30 June, 2009

Oh so close!

I really really really wanted to finish my skirt last night. Unfortunately I didn't quite make it. I was so tired when I got home, but I got Tink walked and got cleaned up, and finished cleaning up from the party and then sat down and started working on the skirt. I was doing fine, then I got distracted by the thought of fresh cornbread with the leftovers, so I stopped to make that, then a friend of Mr. M's came by with a new mini computer and I stopped to ooooo and ahhh over that ... then it was time to get dinner together ....... Yeah, there went the evening. By the time I got that mess all cleaned up I was barely able to keep my eyes open.

I did have an absolutely gorgeous night's sleep though. I feel great today. We are rehearsing tonight so there will be no knitting, of course. I think I might have to drive in tomorrow so I can bring it in with me and weave in all my ends. I am undecided whether I should put in the elastic and sew down the waistband or wait until after it has been washed and blocked to do that. I might have to put it in the dryer to shrink it is why I am thinking of waiting. I'll ask for opinions tomorrow.

I got the yarn packed up to be sent back today. I put it in a Priority envelope so hopefully I'll get the correct yarn by next week before we go on vacation. That would be a perfect project to have with me to pick up and put down. Lace .... no. If it's not going to get here in time I may have to finish up those little socks I have on the needles and cast on another pair or .... oooo! Or I could make another Sizzle with the left over Shibu. I have two skeins of orange and 3 of the gold. I could make another Sizzle, this time in the small size and do it in the round. Well, I've got option then!

29 June, 2009


Friday I had another doctor appointment, so worked at home in the afternoon. I was thrilled to get my package from Webs containing lace weight alpaca silk for my Frost Flowers Stole, and supposedly Plymouth Royal Bamboo for my Flutter. The color of the lace yarn is absolutely perfect! However, I was a bit disappointment with the pink color of the other yarn. And it wasn't until this morning when I took a picture of it that I realized it wasn't what I had ordered! It is Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton and the color is not right. I looked on line this morning and found the bamboo I had ordered and gave them a call. I have to send the wrong stuff back and they will replace it with the bamboo. Hopefully I can get that in the mail tomorrow so I can get my bamboo fast! I am nearly done with my skirt and while I am looking forward to starting the stole, I will definitely need a simpler project to have on hand.

This weekend marked our first wedding anniversary. We had a big party on Saturday. It was a blast! I had purchased a small wedding cake from the woman who baked ours, and I made red beans and rice, Monika's husband Andre makes THE BEST ribs in the world and he brought those, Mr. M had the BBQ going and ... oh there was just too much good stuff. Coincidentally, the woman we bought the house from happened by while we were celebrating and came in for a tour of the garden and house. She was very happy to see the garden was thriving.

Obviously it was a quiet day on Sunday, our actual anniversary. After cleaning up I just relaxed and worked on my skirt. It was difficult to get the time to work on it. Now I have about 8 or 10 rows to go. Not much. I have the elastic so maybe I can get it done tonight or tomorrow, if I don't rehearse.

The weather is awesome and supposed to stay that way for the 4th. My sister and her boyfriend are coming up Friday morning, he's leaving Sunday and she's staying until Wednesday. So for me, my vacation officially starts Friday am. Can't wait!!

25 June, 2009

Oh I cannot WAIT for football season!!!

Besides the obvious reason - that I like football - I have another reason. Mr. M came home last night with a brand new, huge LCD TV! The TV that we had in the family room is a good TV, but this picture is even better. Football is going to be insanely good on that. He got it set up after dinner and stayed up WAY late tweaking it. I stayed up later than usual because we found a LOST repeat on the SciFi channel and it looked so darned good I couldn't stop watching. My MarioKart looks awesome as well. I don't know if I'm more excited to go home and play Wii or work on my skirt.

While I was waiting for him to get home and while he was fussing with the beast, I was working on the skirt. I got all of the decreases done and now have only 14 plain rows to work, then the waist band. I should be able to get it all knit up tonight, maybe even get the ends woven in and then tomorrow night I can sew the waist band up and put in the elastic and block it. I am anxious to see how that lace ruffle looks all blocked out.

