31 October, 2007

A sneaky little start to holiday knitting

As naughty as Tink was Monday night, she was an angel last night and just sat nicely, with her head in my lap and let me knit for as long as I wanted. I decided I needed something new, so I experimented with the Rabbit Tracks pattern that my old SP, Baa Bonny Belle sent me ages ago. Of course I still haven't the guts to try the gorgeous white mohair she sent, but instead used some coned mohair blend I had laying around and got a good start on it. It was a nice, quiet, constructive evening.

Busy busy busy day though ... and I've got to get back to it.

30 October, 2007

My needy puppy

I can't say for sure what was up with Tink last night, but she was just so needy! I think I maybe knit 4 rows on Mike's sock. She just wouldn't let up. Sitting next to me and if I wasn't touching and petting her she was grabbing at my hand with her mouth. She needs a friend. Not to say, believe me, that I would want an UN-cuddly dog. Better that she wants to cuddle even when I'm busy. I've had an un-cuddly dog and I didn't like it.

I've been brainstorming holiday gift knitting. I should put pen to paper and write out what I want to do and then look at it with a critical and realistic eye and see what I can expect to be able to finish.

Day 3 of a sinus headache. It's clear and cold and that always wreaks havoc on my sinuses for some reason. My run yesterday seemed to help a bit. Today I'm going to go up to the post office to send my sister's scarf so maybe I'll be relatively pain free when I return from my walk. Fingers crossed!

29 October, 2007

It's true!

It came back to me. No stage fright. Everything went well AND I went looking for new boots and got this killer sexy pair of black boots and a new dress because ..... well because it looked good and I wanted to feel confident. Makes sense, right? So every went well generally, except for the fact that there was an open bar and the guitar player overindulged which meant that sometimes he didn't seem to be playing the same song. I'm serious. Oh -- and I had to sing back-ups on songs I didn't even know. That was interesting. Other than that though it was fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon. I would only hope that there could be some more rehearsal. I completely understand that it's a drag to have to rehearse songs you already know with a new member of a band but that's just life.

AND not only that but I finished something! Woohoo! I finished the ruffle scarf for my sister. I had EXACTLY the right amount of yarn. I mean ... it was perfect. And I love that yarn SO much! I want to make other things from it. A whole sweater -- yeah but I have too many projects. This would be wonderful for Christmas scarves and hats though. Just yummy!

Although the weather cooperated I did not do any work in the yard nor chores around the house. I was that busy! Getting ready for the gig Saturday and shopping and getting my nails done. And Sunday I took Tink to the dog park and she got muddy from head to tail. Then it was bath time, fiddled a bit on Ravelry, finished up the scarf and it was time to get ready for a concert I was going to Sunday night. So -- let's keep our fingers crossed for a good weekend next weekend so I can get some work done!

26 October, 2007

A much less accident prone night

So I quit channeling my inner blond, finally, and managed to get a few things done without totally screwing up. I walked up to Weaving Works at lunch to get the yarn for my sister's Ruffle Scarf. I made so many of those for Christmas gifts a couple years ago ... or was it last year??... anyway she wanted one in black. I was thinking Rowan Kid Classic but when I got to the yarn store it didn't feel quite as soft as I had remembered, so I just kept touching yarn until I found Indiecita Baby Alpaca Brush by Plymouth. Super soft with a nice halo. I got nearly done with the 3rd row (out of 4) of the ruffle. Then it's just two rows of single crochet on the other edge to make the ruffle base wider and there you are. It's really a lovely scarf. I wear my green one ALL the time.

Well, count down to Saturday night when I am, after all, singing with that band. Only doing 4 or 5 songs myself, which is just dandy with me considering the lack of rehearsal. I'm working like a fiend trying to memorize those songs. You know, I never ever used to get stage fright but I think just this once, I might be a little scared. I am hoping that once I put foot to stage and hand to microphone it'll all come back to me. If not ... well, let's not even go down that road. It will happen like that and it'll be fine. Thank goodness it's a party rather than a nightclub so people are going to be a little looser.

25 October, 2007

An evening of boneheaded mistakes

I have heard it said many times that if you're going to make a mistake, make a big one. I took it to heart last night. Or maybe I was channeling my inner blond? I had a dentist appointment and so took off from work at around 2:30. I got to the parking garage and realized I didn't have my keys, that I had left them on my desk! So I called the department administrator but she doesn't have a master key to my office! I had to run all the way over to another building to get the key, then dash back to the garage and drive like crazy. I was only 10 minutes late, but still .... I hate to be late!

