30 December, 2008

Finished the socks

Woohoo! I am SO glad to be done with those socks. I still have to graft the toes, but that'll only take a few minutes. I loved working with the yarn, a bamboo cotton blend, but the colors weren't really up my alley. I picked the brown/cream/green combo because I thought it was more manly than the others and S does have a lot of brown socks. But since it is variegated it looks more like camouflage than anything else. Oh well, he can wear them as slippers. I am convinced that once my guy owns and wears a pair of hand knit socks he's going to be bugging me forever more to make him another pair. Just wait.

I haven't knit much on the Rockstar Jacket lately. I am 60 rows in to the back piece - about half way to the first armhole decreases. I was just remarking a couple days ago that I believe this is the first pattern that I have picked up and started working on soley because I want the garment and not because I want to knit it. That might not make sense to a non-knitter but I am sure you all understand what I mean. And I really truly can't wait to wear this garment! It's going to be really cool.

Yesterday at noon I went for a run. The rain had stopped and the trail looked snow and ice free, so off I went. What I didn't notice (because it was sunny for a change) is that it was quite windy. I might even say VERY windy! I sw a woman nearly get blown off her bicycle. She had to put her foot down to keep from going over. I was working quite hard running into the head wind although coming back was pretty nice. Kind of like flying.

The garbage still hasn't been picked up and with the wind now some people have quite the mess brewing. I think S is going to take matters into his own hands today and take a load to the dump. Because of the snow and the lack of pick-up they are accepting it for free. Hopefully he can help a few of the neighbors out as well because according to their web site this morning we're not due to get a pick up until Friday.

The mail was finally delivered yesterday but my Christmas package from my sister, that should have arrived last Tuesday, was too big for the box to S had to go out to the post office to pick it up. I got to stretch my Christmas out like a birthday week.

Time for another cup of tea.

29 December, 2008

Thank goodness it stopped snowing!

Wow! I didn't think it was ever going to stop snowing but finally it did ... Friday. There is still snow on the side streets - or I should say slush. I couldn't ride my bike today because all of the smaller streets that I take down to the trail are impassible by bike. But I drove in just fine and I'll run at lunchtime to make up for the lost bike ride. Here's a picture of the snow again - this one taken on Christmas Eve day. The Christmas Eve parties we were going to were canceled, which was just fine with me since I hate going out in the snow, especially at night. I am just kicking myself about the garage. There is another door to the left - a 3 car garage. You'd think that after being in the house for nearly 5 months that the garage would be ready to receive vehicles, wouldn't you? And to be perfectly frank it is nearly there but for one run to Goodwill and a bike rack. We could have squeezed the two cars in there without too much fuss except that S had purchased a new sound system and special ordered four cases to carry around the speakers. These cases need to have fittings and foam made and inserted into them and so they are what is taking up the space in the garage rather than our cars! Oh yeah, but next time we're going to be ready. yeah ... next time.

The knit hats were a huge success. Santa brought me a Wii game system but some of my holiday long weekend that I had counted on as quality knitting time went to playing video games instead. I'm not complaining - it was fun. I did pick up those socks that I had been knitting a bit on for my DH and just knit on them exclusively. I want to use that gorgeous Noro sock yarn my Birthday Pal sent me last August but I've got to finish his socks first. I am just starting on the toe decreases so hopefully I can finish those up tonight.

It's pretty quiet here at work but I am glad to be away from the house after the forced time at home last week. My DH's son is staying with us on his vacation from school and it is a vacation for me to get away from him! Two weeks is definitely a week and a half too long for me to have a house guest that never leaves the house.

Somehow my office has gotten very very very hot while I was gone. The heating guys came by right after I moved in at my request because it was like a sauna in here. Supposedly he turned the temperature down in the office next to mine which is where the control is for both of them. But it's awful in here now and I can see that the air is not circulating. No window to open .... I am dying! I'd take my cardigan off except I just have a little cami underneath and it's not really office attire. This is as hot as the Annex!

