29 April, 2008

Not quite ready for FO pictures

I almost got those socks done last night, while watching a movie. But I got side tracked because I am on a mission to find the perfect top to make with the Ella Rae Shibu. It must have drape. It must have fluidity. It has to be a style that I will wear. I have gone through about 3/4 of my magazines, and all the books. I found nothing in the books but I have, I think, 5 possible projects marked in the magazines. After I finish going through the rest of them and marking possibilities then I will make a big ol' swatch and see what kind of gauge I'm getting to get the fabric I want and go on from there. There was a beautiful little cardigan someone had made and from this and posted pictures on Ravelry. However, it was a pattern they came up with and when messaged about it, she wrote back that she didn't know how to write up patterns. Is that not ridiculous? Come on ... if you can knit and you can make up your own pattern you most assuredly can write it up. I would much rather have had her say, thanks but I'd rather keep it to myself.

Still working from home. They are power washing more ... did the roof yesterday, which is now looking brand new, and the deck which I forgot was so pretty. This house is just going to be so beautiful when it's done. I am so grateful I can work from home. It would be terrible if I had to take vacation to babysit these guys.

28 April, 2008

Boy that was fast

T-Twist is done! That has to be some kind of record for me. I got this finished up on Saturday. It is really cute on. And after I got that finished I worked on those socks that I have been dragging around for so long. I am about six rows away from finishing those as well! I will get them done tonight. My dilemma is what to make next! I have the yarn for Fifi and I already bought the pattern but I have to work from home and my printer is out of ink plus the PDF is not on this computer. So, that's out. I am really really wanting to make something from the beautiful Ella Rae Shibu I bought from Little Knits a while ago. The color is gorgeous and it's 90% silk so the drape is also going to be wonderful. I just don't have a particular pattern that I think will work. What I may do is go through my stacks and stacks of back issues of Vogue and IK and see if something jumps out at me. It should have flowing sleeves and it can't be anything that needs stretch. I just might have to come up with something myself but ... well, we'll see.

I spent lots of time this weekend going to home improvement stores looking for stuff for the house - new knobs for the kitchen, lock for the deck door, carpet for the basement, etc. Not all that much fun, frankly, but it had to be done. And now it's pouring rain and they can't do any painting, obviously. But there is tons of indoor stuff for them to get going on. It's going to be hard to concentrate here but really I only have one tough chore - one that I need quiet to think about. So I guess I should jump on that while I am alone.

25 April, 2008

More working from home

I was working from home yesterday and again today! Why is it that when I'm really busy at work is when I have to work from home!! Ah well, at least the power washing is done. That was just torture yesterday. It went on all day long! This morning I had to tolerate the sound of the gutters being removed. hah .. reminds me of when I was in that little studio apartment in Paris. They were remodeling the building next to me and so many mornings I would be awakened by sledge hammers slamming into brick. This is a bit easier to take since the house isn't shaking. [However, if I could just close my eyes and magically whisk myself back there, I think I could put up with it.]

Anyway .... so this morning I needed to run into the office to pick up a few things. I stopped in the turnaround and ran into the main office and was chatting with a friend while I put a few things in the mail boxes, dashed back to the Annex and into my office where I picked up some papers and off I went. I was less than ten blocks from home when I realized I had forgotten something in my office so back I went. I am happy I realized it before I got parked and into my house!

Had a rehearsal last night. Dwain brought yet another girl to sing with us, since Chantal is going to be leaving in July. I really didn't want to be there. I have so much stuff to do at home. And I didn't think the girl was very good at all. I hope he doesn't hire her.

Only four rows to go on the T-twist. I can finish it up tonight!! Yay me! I won't have much time for knitting this weekend. Must get packing, for one thing. And shop for new carpet for downstairs and fixtures for the bath and kitchen. Do I have to say it again? My house is going to look so awesome!!!! Wahhhh

23 April, 2008


Wow. This T-twist is a super fast knit. It looks like a baby dress in this picture but what you're seeing is the body of the top and the beginning of the yolk. Bad angle, sorry. I got the body finished up yesterday late afternoon, got the sleeves started and then put them on the yolk. I think I have about twenty more rows to go and then I can try it on. S took a look at it sitting on the table and said, "Is that for you??!!!" Well yes ... it does look small but when you look at the picture you can see that it has a large scoopy neck. I think it'll be fine.

