29 December, 2006

A pretty restful day

All things considered, that is. Early doctor's appointment for my annual physical had me up and out the door by 7:30! Eeeeeps! AND it was icy. But I got it out of the way, ran a couple of errands and then took myself to breakfast. It was yummmmmmy - Eggs Benedict at the local comfort food restaurant, "Hot Dish". And then do you know what I did? I came home, turned my phone on 'silent' and took a nap! Ahhhhhh. One final errand to do today - I'm going to pick up the kind friend who fixed my fence and we're going to put the old cement from the two post holes in my car and take them up to the dump. They've been sitting on my parking strip ever since he dug them up so I'm sure the neighbors will be happy.

I've done some good work on the TDR turtleneck. Maybe one more repeat of the cable motif and the yolk should be done. I don't want it to be too tight across the chest, but I don't want it to be a sack either so I suppose it's going to come off the needles a couple times before I get it right. I'm measuring the back AND the raglan length this time -- usually I just go by the raglan length. I want to get all of the measurements right so I can make a pattern with three sizes.

27 December, 2006

The holiday hoo haw

No knitting going on lately what with company and Christmas and all the other stuff I've been dealing with. But, fingers crossed, I'll be able to get comfy tonight and do a little knitting for a change! It's not going to be a particularly restful rest of the week or weekend because I'm getting my Dad ready to move and then moving him. Can I say it's the worst "vacation" I've ever had? Can only go up from here, though.

I threw the ugly, scary incense thing away today. Done frightening the children with it. Even my nephew said it was creepy.

Hopefully I'll have some knitting pictures to post by Friday. I can't decide which project I want to jump back into - the Ogee Tunic, which has been woefully neglected; the heart socks, which are deceptively complicated; or the TDR turtleneck. My guess is I'll head for the turtleneck. It's autopilot knitting except when I get to the cable panel. I've got some good movies coming today from Netflix so I can put in a movie, autopilot around and then pause while I cable. Yeah.

23 December, 2006


Isn't this cute!!?? AND romantic, I might add. I got home from walking Tinkerbell and found this on my doorstep. I feel much more in the holiday spirit. Now I'm going to pick up around the house while my guests are out and about, and bake three pies and start wrapping gifts. Merry Christmas!!

20 December, 2006

It's Wednesday

Still no sign of holidays around my house. I have never left it so late but hey .... that's the way it is this year. My sister comes into town tomorrow and we shall get the tree and let the holidays begin! Friday - shopping. I know ... I heard that gasp. True story, I don't have any gifts but the few small things I brought from my trip and I haven't even given it much thought either. It's going to be a fun shopping expedition on Friday. At least I've alerted everyone not to expect much. It's always jolly around here though. We'll have a fine time. And at least we have lights! If you can believe it there are still people out there (my nephew is one of them) without electricity!

I knit on those mitts last night until my hands were sore and I had to stop. I should be able to finish them up in a few hours and then NO MORE KNITTING FOR OTHER PEOPLE!! Unless it's a gift that I decide to give someone, of course.

18 December, 2006

The big story

The big story, of course, is the weather here in Seattle and environs. Lucky for me the worst that happened is that my fence blew over. I lost the cable for about 1/2 hour and electricity for less than a minute. Again, very very lucky. There are people who are still without electricity and it's been more than 3 days.

I've been doing a good bit of knitting these days. I opened my big mouth at our staff party last week. My gift was a pair of fingerless mitts - like Fetching only more cables. One woman loved them so much that she wanted to give her daughters each a pair. So ..... guess what I've been knitting on? You got it - here's the first pair nearly done. I will be able to finish the second mitt and start on the second pair. I wanted to have both pairs finished by tomorrow afternoon but I don't think that's going to happen.

The other project I've been working on is the TDR turtleneck with a cabled panel. Here's the very beginning showing one repeat of the cable. I wish I had more time to work on it but with those mitts over my head .... ah well.

And finally as promised a picture of the ugliest gift ever given to me. I still don't know what he was thinking. It could very well be cursed. I keep it wrapped up because I can't stand to look at it. I am just keeping it around to show people and then ... poof! It's going to disappear.

13 December, 2006

Proctor blogging

Again. Seems I proctor a lot of exams, doesn't it? Today is the last one. It's not so bad but I think I've already said once, I don't think I would be able to spot a cheater anyway! And if I did ... what then?

Yesterday evening I ripped out the start of the cabled turtleneck. It wasn't so heartbreaking since I had only done one cable repeat. I measured the cable panel and figured out how many stitches that would be in stst .. well anyway, the maths seem to be fine. I didn't get much done other than ripping it out and casting on and maybe 4 rows of rib but I also now know that I have to be very careful reading the chart so I don't make garter ridges on my cables!

Before I did that though I worked a bit more on my heart lace sock, finishing up the gusset and up to a few rows of the leg. I'm just ribbing on the back. I must say I'm going to be fighting SSS. I'm not exactly loving knitting the lace. It's a 10 row repeat but it's practically impossible to memorize. And then there's the row where you have to knit 4 together. It does look nice though. I am going to post the pattern when I finish.

11 December, 2006

This post needs pictures!

I should have taken pictures. I had the time this weekend but just couldn't get motivated. My Secret Pal from SP8 sent a wonderful surprise which I got on Friday when I needed a little boost. A darling card, some super sock yarn and a washcloth and some lip balm and cream. I will surely post a picture!

I can't wait to use that sock yarn - it's gorgeous! I got a bit more done on my first heart lace sock - got the heel turned and I'm almost done with the gusset. I don't think I'll put the lace all the way around the leg though - just in the front and rib the back.

There were two packages on Friday - one a box from Mr. G (who I haven't heard more than 2 words from for weeks!). I was genuinely surprised and when I opened the box, dug through the crumpled paper and found a packaged wrapped in Christmas paper with a card on the front of it, I couldn't help myself. I opened the card. And it said "Something I made for you to burn incense. Love, Greg". Curious-er and curious-er. Should I wait until Christmas morning or open it now? Hmmm? Well of course! I opened it up right then! And OMG -- see I can't even describe it. Here we need another picture. Or two. I will most certainly do that because it is the most amazing and ugly thing I have seen. It actually frightened me a bit. Very bizarre. Very. This thing looks like something you would use in a Voodoo ritual. What ever happened to flowers?

I also started a TDR turtleneck with a cable panel in the front. I have noticed that the back is growing faster than the front because of the pulling in properties of the panel. Now I must decide if I should rip it out and do over, starting with fewer stitches in the back portion, or if I can just start increasing only every second or third time until it evens out. I am torn - on one hand if I rip back I can fix the one cable where I knitted when I should have purled. Not very noticeable but I notice it. On the other hand, I got all tidy minded and have already woven in the ends of the beginning and where I added the 2nd ball of yarn. Major deal ripping that out. What to do?

07 December, 2006

Catnip to married men

That seems to be me. And I don't want to come across all cynical or anything but it's getting to be rather annoying. Here's the latest. An old friend of mine from high school also works at the U and I see him now and again when I park my bike or walking around the building. We also run into each other at reunion functions and he always says "Oh, we should have lunch some time". But it's been over a year since I've spoken to him so when I got an email last week suggesting we get together for lunch I was mildly surprised. My first thought was "Of course .... his marriage is on the rocks, what do you wanna bet". Then -- no that couldn't be it! Too easy. He's just getting around to asking me. But the gut doesn't lie my friends. We weren't very far into our meal before he spilled it - and yes, I was right.

Men: predictable. That's my man appreciate point for the day.

My living alone appreciate point: You don't have to have any conversations in the morning.

Elann has Merino Chunky for sale today. I think I'm going to treat myself and buy some of the charcoal color for a nice sweater. I still haven't started that cable turtleneck with the chocolate colored Merino Chunky. Maybe I can do that this weekend. AFTER I get the sleeves done and start the body of the Ogee Tunic. Must. Be. Strong.

My old friend Mike came over last night. He's up here for a visit with his family -- they're doing a holiday thing this weekend since they're spread all over. He came in with a big present AND a bottle of Veuve! Now that's a houseguest! Nice thing about old friends is that they know what you like and how to make you smile. You can't go wrong with a nice bottle of champagne, boy. Now I'm going to have to get a tree to put my present under. I'm not really in a huge mood for Christmas this year but I'll man up and get it done. ha ...I love that expression "man up".

06 December, 2006

Is this really news??

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Some of Hollywood's most successful women share an unexpected byproduct of success -- hairy armpits.

Women bragging about being sooooo busy that they don't even have time to shave their armpits. Puhleeze. Is that not ridiculous?

Today's living alone appreciation point:
  • Drinking juice right out of the bottle. I know ... it's a totally piggy thing to do.
What I love about men today:
  • The way they smell. No, really.
On my little trip to Paris and London I was given a special gift - a "Mind the Gap" T-shirt. It's a sign on the Underground reminding people to be careful of the space between the train and the platform. I think it's hilarious but for another reason entirely. *Anyway* I wore it to sleep in and had a dream I was having a conversation with Napoleon. Just chatting away like old friends. I don't remember the topic of conversation, just the feeling of being with him. If I were going crazy would I be able to tell?

