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?


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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.