30 May, 2006

26 May, 2006

I'm on vacaaaaaashunnnnnn

Officially off to vacation start yesterday at 3 pm. Got most of the project done that I wanted to and I feel good and can put work right out of my head, which is paramount to enjoying time off. However, I was waiting for my hair appointment and my mobile phone rang. The caller ID was a colleague at work ... swear to god. And I answers, "Well, you didn't let me get too far away, did you?" Thank goodness the people I work with are good natured - I mean you almost have to be to work with students (especially undergrads, which we do from time to time). At the students' request she wanted one last little thing before I took off, and I have just now taken care of it. So. I guess we can say that my holiday starts .......NOW! ;-)

When I got home last night there was yet another package from my in-freaking-credible Secret Pal. See how cute ... she kept telling me it was rabbit season and this package is yarn, needles and a pattern for an adorable stuffed bunny. I've never made a toy, so it's new territory for me. I am going to be so stocked up on wonderful projects. I just love it! Thanks sooooo much, Secret Pal!!

My friend Ruth just stopped by to pick up Tinkerbell. I hate being in my house without my dog, but she and her boy and their exchange student are going camping and they're leaving today so I had to give little Tink up. Not that she gave even a backwards glance, mind you. She just loves their dog, Jasmine, so she's going to be in doggie heaven all the time I'm gone. Which is good. I wouldn't want her pining. And lucky for me I've got my sweet nephew staying with me and we have SUCH a good time. I swear -- if I didn't know for sure I had never had a child, I would think he's mine, we're that much alike. Last night was pizza and stupid movies and plenty of beer. Tonight we're going out for dinner and to a play. I'm actually going to take him to see the improvised Shakespeare that I saw a couple weeks ago, since he's taken improv classes in LA and I know he'd love it. So that's our night. Today with the doggie gone I'm going to get my laundry done and get all packed and knit knit knit without having to get up and down opening the door, throwing the ball, etc. I shall finish up the toe-up sock and cast on for the second so I can have a little project and then work on the X-back. I seriously doubt I can finish it but you never know.

Next blogs will most likely be from my phone so expect crappy pictures. Which could be a blessing - I don't know how clear I want pictures of me in a bathing suit all white skin.

25 May, 2006

Woohoo it's Thursday!

I've decided to definitely take tomorrow off as well even though I can't get a massage. I've got plenty to do to get ready and it'll be nice to have a whole day to clean house and get packed and not have to worry about it Saturday. Then all I'll be doing Saturday is going to the spa to get a manicure and pedicure and my eyelashes tinted (oh yeah! No running mascara) and for the first time, leg and bikini wax. I'm a little scared about that ... it's going to hurt. But it should definitely be worth it.

Last night I got the body of the X-back done. I may be able to start the front tonight but I'll definitely have time to knit to my heart's content Friday. Tink is going to be gone on her camping trip with the people that are taking care of her, so I will have peace and quiet and just may be able to finish it. I stayed up late last night but couldn't knit while I was watching "Lost". I was surprised because I was so tired from work, but I stayed up through the whole two hours. Excellent show.

24 May, 2006


I just love them and I noticed when I was walking Tink last night that they're blooming all over! Such pretty colors.

I can't say I will be sorry to leave this weather Saturday. Rain, rain and .... rain. Oh. And thunder showers. I even turned the heat on yesterday evening! My sister says it gorgeous down there so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way.

I have so much to do at work - well, so much I want to get done before I leave. And I've decided for sure to take Friday off even though I can't get hold of my massage therapist. I know she had some surgery but I heard she was back. I'll try again today. But anyway, massage or no, I'm taking Friday to get ready so I've got today and tomorrow until 3 to get as much work done as I can. My poor hand - my mouse hand - from the one project I'm most concerned about. Of course, I could have been working on it these last few months but nooooooo. Oh well, I really don't have to have it done until the 20th of June, I just want to have it done before my meeting on the 6th. If it doesn't get done I'm not going to let it interfere with my vacation!

