30 June, 2008

There went the bride!

Whew! Finally ..... I can relax. What a great GREAT wedding we had! I will have pictures to put up in a few days. I am taking this week off, although DH has to work all week to prepare for a big show on the 4th of July. I am going to get this house semi-organized and hopefully spend a couple of good and fruitful days with the real estate agent to find us a house. I looked at a solid potential on Thursday but there was a deal breaker - the heating is oil and, strange as this may sound, there is no gas line on that street!! We still have a little bit of detective work to do around it because honestly, it was just a great house in a fabulous area. I just know that you can't get yourself too invested in a house until you sign the darned papers. You never know what you're going to find.

I will put more details about the wedding on my wedding blog in a few days but here are some non-wedding highlights. My sister and I went to Frenchy's for manicure and pedicure on Friday and then for our make-up on Saturday. And the weather? Blazing, record breaking H-O-T. So in the same area as the day spa is that lovely yarn shop, Tricot. And in their windows ... hazard a guess as to what I saw? SALE. Oh yeah ladies, a sale at a shop that never has a sale on the hottest day of the year so far and I can't spare a single second to go in and take a look! How is that possible? It was my day and nothing could start without me. But still - I couldn't spare the time to go in. It's probably just as well. I'm going to have to tighten the belt for a few months now.

I was sorry to say goodbye to my sis and the boys yesterday but lucky for them they had wonderful weather and I think they had a good time. My sister was a huge help to me. I miss her so much! I wish we lived closer.

Oh and talk about a small world! A few of my friends attending the wedding are knitters, of course, and spinners and one of S's guests owns an alpaca farm(!!!), knows some of my friends and offered me F-R-E-E alpaca. *sigh* This bride thing is awesome!

24 June, 2008

All good intentions

I so wanted to start something new yesterday. I purchased Sizzle from Knit and Tonic and I was going to swatch and maybe even start it yesterday evening. Yes yes yes even though I have only the back to do on the Waterlily Top. That is not mindless knitting and I needed some mindless knitting. But -- the time got away from me. By the time I got showered and changed, had a cocktail and read the paper it was nearly dinner time. Plus which S had the TV on in the kitchen and it was showing fan favorite episodes of Star Trek. Geek heaven baby! "Resistance is futile". So we drank wine and ate turkey burgers and just wallowed in our geekness. Maybe tonight I can knit. Maybe not. There are many details left to handle.

23 June, 2008

Seriously - round tires

It's all about round tires. I know ... shut up about your bike ride ... but really I am still amazed at the difference. One hour 4 minutes door to door. I was a little slower today for some reason, but last ride home 1:04 door to door AND I made it all the way up the last hill. Yes, energy left over for a little happy dance.

My Waterlily Top is awesome! I wish I had taken a picture this morning but I was really trying to get out of the door on time. I managed to finish up the front this weekend, which is done in two pieces. Even though the yarn is very thick and thin the stitch work still shows up nicely. It is, unfortunately, not the kind of project you can multi-task with. Not as bad as lace, but still you have to keep alert and that's why I didn't finish it. I might be able to finish it tonight though. Depends.

Next weekend is the big event. I am anxious to get it done! I am SO distracted that I am a menace to myself and others. While driving on Saturday I got lost twice, nearly ran over a pedestrian AND came that close to running a red light. I'm not joking. I try to write things down so there's not so much going on in my head but .... well try is the operative word. I try to be extra vigilant. No accidents allowed!!

19 June, 2008

How to cut major time off a ride

I was complaining that I thought my tires might perhaps be a bit under inflated and were they ever! S put air in them this morning before I took off, bringing them just under the maximum amount of pressure and I cut ten minutes off my time. Ten! That is HUGE! Wow.

At noon knitting yesterday I got to work on the Waterlily Top and again yesterday evening for a time while I was cooking dinner. I didn't get to do any further work on it after dinner because we were looking at houses on the internet. I am really loving this thing! I sure hope it is wearable. It's not always easy to tell, as all the knitters know very well. You can labor over a garment for months and finally put it on only to find that it looks terrible! We are supposed to figure out what looks good on our body types at some point to mitigate that, however we all slip up from time to time. At least this is moving right along.

18 June, 2008

Not the best way to add protein to one's diet

Monday on the trail going home I was having a very difficult time with my allergies. There are so many cottonwood trees around here and Monday it was sunny and breezy and the little bits of fluff were everywhere! As I was laboring away up an incline I took a deep breath and swallowed a bug! Ick ick ick!!! I started coughing and coughing but of course I couldn't get it up. It must have been a little cloud of them because I heard a woman ahead of me exclaim to her riding partner that she too had swallowed a bug. I don't even want to guess what it might have been. But to add insult to injury, as I was gasping and coughing and trying to catch my breath I inhaled a piece of cottonwood fluff. It's dangerous out there.