Yesterday I had to work from home because I had landscapers whipping my back hedge and garden into shape. It looks wonderful. I'm ready for Step II - the new gutters and the outside paint. Just need to corral that contractor. Contractor wrangling - not a job for the faint of heart.

So this top is going to be done very soon. Maybe even tonight. Do you think I could gather the courage and whatever else it takes and finally finish that Isabella? I do so want to take it to Hawaii with me. It's going to look so good. Let's all send good finishing vibes my way.

21 April, 2008

A whirlwind of a weekend

I must say, working both Friday and Saturday nights really chews up a weekend. I took off as soon as I could Friday night but still I need time to wind down at home, usually reading in bed for a while until I can sleep. That means I am lucky to fall asleep by 3am and that's exactly what happened Friday. Oh but the gig was really good. They seem to like us a lot at that wine bar and it's a lovely place to play. Nice hotel, big room, and plenty of people. If only the dance floor were larger. We get lots of people dancing but it fills up too fast. Some people were dancing in front of the hostess stand.

The weather Friday evening (snow) and Saturday (more snow but not sticking) was miserable. I ran some errands on Saturday and got in a nice nap before Saturday's show at the Paragon. The crowd wasn't much though. Didn't stay long. Plus which we lost a good portion of the people during the first set because Dwain's crappy speaker system wasn't working.

This whole week is just one thing after another - huge week. Meetings today and tomorrow and hopefully the landscapers can start on the yard this week early. The weather permitting, of course. I am SO ready for spring. We have never ever had snow this late in the year here in Seattle. It's bizarre.

I did get a few more rows done on my T-twist. It's a quick knit.

18 April, 2008

Insomnia strikes again

O man ... I maybe had 3 hours of sleep last night. I say maybe because I last looked at the clock at 3 am [I know I know you're not supposed to look at the clock] and my alarm goes off at 6:30. I think I got some caffeine accidentally while I was out shopping last night. I was thirsty, drank what I was told was a caffeine free beverage but the tossing and turning leads me to believe that I was misled. So I am just dizzy this morning. I didn't ride my bike in, but rather drove. It's rainy and cold and I've got to run errands on the way home so I gave the bike a pass.

This weekend we are working both tonight and Friday night. Tonight's gig is at the Twisted Cork wine bar in Bellevue, where we played last weekend. The crowd is very nice but I don't like having the "stage" be level with the dance floor. That is a disaster waiting to happen. Like last Friday when a drunk woman nearly crashed into me. Luckily her partner was sober enough to see which direction she was heading and snatched her just inches away from falling into my mic stand, which would have of course smashed me in the mouth. That happened to me more than once when I was in my old band. And I'm here to tell you that it hurts like the dickens to be smashed in the mouth with a microphone. Not pleasant.

Bonnie called me yesterday with an update - she has bronchitis. Poor girl. At least she went to the doctor and got medicine so she should be okay for this weekend. Fingers crossed out there! It would be pretty hard to do the gig without her with just me and the new singer.

Well here's a first for today - knitting wise. I am wearing two garments that I have knit. I have on my brown Green Gables and my turquoise Scoop du Jour. Looks nice.

Well I've got tons of work to do and I've GOT to shake off this malaise. I'm a little blue today.

17 April, 2008

Urban chickens

Tuesday evening my friend Bonnie stopped by on her way home from work for a little chat. She was sitting in my big, comfy chair idly looking out the window as she was drinking her tea. All of a sudden she said, "Shelley, do you have chickens??" "Chickens? No!" I looked out my window and sure enough, there were two big roosters scratching and pecking in the dirt around the posts of the deck! I have no idea where they escaped from but as we were watching they started wandering on down the drive and back to the alley. Hopefully they're homing chickens.

Yesterday was a particularly intense day. Three of the secretary/support staff were out sick. The department administrator was scrambling around, scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to get bodies to sit in the main office. I sat there from 3 to 4:30. I didn't have my laptop so I couldn't work on anything so, since it was Wednesday and I had my knitting, I worked on my T-Twist. And it was a nice break for me since I had been going non-stop all day. I was NOT looking forward to rehearsal but got Tink all walked, had my dinner and was just starting to get changed when Bonnie called. She wasn't feeling well. So I called Dwain and it turned out that the keyboard player had a gig anyway and the other singer, the substitute, was most likely busy as well. So -- FREE EVENING!!! WOOOOHoooooo!