There are about 2 more inches of the body of the X-back top to go before I start the armholes and dividing the front. Tonight is the season finale of "Lost" - a 2 hour extravaganza!! -- and I don't envision doing any row counting during that. I truly could get that thing done for my trip if I work on it before 9 for a couple hours, then tomorrow evening and Friday. If I don't get it finished I'm definitely not going to take it with me.

And now ... I'd better work!!

23 May, 2006

Nothing much going on

It's Tuesday. It's threatening to rain. I have a long walk at lunchtime today and I wore suede pants so I am hoping it isn't pouring when I have to do my errands. What are the chances? Three more days of work though! Woohoo! I've decided to take Friday off as well, if I feel that this particular project I'm working on is in good enough shape. And I'm almost positive it will be, since I'm the one to decide. If I take Friday off I can have a massage and have a whole day to get my house all cleaned up (I don't like to come home to a dirty house) and also I'll have lots of time to choose what I want to take with me, rather than having to do it in a rush Friday night. I know I can get a massage on the boat, but I now have four gift certificates for massage so I might as well use them. Why, you ask yourself, is she hoarding massages? Well it's not on purpose. This particular therapist doesn't work on Saturdays and unless I want to go to West Seattle during rush hour (which I emphatically do NOT), then I have to do it on a work day. Often times, working at the U, we get odd ball holidays so I don't have to take time from work to do it. This is not one of those times. It will still leave me with two vacation days in June, should Mr. McK actually be able to spend more than 24 hours. [what are the chances?]

I worked a little bit on my ribbon x-back top. It looks MUCH better this time around. Size wise, looking like it should fit and not hang on me, and I've been sewing the ends of the ribbon together rather than trying to weave them in later, and it's much tidier. Like when I made the Big Blue Sweater for the aforementioned Mr. McK -- I grafted all of the ends together since it was 100% wool yarn and it made for a lovely, tidy garment. If I work on it tonight I should be able to get the main body part done and maybe even start on the armholes and fronts. It does move right along, being done on size 11s. I think I am being a bit overly optimistic though about having it done for my trip and I don't think I want to take it along with me -- too big a project. I am thinking I'll finish up my toe-up sock, I'm on the ribbing, and get the second one going and then I can work on that when I need a knitting fix. A small, portable project. And not a heap of wool sitting in your lap.

22 May, 2006

A big change in the weather

Wow! It's raining like crazy. In fact we had thunder yesterday and it came down in buckets! I'm really glad I got some help this weekend with my yard. With the forecast for rain most days this week I sure wouldn't have been able to do anything, then I'd have to wait an extra week because of vacation. So. Whew!

Yay! Vacation countdown -- This time next week I'll be getting ready to drive to the boat. Oh I just can't wait! I got my sister and I signed up for a couple of excursions. On Tuesday in San Diego we're going for a brewery tour and tasting. I can't remember the name of the brewery - San Marcos? - but they make a beer called "Arrogant Bastard" that is very tasty. Wednesday I didn't book anything for Catalina, but Thursday in Ensenada we're taking a winery tour. I know - weird - a winery tour in Mexico but hey ... it could be good and it beats the heck out of hanging around in a tourist town and there will be drinking! Of all the excursions we could have taken, you notice we took the only two that were primarily drinking and eating. We figured that we'd have the best chance of escaping children that way. Not that there's anything wrong with children, but on vacation .. other people's kids ... we want to avoid it.

I had a pretty low key weekend -- yes I am still chuffed about the carding at the liquor store. Can't help it. But other than that it was uneventful. I had a sore right arm and hand from this blasted repetitive stuff I'm doing with my computer mouse. I have a project that I really want to get buttoned up before I head out for vacation. I couldn't work in the garden with the guy I hired and I didn't want to do much knitting for fear of exacerbating the problem. I did, however, work a few rows of a swatch for the Rock Star Cardigan, having received a skein of Andean Silk. Oh and I just love the swatch and the yarn! I am still working out the kinks with the lace pattern. The selvedge is slip stitch and I haven't yet figured out what I'm doing that one side looks right and the other ... not. Plus I did a whole 20 rows (one repeat) and hadn't been slipping the YOs correctly, so I'm on the second 20 row repeat and I think I'm going to do a third or however many it takes until I can do the pattern without a mistake over the measly 27 stitches I've cast on. I've almost got it. When I get a good swatch I'll take a picture.

