Tuesday, October 30, 2007

And away we go!

Tomorrow the Tall Guy and I are heading to San Diego for a wedding I'm in, which I've been mentioning along the way the past few months. That said, it appears the winds have died down, the bride is in a brace/off the crutches, I have a dress (there's the hem!) I have shoes (I couldn't bear to wear silver strappy shoes...). It appears we're good to go. Yay!

Now, things to report... first, as I'm knitting more, I'm also winding yarn more often. I'm sort of obsessed with making a swift instead of buying one. There's a photo on this blog, in addition to a interesting demo of using an electric mixer to wind the yarn off of the swift. Weird if you ask me, but still funny to look at. This weekend we'll be a stone's throw from Legoland...but will be able able to go? I doubt it. Boo. So, I think making this swift is going to be a cold weather project for the Tall Guy and I, since I love yarn and he loves projects. Silly, yes, but it looks functional to me.
Now, I have a few things to show off but, most of that you won't see until I get back. We'll be seeing my HLP (aka Bestest Friend) while we're out on the West Coast and I have a package of homemade goodness in my suitcase for her which I won't disclose until we get back!

So, I have one Monkey Sock complete here and the next will be cast one while traveling tomorrow. These are a Christmas Present, so yes, its shown on my foot, but I'm not keeping them! They will shirk a bit and the recipient's foot is a tad bigger and wider then mine. I'm pretty much on target right now for Holiday knitting while also promising myself to stay true to actually liking what I'm knitting and not just turning myself into a one person sweatshop operation!
I've made it to the end of the post without mentioning the Red Sox... really, what more needs to be said. They kicked some serious ass. New England, in general is looking pretty awesome right now, so much that I'm starting to become a much better home-town-pride-sports-fan then I used to be...how could you not with the likes of the Patriots, Boston College, the Celtics AND the Bruins all looking great in addition to the Sox? Okay, I'm done now so...yay New England!
Chances are, I won't be posting again until next week, unless the spirit moves me later tonight, so have a lovely weekend all!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Damn, that's talent

I was the assistant and pumpkin seed toaster and Red Sox watcher. The tall guy was the talent in this years pumpkin carving. I, for one, am impressed.
Today I am knitting, getting my haircut, and hopefully laying low for the most part...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I'm a ruff rider

Its been a hectic week with not a whole lot of knitting time... I've been actually watching the baseball games (Go SOX!), drinking too much (too many happy hours this week!), helping Em from thousands of miles aways wrap up wedding planning and ward off fires (yes, the wedding in a week is IN San Diego County) and having a generally busy few days.
Tuesday night's happy hour was for my high school. This may sound strange to have an event 500+ miles away from where I went, but I went to a small Catholic prep school, so its not that odd for them to start doing regional alumni events. It was a little awkward at first, but I got to see some people I hadn't seen in years. The coolest part was probably being able to see my old Vice-Principal (now about to retire Head Principal). As a briefing for most people that don't actually know me, those 4 years were pretty terrible for me and my family. My high school was incredibly supportive of me during that time, asking few questions, letting me space out in class and letting me head out early when then knew I had bigger things to deal with then a quiz on the Scarlet Letter. (I still haven't read it!). That said, I felt like I needed to thank Mr Quinn, as I had never really had chance, pretty much walking out the door the day I graduated and never looked back... so it ended up being a bit more emotionally draining then I expected, but that may just have been because they gave me all the Blue Moon I could drink and I didn't eat anything...
Now, the reason I've been out of touch this week, in addition to lots of happy hours, is that I've been in training most of this week at the Office of Personnel Management. The building is named after Teddy Roosevelt, which is why the term Rough Riders in the building shouldn't be that surprising. That said, I couldn't help but giggle when I saw this sign on my way to lunch.
As we speak, the tall guy and I are carving the monster pumpkin we got while at corn maze last weekend. I'll show it off tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Alpacas= Yarn

