Sunday, December 30, 2007
There are Mr. Yuk t-shirts!
Now on to what passes as news here. I updated the layout, and added a few links and lists and whatnot. If I missed you, and you want to be linked, just let me know.
Still working on clogs, though I am taking a baby-hat break. Just have to assemble the hat for Nina, and have a good start on a second hat, baby to be determined. Does anyone want to lend me their kid as a head model? I have no idea how big to make baby hats. I know, there are guidelines here and there, but I want something that can try on the hat, and Zuzu doesn't count. Kitty hair is a specialty fiber, but it doesn't necessarily mix well with wool and cashmere. So anyone want to lend me their newborn for a few minutes? I know baby heads are big, I just don't know *how* big. Oh well. I will follow the patterns, about gauge, and hope for the best.
Most of my mom's clogs are done; just need to do the cuff and second sole, then felt. I wound the yarn for another pair, probably my dad's, but obviously haven't started. Still looking for patterns for sweaters. Will hopefully get out to French Creek today, or tomorrow at the latest, to get more sweater yarn. Oh - went to Miss Chickpea's the other day, and bought lots of yarn for baby hats. So if you want a baby hat, let me know. I am looking for quick distractions from the big projects I am doing. Should probably just frog the bit of Jaywalkers that I have started, and try again later. No way the pair is getting finished before tomorrow at midnight. Perhaps I will get back on the Sockdown Challenges in January. I'll skip November and December, although I should look to see what December's challenge is, as it might be worth doing. Not that November's isn't, but it didn't happen. December probably won't, either, but I should look, anyhow. Especially since I have such wonderful sock yarn in the stash now.
Today is laundry day. It is about time. I have been lazy and busy, and it has not been done for longer than I will acknowledge publicly. Also spent some time cleaning the kitchen. If I clear up the living room floor, Mike will vacuum. Yay. I wonder if everything will fit on the sofa.
My camera is being evil. I can record video that looks normal, but any still photos are bleached out. I should look at the manual and see if there are any suggestions. Oh well.
I should get back to being productive. I had some insights to share once upon a time, but as always, have forgotten them as soon as I started to post. The washer just beeped, so that is my cue to exit........
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
- Finished and felted five pairs of clogs.
- Traveled to Williamsport for my sister's husband's college graduation. (I drove to my parents' place; my dad did the rest of the driving. Pittsburgh-burb to Williamsport to State College back home.)
- Knitted at the graduation ceremony, the brewpub across the street, and then at Zeno's in State College, not to mention in the car. Oh, and in the hotel lobby for five hours on Sunday morning. Thought about how George Michael was cute when he was pretending to be straight, although at the time I thought Andrew Ridgeley was cuter. Also thought about how women are portrayed as incredibly materialistic in Christmas songs. And how I'd never heard the song "Marshmallow World" until this year, when Raul Malo put out a Christmas album with it as the title track, and I've heard at least four different versions. And I haven't been going out of my way to listen to Christmas songs. I thought about lots of things in that hotel lobby. I woke up at 5am, and sat there until 10 when the rest of the family had stopped by and eaten breakfast. Lots of thinking can get done while knitting for five hours.
- Finished the pin-tensioned sleeping hat. It is not as long as a traditional nightcap, and really just looks like a hat. It still works as a headwarmer.
- Traveled in a triangle - Mike's parents' place to my parents' place back home. He drove, so I knitted some more.
- Baked bread. Made the dough here, brought it to Mike's parents' place, where the two nieces "helped." They seemed to like making bread, and then eating it.
- Worked today.
- Helped Mike kick two kegs. Luckily they were almost empty.
- Went to Wegmans, the greatest grocery store ever. Bought some Very Vanilla Decaf coffee. Yum! I love Wegmans!
- Did other things I can't remember. Or am not talking about.
My favorite gifts were a ball winder and a swift. (And a watch, but it isn't all that fascinating - it just makes my wrist feel not naked.) I have wound several balls of booty tonight. Mama Blue's yarn was the first, then several Yarn Pirate colorways. Had to stop because my winding muscles are weak. And my elbow hurts. I should probably take a day or two off from knitting. Today was at least one, I think. I caught up on Rav (well, somewhat) after having several days away from the computer.
Perhaps tomorrow I will go to Miss Chickpea's to buy yarn for the baby hats. And some Malabrigo for a sweater. I need to make more sweaters. I think I will make another sweater in January/February. I don't know that I will aim for getting it done in a month, but definitely two. I already have that yarn. (Fairfax Fibonacci Sweater - pattern isn't available anymore, and Googling it only turns up other blogs. My stripes will be green and orange and white-ish.) And I bought more at French Creek, and will probably pick up more, just because I can, and it's be-yoo-ti-full. Freedom Yarns, Spirit. I have a sweater-quantity of Nature, and a few Warmth. Will buy more Warmth, as my mom and my knitting group all agree that those are my colors. May do this jacket, or this one, or perhaps both. Suggestions? Thoughts? Comments are welcome.
Oh, and I need to get back on the sock kick. Must use some of my sock yarn. Was going to make my MIL socks for her Dec. 26 birthday, but never got around to it. Green Parade, I think. (Yarn has been discontinued, but the pattern shows another color.) Also owe a girlfriend some Falling Leaves socks. Need to find her foot measurements again. I know where the pattern is, and where the yarn is, just not the measurements. Also want to scale down the clog pattern for my nieces. At least they should go quickly.
What else? Kitty had a double dose of her meds today, as I put some in her breakfast and Mike put some in her lunch. So she is especially hungry right now. She is being a talky toaster, and staring at her plate, because that might make more food appear. Oh, now she wants chased. I'd better do what she wants. I am a good person to my kitty. At least I try.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Yesterday was a long day at work. Mike's car is due for a new timing belt, so he needed to take it to the mechanic. The mechanic (Lusty Wrench) is near where I finished my day. Mike drops off his car, and I start driving east towards him. ("I'll be in the parking lot on the right just after you cross Lee." I pull in to the parking lot, and no Mike. He is on the other side of Cedar, on the other side of Lee. He forgot which way was east Or something. Anyway, I finally find him. We head off to the Lizard for dinner, and have an enjoyable meal. I even reach the "can't go any further" point in the clogs I had with me, as I'd forgotten my extra needle, and I'm not skilled enough to pick up stitches from one side and knit them into the others without that needle. Fine. Mike thinks we should stop in a La Cave du Vin, to see what they have. I get out my backup knitting project (mindless stockinette hat - and see, this is why I carry a backup!) and start working on it with some Java Stout.
But I knew there was a reason that I wanted to go home. Aside from the fact that home was where the my forgotten needle was, and if I was at home, I could continue to work on Christmas gifts rather than my sleeping hat. (Because I think it will be a nightcap. Maybe. Maybe not. And I'm not tremendously attached to it, and would still give it as a gift if someone expressed an interest.) I just couldn't remember why.
On the way home, after 9:30, when I was far too tired for the bizarre way that Mike wanted to navigate home (When there's traffic, I'm all about finding back roads around the traffic. When there's not, just get me the heck home.), I had an OS moment. (And yes, I'm trying to keep this thing family friendly, as you never know when a 10-yr-old girl's mother will be offended by frosting boy bits - sorry, Ravelry thing.) As in, "OS, I have to make cookies!!!"
Yes, there is a cookie exchange today, for the Women's Committee of the Natural History Museum. So here it is, about 6:45, and I have already baked over 8 dozen cookies. (Yes, 8 dozen = about 100.) Oatmeal chocolate chip. Or chocolate chip oatmeal, if you prefer. And here I sit, with a laptop on one knee and Zuzu on the other.
She's a funny kitty - I got out my coffee beans, as this is a good day to make coffee. She was *very* interested in the bag. Apparently it makes noises similar to those her treat bags make. I let her sniff the bag (it's *coffee* so she didn't get very close) and she ran away to hide. Kitty doesn't like coffee. She does however want to smell my breakfast cookies. "No kitty, that's my cookie!"
They taste quite good with a latte. Skip the gingerbread syrup - too much sweet.
Anyhow, I guess I should provide the knitting update. Four pairs of clogs are felted, and just need anti-slip treatment. Another pair is ready to be felted. Another just needs the cuff bound off and then the bottom sole done and attached, and then it goes in the washer. I started decreasing on the sleepytime hat.