I tried out the new ice cream maker last night as well (big night) with a sorbet. I was wanting to make mango sorbet but Trader Joe's didn't have any mango but they did have a mix of mango, raspberry and blueberry which made an incredible sorbet. Next will be ice cream. We're going to have some awesome desserts at this party Saturday. I'm also going to bake a peach pie. Wedding cake, peach pie, sorbet and ice cream. Good heavens - will anybody want real food??

The wind really kicked up last night and it was very windy on the way in today. The weather is still supposed to be nice Saturday, so fingers crossed!

24 June, 2009

The garden is tamed

Yesterday we had the gardeners out to weed, thank goodness. It took 3 people 3 1/2 hours to do it. That's a whole lot of man hours. It's not perfect - I can see a few things they missed and the little hedge around the deck didn't get trimmed. But that's something I can do myself and if I can get disciplined and spend just 1 hour a weekend out there I truly believe I can keep it up. It's really too bad Mr. M is not at all interested in it. He doesn't mind cutting the grass but he's not at all interested in the shrubs and flowers, except to enjoy looking at them. It's too bad my sister's visit is going to be so short because I could use some help deciding what to plant in the place of the things that died last year.

I got lots done on the body of my skirt last night and when I was getting ready to go up to bed I held it up to myself and realized that if I keep doing the decreases for the medium size it's going to be too long. I brought it to work today for Noon Knitting. I'll get the opinion of the ladies, but I am thinking I should now switch to the short version decreases for the other half of them and it should then be about the right length. The cotton is heavier than linen and the big lace ruffle on the bottom is weighing it down. I am loving it still though.

23 June, 2009

Insomnia strikes again

It's been quite a while since I've been plagued by insomnia. I was so very tired last night that I headed up to bed at 9 :30 to read a bit. I could barely keep my eyes open by 10:30 and so turned off the light and ... boing ... my eyes popped open. I couldn't get to sleep. When I finally did drift off it was a very light sleep and I was awakened by every little noise. Needless to say, I am a zombie today. I didn't even get the energizing effect of the bike ride because I have an appointment this afternoon and had to drive in. Ah well ... just means I'll sleep like a baby tonight.

Mr. M wanted to go visit his Dad yesterday evening so we took off to eat dinner at the Mongolian Grill en route to his parent's house. While there they gabbed and I worked on my skirt. Now it's just donkey work - around and around. I'm working as fast as I can. I have yarn coming from Webs on Friday. I broke my yarn diet and purchased some bamboo to make Flutter, by Norah Gaughan. And a cone of alpaca silk to make the Frost Flowers Stole. I was going to by the Indie II from Little Knits for that, but I liked the colors better from Webs, and the price was better too. I know the Flutter is a simple pattern, but sometimes simple is best and I believe I can rework the pattern to do it in the round.

22 June, 2009

It is now officially Summer ....

and therefore the sun has taken its accustomed place behind the rain clouds. It was nice while it lasted, eh?

I had a doctor's appt. Friday afternoon so worked from home. Friday evening and Saturday day and evening I worked on the Ingrid skirt. The short row bits, 3 of them consisting of 28 rows, took forever! Especially the third one which went all the way around the front and back, working towards the left side marker. Once I got the hang of the short rows, and started using markers, it went a bit faster. But still - whew! The odd thing about this pattern though is that it is written with one side being about 4-6 inches shorter than the other in the short row department. It's odd but supposedly it's supposed to make the lace panel hang straight. I hope it doesn't look funny. I can't see it in the pattern picture. Here's where I am now. I am working on the body and have done 3 of 15 6-row repeats, with decreases on the 6th row.

For Father's Day Tinkerbell bought Mr. M an ice cream maker. He is excited! I took him and his daughter out to eat last night - nothing fancy, just Red Robin. It was packed.