We're all posing.
Originally uploaded by sparklypia

Good Monday morning to you all... it was a busy, crazy weekend, but the outcomes were all positive.
I'm happy to be wearing my Sox tee in the picture taken yesterday (I'll explain the pic in a minute)...it was with a hop in my step that I told my boss that this Monday was better then most...my Sox are in the World Series for the second time in four years!!!! I can only express my sadness that I won't be getting in the car and driving up to watch the game with some of my best friends who have moved back to Boston from DC since the last time the Sox made it this far... instead I'll be in training and then heading to San Diego next Wednesday for a wedding. boo.
That said. Yes, that's me and two alpacas in the photo. Yesterday was the Fall Farm Extravaganza (as we called it). We left the house in the morning and didn't get back until about 7pm. Driving north out of DC, we went to a ferry that crosses the Potomac north of Great Falls. It was pretty funny, but cool nonetheless. I'm pretty sure I could have waded across this part of the river.
From the ferry, we went apple picking and then on to an Alpaca Farm. There, I purchase 4oz of Sport Weight, Handspun that came from the Alpaca in the photo. There was a lot of nonsense going on w/those two alpacas and if I can get my hands on the video we took of it I'll post.
After the Alpaca farm, we were all hungry so we went to a German Beir Garden (yes, in Virginia) and had a bratwurst and a beer. It wasn't that amazing, but it was an beautiful day, so we all sat outside and enjoyed the weather.
Down the street was a winery that had live music, so we swung in there for a tasting. The building was gorgeous, the music was funny (old guys singing Elvis with a banjo?) the wine, not that great and the woman doing the tasting for us? weird to say the least.

After the wine, we all piled back into the cars and did the longest leg of the day... to the corn maze. I had never even seen a corn maze. What a weird, but fun concept! We had a blast trying to figure out a way through it, and getting lost and found again. Granted, the Tall Guy could see right over a lot of the stalks, but well, me. I couldn't.
Overall, it was the perfect fall adventure. If you want to see more pics from the day, go here

Saturday, October 20, 2007

summer weather be damned!

The Tall Guy and a few of our friends are going on an adventure tomorrow. I've been obsessing about going in a corn maze, going apple picking and carving pumpkins. Granted this week never seemed to go below 75 degrees, but well. That's what living in DC gives you. As this is my 6th Fall here I realize the only think you can expect is the weather to be unpredictable.
I'll report back and take pictures.
And... for those that have been waiting. Here's my new shoes. Now. I must say, I was wearing them this week w/out socks and now have a little blister. So, to hell with everyone that says they're the most comfortable shoes on the planet. I do think they're fun, however.
Now, I'm afraid that some of my knitting for the next few months will not be displayed on here as they will be gifts... I'll do what I can to keep up, though!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

I thought it was fall....

But it feels more like August right now. Sticky, Humid and I look awfully silly wearing a scarf around. Thing is, I want to wear a scarf! How is it supposed to be nearly Halloween when its going up to 80 all weekend? I'm knitting wool socks and sweating, thinking about turning on the ac! Ugggh.
That said. Let's all give a big cheer for my Boys. They managed to pull it off last night, sending the playoffs right back to Fenway. Baseball watching (with a bit of Gray's Anatomy thrown in) made for good knitting time last night. The Monkey sock is about halfway down the foot and I hope to finish this weekend and cast on the second one.
And, finally speaking of Gray's Anatomy... is anyone else hitting that "disappointment in the show" point I am? I love the medical stuff, I love the drama, but I really, really want to tell Meredith to stop whining and get a therapist. But, that's just me, talking about shows like the people actually exist.....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And here's the yarn...

I know, I've been withholding. I'm sorry, I'll try to work better at not doing that.
So, here it is...
First, some of my haul from Stitches East... I stuck to things I would have trouble buying at a LYS and had some excellent luck. First up, Lisa Souza, the Merino Superwash hardtwist. Great stuff and amazing yardage.

Storm Moon Knits, a Local Indie Dyer who I'd been hearing about via Ravelry. I had been obsessing recently over knitting a pair of punk rock black and pink socks. I don't know why, but its true. So, look what I found! How awesome. Colorway, Pretty In Pink and also has great yardage (over 400 yards)

I couldn't resist winding this up and starting before I got to take a picture. So, here we have, Socks that Rock in Rocktober. Its a toe up sock for me.
Completely unrelated to Stitches, Mkick was in town last week and we went to Takoma Park. One of the stores there carries Malabrigo. I couldn't resist...

Here are the What's Up 1972 socks completed. As you can see, there's a pretty big color change on the right foot. I had some issues with this yarn with a number of knots (Jitterbug), but have talked to the US Distributor and they'll be replacing it for me. How great is that?

And last but, certainly not least... a certain lizard decided to go for a walk around the house the other day, which is totally normal (he had an adult supervisor), but it seemed that every time I walked into the space he was in, that he wanted to be "by himself". I couldn't get a picture of him that didn't involve him walking away from me! I guess everyone needs a little private time. That said, Sid says hello to everyone.

Edit: How could I forget this? A shout out on Vickie Howell's Blog! She's the best!!!!

ByeBye to Zones

In another unrelated to knitting piece of news, DC's Mayor Fenty just made the call... DC Cabs will be going to meters! Thank Goodness. Maybe zones worked for some people, but living just over the DC line in Silver Spring (literally just over the line, for those that don't know where I live) would typically cause a cab ride to go from anywhere between $15 and $25 depending on the mood of the Cabbie. At least with a meter, I can assess the amount of cash in my pocket against the ticking of the meter. Now, let's hope this isn't tied up in court for the next 5 years...