21 May, 2006

Do NOT read this if you're drinking anything ....

I won't be responsible if you end up spraying your computer monitor with it.

Yesterday I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. There I was, a gorgeous Saturday evening and no date, no prospects, and not to put too fine a point on it, none of that good stuff that comes with dates since February in Paris! Early February at that! So I figured if I was going to throw myself a pity party I might as well have cocktails. Off I went to the liquor store. As I stepped up to make my purchases the guy asked me for my ID. I thought he was asking the person behind me. "No, you", he said. So I dug it out and handed it to him. I swear, the look on his face as he looked at the date, looked up at me, looked back down at the date and back up at me, a blush spreading over his face. I thanked him profusely, asked him if he'd like to marry me [nope, already spoken for] and went out of the store feeling like a million bucks! Wow. I can barely even remember my 21st birthday, so I was quite flattered. Perhaps I should spend more time in dirty sweatshirts and tight jeans? It just goes to show you, sometimes when you're feeling bad, along comes the universe and give you a pat on your little tushy and says "There, there. You still got it, babe."

19 May, 2006

Ahhh finally!

The wind died down yesterday afternoon and with it, my allergies! Oh what a relief! So Tink and I went out last night to enjoy the evening. Today it's cloudy and cooler, which is fine by me. Although I am hoping it doesn't rain so I can go to the street fair on Saturday or Sunday, plus do some yard work before vacation.

I got my little package from KnitPicks yesterday. I had purchased some sock yarn for my secret pal. It's a bit garish .... it didn't look that circus-y in the picture. Oh well, they'll be "fun" socks. And I also got one skein of Andean Silk, which I am considering using as a substitute for the Alchemy Syncronicity that is suggested for the Rock Star Cardigan. I started a swatch - size 7 needles. The pattern is a 12 stitch, 15 row repeat. It's not very difficult - yarn overs and K1S1Psso, mostly. I just have to give it some good consideration - whether I will commit to making such complicated sweater on fairly small needles. It's not going to be a TV project, probably not even a listening to music project. I just love that pattern! Well ... still thinking about it.

18 May, 2006

And then the mail came....

There I was, a virtual prisoner in my own home yesterday. Sun shining, breeze blowing a bazillion pieces of pollen up my nose if I dared venture outside. Of course I had to give Tink a little walk and the only other thing I did outside the house was a quick run to the store to get some elastic for the skirt portion of the flower outfit. So I was in a nasty mood .... but then the mail came! My Secret Pal strikes again!!!

What a clever creative woman she is! She told me to look out for a "bug splattered" package. Isn't that cute! And I love dragon flies too. Ah, but inside ... the theme of this one is "Cozy". Inside I found all sorts of cozy things. The pattern from Knitty for the Cozy Shawl, size 8 circular needles [she's right, you never can have enough of size 8s], Elann Sonata to make the shawl, chocolate, cute little tissues and a handmade card, plus what you can't see .... a candle, some soap and a cute little tea bag dish. Just a lovely package and it brightened my day a lot. THANKS SECRET PAL!!!

I am also very proud of myself because I finally finally did the finishing on the Flower Skirt & Top. It is very cute. The picture doesn't show the pretty little flower buttons at the shoulder of the top but I think you can get the idea. I do not like sewing garter stitched pieces together. It is impossible to get the mattress stitch right. I think if I ever (and it's highly unlikely, mind you) make another totally garter stitched thing I will be certain to put a stockinette selvedge on it so that it can be seamed correctly. So, that's one huge weight off my shoulders. I also finished up the shrug I was making for my friend. I didn't take a picture -- it's only a shrug, albeit a very nice one. I have decided that I'm going to take a break from making things for other people and just make a few things for myself for a change. In that vein I cast on for the X-back top again last night a got a few rows done. I really hope I can finish that up for my trip.

