28 April, 2006

Another gorgeous day!

Pretty soon I'll be able to bike to work without a jacket ... it's that nice outside! I do hope it continues for the weekend because I really need to get into the backyard and do some work.

I worked from home yesterday, having slept in because Tink had me up in the middle of the night cleaning up after her. I turned the alarm off and slept until nearly 8! I like working from home, but the down side is that I don't get my workout. I am a little undisciplined. To make up for it, I'm going to the gym Saturday morning. And I won't be running today because I am going to be someone's "Special Friend" at their school and I don't want to be all sweaty. I'll work double hard tomorrow morning.

Rather than tackle the frogging of the ribbon x-back tank, I wound the Lorna's Laces sock yarn (and that was a project!) and started my first toe-up sock. I used the Turkish cast-on method which makes a seamless start and it's wonderful. I should have cast on more stitches - I started with 8 and I should have started with at least 10 - because the toe of the sock is rather pointed. It doesn't show when it's on the foot, but while I'm knitting it, it looks weird. I think for the second one I'll cast on 10 and see how that works. It doesn't really matter to me if the feet aren't exactly alike. And I can make these longer on top too. I am always afraid when I'm making them top down that I won't have enough yarn, when in fact it looks like I could make two socks from one 200 yd skein. And I knit another flower yesterday too. What I need to do is go through my stash and find all the little odds and ends of yarn that I can use for flowers, make a bunch and then sew them on some t-shirts and/or tanks. Yeah .. another project, that's what I need.

27 April, 2006

Oh I could just kick myself!!

I was working on my x-back tank last night. I finished the front and had to start work on the straps and thought I'd slip it on once more. I had slipped the body on and it seemed a little big .... but I thought it would work. You know where I'm going with this .... I put it on after finishing the front and realized that it was just too big around! It needs to fit somewhat snuggly so that it doesn't sag when you have the straps the right length. In other words, a combination of not having the gauge quite right and wrong size. If I had made the small it would have worked but the medium is gigantic. I thought I had the gauge right but it was very difficult to count those seed stitches and ribbon yarn is notoriously stretch-prone. While I can definitely be considered a "process knitter", I wanted to wear this!! So I am going to have to frog the thing and start over in a smaller size. I have never been this close to the end and then had to start over before. It's disheartening, but at least it's a quick knit. And ribbon yarn ends are so bloody difficult to hide that I think as I am frogging the thing I'll sew the ends of the yarn together as I come to them. It'll make for a much tidier end product. I guess that's the silver lining.

I was so disgusted I needed to just step away before I threw the whole project, basket and all, across the room. I stepped out on my deck to survey the havoc that comprises my back garden and as I was standing there looking at the tangled mess and wondering if I could summon the strength to tackle it on Sunday, a hummingbird flew right up to me! Gorgeous bright pink head. I was astonished. It must have mistaken me for a flower, ya think? That means I am bee-you-ti-full as a flower!! And then I looked over in the tree at the nesting squirrels and noticed that the blue jays are back as well. It's like a wildlife refuge back there! So then I came inside and knit a flower and felt better.

As Nonnahs suggested, "Lost" is addictive and so I went downstairs to watch the fourth episode on the second disk. Then I packed up the two movies I had from Netflix that I hadn't even watched and put them in the mail this morning along with the finished 2nd disk so I could get 3 by the weekend! I am hopeless. Also, last night was a big catch-up episode, so I recorded that because I don't want to watch it until I get at least caught up with the first season. Hopefully I can get the second season in re-runs this spring and summer. Everyone else will be gnashing their teeth for a new episode but they'll be new to me!

26 April, 2006

It's getting a little itchy

I am feeling allergies already. Maybe because I mowed the lawn yesterday after work, but more probably because so many things are blooming. I was sniffley last night and my eyes were itchy and Tink was scratching even though she had her pills. I think it's going to rain sometime this week so maybe that will tame it down a bit. When I take an antihistamine it works all night, but Tink can only take 1/2 a Benedryl at a time and it didn't last all night last night. If she gets very itchy I can up it to 3 times a day, but I don't like to do that. Last year at this time she had that terrible skin thing so I can't really say how long it's going to last. I hope not long, for her sake as well as mine.

