28 November, 2007

Countdown to Hawaii

Oh wow ... I have been SO busy! Trying to avert disasters, and tie up loose ends - and I'm not talking about knitting. Since the hotel has only dial up access, which I am not going to want to use, I am working frantically to get ahead and head off anything I might have to address while there. Just working the meeting it going to be time consuming enough. I was so hoping to have some time on the beach but it's not going to be much time. Monday night I biked home in pouring, freezing rain, arriving home soaked to the bone. It is cold here! In fact, it might even snow Saturday. So it's just going to be glorious to be in the tropics no matter what I'm doing!

I finished up the basket weave scarf and I'm working on a headband (rather than a whole hat) to go with it. I'm only about 8 rows away from finishing that. I'm going to take my socks and yarn to make a hat for my sister and some fingerless mitts for a friend's little girl. I think that should do it for knitting projects. Oh ... but maybe I'll bring that bamboo along just to futz with as well.

I got the dog washed last night and the package put together for my Secret Pal and put it in the mail this morning on the way to work. It's heavy!! What the heck did I put in there? Heavy stuff I guess.

Well, I'll send pictures from my phone when I can - at least tomorrow from the airport when I'm having my pre-boarding cocktail. I'm taking my camera too and if the wireless connection in the hotel lobby is good I can post some pics while I'm there.


26 November, 2007

Secret Pal Revealed!!

Saturday I got my final Secret Pal package from Sara at Handy-Crafts. She has the most adorable baby! I don't know how she found the time to be such a super spoiler as well!!! She sent me some absolutely gorgeous Mango Moon yard, also some bamboo which I have been dying to try out, a cute little book and some note cards as well as a very handy tote bag. Thanks SO MUCH!!! I love everything! I can't wait to try out that bamboo too ... but it's going to have to wait until a few more holiday gifties are finished up. Although .... gosh it would be a perfect yarn to take to Hawaii ... hmmmm ... can't hurt to have it with me at least, eh?

Thanksgiving was great! And I had a nice long rest. The dinner came off without a hitch. Tink was perfectly mellow and a good dog. I ate soooo much ... I couldn't move after dinner. We sat and watched not one but two movies. I felt like a beached whale. Good though -- it was good!!

Despite my best intentions I did not get out into the yard. I did get some good knitting work done. Recognize this? Yup ... Isabella. I got one of the side seams sewn up. Holy cow ... what a HUGE hassle this is!! I know I sound a little whiny here but jee-eepers! Why oh why didn't I think about sewing this up before I got knitting on it. It's ridiculous! It would be SO easy to do this in the round. Why would anyone choose to have this much fiddly finishing work to do? Maybe I can get another side sewn up tonight. I hope so. It would be perfect for Hawaii but I'm not taking it along if it's not finished. Now that would be silly.

I did get that basket weave scarf finished and started a matching head band yesterday while watching the Seahawks beat the Rams. Yay!! Good game.

I also was going to get my last secret pal box sent off but again - ran out of time. I've got all the goodies so it's just a matter of putting them in the box and sending it off. Must do it by Wednesday.

21 November, 2007

It's still got the hold on me

Okay ... another evening spent with the Kureyon. It's just so purty ... all those colors.

I need to have a knitting friend close by to strong arm me into sewing up projects or something. Don't you think that Isabella would enjoy a trip to Hawaii? Hmmm? All I need to do is sew her up!! Well yeah and knit a bit of trim, but I could do it in a weekend day. You know, I think I have rationalized away sewing it up in mattress stitch. Size 3 needles ... no way! So I give myself permission to just whip stitch that baby together! I want to be able to take that with me. Oh if I could only just put the scarf down .....

It is clear and very chilly here in Seattle. The grass was all frosty this morning and people were scraping off their windshields. I even had my glove liners in my biking gloves this morning and my hands were numb by the time I got to work. C-c-c-cold! The bridge was frosty and scary but the puddles weren't frozen so it must have been just above freezing. A little out of the ordinary for us. But I heard that the sunshine is supposed to stay for the weekend, which would be lovely. I could get some yard work done as well as knitting.

I got a little tiny heart tug this morning on my way in .... usually I go to Paris for Thanksgiving and I am missing my friends a lot. This is one of my favorite weeks to be in Paris. In the neighborhood I used to live, the Marais, the Christmas decorations are put up the last weekend of November and it's one of my super favorite things in the whole world, watching them go up. Okay well Thanksgiving is early this year so if I was there I would be missing that anyway. I won't be going in January this year either. Ah well .... life goes on.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all [yes, a day early I know]. I am cooking this year but only for 8. It'll be a piece of cake. The hard part is going to be cooking in a "strange" kitchen. I am cooking at my boyfriend's house. (Well ... it's been 3 months now so I guess I can say it without jinxing the whole thing. No, really. Considering my outrageous and ridiculous dry spell and the considerable bad luck I had been having. After 3 months this one seems to be sticking.) It'll be a traditional feast. I never get tired of turkey dinner. Mmmmmmmmm! Plus he's got a high def plasma screen TV in the kitchen so I can watch the football while I'm cooking. Oh baby does it get much better than that? Oh yeah, just add champagne - a nice little bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte already chilling in the fridge just waiting for the cook. I'll just have a little easy knitting sitting around - perhaps the socks. I can smell the turkey already!