17 May, 2006

What a shame

We are having absolutely STUNNING weather and I am cooped up inside. If I go out I start sneezing, coughing, my eyes itch. The allergy season is just killing me this year. I did work on that shrug and I can probably finish it up today if I can stay awake. Really, the Benedryl I have been taking just knocks me out! I am just in a rotten mood. I can't run because I can't breath. I can't work in the yard because that just puts me over the edge. I am hoping, nay praying, that whatever it is that's triggering this will go away, and soon!

In between bouts of snoozing yesterday (I kind of feel narcoleptic!) I managed to reorganize my stash. I was going through it getting little bits and odds and ends to add to my goodie box for my secret pal. I got her the Knitted Flowers book and even though we all have little bits and bobs of things to make flowers with, I thought she might like something not from her own stash. Anyway, I took that opportunity to reorganize, putting all the crap yarn in one clear box and all the good yarn in another. I threw out (!) my oldest UFO, which is a raglan sleeved cardigan that I made with a recycled sweater and other odds and ends, all in greens and blues. It is stripped about every 3 inches, randomly. Well, can you imagine all the ends to weave in? I got the entire body done and part way down the first sleeve and then put it in a basket and haven't touched it for over a year. I looked at it and gave an honest thought to it - would I ever really finish it? Could I see myself weaving in all those ends? The answer was a resounding "NO!". It was therapy. I didn't feel bad chucking it.

And my "stash", such as it is, is miniscule compared to many. I have enough purple wool to make a sweater, still in the plastic, except for a start on that very complicated cabled shrug from IK a few issues ago. I started it but realized that I didn't like the reverse stockinette background and that I would go crazy if I tried to make the whole thing. So really that's the sole entire project worth of yarn I have. I have two balls of Koigu that I will use to make my next pair of socks and I've got recycled yellow and pink cashmere, that I intend to use for socks as well. The lovely mohair that my Secret Pal sent me is also another project, and I have three balls of Bouton d'Or Eskimo that I bought in Paris in February that I intend to use for a scarf and hat set for next winter. Other than that, it's just the odd skein left over from a project, or bits of skeins. I think I'll look at "Odd Ball Knitting" and see if there are any projects I would actually make from there. Now and again I make a flower and that's a nice way to use up a bit of yarn. I just can't make myself actually throw out something like 1/2 a skein of Cashmerino Super Chunky even though I have no idea what to use it for!

16 May, 2006


I am home today. My allergies are unbelievable! Bad, that is. It's either that or I have caught the cold/virus thingie that's going around. I didn't even knit yesterday, except for a little bit on the rubbing of the toe-up sock. I was just tired out after taking dad to the doctor yesterday and did a little reading and went to bed early. Maybe today I can put the flower girl top and skirt together. Or maybe I'll just snooze all day. It's gorgeous and hot and I am not happy that I don't feel like enjoying it!!!

15 May, 2006

Hot Hot Hot

It is supposed to get up to the mid-80s today! A bit odd for this time of year but I don't think anyone is going to be complaining much. Oh .. except me because my allergies are just awful!! I don't know why in the world they're so bad this year, but I am suffering and even though I took a pill this morning I'm still itchy and stuffy. Ick!!

I went out Saturday for dinner (nice little French restaurant at the Market) and then to an improv show. I wasn't looking forward to that but it ended up being hilarious! Instead of improv done in a Shakespearean way, as it was described to me, it was a company that improvised an entire play based on Shakespeare. For example, they used the two characters looking alike and getting mixed up. Well anyway ... it was very funny and I truly enjoyed it.

I didn't put the flower outfit together. I didn't do much knitting really. A bit on my sock and a good bit on the shrug. My nephew was over for dinner Friday night and we did a little drinkin' and it is not a good idea to mix knitting and drinking and we all know why from experience. Saturday I did manage to knit a bit on the shrug and a little more yesterday evening. I still have about 20 inches of stockinette to go though. I want to finish that up so I can get going on the X-back again. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it for the cruise.