I finished up one of my Fetchings last night, except for the thumb. I've got to get on the stick. They've got to be done in a week. I have company coming tonight and there will be no knitting because I'm going to help him do his Christmas shopping and then tomorrow a dinner ... maybe Friday I can knit. I'll most likely be good for nothing else by then.

05 December, 2006

And .....

to continue -- a couple more things that I like about living alone.
  • Slobbing around. I can come home, take out my contacts and put on my sweats. Tink sure doesn't care what I look like. And as long as I avoid the mirror in the hallway, I don't care either!
  • No negotiating over meals. Whatever is to hand is fine. Peanuts and Tequila? Sounds like dinner to me.
Man appreciate point of the day: "Here, let me carry that for you".

Yesterday was a frustrating day. I started out with a trip to one of my Dad's doctors. An appointment I anticipated would take just a few minutes turned out to be an hour. I had, of course, brought something to keep my hands busy but had neglected to remember a row counter and so I had nothing to do! I paced. Very attractive. I didn't get to the office until after 1, having spent another chunk of time in the pharmacy. I had planned on being to the office by 11:30 at the latest and so hadn't had anything to eat or drink except a cup of tea I took with me in the car. I was dizzy by the time I arrived and of course had the chairman hovering over my shoulder. I calmly explained my blood sugar problem and got him to back off for a few minutes so I could get something in my stomach. Oh well, I could whine on for inches. Nevermind. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Something's gotta give. Uhhhh .... anymore cliches?

04 December, 2006

Let's try something different

Here's the deal -- I'm going to try to fool the gods of love. Oh sure ... yeah, sounds crazy, I know. But what the heck - what have I got to lose? Instead of concentrating on how much I hate not having a boyfriend and how much I hate living alone, I'm going to make an effort to find the positive in the situation. A much more difficult task, believe me. And while I've never been a man basher, even at the worst of times, I'm also going to celebrate all the wonderful things about men. Just a little reverse psychology (kind of) with fate. It seems to me that when one is happiest with one's situation that's when things change.

So here's what I found most satisfying about living alone this weekend.
  1. No sharing the Sunday paper. The New York Times crossword is all mine and nobody is over my shoulder trying to "help".
  2. No waiting for the bathroom. Ever.
  3. While housecleaning never goes away, at least the mess I'm cleaning up is only mine.
  4. WIPs are decorative and I don't have to explain it to anyone.
  5. Peace and quiet.
And here's what I appreciate about men, in general. They can fix things! Some of the most wonderful words to come out of a man's mouth are "I know how to fix that!", followed by the even more popular "Where are your tools?." I think it's going to be easier to list wonderful things about men than what's good about living alone, but I'll work on it.

And speaking about working on it -- our departmental party is coming up soon and I've not finished the fingerless mitts yet! I was going to make them out of recycled cashmere but quite frankly it looks terrible! I got one done, except for the thumb, and realized that the kinky recycled cashmere, while admittedly a deluxe fiber, looks like crap! Even after it's washed it still doesn't look as good as some new and cheaper yarn. So I started over last night with some pink fuzzy stuff from my stash. I think they'll look a lot better and nobody is going to care that they're not cashmere.

01 December, 2006

Say bye bye to November

And we're very happy to do so! What a month weather-wise. I started December out right and actually rode my bike this morning. It's warmer - 36 degrees now - and the snow and ice are all gone from the roads. It was raining on the way in, but not too much and frankly I didn't care. It was just nice to get on my bike, even though it was so dark that I had to have not only my tail light on but the headlamp as well! Two more weeks and we'll be heading back into the light as well.

I telecommuting yesterday so it was a very quiet day. I was supposed to take my Dad to an appointment but it was cancelled and he didn't call to tell me ..... Oh well, at least I telephoned him before I headed out and got the news. He's just like my nephews - they all just expect me to get news out of thin air as if I have some sort of psychic connection where their affairs are concerned. It kind of makes me crazy, and not in a good way. [Okay okay .... so I'm still a little cranky. Post-vacation blues or something. It'll pass.]

I finished up the earflap hat. I used the left over yarn to make a scarf but it's a teensie weensie scarf. Maybe a cravat. I shouldn't have bothered but I didn't know really how long it would end up being since I used a different needle size. Oh well. I may gift it. I may keep it. It's not my best look, but I sure wish I had had it a few days ago!

I also got the top of my sock done and tonight maybe I'll turn the heel. I am loving that lace pattern! The hearts are so apparent. Not in the picture I posted yesterday but when it is on the foot and stretched out a bit more, it's really the best heart lace pattern I've found.

Nothing fun planned for the weekend. I've got company next week for a day or two and I may take Friday off. I'll tell you - there is only one upside I've found so far for not having a boyfriend and that's that I always have plenty of vacation time to spare.

30 November, 2006

An actual knitting post!

On Wednesdays I meet some women at lunchtime to knit and I brought my sock along. I am doing a heart lace pattern on it and there is a part where you have to knit 4 together, as I said in an earlier post. I was using a crochet hook but Peggy, the wisest, told me to just make those stitches loose in the previous row and I should be able to forego the hook. And she was right! It works much better. She's making a scarf where she does a knit 7 together front and back and she also tried the crochet hook deal, but it's too awkward. Making loose stitches - priceless! Here's a close up of the sock so far.

I also worked on an earflap hat. The yarn is called "Eskimo" and it's wool with bits of metallic ribbon. Pretty cool and super soft. Unfortunately I don't think I'll have much left for a scarf. I guess it'll just have to be a short one.

The snow is melting today and it has warmed up quite a bit, thank goodness, since I've got to be out driving in it this evening. I'd rather drive in the slop than the ice.

29 November, 2006

It's brutal

Ooooooo still cold! Very cold. Right now it's 25 degrees outside. I walked into work again today. It is too icy to bike in. And it's supposed to snow again today but, if the weather report is correct, it should warm up and we'll get rain tomorrow.

I did some knitting last night and it was goooood! I worked on the socks. I'm doing a heart lace pattern and now that I'm using a crochet hook for the k4tog, it is coming along better. I think tonight though I'm going to make myself an earflap hat with some yarn that I bought last January when I was in Paris. I usually only wear hats when I'm on the ski slopes - those knit types of hats, I mean. But it is so cold here now that I think I would actually wear it. And if not, I can give it away. No shortage of takers around here.

I had a very long walk yesterday. After walking in to work, I needed to go to the post office, then the bank and then I needed groceries. It was a long circle but, as I had hoped, I got all of my errands done and got home in time to get Tinkerbell her walk before it got dark. I didn't want to be slipping and sliding along in the dark! And poor little Tinkie! She doesn't like the cold and I get lots and lots of doggie love! She sat in the chair next to me while I read the paper and knit a bit. She likes to be right IN my lap which sometimes make it a bit awkward but I work around it. It's worth it.

28 November, 2006

It's not even winter yet!!

What is up with this weather??? First it rains like ... like crazy. And now it's snowy and cold. The streets are just sheets of ice. I hear that many people got stuck going home from the football game last night. It was snowing at the game! We were playing Green Bay on Monday Night Football and I'll bet people thought the game was in Green Bay rather than Seattle. Snow was covering the field and the groundsmen were running back and forth across the 10 yard lines with snow shovels, scraping off the snow as fast as it fell. It was pretty amazing. And the game was awesome!! It was exciting to see one of my heroes. AND it was great that the Seahawks were able to win. It didn't look good there for a while. Hasselbeck didn't have his timing and kept throwing interceptions. But they got it together and it was very exciting. I watched the end of it at home on TV.

I got a ride from my friend since I was so jet lagged I just couldn't face driving plus which I hate driving when there's snow. The snowfall from Sunday night had pretty much disappeared by Monday afternoon but Monday evening right before kickoff is when it started up again. Her babysitter informed her at half time that the roads were closing around her house so we took off a little into the third quarter which was, in retrospect, exactly the right thing to do. By the time we got to my exit off the freeway you could see nothing but tail lights ahead of us. She barely made it home last night -- the hills were starting to get slick. I was going to drive in today because of Dad's doctor's appointments but I was talked out of it and so I walked in. I nearly fell several times. It is just ice all over. The streets are crazy slick. I cancelled my AM appointment tomorrow just in case there's no change.

I am itching to get back to knitting!! I had about an hour to knit last night but each of my 3 projects that I have on the needles is at a point where I need to take some time to figure out where I am and where I'm going, if you know what I mean. I don't have a project that I can just pick up and mindlessly knit like I usually do. Tonight I'll have time to get organized. I want to get a little more into that sock and see if the lace pattern I picked out will work and I have a pair of Fetching mitts I'm making for our office Christmas gift exchange but I'm making them a little longer on both ends, so I have to find the row counter I was using .... oops .... and figure out where I am on my repeats. Then my Ogee Tunic sleeves sitting there in their basket, looking a little neglected. I feel guilty.

27 November, 2006

And back to reality

My posts from my phone show up okay but it's very difficult to put any content in there because I don't think it accepts much text. The picture of Starbucks didn't come out as well as I had hoped. And it's not the only Starbucks in Paris, mind you! I just don't get it. The French have the best coffee and yet they go to Starbucks! Also, it has invaded London as well!!! Somehow it makes more sense to me to see them there.

