24 November, 2008

Day 1 of my staycation

Stupid word, I know ... "staycation". I read it somewhere but I can't remember where. But since I am having a vacation and not going anywhere (again!) that is what we're going to call it.

Day 1 -- slept in. Looked at my iPhone and saw a message from my chairman needing help. What the heck - I can't deny him a little bit of help, considering his own secretary is that lame .... And the rest of my day I will knit and do laundry and run a few errands. I will of course be cooking a big meal on Thursday and this year I'm going to be smart about it and do some of the things that can be reheated the day before, like the potatoes. That way the only last minute thing I'll have to do is the gravy. I am a few rows from being done with the fourth pair of mitts. I did almost an entire one in two hours while watching a football game. I moved up a needle size from the original pattern, cast on 10 fewer stitches, they look great and just fly off the needles. I think I'll wind the final two balls of yarn this afternoon as well and see if I can knock them out in as many days.

I tried on the February Lady Sweater yesterday, trying to figure out how long to make the sleeves. I am considering bracelet length, like the pattern.

Well, time to hit the shower.

21 November, 2008

A better genius

As much as I love the Genius feature on iTunes, I found that I was hearing too much of the same songs over and over again. Maybe as it evolves it will be better and be able to dig deeper but for now it was getting monotonous. Then my friend turned me on to Pandora, radio from the Music Genome Project. My iPhone has a Pandora app and I don't think I've listened to any songs on my iPhone since I downloaded that. It is just incredible! It streams so I am not paying for time, since I've got unlimited internet access on my iPhone. You type in a song, or the name of an artist or choose a genre and name the station, for example I have The Fray station. Then it starts off with a Fray song or two, then puts something else in the mix that is like that. It's a good way to expand your musical knowledge. I just love it!! It's free, which is a bonus. I can listen to it at work - it can play in the background while you're working on something else. Or it will make a general mix of everything you have indicated you like.

So now that I'm not listening to as much music on my iPhone I have been downloading audiobooks and TV episodes. I've become a HUGE fan of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I have downloaded and watched the first two seasons, watched a couple of the current (4th) season on TV and this weekend will download the 3rd season to my iPhone so I can be caught up. It is, without a doubt, the funniest show in TV as far as I'm concerned. It's howlingly funny. It's extreme and not for everybody but I find it hilarious.

I finished up the 3rd pair of mitts at lunchtime yesterday and was going to work on my cardigan last night but I found the new Interweave Knits magazine on the table when I got home so there was no knitting, but plenty of reading about it. Tonight I can finish going through it and then knit some. And it's vacation!! So I'll have 2 weekends and a whole entire week in the middle to just knit and play ... oh, and cook a huge meal.

20 November, 2008

It was a record!

I don't know why I felt so good yesterday evening, but I zipped home! I made the whole trip, door to door, in 48 minutes. That is astonishing -- it's the fastest I've done it since we moved and I didn't feel like I was pushing it or anything unusual. I mean, it still hurt and I was still huffing and puffing mightily. Part of it was that I left while it was still light and it wasn't pouring rain. For whatever reason -- I'm just happy that I had such a good ride.

I finished up the second mitt of the 3rd pair, except for the thumbs which I hope to be able to do at lunchtime today, since it's now storming like crazy and my idea of walking up to the bank and the yarn store have pretty much gone by the wayside. At this rate I will easily have the other three pair finished by the end of the month.

I was admiring Knitting Like Crazy's "Hey Teach" and I am going to put it in my Ravelry queue to replace the other cardigan, Bianca's Jacket, I was going to make with my straw colored Ella Rae Shibu. Bianca's Jacket is very pretty and would look nice with that yarn, but I like Hey Teach better.

19 November, 2008


Yesterday was moving day! I didn't even cast a backwards glance at the Annex, where I have been exiled for the past year and a half. My office leaves much to be desired, on one hand, but on the other hand I'm back in the main building and we have a nice new department. My space wasn't remodeled but I just like being back where there are people and I can walk down the hall to get some hot water for my tea and have a little chat. There is much tweaking left to be done in my space - shelving to come down and reconfigure, for example. I would dearly love to have it painted but I doubt that is in the budget. I am going to ask if I can at least have two of the walls painted. The ceiling is so high that it would be very difficult for me to do it myself. Who knows what this was originally, but I remember when it was a programmer's office, back in the day. It was a microscope facility as well. There are ducts above my head and a fan system that keeps it as warm as a sauna in here. That is one thing it has in common with my Annex space. That was so hot over there that I always had the window open and the fan going. Unfortunately the way it is set up here I have no place to put my oscillating fan, so I'm stuck unless I can find a smaller one. I sure don't want a box fan.