I am waiting for that sock yarn still and as soon as it comes I'll be able to get my first package off to my Secret Pal. I want to get that off before my vacation. Speaking of which -- I bought some shorts this weekend and a little denim jacket. I wanted new sandals but honestly, I couldn't find a pair I liked! I found some that were okay, but nothing that I just HAD to have! That is not usual behavior for me, being such a shoe hound and all. I am going to have to go downtown next weekend where there is a bigger selection than at the mall.

12 May, 2006

Friday at last!!

I have no idea why this week has just dragged by, but at last it's Friday. It took all my strength of will to get out of bed today since my good night's sleep was interrupted by a massive allergy attack at 12:30 am! I can't for the life of me figure out why that would happen, but I woke up with itchy eyes and totally plugged up. So it took a while for the Benedryl to kick in and for me to get back to sleep, then Tink decided that 6 am was THE perfect time to get up. Ah well .... I can sleep in tomorrow.

I've been invited to see an improv group Saturday night. Their "hook" is that they do their bits in a Shakespearean way. Now I must say quite honestly that this sounds like a one joke evening. I may have to pull a little acting job myself to look like I'm enjoying it. Or ... or maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. Want to take bets?

My major knitting goals this weekend are, first and foremost, to sew the flower girl outfit together and get it out of my life!! Then I want to work on the shrug. I am on the boring just plain old stockinette for about 20 more inches, then the other cuff. I can't really work on my X-back until I finish this since it uses the same needles. Well I could, since I'm using Denise Needles, but I'd rather not. I am still just totally in love with the fabric that this Micro Cable produces. It is just begging to be a summer top. I got a link to this pattern from somebody's blog which I can't remember now. If I could get the gauge and the fabric isn't too firm, I think this would be really nice from that yarn. I will have some left over so I can see if I can get the right gauge.

And that's that. My toe up sock is just there whenever I have a second. I love that I can try it on and choose how tall I want the top. The second sock will be perfect since I'm using this first one to get the whole top up concept. And I swear I will never make another sock any other way, it's that cool and easy.

11 May, 2006

She is off and running!

Wow! My secret pal is going all out from the start!! Here I am sitting here still trying to decide what to include in my first goodie box for my spoilee and I've already received two things from my pal!! Yesterday I received the first of themed packages she intends to send, and oh is it fabulous! Honestly, the softest mohair I have ever had. It is gorgeous and oh so white. I have never even dared knit with white yarn. Also a pattern for a Rabbit Tracks scarf, the appropriate needles and a beautiful stitch marker. The card is very cool as well. I suspect that she made it, creative girl that she is. I am very very VERY lucky! Thanks Secret Pal, soooo much!!

It was just a good day yesterday. The weather was lovely and sunny and I had a gggrrreat run at lunchtime, like I had wings on my feet! This morning there are low clouds but we are promised sunshine by the afternoon and it's supposed to get progressively nicer through the weekend. Bonus! Pretty soon I'll put the table and chairs out on the deck and I can sit there and knit.

Last night I worked a bit on the shrug, coming along nicely and I am still SO in love with that Micro Cable. If I had all the time in the world I'd get some more to make a T-shirt. It would be cool. I'll see if I can fit it in. I bought some sock yarn for my secret pal and also bought a skein of the yarn I'm thinking of using for the Rock Star Cardigan. That way I can swatch from a single skein to see if I like the yarn, can get the gauge and, most importantly, think that I can make an entire sweater in a lace pattern. I am going to do a BIG swatch because if I commit to making this cardigan I want it to be Perfect because I know it's going to be quite the project. While I was watching "Lost" I worked a bit on my toe-up sock. Pretty soon I will be putting the ribbing on the cuff and casting on for the second one. This next one I'm going to cast on 10 or 12 stitches so the toe isn't so pointy. This first one I only cast on 8 and really, it doesn't look pointy on the foot, but off of it - well, it looks like an elf shoe!! I don't know why I thought I needed to make it so small but that's okay. Knit and learn, right?

10 May, 2006

My SUPER Secret Pal

Wow! She's fast!! I got a little something from my Secret Pal yesterday. A very cool card and a beautiful little knit pouch filled with lavender. Ymmmmmmm!! I can see that she is also fond of the Turkish cast-on. Thanks, Secret Pal!!!!

