30 December, 2008

Finished the socks

Woohoo! I am SO glad to be done with those socks. I still have to graft the toes, but that'll only take a few minutes. I loved working with the yarn, a bamboo cotton blend, but the colors weren't really up my alley. I picked the brown/cream/green combo because I thought it was more manly than the others and S does have a lot of brown socks. But since it is variegated it looks more like camouflage than anything else. Oh well, he can wear them as slippers. I am convinced that once my guy owns and wears a pair of hand knit socks he's going to be bugging me forever more to make him another pair. Just wait.

I haven't knit much on the Rockstar Jacket lately. I am 60 rows in to the back piece - about half way to the first armhole decreases. I was just remarking a couple days ago that I believe this is the first pattern that I have picked up and started working on soley because I want the garment and not because I want to knit it. That might not make sense to a non-knitter but I am sure you all understand what I mean. And I really truly can't wait to wear this garment! It's going to be really cool.

Yesterday at noon I went for a run. The rain had stopped and the trail looked snow and ice free, so off I went. What I didn't notice (because it was sunny for a change) is that it was quite windy. I might even say VERY windy! I sw a woman nearly get blown off her bicycle. She had to put her foot down to keep from going over. I was working quite hard running into the head wind although coming back was pretty nice. Kind of like flying.

The garbage still hasn't been picked up and with the wind now some people have quite the mess brewing. I think S is going to take matters into his own hands today and take a load to the dump. Because of the snow and the lack of pick-up they are accepting it for free. Hopefully he can help a few of the neighbors out as well because according to their web site this morning we're not due to get a pick up until Friday.

The mail was finally delivered yesterday but my Christmas package from my sister, that should have arrived last Tuesday, was too big for the box to S had to go out to the post office to pick it up. I got to stretch my Christmas out like a birthday week.

Time for another cup of tea.

29 December, 2008

Thank goodness it stopped snowing!


Wow! I didn't think it was ever going to stop snowing but finally it did ... Friday. There is still snow on the side streets - or I should say slush. I couldn't ride my bike today because all of the smaller streets that I take down to the trail are impassible by bike. But I drove in just fine and I'll run at lunchtime to make up for the lost bike ride. Here's a picture of the snow again - this one taken on Christmas Eve day. The Christmas Eve parties we were going to were canceled, which was just fine with me since I hate going out in the snow, especially at night. I am just kicking myself about the garage. There is another door to the left - a 3 car garage. You'd think that after being in the house for nearly 5 months that the garage would be ready to receive vehicles, wouldn't you? And to be perfectly frank it is nearly there but for one run to Goodwill and a bike rack. We could have squeezed the two cars in there without too much fuss except that S had purchased a new sound system and special ordered four cases to carry around the speakers. These cases need to have fittings and foam made and inserted into them and so they are what is taking up the space in the garage rather than our cars! Oh yeah, but next time we're going to be ready. yeah ... next time.

The knit hats were a huge success. Santa brought me a Wii game system but some of my holiday long weekend that I had counted on as quality knitting time went to playing video games instead. I'm not complaining - it was fun. I did pick up those socks that I had been knitting a bit on for my DH and just knit on them exclusively. I want to use that gorgeous Noro sock yarn my Birthday Pal sent me last August but I've got to finish his socks first. I am just starting on the toe decreases so hopefully I can finish those up tonight.

It's pretty quiet here at work but I am glad to be away from the house after the forced time at home last week. My DH's son is staying with us on his vacation from school and it is a vacation for me to get away from him! Two weeks is definitely a week and a half too long for me to have a house guest that never leaves the house.

Somehow my office has gotten very very very hot while I was gone. The heating guys came by right after I moved in at my request because it was like a sauna in here. Supposedly he turned the temperature down in the office next to mine which is where the control is for both of them. But it's awful in here now and I can see that the air is not circulating. No window to open .... I am dying! I'd take my cardigan off except I just have a little cami underneath and it's not really office attire. This is as hot as the Annex!

22 December, 2008

Snow Day

Well, here it is Monday. I worked at home last Thursday and Friday because it had snowed, the roads were icy and I don't drive in the snow and I had everything I needed her at home. And despite the dire weather forecasts I didn't really believe that it would snow again and so much! We have eight inches here and they closed the UW today. The Seahawks had a game yesterday but I just couldn't face the cold and snow even though it was Holmgren's last home game and Brett Favre was playing. We won, too. But I watched from the warmth and comfort of my home.

My DH chained up my little car yesterday in anticipation of driving me to work today, but since I didn't have to go he went out Christmas shopping. I walked the dog and then walked down to a local store to do some last minute things. After I finish this post I'm going to do what I have been doing every evening and all of Saturday and Sunday -- knit. Only this time I'm knitting for me! I have knit four hats since Wednesday evening. One each evening except Saturday and Sunday when I was working only on one of them and my Rockstar. I made a little ribby hat, the Beanpole Beanie, an Asymetrical Cable Hat from a one skein bok and an earflap hat from some other one skein book. I also crocheted two bath mitts. I was going to do two more but I am just finished working for other people. It's just for me for a while. Here are the pictures of the hats.

16 December, 2008

Success

After ripping back the Rockstar Cardigan/Jacket one more time, I finally got a good start on it. Two things were happening that messed me up. First of all I (of course) made a little mistake when I translated the chart, putting an "End K1" at the end of the charted rows as well as the purl rows. That's wrong. Second, nowhere does it tell you that the stitch count changes in your 12 stitch pattern repeat. So when I came across on that row and found that I was short a stitch right before the first marker I pondered whether to go on or not. I was 100% sure I had done the previous row correctly and that the stitch count was right so I just moved the markers as I came to them by one stitch and what do think? It ended up right. This is an important piece of information that I think the designers should have mentioned, don't you? I probably didn't need to rip it out the first two times!

This weekend I got through one 20 row repeat, put in a lifeline (my first) and started on my second. I should have taken pictures but I simply couldn't get out of bed this morning! I kept hitting the alarm. So much so that when I did finally drag my lazy behind out of bed I had to rush through my shower, skip washing my hair and was 10 minutes late to work. I drove in because it's 20 degrees outside. NOT biking weather unless you relish losing your nose to frostbite. We got a little bit of snow Saturday and word has it that another storm is coming in tomorrow. I worked from home yesterday because my servers were being moved and I had taken the precaution of bringing home my sites so I could work on them in case of bad weather. I think I should do the same thing tonight.

It is lucky I was home yesterday though because Sunday night Tink started messing with her right ear. I took a look at it and it was red, stinky and when I tried to clean it out some pretty yucky stuff came out. I called the vet first thing Monday and they fit us in. Turns out she has yeast and staph infection in her ear! Poor thing. They gave me some medicine and she's pretty good about me putting it in there. I think it probably feels pretty good.

12 December, 2008

And the word is ....

weather. Supposedly it's catching up to us. Winter, that is. The forecast is for very cold temperatures and maybe snow. By "very cold" I mean well below freezing. By Sunday the predicted high is 29 and low 18. For us that is VERY cold! Right now it's only in the low 40s and I rode in with little discomfort. I did, however, ask my DH to be ready with the van this afternoon in case it starts pouring and blowing and I want a ride home.

I am very close to finishing My So Called Scarf. I can do that at lunchtime today. I worked on it last night as well. When that's done I think I'll start on a hat. I'm just going to make a bunch of stuff and then decide who gets it. I do want to start on the Rockstar again this weekend. Saturday we're going to get the tree and put it up, and I've got to get the majority of my shopping done, or at least all the presents for California. I am tentatively scheduled to rehearse with my old band - the rock band - but I haven't heard yet from the leader and if it's snowing there's no way I'm going out to his place. He lives way out near Canyon Park and at the top of a very steep hill. I don't drive in the snow. That would leave me all Saturday night to knit on gifts and then maybe Sunday I can find a little time in the day and knit on it in the living room with the natural light and quiet. I just need to get a good start on it - oh, and check the gauge. The reason I'm not doing a "real" gauge swatch is that I already swatched for this. The yarn wasn't exactly the same, but close enough.

I ran at lunch yesterday. That was a big day - bike ride both ways and a run - but I'm doing okay. I was a little sore yesterday but hopefully I can keep it up. If my knees and/or ankles start to bother me then I'll just drive in two days a week and run on those days. Maybe it is too much to do the bike ride AND the run, but if I can do it I sure would like to. It's not that I don't have the energy, it's that my knees and ankles get a little sore. I've injured myself before and I know how long you have to be out of commission so that's why I'm super careful. There are certain kinds of pain that you just don't work through. That I learned the hard way!