18 June, 2009

Loppem is finished

All in all a quick and satisfying knit. I used only 5 skeins of the yarn and so have 5 skeins left. I am considering making a sleeveless top with the cable used on the edges down the front. Maybe I can copy a top I have that fits right and make my own pattern. I'll think about it.

I hope to get lots of good work done on the skirt the next couple of days and through the weekend. Big party plans for the following weekend - 1st anniversary - so these next 7 days or so is when I'll get a big push on the skirt.

Watched "Animal House" last night while I was doing the sleeve bands and weaving in ends. I haven't watched that movie uncut in so long! It's a classic. I still laugh at it. Of course I am know for my low brow humor.

17 June, 2009

Finally they are fixing the trail

There is a portion of the Burke-Gilman trail that is SO bumpy. You can tell people that ride it regularly by their elaborate weaving path through the cracks and bumps. I have lost my panniers more than once on that stretch. Yesterday evening we were directed by signs off the trail and back on by the Metropolitan Market and again this morning it was closed. So yay!! It is about time!

Today is Noon Knitting but I couldn't bring either of my "big" projects in because they wouldn't fit in my panniers. So I brought socks. I have only a couple rows left of Loppem, then the sleeve bottoms. I am astonished at how much yarn I have left. I am still working on unraveling the Radiate, I have two balls of yarn already wound and I will most likely only use a small portion of one of them. AND I have 3 skeins of yarn that hasn't been wound. That means this little sweater is going to come in at under 600 yards.

No meetings today, one more tomorrow. This is the time of the year when we get together with faculty from the other sites, plus we're gearing up for the anatomy course in September. And people are writing grants like crazy. It's kind of nice to see action around here for a change.

16 June, 2009

I spoke too soon

Yesterday we had day one of our annual course meetings. I was talking to someone from Alaska who said he immediately started sneezing when he got off the plane because of hay fever, which he doesn't get in Alaska. So I said that I thought the worst of it was behind us, based on the fact that my symptoms had pretty much disappeared the last couple days. Well, not so. I woke up sneezing and I couldn't even get my contacts into my eyes! Oh well ... it's not so bad. It's a good trade off -- I am loving the weather!

Yesterday evening I worked some more on the skirt and finally "got" the wraps. I now realize what I'm seeing in the first couple rows are 3 or 4 wraps that didn't get picked up properly on the way back. I was thinking of taking out those 30 or so rows that I've already done and starting over but ... nah. Honestly it's really only visible if you get right up on it. I can make that the back and then even I won't have to look at it!

After dinner I got to work on the Loppem. I did some sleuthing on Ravelry yesterday and found out that the original corrections that had been sent and published as errata had in fact had errors! Can you imagine what a nightmare that must have been for Norah Gaughan? Good heavens. Anyway I got that squared away and was just knitting away, "one more row" --- you know how it goes. Before I knew it, there I was an hour past my normal bedtime! I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. But I will be able to finish up the Loppem tonight, hopefully. One thing though --- I messed up the first buttonhole! It is very small. I'm hoping I can stretch it.

I booked us rooms yesterday for our little mini-vaca. We're going to take my sister to the airport early Wednesday evening and then we'll head to Port Hadlock for two nights at the Inn at Port Hadlock, and then one night in Port Townsend. I got us a place there with a view AND a Jacuzzi on the deck! Yeah baby! Now fingers crossed our weather isn't just an aberration and we'll have warm weather in July!

15 June, 2009

Happy Monday!

Boy, I don't know why but I'm in a great mood today! Maybe it's because my sister has finalized her plans to come visit and I have decided on a week vacation to coincide with her visit and a few days after, so Mr. M and I can take a little weekend. He is SO busy! I am not complaining, it's just hard for us to find time to get away. The fact that he has a weekend in July open is something we have to jump right on. I am thinking we'll go to Port Townsend or somewhere around there. Water.