I didn't do any knitting yesterday. I dashed home, gave Tink a quick walk and then had to rush out for drinks and dinner. Had crepes again. Odd, the last time I was at that restaurant on a weeknight, mind you, it was packed to the rafters. Last night we were the only ones there. Which was fine -- the service was much better than last time.

I don't want to be at work today AT ALL. I am so ready for vacation it's not funny. Seventeen more days to go.

09 May, 2006

Too many projects

I think that even if I didn't do anything but knit I would never be able to accomplish all that I want. For example, I ordered the pattern for Alchemy's Rock Star Cardigan. This is going to be a long project and quite frankly I don't know where I am going to put it in the queue. I don't know about this pattern though .... it was expensive, as patterns go, at over $9 PLUS the same amount for "shipping and handling". Puleeze ..... stick it in an envelope and charge me $9.50? But I wanted it. I've had my eye on this cardigan for months and I've found a yarn at Knitpicks, their Andean Silk that should sub quite nicely. There was no schematic with the pattern though. I thought that was odd and rather annoying. The measurements are strange. When you look at it, the front is very open and yet they say it's 36". I am wondering if they are suggesting that for a bust size and not indicating that it is the finished bust size. I guess I'll write the company after I check with Craftster and see if anyone has actually made it.

I didn't do much knitting last night. I picked my nephew up and took him to an appointment so that eats up much of my evening. Thankfully I've got my socks that I can toss in my purse and keep chugging away on. I love that about knitting socks, especially on two circulars. And I have decided that I like the toe-up method best of all. Now that I have the Turkish cast-on down there are no toes to graft or 3-needle bind off, just one little thread to weave in. That you can make them to fit perfectly. Also, you can get the length of the leg just where you want it. I keep ending up with lots of left over sock yarn. With the toe-up method I can use it up and make ankle socks for golf. Swweeeeet. Can't stand to have all those little left-overs hanging around and heaven knows we can't throw good yarn away!

I bought tickets to Zoo Tunes last night for a few of us to go see Shawn Colvin and Dar Williams. I haven't been to a Zoo Tunes concert for years. They end early but that's okay because most of them are on a weekday anyway. I saw Shawn Colvin at a Bumbershoot Concert a few years ago. She was in Memorial Stadium and was just blown away by the crowd she got. I really like her.

08 May, 2006

Tink the Adventure Dog & Secret Pal 8 Begins

It was quite a weekend, starting Friday, which by the way turned out to be a totally awesome day! Around six or so I got a nice juicy bone for Tink and a book for me and off we went to sit outside at the Ravenna Ale House to celebrate Cinco de Mayo .... oh okay, not really to celebrate but it was a good excuse to drink margaritas, which I did. I didn't get much reading done but that's okay. Tink got into her bone and I chatted and we got home around 10, refreshed and relaxed. I was sitting there in my chair minding my own business, reading, when my friend A telephoned. He'd been awaiting the birth of some rat babies [don't ask] and he happened to have a bottle of tequila, could he stop by for a quick one. Well ... who wouldn't say yes?? We work together so there's always lots of gossip and we yapped away, drinking tequila until a) the bottle was empty and b) it was 4 am. ergh I don't think we missed a person though - we dished on everybody. Too bad I can't remember any of the juicy parts.

The good part is that I was so debilitated on Saturday that I couldn't do anything but lay around and knit between naps and I finished the flower girl outfit!! Yay! Can you say amen?? Holy cow, this thing has been such a weight. It still needs to be sewn up and it's going to be absolutely the cutest thing I've ever knit but I think the running out of yarn thing just really dragged me down. I HATE that! Anyway, here's a picture of it laying out on the table with strings attached. After it's sewn together and the elastic put in I'll take another photo. You can still see how cute it is though.

