorgeous day!

I am feeling a bit spoiled. Here's yet another gorgeous day! But that's Seattle in September. I will be complaining soon enough.

I got a hilarious e-card from my Secret Pal, who is also a football babe! yay! Knitting and watching football are great pastimes because you're not JUST sitting and watching TV but you're making something as well. My guess is that most men don't really consider sitting in front of the television for all of the weekend to be a waste. But if I'm not at least doing laundry I feel like a slug. This way I can be working on a sweater AND doing laundry AND being a couch potato. It's the best.

26 September, 2005

September in Seattle

It's so wonderfully gorgeous!! Whenever I'm away from Seattle and getting homesick, it's this time of year that I think of most fondly. The blue blue skies. The chilly mornings and the warm afternoons. And football, of course! It was a stellar weekend. Saturday was one of those days - and the afternoon was spent at the Fremont Oktoberfest, drinking too much beer in the bright sunshine. It was lovely. And Sunday a football game - and the Seahawks just ran all over the Cardinals. Swwweeeeeet!

At the Oktoberfest there was also a streetfair and I bought some sari silk -- two skeins. If I had been thinking clearer (see above re: too much beer) I would have tried to match the skeins, but instead I got a beautiful mostly pink one and then another that has a good bit of white in it. I have always been curious about recycled sari silk. It is much rougher than I had imagined it would be and it smells kind of like twine, if you know what I mean. Perhaps after it is washed with some fabric softener it will be nicer. But the colors are gorgeous! I'm thinking of making some sort of drop stitch scarf out of one and then maybe a little drawstring bag out of the other. We'll have to see how it knits up.

I didn't have much time to do any real knitting this weekend, although I did a good bit on the sleeve of the jacket while I was watching football yesterday evening. I didn't do anything but watch "Desperate Housewives". It's the only network show I watch regularly. And it was goooooood.

I ran errands first thing Saturday and bought a few things for my Secret Pal. I'm going to put them in the mail this lunchtime. Next one will be knitting goodies, but this one is just pampering goodies. I hope she likes it.

23 September, 2005

New Pattern Blog & stuff

I finished my felted basket and decided to make a blog where I can post patterns only. Here's the link to Shelley's Patterns. I guess I should put a link on my sidebar as well. Here's a picture of the finished basket. I particularly like how I did the handles and that's the main thing I was going for. I think I could have made it a little deeper, but for hauling around unfinished projects, it works. I used purl ridges for dividing the bottom from the sides and for the top to have a good place to sew the handles. It doesn't show after it's felted. I thought it would be more obvious, although I don't mind that it isn't. Here's a picture of the unfelted basket. It measures 23 inches a long side and about 6 1/2 or 7 inches tall. It felted down to just over 3 inches, which seems like a lot. I used Peruvian Highland Wool from Elann and that's the first time I have used it for felting. I like the finished fabric. It's nice and stiff. I used two strands, by the way, because it's not a bulky wool. I'm thinking of using this for that cabled shrug from IK I was going to make for my friend Ruth and now am making for myself. My office gets wicked cold and it would be very comfy and pretty as well.

I got another good bit done on the sweater jacket sleeves but my hand started hurting again. I swear it's the purling. I will be glad when that beast is finished.

22 September, 2005

I feel like a REBEL!!

I was sooooo out of it when I finally dragged my sorry behind home last night that I forgot my bike helmet!! I have only done that a couple times and when it has happened before I realized it before I was half way across campus. That feeling of the wind in my hair usually wakes me up. But I didn't realize it last night until I was in the house and putting my stuff away! Good lord! And after that crash I had last month, too! So this morning I had to bike to work sans helmet. I felt like I was doing something soooo naughty. Sure that people are looking at me and wondering what kind of a dare devil I am. ;-)

My felted basket is looking very nice but it wasn't quite dry last night so I didn't want to take the stuffing out of it and take pictures. I'll do it for sure tonight and then post a pattern as well. I got the sweater front done and both are now attached and I've picked up stitches for the first sleeve. My hand starting aching again last night. I know it's because of all the purling that needs to be done with this particular basketweave pattern, plus the stitches were very tight after I had picked them up. I just want this thing DONE!!!