20 November, 2007


I love spicy food. Love it. So yesterday evening I went to the grocery store to pick a couple fire logs because it was so cold and I thought it would be nice to have a cozy fire downstairs, and while I was there I saw Spicy Tuna Rolls in the sushi case. Since I really had nothing very exciting at home for dinner I decided to treat myself to some sushi. However, these spicy tuna rolls were something special. I ate one or two and ... whooo .... my mouth was hot hot hot! I figured maybe I had put too much wasabi into the soy sauce so I diluted it and tried another piece. Ouch! H-h-hot! I had some beer but that didn't cool me off so I waited for a few minutes, got a soda, waited until the burning subsided and tried one more time. Maybe I had gotten just an extra-hot piece. I could see the red pepper flakes in the tuna but it seemed like it was more than that. Perhaps they had put hot oil in with it? I don't know but frankly, I had to give up. It was THAT hot. That's not spicy. That's freakin' spicy. Who can eat that and taste it?? Plus which -- my tummy this morning is burning. I'm off spicy sushi for a while.

Knitted on the basket weave scarf again. I can't help myself!! It's the Noro --- what color will come out next and will I like it and will it look good next to this color? It's a sickness. Tomorrow I'm bringing my socks to Noon Knitting. I've got to break the hold that scarf has on me.

19 November, 2007

What a fabulous weekend!

I mean it! BOTH my football teams won -- and both beat Bears! How crazy is that? The Seahawks game was so incredibly exciting! I had a bazillion chores to do yesterday so I had set it to record and then started watching it about an hour in, so that way I could skip the commercials. Just a great great game!

I have another whole great huge rant about musicians and I was going to just rant away, from the top. But you know what? It's hardly worth it. I'll just give a quick sketch and skip the in depth rant. Suffice it to say (reiterate is more like it) that in general, musicians are jerks. Here it is in a few words - despite rehearsing Sunday the 11th AND Friday night before the gig, the offending members managed to mess up every single one of my songs. At one point one of the guys had me singing the song into his ear right before it was counted off because he couldn't remember it!!! The leader was absolutely LIVID, and came to me at the beginning of the 3rd set on his knees and apologized and said that it was the last time and we were going to fix it (in other words somebody is getting fired for sure!) before the next job. I mean ..... it was just so infuriating! What a colossal waste of time. Why rehearse if you're not going to take the time to learn the freaking song?? Well ... see, I didn't want to get going on a rant. It's going to be fixed. In fact, we have a new guitar player all lined up and he's an old friend of mine and he's totally awesome so it's now just a matter of taking the time to rehearse. The good thing about him is that I know he'll take the tapes and learn the songs BEFORE rehearsal and he won't forget them either. Other than that -- it was such a fun night Saturday. The bar was packed, and lots of my friends came to see me "come out of retirement" and the mistakes weren't that obvious if you didn't know what to listen for. I got to wear a killer outfit ... it was just too much fun! The leader and the other singer and I sat around afterwards, having our post gig drink, and chatting and then we were hungry ... well, I didn't get to bed until 4 am, just like the good old days. But I was much younger then. It was pretty hard to get started yesterday.

So - knitting now. Last Wednesday I needed some easy therapy knitting. Do you ever come home and say "I need to knit"!"? That's what I did Wednesday. I had had a trying day and I just felt like I needed to sit and have the wool and needles in my hands and I didn't relax until I did. But I didn't want to work on the complicated lace scarf so I pulled out some Kureyon and started the basketweave scarf. Kureyon is so hypnotic. I just keep going, waiting for the next color. I'm using size 8 needles so it's slow going but it's going to be a super warm scarf. I was thinking about making a hat to match but it' s going to depend on how long the scarf gets at the end of two skeins. I have 4 skeins - two of each colorway. Maybe at the end of the two skeins if it's not long enough I can make the matching hat and then use the rest of the yarn for the scarf. Well, I don't have to decide now. Hopefully tonight I can resist picking it up and instead sew my Scoop de Jour together. Bets?

15 November, 2007

Yes, it was Wednesday

and YES I remembered my knitting! I got some good work done on my two socks at lunchtime knitting. That yarn ... the colors are SOOOOO beautiful! I'm just anxious to get down the leg and get to the heels so I can do it just this once and (hopefully) be forever converted to 2 at once socks. After getting that down - say two or three times - then I'm going to try toe-up 2 at once. Well, a girl must have goals, right?