I had a nice night of knitting planned. First I finished up the sleeves for my Scoup de Jour. Since I am a little short on yarn I thought it best to sew the shoulders together and do the ribbing before I sew any other parts together so I can have the maximum amount of yarn to knit with. So I sewed the first shoulders together, ever so carefully. And then realized that I had sewn WS to RS. *sigh* Good news is that it is a small shoulder seam but nevertheless I managed to take out a stitch or two of the back shoulder as well!! With head screwed back on correctly I got the shoulders both sewn on and then realized that I wasn't up to measuring and counting to start picking up the stitches along the fronts, so I picked up the sock.

I had finished up the heel flap at lunchtime and was quite anxious to get those gusset stitches going! I got them all picked up and then I'm looking at my work -- what the heck?? Something was very very wrong. It just didn't look right and one of my needles was almost in a circle. What the heck? So I looked in the book again and realized that I had neglected to turn the heel! What a dope! So I carefully tinked back the instep stitches - luckily for me it's a simple rib pattern - and turned the heel and THEN got the gusset decreases started.

I've decided on the yarn for my sister's Ruffle Scarf that she wants. She said while shopping she saw a scarf and almost bought it until she heard my voice in her head telling her that I could make that!! So I'll walk up at lunchtime and get the yarn. I'm going to use Rowan Kid Classic. It'll be perfect. And a quick project to make since it's crochet. A nice little break.

And I still have that start of a felted bag project from the yarn my Secret Pal sent. I've decided to rip it out one more time because I do want to start from the bottom. I think my mistake before was that I was using too long a circular and I couldn't pick up the necessary stitches. If I shorten the cord I should be able to pick up the stitches and work up, which is how I want to make this particular bag. I even sketched it out! Picking the button is going to be tough because she sent me three beauties.

24 October, 2007

My super power

Yes, I have a super power! Whenever I walk out of my office .... my phone rings!! Isn't that awesome? Now what can I do with such a super power, I am wondering. Hmmmmmmmm ...

Yesterday was an incredible day - over 70 degrees and just gorgeous! Not that I took huge advantage of it, since I was at work all day. I'm going to run today and, of course, it's going to rain. I just need the weekend to be relatively nice so I can get in the garden and ... mow the grass one last time. I will need to rake leaves in the back too, although they are going to be continuing to fall for a few more weeks. It's nice to start getting them up before they're soaked and heavy with rain.

I drove in yesterday because I had an errand in the morning and so I decided to stop at the grocery store on the way home - most efficient. Yes until I realized while I was in the store that I had left my phone at work. Back I went in rush hour traffic to retrieve the phone. No land line at home and my sister down in California in the fires -- I wasn't about to leave my phone at work.

I am starting to think about getting a jump on my holiday knitting. My sister has asked for two things - and her birthday is in December so whichever one I get done first she can have for her b'day. Still, I've got a few other people that I'd like to make something special for - a couple hats and maybe a nice scarf or two. At the rate I'm going though - I've not had a true FO for a while now. Time to step it up!!

23 October, 2007

It's good to be home

I had a lovely vacation - really I did. BUT I was watching wildfire coming ever closer Sunday night and it was a bit scary. I was very happy to be able to leave, although I hated leaving my sister. Thankfully she has friends and a boyfriend close by so I don't worry too much.

I got the leg of Mikie's sock finished on the airplane and am nearly done with the heel flap. Won't be long now and I can start using my new book and knit two at once!

Work is very very VERY busy. The weather here is unbelievable - at this moment it's blue skies and 71 degrees! That must be a record. And tomorrow -- forecast says 55 and raining. Yeah -- that's Seattle for you.

18 October, 2007

It's pouring rain

and a big storm is on its way. I am thankful I am heading south! That's not to say that it doesn't rain or storm in SoCal but it's not supposed to be doing that this weekend!

I got lots of work done yesterday and had some lovely surprises. First of all, the Rowan Calmer I ordered from Elann arrived and the color is perfect! I didn't take a picture but will do when I get back so I can add it to my Ravelry stash. I also found 4 BIG bunches of wood on my porch! That was a GREAT surprise. I think they were from the band leader of band "B". He works construction and they were bits of construction wood. Really nice. Burned great.

So - back to work for another hour or so and then I'm off.

17 October, 2007

Will it never end????

I swear .... I remember now more vividly than ever why I prefer top down, in the round construction. These freaking sleeves are taking FOREVER!!! Also I should have done them first, like I usually do when I make a pieced sweater. Well so ... I knit on those sleeves for 3 hours last night. I'm working on the cap. And here's another horrible thing -- it looks like I'm running out of yarn. Can you believe it?? I have options - I definitely have enough to finish the sleeves, even if I might have to work both ends of the last ball to finish them. I will have to get another ball and hope the dye lot isn't off too much and use that for the ribbing and button band. It'll be a feature.

I'm working from home today and multitasking like a crazy person. I did go into the office for an hour to do some work that can't be done from here but otherwise I can handle most everything else from here AND get laundry done. Bonus. I've got to go into the office first thing tomorrow to finish up a couple things an then off to sunny SoCal. I'll send pictures from my phone.