I could have finished my X-back top last night but I got the second "Lost" DVD and so I watched 3 episodes of that instead and that's not a program where you can be knitting anything that you have to really pay attention to, so I did a few more rows on the skirt for the flower outfit. (woohoo less than 20 more rows to go before I make the petal hem!!) I am going to finish up the X-back top tonight for sure though, then really concentrate on getting that outfit finished for Cat's little girl so I can get it out of my hair and do something fun! What I really need to do is go through my stash and get it organized (hah, famous last words, right?). I had bought yarn to make the fancy cabled shrug from IK, but I didn't like the reverse stockinette background so I ditched it and I have enough yarn from that to make a little bolero, which I might do. Then I've got enough sock yarn for two pairs plus I've got tons of recycled cashmere in pink and yellow. Definitely have enough of the yellow to make a shrug but I think I'll start with socks. They would be nice gifts down the road.

25 April, 2006

I am loving this weather!!

I know it's not going to last -- it's just too early in the spring -- but it was fabulous again yesterday and it's supposed to be nice again today after the clouds move. I cut some lilacs from the tree in my neighbor's yard last evening. Only the stuff that was hanging into my yard, of course! There were some branches hanging low because of the blossoms and I kept knocking into them when I got my bike in and out of the little bike garage, so now my living room smells of lilac! It's just absolutely the best smell in the world!! The combination of all the rain we had last week and the sunshine these past few days have made the lawn a jungle already so I've got to mow it again. What is that ... once a week?? Thankfully I've got just a small piece in the front and I use a manual mower. The back has grown so much moss that I don't really need to mow it often, although that's what I must do this coming weekend - get into that back garden and prune some of those shrubs before they take over the whole place!

I got the body of the x-back tank done last night and the left front. The shaping is just great, but I am afraid that I should have done the size small rather than medium. Oh well, better too loose than skin tight I guess. I am definitely going to be able to wear this, it's very cute! And the color - NOT purple or green or pink! A lovely periwinkle blue. I love Deco Ribbon.

24 April, 2006

What amazing weather!

What a weekend! Yesterday it was so warm that I was at the Mariners game in a T-shirt with just a short-sleeved jersey for a second layer and it was HOT! Thankfully I had a hat to keep my face shaded, it was that sunny. Gorgeous! Oh, except the Mariners stunk it up but what else is new?

I got up early Saturday and after giving Tink a nice walk, worked in the garden for over an hour, digging up all of the dandelions on the parking strip and growing along the fence. I was determined to get them all and it looks like I did, at least for now until the other ones start coming out. I was amazed Sunday morning how sore I was! It's so odd, no matter how much you work out and/or run, try working in the garden and a whole new set of muscles get in on the act.

I got the body part of my X-back top finished and today while I'm sitting around at my dad's doctor's office I'm going to start binding off for the arms and neck. It shouldn't take long now. I wore my Flower Power shrug to the open house on Saturday and got lots of compliments. And Tink had a great time being carried around by the kids and chasing them. Perfect - she slept great.

It's going to be a very busy week this week. It should go by quite quickly. I'm doing the vacation count down -- 5 weeks to go.

21 April, 2006

April showers

Oh it is really an April showers day. Saturday and Sunday it's supposed to be in the high 60's and maybe even 70 on Sunday, but last night and today it's rainy and wet. It was too warm to wear my waterproof bike pants so I got a bit soggy coming in. At least it's not windy and, as I said, we have a great weekend to look forward to. I was planning on going to my friend's open house on Saturday and then Sunday do yard work, but Ruth has invited me to the Mariner's game Sunday so unless I get out there early I guess the dandelions are going to have to wait. My neighbors are going to llllove that, I'm sure. Although ... here's a thought .... if I let it get bad enough maybe my neighbors will get sick enough of looking at it that they'll get rid of them for me. Oh probably not. But it's a nice thought -- wake up some morning and in the night the dandelion fairies have visited and taken them alllll away.

