25 July, 2008

A brilliant business opportunity

AAA for bikes!! No, seriously. It looks like yesterday was, in fact, my last bicycle trip from Bothell because when I was taking the bike out of the garage this morning the back tire was flat as a pancake. I do recall there was some glass somewhere along my ride home last night and I must have caught a piece of it. So I had to run back upstairs, unpack all my junk and get dressed and drive in. How handy would it be to make a phone call and know that when I get home someone has come by and fixed my flat? I would totally pay for that service! As it is I now have to drag my bike into some shop sometime next week. As if I don't have enough to do already. Oh well, that's the way it goes.

Yesterday I got my latest package from Elann. I bought 15 hanks of Noro Silk Mountain in the colorway Wine Garden. This is completely different from the colors I usually buy but I was feeling adventurous when I ordered it. Also I don't usually go for boucle yarn either. But I am thinking of making a shawl/wrap thingie with little sleeves from the Runway Knits book called the Trellis Shawl. This is also a departure from my normal type of knitwear, and who knows I may even gift it. It just kind of called to me. I wanted to start it or at least swatch it last night but the yarn comes in hanks and even though I am now the proud owner of not only a ball winder but an umbrella swift as well, I haven't unpacked the umbrella swift yet. I thought I might as well leave it in its box until the move is completed. So ... no swatching. I just cooked and veged last night. My fingers are itching though. I have got to get some knitting in soon!!

Today is a big day. We're going to sign the papers for the new house which closes Monday. Excited? Uh ... a little.

24 July, 2008

I want to break up with my hair stylist

This is not a trivial thing. I am mindful of the fact that if it weren't for Lisa Marie I wouldn't have met my DH, so yes, I owe her. But she drives me nuts!!! I wanted to stop seeing her a couple years ago but then we had a friend in common and she kind of went crazy on us, then she introduced me to S and so I couldn't stop seeing her then. And now I'm like stuck! Last year she and I went to a wine picnic and auction and S calls it our first date. That event is coming up soon and Lisa wants to go and S wants it to be just us, of course. And so do I!! She keeps bugging me about it and I told him that he's going to have to lie and say he can't get her in this year. I think I'd strangle her if I had to spend more than an hour with her. I swear, on my wedding day she was dithering around while I was trying to get downstairs to get some pictures taken before the guests started arriving and I finally just lost it and screamed at her, "Oh. My. GOD!!! Get your damn purse and let's go!" It's not like me to yell or lose my temper but she tries me every time I spend any time with her. If I didn't know better I'd say she was on speed.

I finally ran out of excuses and so had to get on my bike today for the penultimate trip from Bothell. I snapped some pictures of the roosters this morning but I think I'll wait to post them tomorrow. I wanted the bunny as well and it's usually hopping around on the way home. I must say, having a few days off from the ride made it much more enjoyable. My muscles had time to stop aching and I wasn't huffing and puffing at the top of the hills. The sun even came out. It's been hiding the past couple days.

No knitting last night. I did knit a bit at noon. Maybe I'll have some time this weekend. I certainly have the inclination!

And finally ... I was reading one of my favorite blogs - A Little Loopy - and was inspired to create my own mosaic like Disentangled's. Here's how it goes:
- Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
- Using only the first page, pick an image.
- Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name? - Shelley
2. What is your favorite food? - French food
3. What high school did you go to? - Mountlake Terrace
4. What is your favorite color? - pink
5. Who is your celebrity crush? - Matthew McConaughey
6. Favorite drink? - vodka martini
7. Dream vacation? - Paris
8. Favorite dessert? - chocolate cake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? - happily knitting
10. What do you love most in life? - my dog, Tinkerbell
11. One Word to describe you? - Happy
12. Your flickr name? - Shell Picto

And here's my mosaic:

22 July, 2008

I thought this was a knitting blog ...

Ah well I guess I just haven't had any knitting news! But James Taylor .... what a concert! It was just a perfect evening - not too hot, no wind, blue sky, no bugs. Our friend who had invited us had not only VIP tickets but was also invited to a special reception with awesome food. We were eating and drinking all night and didn't have to sit on the ground, which is a huge bonus to me! The back up band that James Taylor had was incredible in that every musician was top notch and a star in their own right. The sax player was Lou Marini! And the concert just started with them all walking out on the stage. No opening act. It was magical.

21 July, 2008

Coals to Newcastle

This was the first weekend in I don't know how long that we haven't had any obligations. It was just wonderful!! The weather was great and all we had to do was relax and have fun. Friday I even got to do a little knitting. Not much, but enough to keep my hand in.

