30 January, 2008

And the magic number is ......

48. That's the number of squares I have to knit in order to make that blanket. Two down, 46 to go. I think this may be a project that goes on and on and on for a while. I can't envision myself sitting around knitting squares (albeit pretty squares) for weeks and weeks. The inspiration may come and go, in other words. But I would truly like to do it so it's got a good chance of getting done.

I'm wearing my Cozy V-Neck Pullover today. It is cozy indeed. The temperature has risen out of the 30s - and my poor little face is very thankful. Now let's hope that's the last of the snow we'll be seeing this winter. Groundhog Day is just around the corner. I just have a funny feeling that we won't be getting an early spring this year. Just a feeling.

29 January, 2008

And ... it disappears

Snow is gone, thank goodness. Although the weather is as crappy as it can get with the wind and the clouds and the temperature hovering just above freezing. So yucky that Tink went out to do her business and then came back in and wanted to get back on the bed and sleep. She's usually out there sniffing around until I call her in.

I started a second square last night for my blankie. I hate the back side of the squares so much though that if I do finish this I am going to have to line it or I will be perpetually folding it so the back side doesn't show!! These are pictures of the 1st and 2nd square. I am not happy with starting the first one with a blue square in the middle but oh well.... Thankfully there will be lots and lots of them so I am going to like some better than others.

28 January, 2008

Why are all the kids smiling?

Because it snowed last night. There was at least 2 inches on the ground at my house this morning so I had to walk into work. I don't mind. It's a nice walk and I just plug in the ol' iPod and grab some coffee and away we go. One person passed me on a bicycle. She was going over the bridge. Insanity. Oh she made it ... but still. SO dangerous. And that bridge is going to be a sheet of ice on the way home tonight for sure. It is only 33 degrees now and I don't expect it's going to be getting much warmer today. I was going to run at lunchtime because the trail gets so much traffic that it's pretty much cleared off now but I left my shoes at home!!! I took them with me Friday so I could run the lake on the weekend and of course I forgot them because I don't usually bring them home. Oh well, it's probably not such a good idea to run in the snow anyway.

I am super stoked -- I finished my Cozy v-neck pullover this weekend. It is a wonderful sweater. I am just going to wear it to death. Here's a picture of the FO. And I must say this Rowan Soft Tweed is also a gorgeous yarn.

I have somehow been bitten by the blanket bug. I want to make a blanket. I have lots of odds and ends of worsted weight yarn, plus a few odd skeins of Noro Silk Garden and ... you know, a skein here and a skein there of yarn that it not enough to make anything big. So I thought I would make a blanket. I was at first looking at mitered squares but then thought that a log cabin type of blanket would be good. And rather than make just one huge one I would make squares and then sew them together. I am almost done with my first square but I am so dissatisfied with the back side. I suppose that's the reason there are so many crocheted afghans and so few knitted ones. As I was falling asleep last night - or rather, NOT falling asleep - I was thinking about this and I wonder if I could crochet a log cabin square? Why not? I don't like those Granny Square type of afghans. They say 60's to me for some reason. But a log cabin type of square, even though it's crocheted, might not look so bad. I'm going to give it a try tonight. Then the backside wouldn't be so ugly and I wouldn't have to line it plus which, crochet goes a whole lot faster.

The other thing I cast on this weekend is the Simple Knitted Bodice in Knit One Crochet Too Angora Soft that I got at Webs. I got gauge with the recommended needle size, cast on and away I went. Only a couple rows in but it's going to look good.

25 January, 2008

I'm going to stop complaining soon

No, really I am. It's just that it's so freaking COLD!!! It was 26 when I arrived at work this morning, numb and hurting. I need to get some better protection for my hands is what it is. And cover my face with something. I go downhill to start my ride and holy cow, that wind chill is brutal. And that's all I'm going to say about it.

I had a wonderful knitterly evening last night. Sure, the majority of people would think it is a boring evening but it was very satisfying. I finished up the second sleeve of my Cozy V-Neck and got all the stitches picked up around the neckline and even managed a couple rows of ribbing before I had to quit. Oh, I wanted very much to finish up that neckline and then only have the sleeves to sew up and the ends to weave in. But I was so tired and I hadn't slept at all well Wednesday night so I quit around 10 and headed to bed, where I fell immediately asleep and slept like a rock! Tonight I will finish it up.