16 October, 2007

Wow - that didn't last long

I checked back with Elann's web site yesterday afternoon and ALL of the Calmer was gone! Even the super ugly colors. I was logged onto their site and as soon as 9 am rolled around I ordered. I think a lot of people must have been waiting for that. It's nice that Elann is on the west coast because you'd have to get up at 6 am if you were in NY if you wanted to get in on some of that action. It's kind of a pay back for every time Hirschner's has something decent in their closeout email and by the time I open it and go to the site it's sold out.

No my Scoop de Jour sleeves are NOT done and I am ashamed of myself. I want to wear that darned thing!! I am motivated to get it finished, believe it. It's just finding the time. I worked late, then dashed home and up to the post office to get my Secret Pal's package posted, then relaxed and read the paper. Then by the time dinner was consumed and a few phone calls done there sure wasn't much left of the evening for knitting. I'll be very disciplined tonight. I've got to get laundry done so I can figure out what I'm going to take Thursday on my little trip to SoCal and knitting and doing laundry works out well. I love going down to visit my sister this time of year. It's still nice and warm and sunny and here it's definitely autumn. I get to wear skirts and T-shirts and sandals all weekend. Ahhhhh

One of the beautiful things about Seattle and my commute this time of year are the trees. The leaves are turning and when it's not cloudy, like this morning, the sky is so very blue in contrast to the leaves. Just gorgeous.

15 October, 2007

I Kitchnered my first toe!

Yes I did, I got out my book and sewed that sucker up! Yeah! Then I looked closely at it because one thing was bothering me as I got near the end of the stitches -- I had an extra stitch on one of the needles. Now I was pretty sure I had started with the same number of stitches on each needle but there's a chance I didn't, right? Anyway I was happy because it looked pretty good! Pretty good UNTIL I looked very closely. What was that little loop there? About three or four stitches into the toe closure here's a loop sticking up! Not good. A live stitch is what it looked like and by golly ... it's a live stitch! Holy cow! I must have accidentally slipped one of them off while I was looking at the book or something. I don't know. I carefully put it back into the knitting bag and this evening I will, with steady hand, catch that little live loop and corral it away into the inside of the sock somehow. Good heavens! It is SO lucky that I was inspecting that toe so carefully because I could very easily have missed that teensie lone loop.

I broke one of my yarn rules this morning but how could I resist? Elann has Rowan Calmer at 50% off! Sure, the four colors are not the best but one of them, Sour, is a color I particularly like so I got six balls which will be enough for a simple cardigan or ... or maybe Fifi (this picture is using I think the color I bought), which I have been aching to make ever since I saw Nonnahs' gorgeous version. And then after I checked out I looked at my Elann account and I am less than $12 away from earning my $50 certificate! Oh .. yarn yarn yarn ... my stash grows and yet my time for knitting does not. Sad but true. I could be getting to that point of having more yarn than I could use in a lifetime. Nah ... I have seen pictures of some serious stash. Mine is bush league.

I had a busy weekend and managed to get lots done including mowing the lawn for the last time this season (I hope), and I ran errands and did a little knittin', got a package ready to send off to my secret pal. I'm going to visit my sister Thursday for a long weekend and Friday I telephoned the airline to make sure I could bring my knitting so to that end, after I sewed up the toe of sock number 1 I got a good start on sock number 2 to bring along. I think tonight I'll finish up the sleeves of that Scoop de Jour that has been languishing yet again.

It was a terrible terrible terrible football weekend. Terrible. I don't even want to talk about it, it's that terrible. Awful. And I was at the game and we left before it was over. Ugly.

12 October, 2007

What a week!

Wow, once again I am very glad it's Friday. This has been a heck of a week. It was a pretty good rehearsal last night. I have a lot of work to do and getting those guys to book a rehearsal is tough! Everybody is going every which way. The guitar player is crazy - and not in a good way - the bass player's wife is in the hospital plus he's going to be gone this weekend so we'll just have to rehearse with the keyboard player and vocalists, OR just the guitar player and drummer, which makes it pretty darned hard to learn new material. Well ... enough complaining. It sure keeps me running, that is no lie.

I am looking forward to my little weekend with my sister coming up. I got online yesterday to find out the definitive word on knitting needles on airplanes since I want to take my socks with me for the plane ride. I figure that way I can really knock them out quickly. Plus socks are small enough to knit while sitting in a plane seat.

It's going to be another killer weekend. I don't know where I'm going to be able to find a few hours to myself to mow the lawn and run errands and learn a few more songs, let along knit! I feel so sorry for the dog when I'm so busy like this. She gets to spend about 30 minutes with me and then back to solitude. Thank goodness she sleeps so much.