11 December, 2008

Still missing

Still no sign of my Garmin. I have looked everywhere I can even imagine putting the thing, as well as in my car in case it fell out of the bag. I am just at a loss! I am sure I didn't have it in my bag when I went up to the post office to send off my sister's birthday present on Tuesday. I was going to use it but it seemed silly since I wasn't running. So I remember taking it out of the bag and putting it next to my camera. And that's the last time I remember touching it. I do remember picking my camera back up and putting it in the bag to go home and I think I remember picking up the GPS as well. And when I came home I had the new yarn and the camera and the GPS and I took them and the bag upstairs. I put the yarn on the yarn shelf, the camera on the shelf where it belongs and I should have put the Garmin in my bike helmet. But obviously I did not. I'm going to give it a few days and maybe it'll turn up. I hate to buy another one. I just got this one a couple months ago! So today I'll have to use my Sponge Bob digital watch for my run. I already signed up for the St. Patrick's Day race - they were having a deal if you signed up before the end of December. But the next race I'll actually run will be the February Love 'em or Leave 'em which, coincidentally, is the last race I ran last year! I was signed up for the St. Patrick's Day race last year but I got sick right after the February race and I couldn't run in March, I was still sick in April I remember because my sister came up to do wedding stuff and I went to the doctor while she was there. And then ... well, there was too much other stuff to do. So now I'm back in training and I've paid the fee, so I'll be running in March for sure!

Last night I decided to start/swatch for the Rockstar. I have 10 balls of Kid Classic in an olive green that will be perfect. I cast on 99, did the purl set up row and then started on the lace pattern. But I didn't get more than six rows in when I discovered I was off even though I put markers between each repeat. I messed it up further trying to fix the mistake so I just ripped it out and I'll start over. Probably not tonight though. This is a project where I need to sit quietly and get it started without TV or the dog bugging me. I have plenty of easy present projects to do and that's what I should be doing, not starting something else. But knitting isn't really about should, is it? It's about doing what's fun. So yeah ... if I feel up to it I'll probably try starting it again tonight. I am that perverse.

10 December, 2008

The indecision is killing me!

I cannot decide what to make next! It's making me crazy! The alpaca scarf I'm making is, of course, not for me because I can't wear alpaca. I love to knit with it because it's so soft, but once it's next to anything other than my hands, the itching is just awful. So that'll be a Christmas gift. And I have a couple others in mind so I don't have to make a decision right now. I do have knitting to do. I am going to write out the charts for the Rockstar and maybe, just maybe, I'll start a piece of that this weekend.

This is a frustrating morning. First of all I couldn't find my Garmin. I brought it work for my run on Monday when I drove and I know I had it yesterday in the same bag as Monday because I drove in yesterday as well. And I remember taking it out of the bag but for the life of me I can't remember where I put it!! I was running up and down the stairs looking everywhere for it this morning and in that ensuing chaos managed to grab the wrong set of keys. So when I got to the bike rack and reached into the pocket of my back pack I found ... no office keys. No bike lock keys. I hate starting the day off like that. On the good side, it's still mild outside and it wasn't raining.

08 December, 2008

She did it!!

I shall now call her The Amazing Monika. She threaded my needle through a row of stitches, I ripped it back at lunchtime on Friday and by Saturday I had finished knitting it and Sunday put on some fringe. I really should learn how she does that because it's a very handy skill to have! Here's the finished product. The drape is just wonderful. I am going to keep my eyes peeled from now on and nab any and all of this gorgeous yarn I can. I wish I had taken the time to do a fancier stitch but on the other hand, the beaded strand could be a little tricky to work with even in this easy stitch. Lace would be a real challenge.

Not one but two FOs this weekend - I also finished up my Liesel, after a whole year. I have discovered that I am not a chart person. After printing out the written pattern for this it just flew off my needles. That means that I'm going to have to translate the charts for the Frost Flowers Stole (yes, Nonnahs, I am in the mood for lace, it seems). I unearthed the pattern for the Rockstar Cardigan (looks like they renamed it "jacket") and the yarn I purchased for it this weekend and I will write out those charts as well. It makes most sense to start that project rather than purchase more yarn. I do want to work from stash.

But before I do that I'm going to cast on for yet another scarf tonight. I know, I'm not usually a scarf knitter but I bought some yarn that would be perfect for My So Called Scarf and it would make a perfect gift. I honestly don't think I could part with these two new ones - silk and cashmere. Who but a knitter would appreciate all the work and the yarn-y goodness?

I gave Tink a bath on Friday after work and Saturday it wasn't raining so we went to Greenlake for a nice, long walk (along with a billion other people). I was so proud of my pretty, white doggie. So cute and clean. We passed two other Westies, both white and clean as well. But what did my nice clean dog do? I am sure you can guess. She found a nice, large pile of duck poo and put her shoulder in it and smeared it from neck to tail! I wasn't quick enough. Usually I can see her ducking her shoulder to take a roll and I can halt it, but I was distracted and away she went! Much to the amusement of the people walking by us, we made our way around the lake. Lucky for me I had a towel in the back of the car and covered the seat. Then, after I got the groceries into the house into the sink she went and I gave her another bath and the rest of the evening I didn't let her off her long line.

On Saturday I also bought a few Christmas-y decorations for the house - a wreath, some garland, a Poinsettia, and yesterday bought some outdoor lights. I have wanted to have lights on my house forever but never had a guy who was willing. But S will do it! AND he said last night that I didn't buy enough. I was just thinking of putting it over the 30 feet of porch, but he says it should go all the way across the 3 garages as well, so he's going to get more today. I can't wait!!!

05 December, 2008

The effects of growing as a knitter

Ah ... that scarf. That silly, simple fishnet scarf. I worked a few more rows on it last night but kept laying it out on the back of the couch and scrutinizing the wonky bit from the night before. Yes, it's going to be at the back of my neck. BUT, I'll know it's there! I'll know that if I don't don it correctly the mistake will be visible. See, now a couple of years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about it. But now it is eating away at me. My friend Monika has the eye. You know what I mean - she's the type of person who can look at your knitting and say .. "Oh, I see what you did". Me? All I see is a mistake! I can tink back and pick up a YO, but that's about as far as I go. Or I can weave my needle through plain stockinette and rip back, but if it's rib -- forget about it. Bless her generous heart and keen eye - she has volunteered to try to weave the needle through a good row so I can rip back to before the mistake. Let's all wish her luck. I know that I can't do it and if she can't I am afraid I'm going to have to rip that thing out and start all over. Sure, it's a simple scarf but the time! I've spent several entire evenings over this. I refuse to waste this gorgeous (and expensive) yarn though so it must be done. Maybe I'll pick up the Leisel again in the meantime if I do have to start all over.

My DH had another late evening in Tacoma last night at a show and an early meeting there today so he spent the night down there in a hotel and I had the house all to myself last night. Well, me and Tink. For some reason I was very low energy on my ride home last night. That hill up from the trail just killed me! But Tink got her walk and I made a little dinner then knit and watched some TV. But I couldn't warm up! I drank a couple cups of tea but that wasn't doing it for me, so we went upstairs and I cuddled under the comforter and watched some TV and read until I could sleep. He won't be home until very late tonight so I guess it'll be the same routine. Except Tink is getting a bath for sure!

04 December, 2008

Pay attention!!

I am SO mad at myself. Last night I was working on the fishnet lace scarf I'm making out of the Artyarns Beaded Silk. It's simple -- one row of k2tog yo and one row of knitting. Just to make positive sure I keep a counter on one needle and switch back and forth from 1 to 2 - pattern row and knit row. Fool proof, right? Well, not for THIS fool! I was just coming to the end of my first skein and wasn't sure if I had enough yarn to make it across one last time. Since this yarn is so precious I thought I'd give it a try but somewhere near the middle of the row it was apparent I wasn't going to make it. So I grabbed the end of the second skein and knit a stitch with the old yarn and the new one together, as I normally do, then dropped the old yarn and picked up the new one and knit to the end of the row but when I got to 3 stitches to the end I thought I was off a stitch. Now here's where I went wrong -- what I should have done is look at my stitch counter to see what row I was on and then double check that by looking at the end of the scarf because I can tell by where the starting tail is hanging. I didn't do that. No. I started tinking back, assuming I was on a 1 row when I was on a 2 row. What a mess!! I finally took the needle out and ripped back until I could see a pretty clear row of loops and then fed the needle through them, hoping for the best. To my credit I managed to get all but 3 squares of the pattern right but those six stitches, after going back across, are just not right. I can't bring myself to rip the thing out again. That's an entire skein, one half of the scarf. I rationalize it this way - when I'm wearing the scarf the wonky row will be at my neck, under my hair and nobody will see it. I'm just so mad at myself though!

I have decided to resurrect Liesel. The last time I worked on it was when I was in California last Christmas and I thought I had goofed it up while I was knitting at my sister's and the wind was blowing and I had my contacts in and got something in them. But when I took it out yesterday to look at it and counted the stitches it looked fine to me. Anyway the yarn is 100% cashmere and it would be a great Christmas gift if I don't keep it myself. (How many scarfs can a girl use?) I hate working from charts though so I painstakingly wrote out the 10 rows of the pattern and then found that the designer had already done it. That's what I'm going to do for the Frost Flowers Stole - I'm going to write out the pattern rather than trying to work with the chart because charts drive me crazy.