My camera is dead, I think. It has been washing out pictures lately, but the issue is resolved when I do a factory reset. The reset did not work this morning, so I don't have any good pictures of the cookies to share.
Oh well. I need to get moving. Must leave house by 7:30 to get to work on time, and it's almost 7:00 now. I don't know if Zuzu will allow me to leave. Kitty wants to snuggle. Oh, purrpurrpurrpurrpurrpurr and ooohhhhhhh, flexipaw! I love my kitty.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Anyway, made it home after an hour of stress. Poured a pint of chocolate stout; Mike tells me I should kick it tonight. He was surprised that I got a full pint out of it. We'll see how much is left. If I get a second full pint out, I'll leave the rest until tomorrow.
Work itself was relatively uneventful, although I had to gather all of the projectors and lock them away in the office for break. I am always amazed by how lazy people are at that school. I sometimes feel like I am the only one who uses the stairs. I use the elevator when going more than two floors, but it sees like all of the students take the elevator for just one floor. Oh well.
I'm probably behind on the holiday knitting, but feel like I'm doing okay. Oh yeah, I was going to felt the first pair of women's clogs tonight. But Mike is brewing, and needed help, so I haven't yet. The night is still young, even though it feels like it's getting late.
Excitement of the day: I got two packages in the mail. My Mama Blue sock yarn showed up (sooo gorgeous! and sooo soft!), as did my Mr. Bento. I will now be able to bring hot food with me for lunch. Which is good, as I don't always get the chance to stop working to pick up food. My friend Danielle reminded me of the existence of Thermoses, when she and I had coffee at 3:00 the other day and I ordered lunch, since it was the first chance I'd had to do so. Mr. Bento is better - I can bring much more than just soup!
What else? Zuzu just had her dinner. She got bad news the other day - she is due for an exam in January. Poor kitty will not be happy about that. But really, she's back to our old playful kitty. She's been grabbing my bum a lot since I've gotten home. Meow! *pawpawpaw* Feed me! Our dinner will be cooking soon. I think I will make cookies tonight. Just because I can. Also, there is a cookie exchange for the Women's Committee next week. I should practice, so I know that I can make good cookies for that. Yeah, that's it. What kind of cookies should I make?
A fellow Raveler posted the image below. I cannot stop giggling about it. The kitteh just looks so sincere. I want to share it with everyone I know, and everyone else that I don't know.
So Friday... Went to a CMNH lecture, learned a lot about Maya salt-making and snorkeling archaeologists, talked to another knitter and pushed Ravelry. I am a bad influence. It was a nice evening, though. Started a hat, as I wanted some mindless stockinette for the lecture. Otherwise, I have been working whole big bunches. Hence the few posts. Not much to say about work. It's work.
Anyway, our dinner is now ready. I really need to remember to remove my glasses before draining pasta. It's a lot easier to do it when I can see what I'm doing. Time to watch John Cusack!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Just took a shower, so it is once again time to thank our friend Chris, as he just happened to have the tools Mike needed to change the scald-guard setting on our shower. I hate taking lukewarm showers in the winter - give me HOT water. Anyway, thanks Chris. (I would link to him if he had a web presence.)
Zuzu has had lunch, I have had my yearly allotment of latkes, and Mike should be back in the near future. He did his Athens reunion thing this weekend. Hopefully the guys had fun. I feel like a slacker because I did not send any baked goods. Oh well, I had too many late nights last week. Went to bed at 9 yesterday. I was mostly rested when Zuzu woke me at 4. I have no idea how such a little kitty can make so much noise.
To be clear: I am a tea buyer, and not so much a tea drinker. I have quite the variety of teas in the cupboard, even though I rarely drink the stuff. Maybe I just *want* to be a tea drinker. Anyway, I have decided that I need to clean out the tea cabinet, and the best way to do that is to drink more tea. I emptied the Decaf Honey Chamomile Green Tea today. One box down, lots to go. Anyone want to come over and help me drink tea?
And on the holiday knitting front, well, I have 3.5 pairs of men's clogs ready to felt. I have 6 more pairs (women's) to do before Christmas. And quite a few other pairs in the queue, but at least those have some leeway, as they are not Family Gifts, so the due dates are somewhat movable.
I need some mindless knitting, though. The clogs are fun, and go relatively quickly (maybe faster if I can get into the pin-tensioned groove), but they require thought, to keep track of my stitch count and row. Although I *mostly* know the pattern, I still like to refer to it - and will
definitely need to use it when I switch sizes. There's a lecture at the museum on Friday, and I like to keep my hands busy while my brain focuses on the speaker. Thus, I need mindless knitting. Maybe I will start a plain old stockinette sock, or something with a simple rib pattern, so I can just go round and round and round while I think of other things. And most of the Christmas socks I wanted to make (will I? probably not this year) are more intricate patterns. Oh well. I'm sure I can find some nice sock yarn in the stash for that. That's the problem with becoming more skilled as a knitter - I want to make things that are prettier than plain stockinette. Even scarves are more fun with patterns. Oh, and the room is dark during the lecture, so even if I did an easily memorized pattern, I won't really be able to see what I'm doing. Maybe I'll work on version II of Mike's Toque. Oh! I have baby hats to do! Maybe I could work on those, although I kinda wanted to do something more fun than stockinette. Should I start another sweater? Nah, not until January. I'll come up with something, I guess.
What I will not be making: banananana hammock. Someone on Ravelry pointed it out, and I wanted to share.
Anyway, I should get back to my knitting. And I need to do the SAAZ newsletter. I think I finally have everyone's contributions - it will be a short one. Let's try to do that now, although maybe I will see if Mike will be home before or after I can make and eat more latkes. I think I want more.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
I met my November knitting deadlines, although I didn't sew the buttons on my sweater. Probably should have done that today, as then I could wear it to knitting group tomorrow. Maybe I'll bring it along. Or the group will wait a week to see completed sweater. (Will post a pic when buttons are on.) Exciting news, though -got the Eesti Trail Hiking Socks posted to the Sockdown Challenge board right before midnight on Friday, and as a result, I won some sock yarn from Mama Blue!
Zuzu and the socks
Now, the socks didn't (and wouldn't) win a prize for being technically superior or anything; I won thanks to a random number generator. I was selected as a winner out of the 90-ish people who finished their October socks by November 30. I feel very lucky, though - Mama Blue is being generous enough to dye yarn for me. She offered me any of her repeatable colorways, not just the in-stock ones, and (in a very close decision) I chose Siren. I've never used Blue Faced Leicester wool before, and am looking forward to trying it. If I like it (and I'm sure I will), I might just order more. Just *look* at the colors! Very nearly ordered Brassiere, partially because the color is gorgeous, partially because of the name. Smoke, Algae, Mermaid, Beekeeper, Currant, and Anvil are just of the few other tempting colors. Anyway, looking forward to getting the yarn, even though I won't do much but pet it before January.
Oh, and if you're wondering about the socks, why they are not as technically superb as they could possibly be, well, I missed a line in the pattern. Not really a big deal, but the top band of colorwork doesn't have as many rows as it should. I have two rounds of green, one of white, two of green, when really it's supposed to be 2g 2w 1g 1w 1g 2w 2g. Realized on the second sock that I'd made the mistake, and decided that it was fine. And that no one would notice, but here I am confessing. Oh well. Also, even though the toe described in the pattern is beautiful, Mike did not like it, so I frogged back to a wider point and grafted the toe. He has not yet tried them on; hopefully they will fit. If not, well, the beauty of socks is that they will fit someone, somewhere. (I believe that's attributable to the Yarn Harlot)
What else? Over 2000 miles on the car so far, in less than a month. Friday was a very long day. If I had brought my knitting (and dinner) with me, I would have been gone from 7am to nearly 11pm. Usually I take Friday afternoons off, but it's been a very long week, and Friday was a very long day. (Oh, I said that already.) Worked all day Saturday, too, which really throws off my weekend. I feel like today should be Saturday. Realized that it was Sunday when Mike turned on the Steelers game. Not exactly true - I did know it was Sunday, I knew that there was a paper outside this morning, that Chasing Infinity was on as well, but it didn't really *feel* like Sunday until I saw NFL football. It still doesn't feel like December.