The weekend didn't go exactly as planned. I worked in the garden on Saturday rather than go for a bike ride. I spent a solid hour weeding and filled TWO cans! There is a part of the garden that is not planted and it's not exactly visible from inside the house so when I got back there it was like a forest of weeds! Big, tall ones. I am having the guys who did such a wonderful job with the spring clean up come by and take a look tomorrow then hopefully they can get out there later this week and do a professional job. It needs weeding and edging. If gardening was my hobby, rather than knitting, I'd come home every night and spend an hour or so out there. However, it's NOT my passion. I love looking at all the flowers - and they are spectacular - but messing with them - not so much.

True to my word, I worked on the Ingrid skirt for hours on Saturday AND Sunday. I got the ruffle done and 12 or so rows of the short row shaping. This skirt is going to be heavy! Good thing I'm making it from the bottom up so I can try it on as I go. I may be wise to make it a bit shorter than I would like because it is going to grow. You can see a bit of the 10x1 ribbing. Also I didn't get the first couple wraps knit back correctly. On close inspection it's obvious but I don't think it's going to be so obvious when it's on. Working those wraps on the purl side is hard and I still don't think I have it right. But the lace ruffle - nice, huh? It is going to swing when I walk.

AND I worked on Loppem as well. Finished up the decrease rows and am working now to get the sleeves up to 5 inches, then we do the yoke and button bands. I can see on the pattern picture that there is a garter rib to echo the bottom and the bottom of the sleeves but it is not written into the pattern, in fact the errata seems to erase it! I am going to check with Ravelry and see what people have done about it. It is very important to the look to have that, I think. Here's where I am so far. I am also hoping that blocking will keep the bottom edge from curling so much.

12 June, 2009

Hap-hap-happy Friday!

Oh boy it's Friday and it's supposed to be a nice weekend to boot. The forecast had originally predicted clouds and rain but it has been revised for sun. I have GOT to get out in the garden and do some serious weeding. I will try to do that Sunday. Tomorrow I'm going to go for a bike ride in the morning, do a bit of grooming and walk Tinkerbell, and then I'm going to wind some more cotton and get to work on that skirt! I haven't been doing 2 rows a night so I've got many hours left of the ruffle. If I can get up and get going early enough on Saturday I should be able to settle down around 1 or 2 and knit until my hands hurt. Mr. M has to work Saturday until late, so it's all me time.

He worked late yesterday as well so I spent my whole evening working on my Loppem (with the exception of 30 or so minutes on Mario Kart). I got the sleeves cast on, the garter stitch edging of the sleeves done and up to the first decrease row. It's still cute.

11 June, 2009

MUCH better

Oh yeah, the allergies were much better yesterday. And I had a great sleep last night! Yesterday afternoon I went for a run, since I could breath. It was hot but thankfully not so hot as last week. I rode in today, all the time thinking it was Friday. Cruel subconscious. When I made my first cup of tea this morning and went into the fridge to grab my milk I then noticed that I had 2 milks in there, meaning one for today (Thursday) and another for tomorrow. Yep ...

At noon knitting yesterday I worked until I had about 12 inches of yarn left. I must wind a couple more balls before I can do any more on that. And instead of doing that yesterday evening I worked on Loppem instead, finishing up the 9" of body and bound off for the sleeves. This is interesting and different construction for me. Since Mr. M has to work late tonight I may just work on that all evening and save the Ingrid for the weekend.

We're coming up on our 1st anniversary and trying to decide if we're going to have a party or not. I am torn because my sister is supposed to be coming up to visit and I want to take some time off around that. I need to nail that girl down!

10 June, 2009

And it's not even summer

Wow! Another gorgeous day and the weather forecast has been revised so that we are not expecting any rain until the weekend (of course). But still -- it's just wonderful to have all this sunshine and warm temperatures. Thankfully NOT as hot as last week.

But the consequences of having this nice weather so early is that the allergy season is kicking behind! I never did get my antihistamines to work very well yesterday and consequently didn't run at lunchtime because I just couldn't breath! I was uncomfortable all night. My eyes were very itchy. I let myself sleep in for an extra 45 minutes and drove my car in today. So far I'm feeling marginally better. I'm not wearing my contacts because my eyes still itch, but not as bad as yesterday. Maybe whatever is blooming that is causing this is on its way out.