My trip was wonderful on so many levels. Knitting? Not so much. I did work on the sock that I brought along but the pattern I have chosen for the top of the sock has a k4tog and it is just plain impossible to do. I think I'm going to have to use a crochet hook. So because of that I didn't get much done and now I've got to really dig in and get some knitting done!! Projects are stacking up.

23 November, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I have had a great day in London. I tried to get a picture of swans but it was too bright for my phone. I was going toing to


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17 November, 2006

It's a race

I'm knitting as fast as I can, trying to get those darned socks finished and off the needles so I can cast on a new one to take with me on my trip. I only have a few inches to go but it seems to take forever! I must say I am absolutely thrilled with this second sock. I have gotten the toe-up gusset heel down and it looks so good! I tried to take a close up picture of it Wednesday but it was too light and the detail washed out. I'll try again because it really is nice. I am looking forward now to doing this next pair because I feel like I've worked out all the bugs and have finally come up with Shelley's Simply Perfect Socks. Only two ends to weave in - the start and the finish. No grafting. The toe is cast on with the Turkish cast-on method which leaves no seam. The gusset heel, which I got from this site, is easy to do and looks like a top down sock heel. I think I can even do two at once with this method but it's going to take a bit of working out, especially the cast-on bit. But first I'm going to take pictures of the process with one sock, start to finish. After that I'll try two. I'm not all that keen on two at once because I don't think it's all that much faster (if at all) and there's the added annoyance of that second piece of yarn getting tangled up AND I don't seem to have the second sock syndrome. But just to know that I can do it, since I made such a hash of the top down two at once that I tried.

I haven't forgotten my Ogee Tunic. In fact I look longingly at it every evening. I only have a few inches to do on the sleeves but it's not first priority. When I get back from vacation I'll finish off the sleeves and block them and then cast on for the front. It's going to be a looooong go and I'm just going to take my time. I have also been thinking about the turtle neck I'm going to make with the nice soft Cashmerino Chunky I got. I'm going to have to just choose a cable and run with it. I just keep finding such pretty ones! I'm going to wing the pattern, but it's going to be a top down raglan and I'm going to start at the turtle neck and work down rather than picking up stitches for it afterwards. You know ... as I write this I am thinking that the reason turtle necks are picked up and knit afterwards is probably for the shaping so that you can get that little dip in the front that shows the front from the back. I don't think it's all that important and I'm going to only do the cables on the front of the sweater anyway since I'm not certain I have enough yarn to do front AND back AND sleeves. This Magknits pattern is a top down turtle neck and it looks fine so I think it can be done.

Every year we have a little Christmas party at work where everyone brings a gift and you draw a number and then pick gifts in order but you can either get a new one or one that someone else already has. It's fun and the past 3 years I've brought something I knit. The first year it was a scarf and hat set and I had just re-started knitting and crocheting and it was gawd awful! The next year I felted a purse and threw in a matching scarf and it was a big hit. Last year was another scarf and hat set but this one much nicer. This year I just wasn't sure if I should knit something but one of the girls asked me was I going to, because she sure would like some fingerless mitts! Well okay then! Problem solved. I have some recycled cashmere that I have been trying to unload on eBay and not getting a nibble so I'm making some Fetching mitts but I'm making them with two more repeats on the cuffs so they're a little longer. They go so quickly.

I'm going to stop by the yarn shop I found in Paris while I'm there (like I need a few more odd balls of yarn ....) and I'm hoping I'll have time while I'm in London to search out a shop. Maybe I should do a little internet sleuthing before I leave.

15 November, 2006

Too sick to knit

I mean who is ever too sick to knit? I got hit over the head with some little virus though and I was out Monday and Tuesday. I've been running errands for my dad today and now at 4 pm just trying to wind down. I feel bad but hey! not as bad as I have been feeling, so that's a good thing! I've got to go to work Thursday and Friday no matter what and I've signed up for a race Sunday before my trip, so I'm hoping I'll make a speedy recovery.

The weather here is beyond crap. I can't even try to describe it - think wind and rain and more wind and more rain until you want to scream. Then more. I had to drop my car off at the service station today because one of the "Service Car NOW" lights came on so I am praying for at least a little break in the weather tomorrow for my ride in. Keep those fingers crossed.

I finished my Noro Raglan over the weekend. I decided to just keep the neckline a simple boat neck and put a row of single crochet around it. It's nice and simple and it looks great with straps of a cami showing. No pictures on me but here's one on the couch. It's not quite so vivid as this pictures show up on my computer screen but it's colorful for sure. When I bound off the cuffs I didn't do it in k2p2, but just knit and it make a little ruffle-y bit which I quite like.

I'm almost done with my second Crusoe sock. Need to keep at that so I can get a new one started for something to do on my trip (should I have spare time, that is). It's gotten changed a bit - my itinerary. Instead of going to Amsterdam we're going to London instead, which is better because the train ride is much shorter.

09 November, 2006

One down

I finished up my first Noro project for Norovember. Unfortunately no picture today. The lighting was terrible and my camera phone doesn't have a flash. I'll take pictures with my real camera tomorrow. I put fringe on the bottom of it and I'm re-thinking it. I am leaning toward taking it off. I am so NOT careful when I put fringe on a scarf, it always ends up looking haphazard and lame. But the scarf is nice and warm and very colorful. Next I must finish up that sweater. I know I've only got a few hours left to go on it. I still don't know what I'm going to do to finish the neck. Maybe I'll try it on when I get that sleeve finished and see if it looks good with a shirt underneath because that was my original thought. If that's the case then I'll just pick up stitches around the neckline and do a k2p2 rib for a few rows. And THEN ... then I will start that Fake Isle hat. And I also need to finish my second sock. Maybe I should do a push on that after I finish the sweater. I will only have a week to get it done and get the sock for traveling cast on and started. n Oh so many wonderful projects! And never enough time.

"Lost" was pretty good last night. I can't believe that we've got to wait 13 weeks though! That sucks. February 7 it starts up again. And no repeats since people got so fed up with that last season. Maybe I can get caught up on some reading. ha

I picked up the sleeves to my Ogee Tunic last night after I finished that scarf, thinking I'd get a few minutes in on them. I am nearly to the sleeve cap shaping but it had been so long since I'd knitted on it I forgot exactly where I was (even though there's a stitch counter there). Did the stitch counter 11 mean I was finishing the 11th row *or* that this was the 1st rows of the second 12 row repeat. I am pretty sure it's the former but I didn't want to goof up by making another increase row just in case so I put it down. I don't want to lose touch with that project. It's going to be a gorgeous sweater. The fact that the needles are so small - it just goes a lot more slowly than my other projects.

07 November, 2006

It's about time!

The Seahawks were awesome last night! yay Monday Night Football!! Finally erasing that meltdown on Sunday night football. If you haven't heard, it's raining like crazy here in Seattle. No no .. it really doesn't rain all the time here. Yesterday it was 63 degrees (a record high) and pouring rain. Needless to say the game was a soggy one, but my seats are covered so I didn't care! It was a solid beating and we sacked their quarterback like 9 times or something.

So no knitting. By the time I got home and decompressed I was ready to sleep. I should be able to knit some tonight. Maybe finish up my Noro pullover.

06 November, 2006

It's a Noro thing

It seems there are quite a few Noro obsessed people out there in Knitland. Nonnahs was kind enough to point me to this site - a blogger promoting her own Noro obsession, Norovember. I signed up -- of course I did! While I spent the greater part of Friday, Saturday AND Sunday fetching and carrying for my Dad, I did have some time to knit. I've got a stripped scarf in the work. I'm using the Noro Silk Garden I nabbed on sale at my LYS and some left over Kureyon. Except I was running out of the left over stuff too fast, so I stopped by and bought another skein to work the scarf, and a skein to work ... well, I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's the scarf. It's very squishy. I'm doing a 2x2 rib on size 11 needles - 24 stitches. It's going to be warm. And aren't the colors gorgeous?

While I was at my LYS I also bought a skein of Lamb's Pride in black and a skein of Noro in some gorgeous greens for the Fake Isle hat from Magknits. I'm interested in trying Fair Isle and this will be a fun way to do it. The Noro looks a little drag in this picture, but it's really not.

And finally, I did get more work done on the raglan pullover. I'm still not sure what to do about the neck but I've got a few more repeats to do on the sleeve before I have to make that decision. These pictures were taken with my real camera and thus the colors are much more honest than the ones taken with my camera phone. Here's a closeup of the sleeve: The cables are the same as the ones used on the ribbing on the bottom. I guess the picture could have used a bit more contrast. And here's a picture of the whole thing.

02 November, 2006

A little good news ... a little bad news

I took my bike to get fixed yesterday. Fortunately the repair guy cleaned out the shifter first and lo and behold, it worked! So he phoned to tell me that he didn't need to replace the shifters. yay! When I went to pick up the bike after work most of the repair guys were gone and there was a note on my bike saying that there were too many things wrong with it to make it worthwhile to fix! Then some notation that the rims were shot. Heaven knows I've put some miles on that bike. I've had it for over 12 years and I ride it all year around. I guess that means that the next time something major happens I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get a new bike. With all that's happening around me now I'm not even going to entertain the idea. Long may she roll!!!