Oh well. I should really get to bed. If this week is half as long as last week, my brain will be fried by Wednesday.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Okay, maybe I should explain. Anyone who knows my family, knows that my dad is a newspaper hoarder. So that runs in the family. I have a hard time just dropping an unread newspaper into the recycle bag. Hence, when I get my Sunday paper, if it isn't read immediately, it is stacked until I get a chance to glance through it. Today was a day that I was glancing through old papers. In the November 4th PD, a headline in the Driving section caught my eye. Ever since the Auto Show this summer, they have been running "My First Car" stories. (They first solicited stories in May? June? and response was so high they have kept up with it since.) Well, the headline read, "1986 Honda Accord." My first thought was that I wasn't the only one with such a car as my first. Then I saw the picture. It was Holly!
I'd submitted a story back at the original deadline, I think in June. Anyway, if I had read the newspaper on the day it was published, I would have been able to get an additional copy or two, because I know my dad would love to add the article to his stack of papers.
So now, when you google my name, the second link is Holly's story, as told by me in under 300 words. It was printed three days before I got my new Corolla (which now has over 1500 miles on the odometer).
Anyway, since I haven't posted in a week, I should provide an update on the project front. The NaKniSweMo Sweater is missing only a sleeve (and buttons), so I should be finished in the next few days. The second (and first official Christmas) pair of clogs are almost ready to be felted, the Foliage hat is ready to have the body done (although it will wait until after Christmas, unless I need my size 7 DPNs before then), and I am starting the colorwork of the second Eesti Trail sock. Still need to frog the toe of the first, but figured I'd do the second before I did that, so the third toe (heh) will be the last thing I do. Six days to complete the pair. It can be done.
What else? Oh! I wanted to post a few days ago about the valiant hunter in the house. Little kitty was pawing at the sliding glass door. I opened the door, thinking that the cold would scare her away. The screen wasn't closed, like I thought it would be, and when I opened the door, kitty tried to go out, and a big moth flew in. I prevented kitty's escape, and closed both the screen and the glass. The moth, as moths are wont to do, flew up towards the lights in the kitchen ceiling. Zuzu was tracking it, looking up, meowing, running around, and climbing on the recliner to get as close to the ceiling (and moth) as she could.
I decided to enable the hunt, and turned off the kitchen light, turned on the living room light (a tall lamp next to the sofa), and watched the moth meander towards the light. Zuzu tracked the moth, and immediately jumped onto the back of the sofa. Moth fluttered around, near the ceiling, as Zuzu stood up and pawed the wall. Moth dipped down just low enough, and Zuzu pounced. There was a six-inch smear of moth across the wall, and enough moth remnant made it to the floor for a kitty appetizer. The Amazing Mothkiller munched on the moth, and then got settled on the back of the recliner to await the refill of her food dish. Mike was outside brewing, and came in to see the moth smear. He went back to the garage, and I looked at our kitty's face. She looked very smug, but had something dangling from her mouth. I grabbed a paper towel, and cleaned Zuzu's face. She'd missed a leg.
Later, I decided to take a picture of the moth smear before I cleaned it. Zuzu hopped up on the back of the sofa, as if to show off her trophy. What do you think?
Anything else? Not sure, but I should probably get back to cleaning. Then knitting. I have deadlines! But the next few weeks don't look too tremendously busy (at least not yet), and most of my outings are knitting-friendly, so I should be able to get a lot done. And I work the weekends up until Christmas, so that's even more knitting time. But I should get started now. I hope everyone had a lovely Tofurky Day!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Zuzu woke me at 4AM, as usual. I fed her, and dozed off again on the couch. Had some weird dreams. First was being chased by scary people in huge SUVs, then I was in a university building where someone kept offering a full-time job working for Yahoo. I wanted that job, I think, but wasn't sure that it would save me from the scary SUV people.
Started yet another project last night (two, actually, three if you count the sock I started that afternoon, although it is the second sock in a series rather than a new set). Started Foliage in fuschia Malabrigo. Did the crown, and am ready to move to circular needles and start the body. It will probably go straight into hibernation, though, as I started it as part of Malabrigo Junkies' Cast On Week.
Also started a clog. Cast on and did the sole's foundation row. Would have done more if Ravelry hadn't been so distracting. I have lots more to do (see!)
That's right, the holiday yarn has arrived! I was half hoping to get the sweater done before the clog yarn reached me, but that's okay. I should also get my Yarn Pirate Booty sometime soon, as it shipped yesterday. I've been saving sock yarn until after Christmas, mostly. I will then have a ball winder and swift, to make winding the yarn a lot easier. Then I can start knitting fun socks for me. Although I think I will do another sweater in January, just because. Call it stashbusting, or making room for more stash. Oh! I need to find my Miss Chickpea coupons, as the knitting group is making an excursion tomorrow. So I should also focus on my sweater, so I have enough done to justify buying enough Malabrigo for a sweater (at 10% off). And maybe some sock yarn, just because I love it.
Anyway, must get to work!
Oh, for those of you not on Ravelry, enjoy! (You can see that Zuzu does)
Cookie Monster Scarf
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
This is also the first time in my life that I have had a car with a remote control. I've always had to walk up to my car to unlock it. Until now. Which is kinda cool. Except it is far too easy to accidentally hit the panic button. I always have a ton of stuff in my hands, and have hit the button a few times now while juggling my keys in the mix. So then I have to fumble with everything else to find the unlock key. And then lock the thing again (I think).
Nearly finished Mike's sock last night at the SAAZ meeting. Well, I did finish it (except for the Weaving of Ends), but when I forced him to try it on, he decided that the toe was a bit too snuggly. After first trying to convince me that the sock was waaaaay too big. (I don't know, it looks awfully big. No, dear, I measured your foot. Well, maybe it isn't too big, compared to my current store-bought sock.) So I get to frog the tip of the toe, and redo it a bit wider. It won't be quite as pretty of a decrease, but hey, it's a sock. No one should see the toe except Mike, so it ought to be comfortable.
Did just a bit of the sweater yesterday, and have 1400 stitches to do today to stay current. Might bring it with me to North End tonight. Mike is reviewing a beer with another Mike. I plan on going to Jo-Ann's, as I want more circular needles for the clogs, and I think I heard a rumor that needles are 30% off. (I forgot to order some from knitpicks, and my order has shipped.) Plus I need non-sticky-puffy-paint for the bottom of the clogs. See, I'm being eco-conscious, as rather than stop by after work, I went home and planned to combine errands, since J0-Ann is not far from North End. And yes, I could go to Miss Chickpea's, and support my local yarn store, but I don't think I could resist buying some yarn. I am saving up for after my sweater is finished. Plus our knitting group is going on Sunday. I might give in and buy some mmmmmmMalabrigo then, even if I haven't finished NaKniSweMo. And I really need to get my camera fixed/get a new camera so I can share pictures. I really like the sweater, and even though it's bluish-purple, it might not actually make me look green, so I probably could almost actually wear it. It even fits so far! It's snug around the waist, but that's really just the cable on the needle.
What else? Zuzu wants attention. Nothing new. She's still the cutest kitty ever. Oh well. I should get ready to go run errands.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Zuzu woke me right at 4 this morning. She has learned a new trick. I was trying to snooze on the couch for a while, because she shouldn't really have breakfast before 5:00 (don't want to encourage her!) but she would not leave me alone. Anyone who has a cat knows that when they want you awake they might gently paw your face. Zuzu did this to me today. With a wet paw. Yes, kitty, you got my attention. No, kitty, please don't do it again. *sigh* She did get her breakfast a bit early, though.
Nothing else really to post on the knitting front; still working on the Eesti Trail sock, although Mike reports that it does fit. It continues to be my portable project. I have about 5" to go on the foot, including the toe. Debated making the toe green, but decided to stick with the yarn that matches the reinforcing thread. Mike, as usual, does not care. Looking forward to starting the second sock, which is also due before the end of November. Need to figure out what my November Sockdown pair will be.
Oh - may take a double-knitting class on Wednesday. It won't show me exactly how to knit two socks at once on the same set of needles, one inside the other, but it will give me more of an idea. Tonight is SAAZ, at th Hoppin' Frog. Must make more chocolate chip cookie pie.
So now I have a kitty sprawled out on my lap, across the non-keyboard part of the laptop, head on my right wrist. Hard to type. Will stop and snuggle. Can't click. Kitty on touchpad buttons. Must tab. Somehow.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
While searching for the pantyhose, I found a packet of Cup'O'Soup under the bed. Don't ask - I have no idea either. Mmmmm, Spring Vegetable. Mmmmm, MSG.