I did a row on my ruffle last night and brought it in to work today for noon knitting. I should be able to get a full row done at noon and maybe start another one. I've got to roll a couple more balls of yarn too. I'm nearly done with my second ball.

09 June, 2009

Do you thinkI could actually rub the nose off my face?

If it's possible, then I'm on the road. The WORST allergy season I can remember for a long long time. Eyes itchy, nose itchy, sniffy .... ergh. As long as I keep myself dosed up with antihistamines I'm okay, but it's taking a few minutes for my morning dose to kick in!

One evening this weekend Mr. M and I made a quick dash to the grocery store to round out our dinner. There I saw a man in a Seahawks jersey and he caught me looking at him. "I like your shirt!", I said. "Won't be long now!" And he said .... "4 1/4 weeks". Wow! I guess he's talking about 4 1/2 weeks until training camp starts. Still ... sweeeeet!

I did no knitting last night. I was just so tired when I got home. I played some Mario Kart (oooo and unlocked MY Wii!) and after I got dinner on the table I was up for about another hour, then went to bed to read. I must have dozed off by 9:30. I don't know why I was so tired. I hope I can keep it together for a bit longer tonight - although I'm going to run at lunchtime and that always wipes me out. I truly do want to get that ruffle done and get the rest of the skirt going. I'll have to make a deal with myself. No video games until I get a few rows done!

08 June, 2009

Back to normal

Weather-wise anyway. More moderate temperatures, but the allergies are still pretty bad.

We had a fun rehearsal Thursday night, although I wrenched my knee a bit and so used Friday as a sick day and just stayed off of it and knit. No bike riding over the weekend either, so I'm pretty much back to normal too!

I got a good bit more done on the ruffle portion of the Ingrid skirt. I have 16 more rows to do, which might not sound like a lot until you figure that each round is 476 stitches. If I do 3 an evening then by this weekend I can start on the plain portion of the skirt. I took some pictures this morning as I was dashing out the door. This is morning light and so the color is not exact - the blue is a bit deeper and the yarn is shiny. These are iPhone pictures and a little blurry as well. After I finished the 5 pattern repeats (16 more rows) then I will be decreasing to half the number of stitches. MUCH more manageable, although I'll be using a size 5 needle. Still, it's going to be a quick knit after that.

Loppem also got a little time this weekend as well - it's TV knitting. Here's a close-up of the cable detail. And a picture of the entire body. I am SO glad I decided to frog Radiate and make this instead. The yarn is a bit warmer than I would normally use for a short sleeved cardigan, but it should cross over into autumn quite well.

After the slugs ate my winter squash starts I needed something to plug into that part of the garden and I found some acorn squash starts and also honeydew melon, plus I couldn't resist a couple more tomato plants. I popped them in and also spread around a little slug bait (SAFE for doggies!!). So far so good - they didn't touch them. I am SO looking forward to home grown melon and squash and tomatoes! Nothing like it. I've already been using my herbs and I have containers on the deck just overflowing with lettuce seedlings. I can't bring myself to thin them out so I'm just going to let nature take its course and see what happens.

04 June, 2009

Breaking records

We are breaking temperature records right and left, and it's not yet even summer! Another VERY hot day yesterday and we're headed that same direction today. Mr. M talked me out of riding my bike in today, since I was a wreck again yesterday even though I took it easy on the way home. I was about 3 or 4 minutes behind pace but I did arrive at top of the hill in significantly better shape yesterday than Tuesday. Since I have rehearsal tonight and a little office party this afternoon it's probably best that I did drive in, because it would be very difficult to get myself together to go rehearse after sweating buckets.