I started Knitty's Ribbon X-back yesterday and got a good bit done - one skein's worth anyway. I am so proud of myself for making something blue! Something weird happened though and I can't figure it out. I'm going to call it a "design feature" if anyone points it out. But it looks like I somehow turned it inside out at one point. I don't really know which is the "right" side when you're doing a seed stitch pattern in the round. Both sides look equally nice. I was sure that I was knitting it correctly but I noticed that the stitches looked a bit different at one point and sure enough, I looked inside and it was opposite of what I was seeing in the front. So I will have a 2 inch band of different stitches on the bottom. It will actually look like it was done on purpose but .... oooooo it's going to bug me forever trying to figure out what exactly happened!!

20 April, 2006

It was a little spooky

After the dentist and a hair appointment I just wanted to veg last night so I started watching my first Netflix disk of "Lost". I watched two episodes and I must say, it was a little spooky! But good. I enjoyed it a lot. I don't think I'll be able to completely catch up before even the end of this season but I imagine there will be repeats of the second season this summer.

So, while I was watching I finished the last bit on those socks and hey! I'm actually going to post a few pictures. I have been very lax about posting FOs. Socks are pretty boring so I got Tink in on the act. I like the feel of this yarn but I don't like what it did on the top of the foot while I was making the heel. Big wide bands of color. Other than that though, nice and the second pair of wearable socks I've knit. I ordered some Lornas Laces from Jimmy Bean yesterday. I shouldn't have, but there ya go. Just a teensie bit of retail therapy.
And, because some kind soul posted about a closeout of Noro on WEBS, I managed to snag six skeins at a great discount and made the Flower Power Shrug from IK Spring insert from '05, but I did it this time without the beads. It turned out great! It's still a little cold to wear but I'll be ready for the good weather. Here's a closeup of the pattern and then a longer view.

19 April, 2006

The best duck I've had outside Paris!

I went to a wonderful little neighborhood restaurant last night called The Jones. I couldn't help myself - the duck sounded wonderful and I've yet to find a restaurant that doesn't overcook it or otherwise mess it up. This was just great! The closest I've found to that little place in Paris. My dining companion had an Italian beef dish that came with some great risotto as well. I will definitely want to go back there.

It's supposed to be 64 degrees today. Lovely spring day. Pretty soon I'll be able to run in shorts, which reminds me - I'd better get some running shorts, and some new bike pants as well. My bike tights are so old that they're practically transparent at the thigh! My bike shorts - pretty much the same deal.

I was reading yesterday about someone's "knitting slump" and I seem to have hit the same wall. I can trace it back to that darned flower outfit I'm making for my friend's little girl though. It's not just that it's garter stitch for freaking ever, but the fact that I ran out of yarn with a sleeve left to make, which just irritates the dickens out of me! I got what the pattern asked for, but there ya go. I did get the yarn and thankfully the dye lots don't seem to be that far off. But as I'm doing the skirt I am wondering if I'm going to have enough to make all of the petals on the bottom. Of course I couldn't get another skein of the correct color there either but I got a darker lavender, so if it looks like I'm not going to be able to make it with the lighter color I can use the darker shade for the petals and it will look like it's a design feature. I just need to buckle down and get it done. I hate it when a project becomes a chore. I was looking forward to this because it's so cute but it just ruins it for me when I have to hassle with yarn. It's not going to be perfect, you know? That's what gnaws at me. But I am almost done with the pink socks, which are just lovely. When I finish that - it'll only take a few minutes - then I'm going to cast on for the X-back top and between that and the flower skirt I should be able to get myself out of my funk. Spring/summer knitting is just different. I think I'll do the cotton lace tank from Spring Vogue. I know it's going to be difficult but it's very pretty.

18 April, 2006

My absolutely most favorite flowers in the whole world!!

Lilacs!! They're getting ready to bloom all over the place! I think I know every alley and sidewalk where they grow in my neighborhood. It's one of the best times in the whole year to walk the dog. I have a tree that hangs over my fence in the front so I can see the progress. They are just starting to open, but there's not much scent yet. Soon though!

