Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Happy Wednesday, Happy Spring

One sock is nearly done. I want to cast off today or tomorrow. Well see if that works out.

My sweater is stalled, as Ive been derailed by socks. Its okay, Im willing to work with that.

Yesterday I went to check out a new yarn store by me that recently opened.
A Tangled Skein was nice, well stocked and a friendly knitting store. I found their prices to be only okay and their sock yarn section to be a bit dull. They had that new Tofutsies with the shrimp shells (yeah, I’m not kidding, have you seen this? ) along with a ton of other SWTC but, other wise, no Claudia

s, no Lornas, no Koigu etc. The woman who was working (she may have owned it) was super sweet and nearly sent me running to the Noro selection which was pretty awesome but, not what I was looking for.

I just found out that while Im home in June for Little Sisters HS graduation my HLP (also known as the other half of my brain) will be in Boston from San Francisco! (left: The last time I saw her in November) How EXCITING

is this? Were going to overlap for a day or two and I cant wait. Twice a year is not enough for someone I lived with for the better part of 5 years.

It also looks like I’ll be back in New England for at least a week, closer to two if I can talk my boss into letting me go the end of July/beginning of August. Another one of my girls (Miss Em) will be home then, and in the middle of planning her wedding/having a shower and all that good stuff (I need a Maid of Honor dress, any solid colour, suggestions are welcome!), Im looking forward to time on the beach. I know, July is months away, but I need to be excited for

something!!! I dont think Lucky Girl will be coming with her on the plane however (pic) and we all know how I feel about her. Sigh.

Im currently seeking swimmies for what looks to be my first potential sailing excursion this Friday. Im a little nervous, but I think it should be lots of fun and Im hoping that my Dads non-sea-sick genes are in me. Wish me luck.

And, last but not least... Sid says "hi" to his loyal fan base

Monday, March 26, 2007

New Gadgets!!!

New gadgets and toys~ Yay!

From the tall guy:
My very own yarn-ball-winder (try saying it fast, neither one of us can)

From Dad/Stepmom/Amy/Joey:

A new coffee maker for the office. Its' SWEET! Its a single cup at a time using little "K cups" or pods. Super swanky!

And plenty more, but that's my technology for the day. I bought myself a few skeins of Claudia's handpainted sock yarn in "Buckeye". The tall guy thinks its in honor of his beloved alma mater. I just like the colourway.

Blessed. But in an agnostic sort of way.

Birthday's are a funny thing. For one day you get to be special, but its that sort of special that's a little funny, because...well everyone has a birthday! This year, being not a milestone number of any sort (28), I was trying to just push it under the rug.
My plan didn't work out so well, but I did a whole lot of smiling. My phone didn't stop ringing and while I know that all of the internet social websites post your birthday as a reminder, it was still really sweet how many people took the minute to say "hi". I owe you all emails and return calls. I promise.
So, thank you. The world can often feel like a really big lonely place when you're having a bad day, so Saturday made me remember that I have some pretty freaking amazing people in my life. For that, I'm blessed in a non-denominatioal-agnostic sort of way.
Thanks and big kisses. ~P

Friday, March 23, 2007


The sock continues, and its been fun so far. I'm easily amused by self striping yarn and this is the hand dyed stuff from JLYarnworks which I talked about last week.
Very nice to work with so far.

The tall guy needs to get his bike fixed tomorrow, so I'm working in a sidetrip to Springwater Fiber while we're down there.
Knit Happens is also nearby, but their online sale today wiped me out a bit, so I don't think I'll let myself walk in there!!!!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Trying not to be political...