11 October, 2007

Thank goodness for Wednesday knitting ...

or I would hardly be getting any knitting at all done this week! I got the sock decreased all the way down to the end and now I just have to Kitchner stitch it together and get crackin' on the second sock. I don't know, the second sock always goes faster than the first. Some people just hate the second sock but I don't mind at all. That being said, as soon as I finish this pair for Mike I'm going to try to do a pair at the same time, following the instructions in Knitting Circles Around Socks, which could work for me. I tried it last year following instructions for some sock on Knitty and ended up ripping both socks out and going one at a time. I am a visual person. I need good clear pictures.

Had a pretty good rehearsal last night. Got another one tonight with the band that actually has jobs. It's a bit nerve wracking, all the work I have to do. But I know one thing for sure. It's going to be FUN!!

It's been wet and blowing here lately but my lawn has been growing. I couldn't do anything about that while I was sick and now I am just praying for one dry day so the grass will dry out enough so I can mow it one last time before the winter. It looks like we might have a dry Saturday so ... fingers crossed. Oh!! And I got invited to the Seahawks game Saturday night (edit) of course I mean SUNDAY night ...- super good seats. Now if they only play a bit better than last week.... ergh

10 October, 2007

And the sock goes on

I finally finished the foot portion of the sock last night and have started on the toe decreases. I've got noon knitting today so might be able to finish it there. I won't be knitting tonight (rehearsal), nor tomorrow night (another rehearsal), nor Friday (dinner party). My life has all of a sudden gotten so busy! I have to make a date for myself just to get some alone time with Tinkie.

After a phone message to the leader of Band "B", who supposedly want me to sing with them at a party on the 27th and we've yet to rehearse any of my songs(!), I got a call back and we hashed out a rehearsal schedule and made a definite list of my songs and then others for the other two singers that I have to learn back ups for. This is a HUGE list, as you may well imagine. His problem, besides being a scatter brain, is that he's trying to phase out a keyboard player and guitar player and phase in a new keyboard player and guitar player without either of them knowing about it. The job on the 27th is being done with the OLD guys so we have to do songs they know. Well ... it's super complicated and my life has now become very complicated. I definitely have my work cut out for me these next couple of weeks. Then there's Band "A", with no bass player in sight, who want me to sing with them twice a week. To what end? We have a birthday party booked in January, which is quite a ways away. Tonight Band "A", Thursday Band "B", Friday fall over in a puddle of exhaustion. If I didn't have to work for a living life would be infinitely easier, yes?

And work -- we're winding down the big class - final exam on Thursday. I have gotten all of the parts in order and all I have to do now is make 166 copies of everything. Except. Except someone decided this would be a good time to put the copy machine out of order for some maintenance or other. What now? I think I'll sit tight and have another cup of tea and do some deep breathing. Maybe knit ......?

09 October, 2007

Am I shallow?

So I was out shopping Saturday - before the food poisoning incident - and ran across a display from Juicy Couture at Nordstrom. Now I am totally and completely wanting .. nay CRAVING one of these bracelets!! They are so adorable! And the charms ... too cute. I must stay out of stores!!

No knitting last night. I made the mistake of starting a really good book, then the phone rang and *boom* ... away went the evening. Tonight.

08 October, 2007

Is the saying "Bad things come in 3s?"

Well whatever or however it goes -- I am feeling it. First my back goes out. Then I get the flu for a solid week. I was just feeling better, went to work Friday and Saturday was having a great day and, you are not going to believe this, I got food poisoning!! A very mild case, thank goodness. But still, if you've ever had it even a mild case cuts the legs out from underneath you. It was gruesome! I'm laughing now because of the bad timing but at the time - not so funny.

So -- on to better subjects. I knew I was getting better last Thursday when I was awake at 1 in the afternoon rather than sleeping as I had been for 5 days before. I wanted to knit! Wonderful! So I worked on Mike's sock and all was well in the world. I got the heel turned and on to the foot. This is the first top down sock I've made in a while and I am going to learn the Kitchner stitch this time. There is no reason not to. I am sure it's very simple and I like the look of the toe. It's almost as nice as a toe-up toe. I knit a good bit on them Saturday when I was recovering from my little tummy problem but nothing yesterday. I WAS going to rehearse but luck was not with us. Doug lost his power about 30 minutes before I was going to leave to head over there. So I just watched the Seahawks stink up the joint, read the paper and lazed around until it was time to go to a Canadian Thanksgiving party. Which was nice.

It's going to be a heck of a week, if all the things I've got going on my schedule actually happen. Which hasn't been the case but ... you never know. Plus which I am going to finish a sock and cast on for another one! For sure!! AND I've got to start thinking about my Secret Pal's second package. Big week.

03 October, 2007

I have not fallen off the earth

I am just very sick with the flu. I've been in bed since Sunday. Hopefully I'm on the mend.