It's gotten a little bit colder here. Still there is no snow in the mountains, which is a shame for the skiers. But as I was leaving this morning I saw the neighbor across the street scraping ice off their car windows and I could see frost on roofs on the way to work. The wind chill was biting. Thank goodness I start my ride uphill so I can warm up quickly.

02 December, 2008

Happy Birthday to you & The Action Plan

First up -- a happy birthday shout out to you-know-who-you-are. Just in case you check in ... I didn't forget. Cheers!

And now on to The Action Plan. As you may or may not know, Seattle is a rather dark place from November until March. We're northerly and so it is dark before 5 already and we're not even at the shortest day of the year. Add into the equation the cloudy days and there you go - dark and gloomy. After the holidays things get rather depressing around here and I always like to have a winter vacation to look forward to. Skiing is always a good way to chase the winter blues but my DH does not ski. Add into that the fact that he works a lot and usually on the weekends, so skiing weekends are not going to do it for me. I need a real vacation. So I've made a 10 week plan.

Step 1 - Get back to my real weight so I can wear more than one pair of my jeans. Considering that I bike 16 miles a day, all it's going to take is a little calorie counting and I should be on track and back into the nice jeans in 10 weeks.

Step 2 - Don't waste any more vacation days!! I am going to forgo my usual two week Christmas and New Years holiday and instead just take the one day after Christmas and the one day after the 1st. That way I won't have to spend much time with the house guest, and I'll still get two 4-day weekends in a row and save myself 3 vacation days so that...

Step 3 - by February I'll have more than enough to take two weeks. The DH and I will take a week and do something locally like go to the ocean or up to Canada or down to Oregon, whatever he wants. And the following week I'll go down to California and my sister and I can do something fun like take a cruise or go someplace and have a girly time.

I feel a million times better!

Now on to something more serious - what am I going to knit next?? I finished up the last mitt and I re-started the scarf I was knitting with the gorgeous Artyarns Beaded Silk. I am just doing a garter stitch edge with a fishnet type lace insides because this yarn is so beautiful and the drape is so incredible that I wanted it to be super simple but get the most length I could get out of the two skeins. That's just simple, mindless TV knitting. Yes I KNOW I have WIPs to pick up, but forget that for now. I want to start something. I am considering the Modern Quilt Wrap if my LYS has enough of the right colors to make it in their coned English mohair. Not that I don't love Kidsilk Haze, but I am NOT buying over $100 of yarn for a scarf/wrap. That's insane. Or I could take a deep breath and tackle the Frost Flowers Stole. I can't decide!

01 December, 2008

It was a trying holiday

I wish I could say that I had an absolutely fabulous staycation and that Thanksgiving was grrrreat but, not really. My husband's son came to stay a day earlier than planned, which did not please me. With him, a little goes a loooong way. I do not enjoy spending my vacation running a hotel, if you catch my drift. I made the best of it, tried to keep a good attitude and drank lots of champagne.

I kept to my plan and made lots of side dishes on Wednesday so that I only had to get up at 8 Thursday morning(!) to get the turkey going. I managed to grab another few minutes in bed after that but was all apron-ed up by 10, working on the rest of the meal. I had two tables set - one for the little kids and one for the adults. At the last minute both the son and the daughter showed up with uninvited guests!! I am all for 'the more the merrier' but uninvited guests? Not so much. I was SO angry. I tried to point out to my DH how rude that was and he did tell them, but I don't believe it made any difference to either of them. If I had known I would have given the children paper plates or small plates but I didn't, so there weren't enough plates, nor places for them to sit so I had a couple at the table in the other dining room, and my DH sat at the table with the little kids. At least the meal was good, but the way people were bossing me around -- maybe in a few weeks ( or months ... or years) I will find the humor, but at one point my step-daughter's MIL said "I'll have coffee with my meal" and I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "OH, well I'll get right on that". Good heavens. I don't know .... is it me? Am I really too fussy? I just think there's such a thing as manners and you should bring them out at every occasion, whether it's family or not!

Here I just got back from "vacation" and I don't feel like it at all. I haven't been away since May when we went for that week in Hawaii! Sure I've had time off work but not away. I miss my sister. I think part of the bad Thanksgiving experience was not having MY family around. I would rather have been all alone with my friends in Paris than slaving away at home without my sister and nephews. And the thought of having to repeat the whole thing in another few weeks is not making me any happier. Okay .. end of rant.

I finished up my February Lady Sweater and it's on my floor drying. The buttons are going to look great on it and if it's dry tonight I'll put them on and take another picture. I am currently in big fat pig mode, so there will be no pictures of it on me for a while. I have started a walk on the straight and narrow and until I can get back into ALL my jeans there will be no pictures. Anyway ... I like this pattern a lot and I think I will try it again but next time use a steek down the front and do stockinette for the yolk rather than garter. I have some of that beautiful Cash Iroha left over from the Hemlock Ring Blanket and I've got .. I think it's Silver Thaw that would harmonize with it. I could use the Cash Iroha for the yolk and the Silver Thaw for the body. Hmmmm ... I also finished two pair of mitts and I am nearly done with the LAST pair. Just a few more rows on the hand, bind off and then knit the two thumbs and we're done. I think I'll buy some really decadent yarn with the money. I can't decide what to knit next. I think I should knit from stash. I could do the Rock Star Cardigan I've been saving for ... how many years?

24 November, 2008

Day 1 of my staycation

Stupid word, I know ... "staycation". I read it somewhere but I can't remember where. But since I am having a vacation and not going anywhere (again!) that is what we're going to call it.

Day 1 -- slept in. Looked at my iPhone and saw a message from my chairman needing help. What the heck - I can't deny him a little bit of help, considering his own secretary is that lame .... And the rest of my day I will knit and do laundry and run a few errands. I will of course be cooking a big meal on Thursday and this year I'm going to be smart about it and do some of the things that can be reheated the day before, like the potatoes. That way the only last minute thing I'll have to do is the gravy. I am a few rows from being done with the fourth pair of mitts. I did almost an entire one in two hours while watching a football game. I moved up a needle size from the original pattern, cast on 10 fewer stitches, they look great and just fly off the needles. I think I'll wind the final two balls of yarn this afternoon as well and see if I can knock them out in as many days.

I tried on the February Lady Sweater yesterday, trying to figure out how long to make the sleeves. I am considering bracelet length, like the pattern.

Well, time to hit the shower.

21 November, 2008

A better genius

As much as I love the Genius feature on iTunes, I found that I was hearing too much of the same songs over and over again. Maybe as it evolves it will be better and be able to dig deeper but for now it was getting monotonous. Then my friend turned me on to Pandora, radio from the Music Genome Project. My iPhone has a Pandora app and I don't think I've listened to any songs on my iPhone since I downloaded that. It is just incredible! It streams so I am not paying for time, since I've got unlimited internet access on my iPhone. You type in a song, or the name of an artist or choose a genre and name the station, for example I have The Fray station. Then it starts off with a Fray song or two, then puts something else in the mix that is like that. It's a good way to expand your musical knowledge. I just love it!! It's free, which is a bonus. I can listen to it at work - it can play in the background while you're working on something else. Or it will make a general mix of everything you have indicated you like.

So now that I'm not listening to as much music on my iPhone I have been downloading audiobooks and TV episodes. I've become a HUGE fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I have downloaded and watched the first two seasons, watched a couple of the current (4th) season on TV and this weekend will download the 3rd season to my iPhone so I can be caught up. It is, without a doubt, the funniest show in TV as far as I'm concerned. It's howlingly funny. It's extreme and not for everybody but I find it hilarious.

I finished up the 3rd pair of mitts at lunchtime yesterday and was going to work on my cardigan last night but I found the new Interweave Knits magazine on the table when I got home so there was no knitting, but plenty of reading about it. Tonight I can finish going through it and then knit some. And it's vacation!! So I'll have 2 weekends and a whole entire week in the middle to just knit and play ... oh, and cook a huge meal.

20 November, 2008

It was a record!

I don't know why I felt so good yesterday evening, but I zipped home! I made the whole trip, door to door, in 48 minutes. That is astonishing -- it's the fastest I've done it since we moved and I didn't feel like I was pushing it or anything unusual. I mean, it still hurt and I was still huffing and puffing mightily. Part of it was that I left while it was still light and it wasn't pouring rain. For whatever reason -- I'm just happy that I had such a good ride.

I finished up the second mitt of the 3rd pair, except for the thumbs which I hope to be able to do at lunchtime today, since it's now storming like crazy and my idea of walking up to the bank and the yarn store have pretty much gone by the wayside. At this rate I will easily have the other three pair finished by the end of the month.