I read the announcement by John Edwards today with a mix of feelings. He's going to keep campaigning for the 2008 elections. He still wants to be President when his wife, Elizabeth (high school sweethearts if I'm not mistaken) has her cancer reoccurring and its been deemed "incurable but, treatable". Not exactly positive words.
Maybe the C word is a touchy subject for me, losing both my Mom and Grandmother within 6 years of one another to the disease, but I've decided that if Edwards does get the Democratic nomination, I'm not voting for him. Running for President isn't just a "oh I'm going to switch lines of work" sort of thing.
He'll never ever be with her, and if she's doing any sort of treatment, there's no way she's jumping on the bus to NH or Iowa to campaign with him.
I know every relationship is different, maybe they don't even like each other anymore, who knows... I guess I just think back to the time when I knew my Mom wasn't getting better, knowing that the time we had together was so finite and precious. I refused to leave the state during that time!
I just can't imagine that this presidential hopeful could do his best in either venue: Husband/Father or Presidential candidate without both suffering as a result.
Okay, I'm done.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wicked Smart!

Today Im feeling wicked smart. Seriously, this happens about once a year, so humor me for a moment.

I decided that since in the last week Ive been unnaturally obsessed with socks, I would figure out how to do the Toe Up sock ala Wendy as I was looking for a basic pattern and one that was easily memorized for multi tasking i.e. metro-riding, having lunch with friends, watching the Wire with the tall guy and his roommates, etc. etc

After a quick Subway run, I sat at my desk and figured out the figure 8 cast on. I had looked and looked at the provisional, trying to copy Wendys trademark waste yarn crochet cast on, but to be honest, crochet hooks in my mind are good for two things. 1) Picking up lost stitches and 2) picking your nose. Okay, okay, maybe thats harsh, but I still cant seem to do a chain, if anyone wants to teach me.So, instead, I opted with the tricky version of a toe up. 25 minutes later, I was increasing like a champ! Yay. The toe is already done and I'll post a picture of the progress soon.

Next Sunday (the 1st) has been deemed the day to check out the SNB at the Warehouse. Im getting brave and making new friends. I sound so much dorkier than I am. I swear!
Now, hopefully people won
t think I’m too weird at this SNB.I promise to not stick my crochet hook up my nose.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring Cleaning Continues

I finally cast on the sweater after dinner last night. And then promptly altered the pattern as I didnt like the edging (how can you do a knit one purl one rib with 63 stitches? Am I slow or something? So, I added a stitch for the first the three rows and then got rid of it. Its going to take forever to make this sweater, but the yarn is feeling pretty awesome on my fingers. Its not ready for a picture yet, but I'm showing you anyway. Now, don't expect any progress or a finished product for months and months.(ps. I've already knit TWO more rows since the picture was taken! yahoo!)

In my continued quest to finish hanging projects, Ill be wrapping up another belated holiday gift this week. This one was started, no joke, almost three years ago when I was in Italy. Half of it has been done for about that long and the other half has been languishing. This is a surpise gift and since she's an occasional reader, I'll just give a preview. I debated most of the train ride home from yoga this evening whether or not I should gift these. I see mistakes. Not huge ones, but I'm starting to care a lot more about that stuff. I think these will be gifted with the caveat that if she likes them, or the idea of hand knit (Pia Wool IS better than SmartWool, right?) socks, she'll get another pair in the yet-to-be-determined future.

I think I need to start thinking about the colours I'm buying and knitting. Everything seems to have a grass green in it!
My Step-Mom
s scarf is done and blocked and... she will be in town this week for business! An adventure to the 'burbs where her company's headquarters are located means yummy bread and tasty beer from Sweetwater Tavern! I will also get to give her this pretty green scarf in person. Always fun! Yay

For as much as I complained about the Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Im willing to bet Ill make myself a scarf with this at some point.
Its SO soft!

This week, I seemed to increase my yarn stash exponentially without even trying. On Friday, I ordered a skein of hand dyed sock yarn from Etsy and its so pretty! I already got it! And...

J.L. Yarnworks doesn't charge for shipping AND as a little thank they included an itty bitty stitch marker for me.

How cute is that? And the yarn is even prettier in person! And, I broke out of my green phase for it...