Yes yes I could have started cleaning out the garage. Or the basement. What I did do though was laundry and knitting. All by myself. Ahhhhh niccccccce. Got lots done on the T-Twist. Should have taken pictures but I had to meet the landscaper this morning and I was running late anyway so ... no time. Tomorrow.

16 April, 2008

What happened to Tuesday?

I have no idea. It was a busy day yesterday. I didn't even have time for a walk at lunch. I had run on Monday - well, of course I'm getting back into it so it was run for 5 minutes, walk for 5 minutes, run for 10 minutes, ... well, you get the idea. I wanted to walk yesterday but lunchtime was eaten up with work. That's okay, I don't want to over do it. I think I would go absolutely stark raving mad if I relapsed yet again. Slow and steady this time. Going for a little run again today at lunchtime. I won't push it. If I am a super good girl by this time next week I should be able to do my whole run and feel good!

On Monday night I started another project - the T-Twist from Knitty. I have some pretty pink cotton yarn in my stash that I bought specifically for this pattern almost a year ago. I cast on Monday night and got this far before bed. However, yesterday as I was posting the pics on my Ravelry page and got to looking at other projects and reading about them I realized that I had better change to a size small. So I ripped it out last night and cast on again for a size small and got to just about the same point. I just love love LOVE the color of this yarn! And the twisted edging looks really nice. I find that I will wear my knitted t-shirts a lot. I did the Green Gables in brown last year and I still wear that quite a bit.

My sister is visiting her boyfriend, who is on location in Thailand. I just have to share this picture she sent me yesterday. It is so completely outrageous! And very cool. Check it out:
She and her boyfriend were eating in a restaurant when the elephant and handler came in. For a few bot they will give you a cookie to give to the elephant. She fed it and then it used it's trunk touching her looking for more cookies! She said it felt funny and was kind of scary too! Ya think?

14 April, 2008

Finally - I finished something

It seems like such a long time since I've actually finished a garment! Here it is - my Simple Knitted Bodice! It's completely impossible for me to get a good picture of this, since it's black. You're going to have to imagine the details - the purl ridges framing the lace insets, the deep V-neck also with purl ridges around. You can see the sleeves though, which I just love! I am going to use this sleeve again for sure. Since this is just a simple top down pattern it will be easy to adapt that sleeve. I can see now how a fabric with more drape would be more desirable for this pattern but I really wanted to use the Angora Soft because I need a closer fitting black sweater. Unfortunately I made a medium and I really should have made a small. It's a bit big around but I will wear it. It's pretty cute.

And now ... now I get to start something new!! And I'm tired of black, I can tell you that for sure. I have some great yarns in my stash - lovely colors. Should I start Fifi? (Even though I still need to sew up and finish my poor Isabella?) Or maybe I'll do the Ballet Camisole from the now defunct MagKnits [got a copy of the pattern off the cached link in Google]. Or ... Or I could do Juliet. I have options ... lots and lots of options. And there are always socks to finish. Oh .. .and the Cascading Cables, although I might have to wait on that until next autumn since it's coming on spring big time.

It was so warm on Saturday - over 70! I had to open up the front door to warm up the inside of the house. Tink was so silly - she would lay in the dirt in the sun until she was just baking, then come inside panting, drink water and go try to find someplace cool to lay down. Silly dog. We worked at a new club on Friday night so I was tired Saturday, having gotten a little less than 5 hours sleep. I just enjoyed the sunshine and sat and knit and knit and knit and knit some more. It was lovely. I had a day off from thinking about the house or the big event. Any time anything would pop into my head I would shoo it out. It was lovely.

10 April, 2008

What's not to love about the Top-down sweater?

Still toiling away on the Simple Knitted Bodice. I finished up the sleeve increases and am now just knitting away on one sleeve at a time (since they're large enough for a single circular needle). The pattern says to knit the sleeves until they are 16" or desired length, then knit the 10 rows of purl ridges. My desired length is long, like on the model in the picture. Not quite that long, but long. Now I don't have long arms by any stretch of the imagination but when I put that on last night after knitting 10 rows after the increases and measuring on the table that it was 15" at that point ... well, it was still way too short. So I think I'll knit the sleeves to at least 17" before I knit the purl ridges. It could very well be that the Tilly Tomas yarn is stretchy, or stretchier than the yarn I'm using anyway. But one of the things I really like about this pattern is the belled, longer sleeves. So my point is that it's very nice to be able to just slip that thing on over my head and really, truly see how long the sleeves are! Yes!