Yesterday was a looooong day. I had to take Dad to the doctor so very early in the morning and I hadn't had much of a sleep Sunday night because I was just a little worried about my first anatomy exam. And instead of studying on Sunday as I should have, I took a nap. I tried to cram while I was waiting for Dad and for a little bit after I got to work, but just said the heck with it and took the test. I was worried I was going to embarrass myself but actually I did okay for having missed a lecture and not having done the reading. And now I know - read before lecture or you'll never get caught up. So after taking my nephew to his appointment I got home at 7 and was just dead tired. I ate something and managed to stay away until 9 or so. I knew it was too early to go to bed but I was trying to knit the toe of my sock and kept losing count so I figured I'd cut my losses. Of course, I ended up waking at 3 am. I got back to sleep - it wasn't too bad. And now I'm rested up and feeling GREAT! I'm checking out a new restaurant tonight. Could be good.

14 April, 2006

Done with jury duty

Well, that wasn't so bad after all. I did get called out for one jury, but in the end the defense lawyer dismissed me. Good thing too because I didn't like him one bit. He was smarmy and icky.

It was very very different getting up in the morning and going out to catch a bus downtown. It has been so long since I've taken public transportation to work. The bus was clean and not full and it was a very quick ride. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to do it every day. But it was an interesting change of pace.

I sat in the jury room, iPod plugged into my ears to block out the inane chatter, and knit and knit away on my socks. I got one finished and started a second one. I was the only knitter in the whole group. Several people came up to see what I was doing and comment. Yesterday a man approached and said that he noticed I was knitting socks. Did I ever do two at once? And I told him I knew it was possible but when I tried I couldn't get the heel/gusset pick up thingie. He then told me that his wife owns a yarn shop in Issaquah (not very far from Seattle) and that she could help me. Oh joy. He also said that he told her I was the only one knitting there and she thought it odd as well. Isn't it funny - I mean, relatively speaking there aren't that many knitters in the world but we all seem to think that *everybody* knits. Or should. Well, if I ever get up the gumption again to try two at once from the top down I might go out and see her before I do. I am quite happy doing one at a time. They go quickly when you're not dinking around with lace patterns. And it's nice having a teensie, portable project you can throw in your bag and pick up any time. The pattern is easily memorized, you really don't need a tape measure even. I am going to finish the pink ones, then re-roll my Koigu and start again with plain socks and then when I have done those I've got recycled cashmere and I'm going to make cashmere socks. Yummmm, huh?

11 April, 2006

Where did Monday go?

Monday was a blur. I was just running, it seemed, all day. Not literally, of course. I was at work in the morning until 11:30, then had to dash to make a lunch engagement by noon. Then back in the car and out to pick up Dad for a doctor's appointment. And as I was waiting for him I had a knitter's moment. I was sitting there working on my little sock and a woman walked by and said "Ooo, knitting!", and whipped out her project to share. It was a lovely beaded armwarmer. I totally blew her away when I touched her yarn and said "Oh, Koigu." As if I could forget the feel of that!!! Dropped Dad off at his place and took his shopping list and did his grocery shopping, which is embarrassing! A case of Bud and a cartful of Hot Pockets and Stouffer's frozen meals. So, was my day done? Nooooooo. Back in the car, get home and change and pick up the dog and it's off to pick up the nephew. While he was busy with his appointment I did have a lovely nice walk with Tinkerbell. It's great now that it's so light outside and it wasn't even very cold yesterday. Today it's supposed to get up to 60. Since it hasn't rained for a couple days I'm going to have to mow that lawn this evening when I get home because I do believe it's supposed to rain soon, as in tonight.

Tomorrow I have to get up super early because I have to catch the bus by 7:30! ICK!! Jury duty. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't get picked.

10 April, 2006

Another quiet weekend

I'm boring myself. Quiet weekend again. Oh well, I guess I'm saving up for a wild summer. Yes, it was raining all weekend so I didn't have to beat myself up about not getting any yard work done. Got Tink to the groomer Saturday and did chores and knit on the Flower Power Shrug, which I finished up Sunday. It's so cool! I've got to take a picture of it. I am definitely going to get a lot of wear out of it. Saturday night I watched a movie and worked on the socks. The more I work with that KnitPicks yarn the more I like it.