I'm not even going to admit to the other two skeins of sock yarn that jumped into my hands while I was at the Stitch DC store in Georgetown on Saturday. Grrrh and yes, they're green. Okay I just did... But they're made with bamboo! How cool is that, my hippy friends? Check it out here. (In the fern colour).

In other life events, I'm being reminded about once every two hours, it seems that Saturday is my birthday. I'm fessing up. Its true. I've been trying to ignore it. I'm not turning a big number, but there's something sort of daunting about 28. Its that age that you think you're supposed to know what you're doing or something. Ha.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I need knitting friends

I know people who knit. Plenty who can push out a scarf or make a hat.. but, I'm realizing more and more there may be a difference between me and them. One of my friends who is versed in the knit and purl gave me a blank stare the other day when I was talking about the difference between a Debbie Bliss and a Karabella yarn. And, when I sent out an email about the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival I had to explain what this was all about and that it had nothing to do with Cowflopping (Thanks Monica, that did make me laugh out loud).
Shortly after discovering knitting blogs, I started hearing about Knitting PODCASTS! They are seriously the best thing ever. The problem with them is that they are often really funny. And by funny, I mean in that way that you realize that other people are as weird as you are sort of funny. So, you may see me walking down the street laughing out loud. I have to be careful I think people think I'm a little off as it is. So, you wonder, what the Podcasts that have me giggling down the street? I'll share them here, but will only tell you about two.
Lime and Violet
Stash and Burn
I've listened to a few others, but these are my favorites.
So, where am I going with all of this ? Well, I've decided its time.
I need to find a Stitch and Bitch to join. For as outgoing as I am, its never been easy for me to just show up solo to an event not knowing the situation. I'm going to do it. Maybe next week. So, if you live in the DC area and think that maybe we could be friends and could also totally geek out about this stuff, I would be really excited to join the group you're a part of or something of the like.
I'm sure the Tall Guy would be happy if I had more knitting friends, though he is my number one cheerleader for all my UFO's and works in progress.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Cleaning

I decided that before I treat myself by casting on the sweater, I had some unfinished business to attend to.
First, as a terrible step-daughter, I had not yet completed the gift that I was supposed to bring to NH with me in February... my Step Mom is scheduled to be here for work next week, and I hope to give her a "now-spring-weight-Rowan Kidsilk Haze that is so annoying to work with that I want to poke my eyes out with the size seven needles" scarf. (above)
Its true, this started out as a scarf for me, but the more I knit, the more I realized that she deserves a soft and light scarf like this and nearly everything I own is this colour anyway. My knitting is often a zen-like process where what goes on the needles doesn't always end up in the hands of the person for which it was originally intended.

Also off of my "to do list" was another Ipod cozy, this time for Kevin. This is another one of gifts that was intended for the holiday. I know the flowers are starting to come up, I'm still cool with my belatedness. Boy colours for a boy. Vintage button as always.

Back to finishing a scarf and continuing to organize my yarn. Ziploc bags are my savior.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Look out sweater, here I come!!!