22 December, 2008

Snow Day

Well, here it is Monday. I worked at home last Thursday and Friday because it had snowed, the roads were icy and I don't drive in the snow and I had everything I needed her at home. And despite the dire weather forecasts I didn't really believe that it would snow again and so much! We have eight inches here and they closed the UW today. The Seahawks had a game yesterday but I just couldn't face the cold and snow even though it was Holmgren's last home game and Brett Favre was playing. We won, too. But I watched from the warmth and comfort of my home.

My DH chained up my little car yesterday in anticipation of driving me to work today, but since I didn't have to go he went out Christmas shopping. I walked the dog and then walked down to a local store to do some last minute things. After I finish this post I'm going to do what I have been doing every evening and all of Saturday and Sunday -- knit. Only this time I'm knitting for me! I have knit four hats since Wednesday evening. One each evening except Saturday and Sunday when I was working only on one of them and my Rockstar. I made a little ribby hat, the Beanpole Beanie, an Asymetrical Cable Hat from a one skein bok and an earflap hat from some other one skein book. I also crocheted two bath mitts. I was going to do two more but I am just finished working for other people. It's just for me for a while. Here are the pictures of the hats.

16 December, 2008


After ripping back the Rockstar Cardigan/Jacket one more time, I finally got a good start on it. Two things were happening that messed me up. First of all I (of course) made a little mistake when I translated the chart, putting an "End K1" at the end of the charted rows as well as the purl rows. That's wrong. Second, nowhere does it tell you that the stitch count changes in your 12 stitch pattern repeat. So when I came across on that row and found that I was short a stitch right before the first marker I pondered whether to go on or not. I was 100% sure I had done the previous row correctly and that the stitch count was right so I just moved the markers as I came to them by one stitch and what do think? It ended up right. This is an important piece of information that I think the designers should have mentioned, don't you? I probably didn't need to rip it out the first two times!

This weekend I got through one 20 row repeat, put in a lifeline (my first) and started on my second. I should have taken pictures but I simply couldn't get out of bed this morning! I kept hitting the alarm. So much so that when I did finally drag my lazy behind out of bed I had to rush through my shower, skip washing my hair and was 10 minutes late to work. I drove in because it's 20 degrees outside. NOT biking weather unless you relish losing your nose to frostbite. We got a little bit of snow Saturday and word has it that another storm is coming in tomorrow. I worked from home yesterday because my servers were being moved and I had taken the precaution of bringing home my sites so I could work on them in case of bad weather. I think I should do the same thing tonight.

It is lucky I was home yesterday though because Sunday night Tink started messing with her right ear. I took a look at it and it was red, stinky and when I tried to clean it out some pretty yucky stuff came out. I called the vet first thing Monday and they fit us in. Turns out she has yeast and staph infection in her ear! Poor thing. They gave me some medicine and she's pretty good about me putting it in there. I think it probably feels pretty good.

12 December, 2008

And the word is ....

weather. Supposedly it's catching up to us. Winter, that is. The forecast is for very cold temperatures and maybe snow. By "very cold" I mean well below freezing. By Sunday the predicted high is 29 and low 18. For us that is VERY cold! Right now it's only in the low 40s and I rode in with little discomfort. I did, however, ask my DH to be ready with the van this afternoon in case it starts pouring and blowing and I want a ride home.

I am very close to finishing My So Called Scarf. I can do that at lunchtime today. I worked on it last night as well. When that's done I think I'll start on a hat. I'm just going to make a bunch of stuff and then decide who gets it. I do want to start on the Rockstar again this weekend. Saturday we're going to get the tree and put it up, and I've got to get the majority of my shopping done, or at least all the presents for California. I am tentatively scheduled to rehearse with my old band - the rock band - but I haven't heard yet from the leader and if it's snowing there's no way I'm going out to his place. He lives way out near Canyon Park and at the top of a very steep hill. I don't drive in the snow. That would leave me all Saturday night to knit on gifts and then maybe Sunday I can find a little time in the day and knit on it in the living room with the natural light and quiet. I just need to get a good start on it - oh, and check the gauge. The reason I'm not doing a "real" gauge swatch is that I already swatched for this. The yarn wasn't exactly the same, but close enough.