Sunday I had promised to take my friend's little boy shopping for Mother's Day, so I took Tinkerbell over with me to hang with her doggie friend, Jasmine, while I shopped. She loves to romp with Jasmine and I get the added bonus of having a tired dog the rest of the day. Anyway, the boys had left the gate ajar and when I couldn't see the puppies in the back I went out and found the gate open and no sign of the dogs!! AND they live near a busy street. Off I went in one direction and the boy in another, searching for the dogs. I found them not too far away. A nice lady had taken them off the street. It's a very doggie neighborhood so people are aware when they see a stray. Plus of course my phone number is on her tag. Whew.

I was avoiding sewing the outfit together on Sunday afternoon so after mowing the lawn (talk about avoidance! I mowed rather than sewed!) I decided to frog the x-back and then my treat for doing that would be that I could swatch for K's shrug. Here's my x-back in it's frogged glory awaiting another try.

I bought some synthetic yarn from Elann for the shrug because she wants it to be machine washable and the yarn looked pretty nice. Elann never lets me down, I must say. I just LOVE this stuff and have to take back all the nasty things I've said about acrylic yarn. I bought Scholler and Stahl Micro Cable and it's just gorgeous! It has a really wonderful drape and a subtle sheen that makes it look like rayon. I think the shrug is going to be pretty nice and I keep thinking of other things to make with this. I must hold myself back though. I don't need to buy anymore yarn! I think I'll have to make some kind of deal with myself to finish off a few projects before I buy anything else. Yeah ..... we know how well that works, don't we? Here's a picture of the shrug so far. Too much light in the picture but you get the idea anyway.

So ... big blog today. It's the beginning of Secret Pal 8! I can already tell that this one is going to be the best! First of all MY secret pal is local!! I think that's really exciting. It'll be nice to have somebody local to talk about the LYSs and such. And the secret pal I'm going to be spoiling, Karen, not only has a blog but actually uses it unlike some other secret pals. She just moved and she's lamenting the fact that she can't knit. Now that's my kind of gal! The hostesses did a great job for me (and I imagine for everybody else) hooking me up with two great pals. Let the fun begin!

05 May, 2006

A couple of reviews

No knitting yesterday so today I'm going to do some reviews instead. Kate & I tried out a new restaurant in the neighborhood last night called "Hot Dish". It's in a spot that has had like a new restaurant every six months for the past couple of years. Before it started playing musical restaurants the building used to be the Santa Fe Cafe which was a hugely popular place. I could never figure out why they closed down. It was always packed. But they had a second location up by the Zoo and they closed the Ravenna one down. Since then it's been several different types of things but nothing has "taken". This one, the Hot Dish, is a homestyle place serving meatloaf and chicken & dumplings, etc. I had the meatloaf and it was decent. The drinks were a bit on the small side .... you know, when you order a Cosmo you expect to get it in a BIG martini glass. These were small. I hope this place stays around. Since it was only the second night it wasn't too busy and we met the owner and the cook and the bartender and the waiter -- all really nice. I give it a thumbs up.

Now I want to talk about the piece of crap book that I got a few days ago. There is a writer in Seattle that wrote a popular (at least among the knitting group) book called "The Shop on Blossom Street". I hadn't read it but I saw "A Good Yarn" at the store and picked it up, thinking it would be a good read. WRONG. It's terrible!! Awful!! A travesty! Written in the style of the most horrendous romance novels. yuck I'm going to throw it away!

The 5th of May - Cinco de Mayo - Got to have a margarita. I hope the weather stays nice so I can take Tink down to the Ravenna Ale House and have a drink outside. Keep your fingers crossed.

04 May, 2006

It's going to be warm today

It's supposed to get up to 75 degrees today! Don't you love it? My allergies have been really kicking my behind though. I read that the trees are blooming rather later than normal this year and that the pollen count is high right now, so I guess I'm allergic to trees. I'm not allergic to the sunshine, thankfully.

I didn't work on the flower top last night, even though I had best intentions. I got the final "Lost" disc so I watched the last four episodes and worked on the socks. That catches me up with the first season. And I've recorded last week, which was a "catch up" episode, and last night's episode so by the end of the weekend I should be right up to date ... well pretty much. I had to be careful not to listen too carefully to the radio when I was waking up this morning. The morning show personalities always talk about what happened the night before on the show and I didn't want them to ruin the surprises.