Because I had to drive in today I decided to ride two days in a row. So I set out yesterday morning again in my shorts, having read the weather forecast which said 65 and mostly sunny. No mention of rain. It was cloudy when I pulled out of the drive and started my way down the hill to the trail. By the time I got on the trail and down it about 1/2 a mile it was raining and about 4 miles in it was really raining. Hard. And then, pouring! I made it to work in good time and it didn't even hurt too badly but oh my goodness, I was soaked to the bone! My hair was dripping and my legs were all muddy. It took me a couple of hours to warm up even though I had dry clothes to put on.

Thankfully the ride home wasn't wet - a bit windy, but not wet. And I made it! I woke up this morning feeling just normal, so maybe I can do 5 days a week of this ride. At least this week now I can do Thursday and Friday. Next week of course I'm only going to be here Monday and Tuesday. I am still going to keep complaining loudly to S about it because I don't want him to think it's okay for us to find a house 15 miles away! I want to be in closer so my ride is only 30 minutes each way, give or take. I know that I would be able to face that through the winter. But 1 hour and 15 minutes each way - no way.

I had a dream last night that I was running. I haven't been running because of the long bike rides. I didn't think it would be prudent to put my body through a run after all that stress of the ride. But in my dream it felt so good! I miss it. Maybe after all the wedding stuff is done I can run on the weekends until we get moved.

I was going to work more on the Waterlily Top last night but I am facing a complicated row and I wanted to watch TV and knit, so I pulled out the socks I cast on before Hawaii and did a few rows of that. Perfect TV knitting. I brought the Waterlily Top to work today for noon knitting. And if the moving pod people don't call I will get to put in an hour on it. It's going quickly. I think I'll cast on for Fifi after this is done.

16 June, 2008


It does funny things. Thursday my back really was tweaky. I spent all of Thursday afternoon and evening and almost all Friday on my back with a heating pad. I did ride in to work today and was feeling it a bit near the end of the ride but I have dosed myself up with naproxen and let's hope it does its work.

I finally took a few minutes before dashing out the door this morning and took pictures of my latest FOs and my Waterlily Top WIP. First the shrug, which I just llllllove even though the arms are a bit long. I have no idea what happened. My gauge is right so they either stretched or there's a mistake in the pattern or I goofed. No matter, it looks just great on and I don't mind longer sleeves. I can roll up the cuffs and that looks nice as well.

I have a pair of socks that I finished up ages ago and have worn a number of times but I need to put a finished picture of them on my Ravelry page so here they are.

And finally, a picture of the Waterlily Top. It's pretty difficult to see the details of the eyelets that are shaping it because of the crazy thick and thin yarn. But with a tank underneath it's going to be a cute summer top. The colors are pretty and muted and the drape of the fabric is lovely. I do like the yarn.

I had to take it slow and easy on Saturday but managed to get a little shopping done and some knitting on this top Saturday night. Sunday, Father's Day, I prepared a big dinner so that just about ate up the whole day. I made an awesome pie for dessert, if I do say so myself. And the weather has started to act a bit more like summer. In fact it's supposed to be 70 degrees today! And the sun is out! That is really nice for a change. It's not supposed to stick around longer than a couple days but I am going to enjoy every second I can.

11 June, 2008

Sure it's bike riding day

Sure, I know it! BUT it's also Wednesday noon knitting day and my shrug is just too big to fit in my pannier or back pack at this point. Three rows until I bind off the body part! Woohoo!! I got the other 10 balls of Shibu yesterday from Little Knits who, by the way, went above and beyond and found me the same dye lot!!! Yay for Little Knits!!! So I drove it. It also happened to be raining which made the decision all that much easier. I hear that it's supposed to be nicer on Friday. Even tomorrow it's supposed to be in the mid- to high 60s. Hold my breath? I don't think so.

I will be able to finish up the body on this shrug today or this evening at the very least. Then I need to decide how much cuff to knit. The sleeves are already pretty long but just to make it look like the pattern and to give it a nice finish I am going to knit at least a few inches of ribbing. I don't mind long cuffs anyway - I like the look.