I ran at lunch yesterday. That was a big day - bike ride both ways and a run - but I'm doing okay. I was a little sore yesterday but hopefully I can keep it up. If my knees and/or ankles start to bother me then I'll just drive in two days a week and run on those days. Maybe it is too much to do the bike ride AND the run, but if I can do it I sure would like to. It's not that I don't have the energy, it's that my knees and ankles get a little sore. I've injured myself before and I know how long you have to be out of commission so that's why I'm super careful. There are certain kinds of pain that you just don't work through. That I learned the hard way!

11 December, 2008

Still missing

Still no sign of my Garmin. I have looked everywhere I can even imagine putting the thing, as well as in my car in case it fell out of the bag. I am just at a loss! I am sure I didn't have it in my bag when I went up to the post office to send off my sister's birthday present on Tuesday. I was going to use it but it seemed silly since I wasn't running. So I remember taking it out of the bag and putting it next to my camera. And that's the last time I remember touching it. I do remember picking my camera back up and putting it in the bag to go home and I think I remember picking up the GPS as well. And when I came home I had the new yarn and the camera and the GPS and I took them and the bag upstairs. I put the yarn on the yarn shelf, the camera on the shelf where it belongs and I should have put the Garmin in my bike helmet. But obviously I did not. I'm going to give it a few days and maybe it'll turn up. I hate to buy another one. I just got this one a couple months ago! So today I'll have to use my Sponge Bob digital watch for my run. I already signed up for the St. Patrick's Day race - they were having a deal if you signed up before the end of December. But the next race I'll actually run will be the February Love 'em or Leave 'em which, coincidentally, is the last race I ran last year! I was signed up for the St. Patrick's Day race last year but I got sick right after the February race and I couldn't run in March, I was still sick in April I remember because my sister came up to do wedding stuff and I went to the doctor while she was there. And then ... well, there was too much other stuff to do. So now I'm back in training and I've paid the fee, so I'll be running in March for sure!

Last night I decided to start/swatch for the Rockstar. I have 10 balls of Kid Classic in an olive green that will be perfect. I cast on 99, did the purl set up row and then started on the lace pattern. But I didn't get more than six rows in when I discovered I was off even though I put markers between each repeat. I messed it up further trying to fix the mistake so I just ripped it out and I'll start over. Probably not tonight though. This is a project where I need to sit quietly and get it started without TV or the dog bugging me. I have plenty of easy present projects to do and that's what I should be doing, not starting something else. But knitting isn't really about should, is it? It's about doing what's fun. So yeah ... if I feel up to it I'll probably try starting it again tonight. I am that perverse.

10 December, 2008

The indecision is killing me!

I cannot decide what to make next! It's making me crazy! The alpaca scarf I'm making is, of course, not for me because I can't wear alpaca. I love to knit with it because it's so soft, but once it's next to anything other than my hands, the itching is just awful. So that'll be a Christmas gift. And I have a couple others in mind so I don't have to make a decision right now. I do have knitting to do. I am going to write out the charts for the Rockstar and maybe, just maybe, I'll start a piece of that this weekend.

This is a frustrating morning. First of all I couldn't find my Garmin. I brought it work for my run on Monday when I drove and I know I had it yesterday in the same bag as Monday because I drove in yesterday as well. And I remember taking it out of the bag but for the life of me I can't remember where I put it!! I was running up and down the stairs looking everywhere for it this morning and in that ensuing chaos managed to grab the wrong set of keys. So when I got to the bike rack and reached into the pocket of my back pack I found ... no office keys. No bike lock keys. I hate starting the day off like that. On the good side, it's still mild outside and it wasn't raining.