Last night I finished mitt number 1 of the third pair and cast on and did five rows of the second one. I just admired my February Lady Sweater and stroked it a few times. Maybe I'll do a few rows on the sleeves tonight. I was just exhausted yesterday evening. The move took a lot out of me for some reason, even though I didn't move the furniture myself.

I notice on Ravelry that two people have cast on for the Frost Flowers Shawl. Still no pictures and one person said it took her 2 and 1/2 hours to cast on! I can believe it. The key to this project will be markers and more markers.

The weather is still quite nice and warm and we haven't had any rain for a few days. The leaves are falling and I can see many more homes off the trail now than I could when I started riding in from Cedar Park. Beauties that overlook the lake. In some places the leaves cover the trail, making an orange, slick path. One of the few times I have ever fallen off my bike was on leaves, slick with rain and slime. That made me extra careful this time of year. There are plenty of leaves left yet and maybe one or two more storms and they will be gone and the trees bare. It was two years ago about this time that I visited London and Paris for a quick week. The weather in London was freakishly warm and I remember that the trees in St. James Park had most of their leaves still. It was so warm that I was walking around in jeans and a sweater, with just a pashmina throw for extra warmth. And I didn't really even need that. It was really odd. Nice little vacation though. I loved the hotel. And the company.

17 November, 2008

Two down, four to go

It was a productive weekend, knitting-wise. I finished up the first two pair (of the six I have promised) of fingerless mitts on Saturday. While I love doing two at once on two circulars I have decided to do this next pair one at a time on one circular. I think that the constant shuffling around of the yarns negates any time saving from doing them at the same time. Since I am not likely to have an attack of SSS, or in this case SMS, I am going to cast on this lunchtime for the first one of the third pair and see how long it takes me.

Also this weekend I finished the body of the February Lady Sweater and started on the first sleeve. I was going to do them two at a time as well, but just figured the aggravation would definitely not be worth it. I am so glad I bought all of that Cashmerino. I will have plenty in case I want to make the sleeves long and I have made the body nice and long. Those antique buttons are going to be very nice. I anticipate using this sweater a lot this fall and winter.

The weather was just lovely this weekend - not cold, not raining and it would be foggy in the morning and then sunshine in the afternoons -- the short afternoons but still. On Sunday we walked the perimeter of the back garden fence and plugged up any likely looking hole with pieces of firewood from the stash the people left us for the backyard fire pit (which we haven't used even once yet!). We're still not sure where Tinkerbell escaped from, but any place she could even maybe squeeze out of was plugged up. And oh was she happy! She spent a lot of time walking her property and just laying in the grass on the upper lawn. She was a happy happy puppy!

Tomorrow I finally get to move out of the Annex and back into the Health Sciences Building. My new office was cleaned out and the floors washed Thursday evening. When I went in there Friday .... ooo, the stink!! It was awful! I had the door propped open and came in this weekend to put up a Wallflower and when I cam in Sunday it wasn't too bad. The fan was at least working and the horrible smell was gone. This will be the first time I am in a place with no windows. It was my choice however. The other office I could have had was very nice with lots of windows and everything new. The downside was that it was directly in line with the door to the main office and right next to the mailboxes. I would have gone crazy from the noise. I am so used to working in quiet. I rarely even play music unless I'm doing just the dullest of chores. So this is for the best. And around here you just never know. I could be moved out to another space any time. So -- today after a morning meeting I will be moving my own books and small things up to my office so when the movers come tomorrow morning all they have to do is bring my computers and furniture. At least this new room is large enough for me to have a table and two chairs besides my desk and return. And now when students come by they will have someplace to sit and review their exams or take an exam or whatever. And I will have a place to sit for meetings.

14 November, 2008

I just plain couldn't see!

It was a nightmare trying to get home last night. Even though it wasn't raining it was so darned dark on the trail. I couldn't see and I would get right up on runners before I even noticed them. It was VERY nerve wracking. I finally figured it out -- my light was losing power! The batteries were running out and my little circle of light kept getting smaller and smaller. I started to pull over 3 times to call home and ask to be rescued but kept thinking ... oh, I'm almost to the end of the trail. But then I got to thinking about the 2 plus miles home and were there adequate street lights? I couldn't remember so finally I called S and had him come get me. I just didn't feel safe. Now I have new batteries in my headlamp and some fresh ones in my pannier, just in case this happens again. I can pull over and refresh my light! Maybe I should look into getting another, brighter one. Oh, those a-holes walking and running and biking WITHOUT lights could get some. What do you think?