I was admiring Knitting Like Crazy's "Hey Teach" and I am going to put it in my Ravelry queue to replace the other cardigan, Bianca's Jacket, I was going to make with my straw colored Ella Rae Shibu. Bianca's Jacket is very pretty and would look nice with that yarn, but I like Hey Teach better.

19 November, 2008

WooHoo!!

Yesterday was moving day! I didn't even cast a backwards glance at the Annex, where I have been exiled for the past year and a half. My office leaves much to be desired, on one hand, but on the other hand I'm back in the main building and we have a nice new department. My space wasn't remodeled but I just like being back where there are people and I can walk down the hall to get some hot water for my tea and have a little chat. There is much tweaking left to be done in my space - shelving to come down and reconfigure, for example. I would dearly love to have it painted but I doubt that is in the budget. I am going to ask if I can at least have two of the walls painted. The ceiling is so high that it would be very difficult for me to do it myself. Who knows what this was originally, but I remember when it was a programmer's office, back in the day. It was a microscope facility as well. There are ducts above my head and a fan system that keeps it as warm as a sauna in here. That is one thing it has in common with my Annex space. That was so hot over there that I always had the window open and the fan going. Unfortunately the way it is set up here I have no place to put my oscillating fan, so I'm stuck unless I can find a smaller one. I sure don't want a box fan.

Last night I finished mitt number 1 of the third pair and cast on and did five rows of the second one. I just admired my February Lady Sweater and stroked it a few times. Maybe I'll do a few rows on the sleeves tonight. I was just exhausted yesterday evening. The move took a lot out of me for some reason, even though I didn't move the furniture myself.

I notice on Ravelry that two people have cast on for the Frost Flowers Shawl. Still no pictures and one person said it took her 2 and 1/2 hours to cast on! I can believe it. The key to this project will be markers and more markers.

The weather is still quite nice and warm and we haven't had any rain for a few days. The leaves are falling and I can see many more homes off the trail now than I could when I started riding in from Cedar Park. Beauties that overlook the lake. In some places the leaves cover the trail, making an orange, slick path. One of the few times I have ever fallen off my bike was on leaves, slick with rain and slime. That made me extra careful this time of year. There are plenty of leaves left yet and maybe one or two more storms and they will be gone and the trees bare. It was two years ago about this time that I visited London and Paris for a quick week. The weather in London was freakishly warm and I remember that the trees in St. James Park had most of their leaves still. It was so warm that I was walking around in jeans and a sweater, with just a pashmina throw for extra warmth. And I didn't really even need that. It was really odd. Nice little vacation though. I loved the hotel. And the company.

17 November, 2008

Two down, four to go

It was a productive weekend, knitting-wise. I finished up the first two pair (of the six I have promised) of fingerless mitts on Saturday. While I love doing two at once on two circulars I have decided to do this next pair one at a time on one circular. I think that the constant shuffling around of the yarns negates any time saving from doing them at the same time. Since I am not likely to have an attack of SSS, or in this case SMS, I am going to cast on this lunchtime for the first one of the third pair and see how long it takes me.

Also this weekend I finished the body of the February Lady Sweater and started on the first sleeve. I was going to do them two at a time as well, but just figured the aggravation would definitely not be worth it. I am so glad I bought all of that Cashmerino. I will have plenty in case I want to make the sleeves long and I have made the body nice and long. Those antique buttons are going to be very nice. I anticipate using this sweater a lot this fall and winter.

The weather was just lovely this weekend - not cold, not raining and it would be foggy in the morning and then sunshine in the afternoons -- the short afternoons but still. On Sunday we walked the perimeter of the back garden fence and plugged up any likely looking hole with pieces of firewood from the stash the people left us for the backyard fire pit (which we haven't used even once yet!). We're still not sure where Tinkerbell escaped from, but any place she could even maybe squeeze out of was plugged up. And oh was she happy! She spent a lot of time walking her property and just laying in the grass on the upper lawn. She was a happy happy puppy!

Tomorrow I finally get to move out of the Annex and back into the Health Sciences Building. My new office was cleaned out and the floors washed Thursday evening. When I went in there Friday .... ooo, the stink!! It was awful! I had the door propped open and came in this weekend to put up a Wallflower and when I cam in Sunday it wasn't too bad. The fan was at least working and the horrible smell was gone. This will be the first time I am in a place with no windows. It was my choice however. The other office I could have had was very nice with lots of windows and everything new. The downside was that it was directly in line with the door to the main office and right next to the mailboxes. I would have gone crazy from the noise. I am so used to working in quiet. I rarely even play music unless I'm doing just the dullest of chores. So this is for the best. And around here you just never know. I could be moved out to another space any time. So -- today after a morning meeting I will be moving my own books and small things up to my office so when the movers come tomorrow morning all they have to do is bring my computers and furniture. At least this new room is large enough for me to have a table and two chairs besides my desk and return. And now when students come by they will have someplace to sit and review their exams or take an exam or whatever. And I will have a place to sit for meetings.

14 November, 2008

I just plain couldn't see!

It was a nightmare trying to get home last night. Even though it wasn't raining it was so darned dark on the trail. I couldn't see and I would get right up on runners before I even noticed them. It was VERY nerve wracking. I finally figured it out -- my light was losing power! The batteries were running out and my little circle of light kept getting smaller and smaller. I started to pull over 3 times to call home and ask to be rescued but kept thinking ... oh, I'm almost to the end of the trail. But then I got to thinking about the 2 plus miles home and were there adequate street lights? I couldn't remember so finally I called S and had him come get me. I just didn't feel safe. Now I have new batteries in my headlamp and some fresh ones in my pannier, just in case this happens again. I can pull over and refresh my light! Maybe I should look into getting another, brighter one. Oh, those a-holes walking and running and biking WITHOUT lights could get some. What do you think?

I gave myself a break from the mitts and did a few more rows on the February lady sweater. I MUST try it on. I am just spread pretty thin vis a vis Denise cords. [Maybe I should finish the Sizzle!!!!!!] But tonight I shall bite the bullet and finish up the "body" portion of the mitts at least and then tomorrow I can pick up and knit the thumbs and cast on for another pair on Sunday. Or at least that's the plan. S wants to work in the garage Sunday and that is really a good idea since there are still boxes that need to be broken down and a whole pile of stuff to go to Goodwill. Yeah, maybe we can even put cars in there!! Wouldn't it be nice to have the Mercedes inside with the weather is bad? I think that would be a priority but then again .... not my decision.

13 November, 2008

I'm getting sick of this ....

Oh my lord .... it was pouring rain AGAIN yesterday evening. Not sprinkling. Coming down in buckets! And I forgot to bring my baseball cap, which helps immensely in keeping the rain off my face and therefore helps me to see better. Add to the equation the fact that it is pitch black when I set out for home now and you can probably imagine what torture my ride home was last night. And so many IDIOTS on the trail with no lights!!! NO LIGHTS!!! It is just insane! There was a woman jogging along pushing a jogging stroller -- no lights. Dark clothing. She didn't even have reflective clothing! How stupid is that? I am getting myself all wound up again -- it just makes me crazy! And I know it's not just me because in the Sunday paper someone had the very same rant. I am always amazed at how many stupid people there are out there.

No knitting last night. I worked some on my mitts at noon knitting, but last night we watched the latest Indiana Jones movie in the theatre and the knitting light that S rigged up for me is not very good. Plus I just wanted to watch the movie. I liked it. Of course it's not going to be as good as the first one, but it was fine. But I've got to buckle down and get going on the mitts.

We're all so excited here in the Annex -- next Tuesday is moving day! Yay!! I cannot wait to get out of this shack, even though my new office is a windowless space, anything is better than this place with its bugs and sewer smells and women who don't know how to flush a toilet. Don't get me started ......

12 November, 2008

Odd little holiday

Tuesday, yesterday, was Veteran's Day. Not everyone gets it off but schools are closed and no mail is delivered. We decided to have a few couples over for dinner on Monday since all of S's friends work in the sound business or as stage managers or stagehands and weekends are almost always out for parties and dinners. I got most everything organized and set up Sunday, came to work Monday and left a little early to get home and finish up preparations. We all had a fun time and before we knew it it was 12:30! I had a little sleep in yesterday and then, except for walking Tink and going out for a little grooming, I just lounged around and watched TV on my iPhone and knit. Around 10 as I was leaving for the spa and saying my goodbyes, S finally asked why I wasn't going to work!! I swear, that man never listens to a thing I say. What is going through his mind when I'm talking and he's acting like his listening? I probably don't want to know.

Getting close to having the right hands done for the first two pairs of mitts. Perhaps I can finish them up this evening. I have noon knitting today. Then I will reward myself with an evening of knitting on my Lady Sweater. These mitts are just killing my hands. I am beginning to think that it might also be the combination of the plastic needles on one side and the wooden ones on the other. The yarn slides so much more easily over the plastic needles.