08 December, 2008

She did it!!

I shall now call her The Amazing Monika. She threaded my needle through a row of stitches, I ripped it back at lunchtime on Friday and by Saturday I had finished knitting it and Sunday put on some fringe. I really should learn how she does that because it's a very handy skill to have! Here's the finished product. The drape is just wonderful. I am going to keep my eyes peeled from now on and nab any and all of this gorgeous yarn I can. I wish I had taken the time to do a fancier stitch but on the other hand, the beaded strand could be a little tricky to work with even in this easy stitch. Lace would be a real challenge.

Not one but two FOs this weekend - I also finished up my Liesel, after a whole year. I have discovered that I am not a chart person. After printing out the written pattern for this it just flew off my needles. That means that I'm going to have to translate the charts for the Frost Flowers Stole (yes, Nonnahs, I am in the mood for lace, it seems). I unearthed the pattern for the Rockstar Cardigan (looks like they renamed it "jacket") and the yarn I purchased for it this weekend and I will write out those charts as well. It makes most sense to start that project rather than purchase more yarn. I do want to work from stash.

But before I do that I'm going to cast on for yet another scarf tonight. I know, I'm not usually a scarf knitter but I bought some yarn that would be perfect for My So Called Scarf and it would make a perfect gift. I honestly don't think I could part with these two new ones - silk and cashmere. Who but a knitter would appreciate all the work and the yarn-y goodness?

I gave Tink a bath on Friday after work and Saturday it wasn't raining so we went to Greenlake for a nice, long walk (along with a billion other people). I was so proud of my pretty, white doggie. So cute and clean. We passed two other Westies, both white and clean as well. But what did my nice clean dog do? I am sure you can guess. She found a nice, large pile of duck poo and put her shoulder in it and smeared it from neck to tail! I wasn't quick enough. Usually I can see her ducking her shoulder to take a roll and I can halt it, but I was distracted and away she went! Much to the amusement of the people walking by us, we made our way around the lake. Lucky for me I had a towel in the back of the car and covered the seat. Then, after I got the groceries into the house into the sink she went and I gave her another bath and the rest of the evening I didn't let her off her long line.

On Saturday I also bought a few Christmas-y decorations for the house - a wreath, some garland, a Poinsettia, and yesterday bought some outdoor lights. I have wanted to have lights on my house forever but never had a guy who was willing. But S will do it! AND he said last night that I didn't buy enough. I was just thinking of putting it over the 30 feet of porch, but he says it should go all the way across the 3 garages as well, so he's going to get more today. I can't wait!!!

05 December, 2008

The effects of growing as a knitter

Ah ... that scarf. That silly, simple fishnet scarf. I worked a few more rows on it last night but kept laying it out on the back of the couch and scrutinizing the wonky bit from the night before. Yes, it's going to be at the back of my neck. BUT, I'll know it's there! I'll know that if I don't don it correctly the mistake will be visible. See, now a couple of years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about it. But now it is eating away at me. My friend Monika has the eye. You know what I mean - she's the type of person who can look at your knitting and say .. "Oh, I see what you did". Me? All I see is a mistake! I can tink back and pick up a YO, but that's about as far as I go. Or I can weave my needle through plain stockinette and rip back, but if it's rib -- forget about it. Bless her generous heart and keen eye - she has volunteered to try to weave the needle through a good row so I can rip back to before the mistake. Let's all wish her luck. I know that I can't do it and if she can't I am afraid I'm going to have to rip that thing out and start all over. Sure, it's a simple scarf but the time! I've spent several entire evenings over this. I refuse to waste this gorgeous (and expensive) yarn though so it must be done. Maybe I'll pick up the Leisel again in the meantime if I do have to start all over.