I skipped the run yesterday. I swear I'm fighting a cold again!! And running when you have upper respiratory symptoms is no picnic. I run for FUN .... oh well yeah and a little pain ... but mostly FUN! Wheezing and gasping are not part of the fun.

Yesterday afternoon one of the ladies that works right down the hall from me came scooting up to my door and knocked. I let her in and she was all jumpy. Seems a mouse had run into her office! We are in what is known as The Annex, which is a converted construction trailer. All of "us" are displaced persons while the building we used to inhabit is being renovated. This building is a mess and, oh yes just happens to have a rodent problem to boot. So poor lady, she was on the phone trying to get someone to come set some traps or something. Lucky for her she had keys to one of the vacant offices nearby her own so set up shop there. I can still see those nasty sticky little traps outside her office door. Yuk.

Last night I worked some more on the cashmere lace scarf. Finished ball 1 and got going on ball 2. It's not going to be very long but, as I said, I'm going to block the dickens out of it so it'll be a nice, deluxe neck piece that somebody will be sure to love ... even if that somebody is me!

Work is still so busy busy busy. I've gotten almost everything done for the meeting coming up and have begun work on what is turning out to be a HUGE project that I was truly hoping to be done with by the end of this month. Well it's only the ... erm ....15th so if work hard I just may get there.

I also need to finish gathering goodies for my last Secret Pal package. I've got a couple good books, some yarn, but I need girlie goodies. Oh! and get this ... for her first package I sent the book Knitting Circles Around Socks and I wanted to be a good secret pal and include the two size 2 circulars with it and the sock yarn. Knit Picks has quite nice Addi knock-offs so I ordered two of them but, of course they were out of stock so her package went without them. Finally they got the stock, informed me the needles were now in stock did I want to order them? Suuuurre! I got the package yesterday -- ONE needles. Not 2, one. *sigh* So my current plan is to enclose the single needle with her last package and then order another one from Knit Picks and have it sent directly to her. Well, my heart was in the right place, right??

13 November, 2007

Pitiful, paltry pile of string

See that little pile of Rowan Calmer? That my friends is what is left after knitting the button bands and neck bands on my Scoop de Jour. I was very VERY happy that I hadn't sewn the whole thing up before adding on the bands. I knew I was going to be close with the yarn so I figured that worse case I could sew it up with something from my left over yarn box. But it looks like I might make it after all. I have some pretty long ends in there that'll help sew the button bands together at the top. Here she is without arms or side seams yet but bands done! The color of the left over yarn is much more accurate than the picture of the entire project.

Anyway -- so Sunday we had rehearsal in the early evening and I thought I would be a clever girl and practice my songs (after I raked up a HUGE pile of leaves) while I picked up and knit the stitches for the button bands. I find that if I can do other things while I'm singing a song then I clearly know the lyrics and that's the biggest stumbling block for me, my memory being about as .. well I don't know, it's just bad. So there I am, singing away and picking up stitches and knitting and happy as a person can be. I finished up the first one only to find that I had thought I was working on the left side rather than the right and had neglected to put in button holes!!! Gaaaaah!! I wasn't about to take it out, so my cardigan will button on the wrong side. I'm just grateful that I have gotten this far and even feel like sewing the rest of the seams and blocking that baby tonight! Wouldn't that be awesome!!! Then maybe do you think I'll get the Isabella sewn up and finished before I go to Hawaii? Hmmm???

Oh! So another thing I did this weekend is start my two socks at once from Knitting Circles Around Socks. Here's a picture. I'm using some gorgeous Järbo Garn Mini Raggi that I saw at my LYS and just had to have. It's so pretty, this colorway. We had a holiday yesterday so I'm going to be confused as to which day is which again this week but I am going to do my best to remember to bring them to work Wednesday for noon knitting!!

I got to go to the Monday Night Football game last night - Seahawks and 49ers and we crushed them! It was a fantastic game and I had a great time. Funny how it's always SO much more fun when your team wins.

09 November, 2007

FOs, WIP and other glamorous things

I am starting this post with not one but TWO FOs!! First, Mikie's socks. While the knitting and end weaving is done, I still have to put the non-skid bottoms on them, but for all intents they are categorized as FO in my book. Voila! Definitely boy colors. I'm glad I'm giving them away. By the way, it's just perspective in the photo - one is NOT larger than the other.

Okay -- so FO number 2 is the Rabbit Tracks scarf. It was a quick knit and I don't even know where it's going to end up, but one can never have too many "extra" gifts items at this time of year. I'm just putting the close up picture of it so you can see the pattern. The long view is just not that interesting.