Then what? I don't think I should start any sleeveless projects. I have three long sleeved projects in my queue and I'm just waiting on the yarn -- the Mystery Jacket KAL yarn should be arriving soon and we'll be starting that in a couple weeks. My eye was caught by a mitered square blanket project on Ravelry and I have so much left over stuff in worsted weight plus odds and ends of 2 balls here and 1 ball there that I just might start a blanket. I was always wanted to make one and this would be something that I could just pick up by the TV - a mindless knit type of thing - when I'm bored with my current (zillion other) project(s). I don't know, it's a thought.

I do have to finish up something on the first of February as part of the Finish on the Firsts group I found on Ravelry. I think that will be the Scoop du Jour cardigan since I only need to do some sewing up. And I would wear it.

Not sure about this weekend. I am going to run tomorrow around Green Lake. It is supposed to either rain or (ugh) snow this weekend, it looks like. I'm already sick of winter.

24 January, 2008

What the heck is up with Yahoo's spam filter???

Yahoo email has been in beta for a while but finally -- I guess it was last month -- they released their mail program and ever since then my in box has been inundated with the nastiest spam! My spam in box gets plenty of it as well but my regular in box too? It is as if the spam filters went away once they got out of beta. I have re-set my spam filter and of course mark every single one of those disgusting emails as spam but every day I must get at least 10 and maybe more. It makes me crazy!!

The cold continues. Right now it's 33 degrees. I just keep my fingers crossed that we don't get any moist air around here because if we did we'd have snow and it would stick. Ick. The good part about it being cold is that it's a joy to work on my Cozy V-Neck. I have 38 more rows of ribbing to go on my second sleeve, then pick up and knit the neck and I'm done. Woohoo! That's pretty fast. I don't have anything going on this evening so with any luck I should be able to get that thing finished. I not only have the wool for the Mystery Jacket KAL coming but I have run into a couple of insane deals lately and have some black Knit One Crochet Two Angora Soft that I got at WEBS for $12.50 for a bag!!! And from Little Knits I ordered a whole bag of Angora Extra in white for ... well it wasn't such a screaming deal as $12.50 but that's crazy ... Anyway I think I'll use the black for the Simple Knitted Bodice and the white ... not quite sure yet. So that means I have plenty ... yes PLENTY of stash. Enough to make long sleeved sweaters until it warms up and then enough to make short sleeved and tanks from then on. I need to go on a yarn diet. No seriously.

23 January, 2008

We are talking some serious cold here

Holy cow is it ever cold! Dry and cold. Bone chilling cold. The kind of cold where you search around for those flannel jammies you only wear when you've got a bad flu. I was very thankful that I was working on a sweater last night because the lap full of wool kept me warm, even though I was having a fire as well! Finished up the first sleeve and started on the second. It's looking great!

I'm getting excited about the Mystery Jacket KAL that Kerry started over on Ravelry. People have already begun receiving their yarn!!! This will be my first KAL. We were told to choose two colors (if we wanted a contrasting color) and I chose a blue with a kiwi green contrast (big surprise there, eh?). Then Kerry will be sending us instructions for panels. This is constructed as a sort of patchwork, it sound like. I am looking forward to it. I don't think I would be able to do a mystery stole type of thing, but a mystery sweater? I'm all over that!

I'm working from home today so for my lunch hour I am going to be responsible and go get my emissions test and new tabs for my car. Hope the line isn't bad.

22 January, 2008

Wind Chill!!!!

Yeeeeowwww! I am telling you ... it was brutal this morning! When I got my computer booted up I saw that the temperature was 24 degrees so no wonder the wind chill was so painful. I should have put a scarf over my lower face this morning. My hands were numb by the time I hit the top of the campus and there's a mile more to go at that point so I was in PAIN when I finally got into my office. Hopefully it'll be warmer when I head out for my run in a few hours. It is clear so it will be sunny anyway.

We had a long weekend and I got lots of work done on my Cozy V-Neck Pullover. I finished the front and got nearly half way done with the first sleeve. I was going to put up a picture this morning but the batteries are dead in my camera (again!) and I hadn't re-charged the other set so ... tomorrow. And I am getting NEW rechargeable batteries!! The ones I have are just the cheesiest and they don't last at all.

My weekend was fun and busy. Rehearsal Friday was pretty good - much better than last week. Saturday's gig was, however, a little frustrating. The "bad" keyboard player was with us and he was terrible. The guitar player was also not at his best so the band leader got frustrated and even screamed at them on the stage. Drama drama drama ... gah. We will be using the "good" keyboard player from now on and hopefully we can get ourselves a decent guitar player as well.