Now I'm going to check in Ravelry and see if anyone else has cast on for that shawl!!

10 November, 2008

What I don't get

Why doesn't my left hand get stronger with all the knitting I do? I don't understand why my hand and arm gets so sore! I have had to stop a couple times lately during knitting on my fingerless mitts. I did manage to finish the first two and cast on and got about 10 rows into the second pair. But ouch! I know it's mostly from the purling - this is a 4x1 rib. Also I think needle size has something t do with it as well. It's just a mystery to me why I still get sore. It's annoying.

It's was a pretty quiet weekend. Friday night my DH had to work so I ... knit. And Saturday we went out for dinner, but otherwise during the day .... I knit. Sunday? Did some grocery shopping, watched the Seahawks lose AGAIN!! and ... I knit. My Lady Sweater is getting very close to having the body done. I do need to try it on before I commit to the edging.

I see that someone has cast on for the Frost Flowers Shawl on Ravelry. No pictures yet. I wonder how long it took her to cast on over 900 stitches.

06 November, 2008

Rain and rain and rain and rain and rain

and rain. That's the forecast. I've been at work now for nearly an hour and my hair is still soaking wet and I was wearing my helmet and a baseball cap under it. [Yes I know -- awesome hot look.] Thank goodness my office is like a sauna so my clothes will dry by the time I leave this afternoon. It doesn't help me start my day off in the best of moods, to arrive in this state. But what can you do? It still beats riding the bus.

I cast on for a couple pair of mitts last night but I only got four rows in. First of all I had a bunch of chores to do so I didn't even sit down until nearly 7:00. I started to cast on but the puppy wanted to play so I played with her for a while and then let her outside and finished my cast on. Unfortunately I wasn't paying attention, which I really need to do when I'm casting on for two at once on two circulars, so I had to take it out and start over. Then I realized that Tinkerbell was being awfully quiet in the backyard ..... I called and called ... no Tink. Dang!! Seems she found yet another place to squeeze out under the fence and away she went on an adventure. I threw on a jacket and grabbed a flashlight and S went north and I went south and as I was calling her a woman opened her door and asked if I had lost a dog. She had her in her house! Little dickens! The woman was also trying to carry on a phone conversation so I didn't get to ask her how ... what ... where .... For the time being, until I can go around the perimeter once again and try to plug up holes with firewood and rocks, she is tethered with a long line off the deck when she needs to go out. A few weeks ago I was looking out the window and saw a strange dog -- one of the little dogs next door had wiggled under the fence and come over to our yard. So obviously the fence has some serious problems. It's not that it's old or falling down, just that it's not tight to the ground.

I'll knit more on the mitts at lunchtime and keep track of my time so I can do the math. I am a bit skeptical about doing 6 pair.

05 November, 2008

It only took three months

I finally FINALLY got to the Social Security office to file the paperwork to change my name. I have been putting it off -- too busy, didn't want to drive to Bellevue. Last week I looked on line again to find out exactly where the closest Social Security office is because I didn't believe that Bellevue was the closest to me. And, of course, it was not. There is one on Aurora and 135th. I already had the correct paperwork so I filled it out at breakfast and went over there. Of course it took WAY longer than I anticipated. It's like going to the DMV. But it is done. And now I just have to wait for my new card, then I can change my driver's license and my credit cards, etc. I wouldn't have bothered but my DH really wanted me to do it, so there ya go.

We spent the evening watching the election results and I didn't knit a lick! I have agreed to make some fingerless gloves for a friend to give as gifts so I want to cast on for a pair of those and see how long it will take to make a pair so I'll know what I'm getting into. She wants six pair and I think that might be a bit too much to agree to. I wouldn't leave much time for any other knitting. Well ... I'll have to do the math.

03 November, 2008

And the highlight of the weekend .....

Wiener Dog Races. Seriously. At halftime yesterday during the Seahawks beating (oh they started out ON FIRE!! but then .....) the entertainment was the annual Wiener Dog Race. It is hilarious! They are so cute! Almost as cute as Tinkerbell. Almost.

Halloween was not bad although I did get a little frustrated with traffic early on. I was out making a quick run to the grocery store and the liquor store and it was sheer insanity out there! As I pulled into the grocery parking lot, narrowly avoiding several idiots in the lot I opened my car door and as I was leaving the car I was thinking, "oooo I hate everybody!" And I looked up right into a woman's face. Guess I had actually said it out loud. She was laughing, thank goodness.

The rain mostly stopped and we had a good amount of Trick or Treat-ers and when we decided we were done and wanted to go up to watch a movie we just put the candy out on the porch in a bowl. Of course it was ALL gone next time S came downstairs so my guess is the next group of kids to come up to the porch just tipped it into their bags and finished it off. We were not egged or TP'd and for that I am thankful.

Saturday was chore day and the weather cooperated while I was out running around getting my car washed and Jiffy Lubed, etc. Then I did get lots of work done on the February Lady Sweater. I knitted most of the day and around 6:30 had to throw in the towel because my hands were hurting. I don't like purling. Or I should say, my left hand and arm don't like purling. I am not quite sure how long I want to make the body of this sweater so tonight I will measure. I'm getting close I think.

And I woke up early early this morning to the sound of pouring rain. I simply MUST invest in decent bike rain gear. I couldn't face getting soaked on the way in so I drove and will have to get my exercise with a good run this afternoon. If it ever stops raining or even just slacks off a little! I do have some errands after work so it's not entirely because I was not in the mood to ride in the rain. Mostly.

31 October, 2008

Ruminants R Us


A couple years ago I accompanied a friend to Vashon Island where he bought a sailboat. While we were there we attended the Strawberry Festival and there was a parade. A very small town, country parade. In this parade was a flatbed truck with goats on it and a sign on the side "Rent-A-Ruminant". What a cool idea! You rent the goats and they will eat up all your blackberry bushes gone wild. I haven't thought about them since but on the way home last evening I noticed a bunch of people standing on the trail on a bridge that overlooks a driveway that goes under Pacific Avenue. This driveway has tall sides which are covered with brush and blackberry bushes. I thought at first that people were there because of the man who set himself on fire (!!) but actually they were looking at a flock of goats [is that right? Are goats in a flock?]. I stopped on my way in this morning and took these pictures. Isn't that wild? They are doing some serious eating there. You can see on the left they are working their way up the hill.

I got my February Lady Sweater back on track yesterday and got myself back to where I was on Tuesday before I discovered the mistake. And my hands have finally quit hurting. They were very sore from all of the backwards knitting I had been doing.

I can't believe that October is all but over. Soon it will be winter. I am NOT looking forward to that. On the positive side, I am starting to work again with the rock band I was singing with before my little detour with the other band. I don't know if I mentioned it or not but as soon as I got married - before actually - the band leader replaced me!! Said he didn't think I would have enough time for music. By the way, he's married and he seems to have the time. He's just a jerk and good riddance. The real reason is that he FINALLY figured out that I wasn't going to have an affair with him. I guess he kept thinking I'd give in until I got engaged. Creepy, isn't it?

30 October, 2008

An evening of un-knitting

Also known as tinking .... that's how I spent my lunch hour yesterday and my evening last night. I got to the point marked where the mistake originated. It was a missing YO that caused all the problems. Here's the thing though ... I know that there must be a way to re place that missing YO without having to tink back one further row. The mistake, as luck would have it, is at the very first 7 stitch group. So unless I can find how to pick up a missing YO on the following purl row I'm going to have to take out one more row. And after that -- markers!!! How could I have been so stupid as to think that I wouldn't need markers? I had myself talked into not using them because it's only a 7 stitch, 4 row repeat pattern. So easy. Yeah and I'm easily distracted too! Stupid stupid stupid! I've learned my lesson, I tell you that. Especially after having to tink back not once but twice and both times 4 or more rows!! What a time waster. Anyway, hopefully Google will be able to help me find the answer to my quest. If not ...

I rode in today after having been off for nearly a week. Not too bad, although I had a hard time getting going this morning. It's so dark outside. I'm sleepy still. More tea!

29 October, 2008

Can you hear me screaming??