My team has me on the verge of a breakdown. C'mon guys. Don't fail us now....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Skip to Tuesday?

I wonder every week if we could just skip Monday and head right into Tuesday. Wouldn't that be nice?
It was a great weekend filled with fiber (yarn not bran flakes), sailing and a new bar to check out.
Friday, as I said we would, The Tall Guy and I went to Baltimore for Stitches. It was lots and lots of fun and I bought yarn and oohed and ahhed at everything. I got to meet some Internet folks in person, which is also pretty cool. I'll post photos of my acquisitions soon. We also had dinner w/one of my cousins who I never get to see, which is was great. For some reason the majority of my Mom's side of the family has settled in the Atlanta area, thus resulting in about once yearly meet ups when one of us is in the other's town for business.
Saturday ended up being a homebody day for me. Everyone I had tentative plans with ended up flaking out for one reason or another and I just didn't have it in me to seek out the world for a playdate. I knit and listened to music and did laundry. Not overly exciting, but I was having a disappointed with the world sort of day, so my best company was indeed myself.
The weekend continued at full speed as I went up to Baltimore (again!) for a sailing race with the Tall Guy. It was pretty laid back, as the boat didn't have much in the way of experience on it (it was the Tall Guy, then me, then three people who had no clue) so, we cruised for the most part. It was a gorgeous day, so I couldn't have been happier.
Finallyyyy... last night, we went to a new bar that's opening in Columbia Heights. Its called The Red Derby and you should check it out, send your friends there and all that good stuff. My friend Andy put together the kitchen and we went to Friends and Family night to check it out. The music was great, the decor was fun, but understated and all the beer is served in cans. I don't know why its all in cans, but it was all reasonably priced, so I was okay with that. The fried Mac and Cheese triangles were amazing and the Tall Guy and I were wondering how many we could eat before dying of a stomach ache. They were that good. That said, the owners, Sasha and Dave were welcoming and amazingly nice. Its about 6 short blocks north of the Columbia Heights metro, but I think its worth the walk. Its a better decorated, more friendly Wonderland sort of place. And the bartenders were far more nice then the ones at Wonderland, but that's just me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fall is finally here!

I have the windows all open and am finally enjoying being a little big chilly. I know that in mid February I'll be missing the sweaty sticky days of summer, but right now, I'm thrilled with the idea that I can finally start wearing my scarves and socks.

Today, the Tall Guy and I are heading up to Baltimore to check out the Market Floor at Stitches. For those unaware, Stitches is basically a giant convention dedicated to, you guessed it, knitting.
So, the Market Floor is basically just a huge trade show, which if you've ever been to one, you can imagine what its like, just add knitters and yarn instead of "X" (last year, my x was the Society for Human Resources Management, but you get the idea). I don't really need any yarn, but the idea of a convention that large all about fiber arts is something that I really can't pass up. The Tall Guy, ps is coming by choice, I'm not sure why, I didn't even really ask him, he just decided he was coming :)

After that, we're meeting up with one of my cousins who's in town to see her step-daughter. I have to say, one of the major upsides to living in DC is that you get to see a whole lot more people then you would if you lived in a city off the beaten path. At any given time, one of our friends seems to be coming through for work.

And, finally one order of business dear readers. I currently have three of you commenting who all go by "MK". I know who each of you are, because I'm friends with all of you, but I think you're going to have to be more creative in your monikers.

Off to kick leaves

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Another Chevron

Another Chevron
Originally uploaded by sparklypia
It's true, I'm working on another one. It's a holiday gift. I have no idea who its actually going to, so start being nice now. Okay, I'm kidding, but either way, I'm hoping you'll look at the pretty colours today instead of noticing that I don't really have much to say.
I'm overwhelmingly tired today and sort of feeling like I didn't just have a three day weekend. I'm hoping this coming weekend (another three day weekend) will be a bit more restful.
Happy Monday! Ooops. I mean Tuesday! Or, if you're me, with every other Friday off... Happy Wednesday! Whoa. That is way too confusing.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Branching out and chillin' out