If I didn't know better I'd say that the cat and dog are conspiring against me. Last week and even through the weekend they were getting along at night just fine. Both sleeping at the foot of the bed, nearly cuddling! But this week! When I NEED my sleep? Huh-uh. Nothing doing. Tink is like a doggie possessed. She is on that cat every time she makes a move. Makes for a very exciting night. Not a restful one. Maybe they're in cahoots. Figuring that if I am sleep deprived I'll make some kind of big mistake like leave meat on the floor or something. See? That's how nuts it's making me. I am anthropomorphizing the animals!

21 September, 2005

I'm whole again!

I am so thankful I went to the dentist yesterday! Now I can smile again. I've been taking full advantage of it. Unfortunately since I was an emergency they were only able to do the bare minimum - made me a temporary cap and started the process. I have to go back next Wednesday to get the final impression made and the tooth ready for the crown, then once again in October for the final. But still - yay Dr. Fukuda!

I finished my basket last night and felted it. The Peruvian Wool felts nicely. I took pre-felt pictures and tonight I'll take a picture of the final object. It looks pretty good. And I am now only a few rows away from being done with the second front of the jacket. It's going to be super warm and cuddly.

I'm proctering an exam right now - finally I can use the wireless connection in the lecture hall. For some reason the signal wasn't good enough before. I am SUCH a gadget junkie.

20 September, 2005

My whine-free zone

Okay, no whine today. I get my tooth fixed in .... just a little more than 4 hours. Or at least start the process. That's good. And then I'll go home and veg and knit. I just need to make the I-cords for the handles of the basket and I can felt it tonight and get back to the sweater-jacket. I guess I'm going to have to take pictures with my digital camera since my camera part of my phone still isn't working. It started to work again Friday night but then Saturday - not. I guess I'm going to have to take a minute or 60 and go to the Cingular store and find out what's up. I use that camera more than I thought I would.

19 September, 2005

Talk about a string of bad luck!

My goodness - I must say that from Friday afternoon on through yesterday afternoon - it was just one rotten thing after another! Work was stressful, my Dad is making me crazy and I don't even want to think about that . I want do a Scarlett O'Hara and think about it another day. My hair did turn out okay and Lisa Marie had a good idea and turned me on to a woman who is some sort of elder advocate. I just need somebody to talk me through finding another doctor for him, plus which I have to find out just why that other doctor decided he shouldn't be a patient of hers any longer. Ooooo it just steams me, but I can't deal with it now. If I could hire this woman to do it for me, though, how sweet would that be? Anyway -- Saturday I was still upset about Friday and had to go into work to boot. On the plus side the Huskies won! yay! But then I went to the Seahawks game yesterday and while I was eating garlic fries a piece of my tooth just broke off! I mean .... fries!! It's making me crazy. I called my dentist this morning and they can get me in tomorrow at 12:45 to start the crown. I told Janet I looked like a hillbilly and she started laughing! Well, honestly it's not quite that noticeable but if I smile, then you can definitely see it. Thankfully it doesn't hurt much.

In knitting news -- I am a little over half way done with the basket I'm going to felt for the WACDL auction. And I got Interweave Crochet magazine and saw a little shrug/wrap kind of deal that I thought might work for Ruth rather than that beautiful cabled one. I showed it to her and yup, she likes it better! Go figure. It's good for me though because I know I wouldn't actually make two of those cabled thingies and I do so love it, so I can crochet that one for her and still make the other for me. It'll have to go down the list since I already have the yarn for the Alpaca purple one, plus I've got to finish that jacket. But that's a bit of a silver lining.

Now I've got to get to work. Real work.

18 September, 2005

Oh dang!

I broke a tooth! How messed up is that?


Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer http://www.cingular.com

16 September, 2005


Oooo! Check out the new Flickr Badge thingie!! Isn't it cool? I found it on my Secret Pal's blog. I would put a link to her blog here but I don't want her figuring out who I am until we're all done with it. But ... wow! I lllllove it!!
My camera phone doesn't work!!! I got these absolutely stunning boots from eBay yesterday and I wanted to take a picture to put on my blog and my darned camera won't work on my phone! I deleted all the older pictures, thinking perhaps the memory was full and tried it again. No go. I re-booted the darned thing ... still won't work. Oh I am going to be so mad if my phone is broken!! I haven't dropped in in ages! (No, I'm not kidding. For a while there I was dropping it every couple days ... don't know why). But it's been working and all of a sudden, not. Of course, if it is truly broken then I would have an excuse to buy one of those new Razr phones. Well ... we'll just have to see.