I am having THE most frustrating time with my February Lady Sweater! I can't believe it. It is a very simple lace pattern. I have it memorized it's so easy. And yet .... I keep messing it up! Saturday I was watching football [okay okay I probably shouldn't have been knitting] and that is where I made the first mistake. I realized it when I got to the end of a row and was short a stitch. Sunday I spent hours tinking back about 4 rows. I was so proud of myself though for actually doing it but I knew I couldn't stand to have a mistake since the entire body, save for the yolk, is lace. I have been home this week, not feeling well, so I haven't been knitting a lot -- a row here or there when I felt up to it. But here I was last night knitting along and I realized hey ... it shouldn't be k2tog here. *sigh* I looked closely and sure enough I had made ANOTHER mistake some ways back and now I'm going to have to tink back again!!! I put it down carefully and brought it in to work today for noon knitting. I didn't have the patience last night to mark the exact spot. What I have learned here is that no matter if it's a 7 stitch repeat, put some markers in there! I will, once it is tinked back to a mistake free spot, place markers every 3 or 4 repeats so next time I make a mistake I can find it right away. My yarn is getting grubby, it's been handled so much! And here I was thinking I might be ready to tackle a REAL lace knitting project. But if I can't handle this very elementary lace project how can I hope to be able to knit this? I bought the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts magazine Friday evening and I can't get the Frost Flowers Stole off my mind. I've got to finish this Lady Sweater to perfection before I can even hope to make the lace stole.

Saturday, before I was feeling really bad, I met my friends at a vintage button sale. I was looking for some nice buttons for the February Lady Sweater and whatever else caught my fancy. Here's what I walked out with. The top left are plastic and pink-ish but they look wooden. The bottom right are also plastic but have a sparkle to them and the opposite corners are carved pearl. They are really really pretty. I could have bought lots more cool stuff but held back. No need to start yet another collection.

I found that the autumn weather is perfect for the Trellis Shawl. I wasn't sure I was ever going to wear that but it was perfect for running errands and you can't notice the sleeve mistake. I like it.

Well, wish me luck at noon knitting finding my mistake. grrrrrrr

20 October, 2008

My Hemlock Ring Blanket


Here is my lovely Hemlock Ring Blanket, pinned out on a comforter on the floor. I put it in the washer(! I know!!) and had it rinse and spin out, then pinned it out so that the cute little edging shows. Since my washer is a front loader I figured it would be fine and it was. Perfect way to block this since I was thinking how am I going to soak it and be able to wring enough water out of it to get it to the laundry room without dripping all over! It was almost dry by the time I went to bed last night but I thought I'd leave it all day to make sure it's nice and dry. I am very glad I decided to add the bits of angora and mohair along with the Silk Garden because it gives it a bit more interest and it's very soft. My only complaint is that I should have used a bigger yarn and needles. This is not huge. Maybe 4 feet across from point to point. It is definitely a lap blanket and not something you could snooze under. But .. yes, it's pretty and I most certainly will be doing some cuddling under it.

I started the February Lady Sweater last night and got up to the second buttonhole. Garter stitch for the first part of it and it goes quickly. I'm using that bargain Cashmerino Aran I got at the Village Yarn and Tea Shop a couple months ago. I started it during the football game last night. The Seahawks got beat up on national television. It's just so sad.

Being 8 1/2 miles from work is sometimes a whole different weather system. This morning it was cloudy at my house and there was water on the cars so it had been raining, but it wasn't even windy when I left the house. But less than 3 miles in and it was blowing quite hard and raining. I arrived at work soaked to the bone and to add insult to injury I found I had forgotten to bring shoes! I am sitting here in my nice clothes wearing my running shoes. They don't go with the outfit. I have my biking clothes draped all over my office in hopes they will dry sufficiently by 4:30 so I can ride home in them. If not I guess I'll have to ride in my running clothes. Let's hope they don't get soaked as well today.

17 October, 2008

The torture that is insomnia

Oh man .. it got me again good! Wednesday night I went to bed as usual, after a nice dinner out with friends to watch the debate and an hour or so watching TV and knitting. Nothing out of the ordinary. But I woke up at about 2:30 and I couldn't go back to sleep. I should have gotten up right then and taken a Benadryl, because they just knock me out and I was a bit congested. But I kept thinking I was going to fall asleep. One hour led to another and I know you're not supposed to look at the clock, but I couldn't help myself! Finally at 5 I knew I was cooked. I got up and took some Benadryl and sent a message to somebody I had an appointment with at work, letting her know what was happening and that I had to try to get some sleep. I was finally able to drift off after my DH got up at 6:45. That lasted all of 90 minutes when he came blasting back into the bedroom. One of his guys was stuck on the way to a job and the van wouldn't start.

I tossed and turned then for another hour when I just gave up at 9 and got up and turned on the computer. At this time of year I'm still quite busy, so I just worked. I was a zombie. I drank a couple cups of coffee and just plugged away. I checked this morning, doesn't look like I messed anything up. On the plus side, part of the reason I couldn't sleep is that Wednesday I started working on a new programming project and I am just SO EXCITED about it! It is so geeky that I hesitate to even speak about it. But it's a good thing to be excited about going to work and digging into a project. It's fun. It's like working puzzles all day and at the end of it something cool happens on the computer!

I worked all day yesterday in my office and it is so much more comfortable than my office in my old house. Same chair and same desk, but the colors are better, the windows give better light. I just love my house. S was going from one crisis to another, but his office is on the main floor and really I can't hear much. He tends to speak quietly on the phone. After giving Tinkie her walk it was nearly six. I hadn't even planned dinner and hadn't taken anything out of the freezer but I swear, I was so groggy and out of it I didn't even want to get behind the wheel to drive to the store, so we snacked on cheese and crackers while S worked some more and I knit on the Hemlock Ring Blanket, then I threw some huevos rancheros together. Not too exciting but it did the trick. I finished the main part of the blanket and started binding off last night. It is slow going, that bind off. But very very pretty. I will be able to finish it up, maybe tonight but surely tomorrow and then get it wet and block it. I can't wait!!!

15 October, 2008

There was the camera ...

and it's still there on top of my desk. So no pictures of the hat. No pictures of the blanket either. Today I drove in because we're going out right after work and it's impossible for me to get home and cleaned up and look anywhere near decent after sweating like a pig two times in one day. Because I drove in I am able to bring my blanket in progress to Noon Knitting today. I put three rows of beautiful angora in last night and it's so wonderful I'm thinking of doing another if I think there's enough yarn. Then I will have about ..errr 5 or 6 rows left before the fancy bind off. This is going to be such a wonderful cuddle blankie. Not huge, but just a nice lap warmer. Plus which, bonus, it's pretty!

I had a wonderful run on Monday. I can't run today but that's just as well. I want to take it nice and slow. Last time, a few weeks ago?, I started off too quickly and my legs were so sore I couldn't walk up and down the stairs at home! I'm sore, but it's not debilitating. I ran 5, walked 5, etc. I will do it again tomorrow. I need to get my wind back. Although I ride my bike it's just so entirely different.

13 October, 2008

The one day vacation

Or, as it's also known ... the long weekend. I took last Friday off as a vacation day. I was that close to just going crazy, I needed some time off so badly! I slept in, I went to the mall and had a manicure and pedicure, I bought some sorely needed work clothes and found a most awesome pair of boots. A super shopping trip. I didn't buy a lot -- a pair of pants, a cardigan, two camis, a tunic and a skirt. And the boots.

The weather was just gorgeous Friday. Tinkie got a long walk and then I had all afternoon to knit, which is what I did. Saturday, after some grocery shopping and a couple other errands I did the same thing. I made a pompom for the Where's Waldo Hat, which is now finished but I didn't bring my camera in - I'll do that tomorrow. It was the first pompom I had made and it was easy. And the hat is perfect. He loves it. My blanket is nearly completion - I have about 15 rows to go. It's getting rather large though. Saturday night I knit until I couldn't move the stitches around any longer and put it on a 52" Denise cord yesterday. I'm excited to finish it.

Now that anatomy is done I have three classes to manage until December. Three classes don't take up as much psychic energy as the one anatomy class so I'll be able to get a few more things done that have been sitting on the back burner. For instance, get my name changed. I know! I've been married over three months and still haven't gotten that paperwork done. And today I'm going to start running again - looking forward to that a bunch! Now that my body is really used to the much longer bike ride and my ankle has stopped hurting I think it's safe to ease myself into it. And next week I'm going to add a couple days at the gym back into the routine as well. I think it's been nearly a year since I've gone to the gym. Not that I go a lot on my regular routine - just Tuesdays and Thursdays at lunchtime. A little cardio and lift a few weights. But I can tell my upper body is getting weaker because I haven't been doing it and I've got the time and no excuses so ... that's the plan.

And lastly I'm going to start working again on a project that I started last year but I had to put it down because I got so caught up in that December meeting. It's a geeky database thingie for keeping track of exam questions. I've got it all plotted out in my head, but now it's time to do the work.

It was football Sunday - tickets for the Seahawks/Green Bay game. Bad. Very very very very bad. It's hard to be a fan at times like this.

09 October, 2008

Could I just please knit a little bit????