Oh my god ... I certainly am living a booooring life if all I've got to talk about is a television show. I think I need to shake things up a bit!! I'm going to start Friday night. I'm going to go down to the local bar and drink tequila in celebration of 5th of May. I am assuming it's going to be nice enough to sit outside so I can take a book and my dog and see what happens.

03 May, 2006

Ahhhh that's better

Miracle of miracles ... I finished the petals on the skirt last night! One seam for the back and sew up the casing for the elastic and that's done. I'm going to pick up the stitches for the second arm tonight and this weight is going to be off my shoulders this weekend!! Despite all my kvetching about this outfit it is adorable. I don't think it would have been such a chore had I not run out of yarn. Oh! And now I have a new baby to knit for!! My friend and her husband (who live in England now) are adopting another baby. No more garter stitch outfits though. I've learned that lesson. Maybe I'll make some cute hats like Nonnahs did. There seems to be an abundance of adorable baby things to knit. And we all know it's always cold in England.

I also watched a few more episodes of "Lost". I think there's another four episodes but I'm not sure if the disc I have coming is extra material or four more episodes. I hope the latter.

Another Secret Pal exchange coming up soon. I think this will be my last one for a while.

02 May, 2006

Self indulgent

I was just a lazy girl yesterday. Oh, I went to work. I ran. I picked up my nephew. I walked the dog. That was it though. I didn't even knit last night. I just laid on the couch and watched more episodes of "Lost". I'm getting close to finished. I *think* I have two episodes left on this disc and then there is a sixth one but I'm not sure if it's bonus material or more episodes. It sure has sucked me in.

Tonight for sure I'm going to finish up the flower skirt. I only have six petals to go. Then I can pick up the stitches for the second arm of the top - I got another ball of yarn and the dye lots don't see too off at all but I'm not going to take any chances and I'll do the whole arm in the new ball. I should be able to get that finished up by the weekend, or AT the weekend anyway. I am going to buy some yarn today from Elann to make a shrug for my friend K for her trip to Ireland in June. She'll need it.

It's sunny today and by Thursday it's supposed to be over 75. I like it!!

01 May, 2006

Hooray Hooray the First of May!!

And we all know how the rest of the rhyme goes.

I had a mixed bag of a weekend. Friday is was 72 degrees and gorgeous but when I awoke Saturday morning it was chilly and threatening rain and when I got out of the gym at 11 it was sprinkling. That turned into just plain pouring in another hour, and it was 52 degrees. Twenty degrees difference! It put me in a terrible mood, especially since I had to go clean my Dad's apartment, which is like the chore from hell. I put a good face on it though and got it done, but was in such a bad mood by the time I was done that I just crawled under the covers and took a nap until I had to get up to go out. I had a girlie evening - a couple Cosmos and a chic flick. Actually I really enjoyed the movie - it was "Friends with money". There was one actor that was driving me nuts - I knew I had seen him before but it wasn't until we were walking out of the theatre that I figured it out. He plays the elder Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. I can't remember the actor's real name but it was him and he was quite good, as were all of the actors. Totally enjoyable and it made me almost forget about the whole crap day that had proceeded it.

Sunday of course the grass was much too wet to mow and I had received three "Lost" discs in the mail Saturday so that was my evening sewed up. I did chores and then turned the heel on my toe-up sock. I am a bit confused about that. It's just a short row heel and it went fast but I am confused about the whole wrap and turn bit and when one goes back to pick up the wrapped stitches, well I don't see any wraps!! So it left some odd little holes. I am going to have to do some research on that whole phenomenon. I am wondering if perhaps "wrap and turn" isn't kind of like "pick up and knit" where the terms doesn't actually reflect the action.

I watched 4 or 5 episodes of "Lost" while I worked on the flower skirt and miracle of miracles I am nearly done with it and I'm going to have enough yarn. I did half of the petals - I only have six more to do, then I can finish the top and do the seaming and yay I will be finished!! Hopefully by the end of the week.