I didn't end up having much time for knitting last night because the woman who my real estate agent hired to come help get my house ready for the market took over an hour to go through the house and yard. She just went NUTS over the back garden. Just absolutely LOVED it and said that it was going to be a huge selling point for the house. It is pretty cool but ... I don't use it. And I hate to garden. She gave me all sorts of directions on how to move things around, where to put mirrors, etc. And truly - this is not going to be an easy house to live in if it looks like a magazine! Which is the whole point. "We're selling the dream", she says. I can really tell the difference between how houses are presented for sale now as opposed to when I bought mine which was 15+ years ago! Then you had to have some imagination and people just made sure the house was clean and tidy. Now though you have to remove over half ... yes, over HALF of your stuff. She says people have to look at the place and say "I want to live like this!". I told her about a house that S and I looked at a few weeks ago, how lovely it was but .... "Who lives like this?". "Nobody", she says. And now I see - people bring portable storage units up to their homes, store everything but the bare essentials and live in a magazine advertisement until the house sells. Which sometimes is pretty darned long. I am SO SO lucky that I bought in this neighborhood because it's about the only one in Seattle that is moving inventory.

All of the things she wants me to do are do-able but holy cow -- it would be very very difficult to maintain, especially with Tinkerbell. She said if she were me she'd move to S's house rather than try to live there. This is a possibility, especially (well, ONLY) since his kids are going to be moved out by May 1. The problem with it is that S's house is way out in Bothell. On the other hand it is just a block or so from the Burke-Gilman Trail and while it would be a long ride, the trail is flat and I think I could do it, especially since the weather is turning. Much to think about. And here's another thing on the side of moving in with S - when she went into my office/yarn room she said, "You're not going to like this. Take everything out except the roll-top desk, chair and wall unit." Store my stash???!?? Arghghgh!!! If I went to S's, I could have it with me. That's a biggie.

09 April, 2008

Okay ... feeling a bit better today

Although I didn't get in any therapeutic knitting yesterday the sun is shining just a little bit and my mood is rising as well. If I could only ride my bike or run again. But I am bound and determined not to have another relapse, so I'm driving in every day this week. Taking it easy is not an option this week, but at least I can keep warm and not exert myself. You have no idea how hard it is though. I saw somebody jogging on the way home yesterday and had to fight back the tears. It just makes me a little nuts when I have to go so long without working out. I guess it's the endorphins. My doctor always teases me when I get something like this that he'd better get me well soon or he's going to have to prescribe antidepressants. Truly, he's not that far off the mark!! But I know that if I'm good this week then next week I can start running again. So, this is me being good.

Last night I got home and only had time to primp and it was off to the mall with my FMIL and some little girls to do some shopping. Tonight after work I'm meeting with the house Market Ready woman, tomorrow night it's rehearsal and then I got a call from the band leader last night and it looks like we're working Friday night! I tell you, I am going to do nothing but sleep on Saturday. Poor little Tinkie was left alone the greater part of the evening so she was very restless all night and kept me up for almost 2 hours in the middle of the night. I will be able to spend some time with her tonight so hopefully I'll at least be able to get my 7 or 8 hours. I am blurry today.

Noon knitting to look forward to though!! But now, time to dig in to work!

08 April, 2008

Clouds and drizzle and a bad attitude

That's me in a nutshell today. And I think it's 100% due to the fact that I'm still not feeling well and I can't exercise. A little sun would make it bearable. However -- Seattle. April. Extended forecast says don't expect any until the weekend. On the good side though it's supposed to be 70 on Saturday. That's something nice to look forward to.

Tomorrow a woman is coming to take a look at my house and tell me and my real estate agent what we should do to it to get it ready to put on the market. And I have decided that I have enough to do without worrying about the lawn care so I'm going to hire a gardening service to come mow and edge twice a month. Totally worth the money. Anything I can delegate at this point is worth it.

That's all the news that's fit to type.

07 April, 2008

Why oh why can't I shake this bug???