Apparently not. I haven't been able to carve out a few minutes to myself to just sit and knit for days! I thought last night was going to be it. I was ready to pick up the blanket again and get a few more rows done. But not. I was just stepping into the shower when my DH tapped on the bathroom door to tell me that our tenant and his SO were coming over to pick up some piece of electronics. *sigh* I was not feeling social. Hard week, hard day, I just wanted to get into my sweats and veg out but I had to put on my happy face and be a hostess. Lucky me, they are just a wonderful couple and she and I had a drinkie while the guys went about their techno quest. But here's the deal - S always says about this guy Dave that he's a real talker and he can never get him to shut up. Well, I've got news for my DH, he's no slouch in that department either. Poor Heather needed to get home to start baking a birthday cake for her son, who was home waiting for his dinner and we couldn't get these two to shut the *$%&# up! I did learn about a couple of really cool iPhone applications .... Anyway, we just get them out the door and I'm starting to get dinner cooking and S tells me his parents are on their way! I like his parents but you can't shut them up either! And his mom needed help with her computer again. He had spent a couple hours with her a day or so ago but she messed something up .. I have no idea what, but they spent another hour in the office while our dinner got overcooked. We finally ate around 8:30 or 9 ... I can't even remember. And then by the time I got the kitchen cleaned up it was time for South Park. The new season started. So. That's the story of why I didn't get to knit. Faaaassscinating.

I have made arrangements to take tomorrow off as a vacation day and boy do I need it. I am so out of it and groggy and tired and overwhelmed and behind on all sorts of things. My stacks have stacks. Yesterday the housekeepers came and I always forget that when they dust my bedside table they always dust my clock radio and either turn it way up or way down or change the station. I didn't check it last night before I went to sleep and this morning I was so out of it that the radio played static for 18 minutes before I woke up! And then I couldn't figure out what the heck that noise was. Tomorrow S is going to take Tink downstairs with him in the morning and I am going to sleep sleep sleep sleep! And go to the mall and get my nails done and shop and come home and put my feet up and knit and knit and knit! And repeat it on Saturday. Sunday we're going to the game or I'd do it then as well!

08 October, 2008

I think it was frost

On my way in this morning there was a bite in the air and I could swear that I saw frost at the side of the trail in the shade. Friday it stormed something fierce and I had ridden in bike shorts since it wasn't that cold. It was POURING rain on the way home. In less than 2 miles my feet were soaked through to the socks. By the time I got home I was wet through and through. I had to drive in yesterday but yesterday evening I checked my shoes and they were still wet! I put them in the dryer. It's lovely this morning but cold. I believe more rain is coming this week but so far it looks like we'll have good weather for the football game Sunday. Hope the Seahawks show up.

I didn't get to knit last night because I went to a really fun market research group. I must say I just LOVE getting paid for my opinion -- something that I give away free on a daily basis. Last night was a techie kind of product and very interesting for me. Sometimes the subjects are so freaking boring that I have a hard time coming up with an opinion (flood insurance?) but last night I was full of them. But I want to knit some more on my blanket. Maybe tonight. We do have new episodes of South Park coming up tonight. yay!

Work is driving me crazy. I am going to do my very best to try to get Friday off as a vacation day. I need to wind down before the next big push.

06 October, 2008

Except for the football ....

it was a pretty nice weekend in that I had great gobs of time to myself and I just knit and knit until my hands were too sore to knit any more. Besides finally finishing up the peacock tail scarf, and getting some good work done on the Hemlock Ring blanket I also started a super simple lace scarf (rather like fishnet) with the two skeins of awesome Artyarns beaded silk I got. It is just the most decadent yarn!

On Saturday I dropped by the LYS to get something soft and fuzzy for the blanket. Holding a strand of the Fonty Kidopale was not working -- too fine a yarn. But I wanted mohair and I found some gorgeous English mohair on cones at the LYS in a color just perfect for the blanket. So I wound off just under 2 ounces of it and it's perfect. Exactly the right color and very soft. I felt pretty special in the LYS - all the ladies were making over my blanket. Made me feel like a real knitter!

After washing my little doggie I had the whole entire afternoon on Saturday to knit! Bliss!! I got tons done on the blanket. And it was lovely up until it started storming and the wind came up. I had asked my DH to take down the canopy he had put up on the deck to protect the barbecue and tables and chairs when we had that party two weeks ago. However, he just hadn't gotten around to it. The wind picked up and got under the canopy and lifted the whole thing!! I was so afraid a leg was going to go through the glass doors and/or the windows so I had to get out there and try to wrestle the canopy off of the frame. NOT a pretty picture. I was so mad!!! I got it handled and you can bet he had the frame down and put away on Sunday afternoon.

I was itching to start something with the beaded silk and after a little lay down yesterday afternoon (also one of my goals for the weekend - catch up on sleep!) I started a very simple lace scarf. Here's where we are as of this morning. The glass beads are not very evident here but they are so cool!

While I had taken off a bit early on Friday I didn't get any rest, since I was working at home all afternoon. Saturday I wanted to sleep in but Tink was having none of it, nor could I sleep in on Sunday. But I did have that little nap, not that I slept. Ah but Sunday night - I held on until 9 and then I had to turn in and by gosh, I slept 8 whole hours! I feel pretty good. It's going to be a gruesome week. I really want to find a Friday or a Monday I can take off and have a 3 day weekend. We shall see.

03 October, 2008

Insomnia and stress

Yep -- they go hand in hand for me. At least lately I've not been waking up screaming with nightmares probably because I can't sleep long enough to get into REM sleep. Last night I took a Benedryl before I went to bed and that helped. I was finally able to get a good night's sleep and when I did wake up I managed to keep my head quiet and NOT think about work and I went back to sleep. I'm still groggy but at least it's Friday and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Next Wednesday is the last final for this one particular class and after that I'll only be doing 3 classes, which don't take up as much time or energy as this one. I cannot wait. And in the meantime to help me along I'm going to take off early today, maybe even before 3. Considering I was working and taking calls at home up until nearly 9:30 on Wednesday I think it's okay.

I have been knitting away on the Hemlock Ring Blanket but I've no more pictures today. It is getting too big to stretch out on the needles I currently have it on. This weekend I'll slip in some of my really really long Denise cords and snap a picture. I have done a few rows with the Cash Iroha and mohair together. I didn't realize that the mohair I had purchased was lace weight. I held it together with the main color and you can't even see it! It does make the Cash Iroha a little softer and give more halo so I'll probably do more of that as well as perhaps putting 3 strands together. I have two colors of the Fonty Kidopale and one of another mohair that I long ago lost the band from, but it's probably Kidsilk Haze. The 3 strands together should be enough for worsted weight and I could do a few rows of that. The Silk Garden looks really nice.

I only have a few rows to go on the Peacock Feather scarf so perhaps tonight I'll put on some mindless movie or watch some DVR and finish that up, get it off the pile, so to speak. The DH is working tonight and tomorrow night so I have plenty of alone time to knit.

30 September, 2008

The thing about blankets

I started another blanket. I just was not feeling that log cabin thingie I started. In fact it was ugly. I want to make a blanket but there is usually something icky about them to me. I think it's because so many people made ugly crocheted monstrosities out of cheap acrylic yarns. That gave homemade afghans a bad name in my opinion. The Cash Iroha I purchased on eBay arrived yesterday and I had been looking at the Hemlock Ring Blanket off and on for a while. When we went to the Puyallup Fair I also noticed a nice kit with several different kinds of yarn that made a really cute and cuddly blanket. The Cash Iroha is a beautiful shade of purple called Wisteria. See? And it knits up with a lovely halo due, I suppose, to the cashmere content. I also have several left over balls of Silk Garden and some beautiful angora and mohair that I bought when I was in Paris last time. I think that they would go very well with this yarn and add just a little extra to the blanket. I will have to experiment and be willing to rip back if it doesn't work. Something I'm not all that keen on, but maybe if I can make myself use lifelines it wouldn't be so daunting. Here's my start that I made while watching re-runs of "Lost" last night. Pretty gutsy, doing lace, even though it's on size 8 needles, while watching TV. I'll have to take a close look at it before I go any further to make sure I didn't mess up too badly.

29 September, 2008

Oh what's better than a good yarn bargain??

Yes okay sure, there are a few things better but .... I just had some spectacular luck on Friday. First of all it was gorgeous outside (and continues to be so -- supposed to be up close to 80 today and tomorrow). We have all been working so hard and such long hours and I had a free afternoon. So with the chairman's blessing I took off early. I needed to get some shampoo for the doggie and thought I'd swing by Tuesday Morning since people had been talking about a yarn sale there. Usually it's just junk but it never hurts to look. I found two skeins of Elsabeth Lavold Angora in a nice teal color that my friend Kate likes. Perfect to knit something for her. Nice yarn, too. Also earlier that day I snagged two skeins of Artyarns Beaded Silk at Yarnzilla for half price! An incredible turquoise color that I need to find the perfect lacy pattern for. And finally I got 12 skeins of Noro Cash Iroha in a beautiful lavender on eBay for less than half price. I am thinking I might use that for the Cascade Cables Pullover instead of the Seta Lana that I have started with because I think the Seta Lana is just a little too bulky. Well .... I'll have to (gulp) swatch. And also I am going to have to take some time and update my stash pictures for Ravelry. I am behind.