One of my goals for the weekend was to organize my music on my laptop and reload the music on my iPhone. That ended up to be a HUGE project that went on and on all weekend. I did get it done though and I am happy to say it is full! There was new software to download so you basically had to start from scratch. I bought an app, Scrabble, which is awesome! But now I wish I hadn't been so impatient when S gave this to me in February and waited a week for the 16 gig one because I have completely filled up this 8 gig model. I mean completely!

On Saturday instead of going to the Bite of Seattle we went shopping for stuff for the new house. Got some great ideas and when we went to the new house Sunday evening to take measurements I was gratified to find that yes indeed I can fit a chaise lounge in my office/yarn room! Woohoo! The current owners are just sweethearts and thanked us for "taking this house off our hands"! We even met some neighbors. I've got a lot of work ahead of me this week but I tell you, I cannot wait to get moving!!

Sunday was another gorgeous day and S wanted to go for a bike ride. Oh man .... and the poor guy looked at me kind of sheepishly when he asked me. I knew he really wanted to go for a ride and what the heck, it wouldn't be like riding to work. I just took it really easy and it was fun rather than a chore. We rode out to the St. Michelle winery (where we're going tonight for a James Taylor concert) and on the way home stopped at a cute little barbecue stand for a snack.

There will be no knitting tonight because of the concert. And probably none tomorrow either because I'm meeting up with folks after work to celebrate a birthday. Wednesday .... knit Wednesday noon for sure!

18 July, 2008

Yay for IK Press

My books were there when I got home last night! I got the Knitter's Companion, Scarf Style, One Skein, and Knitting Little Luxuries. All just great books and so of course AGAIN I didn't knit a single stitch but did manage to skim through all four books. I really was in the mood for sushi so we walked down to the local sushi restaurant and had a really lovely meal. Another hour of looking at knitting books and a further hour working out strategies for the move and there it was -- bedtime!

I must say I am really looking forward to this weekend. I want to relax!! Maybe watch a movie. I don't know though, there's a lot already going on. The Bite of Seattle is this week and if the weather is nice, like it is supposed to be well then I suppose we're going to go! Also my annual high school golf tournament and dinner is Saturday. I'm not going to play golf this time because I just didn't feel I could spare the time and S doesn't golf. But we might go out to the club and have dinner. Sunday evening we're meeting up with the current owners of the house. She's going to let us take some measurements and tell us about the house and maybe introduce us to neighbors.

It looks like I'm going to make my goal of riding in every day this week. Although I must admit I was feeling it this morning. Yesterday evening I did the apple and string cheese thing again and I really did feel like I had more and enough energy. I decided I was going to see exactly how fast I could get to my new, soon-to-be exit from the trail. So I leaned over those handle bars and peddled as hard as I could, once I got away from the UW crowd. The path was pretty nearly empty and so I was able to get up and go. I was averaging 3 1/2 minute miles and I got to my new cut off point in just under 32 minutes. I was winded but I pretty nearly kept up that pace all the way home, making it in 64 minutes. But sushi is a pretty light dinner and even with my cup of coffee and little Quaker granola bar as usual, I was just not very energetic this morning. Plus it was a bit windy. Anyway, I'll be glad to rest up and do nothing but a little strolling this weekend. I'm tired!

17 July, 2008

Four down ...

My goal this week was/is to bike into work every day. Today is the fourth day and it looks like I'm going to make it. Each day I get in one minute later. I can feel my legs and butt -- the muscles are sore but not so sore that I'm limping or anything. I have been having a hard time find the right amount of hydration and calories to get before I head home. Typically about mile five or 6 my stomach starts to growl which makes it very difficult to ride. I think I've finally hit upon a good combo. I felt good going home last night. I ate an apple and a piece of string cheese about 30 minutes before I left and then right before I went I drank an Emergen-C. I'm going to try it again tonight and see if it was indeed that combination or just happenstance.

There hasn't been any knitting at home this week so far. I've been busy either writing thank you notes or planning the big move. Since S has to work I am going to be handling the first 3 or ... no, 4 days of the move myself so he is organizing everything. Spreadsheet at all. He's a great organizer. He'll get the truck and the labor handled and all I've got to do is make sure everything is packed up our end and supervise the installation on the other end. Oh .. and put stuff away. But that's going to be the fun part!