And speaking of rolling - we were rolling in the pouring rain today. As I said it would, it warmed up so I'm not complaining. I've got rain gear and we all know I'm not made of sugar and therefore will not melt.

I had a cozy evening last night, a little knitting and I watched "Over the Hedge" and then "Lost" (which was excellent although I'm going to miss the character that kicked it last night). I don't know what I would do if I were Jack! Anyway .... I knit a bit on my sock and then a good bit on the raglan cardigan. I got the sleeve shaping done and have started on the wrist cable ribbing. Goofed up my stripe matching though. This particular colorway has pink at both ends and I thought I was getting the pink that goes into purple end when in fact I got the pink that goes into another pink end so they're not going to match. But what the heck -- it's a goofy looking sweater and it's not supposed to match anyway!

01 November, 2006

What's next?

First it was my dryer on Saturday. And now it's my bike. Of course I know the shifter had been getting worse but now it won't shift at all. Unfortunately my bike is over 10 years old and now road bikes have 10 gears, mine just 7. I ran into this problem a couple years ago when I had the rear cassette replaced and they had to order the part and it took for-freakin'-ever. This time I'm smart - I'm looking for the replacement part myself FIRST. I spoke to a guy at the bike shop where I purchased this bike all those years ago and he was the one who told me about the gears being different. I asked him if they had the part - no. I asked him how much we were talking for a replacement and he said oh about $50, plus labor. With a little research on the internet I find that I can get the pair of shifters for $24.99. The PAIR. I think I'm going to buy the things and have someone install them. That makes most sense and that way I can get both done at the same time.

I didn't do any serious knitting last night. I was in the mood for instant gratification again. I was scoping out my stash and looked at the two balls of Noro Silk Garden. I decided to just make a simple ribbed scarf out of it to watch the lovely color changes. Doesn't take much to amuse me. Oooo, what color next?? It'll be perfect for "Lost" tonight.

31 October, 2006

It's just painful!

The wind chill! It shouldn't be this cold this early, I tell ya! Glove liners notwithstanding, my little fingers were numb again and my face ... ouch. It looks like it's going to warm up later this week and start raining. Rain = warm. I shall endeavor not to complain about the rain.

I'm now on a mission to finish up my Noro Raglan. I'm almost done with the second sleeve decreases and then it's the cable ribbed cuffs and then the only thing left to do will be to pick up stitches around the neckline and decided if I want to do a cable rib or just k2 p2. I made a rather large, square neckline so I've got plenty of leeway to do any number of things. However, if I were to do anything trickier than a simple K2 P2 rib, that would involve decreasing..... actually, as I type this I realize that I'll have the raglan increases there and visible so I could just start decreasing at those points and it'd be easy. In fact, with all of the yarn I have left I could actually do the cabled rib and make it a funnel neck or turtle neck. Could be pretty. Nice thing about picking up stitches, if it's ugly or not working you can just rip it out and RE-pick up the stitches. It's not like when you have to rip back to live stitches which = scary in my book.

I also want to make a big drive to finish up the second Koigu Crusoe sock so I can have a new pair of socks to work on when I go to Paris and Amsterdam. I have decided that I need some kind of project (duh) to take with me but I am determined to pack SO LIGHT this trip since I'll be traveling a bit and I hate hate HATE to have to lug a suitcase when it's so heavy. People move quickly on those trains and in the train stations and there are also plenty of stairs. If the suitcase is too heavy it's a drag getting it up and down the stairs. Last January when I was in Paris and traveled to Luxembourg I had that damned back pack with the Big Blue Sweater I was making, PLUS a heavy suitcase, PLUS another bag just for shoes. Not this time, my friends. Two pairs of jeans, four sweaters and that's it. I did leave a bag in Paris because I bought a larger one to take home, so I have that smaller bag waiting for me that I can fill up with ... oh, wine and yarn come to mind ... and I'll be able to check that on the way home. Socks are of course the perfect thing to carry on a trip. I'll have two long-ish train rides - to and from Amsterdam. One I'll have company but the other, not. I don't want to take an almost completed pair. So that's the long way of saying that after the Noro Raglan I'm going to make a push to finish that sock!

30 October, 2006

It happened again!!!

Another bad football weekend! How much more can a girl take?? The poor Huskies lost yet again in overtime. What a heartbreaker. The Seahawks ... *sigh* .... I don't even want to talk about it. Good news is that we're playing the Raiders next Monday night and I've got tickets. Bad news is that it's now possible that we could be beat by the worst team in the league on national TV. Oh this time last year was so exciting! Now this year - ick. But that's the way of the game. So I shouldn't complain.

I did another race this weekend. This time it was the Pumpkin Push in Seward Park. My friend Kate went with me and we had a wonderful day for a run. It was chilly, but not raining. I was feeling strong and started off really great, running the first half of the race in 15 minutes. But then there was the hill. Not a little hill, mind you, but a freakin' great huge hill! Quite honestly, I didn't even pretend to run up it. I figured it was much more efficient to just walk. This hill was so steep that even today, Monday, I have soreness in my calf muscles which is so very hard for me to get considering I ride my bike all the time. It was brutal! The walk up the hill notwithstanding, I still had an almost identical time as the last race. Unfortunately for some reason they didn't have a timing pad at the start of the race so my time is just guntime, which is not accurate. It doesn't make sense to me that you wear the timing chips and there's not a pad at the start and only at the end. I wanted to see if I was better! The walk up the hill messed up my time, obviously. The next race is not until Sunday, November 19 which as it happens is the day I'm leaving for my trip to Europe. But you know what? I'm going to run it anyway. It's in the morning and my plane doesn't leave until 6:30 which means I don't have to leave home until 4 pm so I'll have all day to pack and I'll be nice and tired.

So Saturday was a big day - not only did I have a run, but my dryer broke. And that's the worst timing considering I've got two huge bags of laundry for my Dad to get through. As luck would have it there was a repairman available so I did get it fixed. I was last on his list but gladly waited to get that machine up and running again. I can't imagine if I had a family to take care of. Lucky it's only me that I have to do laundry for and I make enough!

I finished up the sleeve and started the second sleeve on the Noro Raglan. I'm going to have yarn left over! I bought 10 skeins for this and it looks like I'll use only 8 at the most! I could have made more cables. Well I bought another 10 skeins of a different color - it has autumn oranges and browns and greens in it. I think I'll make a raglan cardigan and do a falling leaf lacy pattern down the front of the cardigan. I should be able to do that as well with less than 10 balls. And maybe find a raised leaf pattern to do down the sleeves - or even the same lacy one. I don't know yet.

I also made good progress on the sleeves for the Ogee Tunic. I'm almost at the part where I'll shape the caps. I'm going to block those babies right away when I get done with them.

It turned cold this weekend. Yesterday it hailed! And it was so cold at night that my heat came on. This morning was a very very cold ride in. I'm going to have to switch up to the winter garb pretty soon. It snowed in the pass yesterday too! Might be some early skiing.

27 October, 2006

Something new

I tried something new (to me) last night - duplicate stitch. It's easy. Beats the heck out of intarsia, I can say that for sure. Here's a picture of the finished Ski Patrol Hat with the duplicate stitch cross on the front. Again, bad picture. I'm holding it in my hand so the bottom part of the first aid cross is shortened. In reality it's even with the top one. I must say it's gratifying to have a picture in one's head and to be able to make it a reality.

I think for this weekend I'm going to concentrate on finishing up the cabled raglan sweater. It goes so quickly that I am pretty sure I could finish it up, even though I've got a busy weekend. I will have all of this evening to work on it so I should easily be able to finish the first sleeve and get a good start on the second. Saturday is going to be a very busy day -- first a 5K in the morning (the Pumpkin Push), then haul more wood in from the dry cleaners and then PJ's football playoff game. The evening will be a girlie night - dinner and movie in front of the fire. So I should be able to knit my little fingers to the bone! Sunday is football and raking leaves and chores and ... knitting! If only I had a housekeeper. hah

26 October, 2006

Instant gratification

You gotta love those instant gratification projects! I don't know ... I think those types of things keep me going on the longer term projects. Sometimes I just need to have something finished. NOW. And hats are good for that, as are little bags and felting projects. I finished up a plain ribbed cuff beanie for Mr. G in red red red yesterday. I'm going to duplicate stitch a white first aid cross on it and he'll use it for ski patrol. I just love the way Lamb's Pride yarn feels. I forget how nice it is because I generally only use it for hats. I think it would be nice for a bulky sweater. Anyway -- I digress .... instant gratification. I have always thought of that term in a negative way but my prejudice is waning. There is definitely something to be said for it.

I tried on the Noro Raglan sweater last night and decided I have about one 1/2 more cable repeats to go for the first sleeve. My challenge for the second sleeve is going to be finding a skein that starts at the right color repeat. Shouldn't be too difficult - I have a few to pick from and so far of the 5 skeins I've use all but one have started with the same repeat. I'm kind of like Nonnahs in that regard in that I like to have the stripes match, especially with something so visible as a pair of sleeves.

