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.