09 June, 2008

I just had to start another project

Here's how it happened - I was expecting my package from Little Knits on Friday, or at the very least Saturday. And I was going to be able to finish up that shrug. Unfortunately it didn't arrive and so there I was with idle hands. Devil's playground anyone? Because my Denise set is holding WIPs and hibernating projects I also had to purchase 3 circular needles for the Waterlily Top. I cast on yesterday afternoon with the Colinette Enigma and wow ... that was not easy. The yarn is seriously thick and thin - rayon thick and thin which equals very slippery to boot. The pattern calls for a provisional cast on but there was no way I was going to be able to pull that off with Enigma. The reason for that is to make a cute, wavey bottom but the yarn itself has done a fine job of that. Plus the pattern calls for starting out with size 13 needles which is much larger than called for. It's going to be interesting.

I should have my Shibu tonight and I'm going to go right back to the shrug and try hard to finish that up this week. It shouldn't be too difficult. And the bad and cool weather is continuing so it's no hardship to have a lap full of sweater. In fact it's downright cozy!

I got soaked to the BONE coming in this morning! It wasn't raining when I left the house but less than a mile in it started. I've been here an hour now, had 3 cups of tea and I'm still cold. Of course my hair is wet - that could have something to do with it. I can't WAIT to move in closer to work!!!

06 June, 2008

Where am I?

I swear -- the weather is just SO BAD I can hardly believe it. I know I know I know every June the weather is cloudy and we're all anxious for summer because usually we get a nice taste of it in May. And we did, so now when it's not even 50 degrees outside and windy and pouring rain we should just be ready for it. Not so. It's making me crazy.

I was going to bike in today but it was so crappy this morning I just couldn't face it. Plus I've got my final fitting tonight after work and the thought of getting home in such a soggy mess and having to get myself cleaned up and off to the alterations place was too much to face. I drove and don't even feel guilty. Not that guilt is much of a thing I ever face anyway ... ;-)

Had a good long knit last night on the shrug and I'm nearly finished with my last ball of yarn. So I was wrong - I didn't have enough to finish it up even without the sleeves. I only have about ... let's see .... maybe 10 rows left. Maybe 15. But it's going to increase again up to over 400 stitches around and then I've got the cuffs and so I am hoping the rest of the yarn will be in the mail today. I should be able to finish this puppy up this weekend. Probably won't get to knit much tonight ... depends on how long I take at the fitting and how late I feel like staying up.

Oh -- speaking of late -- last night I was coming upstairs sometime around 9:30 and it was still light outside. Sure we're close to the Equinox and I just love it! I noticed in Hawaii how early it gets dark there compared to here. So we got that going for us. heeee

05 June, 2008

Keeping the WIPs down

I am rather proud of myself for keeping my WIPs at a reasonable level, however it makes for boring blogging. I have "hibernated" my Cascading Cables and the Log Cabin Blankie. Oh ... and Isabella. I really should finish that up though, since it's warm enough to wear. Maybe when I take that time off after the wedding. Assuming we're not packing and moving, of course. So only two WIPs now - the shrug and a pair of socks for S. Not bad, not bad.

And speaking of not bad - a pretty decent ride home last night. Not nearly so tortuous as Monday's ride. I ate a piece of granola bar and drank an Emergen-C and that gave me some good energy. In fact, I rode up up up the hill after I got off the trail. All the way to 3/4 of a block from home, which is a very steep hill. When I can make that I will do my little happy dance. And miracle of miracles - the rain held off, mostly. It sprinkled a bit, but it was tolerable. Sure today I drive in and it's dry. What are you going do?

04 June, 2008

Not an easy ride yet

Maybe easier, but not by very much. I hope by Friday to be back where I was before vacation. At that point I was thinking I could actually make the bike commute 5 days a week. Not the way I was feeling today though. Ouch! Maybe my pack was too heavy, but my back was just killing me today! Thankfully it wasn't pouring rain. Yesterday it rained nonstop. And I am not talking sprinkles here - raining hard. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night and noticed that it had stopped raining. I think it was the absence of the sound of the rain that woke me up. It is predicted to rain all the rest of this week and I wasn't going to ride in if it was pouring again this morning, but it wasn't. A few sprinkles on the way in. Now if it can just hold off or get it over with before I leave I'll be very happy.

I had to break down and order another bag of Ella Rae Shibu from Little Knits yesterday. Hopefully they have more of the dye lot I'm using for my little shrug but even if they don't it'll be okay because of the pattern of the circular part and the cuffs. In fact it might look cool if it was off a bit. But anyway I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to finish it as written with the amount of yarn I had left. The Shibu is not the yarn called for in the pattern but I was able to get gauge with size 7 needles. Unfortunately it means I need more although I thought I'd actually need less than what was called for. Who knows - my gauge could be off as well although I DID do a swatch. Part of what makes this pattern so cool is the big circular band which makes a big collar and the lower back and the fronts. With the silk yarn I am getting such a beautiful drape. So I ordered 10 more balls. I am figuring that even if I use 5 I will have enough to make a little tank top and then I'll have a twin set. Oh I have too many things in my queue!!!