The Ogee Tunic is coming along. One or two more pushes and I should have the sleeves finished and I can start on the front of the sweater. This is, obviously, going to be the most difficult part. Welllll maybe I'm misspeaking. When I think of that back just inches and inches of stockinette stitch. Maybe THAT will be the challenge. I think I'm smart to keep it for last because if I have these gorgeous sleeves and this beautiful cabled front I'm really going to want that back so I can put it together. Well, at least that's what I'm hoping will happen.

I signed up for another 5K race this morning. This one to be run Saturday. I got my friend Kate to agree to come along. Let's just hope it's not raining. I don't think this course will have hills. I sure hope not.

24 October, 2006

It gets better!

Me and my stupid non-math brain! My race results came in last night and I was faster than I had though! I was adding time to the "guntime" they sent me when in fact I should have been subtracting time! So I actually ran that race in 34:48 and I was 19th out of 48 in my age group. So I am really happy! Especially since half of it was up that darned hill. Next time I am hoping for a flat face and I bet I'll be able to shave even more time off!

I was so tired yesterday when I got home. I left work at 2-ish after starting at 6:30. I took a nice little nap and then I was in the mood for some instant gratification knitting so I started a cap for Mr. G. He wants a cap for ski patrol - red with a white cross on it. I was thinking of intarsia but a) it's a hassle and b) I don't like doing it and c) it's a flippin' hassle! So I decided on duplicate stitch. That way I can make a nice hat and not have to worry about did I start the cross too soon, too high up, etc. This way it'll be done and I can make it perfect.

I took the morning to deal with Dad issues. *sigh* Is it okay to say I wish my sister lived here? It is very difficult dealing with this stuff. Thank goodness Dad is happy and feeling positive. Me? I just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. Thank goodness I have a nice trip to look forward to. Less than four weeks to go! Woohoo!!!

23 October, 2006

How to change a simple 5K into a kind of triathlon

Sunday was the Dawg Dash - my very first 5K. The weather was just absolutely perfect! I overslept a bit but still got to Husky Stadium in plenty of time to register, let Mr. G take a few pictures, toss extra clothes into the car and change into the official T-shirt. We stretched on the field - I've never been on the football field before! Coooooool!! Then I got to my place between the 11 and 12 minutes per mile flag (along with the geezers, teenagers that were doing it for a lark, people with strollers and dogs ... you get the idea). The course was described as "challenging" and I'll second that! OMG The whole first 1 1/2 miles, with the exception of the little trot around the track, was uphill!! I had very carefully fueled myself so I wasn't running out of energy as much as just getting worn out, not being used to running that far uphill. Once we turned the corner I got my second wind and was able to finish strong. I could have made a bigger push but honestly I thought I was doing okay. I ran over the finish line when the clock said 36 minutes, but I know that I didn't pass the finish line right at 0 because I was in the middle of the pack. The official results aren't up yet but even if I ran it in 37 minutes I won't feel too bad because, as I said, it was a tough course. Now I can't wait to do another one!

So, the race was over and we headed back to the car so Mr. G could take some more pictures of the event (oh, he finished at like 29 minutes or less). As I got near the car I reached into my little handy pouch that is inside my running pants where I had stashed the car key. Empty. At some point during the race I guess it had flipped up and out came the key. We went back to the stadium to the Lost and Found, but none of the keys they had there were mine. Crap! No choice but to walk home. Off we went - another 5K and all uphill. Once we got home I got on my bike and rode back down to the Stadium to get the car. And once I got home and showered I hardly moved for the rest of the day. Who can blame me?

For a while I watched the Seahawks. Then the quarterback got hurt and the game went to hell. I turned it off when the Vikings fell on a fumble in the end zone and got yet another TD. Still don't know how badly Matt Hasselbeck is hurt. They said it's a knee sprain but he's having an MRI today so I imagine the news will be out this afternoon. crap crap crap! And the Huskies lost a heartbreaker in OT this weekend. All that football means that I had a fair amount of time for knitting. I am still toiling away on the sleeves of the Ogee Tunic. I expect to finish them off this week so I can start on the body.

20 October, 2006

A sunny day off

Good day all around! I got lots done, Tinkie got groomed, and I got a little pampering done myself! Plus which .... the sun is shining! Good weekend ahead.

Since I'm sitting here with all my chores done and an hour before I have to leave for the airport I thought I'd take a picture of my finished Crusoe. It's a pretty sock, but rather dense and heavy because of the stranding. I love Koigu. I will definitely make more socks out of it. Here's a pretty good picture of the sock. I don't know if the toe-up turned heel shows up but I'll take a close up of the next one in progress. It's a very nifty heel and I like it oh so much better than the short row. My feet aren't really that teensie. The sock stretches.

I most likely won't get a lot of knitting done this weekend since I've got company and the race. Oh well ... no complaints!

19 October, 2006


I got motivated yesterday evening and sat down and finished my first Crusoe. I decided the leg was high enough. I just bound off without ribbing because I wanted the top to curl. And I got the second one cast on, the toe done and a few rows of the foot. Of course, like the last couple of pairs of socks I've done, these are not going to be perfect matches. I keep experimenting with styles - top down, toe up, short row heel, turned heel ... but I've got it now. The main difference between these two socks is going to be the pattern on the top of the foot. On the first one I started the stranding pattern right away and found that the edge stitches stretched and looked icky. So this time I've got a two stitch border on each side and that'll make it nicer. Also the turned heel was my first tow up turned heel and it could be a bit tidier. This second sock should be perfect and that'll be the end of my experimenting because I feel like I've found THE perfect sock pattern for me. The only other thing I'd like to do is see if I could do two at a time - but I'll need someone with experience in doing two at a time heel flaps to help me the first time. I recall my first try at it - with this Koigu yarn, as a matter of fact. I got to the part where one is supposed to put gusset stitches on a holder needle and I couldn't go any farther. It was a mess. Since I know it's possible, as I say, it's the only other thing I might do to tweak the pattern. Next socks up will be lacy pink ones.

I had a super great run yesterday. Today is a rest day and Friday I'll have another easy one. It's rainy today but the forecast still is for a sunny Sunday. Fingers crossed.

18 October, 2006

A little trip to the dark side

Yesterday I was on fire! I got things done and no mistake. Motivated, that what I was. I almost broke my arm, patting myself on the back, but I got that stupid form all filled out and gathered some more odds and ends and got the application down to the office where it needed to be before 5pm. And I was exhausted when I was done, but happy. It was sunny but chilly, especially in the house, since the heating hasn't been on. So I treated myself and turned on the heat. Ahhhhhh, it was gggrrrreat! I stayed upstairs in my comfy chair and read the paper and listened to music and, yes, stepped over to the dark side and did some crochet. The odd skeins of Noro Silk Garden are making me crazy! What to do with them??? I tried making flowers but they looked dorky, and I was thinking of a scarf for the two skeins that match. But the other two don't match and so I thought, why not a hat? Why not try a crocheted hat for a change? So I started one. But I'm so out of practice and it was not the instant gratification I was seeking but rather a trial. Tonight I'm going to see of I can't whip myself up and finish that Crusoe sock - I mean it's pretty much done but I was going to try to finish each skein all up. I don't want them to be too high so I think I'll try that one on and if it's tall enough, bind off and start the second. I want to finish so I can try some of the sock yarn that my sweet SP8 sent me. Lacy pink ones are in my future.

Wednesday night is my favorite night -- 'Lost' is on! And a new 'Southpark' that I can watch tomorrow. And it means that the week is nearly over. I am so excited about my weekend. I had another great run today. I'll rest tomorrow and have an easy 30 minutes on Friday. Now that I've got my fuel figured out, I can end up with energy to spare which makes me feel confident that I won't be the very last one!

And I'm so excited because I'm going to Europe for Thanksgiving week! Wheeee! Only 4 weeks to wait, too! I like it that it's close. Usually a trip is in the works for a couple months at least and I have to wait and wait and wait! But four week? Shoot, that's going to fly by! I'll be in the Netherlands. Who wants Dutch chocolate?

17 October, 2006

How could I forget garbage day?

I drove to work today. I had to stop to mail a couple packages and I have to run errands so it wasn't until I was almost at the end of my block that I noticed there were garbage cans sitting on the parking strips. How could I forget?? I didn't want to go back, since I was running a little late anyway so I left it. I guess I'll stop by on the way out to Dad's rehab place to hope I beat the garbage men. Not that there's a lot there but still -- I think that's the first time I've totally spaced that. [The first person that even thinks "senior moment" is gonna get it!!!]

I think I'm pretty much done with the first sleeve on the raglan sweater. I've got to try it on and see if I maybe want to go another cable repeat or just bind off and start the second sleeve. It was just too freakin' cold upstairs last night to try it on before bed. I just wanted to get in there and get the covers up to my chin! I'm going to have to turn the heat on sooner or later. It went on by itself last night and that means it got below 60 degrees in there. Perhaps I should close the bedroom window a bit. I'm feeling very virtuous! And hearty! [watch me catch my death of cold, miss smartypants]

A few days ago I received those two bags of Debble Bliss Merino Chunky - a superwash chunky wool in a gorgeous brown. They are small skeins (I hate that about her yarns), only about 50 yards but with two bags that gives me 1000 yards on 10.5 needles. That should be fine for a cabled turtleneck as long as I don't do an all over pattern. I was thinking of just getting a nice cable, or cable combo, out of my Vogue book but then I saw a gorgeous sweater someone had knitted on Craftster - a Rebecca pattern. A little more detailed that I am looking for -- well, I'll look around. Maybe the pattern in the new IK will work. I saw a preview of it and should be getting my copy soon.