I gave myself a break from the mitts and did a few more rows on the February lady sweater. I MUST try it on. I am just spread pretty thin vis a vis Denise cords. [Maybe I should finish the Sizzle!!!!!!] But tonight I shall bite the bullet and finish up the "body" portion of the mitts at least and then tomorrow I can pick up and knit the thumbs and cast on for another pair on Sunday. Or at least that's the plan. S wants to work in the garage Sunday and that is really a good idea since there are still boxes that need to be broken down and a whole pile of stuff to go to Goodwill. Yeah, maybe we can even put cars in there!! Wouldn't it be nice to have the Mercedes inside with the weather is bad? I think that would be a priority but then again .... not my decision.

13 November, 2008

I'm getting sick of this ....

Oh my lord .... it was pouring rain AGAIN yesterday evening. Not sprinkling. Coming down in buckets! And I forgot to bring my baseball cap, which helps immensely in keeping the rain off my face and therefore helps me to see better. Add to the equation the fact that it is pitch black when I set out for home now and you can probably imagine what torture my ride home was last night. And so many IDIOTS on the trail with no lights!!! NO LIGHTS!!! It is just insane! There was a woman jogging along pushing a jogging stroller -- no lights. Dark clothing. She didn't even have reflective clothing! How stupid is that? I am getting myself all wound up again -- it just makes me crazy! And I know it's not just me because in the Sunday paper someone had the very same rant. I am always amazed at how many stupid people there are out there.

No knitting last night. I worked some on my mitts at noon knitting, but last night we watched the latest Indiana Jones movie in the theatre and the knitting light that S rigged up for me is not very good. Plus I just wanted to watch the movie. I liked it. Of course it's not going to be as good as the first one, but it was fine. But I've got to buckle down and get going on the mitts.

We're all so excited here in the Annex -- next Tuesday is moving day! Yay!! I cannot wait to get out of this shack, even though my new office is a windowless space, anything is better than this place with its bugs and sewer smells and women who don't know how to flush a toilet. Don't get me started ......

12 November, 2008

Odd little holiday

Tuesday, yesterday, was Veteran's Day. Not everyone gets it off but schools are closed and no mail is delivered. We decided to have a few couples over for dinner on Monday since all of S's friends work in the sound business or as stage managers or stagehands and weekends are almost always out for parties and dinners. I got most everything organized and set up Sunday, came to work Monday and left a little early to get home and finish up preparations. We all had a fun time and before we knew it it was 12:30! I had a little sleep in yesterday and then, except for walking Tink and going out for a little grooming, I just lounged around and watched TV on my iPhone and knit. Around 10 as I was leaving for the spa and saying my goodbyes, S finally asked why I wasn't going to work!! I swear, that man never listens to a thing I say. What is going through his mind when I'm talking and he's acting like his listening? I probably don't want to know.

Getting close to having the right hands done for the first two pairs of mitts. Perhaps I can finish them up this evening. I have noon knitting today. Then I will reward myself with an evening of knitting on my Lady Sweater. These mitts are just killing my hands. I am beginning to think that it might also be the combination of the plastic needles on one side and the wooden ones on the other. The yarn slides so much more easily over the plastic needles.

Now I'm going to check in Ravelry and see if anyone else has cast on for that shawl!!

10 November, 2008

What I don't get

Why doesn't my left hand get stronger with all the knitting I do? I don't understand why my hand and arm gets so sore! I have had to stop a couple times lately during knitting on my fingerless mitts. I did manage to finish the first two and cast on and got about 10 rows into the second pair. But ouch! I know it's mostly from the purling - this is a 4x1 rib. Also I think needle size has something t do with it as well. It's just a mystery to me why I still get sore. It's annoying.

It's was a pretty quiet weekend. Friday night my DH had to work so I ... knit. And Saturday we went out for dinner, but otherwise during the day .... I knit. Sunday? Did some grocery shopping, watched the Seahawks lose AGAIN!! and ... I knit. My Lady Sweater is getting very close to having the body done. I do need to try it on before I commit to the edging.

I see that someone has cast on for the Frost Flowers Shawl on Ravelry. No pictures yet. I wonder how long it took her to cast on over 900 stitches.