At noon knitting yesterday one of the girls brought a couple books she had bought from the IK book sale a couple weeks ago .. or was it last week? Anyway I ordered my books the same day so I was so excited when I got home yesterday, expecting S to come home from the post office with four new knitting books for me. But no!! I was SO disappointed!!! Maybe tonight. I do need to keep knitting on the Sizzle, although I'm getting a little scared that my final ball of yarn won't take me up to the shoulders on the front. If not I am going to be SO PISSED! I should just get it over with. Knit and knit and find out one way or the other. I still have thank you cards to write though so I've got a good excuse for procrastination. As if I need one ....

15 July, 2008

Orange is orange is orange?

I got the two skeins of Ella Rae Shibu from Dianne on Ravelry. I knew it was a different dye lot but I will be able to use it for the trim on the Sizzle top. But it is just amazing the difference in the two dye lots. I am always surprised by the wide variance of what is purported to be the same color. The balls that I got from Dianne are much brighter orange than the ones from my dye lot. I like mine better, frankly. There is a bit more brown in them. I do think that with the seed stitch that is used for the bands that the difference won't be all that noticeable. My goal now is to be able to finish the front of this with the last ball! I think I can do it, but it's going to take some clever management because I have to work the two front sides separately. Boy, if this doesn't cure me of starting a project before I am sure I have enough yarn ....

I gave myself the night off last night - no knitting, no thank you notes. I just reclined, read the paper, did the crossword and read my latest knitting book - Runway Knits. One of my knitting at noon buddies brought in a copy from the library and I loved it so I bought it. There are a couple things in there I'd like to make. And I have four more books coming from the IK book sale. Woohoo!!

14 July, 2008

At the crossroads

I was knitting away on the top for my sister, the "Sizzle", and came to my last ball of yarn so I stopped. I need to decide if I am going to wind some off of it for one of the front sides or if I'm going to work from both ends of the ball. I anticipate that working from both sides of the ball will be difficult and messy, however winding off the correct amount might be a bit difficult as well. I think the most logical solution is to knit to the point of the V-neck and do my best to wind off half at that point.

I can't decide which project I want to do next. This top should be finished up by the weekend. Maybe it's time for Fifi.

Summer is finally here and it was warm to hot all weekend. Saturday I baked a birthday cake and a peach cobbler and also made a big batch of guacamole for a joint birthday party that evening. It was brutal being in the kitchen all morning in the heat but it had to be done. And it ate up the whole day, pretty much. Sunday I got my poor dirty little dog bathed, got my nails done, grocery shopped AND started writing out the thank you notes. That's going to take a couple more evenings. I guess we should start thinking about packing next weekend. Only two more weeks of this brutal bike ride and I am counting the hours. I did have a personal best today though - 57 minutes to the intersection of 25th and the trail. That's only about a mile from work.

11 July, 2008

Isn't Ravelry great?

Here I was up the proverbial creek with regards to getting any more Shibu in the orange color and I found someone on Ravelry who was willing to trade two skeins for some Peruvian Highland I have! Woohoo! So now I can finish Kelli's top and if I don't make it with the yarn I have, which I don't think I will, I will have two skeins to use for the trim. Perfecto! So I was able to knit with abandon last night knowing that in a few days I'll have the rest of the yarn. That was nice. Didn't get a whole lot of knitting done on it but I should be able to go to town tonight since my DH is going to be working late.

I made a slide show of pictures of the house we bought. You can view it here. Conspicuous in it's absence is my soon to be office/yarn room. It is painted a gorgeous lavender! Pictures when I get the stash installed.

And if you'd like to look at wedding picture you can view the professional shots here. And my nephew's here.

10 July, 2008

Surreal experience

I have to share this -- it was just too weird!! Yesterday I was sitting on the porch of my soon-to-be new house, rocking in the porch swing(!!) and I heard Christmas music. To be precise, I heard Natalie Cole singing "Do you hear what I hear" from the Holly and Ivy album. I know this because I own it. I heard this clearly and then a car pulled up kitty-corner across the street. Mind you, I am sitting clear across the street AND a house north and this car is sitting there with all the windows closed and I can still hear this Christmas music as clear as a bell. And the guy sat there and sat there for at least a minute, maybe two. Then the car door opens up and the music is WAY blasting! I don't know how he could stand it in there. Christmas music. In July. He was a normal looking guy wearing shorts and sneakers and a T-shirt and sun glasses. Nothing out of the ordinary. He walked up to the door of the house and taped a piece of paper to the door and then sped away. All the while this Christmas music is blasting. Isn't that weird?? You don't know how hard it was for me not to run over there and ask him why in the world he was playing that music, and why so loudly? But I didn't.

The house passed inspection with flying colors, which is what I expected. Here's a picture my agent asked me to pose for. She is such a sweetie.