16 October, 2006

A win and a loss

That was the football this weekend. Poor Huskies just went to pieces and lost their quarterback. The Seahawks took it down to the wire and won at the last second with a kick. Whew! Luckily it was on television so I recorded it and then I fast forwarded until the end when it was live. I love my DVR!

I had a quiet and solitary weekend and got lots of knitting done. So much that my left hand and shoulder were hurting last night. I think it's the purling. I am almost finished with the first sleeve on the raglan sweater. I goofed though. I wish I had thought it through a bit more. Because I had made cables between in the increases there is a bit more fabric than I wished for the sleeve because I didn't take into account the pulling in that the two purl stitches on either side and the cable itself did. If I had thought it through I would have decreased more stitches faster. Oh well .. it's going to be interesting. Not ugly. Just different.

I've got a week this week ..... Dad is being a bad boy at the rehab center and I've got to do damage control tomorrow. And Thursday I've got the dentist. Ahh, but Friday I'm taking off! Tink is going to get groomed, I'm having a manicure and pedicure and a massage. And Sunday is the race. I have been experimenting with fuel and find that if I just add one little piece of toast to my breakfast it makes a world of difference on my energy level. I've been having some great runs lately. Last Friday I ran for 35 minutes and I had energy to spare. And today was a "light" day - only 30 minutes. But again, I was feeling great! I was a little concerned that I was going to be too slow. I may be slow, but I sure won't be the slowest! And I will finish for sure.

13 October, 2006

Cheese! Cheeeeeese!

I had a restless night last night simply because Tinkerbell was, for some reason, restless and not wanting to sleep. So I was awakened several times last night and therefore was able to remember my dreams. And I was dreaming like crazy last night!! One in particular was just about cheese. I was looking at melting Bleu and just SO looking forward to eating it. And then I woke up but I cannot stop thinking about cheese. Does that make me crazy? No!! Emphatically I say NO! Just a bit hungry is all. It's probably on my mind (cheese, that is) because there is a chance I'll be going to Europe in November and when I'm there I am in cheese heaven. Cheese for dessert here, especially in Seattle, is a trendy thing. Over there? Way of life. And oh my gawd do I love it. I hardly want to eat my dinner. Just bring on the cheese!

Right now it's 52 degrees but it's supposed to get up to 70 again today! Isn't that wonderful? I am loving this Indian Summer we're having. Not atypical for Seattle, by any means, but we don't get it like this every year. Yesterday I was totally over dressed and today I imagine I'll get a little too warm as well. It is pretty chilly in the mornings so one tends to dress for that rather than the 20 plus degrees you'll be facing later in the day. Especially on running days, like today, it's so darned hard to cool down afterwards. I dressed down today because now that the anatomy course is over I can start cleaning out my office and environs. Nevertheless, I think even jeans and a light sweater are going to be too hot for moving boxes. Ah well.

I started the sleeves of my Noro raglan sweater last night. It's going to be so cute. I think it'll look best layered over a white shirt. I am looking forward to my sleeves. I really do think they're going to be cool. I'll take pictures Sunday or whenever I get most of a sleeve done.

12 October, 2006

What is up with the commercials???

I don't know if it's just because I like the show so much and don't want any commercial breaks or what, but it seemed like there were more then a normal amount of commercials on "Lost" last night. Now I suppose since it's such a popular show they can get lots and lots of money for the commercials but still ..... every 10 minutes or less??? It really interrupts the flow of the show. That's my rant for today.

Like Nonnahs, I find it difficult to knit during that show so instead of doing something I would undoubtedly have to frog the next day I instead spent the time trying to unravel that knot of Koigu that Tink made so that I can make a push to finish my first Crusoe and start on the second. I plan on watching a little football this weekend and that would be a good project. I don't have much left to do on the first one but my silly rule - I have to immediately cast on for the second one and I need a little time to get at least the toe done before I put it down.

I got my first package from my new favorite on line yarn store, Little Knits yesterday. Before I found the Noro full bag sale I found some Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky in a beautiful chocolate brown, also full bag sale. So I bought two. I want to make a nice raglan turtle neck with a cable down the front and sleeves. I have the Vogue Stitchionary (is that how it's spelled?) on cables and there are tons and tons to choose from. And this yarn ... oh is it every soft and squishy! And bonus, it's machine washable! I think I'm going to incorporate a part of a design from an IK cabled wrap from last year and then a cable from the book. And I'm only going to do it on the front. I'm not exactly sure how much yarn I'll need, but if I don't do the cables on the back I'm reasonably sure two bags should do it. Fingers crossed, eh? Otherwise I'll end up with a short sleeved cabled turtle neck. Not a bad thing per se, but long sleeved is more useful.

11 October, 2006

True confessions

Hello. My name is Shelley and I am a Noro addict.

Okay, now that that's out of the way. Yesterday I went up to my LYS at lunchtime to get some supplies for a "Learn to Knit" kit I'm putting together for an auction this weekend. Good intentions - just walk in, get the few items I need and walk out. Oh ... but go ahead and take a peek in the sale bins, why don't you? Not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 skeins of Noro Silk Garden!!! $5 each!!! Two the same color and dyelot and the other two odd balls. I snatched them up, sure I did! AND the new IK Crochet magazine. I thought maybe I'd make some pretty flower motifs with the Noro and make stuff -- scarves probably. I printed out a few patterns from Lion but even though they are marked "easy", I still had a hard time with them. I've got a few other patterns bookmarked. I think I just need to practice crocheting. I really do think they'd make great scarf gifts - cute flowers with those beautiful colors. I need to find one to make (or 2 or 3) that are "no brainers" so I can do them while watching TV.

Didn't start my sleeves last night on the raglan because ... well, see above. After working on some flowers I just had dinner and did a bit more on the sleeves of the OT. Tonight is 'Lost'!! Woohooo!!! I am hoping I can get the sleeve stitches picked up and the decreases worked out on paper so I can do that while watching "Lost". Otherwise I'll just have to sit and knit ... nothin'!

Does anybody else think the spell check on Blogger sucks??

10 October, 2006

I'm going for a record

Well ... truth be told I can't remember when last year I turned my heat on but I haven't yet turned it on and I'm going to try to get all the way through October. Twice it has come on by itself -- if it gets below 60 degrees the thermostat kicks on but, only twice so far and just for a few minutes. I've been making nice cozy little fires downstairs in the evenings and so far so good. I just know that I'm going to have to close my bedroom windows sooner than I want to. I just love that fresh air when I sleep. I know that I've kept them at least cracked until November so I've got a few more weeks. Thank goodness I sleep warm -- and the doggie helps out too! She's very warm.

I spent most of yesterday evening getting ready to put stuff on eBay. My digital camera is so slow though! It takes forever to download pictures onto my computer. By the time I got done taking all the pictures, downloading them and futzing with them it was 7 and I was ready for dinner. So I put it off for another day. Procrastination ... it's an art, my friends.

A few more rows done on the sleeves of the Ogee Tunic. I love the way that the Elann Devon drapes. It's lovely yarn. Oddly it recommends needle size 4 and the Ogee Tunic also asks for size 4 needles but I got gauge with size 7! Now that I'm a ways into the sleeves I'm going to check my gauge again just in case I need to make some adjustments. The fabric is fine -- it's not too airy and not too dense. I will probably elect to wear something under the thing in cooler weather but I think it'll be fine.

Tonight I think I'll start on the sleeves of the raglan sweater. I'm going to have to keep good notes because I'm winging it. I've got a good idea of where I want to go with it and how I want to accomplish it but I'm going to have to keep notes on when exactly I make the decreases and when I start the ribbing so the other sleeve will match. That's the only downside to doing a sweater top down - you have to do the sleeves separately and if you make a mistake on one then you have to either rip it out or make the same mistake on the other side. Or, as in this case, if you're winging a pattern you have to be careful to write everything down. Especially with a memory as holey as mine. I believe I can make nice bells on the sleeves if I increase in the purl ditches, kind of like how the bottom of the Something Red cardigan gets it's flair.

09 October, 2006

Ogee sleeves!

Here's a close up of the motif on the sleeves. Finally finished and got about 20 rows further into the sleeves. I worked on them Friday and Saturday but by Saturday evening my left hand and forearm were hurting. It's the purling ... something I do with my thumb slipping the stitches off the needle after a while makes it hurt. No matter. I'm not in any hurry with this. I want it to be right. The color is a bit off here - camera phone - it's more of an aqua with a grey cast to it. This looks baby blue.

Sunday I worked on the Noro raglan, got the body finished and put a cable band on the bottom. I am going to make the sleeves belled with cables to match the raglan and band. I hope it works.

I found a new yarn place online and ends up it's in Seattle!! I bought some Debbie Bliss Merino Aran at a great bargain price -- especially for superwash wool. And then while searching for Noro Kureyon closeouts they came up again and had one color on sale - $39 for the bag!! I couldn't pass it up. So when I ordered it I noticed that they charged me sales tax, which meant they're in Washington. I checked the address and lo and behold, they're in Ballard! It's called LittleKnits and they have great deals. I can't wait to visit the shop. It might be dangerous though.