My DH had another late evening in Tacoma last night at a show and an early meeting there today so he spent the night down there in a hotel and I had the house all to myself last night. Well, me and Tink. For some reason I was very low energy on my ride home last night. That hill up from the trail just killed me! But Tink got her walk and I made a little dinner then knit and watched some TV. But I couldn't warm up! I drank a couple cups of tea but that wasn't doing it for me, so we went upstairs and I cuddled under the comforter and watched some TV and read until I could sleep. He won't be home until very late tonight so I guess it'll be the same routine. Except Tink is getting a bath for sure!

04 December, 2008

Pay attention!!

I am SO mad at myself. Last night I was working on the fishnet lace scarf I'm making out of the Artyarns Beaded Silk. It's simple -- one row of k2tog yo and one row of knitting. Just to make positive sure I keep a counter on one needle and switch back and forth from 1 to 2 - pattern row and knit row. Fool proof, right? Well, not for THIS fool! I was just coming to the end of my first skein and wasn't sure if I had enough yarn to make it across one last time. Since this yarn is so precious I thought I'd give it a try but somewhere near the middle of the row it was apparent I wasn't going to make it. So I grabbed the end of the second skein and knit a stitch with the old yarn and the new one together, as I normally do, then dropped the old yarn and picked up the new one and knit to the end of the row but when I got to 3 stitches to the end I thought I was off a stitch. Now here's where I went wrong -- what I should have done is look at my stitch counter to see what row I was on and then double check that by looking at the end of the scarf because I can tell by where the starting tail is hanging. I didn't do that. No. I started tinking back, assuming I was on a 1 row when I was on a 2 row. What a mess!! I finally took the needle out and ripped back until I could see a pretty clear row of loops and then fed the needle through them, hoping for the best. To my credit I managed to get all but 3 squares of the pattern right but those six stitches, after going back across, are just not right. I can't bring myself to rip the thing out again. That's an entire skein, one half of the scarf. I rationalize it this way - when I'm wearing the scarf the wonky row will be at my neck, under my hair and nobody will see it. I'm just so mad at myself though!

I have decided to resurrect Liesel. The last time I worked on it was when I was in California last Christmas and I thought I had goofed it up while I was knitting at my sister's and the wind was blowing and I had my contacts in and got something in them. But when I took it out yesterday to look at it and counted the stitches it looked fine to me. Anyway the yarn is 100% cashmere and it would be a great Christmas gift if I don't keep it myself. (How many scarfs can a girl use?) I hate working from charts though so I painstakingly wrote out the 10 rows of the pattern and then found that the designer had already done it. That's what I'm going to do for the Frost Flowers Stole - I'm going to write out the pattern rather than trying to work with the chart because charts drive me crazy.

It's gotten a little bit colder here. Still there is no snow in the mountains, which is a shame for the skiers. But as I was leaving this morning I saw the neighbor across the street scraping ice off their car windows and I could see frost on roofs on the way to work. The wind chill was biting. Thank goodness I start my ride uphill so I can warm up quickly.

02 December, 2008

Happy Birthday to you & The Action Plan

First up -- a happy birthday shout out to you-know-who-you-are. Just in case you check in ... I didn't forget. Cheers!

And now on to The Action Plan. As you may or may not know, Seattle is a rather dark place from November until March. We're northerly and so it is dark before 5 already and we're not even at the shortest day of the year. Add into the equation the cloudy days and there you go - dark and gloomy. After the holidays things get rather depressing around here and I always like to have a winter vacation to look forward to. Skiing is always a good way to chase the winter blues but my DH does not ski. Add into that the fact that he works a lot and usually on the weekends, so skiing weekends are not going to do it for me. I need a real vacation. So I've made a 10 week plan.

Step 1 - Get back to my real weight so I can wear more than one pair of my jeans. Considering that I bike 16 miles a day, all it's going to take is a little calorie counting and I should be on track and back into the nice jeans in 10 weeks.

Step 2 - Don't waste any more vacation days!! I am going to forgo my usual two week Christmas and New Years holiday and instead just take the one day after Christmas and the one day after the 1st. That way I won't have to spend much time with the house guest, and I'll still get two 4-day weekends in a row and save myself 3 vacation days so that...

