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.