Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No knitting today

I honestly don't feel like it.

I had a craptastic day at work today.

Started off regarding a project I did a year and a half ago, upon some research it looks like the database vendor did not implement the way we thought they did. So I got yelled at - how could you miss it in the audit, etc., etc. After a few hours of digging, I found my audit and some documentation, and showed boss what I signed off on. She let up on me after that but I still felt on pins and needles all day. In addition, I find out this afternoon that one of the teams that reports up to me sent out the completely wrong mailings to 20,000 people. That plus a bunch of little things. They just kept coming.

Anyway, there is one piece of flourless chocolate cake left (made it over the weekend) and I figured I would split it with DH after supper tonight, since chocolate always helps on a bad day. Well, I was (and still am) too full after dinner for any cake I even changed into sweatpants (in case it was just pressure from my jeans), but no dice - C laughed at me for this. I could force it down but then I'd have a miserable tummy all night.

Oh well. I know my problems are minor compared to many others, but for some reason it doesn't stop me from feeling whiney.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

And in other news...

I am about a third of the way done with the basketweave sleeves...which to me seems like a good pace, given that I am doing them both at the same time. There has still been a LOT of cursing and un-knitting, especially as I have to try to figure out how to make the basketweave pattern work with all the increases.

I am going to Portland, OR for work for a few days at the beginning of next week. I am hoping to have my STR stuff by then so I can get moving on the first sock on the trip (I am going to have a good 9 hours on a plane round trip, plus airport-sitting, etc.). Backup plan is to take the sleeves with me, but I really hope it doesn't come to that since those aren't nearly as portable. I think taking those would involve taking 4 balls of yarn with me (the two I'm working on right now are starting to get a little skimpy) - not to mention it's just a bigger project - and I'd rather not take up too much room in my luggage.

Is it spring yet? I am so tired of being cold. Cold down to my bones.

Switching gears a bit

Since my STR delivery is forthcoming, I spent the last few days insanely trying to finish the sock I was working on. On Saturday at 9 pm, I was about 2 inches above the start of the heel flap (on a cuff down pattern), and last night at about 9 pm, I finished it. Given that I did spend most of yesterday at the office, I'd say that's fairly impressive.

View the goods!

Plymouth Sockotta, which I've discovered I don't like, but at least I do not have more of it that needs to be used. I have not worn the socks yet, so I don't know how comfortable they are. Size 2 needles, basic "sock recipe" from the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The basketweave progresses...

I got some better photos of the basketweave pattern this afternoon. Plus, yesterday I finished up the front and grafted together the front and back pieces. The pattern doesn't direct to do it this way, but I did because C has unusually long arms and I wanted to see how long the sleeves needed to be. It was a good thing I did, since the pattern says to make them 23 inches long, but upon measuring I discovered I actually need to make them 26.5 inches long. This is the benefit of knitting your own sweaters...C normally has to go up a size to have long enough sleeves. The body part of the sweater fits him quite well - it is somewhat close fitting but nowhere near tight (almost every sweater I've ever bought him is quite baggy since he is so thin). I didn't get photos of him modeling it, but at least you have these to look at:

Here is the front...2 stitches are being held for the little section that the zipper will attach to.

...and the back.

I am doing both sleeves simultaneously (it's going to be a tight fit on the needles once I get the increases in). So far I have finished the cuffs but have not started on the basketweave yet.

Finally, I promised a photo of my glass heart once I got it. I finally managed to take a photo of it. I really like it.

Yesterday I went out and ordered the furniture...excitement! But now we have to wait 4 months to get it :(

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Here comes another one just like the other one

So lookie what I woke up to about an hour ago:

That's another 4 or 5 inches (hard to tell with all the blowing) on top of what I shoveled last night. And you can see it's still coming down. Even better, the plows have not been through yet, which means 1) The roads driving to work are going to SUCK, and 2) Just as I am ready to leave the house I am going to get plowed in.

I called the office's emergency line, but they said it is business as usual. Seriously, I am pretty miffed at the company right now. Give us a late opening or something, at least. Allstate (corporate headquarters across the street from us) is probably closed completely.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

OK, I am about done with winter.