Sunday, more rain. Tink and I had a nice walk though. I had to find out how far it is to the bus stop because I have to take the bus to Jury Duty Wednesday and Thursday. Ick!! I HATE taking the bus! But honestly it's the only sane way to get downtown during rush hour and I've got to be in the jury room by 8 am. Torture. So she got to have new sniffs along a different route. Then we went to the mall for some essentials. I was so proud of myself that I didn't buy a thing, not even a pair of shoes on sale, that I hadn't come for. Yay Shelley. I'm saving myself for some cruising clothes and a bathing suit next month.

And that's pretty much it. I watched another crappy movie last night. I haven't been doing very well choosing movies lately. This one was "The Weather Man". I mean I like Nicolas Cage but this was a depressing movie. I think I'm going to stick with comedies for a while.

07 April, 2006

It's finally here

The day I can start running again. It's just going to be so painful! I just know it. And I'm going to have to start off slowly - run 15, walk 15, run 15, walk 15 ..... even so, it's going to hurt. Nice thing though - it does feel sooooo good when I stop. And I do know that it's not going to last for long. In two weeks I'll be back to normal and no more pain. And it is that knowledge and only that knowledge that makes it doable at all. Because did I mention IT HURTS!

Typical spring weather - one day it's lovely and sunny and the next cloudy and ccccccold! It's supposed to rain all the weekend, which is fine because then I won't have to do yard work. But then again, things are starting to get ugly. Unless you LIKE dandelions that is. Maybe while Tink is at the groomer tomorrow I'll do a little weed eradication. Or not.

Knitting has gotten a bit frustrating lately. I have gotten to the part of the first sleeve of the Noro Flower Power shrug where I need a smaller circular needle, so I am waiting for my delivery from Knit Denise. I ripped the Koigu sock off the circulars -- I still can't stand to look at that yarn -- and cast on for a normal, vanilla pair of socks (1 at a time, thank you very much) with some pretty sock yarn I got from Knit Picks. I got about an inch of the ribbing done. It's beautiful yarn, by the way. I definitely will use the Koigu yarn but after wrestling with those socks and then finding that the sock I worked on was gigantic, I just need to get it out of my eyesight for a bit. It's going to be make a beautiful pair of PLAIN socks. Finally I'm working on the skirt portion of the flower girl set and that's where stamina comes in. It's just 83 rows of garter stitch. I can't do that unless I'm watching a movie or something - it's just too boring. Still waiting for the final skein to finish up the top. I bought Deco ribbon yarn in a color other than green, pink or purple! Yay for me!! It's a beautiful light blue. I bought it to do the X-back top from Knitty. I wanted to do it last year but never got around to it. This is something I can wear on the cruise, if I get it done by then, or work on while I'm on the boat (if I feel the need to knit, that is).

06 April, 2006

Only one more day to go!

Tomorrow I get to start running again. I am soooo happy about that! But I know for sure that it's going to hurt a lot the first week or so. I'll just have to start out slowly. I was up to 45 minutes before I had to stop and I am figuring it shouldn't take me more than a week or so to get back there. However, it's just gym day today. I have had to stop listening to the Ricky Gervais podcasts at the gym because he makes me laugh so much I lose my strength! It's difficult to lift weights when you're laughing.

Quiet evening last night. I had to leave work early to take my dad to the doctor, and then I had to do a bit of work after I got home. I had stopped at the store to get some strawberries and saw some lovely soup bone for Tink, so she was happy as a clam laying in the front in the sun gnawing on her bone. I can't wait to get her up to the groomer Saturday. She really really needs a haircut. Lucky for me she's the type of dog that loves to be brushed so she stays relatively clean and knot free. But she just looks better all clipped up. I am going to take before and after pictures of her this time because I have let her hair grow quite long so that they can give her a really good Westie cut.

05 April, 2006

It's one of those crazy, unexplainable things!

Monday night as I was sliding into the booth at the restaurant I hit my elbow on a ledge that was sticking out of the wall. And it hurt!! Since then I've managed to whack it again 3 times!!! Yesterday in the shower at the gym, again in the evening on the bathroom door and AGAIN this morning on the closet door!! It's just so weird. It's not like it's swollen or anything, so why do I keep whacking it? Now it just aches.