And here's a picture of the front of the house.

It was a picture kind of day. My nephew's pictures arrived yesterday and I went through them and put up a few in a slide show, viewable on my wedding blog. Also the professional photographer's picture link came. I am not that happy with all of those shots. My make up was severely messed up (I think) and I want to be able to go through his shots and pick which ones I like as opposed to which ones he likes. So when his disk comes in the mail I will put up more. He did make some nice group photos and did some artsy shots of me getting ready and some nice B&W ones. I just don't like the ones where the crappy make-up job is obvious.

So bottom line is that there was no knitting last night because I was in front of my computer until 10:30 fiddling with pictures and putting them on my iPhone, etc. Today we're having an extra knitting at noon session since I was unable to make it yesterday. yay!

09 July, 2008

Two -- FO and WIP

Oh I'm on fire! Two pictures today. They're not good pictures, mind you. But pictures all the same. And I have no reason not to take good pictures except I always decide right before I am heading out the door that I should take some pictures so I throw the project down on any surface that is even almost large enough and snap a quick shot and away I go. So that is why the picture of the Water Lily Top is so bad -- I just found a spot and plunked it down. But you can see the pretty colors anyway. As I suspected I will need to wear a tank underneath for modesty sake. It's not something I usually wear but I may. I am not all that keen on the yarn actually. That is probably due to the fact that I was knitting it with larger than called for needles and it's slick. I have plenty left over since this took only two skeins, and not even all of the second one. I might make a scarf with it or maybe even sell it.

Now comes the "Sizzle" in, appropriately enough, a very brilliant and bright color of Shibu. When I started making the shrug in the lovely mauve Shibu and needed more of it I also ordered 5 skeins of this orange and 10 skeins of a lovely straw color. I assumed that 525 yards would be plenty for a tank. Come to find out after getting the back nearly completed that the Sizzle in the size small calls for over 600 yards. I tried to order another two skeins from Little Knits but they were out. I don't know about you, but I find it particularly nerve wracking to be knitting away on a project and not know if you've got enough yarn to finish it! And yet ... yes ... this is the second project in as many months as I have had to deal with this. I did find a nice person on Ravelry who has some of it in the same color but different dye lot. So I may be able to purchase some from her and use it for the trim around the neckline and arms. That would be okay. And who knows, since this has such a deep neckline I MAY be able to make it with the yarn I have but wouldn't it be terrible to get two rows into the neckband and find that the yarn had run out? Then what? Gah!!

07 July, 2008

Back to reality - kind of

Back at work today. After a week and a half of profligate living I thought the ride in would be harder than it was. My bike broke on the way home last time I rode - Tuesday before last - and lucky for me I was in walking distance to a bike shop and home. So I had a nicely tuned bike to ride today and made decent time. I was a little slow because I was looking for the steps to the trail from 135th, which I found. They are steep but doable. Why was I looking for steps to the trail? Because we found a house, made an offer and it was accepted! We are going to close in 3 weeks. I swear. What am I going to do once this whirlwind is over? I am going to feel like I am the laziest person on the planet. But there's much work to be done before that happens.

This house ... oh I love it!! It's only 35 minutes on the trail to work, which is fabulous and something I know I can do year 'round plus which I will be able to start running again when I'm not riding so far each day. There is an office on the main floor for S's business, a 3-car garage and tons of space! The yard is easy care and beautifully landscaped with a sprinkler system. It has air conditioning, which for this part of the world is pretty non-standard. Room for a home theatre upstairs and a large family room downstairs plus an eating space plus a formal living and dining room. The kitchen is big and awesome. Upstairs besides the master suite with a fabulous bathroom (with a jetted tub!!) and the home theatre, are two other bedrooms. One for a guest room and the other for my office/yarn room. Oh ... and it's painted lavender! I know it sounds kind of weird but it works. Enough about the house - there are still a few hoops to go through, like the inspection. It's not done until we move in, right?

I got some good knitting done during my week off. I finished the Water Lily top and I started and am nearly done with the back of the Sizzle I'm making for my sister. Hope to have pictures tomorrow. I am using a gorgeous orange Ella Rae Shibu for it. I had lots of time on the 4th to knit because S was doing a big show and so I had hours and hours of sitting waiting for the fireworks to knit. Lots of comments from people walking by. I knit until I couldn't see any more and then ... voila! Dark enough for the fireworks. Getting home was a bitch, of course, because of traffic. But the symphony was very nice and S did an amazing job. I was truly impressed. Which makes it much easier to give a compliment, right?