Got a decent bit of my sweater done today, for the first time since Tuesday. I'm still just under 1000 stitches behind, but hey, what's Sunday for, right? Well, doing a newsletter, and perhaps trying to get some work done, too. But hopefully I can squeeze in some knitting, too. No cider pressing this weekend, so I will at least be home.
Finished the second Cookie Monster scarf. Brought the wrong needle to work last night, so no luck on the sweater yesterday. Today was actually busy, what with resetting passwords, creating new accounts, solving printer problems and an NTLDR error. So again, I would have liked to do more on the sweater, but still. I did split off the sleeves. It's amazing how short a row with 200 stitches feels after doing several rows with 350.
Working on the foot of the Eesti Trail sock; want Mike to try it on. I think it will fit, but as he says, I always think he is bigger than he is. His hat is slightly large. So might the sock be. He's been complaining that somehow the hat alpaca fibers are finding their way into his beard. I never knew that alpacas were migratory. Maybe just the Ultra ones.
Anyway, I should run - must get ready for event. 20 minutes should be enough, right? Plenty...
Friday, November 9, 2007
So the car has over 150 miles on it now. I was enjoying the sound system yesterday. Oh, and we saw David Dye in Akron. Decent event put on by 91.3 WAPS, and I am grateful that they condensed the schedule a bit. 75 minutes for a buffet dinner is a bit much. WAPS staff was wonderful; not so the bartenders. Well, they might have liked me better had I been male. I stood and waited for what felt like forever simply to get some water, while they served every male in sight. Only when I was the only one left did I get my water. Anyway, David Dye is always great to hear, and he shared some fun stories about people he's interviewed. Enjoyed the audio clips he brought as well. Half tempted to go to Pittsburgh next Thursday for the similar event. Just because.
I've been thinking road trip lately. The clouds lately have been making me think of mountains, so I want to go somewhere that has them. Too bad it's November, as that makes driving to the mountains a bit more precarious than usual.
Finished the Alpaca hat. Trying to decide if it needs slightly felted/shrunk. Mike thinks it's too long. Working on the foot of the first Eesti Trail sock, as I finished the gusset decreases last night. Will get to do more today, as it's a video-editing morning. I need to find my WOTA color card so I can order yarn for the clogs, too. Would like to look now, but Zuzu climbed into my arms, so it's a struggle to type. Thank goodness for two shift keys. Although this has happened before, so I can type decently well with one hand, even if I do have a habit of getting ahead of myself and typing the end of the word before I start it. I am officially 1,114 stitches behind on my sweater. Will hopefully catch up (and then some) this weekend. At any rate, it's about time for me to split off the sleeves, so the rows will get a lot shorter. I should probably read the pattern again so I can pretend to know what I am doing.
Okay, Kitty just left me. While I enjoy snuggling with the purrmonster, I really should do more productive things. And that does not include posting here, even though I can type *much* faster when I'm allowed to use all of my fingers. Anything else that I feel compelled to share? Nah, not now. I should get moving before Zuzu takes up residence again. Happy Friday!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Cleaned out my old car this afternoon. I discovered where all of the pens in the house went. Do not ask me how many pens were in my car. Lots. And then some more.
Felted the test clogs yesterday. The designer really means it when she says not to use long stitches to tack the soles together. Oh well, they will still keep Mike's feet warm. Felted the tote bag, too. Washer got a workout. Need to figure out what yarn I need for the many many many clogs to be made before Christmas, and order it.
Finished Mike's hat tonight, with the exception of weaving in the ends. I love Ultra Alpaca!
Working on NaKniSweMo sweater; nearly done with the yoke. Pretty soon I will split off the sleeves and work on the body. About according to schedule, if my calculations are right. If my calculations are right, it will take more yarn than the pattern calls for. But that's okay, as I bought more than I expected to need. Hopefully I will not need 600 yards more than planned.
Zuzu is telling me that it is either bedtime, or time for her to eat again. Since she just had dinner, I am guessing that it is bedtime. Good, as I am sleepy.
Glug glug says the kitty fountain, meow meow (meow meow!) says the kitty, zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz zzz says me.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Went to a cider pressing yesterday, and realized that Mike is an enabler. As part of the Ravelry group So much to knit, so little time, I was trying to stick to a 3 WIP project diet. Was making progress on my sweater, the test clogs and the Eesti socks, when Mike mentioned that he's waiting to cut his hair until I make him a skullcap. Huh. So, before we left, I cast on for his Halfdome. Probably not too bad, as I'm at thinking knitting for the footwear (turning heel and adding outer sole) and refuse to work on NaKniSweMo Sweater around a bonfire or flying apple pieces. We sat in traffic forever on the way home while an accident was cleared, so I have about two inches done on the hat. It will be pulled out next time I need mindless knitting, probably Wednesday if I go to the museum lecture. (Oh, and I should probably mention that I didn't really tell Mike about the project diet, but I'm blaming him anyway. It's more fun that way.)
Props and Curses to Fred Karm of Hoppin' Frog Brewery for bringing his Black and Tan (and additives) to the pressing. He brought an infusion tower, and ran the beer through coffee beans before it was served. Yummy!!! Loved the coffee aroma and flavor, but did not appreciate the caffeine. We were drinking out of 6-oz plastic cups, so I really didn't have much (also it's hard to knit when you have a glass in your hand, and there weren't all that many chairs or places to set cups) but I was still up later than Mike was last night.
Never did get my felting done yesterday - the pressing interfered with laundry, and laundry was more important. Pressing also interfered with the finishing work on the clogs, as noted above. Oh well. Will get some stuff done at knitting group tonight. Should be able to finish the clogs and turn the heel of the sock. Will then maybe work on sweater. I only have to do 200 stitches today to average 1900 sts every day, which means a 57,000 stitch sweater. (I'm guessing on the number of stitches, but I'm trying to overestimate a bit, too. Needs to be 50,000 stitches to qualify.) Anyway, my point is that I've been averaging a bit more than necessary so far this month, but that won't last long. (Part of the reason I haven't been posting - been too busy knitting!)
Anyway, I should get ready for work. Need to pack up all my stuff in case I don't get home before knitting group. It's really sad how much I have to bring. Oh well - if I finish some stuff tonight, I'll have less to bring next week.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tori put on a marvelous show, as always. It was her Halloween party, so the band and road crew were in costume, as well as many fans. For some reason, Jon Evans as a vampire really reminded me of the guy I dated my senior year of high school. Don't know why, but he made me think of Jay. Loved the fake blood on the piano, as well as the other props. We'll see what she does in Cleveland tomorrow night.
Last night/this morning, I got home at 1:00 AM, and Zuzu woke me shortly before 5:00. Took a nap this afternoon. I love my job! Was editing video, so I got to knit while it digitized and the DVD burned. Started the pattern rounds of the Eesti Trail Hiking Sock. Confession - I didn't do a gauge swatch, so it might not fit. But as the Yarn Harlot says, there's always someone out there that can wear your socks. Actually, I tried it on, and it seems to fit, and perhaps be a bit large. Best case, they fit Mike (since I probably owe him more socks). Unfortunately, I'm using short needles, so I doubt that he can try on the sock while it's the ninja sock of death, and I don't think I'll take it off the needles for him to test. I'll figure out something about the foot someday.
Still working on a ton of projects, and wasting too much time on Ravelry. Mostly done with the first test clog; only have to double the cuff and do the second sole. Okay, going to just post now and knit for a while before the kiddies start showing up and asking for candy.
Oh - wanted to share this, so my non-knitting friends know that I'm not making it up. :-)
Also, found a Ravelry group that I totally identify with - So much to knit, so little time. I *never* try to do more than I can physically accomplish... Right, Mike?
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Took them to Miss Chickpea's and dropped them off, along with a matching hot pink scarf that had been lingering in the scarf bag. Finished Sock #2 first, then frogged the tip of the toe of Sock #1, as I'd made it too pointy. It really wasn't that bad; only three-four rows needed to come out. No charity hat this year, although I will keep the yarn and can work on something after Christmas.
Finished the body of the stripey tote bag, too, plus one strap. Should be able to finish the second strap tonight, as they don't take very long. Needed my size 13 circs for all the clogs I'm making, and as the bag was so nearly done it was easier to finish it than to take the bag off the needles.