After I got done finishing up these little beauties I didn't feel like measuring and picking up stitches for the front of the Scoop de Jour (Oh but maybe tonight?) so I started on a Lisle scarf with some glorious Laines du Nord Royal Cashmere that I got on sale at Webs (which happens to be on close out for 50% off ...... that's $9.99/85 yards). I got two pattern repeats done. It's going to block out pretty wide and I have no idea how long it's going to get with 3 balls but it might even be able to be categorized as a wrap if I block the heck out of it. We'll see.

And last but not least, on this day of many pictures, I figured I'd snap a picture of what is sitting on my dining room table. Last week it was a dozen red. This week, 2 dozen peach-y blossoms. I don't know what I did to deserve this, but whatever it is I hope I can keep it up!!

07 November, 2007

I thought it was Thursday!

I worked SO hard yesterday - barely taking my eyes off the screen all day long. No run. Ate at my desk. Maybe because of that I skipped a day in my brain ... I don't know. All I know for sure is that I'm going to miss Noon Knitting today because I didn't bring anything to work on, thinking it was Thursday!!! Gaaaa!

I worked on Mikie's sock last night and have only a few more rows of toe decreases and then Kitchener that thing up and I'm done! I am really anxious to get that sock off the needles so I can try my two at once. I should have pictures Friday of the finished socks as well as (hopefully) a finished Rabbit Tracks scarf.

I got two skeins each of Noro Kureyon and Silk Garden yesterday in the mail from Little Knits. I think I'll use the Kureyon for another striped scarf (I wear the one I made last year all the time) and add a striped hat to go with it for a gift. I have two skeins of a brighter colorway than the one I got so it should work out nicely. As for the Silk Garden -- not sure. I have some other odds and ends of Silk Garden from that vest I made .... don't know. I seem to be in a lacy scarf mood these days. Who doesn't like to get a nice scarf for a gift? As usual I have too many ideas and too little time. I am hoping that I can get some good gift knitting done when I'm in Hawaii for that meeting. Sounds strange - knitting and Hawaii - but I'm not talking a lap full of sweater. Just some nice lacy scarf projects. Maybe with beads.

05 November, 2007

It was a swift weekend

I don't even feel like I HAD a weekend! It was that quick. So much to do and ... well, okay, we did lose an hour ... but still it seemed to zip by.

Friday I was tired after a really long and hard work week. I built a fire and had some food and knit on the Rabbit Tracks scarf (which is zipping right along). Saturday I had tons of chores to do and PJ's football championship game right in the middle of the day. Got most of my chores done, got to the game, which they unfortunately lost, and knit and knit on Mike's socks. I made a stop at the craft store because they are nearly done and I wanted to find something to make them non-skid since he has tile floors. One of the helpful ladies there directed me to some plastic stuff that I can glue onto the bottoms of them. That should work.

I put them aside and worked on the scarf that evening. I don't know who I'm going to give it to yet but I want to get it done (it goes SO quickly) and blocked out so I can see if it's a pattern I might want to make in some nicer yarn for gifts. I was also thinking of using the lace pattern from the Flower Power shrug so I could incorporate some beads into one of them. I have that nice mohair I bought in Paris a couple trips ago that would certainly lend itself to some luxe accessories.

I finished up the foot of the second sock as I watched the Seahawks lose a nail biter. What shame. Not a good football weekend - AGAIN. I watched "Meet the Robinsons" last night and didn't knit a stitch. Just watched. That was a strange movie.

02 November, 2007

My AWESOME Secret Pal

I came home from a hard day yesterday to find a package on my doorstep! Look what my Secret Pal sent me!! Gorgeous pink and green yarn - the pink is Lamb's Pride and the green is Silky Wool. My super ultra favorite colors! AND some purse handles that, I don't know how she did it, but I have been seriously looking for these types of handles for AGES! Plus a cool button with an "S" in the middle and what looks like to be a vintage belt buckle. Thanks SO MUCH Secret Pal. I love *everything*!!!

And speaking of Secret Pal goodies, I have finally found a pattern that I think will work for the one of the skeins of yarn she sent me in the first package. It's called the Maple Leaves Lace Scarf and the colors would be perfect. Also, I am still fiddling with a pattern for the green skein of Lamb's Pride she sent me - a felted bag pattern. I've started it twice but need to frog and re-start one last time (I hope).

I made yet another boneheaded mistake yesterday with my socks. I was working on them while I was getting my hair done, just finishing up the final gusset decreases on the second sock. Did the very last one, dropped the needle to turn the work and ... the needle fell on the floor. In other words, I used the same needle and now have the whole sock on ONE needle!! arghghg!! I just calmly put it away and will deal with it this weekend. I worked on the Rabbit Tracks scarf last night as I was watching a little TV. I would like to measure out and pick up the stitches for the fronts of the Scoop de Jour this weekend but it is shaping up to be one heck of a busy weekend yet again. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you. It's just that I would dearly love to get that cardigan finished .....