I'm going to get my hair done today so I'll be working on that felted project while I'm there. I'm almost done with the bottom of it and then it goes pretty quickly. Except I've got an idea for the handles that I've got to work out design-wise. What I'd like to do is knit the handle into the bag rim, which is easy enough to do, except I want the cross portion of it to be I-cord. So perhaps I'll just knit two shorter sections and then graft an I-cord to them. Well ... don't know. But it'll be fun figuring it out.

15 September, 2005

The Secret Pal thing

Oh my gosh! I feel like a silly girl, but we got our Secret Pals today! For those of you who don't know, "Secret Pals" is a group that are anonymously matched with another person. For three months you "pamper" this person, sending gifts, emails, etc. What we have in common, obviously, is knitting. Also I think that the vast majority of us are women as well. But anyway - it's just goofy and fun. I got matched with a really cool woman and unbeknownst to her we have lots in common, so it's going to be easy to pamper her. It's the old do unto others thingie.

No knitting last night. I was out. Perhaps tonight I can do some more. I slept like hell last night so I'm pretty darned tired.

14 September, 2005

What it is about the thumb

The thumb. On my left hand. It's still feeling weird. I have come to the conclusion that it's the combination of the crocheting I did and the basketweave pattern of the sweater jacket I'm making that is causing the problem. I overdid it with the crocheting and the purling motion just aggravates it. Its the big needles, I think, plus the fact that there is more than 50% purl in that darned pattern. It looks nice, but ouch! I worked for a while last night - got a good start anyway - on the felted basket project for the auction.

I also heard last night that we'll be getting our secret pals soon! Silly me though -- I was trying to figure out how we wouldn't know our secret pal's identity because after all, we'd be reading their blogs and we'd have to have their address to send them things. But then, after describing it to my BF the penny dropped. We aren't matched! We each get a person that only we know to pamper. They aren't pampering us back!! Duh, huh? Or as Carlos Mencia says it ... "Doooo da dooo".

13 September, 2005

Let me just say this .....

I want an iPod Nano. I crave an iPod Nano. I covet, I desire, I feel like a kid that has just found a new toy and must have it or life will be over. It's just so darned nifty looking!! I could put audio books on it and pictures as well as 1,000 songs. Jeez, how many CDs is 1,000 songs!??! Anybody? Anybody? Oh well ... once the novelty wears off I am sure my craving will subside. But for now ...... NewToyItis.

My thumb is still sore. I had to practically sit on my hands last night in order to keep from picking up that stupid sweater jacket. I want to finish it because I have a couple of pretty things I want to do, plus which I have to make something so I can write out a pattern. I can't say what the "something" is because it's for one of my secret pal gifts. That's going to be taking priority this weekend so .... thumb, heal thyself!!

12 September, 2005

How strange ...

I was trying to log in this morning earlier and I couldn't. Strange. Well, seems to be okay now. Not that I have anything truly earth shattering to talk about, mind you. It was football weekend. The Huskies AND the Seahawks both lost - the Huskies worse than last year even. It's going to be a looooooong season, at this rate.

Again, three cheers for Rowan Big Wool. That jacket I am doing is working up so very quickly! I got the back done, the left front done and the sleeve seam done, plus I could have finished up the right front yesterday evening but my hand was hurting! I wanted instant gratification so I crocheted a looooooong purple glittery scarf on Saturday - doing most of it while the Huskies were losing - and my left hand got a bit over used. I think it was still sore from the previous weekend when I made the cat bed. I had to make myself stop yesterday. I am now super keen on getting more of that yarn and making the Vogue sweater I marked earlier. Mostly because it will go so quickly. That's always nice.

08 September, 2005

I am soooo boring

Or at least that is what it seems like if one is reading this. Work has been just extremely busy and insane and I'm exhausted when I get home. I did get the back of that Basketcase Cardigan done last night and got a good start on the left front. I'll take a picture. Other than that ..... NFL football starts tonight. Yeah see? Booooorrrrring.