My sister came in Wednesday night. My cold was really bad Wednesday although the sore throat was pretty much gone. The cough on the other hand had come back with a vengeance. We stayed up late talking, of course, because that's what we do. And the next morning starting a shopping marathon that lasted for two full days. Thursday night I was just dragging. Oh I shopped alright but when it was time to stop I collapsed. And decided that it would probably be a smart thing to call the doctor Friday morning if I wanted to have any chance at all of enjoying her visit. I stopped by on our way to our second day of shopping madness, having called first thing Friday morning. The nurse told me that she was amazed at how many people had said the same thing that I did - I was symptom free, started back up with regular activities and got hit again for another go 'round. So I've got another course of the inhaler, which [fingers crossed] seems to be doing the trick. It sure cut the coughing down tremendously. I just wish I felt better. I am SO tired of feeling sick all the time.

We had two wonderful days of shopping. My sister was in dire need of shoes [well now aren't we all?] plus she had to get her dress and shoes for the summer event. It was one of those magical shopping trips - we kept running across tremendous shoe deals. You know how it is - sometimes you're out shopping and you can't find a single thing and the next time you're running into JUST the right shoe and as an added bonus it has been marked down from $100 to $10. She was on that kind of lucky streak and ended up, after two days, with 4 pairs. I held myself to half that - one pair of awesome, sexy gold ones and some ivory satin. And a couple tops. No, I was good.

Saturday started out with some super fun pampering at "Frenchy's Day Spa" - an oh so girlie place where we went to have a make up consultation. And it was a good thing that we had that to look forward to because afterwards we had to go to a memorial for my ex-husband and then a big family do at my FIL's. An exhausting day all around.

It was tough having to take my sis back to the airport yesterday. That visit just flew by! And she's at work for 3 days and then taking off for a week in Bangkok to visit her boyfriend who is on location there. She's pretty excited to see him but not all that excited about a 17 hour flight. All I wanted to do after dropping her off was go home and knit and that's what I did - after a nap, of course. I knit on the sleeves of the SKB and finished up the increases. Enough so that I can finish them up one at a time on a circular. I wanted to get them separated from the two at once because I couldn't try on the sweater that way. But once I got them separated I tried it on. I've got a few more inches to go on each sleeve before I start on the purl ridges but I can see how cute it's going to be. The body is just a touch wide. I didn't need those body increases. Or rather I should have made the small. But it'll still be very wearable.

And now I've got to get back to work! I ran in here and got caught up on the important stuff but I've got tons of other stuff staring me in the face.

02 April, 2008

I wan't even thinking it was April 1st!!

Oh dear -- I sent an email to a friend of mine yesterday, telling her I was getting married. Steered her towards my wedding blog for details. She wrote back "April Fools, right?". I of course wrote backing saying no, it wasn't a joke. Haven't heard back yet. I really don't think it's that unlikely that I would be getting married ... ya know? Here's hoping she reads my regular blog and starts to believe.

My cold is still hanging around. No biking yesterday, obviously. None today either. The weather is warming up a bit and I think that's going to help me out. The cold air in my lungs is a real killer. When I was running last week my lungs just burned. I guess I should have listened a little closer, eh?

My sister is coming in tonight. I am SO looking forward to her visit, short though it will be. We'll have plenty to do and lots to talk about. And this time NO YARD WORK!!

01 April, 2008

Why am I even surprised?

Sure the weather has been bad. And sure I've been trying to get back to biking and running like normal after one month of being sick but truly I have been taking it easy! And I didn't run on Friday! (in the snow - pretty much a no brainer) So imagine my surprise when I woke up Sunday morning with a sore throat that got worse and worse as they day went on. I took it easy Sunday. I knit and knit on my SKB sleeves. I watched TV and that was about it. But I spent the whole of yesterday in bed. I'm up and at work today but I could feel better. I just don't ever remember getting sick back to back like this.

Had a little dinner party on Saturday which was fun. And handy to have the house all tidied up so I didn't feel like I needed to do a bazillion and one things Sunday. My real estate agent had been away on holiday and now is back and ready to get cracking. I am completely overwhelmed - where to begin? I am hoping she can calm me down today and set me on a path. The weather isn't quite good enough to get somebody started on painting, which is what I would like to do first. Ah well, she's the professional. She'll know what to do.

Yay --- my sister is coming for a visit tomorrow evening and staying through the weekend. I can't wait!!!