Oh, and finished reading "Spook" today, too. Very enjoyable.
What else? Haven't dug out the yarn for my test clogs yet, but probably will tonight. Should also take a picture of the mound o'yarn that will be my November sweater. Hopefully I'll have enough left over to make a hat and maybe mittens.
Clogs for Christmas
Eesti Trail Socks (Nancy Bush October Sockdown - need to be finished by Nov. 30)
Baby hats (good friend plus neighbor both expecting winter babies)
Jaywalker Socks (must jump on very cute bandwagon...)
Lots of other socks (even though sock yarn is not stash, it's taking up a lot of space)
Anyway, must finish handle!
Oh, and we had a lovely party yesterday. I made enough food for twice our usual turnout (which is my normal party preparation), and since we kept things small this year I had way more than it was physically possible to eat. Mike and I will have leftovers for a week. Good thing about smaller parties - I actually had the chance to enjoy more than half a pint of beer. Not too much more, but some. Loved the chocolate stout cake. And pirogie casserole. That was probably the hit of the party. Aside from Mike's homebrew. Everyone loved his beer.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Also, got a call from my mom the other day, oddly in the middle of the day. She wanted to tell me that the Crafty Ewe had called, and she had won a gift bag from Katidid. Apparently I won "the frame of my choice" also. Now *that* will be difficult. I have to choose? I guess I should look at my projects and pick a frame that would fit one of them. But I haven't talked to the people, so I don't know if it's the choice of any frame in the shop or a choice of a selection. Hopefully I can stop by tomorrow to pick up our prizes.
Need to clean and cook for Saturday. Cleaned a bit tonight, but still more to do. Also need to figure out what I'm going to cook, so I can shop.
Swatched for the NaKniSweMo sweater; haven't measured or anything, but the (first) swatch is done. Also started a swatch for Jaywalkers, but think I grabbed the wrong needles so it will be waaay too big. Need to finish charity sock #2, swatch/cast on for October's Sock KAL (Nancy Bush's Eesti Trail Hiking Socks, I think - it's either a Nancy Bush pattern or something with cables, and I'd rather deal with a little bit of color work than cables right now). I feel like it's cheating, but hey. I have other things to worry about. And might worry about those, not the socks. We'll see.
Oh well. I should go to bed. Had a nap this afternoon, but could still sleep more.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
And for Christmas, well, I think I'm cancelling (or at least postponing) some of the socks. I will be making clogs for the guys, instead of socks. (Clogs are *MUCH!!!* faster than men's socks, even on worsted.) So mark at least four pairs of socks off the list. Maybe the adult women will get clogs, too. I need to make a pair from my stash (I have enough Wool of the Andes that this shouldn't be a problem!) to see how they work and how well the yarn felts, (also get an idea of sizing) and then I can order the yarn I need from Knitpicks. It's significantly cheaper than Lamb's Pride Worsted or Cascade 220, but I should still have enough of an order to get the free shipping. If not, I can certainly add some sock yarn! (It was hard to *not* shop after I saw their teaser for hand-dyed yarn. I am such a sucker for hand-dyed.
What's really sad about the Christmas stuff is that I made stuff for Mike's family already. In January. I used the Knitpicks Hot out of the Oven free pattern and made potholders and oven mitts for each family. Difficult? Time-consuming? Not at all. But I thought it would do, as I found some really cute flowerpots (also in January) with veggies and so on, and Mike could type up his pizza crust recipe, and I could stuff the pots with herb and veggie seeds, as well as the yarn items, and we'd be set for Christmas for his family. Guess not. And I was so proud of myself to have had the Christmas gifts done (with the exception of the seeds) in the first part of the year. Too bad.
Oh well. As usual, I'm wasting time on the computer when I should be working on something. At least Ravelry provided some inspiration this morning. Current project update: Charity Sock #2 has a turned heel, but I haven't yet picked up the stitches for the gusset. It needs to be done by Monday. I've actually been working on Stripey Sock #2 over the past few days, and it is about a stripe or two away from finishing. I've been reading during the drive time lately (rush hour - not while moving!) so I haven't been knitting, but I can get back to knitting as I'm skipping a book club thing tomorrow (easy to do, I guess, as I haven't been, but I'd wanted to go especially since the book they picked was the one I'd just requested from the library... ) and don't have to finish the book by Thursday PM.
Anyway, I've now just wasted even more time, and I really need to get ready for work.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
And, telling people who "only do scarves" that they can do so much more: "Double-pointeds just look hard - you're really only knitting with two needles at once." "Toe-up socks are really easy - you can do it!"
Also been telling non-knitters about how faboo (thanks, Wacko!) Ravelry is, and that they should learn to knit (or crochet) so they can be part of the community. (I think Kel's taking my advice.) Someday I'll document my whole stash and post it, plus all my projects and stuff. Maybe this qualifies me for GeekCraft (I did join, but haven't posted) - I made a spreadsheet of all of the scarves I've made, what they were made of, and who they ended up with. That said, I haven't updated the list for a while (and probably couldn't accurately do it now), but it does exist... No photos to post, though. Oh well. They were just boring scarves, so no need to really add to the project list. I should update the sock list - I wonder where Mike's first socks are. He never wore them much. Don't know why. I'll need to make him more someday. With reinforcing thread in the toes and heels so they last longer.
Was planning on working at work today, and since I can't do it (don't ask) I'm knitting/now posting instead. Lost a DPN yesterday (I think it's on a client's desk, as I was showing her the charity socks and telling her that yes, she *can* make socks, too!) so the charity socks are a bit sidelined. Will call Monday to see if she found it, or if I need to buyForgot to bring the stripey socks, so I can't turn the heel for sock #2. I keep forgetting about the stripey socks. The green stripey Knitpicks Parade will probably be socks for my mother-in-law. Have some KnitCol (brought it with me today!), and I think I will make Jaywalker socks out of it for my oldest niece. Or her mom, I'm not sure. That may be the third pair of socks on the needles right now. Second sock syndrome? Maybe, maybe not. Although if I'm going to make so many socks for Christmas, I'll need to keep better notes! Will need to get some manly sock yarn so I can make socks for the men of the family. Will probably try the hiking sock pattern in the Interweave Favorite Socks book. Really want to try the undulating rib pattern, but haven't really looked at it, so I'm not scared yet. May get scared when I read the details. May also need more yarn, just because.
My Yarn Pirate Booty showed up the other day! A big skein of fun sock yarn (very suitable Halloween colors!) and two circular needles. Maybe I can try Magic Loop now, with one of those (1's and 2's) plus my interchangeable set.
Anyway, I should probably get back to the socks, since I'll have a lot of work to do at home tonight/tomorrow. Only 2.25 hours left to knit before I go home...must take advantage of it....
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
So I am sitting here, waiting for a file to download, babysitting several computers, and wishing that I could be knitting. Or reading. Or doing something other than staring at a computer screen, watching the slow progress of my download. But it’s a very professional office, so I need to pretend to be busy, even though I am really a glorified babysitter right now. Yay, 38% downloaded. Less than an hour left to go, at this speed. Trying to restrict my internet use, as I don’t want to waste bandwidth, so let's write in Notepad and post later.
Went out last night, to North End Market. Finished the first charity sock. Wasn’t paying as much attention to the pattern as I should have, and the toe is a bit pointy as a result. I haven’t woven in the ends yet, and will compare to the properly done pair to see if the pointy toe is too pointy. I really didn’t pay much attention to the foot, either, as it was a bit longer than it needed to be – but hey, so it’s for a size 9 rather than an 8.5. Although with the extended toe, maybe it’s really for a size 9.5. Maybe I *should* rip out the toe and a few rows of foot.
While I think about unraveling the first sock, I’ve started on the second. The ribbing is done, and I am ready to start the pattern rows. I really think I’ll have enough yarn left over to make a hat, as there is a substantial ball remaining after sock #1 has been completed. And even a bit more will be generated, if I do rip out the toe and part of the foot. It would be the absolute last-resort-almost-done yarn, if I needed it, but it would be there. Maybe I should frog the toe. The Malabrigo is wooly enough that I should be able to find my stitches (part of the reason I hardly ever rip things out is that I have a terrible time finding/picking up my stitches again).