I was pretty tired yesterday after work. It was lovely and sunny though so Tink stayed outside and basked in the sun after her walk and I was able to read the paper in peace. I finished up the back of the shrug and picked up and knit a few rows on the sleeve. I realized I'm going to have to get a 9" cord from Denise Needles so I can work on that sleeve. I don't want to have to purchase a size 13 12" circular. They're too expensive and I wouldn't use it very much. It makes much more sense to buy a new cord for .. what ... $3, then I can have allllll the sizes in a useful circular. I wonder why they didn't make that size in the first place?

I wonder if Nonnahs' move went well? I know it's been raining like crazy down in SoCal. Hope it didn't start until all of the good stuff was inside.

04 April, 2006

Confirmed. My life is WAY too boring!

Had a really really fun time last night. The limo was one of those super stretch jobs, white. I think they look funny because they're so darned big and there was only four of us rattling around in there. The inside had two regular bench seats like a normal limo - one back to back with the driver and the other facing front. But all along the looooooong side is another bench and across from that a bar and two TVs. The ceiling is mirrored and there are neon strip lights. It's garish but definitely gets you in the mood. We got to the restaurant and got introduced to the psychic - world renowned astrological psychic, to be precise. While we were waiting for our appetizers and drinks to arrive I went first for my reading. The poor guy was literally struggling to find things to say! I'm serious!! Here are some of his gems: Don't bottle up my anger. [ya think?] Don't buy a car any time from July 4 through July 28. I am going to change something about myself in August, perhaps my haircut. I don't look my age. The names Katrina, Tod and Rex are going to mean something to me. [Sounds like the name of a gay folk trio, doesn't it?]. When asked what was going on with my (sucky excuse for a) love life, he said "What? Didn't you meet someone in February!??" Uh nooooooo, says I. "Well you were supposed to meet somebody in February!" Great. Guess I missed him, huh? Is he coming around again?? Anyway .... the other women had just really cool readings. Ruth is supposed to come into great gobs of money. Now why didn't I get that??

Poor little Tink had been alone all day, I was only home for about an hour to shower and change before I went out so when I got home around 9 or 9:30 she was ready to play. Me? A leeeetle drunk and not in the mood to play fetch the squirrel. I gave her some cookies and let her outside while I skimmed the paper. She came in about half an hour later just covered in dirt. Digging. That's what she does when I won't play ball with her. I guess she's got all of this pent up energy or something. Oh well. She is getting groomed Saturday.

03 April, 2006

It was a bonus!

I totally spaced on daylight savings time so it was such a nice surprise when I got the paper Saturday morning and saw that I got to turn the clocks forward! Whoooo! The dark days are behind us. I was also thrilled to wake up to rain Saturday because that meant I didn't have to do yard work (I am so lazy when it comes to that).

I am looking forward to a totally girlie evening tonight. My friend Ruth won this at an auction a while ago. A limo will pick us up (four of us), take us to dinner and then .... wait for it ... psychic readings!! Oh baby. Does it get girlier than that? I was also instructed to "dress sexy". I don't need to be told twice. I think it'll be leather pants and a red silk cami.

Saturday I ran some errands and then worked on those darned socks -- well sock singular now -- until my hand hurt from that stupid ribbing. I put it aside and started my beadless version of the Flower Power Shrug in Noro Kuryeon. It looks fantastic, by the way. I'm almost done with the back. Anyway, by Sunday when I picked up the sock again I realized that I was going to run out of yarn, which is odd considering I'm making a woman's sock, right? But that sucker is HUGE! I put it next to my first pair and it's like for a man or something. I checked the gauge. Yup, right on. So I don't know what the heck is going on but I am sick to death of the yarn by now and I hate hate hate the pattern down the foot. In fact, I don't like knitting lace socks. Perhaps something this complicated was not the project to pick up for my second sock only. I am going to frog that and put that yarn out of eyesight for a while. I have a couple skeins of pink multi that I got from KnitPicks that I will use to make something simpler until I really have the sock deal down.