06 November, 2008

Rain and rain and rain and rain and rain

and rain. That's the forecast. I've been at work now for nearly an hour and my hair is still soaking wet and I was wearing my helmet and a baseball cap under it. [Yes I know -- awesome hot look.] Thank goodness my office is like a sauna so my clothes will dry by the time I leave this afternoon. It doesn't help me start my day off in the best of moods, to arrive in this state. But what can you do? It still beats riding the bus.

I cast on for a couple pair of mitts last night but I only got four rows in. First of all I had a bunch of chores to do so I didn't even sit down until nearly 7:00. I started to cast on but the puppy wanted to play so I played with her for a while and then let her outside and finished my cast on. Unfortunately I wasn't paying attention, which I really need to do when I'm casting on for two at once on two circulars, so I had to take it out and start over. Then I realized that Tinkerbell was being awfully quiet in the backyard ..... I called and called ... no Tink. Dang!! Seems she found yet another place to squeeze out under the fence and away she went on an adventure. I threw on a jacket and grabbed a flashlight and S went north and I went south and as I was calling her a woman opened her door and asked if I had lost a dog. She had her in her house! Little dickens! The woman was also trying to carry on a phone conversation so I didn't get to ask her how ... what ... where .... For the time being, until I can go around the perimeter once again and try to plug up holes with firewood and rocks, she is tethered with a long line off the deck when she needs to go out. A few weeks ago I was looking out the window and saw a strange dog -- one of the little dogs next door had wiggled under the fence and come over to our yard. So obviously the fence has some serious problems. It's not that it's old or falling down, just that it's not tight to the ground.

I'll knit more on the mitts at lunchtime and keep track of my time so I can do the math. I am a bit skeptical about doing 6 pair.

05 November, 2008

It only took three months

I finally FINALLY got to the Social Security office to file the paperwork to change my name. I have been putting it off -- too busy, didn't want to drive to Bellevue. Last week I looked on line again to find out exactly where the closest Social Security office is because I didn't believe that Bellevue was the closest to me. And, of course, it was not. There is one on Aurora and 135th. I already had the correct paperwork so I filled it out at breakfast and went over there. Of course it took WAY longer than I anticipated. It's like going to the DMV. But it is done. And now I just have to wait for my new card, then I can change my driver's license and my credit cards, etc. I wouldn't have bothered but my DH really wanted me to do it, so there ya go.

We spent the evening watching the election results and I didn't knit a lick! I have agreed to make some fingerless gloves for a friend to give as gifts so I want to cast on for a pair of those and see how long it will take to make a pair so I'll know what I'm getting into. She wants six pair and I think that might be a bit too much to agree to. I wouldn't leave much time for any other knitting. Well ... I'll have to do the math.

03 November, 2008

And the highlight of the weekend .....

Wiener Dog Races. Seriously. At halftime yesterday during the Seahawks beating (oh they started out ON FIRE!! but then .....) the entertainment was the annual Wiener Dog Race. It is hilarious! They are so cute! Almost as cute as Tinkerbell. Almost.

Halloween was not bad although I did get a little frustrated with traffic early on. I was out making a quick run to the grocery store and the liquor store and it was sheer insanity out there! As I pulled into the grocery parking lot, narrowly avoiding several idiots in the lot I opened my car door and as I was leaving the car I was thinking, "oooo I hate everybody!" And I looked up right into a woman's face. Guess I had actually said it out loud. She was laughing, thank goodness.

The rain mostly stopped and we had a good amount of Trick or Treat-ers and when we decided we were done and wanted to go up to watch a movie we just put the candy out on the porch in a bowl. Of course it was ALL gone next time S came downstairs so my guess is the next group of kids to come up to the porch just tipped it into their bags and finished it off. We were not egged or TP'd and for that I am thankful.

Saturday was chore day and the weather cooperated while I was out running around getting my car washed and Jiffy Lubed, etc. Then I did get lots of work done on the February Lady Sweater. I knitted most of the day and around 6:30 had to throw in the towel because my hands were hurting. I don't like purling. Or I should say, my left hand and arm don't like purling. I am not quite sure how long I want to make the body of this sweater so tonight I will measure. I'm getting close I think.

And I woke up early early this morning to the sound of pouring rain. I simply MUST invest in decent bike rain gear. I couldn't face getting soaked on the way in so I drove and will have to get my exercise with a good run this afternoon. If it ever stops raining or even just slacks off a little! I do have some errands after work so it's not entirely because I was not in the mood to ride in the rain. Mostly.