Woo-hoo! The download speed seems to be picking up. Don’t know if it’s because I closed just about everything except Word or if it finished downloading on someone else’s machine. Oh, wait, now it’s slowing down again. 58% done now, though. Maybe it will finish before 4:00. Or at least before 4:30. Please?
Back to my knitting… Really enjoyed making Kel’s socks with the Jarbo Garn Raggi; perhaps I should get more of that for the socks for my husband’s family. It’s a bigger yarn, so they stitch up pretty quickly, and if I have 15 pairs of socks to knit for Christmas, I want them to go quickly. Is that right? There’s Mike, his two brothers and his dad. Four men’s socks (eight, if you count them as individuals). Two sisters-in-law and one mom. We’re up to seven pairs. Two teens, and two young kids. Eleven. And I’m mostly done with a pair for my sister, and I should make some for her husband, as we’re making things as gifts (at least that’s our plan…). Thirteen. I also promised a pair to Danielle, so that’s fourteen. Who am I missing? I made a list, but it’s either at home or in the car, not with me. I have made two pairs for my mom already, so she shouldn’t be on the list. I apologize to whomever I’m forgetting – maybe it’s me! I’d like to add these to my Ravelry queue, but I haven’t picked out the pattern or the yarn for all of them yet (hmm, I wonder who sells Raggi in the Cleveland area?) and I don’t know that I’m willing to give up much of the sock yarn that’s already in my stash. (Those are socks for me! Although my Yarn Booty shipped today, so perhaps *that* yarn will become socks for me, and my stash will become gifts.) Also, the time that I could spend uploading things to Ravelry would probably be better spent knitting.
Oh! The missing pair is the charity pair… Don’t know how I forgot those. Anyway, if I’m halfway done with that pair, there’s only fourteen more to go before Christmas. Definitely do-able!
As for other projects, well, I joined the NaKniSweMo group. If you’re familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), National Knit a Sweater Month is also November. I think I want to do the Easy Raglan Cardigan in Malabrigo (as I can’t seem to get enough of that yarn!), and perhaps I’ll use my charity-sock coupon from Miss Chickpea’s to buy the yarn. Apparently there is a formula for figuring out how many rows you need to do each day to finish a sweater; I’ll have to look into it a bit more before the end of the month. Don’t know if I want to do stripes or what. Yeah, perhaps stripes, as they don’t require *too* much thought but keep things vaguely interesting.
Then again, to do thirty socks by Christmas, I could just aim for one a day for the month of November. I wonder how much time it would take – do a sock a day, plus the daily allotment of sweater. Forget cleaning the house, forget sleeping, I’d rather knit!
Mike always says that I try to get too much done in too short of a time. I guess this is a classic example of that. But right now I feel like I could get it all done! Although get everything done and read the books that I want to read? Maybe not. Just started “Spook” by Mary Roach today while I was waiting in line to get lunch. Really enjoyed “Stiff”, so I thought I’d give her new one a try. Also checked out “Switching Time” by Richard Baer, which is about a woman with multiple personalities. Heard him interviewed on NPR, and thought the book was worth a look, at least from the library.
Anyway, I will probably spend the next few minutes staring at the download screen again, as the speed has picked up again, I’m at 95%, and supposedly only have two minutes left. After it’s done, I’m leaving, and will come back tomorrow to install it on all the machines. I hope I get home before rush hour! Maybe I’ll go to the yarn swap in Cuyahoga Falls tonight, but I probably should just stay home and knit.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
On Friday, my Ravelry invitation showed up, and that has inspired me to get a real blog, so my posts will tie in with my account there. I may cross post for a while, (and repost some recent ones), but I'm ready to pretend to be a grownup now.
I've been spending every spare moment I have (not a lot) updating Ravelry - and realizing how late I am for something else. Which also applies now. I need to run, move towards work. Will post more later.....
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Anyway, it's been a busy week. Out of town early in the week, then my mom came in for the North Coast Tour de Stitch. Turns out her car was in worse shape than assumed, as we took it to the Lusty Wrench after Mike noticed an oil leak on the driveway. They wouldn't let her have it back until a tie rod was replaced, as the one she had was liable to go at any moment. The radiator also has big holes. The oil leaks were the least of the problems.
Our fourth year of the tour was hindered a bit by her car issues, as we were supposed to take her car, as mine needs work as well. We took my car to Toledo and Findlay, with a stops in Broadview Heights and Vermilion. Friday we went to Madison and Strongsville, (with a non-tour stop in Bay Village), and then dropped by the Lusty Wrench to pay for the car (and then sit in rush hour traffic.) We picked up her car and drive it home yesterday, and then went to Canton to finish the tour. We tried to stop in Akron, but Blueberry Hill closes at 2:00 on Saturdays now, and we got there at 2:15. What else? Ate lunch at Grammy Joe's Ice Creamatorium on Thursday, Juniper Grille on Friday, Gasoline Alley on Saturday. (I feel like my grandma, reporting on her trips - although she'd write how much they spent on each item. I still miss her quite a bit.) Stopped by Cornerstone Yarns on Saturday, but they closed at 4:00. We were late for all of the early-closing places, but that's okay. I just wanted to scope out Cornerstone Yarns for the knitters.
Oh, and we stopped at Joann's last night, too. It was a craft-filled long weekend! We debated going to Shaker Lakes, but decided that the travel time would be too excessive.
My big excitement was getting an invitation to Ravelry on Friday. I foresee myself spending too much time there. Speaking of which, I just got sidetracked there. Had to get a Flickr account, but will probably be posting most of my knitting pictures there. I can share the Flickr account with any of you who care. Ravelry is *fabulous*! I can post stash yarns, works in progress, projects in the queue, keep track of my needles, and talk to other people who are just as obsessed as I am!
Anyway, I have a lot to do today, so I should get back to real life. May or may not post more frequently; depends on what happens. May need to post here to share the cross stitch projects that I will hopefully be working on amidst all the knitting.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
After doing our damage, we were out to get the free project bags. Miss Chickpea's was having a knit-in to support breast cancer research, and generate items for survivors. Chemo caps and whatnot. We signed our names to the pledge forms, picked up our goody bags, and sat on the green for a while. Now, everyone who knows me knows that I am so totally NOT a girly-girl. Very few of you have ever seen me wear pink (as only Kelly is the one who knew my eight-year-old self) and when pink, it's very rarely pastel. (Disclaimer: I do have a pink nightshirt, but it was free. Perhaps I should say that rarely am I outdoors wearing pink, or even just that I rarely wear pink where people can see it.) Pink just isn't me. Well, I bought some pink yarn yesterday. I'm sure everyone knows that pink=supporting the fight against breast cancer, supporting survivors, or whatnot. So pink was in abundance at Miss Chickpea's yesterday (and probably will be throughout the month). My survivor project will be.....SOCKS! (No surprise there, right?) I found some shocking pink Malabrigo that wants to be socks (and possibly a hat, as there is a decent bit left over from my rainbow socks). Those socks should be my next project, as they are due by the end of the month.
Otherwise, I shopped for Mike. Picked up some dark grey Malabrigo for socks for him (he wants some custom-fitted, toe-up socks, and I love the warmth and softness of Malabrigo), and some hat yarn. He wants a winter hat, so I found some black Ultra Alpaca from Berroco. Also grabbed some Lamb's Pride worsted in Onyx and Wild Mustard so I can make a Pittsburgh-sports hat. Will probably spend a decent bit of time today winding, as I don't yet have a ball winder, and these projects should be done before Christmas.
But I digress. I'm just a bit too preoccupied with yarn. The six of us came back to the house, and Mike started sharing beer. He entertained, while I put together a cheese tray and chopped veggies for the salad/pizza toppings. Made Jessica a margarita, as she is not a beer drinker. Hopefully it was acceptable - it was mostly strawberries. Blended frozen strawberries with some lime juice and a shot each of tequila and triple sec. I just kinda guessed on the proportions.
Finally the girls had learned more than they wanted to know about beer (and more!), and the group moved upstairs. While they enjoyed Mike's beer (Patti took home a growler of the chocolate stout - four less pints for me to drink; and *everyone* loves New Glarus Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red) I assembled some pizzas with the dough Mike made on Friday night, and the first two pizzas quickly disappeared. Shortly after that, our friends Carl and Jan showed up, with their friend Ron, and much of the third and fourth pizzas disappeared. (This morning, there was half a pizza left. I blame Mike, as I would have made another batch of dough, so we would have had two and a half pizzas left. Or people would have eaten more, who knows. I always make too much when left to my own devices.)