Branching out
Originally uploaded by sparklypia
Today is a "Me Day" and I'm not sure how that worked out. Somehow with MK (female half) AND the Tall Guy's sister both in town, I am ending up with a reasonable amount of daylight hours all on my own.
I should be doing laundry. I should be going to Target and buying toothpaste and paper towels. I should be going to the mechanic to determine if my tire is going flat or just needs air.
What AM I doing you ask? I'm sitting on my couch. Looking at the recycling that needs to go out. I'm sitting reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I'm knitting on the Monkeys and looking at the scarf that's pictured thinking about knitting on it for a minute.
Do I feel guilty? Not really. I don't have a whole lot of time before I need to go meet the Tall Guy and Tall Guys sister and then meet up with MK (female half) later. So, I've decided to relish my few hours of relative quiet, make a few phone calls and breath a little. Wow. Its amazing how nice quiet can be for a hour or three when you stop to enjoy it.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Originally uploaded by sparklypia
Happy friday ya'll.
Here's a picture of my most new sock on the needles. The pattern name, for Muggles is Monkey, so I'm not just spouting off random things. The neon glow of the What's Up 1972 socks are causing me to take a brief pause on them. Okay, that's not true at all, they'll be done this weekend. They're just at a point where I can start another pair of socks, esp. since these ones are for a Christmas gift. I'm trying to balance my knitting right now with things for me and things for others (See, I'm a good only child!).

And, people. The ridicule I'm taking for my crocs that are en route to my house at the moment is impressive. I know I didn't like them much, but sometimes, just sometimes, Function wins over style. EEks. My 94yr old Grandmother just came out of my mouth...

Thursday, October 4, 2007


its really the bee's knees.

shamelessly snagged from tdopes away-message:

And one more thing

I just did the one thing I never thought I would do. Okay, fine there's a lot of "those" things out there. But. BUT. I just purchased a pair of Crocs! I can't believe I hit "purchase". In my defense, they were less then $30, the "Mary Jane" style, which is kind of cute, and I thought they would help show off my hand knit socks a bit.
(Image from Dick's Sporting Goods, saved to my server)
I can't believe I just bought these. A bit "old lady" perhaps, but its not like I'm going to wear them out to a fancy dinner with a cute dress. No, these will be commuting, going to the store, taking a plane ride sort of shoes. Famous last words? Dear lord, I hope not.

Who cares?

Perhaps just by writing this, I'm perpetuating the issue, but I was just looking at today's free newspaper and can't help but wonder. Why do I care whether or not Brittaney Spears has her drivers licence? Why do I care if she has custody of her two kids? Sure, she was a Pop Singer with minimal talent and a short skirt a few years back, but today, what makes her more important then me? This isn't to say I think I'm hot stuff or anything, its just odd to me that this girl, gets coverage for simply "being" as does Paris, Lindsay and Nicole (no last names needed, right?).
Do Americans not have enough going on in their own lives that we all need to pay attention to people that could care less about us? I'm all for appreciating and perhaps fawning a bit over someone who's work you admire, but can you really tell me there's a lot to admire in the above girls except for maybe their good looks? (Which I question, myself).
I love going to see Ani (She's playing here in November!) and while I can't stand the guy, I understand why some of my bestest friends think Eddie Vedder is amazing. That's okay with me. Its just really hard for me to understand placing people who aren't really going anywhere on a pedestal! Is it because they are are excessive in their lifestyle choices? That they are constantly acting trashy? How many pictures are of these girls are out there sans underpants?? These people aren't even interesting! It just seems really weird to me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

and people say I'm a little weird?

This morning I was on the train sitting next to a guy who was wiping his nose and sweaty brow with a baby bib. it was blue and yellow and there was no question that it was a bib. He looked fairly normal otherwise, so i spent most of the 14 min ride wondering:
  1. Did he grab a bib instead of his handkerchief?
  2. If he did, I wonder if there's a reason to wipe ones nose with a bib over a tissue?
  3. Did he realize as he was sitting next to me that it was indeed a bib?
  4. I wonder if he has a baby?
  5. And... I hope he puts it away before he gets to work.

For as many negative things that I'm apt to say about DC on any given day, I am certainly never lacking in entertainment.

Last night I had dinner with Peej, which isn't abnormal, but it was her last night in DC as she is currently driving to Ohio. Another one bites the dust and departs the area. I should be used to this by now, but it always sucks to be the one left behind in DC. At the same time, I have no grand plan to go anywhere else at the moment, so its not the end of the world.

And, in knitting news... I finished the Broadripple socks, and as soon as they are dry from blocking, I'll take a picture. They're a holiday gift, so one more of those down! I just turned the heel on the What's Up 1972 socks last night as well, so they'll be done before the end of the week. You'll get another "FO" post soon:) In the meantime, I'm casting on for more holiday gifts and trying to find a pattern for a hat using sock/dk/sport weight yarn. The tall guy wants a thin hat, about (what he said) the weight and texture of his socks. I'm sure I can work out a pattern on my own, but would be happy to look at what you may have.