Two more weeks .. well less actually .. and Mr. G will be up for a visit and I'll be doing my first race. I ran around the track at Husky Stadium on Friday to time myself and I ended up doing 12 minute miles. Ugh. That is S-L-O-W. In my defense I'd only had 150 calories by the time I did my run and it was 12:30 so I was low on energy. But still .... I've got to work on my speed. I think I should be able to knock a few minutes off my time plus my friend Kate says that one runs faster when the race is on and you're in a pack. Fingers crossed.

06 October, 2006

I am more than a little disturbed

This morning when I opened my Yahoo email there were over 125 message in there. Odd. One hundred (!) of them were from eBay confirming listings. Yes, 100. I was a bit taken aback -- that is a LOT of spam, yes? So I logged into my eBay account and find out that yes indeed, there are now 98 active listings and two had sold. WTF?!!???? Seems as if some a**hole hijacked my account and listed a bunch of clothing. eBay is pretty good though - there are tons of pages of help, so obviously this things happens frequently, or frequently enough for there to be step by step instructions on what to do. First I had to change my Yahoo email password, then my eBay password. Done. Then it says that you should delete the items by, get this, entering the ID number of each item. Uhhhh .... 100? Well, okay 98, since two are sold. But still ... I don't think so. I have sent them email and I'm waiting for a LiveChat person to help me. I am also concerned that my credit card is going to be charged all of the fees -- the listing fees and the sold fees. It's going to add up. How creepy is this though? I looked at the sold page and see an email address where people should send their Paypal. Oh great ... that's another thing to worry about! How did they change the email address of the Paypal account?? Whew ... just checked. My Paypal account is okay but I changed the password on it anyway. The LiveChat lady just came on ... Okay - all's well. She has restored my account. I have no earthly idea how someone got into my account. My know enough not to click on any links in messages, etc. Very disturbing.

Well, in other news I stayed up WAY too late last night, so excited that I finally had the pattern down for the sleeve motif on my Ogee Tunic. I nearly got it done but it was closing in on 11:30, which is way past my bedtime. I should definitely be able to finish it up and start on the plain part of the sleeves tonight so I'll have pictures Monday. It's going to be just lovely. I hope my gauge hasn't changed now that I'm purling the right way.

Today it's off and on raining but I'm going to go to the track at lunchtime no matter what the weather so I can time myself to see how long it takes me to run 3 miles. I better be close to 10 minutes miles, that's all I've got to say. If not, it's going to be a tough couple weeks to get there.

05 October, 2006

I cannot believe it

And you won't believe it either. I swear .... I just knew that the Ogee Tunic motif I was trying to knit around the sleeve couldn't be that difficult and that I was doing something wrong, but how wrong? I'll tell you how wrong, my friends. Bone head wrong!!! I took some waste yarn and needles to my knitting lunchtime yesterday and it was just myself and the one who knows the most. Lucky me. So I cast on and did a row of the pattern, then asked her for help going back on the WS, since I had no problem doing the first row. She took one look at the piece and said, "Well, your stitches are on backwards." Huh? Backwards you say? I was doing not one, but two things wrong. First of all ... and this is the part that I am so amazed by ... I was purling incorrectly. I don't know when it started, because when she showed me what I was doing wrong it felt so natural to do it correctly. I was putting the needle into the stitch right but I was bringing the yarn under the needle rather than over! Again, I have no idea when this aberrant behavior began. How could I just start purling wrong out of the blue?? Strange. So that is one thing I was doing wrong. The other was that I was doing my YOs wrong as well -- bring the yarn over the top of the needle rather than the other way. So once she showed me it was soooooo easy! I did a few rows and it looks just like it's supposed to look. Now I just can't wait to rip out the sleeves AGAIN and start over. But this time I know it's going to look right and it's going to be speedy because the pattern is super easy.

Last night after work was Pub Night. I kept trying to get away, starting at 8:30, because 1) it was the season premier of "Lost" and 2) I wanted to knit. Thank goodness I had set my DVR because I couldn't get out of there! Finally around 10 the party broke up, but then a friend walked me home. The place where we had our pub night has a coffee house and bakery above it and I stopped for a piece of their fabulous coconut cake, which I had been craving for oh about a month. So my chaperone and I shared the cake and had a glass of milk but he's SUCH a talker, I couldn't get him out of there until after 11, at which point it was too late to knit or watch TV. Tonight is my friend R's birthday dinner (after a surprise birthday lunch!) but since it's a family affair I should be home by 9. I hope to have a picture of an Ogee Tunic WIP tomorrow.

I have to start "training" for that 5K coming up. Not that I can't run 5K but how fast? That's the question. So yesterday I did that training thing where you increase your pace for a few minutes, then go back to your original pace. It nearly killed me. Tomorrow I'm going to go down to the track at lunchtime and run 3 miles and see how long it takes me. I really really REALLY don't want to be last! If I can just get myself up to a 10 minute mile I will be so happy. We'll see tomorrow. I kind of feel like I'm coming down with a cold though and that would be disaster. Can't run when you've got a cold.

04 October, 2006

I'm feeling it

Autumn is in the air. Odd how last week it was nearly 80 degrees and this morning I wore my long pants and full gloves. Not that I mind. It just seems to happen so quickly. Anatomy will be finished in another week, then it'll be a little less hectic around here. I'll still be busy, but I'll be able to clean up my office and start planning for the move in December or January. While our office space is being remodeled (a project that should take about 2 years!!) we will be shunted off to a surge space which, for me and my other suite-mates, is a building reminiscent of those trailer-like buildings they put on school grounds when they don't have enough classrooms. I know that there's a name for them but I'm blanking right now. Ahha! Portable!! Anyway ... pret-ty ugly. I do believe they have air conditioners on SOME of the windows which leads me to believe that summertime is going to be stifling. Ah well ... it's only temporary and who knows, maybe I'll just switch to working from home more often. It will certainly be nice to have a new office when we move back.

I am in a knitting knot over the Ogee Tunic. I have brought needles and some spare yarn in hopes that my knitting pals can help me figure out the pattern. I am afraid that I'm going to get fed up with the whole thing, which I really really don't want to happen. I really WANT that sweater! And so I will rip it out one LAST time, after I learn the not-so-secret secret of purling those freakin' YOs!!! This is what comes of teaching yourself to knit - some questions just can't be answered by a book.

Mr. G. did the Cow Days run in Sacramento last weekend and they gave all the runners Udder Cream which I had never heard of until a vendor put some into a package of yarn I bought. So I keep that little jar next to my chair downstairs for whenever I need it - and you all know how in the winter that wool yarn just sucks the moisure out of your hands! I think he thought he was being Mr. Smartypants when he said he'd bring it for me, but I love that stuff!!

03 October, 2006

A first!

I signed up for my very first 5K race today! Mr. G is coming up for a visit and suggested we do a run and as luck would have it, there's one on October 22 called the Dawg Dash! I am just so excited! I just hope I'm not dead last or get a stitch or something stupid. I don't care if I'm bringing up the rear, but I just don't want to be last. I'm going to train now for the next few weeks and be very vigilant about keeping up with my runs. I've been slacking off with all this hoo-haw with Dad. Now no more excuses!! Public humiliation is a HUGE motivator for me.

Today at lunchtime I walked up to the PO and sent off the Big Blue Sweater ... finally!! There was a little issue getting an address. Problem solved. Sweater on its way. I looked at it closely last night as I was packing it up and I must say (probably for about the millionth time) that it's just about the most perfect garment I've thus far made. Right up there with my Banff. I hope it is received well and worn. A lot.

I was exhausted last night so didn't get much knitting done except for a few rounds on the raglan. I need to bring my Ogee Tunic in to the knitting ladies for some help but class tomorrow is going to seriously cut into my knitting lunchtime. I'll have 30 minutes at least and hopefully someone there can shed some light on my ineptitude (is that a word?). I was in bed by nine, face all scrubbed and reading and I lasted until about 9:40. Seriously tired. I slept like a log. And now that I've taken the fan out of the window, Tink didn't wake up so early. The window is still open but not a foot and a half, so the noise is less.

02 October, 2006

Oh it was brutal

The Seahawks got crushed by the Bears last night, on Sunday Night Football no less!! The prime time show!! Al and John!!!! It was so painful I quit watching it. It's only one game, but still it was such a beating. The good news is that the Huskies won another one this weekend, which makes them 3 and 1 overall and unbeaten in the Pac Ten.

I took care of PJ this weekend but he was a pretty busy guy so we didn't spend that much time together. I picked him up from practice Friday night and made a kid meal - grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. It was good, actually. I can't remember the last time I'd had that little comfort combo. Saturday was a football game which was quite amusing and would have been a lot more fun if it had been a little warmer. I brought knitting so my lap was warm-ish but I really should have brought my Fetching handwarmers. I could have really used them. He had a sleepover Saturday night so after visiting Dad I had a nice evening to myself. Sunday while he was at a birthday party I did a little Nordstrom Rack shopping and got a couple pairs of shoes, a gorgeous turquoise cashmere sweater and a cute little skirt. Not bad.