I was going to take a picture of how much snow we got today, but it got dark and I'm too tired. Let's just say the roads suck and it's pretty dangerous driving - we got sent home at 3:45 because of this. So I come home to insane amounts of snow in my driveway...manage to get my car in the garage and then start shoveling. It's light powder snow, and it's very windy, so the depth ranged from about 8 inches to about 2 feet. :( I got it most of the way done by the time C got home, at which point I handed over the shovel because I was about to collapse. Luckily we were having a simple supper tonight so I got that going and we ate when he came in. My only other plans tonight are to work on the basketweave sweater. I think I'll be able to finish the front by the end of this week..then I can graft together the front and back so he can try it on and I can figure out the sleeve length needed and get those going. I will be so glad when this is done (both because I'm tired of knitting it, and because he's really excited about getting a sweater).

And here is my reward for the shoveling :)

It's a single serving size, so I can eat the whole thing with no guilt! (Actually, by the time I managed to post this the whole thing is already in my tummy! Yum!)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

SP10 Questionnaire!

Can you believe it's another round of SP already? Well, here goes...

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Like everyone else (or so it seems) I prefer natural fibers. Love wool and alpaca...would like to try bamboo.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?


Made for me by my wonderful SP8 spoiler, Julie. I have one for straight needles, one for circs, one for sock DPN's and one for larger DPN's.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Self taught via books (mostly SnB). I've been knitting for 2 years and would consider myself advanced beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent?

Pumpkin and coconut. However, I am very sensitive to synthetic fragrances and can't tolerate everything. The Body Shop is usually safe... Bath and Body Works can be hit or miss.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I have an insane sweet tooth. I loooooooooooooove dark chocolate (not such a big fan of milk chocolate but I will eat it when I need a fix). Also a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies and brownies. I also love sour candy - my husband cut me off the sour tangerine Altoids because I could go through a tin in a couple days, even though I got burns on my tongue from the citric acid. I don't eat sour gummies much, but don't mind them once in awhile.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I don't really do anything else crafty. I have bought a bunch of scrapbooking supplies but have never used any of them. I do enjoy gourmet cooking (as you may occasionally see on this blog).

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

My musical taste is both varied and picky. I've had bad luck with people trying to make me CD's, so I'd hate to have someone spend a lot of time on that.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

Purple. Seriously. My stash is full of purple, yet I always gravitate toward more purple in the yarn shops. I also like jewel tones in general and often wear black or charcoal gray as well. I don't like pastels, and I depise yellow.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my husband and two cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Scarves - yes. Hats - sometimes. Mittens - not currently, only because I don't own any... but am contemplating knitting some for myself. Ponchos - probably not.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Socks. I also like knitting things that are somewhat unusual to knit (for example I am working on a rug, though it's been temporarily abandoned for awhile).

13. What are you knitting right now?

A sweater for my husband - I am hoping to finish it by the end of February but that is probably too ambitious. I also always have a sock going because they are nice and portable...I usually work on socks during lunch at work, doctor waiting rooms, etc.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Circs are my favorite, though I haven't spent enough time with them lately. I like bamboo for straights and aluminum for circs and sock needles. Bamboo is also good for larger DPNs. Have not used plastic and am not convinced I'd like it (even for the mighty Denises).

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I have both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

I think it's the sweater I'm working on. I started it maybe last May, or something like that. It's only slow because I set it aside in July or August so I could do insane amounts of Christmas knitting (hope people don't get used to that!).

18. What is your favorite holiday?


19. Is there anything that you collect?


20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I subscribe to IK. I still really want to make the Bobbi Bear or Baby Bobbi Bear at some point.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Lace. I keep saying I am going to sign up for a class at my LYS so I can learn it (it looks far too difficult to teach myself).

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes. I never seem to get around to measuring my foot, but I think most standard sock patterns would fit me. Every sock I've ever knit has fit me, no matter who I was making it for.

23. When is your birthday?

April 5th.