Sunday I slept in and then the BF and I took Tink to Green Lake and had a nice run. Tink was a trouper - she ran the whole 30 minutes! And of course, so did we. It was wonderful! Then it was football football ... and wouldn't you know it neither of "my" teams won! Dang! So it's going to be a who-gives-a-**** Super Bowl. The Giants and the Patriots? Nobody cares in this part of the world. And Sunday night we watched the latest Harry Potter movie. And I must say I'm glad I didn't waste my time going to see it at the theatre. I know the book is huge and the story is huge so what they left out of the movies was .... WAY too much. It barely made sense! I guess if you've never read any of the books it wouldn't make any difference but ... jeepers.

And yesterday - a lovely day off. The weather was clear and cold and the sky was blue. We ran errands and took Tink to Marymoor park for a nice long walk. Then I gave her a bath and had a lovely nap ... ahhhhhh. And here we are back at work. It's going to be a good week.

18 January, 2008

Super cute baby hat

With only one phone call interruption last night I had plenty of time to knit and finished up this adorable baby hat. This is my first ever baby project and now I see why people get so addicted to them. SUPER cute stuff and pretty quick results = nearly instant gratification. If I didn't have a million and one other things in my queue I'd most likely start on more baby stuff but ... I do. There is, however, a very cute baby jacket that I would love to make ..... I'm going to hold off.

I then got to do a bit more work on the ribbing for my pullover. Only about 2 or 3 more inches of the body ribbing to do. Oh I do so love doing sweaters in the round!! Here's a WIP photo. This is going to be a great sweater. I wear my Banff a lot and I think this one is going to be comparable. A real what-do-I-throw-on kind of thing. Always looks good and gets compliments.

We have a 3-day weekend coming up and the weather is supposed to be nice. Nice = not raining. Tomorrow will be taken up with getting my nails done and getting ready for the gig, but then I've got Sunday AND Monday. Maybe a nice run around Greenlake Sunday and either a bike ride or a trip out to Marymoor's off leash dog park with Tink on Monday? I like winter weekends when it's nice. If it were spring I'd either be working in the garden or feeling guilty about NOT working in the garden. This time of year - no garden work! Niccccccce.

17 January, 2008

That darned baby hat!

It keeps hanging on. One would assume that a baby hat could be knocked out in an evening, especially one so simple as this Little Boy Blue Ribbed Baby Hat! That is, of course, assuming [again] that said knitter has some uninterrupted time. I only had about an hour and a half last night but it looks as if I'm up to the decrease part, so that's only a dozen or so rows. I will be able to finish it up tonight. I don't expect I will be getting any interruptions.

One of my interruptions -- well two actually -- was my friend McGarrah calling for fashion advice. From Arizona, no less. He's competing in yet another songwriter contest. I think this is his fourth. It's in Florida - the South Florida Folk Festival - this weekend and he wanted my advice on what to wear. Why he couldn't get a friend down there to help him I'll never know but that's just the way he is. I told him he should get a short sleeved silk shirt to wear untucked. "Think Tony Soprano with cowboy boots". He got it. Let's hope he skipped the palm trees and just got a plain shirt.

I had an absolutely fabulous run yesterday. I like running when it's cold. Once I get warmed up it feels so good! And I think it's good to take a break every now and again. If only I could do it without gaining weight!

16 January, 2008

And .... it's gone

The snow, that is. Almost all gone from the roads. I road my bike in this morning and except for the bridge the streets were mostly clear. The bridge is always another story. Maybe today it'll be cleared because it's supposed to get up to 40. My walk home last night was not as slippery but it was definitely colder. I just don't want any more snow. We have a gig this Saturday and if it's snowing that is going to mean the crowd is going to be sparse. In Seattle people don't go out so much when it's snowing. It's very hilly here and the club we are playing in is at the top of one of the bigger hills in the city. If it's snowing I know *I* sure won't be driving. I hate to drive in the snow.

Today I'm going to sign up for two races - one in February and one in March. That'll get me back out on the trail to train. I think it's been a couple weeks since I've run and now I have a goal so I'll be back out there today. It looked like the trail was cleared. It gets a lot of traffic. I even saw people running on it yesterday. But then it was a sheet of ice! That's too dicey for me. I am such a klutz! I don't need any help in that department. The February race is an easy one around Green Lake, which is flat. The March race is a very VERY fun race from the Seattle Center down to Qwest Field via the Alaska Way Viaduct, which obviously is closed to traffic as are the streets leading to it. It is so incredible to be running where one has only driven before. Last year it was raining but still there were something like 15,000 people there. It's just unbelievable.