And then the chocolate cake... Thanks again to Kel and Shawn for the recipe. I shared it with Patti, too. (She deserved it - I couldn't give her directions because I was stirring and stirring and stirring and stirring... Thank goodness Mike could take over.) Fabulous as always. Very moist and chocolatey.
After the cake was cut, Rebecca and Matt showed up. They had lots going on, but we were glad they could make it. Matt spent his time with the guys in the basement man-cave, and Rebecca showed off her knitting and some of the yarn she'd dyed. Beautiful stuff!
Anyway, it was an evening filled with good conversation, good yarn, good food, and good music. The Dar DVD didn't want to play the audio at first, but Mike used his magic to make it work.
Oh yeah, cleanup was a breeze. Probably the easiest after-party cleaning I've had ever. I ran the dishwasher twice, once during the party and then after, and all the dishes were clean. (Aside from the cake pans, as they are nonstick and not dishwasher safe.)
I've learned (yet again, and will forget before the next party) that, while I have fun at my parties, I always miss out on something. Yesterday, even though it was a knitting event, I hardly knitted at all. (I did a few rows on Cookie 2 on the green, and then rewound the yarn so it didn't get too crazy-tangled, and did a round or so on Royal Llama sock 2 back at the house.) There was lots of beer, but I hardly had any (just a few sample glasses when everyone was downstairs--not even a full pint). Made a big salad, and didn't eat any (but a good bit is left over - that can be lunch today). Oh well - I definitely enjoyed the company. And the encouragement on Stripey Sweater. I'm certainly a better knitter now than I was when I started it, so I could probably pick up the stitches decently well. I should post a picture, since Stripey Sweater is downstairs now. Should also rename the thing--3HDTWLGWJ maybe, except that's even longer to type than Stripey Sweater. Maybe SAS for Stripey Alpaca Sweater. Okay, end tangent here.
Oh well - there's more than enough documented here. I can certainly ramble, eh? Time's a wasting, and I should start yarn winding. Or turning heels. Or picking up stitches. Or wiping down the counter. Or playing with the kitty, as she was an anti-social scaredy-cat most of yesterday. Definitely need to do something more productive than this.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
As far as knitting, I'm hovering just below the heel of the second stripey sock, as I haven't had a solid hour to devote to turning the heel. I started the second Royal Llama sock (fewer stitches, less time needed to create the toe) and am most of the way through the foot. Have something like four rounds to go before turning that heel. I want to have that pair done before my mom gets here on Wednesday. I will need to block them (as well as the stripeys) since they're kinda saggy and bulgy. Or something. They don't really look *that* bad (Danielle liked the pattern, and her socks will be the same one) but I'll feel better if I block them, I think. Will post a picture when both socks-in-progress are finished (and maybe even blocked).
What else? The more I listen to Spoon, the more I like them.
Anyway, breakfast is finished, so I'm off to make that chocolate cake! Let's hope I can find the recipe!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Last night I had a class at Tri-C (Corporate College), so I was on my own to find something for dinner. Missed hanging out with the knitters, but if I can increase my income and skill set after just three weeks, it's worth it. Remembered that there is a Chipotle somewhat near the college, and pulled into the parking lot just as it started to rain. Noticed a spot near the front, and was pleased that I wouldn't have to get soaked to get my dinner. But oh, no, the spot was partially filled by some idiot in a Kia who apparently doesn't think that the lines apply to him. A *KIA*. Not an expensive, luxury car, but a cheap-ass Kia. Not to say there's anything wrong with Kia, not at all, but it's not an $80,000 Mercedes or Audi or something that might justify taking two spaces so as not to get scratched. A *KIA*. I still can't believe it. Their top-of-the-line car starts at $26k. Brand new Amanti with *everything* is under $31k, excluding tax. Anyway, he sat in the car, on his cell phone, with the car running for the whole time it took his woman to run into Chipotle and get their dinner. Chipotle was busy, too. Then at Trader Joe's tonight, there was another guy parked across two spaces, but at least he had the decency to not block two prime spaces in the rain. And he had a car that was worth more than a Kia.
In other news, I am putting off cleaning the house. I will get started, soon, as I don't have much time before I pass out from the exhaustion that results from a too-early morning. And if anyone wants to hear the saddest story ever, let me know offline. I don't want to post it due to privacy concerns. Very sad.
Oh, and I've been listening to a radio station that my grandma would enjoy. I miss her quite a bit, still. And here goes Zuzu behind the TV. Time for me to get my exercise and see what she's doing.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Worked on Stripey Sock 2 yesterday, and have gotten within two colored stripes of the heel. It's actually the only sock I have going right now, although I still have to make a second Royal Llama. Speaking of which, the place where I bought that yarn is going out of business. It's nice enough yarn that I might have to get more, and make my mom a sweater to match. Or hat. Perhaps a hat and mittens would be better. Danielle was over on Friday to help me tidy the craft room, and I measured her foot for socks, and she picked out a yarn. So I have another sock project. Although, really, as Mike asked for a hat, I should pick up the specified yarn for this hat (You mean I need more yarn??? Good!) and work on that before starting more socks, or at least starting another pair. Oh, and it's baby season again. I should work on some baby hats, as my friend Nancy is pregnant, as is my neighbor. Maybe it's time for a stash inventory.
Test drove a Corolla on Thursday. I liked it, but I think Mike is too tall. We'll have to go out there today so he can sit in it. What bothers me about Toyota is that the safety features (that are standard just about everywhere, I thought) are options. What do you mean that anti-lock brakes aren't standard? I thought they were required by law..... If there's a traction/anti-skid package offered, I want it, since I'll be on the road a lot this winter - in Cleveland. Lake effect snow, right? A former coworker recommended Subaru for their all wheel drive. Perhaps we'll check out a Honda dealer today as well, and maybe even a Nissan dealer (why not - they're not far from the Honda dealer). I can stop by Subaru on Monday after work, as there's a dealer not far from where I start my day.
Oh--wanted to share some silly kitty behavior. Friday morning, just after I'd posted, she became interested in something outside. I don't know what, but she was agitated, and running from one window to sliding glass door to another window and back again, all with a big puffy tail. I looked outside, but it was just dark enough that I couldn't see anything that would interest her. But she was definitely interested in something! I wondered if there was a kittyfriend out there somewhere. Or maybe she wanted to go deer hunting again. Don't know.
We are becoming consumers, at least of big-ticket items. Went mattress shopping yesterday evening, too. (Went to dinner at the Lizard after Mike and Chris brewed 12.5 gallons of Helles, and there is a mattress store next door.) I still like Tempur-pedic, particularly the Rhapsody bed. The Grand Bed is even better, but I don't know anyone who can justify spending over $6000 on a bed. I would love to, but we just don't have six figures worth of disposable income. But hey, there is interest-free financing on the Rhapsody (and probably the Grand, but still, that price is outrageous), so it could work.
Oh well, I should get moving. I have a stack of stuff to sell on eBay, and I'd like to get it posted today as there are no listing fees in September. Let's hope that someone wants my old cheezy romance novels!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Went outside in a t-shirt and track pants, and got out the shovel and gloves. Dug up some bee balm, primroses, and kerria for a neighbor who has just been putting in beds, and then planted my 14 new flowers. Anyway, I play in the dirt, water my plants, and head inside to take a shower. Which is where I discover two %$&@($&$*(@ mosquito bites. One on my boob, the other on my bum. I was molested by mosquitoes. Through my clothes. (Obviously, as I rarely run around outdoors without clothes, and never in the front yard.) I don't understand it, but somehow mosquitoes always bite me on those pasty-white areas that are most always covered by clothing. Any ideas as to how or why?
My replacement Brittany needles came today. They sent me three even though only two had broken. Thank you Brittany Needles! Somehow they seem stronger than the first batch, although I haven't used them yet. Just happy to have them - I can start another pair of socks on size two needles! The beautiful hand-dyed yarn that I picked up at Miss Chickpea's looks like it would work on 2's, so maybe I'll start those.... But I should finish some current projects. Worked a bit more on the stripey sock today during the drive and while babysitting a computer. I need to finish the tote bag, as it's taking up a lot of room in the project bag. Also I may have a buyer. We'll see.