I knit a few rows on my Loppem during my proctoring session yesterday afternoon but it was too hot to pick up the knitting at home, so I just relaxed and played Mario Kart. Mr. M thoughtfully stopped and bought pizza rather than have me slaving over a hot stove (or him slave over a hot BBQ). Anybody else hooked on Papa Murphy's Take and Bake Chicken Artichoke Delite? I llllove that pizza!!

Today I'm wearing my T-twist top with a cute little pink skirt. It's perfect for today.

03 June, 2009

Heat AND allergies

Boy, my allergies are *really* bad this year. It has been a very long time since I have had such a reaction. I wonder if this heat has anything to do with the intensity? It was very warm yesterday - in the mid-80s - and it was blowing a hot wind on my ride home. That last hill was a killer! Then I had a severe allergy attack later in the evening. And this morning I took a pill first thing but am still sniffy and itchy. Hope it goes away soon!

It was just plain too hot to run yesterday and today I'm proctoring an exam at lunchtime and I don't want to go out and get sweaty before so ... no running today either. I don't care - I'm too stuffy and uncomfortable to care.

It looks like I'm going to start rehearsing again with my original band. I am going over there Thursday night to assess where we are, see the new songs they've been working on and to see the new rehearsal space and studio. Doug is very excited about it. Mr. M bought me a new microphone - it's pink! And it has interchangeable screens - gold, matte black and silver. I am rather looking forward to it. If I can only get him to nail down a bass player, then maybe we can book some gigs!

02 June, 2009

Love the hair!!

I want to say that my trip to the Derby Salon was a tremendous change from my usual trip to the salon. It was relaxing and fun, like it's supposed to be! I didn't get poked in the head with sharp fingernails, I didn't get water squirted down my back, the hair color didn't burn my head. Oh yes, it was just like it's supposed to be. ;-) AND I walked out of there with curly hair, a natural color of curly hair. Mr. M just loves it! And I like it a lot too. I think we need to add a little more around the face - some lighter highlights - but other than that I am just loving it.

The weather was absolutely stunning all through the weekend as well. We were going to go on a bike ride Saturday but I had to go out to West Seattle, to LittleKnits and Mr. M had to help his daughter move a couch, so we postponed the bike trip to Sunday and I took off to get the rest of the yarn for my Ingrid. And I am SO glad I went up there. First of all, yes I got the extra two skeins, and then I got to root around in all that yarn and touch it all! I have been thinking about using the Indie II lace weight yarn for the Frost Flowers Stole rather than the yarn called for, mostly because it is so much more expensive than the Indie II. I saw the yarn there at the LittleKnits store and OMG is it ever gorgeous!! The pictures don't do it justice. It is super soft and very very shiny. Just beautiful. That is going to be my next big project.

Once I got home Saturday I swatched for the Ingrid and found that I can get gauge with the King Tut cotton using a size 5 needle - that is for the body of the skirt, which is a k10p1 pattern. So I cast on for the ruffle with the size 7 needle and got going on that. It's going to be a bit of a slog. It took me over an hour just to cast on -- 487 stitches!! Then I used about 50 markers to mark out the 9 stitch pattern repeats. Eight rows for a completed pattern and 5 completed patterns for the ruffle. I am half way through my second pattern. It's going to be a really cool skirt.

Sunday was another hot day, so we got on the trail well before noon for our 20 mile ride. Mr. M had his new bike pants, shirt and gloves on and I believe it made the ride much more comfortable for him, although I still kicked his behind. I did find that when properly fueled I can make the ride to work 5 minutes faster than on a normal work day, when all I am fueled with is a cup of coffee. Interesting. I wouldn't have thought it would have made that much of a difference.

Yesterday I worked from home as I waited for the sprinkler guy to get there and get our sprinkler system back up and running. "First thing" he said. "First thing" turned out to be 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Ah well. I got lots of work done while I waited. And now we've got our system going again. I did find a big leak in one of the soakers in the front. I guess he didn't run the system long enough to find it. Kind of made me mad, considering what he charged. But he returned my call right away and said he'd be out to fix it this week. Now I MUST make myself do some serious weeding this weekend.