Last night I started my first baby hat. In all the years I've been knitting now -- like 4 I guess -- I have never done any baby stuff. I got a size 7 circular yesterday at lunchtime and cast one for a simple ribbed hat. I found the pattern on Ravelry but I think I'll change the top to have an I-cord that I knot. I like that look. I went to the LYS with my friend Ruth who wants a pair of sox. "How long does it take you to knit a pair of sox"? Depends ... depends on how many other things I'm working on and how long it takes me to finish the ones that are on the needles now! But she bought a skein of yarn so when I'm done with these I will start hers and have to wait to use my lovely yarn from Jen. Ah well ... we all need more time don't we?

15 January, 2008

Snow and ice

I wasn't feeling well so I stayed home yesterday. I slept and later I knit on the endless ribbing. Good news -- only about 4 or 5 more inches to go! I wanted to make a baby hat for my cousin's new baby boy but oddly enough I don't have a 16 inch size 7 circular needle. I couldn't use my Denise 9 inch cords because they are holding the sleeves for the sweater I'm working on. I guess I'll just have to get one. I just made a fire and watched a movie and knit and knit. This is one of those instances when you knit on something for what seems like an hour and then measure and it doesn't seem like you've made any progress at all! But I kept at it. Sooner or later it will be long enough. And even though I slept most of the day I still turned in early, read for about a minute and fell asleep.

It started snowing around 5:30 or six last night up north, but where I was it was mixed until around 7:30 when it definitely started to turn white and stick. When I let Tink out before we went to bed it was starting to clear up and there was about an inch or so on the ground. I was hoping it would melt during the night but it didn't. The streets and sidewalks are just sheets of ice so I walked in this morning rather than risk my neck on my bike. If I rode on well traveled roads it would be different, but the street I take in doesn't have much traffic and therefore stays icy and treacherous. I rather like walking in although when it's slippery it takes about 10 minutes longer than when it's not. There were plenty of vehicles slipping and sliding up the hills and I only passed a few bicyclists too crazy or stupid to find alternate means of transportation.

11 January, 2008

SO much fun!

What a great evening I had last night! I can't even begin to tell you how great "Jersey Boys" was. I am a very very VERY picky theatre patron and I just loved it. The production values were awesome. The sound -- well it just floored me. It was wonderful. If you ever get a chance to see it -- take it.

It was a fairly long show and so I didn't get to bed until nearly midnight and then couldn't shut out the voices until at least 12:30 so I'm pretty tired today. I'd love to just curl up in a corner with a cup of tea and knit but I'm busy at work so I'd better kick start myself and get going. I can knit while I'm getting my hair done and maybe I'll bring it ("it" being my cozy v-neck sweater with the miles and miles of ribbing to knit) to rehearsal tonight. And I will be able to work on it during the game on Saturday. (Go Hawks!!) I've joined a group on Ravelry that is dedicated to finishing UFOs on the 1st of every month. I'm stoked.

10 January, 2008

Back in the saddle again

Oh yeah! Got my bike back last night after work. They were supposed to fix the tire AND replace the cable for my shifters but I guess somebody dropped the ball, because my shifters were still slipping. But the tire is fixed so .... not all is lost. I did get to ride in finally. It's like ... what ... 3 weeks since I've been on my bike! No wonder I feel like a toad! I'm going to buckle down and get back into my routine next week. Besides having a trip to Maui planned for May (yes a long long looooong ways away from now) I just want to get back into the other half of my wardrobe, if you know what I mean. But isn't that everyone's complaint at this time of year?

So I rode in this morning and it wasn't too cold, thank goodness. It's been really cold lately - not freezing but just above it. This morning it was in the upper 40s and just raining a bit. Typical Seattle weather. Oh, and dark. I have SUCH a hard time getting out of bed but I did pretty well today and just managed to get on campus before the main onslaught of surly, shuffling students. I've got to shoot out of here a little early today, pedal like crazy to get home in decent time to take a shower and change and be ready to go at 5:30. We're going to dinner and then to see "The Jersey Boys". It's supposed to be really good and I've been wanting to see it ever since it came to town. The tickets are completely sold out but my BF has friends who work in the theatre so we were able to get tickets. I haven't been to a show since ... err ... ah! since I was in London the Thanksgiving before last. Yikes. Time flies. Over a year ago!

No knitting last night. I did noon knitting on my socks yesterday. I could finish those up if I put my mind to it. Then maybe I should start my next pair with the yarn I got from Jen's Etsy shop, Knitting Like Crazy. I bought a ball winder, now I just need a swift and I can wind that up and get knittin'. And I joined (another!) Ravelry group today. This one dedicated to finishing up UFOs on the first of the month. I have at least 3. Perhaps I shouldn't be too ambitious and just pick one to do on the first. Or by the first. I did start sewing up Isabella but even just slip stitching it is a trial. At least I know I'm not the only one with this particular affliction. Some call us "process knitters" and others call us "lazy". I'm both.