Step 3 - by February I'll have more than enough to take two weeks. The DH and I will take a week and do something locally like go to the ocean or up to Canada or down to Oregon, whatever he wants. And the following week I'll go down to California and my sister and I can do something fun like take a cruise or go someplace and have a girly time.

I feel a million times better!

Now on to something more serious - what am I going to knit next?? I finished up the last mitt and I re-started the scarf I was knitting with the gorgeous Artyarns Beaded Silk. I am just doing a garter stitch edge with a fishnet type lace insides because this yarn is so beautiful and the drape is so incredible that I wanted it to be super simple but get the most length I could get out of the two skeins. That's just simple, mindless TV knitting. Yes I KNOW I have WIPs to pick up, but forget that for now. I want to start something. I am considering the Modern Quilt Wrap if my LYS has enough of the right colors to make it in their coned English mohair. Not that I don't love Kidsilk Haze, but I am NOT buying over $100 of yarn for a scarf/wrap. That's insane. Or I could take a deep breath and tackle the Frost Flowers Stole. I can't decide!

01 December, 2008

It was a trying holiday

I wish I could say that I had an absolutely fabulous staycation and that Thanksgiving was grrrreat but, not really. My husband's son came to stay a day earlier than planned, which did not please me. With him, a little goes a loooong way. I do not enjoy spending my vacation running a hotel, if you catch my drift. I made the best of it, tried to keep a good attitude and drank lots of champagne.

I kept to my plan and made lots of side dishes on Wednesday so that I only had to get up at 8 Thursday morning(!) to get the turkey going. I managed to grab another few minutes in bed after that but was all apron-ed up by 10, working on the rest of the meal. I had two tables set - one for the little kids and one for the adults. At the last minute both the son and the daughter showed up with uninvited guests!! I am all for 'the more the merrier' but uninvited guests? Not so much. I was SO angry. I tried to point out to my DH how rude that was and he did tell them, but I don't believe it made any difference to either of them. If I had known I would have given the children paper plates or small plates but I didn't, so there weren't enough plates, nor places for them to sit so I had a couple at the table in the other dining room, and my DH sat at the table with the little kids. At least the meal was good, but the way people were bossing me around -- maybe in a few weeks ( or months ... or years) I will find the humor, but at one point my step-daughter's MIL said "I'll have coffee with my meal" and I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "OH, well I'll get right on that". Good heavens. I don't know .... is it me? Am I really too fussy? I just think there's such a thing as manners and you should bring them out at every occasion, whether it's family or not!

Here I just got back from "vacation" and I don't feel like it at all. I haven't been away since May when we went for that week in Hawaii! Sure I've had time off work but not away. I miss my sister. I think part of the bad Thanksgiving experience was not having MY family around. I would rather have been all alone with my friends in Paris than slaving away at home without my sister and nephews. And the thought of having to repeat the whole thing in another few weeks is not making me any happier. Okay .. end of rant.

I finished up my February Lady Sweater and it's on my floor drying. The buttons are going to look great on it and if it's dry tonight I'll put them on and take another picture. I am currently in big fat pig mode, so there will be no pictures of it on me for a while. I have started a walk on the straight and narrow and until I can get back into ALL my jeans there will be no pictures. Anyway ... I like this pattern a lot and I think I will try it again but next time use a steek down the front and do stockinette for the yolk rather than garter. I have some of that beautiful Cash Iroha left over from the Hemlock Ring Blanket and I've got .. I think it's Silver Thaw that would harmonize with it. I could use the Cash Iroha for the yolk and the Silver Thaw for the body. Hmmmm ... I also finished two pair of mitts and I am nearly done with the LAST pair. Just a few more rows on the hand, bind off and then knit the two thumbs and we're done. I think I'll buy some really decadent yarn with the money. I can't decide what to knit next. I think I should knit from stash. I could do the Rock Star Cardigan I've been saving for ... how many years?