In the True Confessions department: I have been eating fast food. My lunch break is usually spent in transit, or trying to get things done, and I remembered that Burger King has a veggie burger on the menu. I have had two so far. No fries or other stuff, just veggie burgers. Does this make me a bad person? I kinda feel like it does. But I haven't found a $3 lunch anywhere else, unless I bring my own food. Plus there's a Burger King right across the street from where I work in the morning, so it's convenient for me to walk. I still feel guilty.
Bought some Jimmy Stewart stamps today. Walked to the post office, too, as it is very near where I spend my mornings. Oh well. I'm getting sleepy. Time to feed the kitty her second dinner, curl up with a book, and snuggle said kitty when she is done eating, so she can help me sleep. Night-night!
Monday, September 24, 2007
What else? Stopped in at a book signing (purchased a signed book), and started the second stripey sock (again). Still working on the toe, and will hopefully finish it in the morning, as I doubt I can stay awake long enough tonight to do it. Mike is feeling miserable, and blaming me, since I'm the one that actually leaves the house, so if he catches a cold, I was the one who brought the germs in. Actually he's blaming me for taking him to Martin Sexton, as he probably caught the cold from someone in that room. Maybe it was from someone in the WineCave - did you ever think of that? Oh well. There is tea and juice in the house; he should survive.
Zuzu is giving me sleepy eyes, so I should probably go to bed. See, nothing exciting going on here.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Yesterday afternoon, I was playing chauffeur, and waiting for my friend's kid while he ran around looking for everything that he needed. I'm waiting by my car, and I hear some meows. A kitty is hiding under their shrubs. I look at her, offer my hand, and she comes out to be petted. She has a collar and tag, so she clearly belonged to a neighbor. Oh, and I saw another cat when I was leaving.
Then I get home, of course, to my Zuzu. She's usually the only kitty I interact with, although I did catsit Bri-Bri's kitty on Saturday, and will stop in again this weekend. Oh, Zuzu was just tempted by the kitty trap but did not fall victim.
I restarted the stripey sock, but did not get very far. Working on the Royal Llama sock, and turned the heel last night when I picked up Mike. You *must* touch the sock! Met with the Cuyahoga Falls Knitting group last night; seemed like a nice group of girls.
Biggest news in my life right now: I'm in the market for a new car. Our friends at the Lusty Wrench tell me that my car needs about $500 worth of work, and that this winter would be its last. We're debating a new Civic or Corolla. I've never had a Toyota, so it will involve more test driving and whatnot. I wouldn't mind a Prius, but they don't come in manual transmission, so I don't think so. Four door, stick shift, good fuel economy, sunroof are my primary requirements. I've really gotten spoiled with a sunroof.
Zuzu is now on top of the kitty trap. Maybe I'll take some pictures, of Zuzu and my socks.
Reading chick-lit waiting for the Tori appearance. It's funny how fast the pages turn compared to other books. Read over 60 pages last night in a short time frame. Participating in the Barnes and Noble First Look Book Club, so I received a free copy of the Monsters of Templeton. It's near the top of my list, although the new Pratchett is on its way, and I requested some books from the library, and they may come first.
Going to see Martin Sexton tonight. Should be a good time.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
2. Everything I needed to know, I could have learned in the computer lab. I've been realizing lately that working in the Hoover Computer Lab was on-the-job training for what I'm doing now. Kinda depressing, but I don't really use my degree. Oh well. I still had fun getting it. No regrets.
Knitting update: Finished Malabrigo sock 2. LOVE the yarn. Will probably have to go get some manly-man colors so I can make socks for Mike. He's all about warm thick socks in the winter. Sock 2 is noticeably brighter than Sock 1, even though they were the same dye lot. Not a big deal, as I'm sure 2 will fade with washings, and even if it doesn't, they're for my feet only. Will post picture at some point.
Ripped out Stripey Sock 2, as I discovered that the "few flaws" weren't on the same side of the sock. Can't put the flaw on the bottom when both sides have small holes. Haven't restarted it yet, but will.
Started the Royal Llama sock for my mom. It's a wonderful yarn, very pleasant to work with - you can definitely feel the silk. I'm modifying this pattern, as I'm using a bigger yarn. I'm doing two pattern repeats rather than three on the top of the foot, and will add two stitches when I get to the top so I can do four repeats. Hopefully it will turn out well. I'm only three rows into the pattern so far. Did the toe last night while out with Mike (since he kept me away from my knitting group) and started the pattern this morning while on hold with Gateway. Actually, I wasn't on hold, just babysitting a computer to see when the error messages would pop up. I tried to amuse the woman on the other end of the line, but I'm just not that entertaining; I just like to think I am.
Oh well, maybe I'll work on the Llama sock while I babysit two computers. Oooh, one wants to restart! I need to do something! Excitement!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
After they turned the music down, the discussion involved the scrap of papyrus some archaeologists discovered indicating that the original mark of the beast was 616 not 666. Fun stuff. Turns out that the program was RadioLab, and I really enjoyed the second story, "Goat on a Cow." Probably would have enjoyed the third story, but was trying to track down the show info, as WKSU kept calling it Other Voices. Oh well. Will download the mp3 and listen later, when I'm fully awake and expecting Iron Maiden.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
As I was trying to explain to Mike why I wanted to rush home, he offered to mail me some fun sock yarn every month. Then he admitted that he doesn't even know what fun sock yarn is. I told him that he could go to any yarn store and they would happily show him, but I doubt that he'll do it. I can always hope for a surprise, though, right? Then again, I will now be receiving a package of [Yarn] Booty every month, so he doesn't need to buy me yarn. Would it be appreciated? Of course. Necessary? Not at all.
This morning was absolutely gorgeous. I left around 7:00 to drive to work, and the sky was incredible. Distinct break between clear and cloudy sky, with shades of blue, grey, and orange. It was dry near our house, but drizzled a bit once I hit the road. And before I reached the highway, I saw the most vivid rainbow I've ever seen. The colors were as bright as neon lights. It truly looked like the rainbow's end was in Macedonia, until I got closer, when it was further north. I know that all rainbows are paired, but usually the second one is very faint. The paler of the two this morning was as deep as most of the rainbows I've seen. Anyway, I really wish that I had my camera and had had time to stop.
Looking forward to listening to Chasing Infinity (also found in my friends list) tomorrow morning. I've missed catching Ed's show live for several weeks now, as my Sunday mornings have involved things other than listening to the radio. (Out of town travels, mulching, etc.) Thank goodness for the archives; I've been catching up on shows at work this week. Don't know why/how, but I really appreciate Ed's taste in music. Tomorrow I should wake up early and clean, and WRUW will be streaming while I work downstairs. Mike's brother is coming over to watch the Steelers game tomorrow, and I should clean up somewhat before he gets here. And the rest of you should stream WRUW, too. Good stuff!
Knitting update: Have not worked on Malabrigo sock 2 for a few days (but I will!) while I've been working on stripey sock 2. Did the toe outside of the museum last night before the lecture. Worked on the foot during the lecture. Since it was dark, there are a few flaws, but I think they'll be fine with a bit of weaving (or, alternatively, the flaws can be on the bottom of the foot). Worked on it a bit more at dinner.
Speaking of the lecture, it was a good time. Saw some of my Kirtlandia friends, another woman from my knitting group, and met another knitter who just happened to be sitting in front of us. Very funny - we all have the attitude, "There's another one of us!" The lecture itself was very interesting, about native plants vs. imported ornamentals, and the species they support. His theory is that biodiversity among animals is increased when there are native plants to support them. Definitely inspired me to plant more native plants. Oaks are good, as are maples, if you're looking for trees. Black-eyed susans were one of the top-10 flowers he listed, which is good as I'm planning on planting more of them. Will have to get his book once it's released. Will post it below, as another endorsement for today. Will also investigate the Native Plant Society of NEO for additional suggestions. Hope to accomplish a bit of guerrilla gardening someday to add some green to the pseudo-lawn area between our house and the next neighbor on the east side of our house. Maybe blueberries.
I guess I'm quite the consumer reporter today - I've mentioned yarn, music, a book, and plants. But does anyone care for *my* taste? Who knows. As long as I don't *discourage* sales/listeners/gardeners, I'll be happy. Oh well. It's about time to feed Zuzu her second dinner and go to bed. Today's kitty alarm clock went off at 4:00, so I'm tired.