09 January, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I finally got off my tush (so to speak) and took pictures of my latest WIP, the Cozy V-Neck Sweater with Deep Ribbing from Fitted Knits. I'm using Rowan Soft Tweed in a lovely gray with little flecks of blue and pink in it. It's such a nice yarn. As you can see I've just started the ribbing. I've got ten inches of that to go. It's going to be a long road but thankfully it's perfect TV knitting and there is a game on this Saturday. (Seahawks and Green Bay). Here's a close up. Maybe you can see the flecks.

And I'm working on the foot of those socks. Not too exciting a picture so we'll skip that for now.

A couple days ago I was thinking again of a pattern I had admired a few years ago in an Interweave Knits magazine. (I must make myself put stickies on pages of things I like because I do remember them and then can't find the right magazine. It's frustrating.) I went through all of my IKs, although I must admit NOT page by page, but rather just flipping through and I couldn't find what I was looking for. So I posted on Craftster (although I probably should have done so on Ravelry as well) and sure enough my vague description of a purple cabled sweater done in the round did ring someone's bell and here it is - the Cable Cascade Pullover pattern by Jennifer L. Appleby. Now to find the right yarn. It is from Fall of 2005 so I probably can't get the yarn called for -- but I can surely find a suitable substitution.

And so to work.

08 January, 2008

Cliche -- It never rains but it pours

I swear ..... continuing with the bike saga ... I got my bike out of my car at lunchtime yesterday and walked it down to the bike shop in the freezing cold. Oddly enough I saw a man pushing a bike towards me as I got nearer to the shop. He crossed the street rather than try to maneuver his bike around mine on the sidewalk and I just figured he didn't want to ride in his work clothes. But as I got closer to the store I realized that they didn't have any stock outside, which was unusual and sure enough as I got to the doors I realized no one was inside and signs on the door said they were closed for inventory. arghghg Then my luck changed, happily. A man came out from behind the shop and introduced himself as one of the owners and he kindly took my bike for me. So at least I didn't have to push it back and try to load it into my car on my own. Now maybe I can have it back tomorrow. I was going to walk in today but ended up with a very late start due to a house guest who decided to get up at 5:15 and make business calls in the living room rather than downstairs in the guest room. I tried to get a little more sleep when he finally shut up but I couldn't get back to sleep .... and it was pouring rain and cold. So I drove again. Winter in Seattle is just the worst.

Because of company I didn't knit last night although I did bring it with me today so maybe I can get a few minutes in this afternoon for a break. My right hand is still a bit sore from not one but two separate cheese grating incidents during my little holiday. One on my thumb and one on my middle finger. I feel like the klutziest person alive.

I've been spending more and more time on Ravelry. Yesterday I signed up for a Mystery Jacket KAL which sounds like lots of fun. You can get lost in those forums for sure!

07 January, 2008

Happy New Year and all that stuff

I had a wonderful long rest and today had to actually set the alarm and get out of bed and enter back into real life. And reality smacked me, too! How fair is that?? I was doing pretty good time-wise, got all my stuff in my various packs and bags, got all togged up for the weather and headed out to get my bike and wouldn't you know it - the back tire was flat as a pancake!! At least this time I had the presence of mind to get the bike into the back of my car so when I do my run today I can just walk it down to the bike shop as my warm up. But really .... what a way to start the week, eh?

During my California portion of the vacation I didn't get much knitting done. One day I made the mistake of taking up my Liesel scarf and promptly messed up the stitch count. It was very windy that day and my sister had the windows wide open so the wind was whipping around, getting my hair in my eyes and somehow I missed something on the chart. I didn't tink it back ... probably should have but I thought best to just put it away and I haven't taken it out since. I did a few rows on the socks -- it's all foot now and I can finish those up in a couple evenings but I'll probably just take them into noon knitting since they are so nice and portable.

I started a new project but I don't have my camera with me today. It's cold here and I wanted to do something in the round. I chose a V-necked sweater from Fitted Knits. I had purchased some Rowan Soft Tweed at Elann (I think) and was able to get gauge with a 10 1/2 needle. It's going to be a classic sweater that I should be able to get some good wear from.

Saturday night was the big 50th birthday party for a friend of mine and I had volunteered (in a fit of madness, frankly) to get a band together for him. It was touch and go there what with the guitar player getting detained for some traffic infraction and having to search around for a drum kit but it all came together quite nicely. Plus which, as we were setting up we got to watch the Seahawks beat the Redskins and that was a gggrrreat game!!

Now back to the real world.