03 June, 2008

Rant "ON"

Can I just tell you how incredibly rude the majority of commuters are on the bike trail? Gender makes no difference. Yesterday was, of course, my first day back on the long commute so granted, I was not zipping along at pace. I think I topped out at 13 mph. Still, I wasn't poking along at a snail's pace and I did pass a few people myself. However, there is a huge difference between coming up behind someone and dinging your bell and making a nice pass and zipping past with no warning, 3 abreast. What really set me off was on the way in - I am toiling away uphill (I measured it yesterday - at one point it is 6 miles straight of uphill grade) and there is a pedestrian in front of me, and coming towards me, downhill, are two guys riding abreast having a nice little chat. Here's what I would have done - pulled over behind my buddy to let the person biking uphill have enough room to pass the pedestrian. What did these two jackasses do, do you suppose? Right - kept riding abreast and made me brake(!) so I wouldn't hit the pedestrian. That is just one of about 8 or 10 such incidents on the inward trip. Outbound was just as bad. What are they thinking?? Rude rude rude.

Anyway I did feel the vacation yesterday on the way home. The ride in wasn't bad, but oh my goodness, the ride home was torture! I guess I hadn't eaten enough because my stomach started growling at about mile 5 or 6. I had absolutely zero energy. My ride in took me only 72 minutes. Going home was more like 80 or 85. It will be easier tomorrow and I'll be sure to bring an extra apple to eat before I head out so I don't run out of fuel. That was terrible. Today it's pouring rain. I was going to go up for a manicure at lunchtime but I won't if it's still coming down like it is now. I'll stay in and knit. I'll say this much for my temporary digs - at least riding 90 miles a week I don't feel guilty for not doing anything on my lunch break.

I worked more on the shrug last night. I think if I keep at it I should be able to finish it up by the weekend. S has promised to make me a swift. I found a web site that has a DIY swift and he has tools and he said he could do it, so yay! Then I will finally have my swift to go with the ball winder I bought about 6 or 8 months ago and haven't yet used. I want to wind up that Colinette Enigma I bought at Weaving Works and start on the Waterlily Top. It should be a quick knit and something I could wear now and through the summer. I'm wearing my Green Gables today. I really do get a lot of wear out of this top. I should make another.

02 June, 2008

Well it was bliss

What a great vacation! The weather on Maui was, of course, wonderful. Except for the wind that would kick up every now and again. One day it started while we were at the beach and continued non-stop for about 8 hours. It wouldn't have been an issue except that we had booked a luau that evening and it was outside. Relentless - it went on and on and on, that wind.

It was one of those vacations where sleep was a big hit. Both of us have been so busy and stressed that for the first couple of days we hardly did anything but eat and sleep and that was okay. More than okay - it was just perfect! We were staying in a condo, which of course has its pluses and minuses. The minus was the noisy neighbors and the not so comfortable bed. On the plus side it was nice to be able to cook and eat what and when we wanted and to be able to come home with clean clothes.

We didn't do a lot of organized things, although you could keep busy there from sun up to sun down. We did a bike trip down the volcano. Sure you'd think after all the miles I've been doing lately that the last thing I'd want to do on a vacation is get on a bike, but S was very keen on doing it and since it was coasting and there was a wine tasting I was all for it. The wine was bad but the whole experience was really really fun.

I got to play in the ocean and get a tan and eat lots of good things and drink rum and shop .... and soak up vitamin D. I can't remember - does the body store it? I hope so because we're supposed to keep having crap weather here in Seattle all week.

Knitting? Not so much. I did get the socks cast on before we left and worked on them while traveling. But it was just too hot to knit in Hawaii. And it's a good thing I think because my left arm and shoulder feel much better. Not sore at all.

After all the chores and unpacking was done yesterday I did get to sit and knit on the shrug. And I put it on a super long Denise cord and tried it on because it just seems so huge! But it's not really. It appears that way because the collar and sides and back are all done in the round. I'll just keep on going even though I'm down to my last two balls of yarn. I am pretty confident that I'll be able to finish up the front and still have enough to do the sleeve ribbing. The sleeves are rather long already so if I end up short I can just not do as much ribbing and that'll be fine. The sleeves are designed to be a bit long so no problem.

I think I'm a bit jet lagged. I woke up too early and even though I had lots of good energy to bike in I am now just seriously dragging!! I can barely keep my eyes open. Early to bed for me tonight!