Various and sundry

So Friday night I finally learned how to do a long-tail cast on. I forget the name of the one I was using - it was easy but had the unfortunate side-effect of a long and growing gap (of yarn) between the two needles for the first row. It took me awhile to get the hang of long-tail, but I think I got it. We'll see how it goes the next time I go to start a project. I used it to start off the second of the purple-and-brown socks that I finished last month. I just need to get that sucker done or I'll never do it. I don't like the feel of the end product very much, so I may give them to someone who won't be as fussy.

Yesterday we went furniture shopping - now that I know how much my bonus (woo!) is going to be. We want to completely replace all the hand me down stuff in the family room. Here is what we are leaning toward:

There would also be a matching 2-seat loveseat, and chair. It's great quality stuff, all the seats are actually adjustable (not really a full recliner as there is no footrest), and soooooooooooo comfortable. However, there are a few drawbacks:
1) Super expensive - would basically eat up all my after-tax bonus.
2) They are made to order in Norway and shipped here, which means a 4 month wait till delivery.
3) It's not very sustainable to have very large pieces of furniture made in Norway and shipped to Illinois.
So a little more thinking to do, but I'm guessing we'll do it anyway.

On a personal note, my in-laws' divorce is going to be final this week. I've not mentioned this at all in my blog, but they have been living apart for the past year. It's been quite a blow for me - they had been the couple I looked up to and tried to model my own marriage after (well, at least the part I saw - clearly there was more going on behind the scenes, as there always is). Plus, C's family in general is just very close, and there is just something weird about not having his dad around at gatherings anymore (by the way, it was his decision to leave, she did not want this at all). I have a hard time coming to terms with it. Yes, I understand I can't change it, but it's difficult to accept it all the same.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

2008 Christmas Wish List

Per request :)

For me:
My Amazon wishlist
My Loopy Ewe wishlist (fyi - the detail page for any yarn will tell you how much yarn is needed for a pair of socks)
Fiddlehead Mittens Kit (the pattern is always available but the kits seem to be stocked sporadically, so I'd say if you happen to see a kit, go for it!)
Down Ice Scraper Mitt
Lands' End Cotton Cardigan (L, Blackberry)
Lands' End Cotton Short-Sleeve Sweater (L, Blackberry)
Cotton Cable Turtleneck (L, Blackberry)
Tube Cake Pan

THIS would totally be hilarious. Love it! :)
Calendar from Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm (yes, I do have a membership - what makes you wonder...:) )

For C:
Amazon wishlist
(he actually does have it updated, and although we don't have a Blu-Ray player, he's planning to buy one before Christmas)

For Both:
Calphalon Nonstick Pans (we've been waiting for a deal like this - about 75% off!)
Oversized Down Throw

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Glassblowing adventure

Today was a Valentines Day open house at the glassblowing studio where we went before Christmas. They were helping people make their own glass of course I had to go.

Here I am taking the piece on one of its trips into the glory have to heat it up pretty much every time you want to do something with it. Put color on it, heat it up. Put another color on it, heat it up. Shape it in the mold, heat it up.

This one is pretty unflattering (I am NOT photogenic by nature) but I'm posting it anyway because you can see the actual piece. And you can see that I only do about 15% of the actual work in creating this thing...but it's still fun. Anyway, it needs to stay there and cool until Monday, then I can go pick it up - though I will probably wait until next weekend to go because, um, I do have to work and their hours are 10-4.

When I got home, my other package from Kellie had finally arrived:

(almost forgot to take a photo before I tore into it!)

Some lovely purple Rowan wool..

a fun journal - half of the pages are lined and half are completely blank.

Some supersoft yarn (with angora!) in scrumptious colors...

And a fun pattern book - I am eyeing the glove pattern, personally.

Thanks again Kellie - this was tons of fun and I am already making my way through those digestives :)

In other news - finally I finished my own pair of retro rib socks today :

They look different sizes, but it's only because I've tried on the one on the left, and stretched it out a bit.

And a look at my progress on the basketweave sweater:

This photo does not do justice to the basketweave pattern. I'll try to get a better one soon. I've got about 20 rows left before I start shaping the armholes...then not long after that I get the excitement of separating for the neck zipper.

So I'm looking at the weather forecast and they are saying the low tonight is 7. However, it is currently -1. How the heck does that work?

(do I really have to go to the gym tomorrow morning? sigh.)