I really got lots and lots of work done on the Noro raglan and not so much done on the Ogee Tunic. I took a good look at my progress yesterday and I think I am still doing that stitch wrong. It doesn't look like the picture and it's frustrating the HELL out of me!! I got a little response from posting on the KAL blog that I should turn the YO around on my needle. I think I'll practice tonight with different yarn and larger needles and see if I can't figure it out. Otherwise I'll bring it to my knitting ladies Wednesday and see if anyone there can shed some light on it. I'm only 8 rows into the sleeves (again) so if I can figure out the stitch I'm going to have to frog it again. I think if I do that I'll give the sleeves a rest and start on the front. But only if I can figure out the pattern. I just can't for the life of me understand why I can't get it.

29 September, 2006

Bad dog!!!

Look what I found when I got home last night! Not nearly in this tidy of a bundle, mind you, but strewn all over the livingroom floor! That darned Tink! She is like a cat. She hasn't fussed with yarn balls for a long time but she had company yesterday and I guess the temptation must have been too much? Who knows. But this is the companion ball of Koigu, my second Crusoe. What a mess it's going to be to try to rewind it. Maybe I should just dip it in starch and make it a piece of art.

I got the sleeves on holders for my Noro raglan last night and a few rounds of the body going. I tried to take a picture this morning but for some reason the color came out too crazy to even fix with Phototshop. I'll try again. It's certainly colorful.

I don't know how much knitting I'm going to be able to do this weekend since I'm taking care of my friend's little boy while she's on a weekend with her sisters. Lucky for me he's busy with football and birthday parties but there will still be "quality" time for us. Give me strength.

28 September, 2006

Why is this so hard?

I am having such a hard time with the Ogee Tunic! I am on the 5th row of the sleeves. The 5th row of that silly little motif that is driving me crazy!! I work for about an hour on it or less even and I'm fed up. And I am still not entirely sure I'm doing it right, which is also making me crazy. It doesn't seem like such a difficult thing - p2tog. But there's a YO to deal with and the yarn is small and the needles are not very sharp. It's hard! I can't see if I'm doing it right even. I'm going to read the Knitting Nature KAL and see if anyone else mentions it. I haven't seen anything so far.

I'm wearing my Green Gable today. This is the best fitting thing I've ever made. I'm kind of using it as a pattern for the Noro thing I'm knitting. I'm just about ready to put the sleeves on holders. It's going to be bright, that's for sure.

It continues to be amazingly beautiful here. Yesterday was nearly 80 and today another beauty. Things have been so nuts that I haven't been to the grocery store so I had nothing to bring for lunch today and for dinner last night has left over ribs and chili! Omar took a look and said "Shell! That sure doesn't look like your kind of meal". Yummy though. Om got his own place but stayed with me last night. I imagine once he gets his bed he'll be gone. It's been nice having the company. Tink doesn't talk much.

27 September, 2006

No stress ....

well, almost no stress. I took yesterday off to deal with some issues and managed to get everything handled but didn't get all the time off I was hoping to get. Oh well. I did nearly finish my sock. And Monday night I finished my first pair of Fetching using some Cashmerino I had laying around. My SP8 had also given me yarn specifically for Fetching and so I will definitely be making another pair. I tell you, that pattern was right on. I had about 20 inches of yarn left. Aren't they nice? And doesn't my new phone take MUCH better pictures than the other one?

I worked on my Noro sweater last night after starting the Ogee Tunic once again. I have figured out that even when I thought I was knitting YOs correctly I wasn't. I have finally finally come to understand (I hope!!) that you don't knit the wrapped yarn but instead put your needle into the base of the real stitch. I was always knitting into the back of the wrap and letting the stitch fall when it should be the other way. I finally worked that one out with this p2tog stitch in the Ogee Tunic hem motif. It's still difficult but not impossible. I did a couple rows and stopped to work on the easy in the round project. At least I know it's doable now and I can work a bit now and then when I feel like a challenge.

The weather is breathtakingly gorgeous and it's supposed to be nearly 80 today. Seattle in September - can't be beat.

25 September, 2006

Another fabulous football weekend

I swear -- it's been just amazing! The Huskies beat UCLA! 3 and1! What a game. And then yesterday the Seahawks just ran over the Giants. And that stadium was sooooo loud! I had different seats yesterday - the chairman gave me his four seats. They're up higher than my regular seats. And it's a whole different world up there, let me tell you. Totally different. Anyway there was a woman in front of me and I noticed how ratty her hair looked. It wasn't until like the second half that I noticed it was a hideously bad weave! Check it out. You can't really see the details here (even though this camera phone is MUCH better) but you can see the different colors. Just ridiculous!

My sister and her son came Saturday afternoon. I cooked and they visited Gramp. Sunday the boys and I went to the game and Kelli visited and cooked and we had a bazillion people over for dinner when we got back from the game. They're going for one more visit and leaving this afternoon. I sure wish she could stay longer and help me. She did come up with some really great ideas for fixing up my yard and she says she'll spend some time in the early spring and do it. That would be wonderful because I am just totally lame when it comes to that kind of stuff. I love flowers and a beautiful yard but I just don't know how to make it happen.

I finished up one of the Fetchings and started the second one, which I believe I will finish up tonight. They will come in hand in a few weeks, even though it's 75 degrees today and supposed to be sunny all the rest of the week. I notice that it's a little chilly on my morning bike rides. It won't be long now -- it is actually autumn -- when I'm back to long pants and an extra shirt.

22 September, 2006

The WIP parade

I worked again on the Noro raglan last night and got a GREAT deal of satisfaction in starting a second ball of yarn after frogging and reknitting the first ball 3 times. I want to work on my other little projects though because they're all so close to completion. I need to stop being afraid of picking up the stitches for the thumb of the Fetching, don't I?? And my Koigu Toe-up Crusoe sock looks done to me. I was going to keep knitting until I had used up the entire ball but I think it would make them too high. I'll try it on this weekend. The thing is I have to have a few hours to devote to it because when I finish a sock I always start the second one right away even before I tuck in the ends so I don't end up with the unfinished sock syndrome. And that's how it's going to have to be for the Fetching as well.

Anyway -- pictures: The foot looks very weird in this picture but it is perfectly fine. I love making toe up socks because they fit so well. And this newer heel - lllllove it! I think the next socks I (make after doing the second Crusoe) I will use the pretty pink yarn my SP8, Sherrill, sent me and do a lacy one. These socks are going to be super warm because of all the stranding.

Here's Fetching. The purple strings coming out are the threads holding the thumb stitches. This is a super fast knit, especially done on two circulars rather than DPNs, although I'll be using them for the thumb. They're going to be useful for football games.

And finally -- my very bright Kureyon sweater. It looks garish in this photo. The yarn isn't QUITE that bright but I took the picture with my new camera phone and didn't fiddle with it too much in Photoshop. It is indeed going to be very very colorful. I hope I have the nerve to wear it. Nah, I'll wear it. It'll be perfect with a black skirt or pants.

I will have company this weekend plus the football game Sunday. Hope I can get something finished.

21 September, 2006

Screwed by the time zone

I don't often find anything in the Hirschner's "Hot Buys" email because most of their yarn is crap. However, they had Noro on sale for $4.49 a skein!! Are you kidding me? I am all over that! However, Hirschner's is an east coast outfit so by the time I clicked on their link - like 8 am - all of the Noro is gone. ALL of it! Sold out. How annoying is that??

Nonnahs has a link on her blog for a cute little animated short about an obsessed knitter. It's kind of creepy but not that far from reality,eh? I sure wish *I* could knit that fast.

I was really going to town on my raglan cabled sweater last night. Almost back to the point where I ripped it out. Maybe tonight I can get further than I have yet. ;-) I don't know when I'm going to get going on my Ogee Tunic again. I've got my socks, my fingerless mitts and this sweater. Maybe when I finish up the Fetching I will start it. Again.

My nephew has found a house to share with another guy so he's going to move out next Wednesday! Too soon! I wanted him to stay for a few weeks anyway. Oh well. Probably for the best. I drink too much cheap beer when he's around.

20 September, 2006

Oh I am ecstatic!

I did get it! Thank goodness for Google and for other knitting blogs. I Googled for "cables along raglan increases" and came up with lots of useless stuff but one blog, Schmeebot has pictures of her Knitty BPT and the closeups of the sleeves. Bingo! So last night I stayed up until almost midnight and restarted my Kureyon sweater. Here's a picture of it seven rows in -- I've done one cable. It's going to be just gorgeous! I only hope that I have enough yarn. I'm pretty sure that I do.

So ... doesn't that picture look better? The reason I was up so late last night is that I got a new phone - a pink Razr AND a pink Bluetooth headset to go with it. It took me hours to get it all charged and the SIM card copied and the Bluetooth set up and a few voice dials entered. I am still working on the camera and video(!) camera setup but this picture isn't bad. The color is a little off is all. Unfortunately I just killed the battery! I didn't have it in the charger last night because it said that the battery life was much longer than my other phone but I guess I didn't take into account all the chatting I was doing last night and the emailing, etc. I had it in the car charger this morning but after a couple conversations and pictures ... it's dead. So I'm sitting here with a great new phone and no juice!!! Ah well, it's good for me to be unconnected for a while.