31 October, 2008

Ruminants R Us

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

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

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

30 October, 2008

An evening of un-knitting

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

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

29 October, 2008

Can you hear me screaming??

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

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

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

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

20 October, 2008

My Hemlock Ring Blanket

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

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

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

17 October, 2008

The torture that is insomnia

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

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

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

15 October, 2008

There was the camera ...

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

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

13 October, 2008

The one day vacation

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

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

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

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

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

09 October, 2008

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

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

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

08 October, 2008

I think it was frost

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

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

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

06 October, 2008

Except for the football ....

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

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

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

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

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

03 October, 2008

Insomnia and stress

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

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

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