I decided in the middle of the night a few days ago that in order to be a true knitter, I must suck it up and make a sweater. I don't know why, but for the last 4 or so years, I've avoided it. Give me socks, give me anything, but the idea of a sweater scared me. So, after all this time, I decided to just put on my game face and do it.
I went to two knitting stores today after not making it to Alexandria in an attempt to check out a non-profit fiber place by my friend Tom's house. If you've been to Springwater Fiber and have an opinion let me know.
The first was one I hadn't been in in ages, and while they are friendlier then I remember, it wasn't really my scene. Knit and stitch = bliss is "Okay". I'm not sure if I'm just biased against the name. For some reason it annoys me. It's sort of lame name, right? Anyway, after carrying around yarn for awhile, talking to one employee who was nice, I ended up leaving there empty-handed.
Minor digression: As I made my way over to my second stop in Chevy Chase from Bethesda, I realized that sometimes you just need to wander around a knitting store by yourself. Its strictly "my time" and sort of like yarn/knitting fantasies (you know, reading the blogs, looking at your yarn, reading books...isn't this normal?) I think a lot of what I love about knitting is the process surrounding it. .
Back to the story: I finally made it into the third of the Stitch DC stores and the only one I hadn't been into at least twice! I came out with a lighter wallet but a good bit of yarn. Jess, who I had seen before at the other stores was totally awesome. I thought I would hug her when we had a whole conversation about lame sweater patterns. It sealed the deal when I looked down. I realized that in between her cropped jeans and chuck taylors appeared to be hand knit socks with skulls on them. I'm going to need to be her friend. We'll see how that works out.
In the end, I came out with:
  • a whole bunch of Karabella Aurora 8 yarn for my sweater
  • A set of needles
  • A brand new pattern (that looks as simple as the one I walked into the store with but, much more "me" )

  • and... the cutest little skein of pink and gray fuzzy stuff that I have no idea what I will do with.

The funny part about all this yarn buying today is that nearly all of my stash is out of hiding and in between Sid's tank, my dining room table and my ironing board right now. As I knit more and more, I realize I'm becoming a yarn snob or at least... I don't like working with the novelty yarns like I used to. If anyone wants to trade a whole bunch of random novelty stuff for some solid wool, you let me know.

You don't get a picture of the mess right now, my Dad would die if he saw me broadcasting my disaster of an apartment to the Internet world this evening.

And, thanks to the Federal Power Act, don't forget to Spring Forward tonight!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

So it wasn't wet

I thought the recent snowfall would make it wet outside today. It didn't. But, I wore my rainboots because I love them so much. As I've already said today, its the little things in life that make it all worth while, right?

And here are the pictures from Joanna's Birthday present. The lighting is off, but I took them at night. And. I really don't think the button was as off center as it appears here. And... her ipod is black, so don't worry, I didn't make a pink holder for a red ipod, mine was just the model:)

It's the little things in life

Four times a year (I think its four?) I get really excited for the email from knitty.
As if I'm not backlogged in knit gifts as it is, but I love to see what new things are coming out and plan out projects for the coming months.
The pink project you caught a glimpse of earlier this week was gifted accordingly. Joanna seemed to like the pink Ipod Cozy and I'll post pictures shortly.
And, just as I thought, spring isn't here yet. It was freezing this morning!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The middle initial M is for Multi tasker

I've had this page for a recycled plastic carry-all bag bookmarked for a really long time and had just completely forgotten about the intended project .
Recently, one of my local grocery stores was using these mint green plastic bags instead of its usual tan or white. Suddenly the project was back on my brain. I've decided to start saving bags of interesting colours (all the grocery store/Rite Aid sort of weight) in order to get going on it. If you have a cool bag or 10 you want to donate, I'll accept them. You can save the weird tan, however for your bathroom trash can like I do :)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Catch-up and visual stimuli

Its feeling like spring in DC, which would normally be like the light in the tunnel, but given how mild the winter was, its more like a "eh, okay, here's spring" sort of feeling. Being a New Englander through and through, however I'm not ready to think this is real spring. I fully expect a massive snowstorm between now and Mid April. Likely? No. But, stranger things have happened.

Today I finally realized that I would make a terrible house-wife sort of person. I cleaned all day and loathed every moment of it. I try, but its just not my thing.The tall guy is much more disciplined then I am in this respect, but refuses to let me hire him for his cleaning abilities.

Pictures, as promised of the Calorimetry... better late then never.

I started a new project last night on the Metro. I'm not sure it will go to the intended recipient, as its looking very pink even for her, but we'll see as it progresses. I may add some silver stuff to it it glam it up.

You may be able to guess from a project earlier this winter what this is, but I won't give it away just yet, in case she is reading this...

And... Sid is excited for Spring too, even if he is obsessed with snow that I don't let him play in.