Saturday I did get my felting done, as well as my nails and grocery shopping for the dinner on Sunday. I was using S's top loader at the old house and I had never used it before for felting so I ended up having to run the thing twice. If I had been there I could have checked it during the cycle and just let it run longer, but ... oh well. The hat turned out perfect although I am not all that keen on the colors. The bag will be fine and useful when the handles are on it. I wish it had felted up a little tighter but it's fine. Great colors.

Saturday night was torture - the quarterback of the Huskies broke his thumb and although the second stringer did okay, it was not good enough to win. The Seahawks had a bye week. The weather cooperated and I got some good time in the garden on Sunday. The vegetables are all done and I cleaned out the beds except for the tomatoes. They will still be ripening for a while yet. The dinner was fine and I am looking forward to a quiet couple of evenings now. I am done with company for a while.

26 September, 2008

Hooray for the end of the week!

I am just so ready for the weekend. I have been exhausted all week and yesterday was just SO busy. All I want to do when I get home is collapse. I am going to sleep in tomorrow! I have all of the errands I never got around to last weekend to take care of but at least I won't have to get out of bed at 6 in the morning and maybe I'll even get to take a nap. I am quite anxious to get the bag and hat felted and I'll do that Saturday while my car is getting it's jiffy lube and I'm getting a manicure and stuff. The Husky football game isn't on until 7 pm so I'll have all day to do my things and shop, etc. and then relax and watch football (until it gets too painful). We're having a dinner for S's son on Sunday. He's going away to school Monday morning. And besides cooking and baking on Sunday I have GOT to get into the garden. I've not had time to do it the past couple of weeks and it needs some TLC.

I worked only a little on my peacock scarf last night. It's nearly done and I have to start thinking about what I'm going to pick up next. Maybe I'll get back to working on the Cable Cascade Pullover. I put it away when it got warm and now may be the time to pick that up again. .... or not.

23 September, 2008

Happy autumn

Oooo boy did I feel the difference today! I was cold on the way in to work! My ride starts off down hill and the wind on my hands ... wow. My fingers were numb by the time I made it down to the water and I had to stop and put on some little glove liners over my riding gloves. It hurt.

Had a super SUPER busy weekend and while I did get some good knitting done, in fact I'm almost done with the hat, I just couldn't bring myself to go out of the house on Sunday and go do the felting. In fact I fell asleep at 4 and slept until 7, then went to bed at 10 and forgot to turn on my alarm and slept until 7 in the morning with S's alarm went off! Now that's tired. Worn out. Lots of company with 3 little girls sleeping over both Friday and Saturday nights and then we had a family housewarming on Saturday afternoon/evening. The big bathtub finally got broken in. I know, it's hard to believe that I've resisted getting into that lovely tub but it's been just so hot! I haven't felt like a bath. Those little girls really loved it though, especially when I turned on the jets and whipped the bubbles up into a froth. That bathtub reminds me a lot of a bathtub a friend of mine had in Paris, although his didn't have jets.

I have a balance on my Paypal account that's eating away at me. I want to splurge on some really fancy yarn -- maybe Artyarns Beaded Silk. But I can't make up my mind so I'm going to let it go for now.

Work is just so busy -- yesterday I didn't even come up for air all day. I wolfed down my lunch in a few minutes around 1 and kept on going. Hopefully today it'll calm down a bit.

19 September, 2008

Genius!!

I have fallen in love with my iPhone all over again! While I was home sick on Tuesday I took the opportunity to download the updated iTunes and the updated software for my iPhone [which, as an unfortunately side effect, lost all of the music and I had to RE-load it which took practically the entire day]. The new software has a "Genius Playlist" function. What this is, besides pure genius, is a way for you to make a 25 song playlist based upon a song you like. How many times have you put your iPhone or iPod on shuffle and it just wasn't playing what you were in the mood for? Now you can pick a particular song you'd like to hear, hit the Genius button and it comes up with 24 little friends to match your mood. I absolutely LOVE it!! I had that thing plugged into my ears most all of yesterday. I highly recommend it if you haven't taken the time to download the software yet. It is really really cool.

Things that annoy me - there are plenty of them, sure. I'm a crabby kind of person I guess. No ... no wait, I think I'm just sensitive. Yeah. And truth be told I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who get annoyed at these types of things, just like I do. Plenty! So here's what is bugging me today -- the crazy over-protective state we find ourselves in. I'm not talking just about government regulating who can smoke where. Even though I'm a non-smoker I think it's just insane that a bar can't be designated a smoking place and if you don't want the smoke, don't go there. But I don't want to get off on that rant ... here's the deal. We have detour signs on the bike trail because they're fixing the places where tree roots have pushed up the pavement. I took the detour yesterday morning and it was ridiculous and dangerous and, yes, annoying! On the way home, realizing that I could bike 1/2 a mile out of my way when I was maybe 25 yards from my exit from the trail, I got off my bike and walked up to the barrier and looked. Hmmm ... nothing. So I pushed my bike around the barrier and went up a little ways to the bend in the trail and sure enough there was a patch of maybe 12 feet. Right in front of my exit. Now I had just seen a jogger come through there so I knew there was no reason I couldn't go through. So I pushed my bike along the dirt next to the pristine tar and that was that. This morning the signs were still there but I just totally ignored them and rode on through. You could see that was what quite a few other people had done as well. I mean ... it was hard when I went home last night! Who are they protecting??

I am just SO glad this week is over. I was so tired yesterday when I got home. I finished up the i-cord bind off for the Trellis Tote. As a side note, if I hadn't known how to make i-cord I would have been totally lost in the directions. She doesn't tell you to put the three stitches back onto the left needle after you knit them. It makes a lovely bind off though. So I got that done and started the hat. No pictures of the hat, but here's the bag pre-felted, obviously.

18 September, 2008

The strange laws of yarn

Yesterday afternoon at noon knitting I was working on the Trellis Tote and didn't really feel like that last skein of Kureyon was going to make it through the whole 6th row of the windows. Since I was still a bit under the weather I had driven in so I stopped at the LYS on the way home to get another skein just in case. And while I was there I picked up two more skeins for the hat AND a flat topped hat form. You know what that means though, don't you? Because I managed to find and buy a skein in the same dye lot I made it through that sixth row of windows with about 12 inches of yarn to spare. Not that I mind having an extra [hah, is yarn ever extra? It's like extra money .. no such thing] skein of Kureyon hanging about. I gave some serious thought to extending the bag two more series like the pattern suggests, but after taking a look at it again this morning I have decided that no, I don't want it to be that tall. I'm going to start the hat at lunchtime today. I will be going to Bothell for some grooming on Sunday so I could easily stop at the DH's old house which still has a working washing machine, top loader, that will work just fine.

We're having another open house this weekend for family since they weren't able to attend the last one due to a wedding [which we weren't invited to]. The weather has been absolutely heavenly lately but clouded up this morning and we're predicted to have rain just like the last one! No matter. I'm going to make some chili and we'll do brats on the grill and S can put up the canopy again. It's kind of cosy. Don't like all the wet being tracked through the house but oh well ....

17 September, 2008

I've got the itis!!

Startitis, that is. Not finished with the scarf, nor the socks, nor the Sizzle but I had to start the Trellis Tote. I had finished up my first punch card at my LYS and had that burning a hole in my pocket so I trotted up there Friday afternoon and purchased a couple skeins of Noro Kureyon and some Lamb's Pride Worsted for the trellis part of the bag, and also more Lamb's Pride to make my nephew's "Where's Waldo" hat. I hadn't read the tote pattern before I went up but had pretty much decided that I remembered the yarn amounts. But I goofed up. Lucky for me I had some gorgeous green Lamb's Pride at home in the stash so rather than use the black I had purchased I am using the green, and instead of 8 rows of windows, this tote is going to have six, which I think will actually be better. I am not going to put the felted handles on this one, but I have some purse handles that one of my Secret Pals sent last year which I think would be great. I also want to make the flap version with the felted handles (and grommets!) so I will need to get more yarn for that eventually. First though I am going to use the black Lamb's Pride I got to make a Trellis Toque. I need to find one of those had blocking things because with this pattern it is essential to block it so it's flat on top to get the proper look. Won't it be cute?

I got hit with what I can only guess is some little virus so I have been down and out the past couple days with a terrible sore throat and aches. I came in Monday but left after lunch and was in bed all day yesterday. I did a little work and downloaded new software for my iPhone which, again, erased all my music so almost the entire day was spent with me on the couch snoozing while the iPhone got filled back up again. I also bought the last season (5) of the Ricky Gervais Show and an episode of Saturday Night Live. I love my iPhone.